October 31st, 2012
04:39 AM GMT
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(CNN) – News that Disney has purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas – creator of the Star Wars saga – for $4 billion drew immediate reaction online, which was quickly populated with Darth Vader masks and Death Stars adorned with Mickey Mouse ears.

Or as someone who with the Twitter handle “Yoda” wrote: “Bought Lucasfilm, Disney did. Replace me with Mickey Mouse, they cannot.”

Disney is planning to throw the full weight of its empire behind relaunching the Star Wars franchise, which saw its last installment in 2005 with “Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.”

“Fans can expect a new feature film, Star Wars Episode Seven, in theaters worldwide in 2015. And there will be more feature films, as well as consumer products, television projects, games and theme park attractions,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a video statement.

“We’ve got a plan for 7, 8 and 9, and other films also,” Lucas said. “We have a large group of ideas and characters … we could go on making Star Wars for the next 100 years.”

Why now? The 68-year-old Lucas said he wants to head toward retirement to do “philanthropy, more experimental kind of films, but I really couldn’t drag my company into that.”

Succession planning played a part, Lucas said. “One of the most important shifts toward that was Kathleen Kennedy, who I’ve worked with for 40 years,” agreeing to become co-chairman of Lucasfilm earlier this year.

“Once that piece was in place, I knew I could step away and retire. The final block was to find a good solid home for the company, and the first place I thought of was Disney.”

There’s plenty of ambivalence about the move. One analyst told Iger "I can say, Bob, that you're risking the wrath of the entire Internet," according to CNN Money’s Stacy Cowley. "But, I dunno, I'm excited."

Much online reaction expressed fear of Disney “ruining the franchise,” while others suggested taking the saga out of the hands of Lucas. Josh Gates of the Syfy Channel wrote, “To those complaining that Disney just bought Lucasfilm...  `Meesa thinks this is probably for the best,’” referring to the much maligned character Jar Jar Binks from Episode 1.

What do you think? Is Lucasfilm backed by the Force of Disney a good thing or a drift toward the Dark Side?

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. simonpetrie

    "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of dollars suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."

    October 31, 2012 at 5:45 am |
  2. CandleintheDark

    I think DIsney ought to stop the buying spree and start being a creative company again. This is just sad.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:46 am |
  3. Ajai D' Silva

    The force is strong with them, But If i EVER see a couple of mouse ears in the movies, I swear there is going to be some mysterious tightening of the wind pipes.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:48 am |
  4. sproggit

    There is a certain, sad, inevitability about this announcement. We saw, with the release of Episode One, that Lucas had lost any last vestige of artistic integrity in favour of personal income. That was the first film in this franchise specifically geared to selling merchandise; as a result it was compromised in so many other ways and the two subsequent releases have just served to confirm that Lucas placed profits ahead of preserving the purity and majesty of episodes IV to VI.

    Since the deal is done we have no option to await developments, but I honestly can't see how Disney can do a *worse* job than Lucas did with the last three films he produced. Didn't they make the Tron reboot? I thought that had promise...

    Meanwhile, for those of us who remember the magic of sitting in a huge cinema seat, in 1977, just old enough to be smuggled in by our parents... well, we can make do with the boxed sets on BluRay or DVD...

    October 31, 2012 at 6:42 am |
  5. eduardo

    Lucas went to the dark side long ago... he's more machine now than man

    October 31, 2012 at 6:46 am |
  6. CJ

    If they start Chapter 7 with the death of Jar Jar Binks the balance in the Force will be restored!

    October 31, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  7. burcakb

    As long as Lucas stops being the decision maker, this is a good move. Disney knows how to run franchises better than Lucas and the Star Wars universe has enough potential to last a very very long time.

    October 31, 2012 at 6:58 am |
  8. Jun Go

    Live long and prosper. _\V/

    October 31, 2012 at 7:11 am |
  9. cyruskirkpatrick

    "John Carter" was better than ANY of Lucas' prequels. And, I'm not saying it was a good movie, it was just comparatively better. Anyway I wish Spielberg or someone bought it instead. Still excited to see Episode 7.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:16 am |
  10. Stephen

    I think it would be fair to say that the Empire has struck back. They're now ontrack to (re)build the Death Star franchise and blow up the Rebel Alliance. Will the Dark Side triumph? Will Kamino have enough clones ready in time? Will the rebels be able to steal the secret plans, formulate a winning strategy, and ride in to defeat the evils of the Lord of the Sith, Emperor Iger, and his new apprentice Darth Kathleen?

