Disney has announced today that they have bought Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise from the Master of the Force himself, George Lucas for a whopping 4 billion dollars!

As part of the news, Disney has announced their plans to make Star Wars – Episode 7, and have it in theatres by 2015. I guess that means Princess Leia is now a Disney Princess.

Lucas will become a creative consultant for any new Star Wars projects, while Kathleen Kennedy, currently Co-Chair of Lucasfilm will become the Star Wars brand manager, as well as President of Lucasfilm.

Disney has not just purchased the studio, and properties, both intellectual and physical, but they also acquired all the assests like the award winning ILM and  Skywalker Sound effects departments.

From Disney

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The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing.

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, including its massively Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise.

Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 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.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

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Disney also purchased the Marvel franchise for about 4 billion dollars in 2009, and scored a monstrous hit with the Avengers this past summer.  2015 will prove to be a huge for the  Mouse House,  as it releases both the Avengers sequel and a potential new Star Wars Saga in the same year.

No word on how this will effect various existing Star Wars licensees, but Dark Horse Comics President Mike Richardson has this to say. “Dark Horse and LucasFilm have a strong partnership which spans over 20 years, and has produced multiple characters and story lines which are now part of the Star Wars lore. Star Wars will be with us for the near future. Obviously, this deal changes the landscape, so we’ll all have to see what it means for the future.”

UPDATE!!!

NEW VIDEO, THE FUTURE OF STAR WARS MOVIES