Disney acquires Lucasfilm

The Walt Disney Company today announced that it has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction valued at $4.05 billion, with Disney paying "approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing." Press release announcing the deal here. Here's a list of all the media Disney already owns: ABC; Pixar; Marvel; as well as Hollywood, Mammoth and Buena Vista Records, just for a start.

So here's one interesting snip: "Our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years."

Reached by phone, here was Vader's comment to Boing Boing.

(Shoop: Xeni)


  1. At first the thought of a new Star Wars movie from Disney every 3 years was kind of bad.

    But then I thought maybe Pixar could do animated movies or something. Might not be that awful.

    1. My expectations are profoundly low (and Pixar has been slipping as well, as it has aimed more at marketing opportunities than storytelling or art).

      But the movies really can’t be as awful as the stuff written and directed by Lucas, can they? So on the whole, it’s probably a plus.

      1.  I’d say a “plus” would be finally laying the Star Wars franchise to rest. It has long since outlived its welcome.

        1. That’s not going to happen, because there’s money to be had. The films will be made, to get that money. The Mouse producing the films doesn’t seem like a fantastic idea, but anything that diminishes Lucas’s role must be considered an improvement.

    2. Ever noticed how every Disney movie has a happy ending?  Even dark stories like The Little Mermaid become happy fun for toddlers?  And the villains are all ridiculous?

      Yea, let’s turn the Disney creative team loose on Vader.  That should be hilarious.

      1. You understand that Disney also bankrolled Pulp Fiction and the Avengers, right? Disney Corp owning Lucasfilm doesn’t mean the Star Wars films are going to start featuring calypso-singing crabs or anything.

        1. Would a calypso-singing crab be that much different than the entertainment in Jabba’s palace?

          1. Nope. That’s the problem. Oh, Antinous, that’s “from,” not “than.” Sorry, copy editing genes.

    3. Perhaps a Tim Burton directed Star Wars movie.. 

      Not sure what role Johnny Depp will play, though.

      1. Not sure what role Johnny Depp will play, though.

        Surely it’s his mission to rehabilitate JarJar.

  2. seriously. a billion voices, crying out in terror, and suddenly silenced.

    if anyone thought lucasfilm marketed the crap out of star wars before, they haven’t seen ANYTHING. disney made UP the game of “marketing the crap out of things”.

    1. Actually Lucas is the one who started the whole mass merchandising game.. In his contract for the first Star Wars film he gave up a normal salary and instead took 40% of the film’s box-office take and all merchandising rights. Since back then merchandising was something that nobody really did too much of the studio agreed to it.

    2. …in his belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years. 

  3. STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 feature film targeted for release in 2015.

    Let me be the first to say that if this announcement came prior to the Disney acquisition, I would be filled with despair. But since Disney now owns Lucasfilm, I actually have a little hope that they won’t butcher Star Wars again. But please, don’t let George Lucas touch it!

    1. Oh I don’t know – world-building, set design, practical special effects, CGI, and creature effects he really pushed to new levels, or at least had a fantastic talent for recruiting geniuses. Just not so gifted at writing dialog, And then there’s Jar Jar “Step ‘n Fetchit.”

      1. His ineptitude at writing dialogue must surely pale in comparison to the awfulness of his coaching of actors. The action sequences of the prequels were inexplicable, but were at least better than anything Michael Bay has done recently. What really pained were the scenes where the actors were seen in close-up for extended periods of time presumably being told something about how to emote, and all you wanted to do was slap them and tell them to go take a shower and get that gunk off their faces. There’s a million action movies with dumb plots and bad dialogue; Steven Seagal excepted, there’s few that make you hate every actor involved (not character; actor) with such a passion as do the Star Wars prequels.

        1. These are all symptoms.  They key problem is that Lucas cannot edit.  And after his divorce, there was nobody who could sit on him hard enough to edit for him.

        1. Yuck and bleah! Unless you’re kidding, which I hope you are. Wait, wait, there’s always the Holiday Special with Bea Arthur!

      1. I’m hoping for something along the “Heir to the Empire” series. Bring on Grand Admiral Thrawn

      1. How? Droid slavery is utterly unquestioned in the movies, even by the droids. Even human slavery is unquestioned.

        1. Not so. Remember Threepio’s “We were made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.” And Luke seemed a tad surprised by the bartender in A New Hope’s “We don’t serve their kind in here!” “Huh?” “Your droids. They’ll have to wait outside.” Now 3P0 is a bit of a dipstick, unless he really is doing the “Isa dumbass droid” buck and shuffle thing. “Doncha look at me, massa!”
          Human slavery was questioned as well, although Quigong chose not to do anything for Shmi–who is the SWarsian equivalent of the Virgin Mary! Youda thunk he’d spring her, but then the Jedi were beginning to prove dumber than a box of rocks! Handy, that “Difficult to see the Dark Side is!” Oh, really! How convenient. Don’t get me started. Lucas can’t write worth shit!

      2.  I’m with you.  After all, they did fight against Chancellor Palpatine during the Clone Wars.  On the other hand, they were also fighting on Chancellor Palpatine’s behalf during the Clone Wars.