    Tune in to your favourite movie screen in 2015 to find out.

    May the Force be with you!

    October 31, 2012 at 7:28 am |
  11. The Other Luke

    I was very annoyed at this announcement intially, but like others have said, Disney know how to run a franchise. Take Marvel, they own that and are doing some good things with it. Also, they own Pixar and that hasn't been too bad either.
    No one in their right mind would re-tread the horrors of Episode One (which had some cool bits, even if it was one character, one line of dialogue and a 8 minute lightsabre battle). Lucas lost the plot ages ago. I'm surprised he even made Star Wars. Given his recent efforts with Indiana Jones etc he was past his prime as a filmmaker. He hit the nail on the head with the originals, and thats about the high point of his career. I wonder if Disney will release a blu-ray version of the originals without all the tacked on bits?

    October 31, 2012 at 7:46 am |
  12. hyper

    I can only hope Disney won't make a movie of the last 3 official books in the star wars saga. That story is really bad for multiple reasons.

    I can only hope they go with one of the stories from Timothy Zahn's Hand of Thrawn series. Thrawn is an amazing villain.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  13. Jim

    " 'We could go on making Star Wars for the next 100 years' said Lucas."

    Yes, you could, but why would you want to? Just to make money? Isn't the beauty of Star Wars, Indiana Jones (I know that was Spielberg), the Simpsons, and any other great original work that they are have a certain freshness, mystique, original quality, that is not appreciate by those who arrive at the franchise later on? This quality can be ruined very quickly. Look at the Simpsons: the early seasons, up to about season 8, were genius. They had good writers, a team who cared about the integrity of the show. Now look at it. Fox has run the Simpsons into the ground, dug it a hole, and buried it. It has no soul anymore. Yes, from a business standpoint Disney could probably continue to make money off of Star Wars for the next 100 years, but they would dilute the integrity of it so much it would become an empty shell. Why not innovate an entirely new science fiction franchise? Oh yeah, because that would be more work, and it is less of a challenge to use the success of what you have already. That may work from a purely business standpoint, but from an artistic standpoint it is anathema. The artists is always looking for something new. Which is why Groaning innovated Futurama, and Seth McFarland started American Dad.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  14. gliese42

    I am waiting for Disney to buy DC and than the ultimate revenge when the X Men and Justice League combined to make the the Avengers cry for mercy

    October 31, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  15. darthOnion

    spot the hidden mickey episode VII

    October 31, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  16. MisterK

    I'm actually quite excited. Disney has been doing some pretty exceptional work. DC and Warner Bros. got off easy with the Batman franchise... It's a dark brooding anti-hero with cool gadgets, but somehow, Disney and Marvel managed to make Avengers (Captain America, Thor – a Viking God – , The Hulk, et al) work. And some people even consider it to be a better film. I have high hopes for Star Wars. George Lucas started off something good and then it went rapidly downhill. Disney is going to make sure their $4B is money well spent.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  17. blacknut46

    Disney?? for a long time, the movie industry pimps !!

    October 31, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  18. C-Cross

    I think this move from Lucas by selling his company to Disney is a good move. Yes, some say that he's now money oriented, or Disney will ruin the Star Wars franchise. I think neither is the truth or is happen. Disney has keep their franchise pretty well, and obtaining Lucas Art will bolster their trade mark. Lucas Art while strong in their Franchise, Star Wars, they will need the ground where Disney may only provide. Either way, I can expect Star wars series to continued as planned by Lucas. I sure hope he will still within the management/team though for that.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  19. sebastjan

    imagination can become a fairy tale can become innovation and innovation can become money.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  20. Laz

    I thought there was only 3 Star War Movies ? did I miss something ? I hope when Lucas finally decides to do the prequel he promised us that he wouldnt riddle it with CGI or attempts at comic relief characters. He wouldnt do that to us would he ?

