Is that the earth shifting beneath our feet? Maybe.
The Walt Disney Company has announced plans to buy Lucasfilm. In a deal estimated to be worth $4+ billion, all of the Lucas companies will now be part of the growing Disney empire. Kathleen Kennedy, who was tapped by George Lucas as his successor earlier this year, will serve as president of Lucasfilm.
Lucasfilm joins the likes of spinoff company Pixar, ESPN, ABC, and Marvel Comics in a growing mega-corporate entity bent on
dominating delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world. ahem
From the press release:
“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
Most telling, however, is the comment from Chairman and CEO Robert Iger: “The last Star Wars movie release was 2005’s Revenge of the Sith – and we believe there’s substantial pent up demand. In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.”
So, for all of us who knew there were three more movies out there waiting to be made, here they come. Along with however many more they can get away with making. Is this a good thing? Do we really need an endless stream of Star Wars movies in perpetuity? Has the franchise turned into a cash cow, or are there still really good stories yet to be told? What does this mean for the live-action TV series? Where does this put Rick McCallum?
And what of Jar-Jar Binks?