George Lucas signed over the rights to the force yesterday for a record breaking 4 billion dollars from Disney. It would seem that the beloved Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will be joining Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear and Iron Man in Disney’s large roster of characters.
The 68-year-old Lucas also received 40 million Disney shares from the deal, the second-largest non-institutional shareholder of Disney, behind the trust of deceased Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said Lucas. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”
Disney is already making plans to add Star Wars series to their Disney XD channel. “We really like Star Wars’ potential on TV as well,” Iger says, “and we think (cable-satellite channel) Disney XD will be a great home for that.”
Disney is also making plans to continue the Star Wars franchise with a new series of films. Following the release of Episode VII in 2015, “our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years,” Iger said.
Also included in the deal are special-effects house Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound and video game company LucasArts.
And so Disney takes over yet another franchise. May the force be with us all!