    October 31, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  21. Sixer Saturn

    If anyone should get control of the Force then it should be Disney, I am sure Walt would approve.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  22. PBScott

    Now Disney can go out and crush all the fan made videos, art, comics and storyline based on the Star Wars franchise and wipe them out from the collective consciousness of the world just like they did Mickey Mouse.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  23. cacalips

    Sick and disgusting.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  24. Aristocles

    Well, Disney certainly has more resources than Lucasfilm. Not only will they police their new intellectual property with more vigor than Lucas ever could personally, they are likely to be able to get more Star Wars movies and shows made. If they mess this up, it will go down as one of the most horrible events in cinematic history. If they make good movies, then Disney just bought itself the equal of several seemingly inexhaustible gold mines, several because each type of product that is Star Wars branded (movies, games, TV shows, merchandise) is highly lucrative.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  25. Beelzebub

    Oh great. More remakes and prequels.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  26. anon

    Maybe just maybe disney will restore IV-VI to their original versions and removed the modifications to the end of VI as well as restore the scene where Han shot first (I still have the old VHS copies) would be nice to see them put on blu-ray in their original fashion.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  27. idi01

    I just hope that George Lucas will not be involved in making any more Star Wars films. His creative juices dried up a long time ago.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  28. Jmacq1

    Can't be any worse than the current state of the (movie) franchise.

    My question is what Disney will do with the massive mountain of material that is the "Expanded Universe." I wouldn't be surprised if they pitched it all out the window to start fresh, but I suppose we'll see.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  29. BigLuvins

    IMO, Lucas lost touch with what made the original trilogy everlasting classics. We saw it with the new trilogy and the subsequent re-releases of the original trilogy with the so-called "enhancements." Disney of late has done a much better job at producing not only family friendly movies but entertaining movies as well. I was worried when Disney picked up Marvel but The Avengers was outstanding. The Pirates horse has been pretty much beaten to death but you cannot argue that the series was a great action-adventure series that the whole family could enjoy. If Disney can stick to what made Pirates so successful (especially the first one), I think the SW franchise can do very well at Disney.

    That said I hope Disney does not go overboard with the movies, the more that are made the more it diminishes the aura of the originals.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  30. bottlebot

    The last four Star Wars movies were such great hits (NOT) that George plans 4 more movies? I think the Jedi Master is deranged.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  31. BrightIdea

    Looking at that picture, I now think that all SW characters should henceforth be played by Disney "cast members", in those costumes.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  32. Kenob-fan

    You know...I'm OK with this. I really am. The mythological base upon which Star Wars rises is more than sound enough to generate more cinematic stories / series. I sincerely hope Disney DOES NOT follow the Expanded Universe such as it exists. I won't mind seeing Luke, Leia, Han and the gang in some form, but their time has passed...they should be allowed foster the next generation of Jedi and Sith. No, I don't want the series turned into GLEE or HOTH 90210 but the series is in desperate need of new blood and new life: human, clone, and alien. Ha!

    October 31, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  33. Usswede

    Well 4 billion to get it, need to get that money back somehow, Sure the new episodes will be ok, but Episodes 4,5,6 will be for me the only true Star Wars films, Episodes 1,2,3 Ok entertainment and good background info to the original, so Episodes 7,8,9 will be just a new story in the future with reflection back to the orig, so. just more story and more money to make. Lets Look at our characters today. Han Solo is 70, Luke is 61, Leia is 56, Lando is 75, C3PO is 66, Chewie is 68, Darth (voice) 77, Emperor is 68, Hard for me to see them running, rolling, jumping and fighting. If I wanted to see old people try that I would go see a Rolling Stones Concert today. Guess the new movie will have to get new characters or change Lukes last name because it will also be an accessory for him and his stars.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  34. Nate

    Maybe the new Star Wars films will actually have decent dialogue now that George and his amateur team of writers are removed from the equation. Listen to Episodes 1,2,3. It's like a 7th grader wrote the words.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  35. rgray93

    POW! right in the childhood... i think i'm going to puke.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  36. Mike

    I can't wait for the pristine release of "The Star Wars Holiday Special" on DVD and Blu-Ray. It's Disney's to release now!

    October 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  37. Joonyerminz

    I for one am absolutely ecstatic. They should now have Star Wars character performers at the MGM Studios theme park. I'm not sure what the original actor that played Jar Jar is up to but I'm betting he could use a job there. If all goes well I will realize my dream of being able to personally kick him in the junk when I go there!

