Star Wars: Episode VII For 2015

As Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4bn

Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, and George Lucas, chairman and founder, Lucasfilm sign the agreement for The Walt Disney Company to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd.

Today we felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in amazement, and were silenced by hard fact. Yes, Walt Disney has gone on another acquisition mission, buying up Lucasfilm for the handsome sum of kee oto But the even bigger news to come out of the announcement? [The companies are planning Episode VII in the *Star Wars franchise for 2015.](

The jokes, of course, came almost as fast as the questions of whether it was actually true. But it really is, and George Lucas himself was part of the announcement.

“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, chairman and CEO of Lucasfilm, in a statement. “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.”

While the move remains somewhat shocking, it’s not entirely surprising, especially since Disney bought Marvel (demonstrating, so far, that they can shepherd a geek-friendly company without Disney-fying the result) and Lucas announced he was stepping back from filmmaking to shepherd other projects.

But the new film is only part one of the strategy. Snuck into word that Kennedy will slide into the president’s job at Lucasfilm, comes this little nugget: "Star Wars **Episode VII is targeted for release in 2015,* with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars *saga and grow the franchise well into the future.”

In a follow-up investor's call about the move, it was announced that the seventh film would be the first in a new trilogy, with releases aimed at roughly every two to three years. The treatment for the first of the three is already in hand. Lucas and Kennedy discuss the movies in the video below.

Nothing is known about the new movies yet, but of course we’ll keep you advised. Also, anyone else think this might finally mean the long-planned, already-written live-action Star Wars TV show might finally go ahead? After all, Disney are making a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series alongside their Marvel films, so that could fit. Even if that's still too ambitious, expect a wealth of telly, toy and theme park releases.

*$4.05 billion, in cash and stocks.