George Lucas Finally Relinquishes His Tight Control Of Star Wars… To Mickey Mouse
from the disney's-your-father dept
Disney surprised everyone today by announcing that they’ve struck a deal to acquire Lucasfilm—famously 100% owned by George Lucas—and all its valuable film properties. Lucas himself is stepping aside, and Lucasfilm Co-Chairman Kathleen Kennedy will become president of the company under Disney.
As if all this wasn’t enough of a shock for Star Wars fans, Disney has also announced that they will revive Lucas’ abandoned plans for Episode 7 and aim for release in 2015. One can’t help finding some irony in the statement from Lucas:
“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.”
As most of us know, fans of Star Wars and other Lucasfilm properties have loudly criticized Lucas for retaining tight control on his old works and, worse still, meddling with them by releasing updated versions to replace the beloved originals. There has long been a wish that Lucas would let Star Wars “live beyond” him—but I doubt selling it to Disney is what anyone had in mind.
It’s unlikely anyone has high hopes for the quality of future Star Wars movies, but if Disney built a Star Wars theme park, it’d probably be a hit. Meanwhile, what are the odds that Darth Vader will finally get paid?