    November 1, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  38. macintrance

    Wait .. Disney? .. but I though the rebels were already living happily ever after.

    November 1, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  39. saywhat

    Lucas is more machine than man now...twisted and evil

    November 1, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  40. lee

    I grew up with SW, the first film released when i was only 12 or so, and subsequently till my early 20s and kept entertaining me in my 40s with episodes 1, 2,and 3. Of course i read everything the book stores had on SW, anything that was in the SW universe, and i thought that i could only see it happening in my mind. Now I can look forward to more movies to come, SW is alive again!! And probably accompany me through my retirement and beyond......See all the movies, I will

    November 1, 2012 at 4:28 am |
  41. Williard Scott

    They would have been better of speding the money on L Ron Hubbards rants at least we can get a free brain wash the next time we go to Disney Land or is that called merchandising.

    November 1, 2012 at 4:43 am |
  42. Newscrazy

    Hah! Lucas is not on the dark side financially..he is so rich he can now spend a month in every city of the world. Who needs to work?

    November 1, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  43. Volntyr

    Well, the bright side of this (for the most part) Lucas cant change anything else in the films now. Maybe Disney will even release an official version of ROTJ without Hayden Christensen's ghost

    November 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  44. Srslyppl

    The fella who's famous for a Jarjar Binks just sold his company to the people who most recently came out with Princess Sofia. Disney keeps trying to re-invent itself and doing a terrible job; apparently they can't come up with their own characters anymore, so now they're outsourcing that.

    November 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  45. msmilder

    Disney only cares about making money. They stopped making groundbreaking films in the 1950's. Next thing you know we'll have Episode 8, the Star Wars Musical Comedy with John Williams replaced by Randy Newman, with pop singers like Rihanna singing theme songs. After Disney locks the Star Wars movies in their vault, they'll return 12 years later with Goofy replacing Jar-Jar, Jiminy Cricket replacing Yoda, and some generic villain archtype replacing Darth Vader. So, no...I'm not happy about DISNEY CORP. owning the franchise I grew up with...just so they can put R2-D2 and C-3PO in all their theme parks, and make money of the Star Wars merchandise. On the other hand, Lucas jumped the shark with that awful animated abomination The Clone Wars...so maybe it's too late anyway.

    November 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  46. qui-gon jinn

    i promise, if i find this movie released with characters replaced with mickey mouse and goofy i promise you, someone is going to be found riddled with blaster wounds and a lightsaber shoved down their neck

    you can not, i repeat CAN NOT, take something that is this sacred to people and ruin it for them, the Star Wars movies were a massive change in the way movies were made, seven years later, people are still huge fans. it has been passed down from each generation since 1977, this is truly a sacred thing to people such as myself.

    disney has really dissapointed me by buying the Star Wars franchise, i can understand that it is all for the money, but i remember times when disney was about creativity, now they have completely skidded to a halt and are going backwards.

    please disney, dont do this.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  47. Ed Garalllan

    No one has mentioned the 20th Century Fox just got kicked in the light sabber on this deal.

    November 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  48. Edjo Ramos

    Reblogged this on Your BluePrint to Success.

    November 8, 2012 at 3:14 am |
  49. American Business Brokers

    this is interesting...

    Stacey @ http://business-services-tadeg.posterous.com/american-business-brokers

    November 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  50. Meeu

    as if Marvel jumping ship wasn't bad enough. If Disney failed to deliver on their first SW movies. . . .rest assured, I won't be watching the rest. . . .

    November 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  51. haddadmumtaz

    Reblogged this on dolahaddad and commented:
    disney deal check it out !

    November 15, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  52. wow

    Disney is always on the Brighter side, all fun, before u know it you will be smilling off with the next starwars movie.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  53. wow

    Disney gurantees you will be laughing so hard with the next starwars movie.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  54. wow

    Startrek is always a serious series that disney can not make. starwars on the other hands always had the comical side to it and children and men alike loved starwars for that. if starwars was like startrek it would not have any funny plots along the movie like chemistry, the music and all things that disney is good at.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  55. wow

    IF U DO SEE DAFFY DUCK OR MICKEY MOUSE with JEDI powers in the background some place in the next movie dont be surprised, they are just an aliens for FAR FAR FAR away planet.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
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    January 23, 2013 at 3:55 am |

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