One of the first things Disney did after acquiring George Lucas‘ Lucasfilm Ltd was to announce new Star Wars movies, Episode VII being scheduled for 2015.
This announcement might be amazing news for some Star Wars fans and terrible news for others who consider that Episode VI marks the end of the saga. Disney also mentioned that Episodes VIII and IX would be made in the future, each being two or three years apart. According to the company, “The last Star Wars movie release was 2005’s Revenge Of The Sith – and we believe there’s substantial pent-up demand.” With the acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney also gains the rights for the Indiana Jones franchise, so a sequel might be scheduled for this series, too. However, if you expect to see George Lucas directing any of the future Star Wars movies, you might be disappointed, as this is not going to happen.
The price Disney payed for Lucasfilm is surprising. To be more precise, it is surprisingly low. Some reckon that 4 billion dollars can be easily earned back if Disney makes at least one more trilogy, to which all the licensed merchandise is added, along with DVDs and digital downloads.
Soon after announcing the acquisition, Disney CEO Bob Iger declared: “Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas. 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.”
On the other hand, George Lucas explained this move in the following way: “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. 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.”
It sure looks like Disney now has Lucas’ blessing to make more Star Wars movies, but the end result depends very much on the director and the actors that will be chosen. Some directors focus more on the artistic approach, while others want the movies to be more accessible, so that they produce more money. Hopefully, Disney will make the right choices and the Force will be strong within their future Star Wars director.