Sending a tremor of panic down the spines of hard core Star Wars fans, Disney announced a cash and stock acquisition of LucasFilm for $4.05 billion on Tuesday and announced the planned release of another Star Wars movie in 2015 followed by "more feature films ... well into the future."
The acquisition entails Disney paying about half of the money in cash and the rest in 40 million shares. “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," said Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, in a press release.
According to the Associated Press, Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of LucasFilms, will take on a new role as the company's president reporting directly to Disney chairman Alan Horn. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers,” Lucas said in a statement. The press release notes that Lucas will stay on as creative consultant for Star Wars Episode 7 and that Disney plans on following up with several more feature films:
The last Star Wars movie release was 2005's Revenge of the Sith – and we believe there's substantial pent up demand. In 2015, we're planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the "Disney-Lucasfilm" brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.
The news caused an instantaneous outcry from Star Wars fans who for years have seen their original beloved trilogy turned into a barely recognized franchise.
No! That's not true! That's impossible! RT @reuters: "Star Wars" episode seven will come out in 2015, Disney says— Joshua Treviño (@jstrevino) October 30, 2012
In case the first six movies didn't suck hard enough. RT @reuters: "Star Wars" episode seven will come out in 2015, Disney says.— Benjamin R. Freed (@brfreed) October 30, 2012
In a word: "Nooooo!"