Geeks tend to have something of a love/hate relationship with Lucasfilm. Its namesake, the one and only George Lucas, brought us the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones films. However, he also brought us the Star Wars prequel trilogy. The news has just broken that Disney plans to acquire Lucasfilm for $4 billion in cash and stock. Not only that, but Star Wars Episode 7 is being planned for a 2015 release.

Disney has been on a real tear in recent years. After a decade of mediocre movie performance, Disney backed Pixar early on. It later bought the animation giant for $7.4 billion in 2006. Disney also got in on the super hero fad in 2009 when it bought Marvel for $4 billion. In this new Lucasfilm deal, Disney is paying about half that $4 billion in stock and half in cash. Lucasfilm has a single shareholder: George Lucas. I expect he’s planning some renovations to Skywalker ranch now.

Star Wars Disney

Discerning sci-fi fans that have been down on what George Lucas has done with the Star Wars franchise in the last 15 years will be happy to hear that Lucas is stepping away from the company’s day-to-day operation. Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become president of the new Disney-owned venture. Lucas won’t have any official decision making capacity, but is staying on as a “creative consultant.”

While the Star Wars prequels were not received terribly well, it’s still a little sad to see Lucas handing off the franchise. He’s part of history, and even with different people leading the development of a new Star Wars story, fans might never be happy. There is already an established storyline for the post-movie Star Wars universe as laid out by dozens of novels like the awesome Heir to the Empire trilogy. It’s hard to say if these tales will be honored or overwritten.

Make sure you keep an eye on coming developments as the first post-Lucas Star Wars movie takes shape. It’s an exciting time to be a geek.

via ABC News

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