        “Hey, how about some reparations?  Or at least repairs.  My shoulder servo’s been wonky ever since those rebel shenanigans on Bespin.”

  4. I liked the first three episodes (minus Jar Jar and the bad acting of Hayden Christensen). Sure, Lucas’ dialog writing is awful but the movies weren’t any worse than the originals. I’ve been anticipating the live-action TV show.

    1. I don’t know. [diagonal cut] The acting was pretty wooden, and the pacing was terrible. [vertical cut] The jokes weren’t a juvenile as, say, the recent Transformers movies, but only by virtue of aiming for family friendly over vulgar. [horizontal cut] The constant movement between completely different, unconnected scenes was unforgivable though.

      [In another comment] Even Jar Jar wasn’t that bad by comparison: between Ugnauts, Ewoks, Hoojib, the Star Wars Christmas special, the Droids cartoon, it should have been pretty clear where Lucas was aiming. We’re just lucky the droids in the first three movies hit the right pitch, landing well north of Laurel & Hardy territory.

  5. I’m interested to know how this will play out with LucasArts, the video game wing of LucasFilm. It’s a sub-company of LucasFilm, so I assume it’s in the deal.

    Unless I’m mistaken in that part of the deal, Disney now owns the following franchises:
    * Monkey Island
    * Grim Fandango
    * Full Throttle
    * The Dig
    * Zak McKracken
    * Maniac Mansion / Day of the Tenticle
    * Loom
    * Afterlife

    Note: Sam & Max is owned by Steve Purcell; Lucas licensed out the properly rights. I don’t know the status of The Dig as that was a Steven Spielberg collaboration.

    1. That is strange. If they now own Grim Fandango, and Pixar (also Disney owned) announced a couple of months ago that they were going to do a about a movie about the Dia de los Muertos, I wonder if Pixar will be doing an adaptation.

      1. Funny story: Steve is working at Pixar for a few years now. Recently he co-directed and was the voice of the crow in Brave.

    2. Yeah, that was what I immediately thought of, and it gave me some alarm as Disney has pretty much closed down all their game production studios that aren’t doing Facebook or cheap mobile games these days.  I wonder what will end up happening to LucasArts, but I suspect it won’t be good.

      I’m wondering why Lucas did this (capital to finance his pet projects?), but in that signing picture he looks like someone off-camera is holding a gun on him.

      1. I’m sure the bazillion dollars he was paid was just a side deal, the real reason was purely creative.

      2. He’s retiring, which is why he named Kathleen Kennedy as co-chair this summer.  She’s his hand-picked successor.  My guess is he wants to buy some incredibly expensive fishing rods.  And a private ocean to fish in.

    3. Given that Steve Purcell works for Pixar now (he was co-director and co-writer of “Brave”), he’s right there under the roof anyway :)

    4. I was always fond of “The Dig”, although the story of astronauts going to set nuclear charges on an asteroid on a collision course with Earth isn’t quite as original as it was in those pre-Armageddon days (although the payoff of “The Dig” is quite different later and resembles Clarke’s “Rendezvous with Rama”) 

    5. I was thinking about this too, but let’s face it: LucasArts has been churning out nothing but Star Wars games for years now, and is not what it once was.

  6. I can’t wait to see the Princess Leia makeover. Maybe a combination Snow White/Jasmine with a little Mulan thrown in for diversity?

    1. No, no, no. She’s already a princess, and already has a unique signature hair style and dress. That means she slides instantly into Disney princess territory.

      1. A princess with a blaster who takes charge of her own rescue and the subsequent liberation of the galaxy. I can live with that.

  7. Oh no! Disney’s going to ruin our beloved Star Wars! Just like they ruined our beloved Avengers!

  8. Well, fans could always take canonicity into their own hands. Simply declare, by fiat, that subsequent films are not canon regardless of what the authors & creators, or rather the copyright holders, may say.

    1. I have an honest, non-snarky, wide-eyed innocent question: What would that *mean*? I have never really understood Canon Wars. What would it mean for a bunch of fans to declare a movie non-canon?

          1. It means somewhere in my head is a world where Neo does what he said he was going to do at the end of the first movie instead of what he actually did in the second and third movies.

            And that makes me happy.

          2. In fact, it isn’t.  Newsflash: they’re all made-up stories that didn’t actually happen.

          3. Fandom is in part a social activity, and to a certain degree fans want to feel like they’re on the same page with regards to what they’re a fan of.

      1. Fiction takes place in fictional universes and those fictional universes are supposed to have a certain amount of internal consistency.  For example, if you wrote a Sherlock Holmes story where he lived on Wimbley Ave you should probably make some mention of his recent move because in the Sherlock Holmes universe he’s supposed to live on Baker St. 

        Marvel comics mostly take place in the same fictional universe.  There are exceptions like the “Ultimate…” reboots of some classic titles — you could look at the reboots as “alternative canons”.  They don’t take place in the “real” (fictional) Marvel universe but some alternative Marvel universe where, for example, the Phoenix saga never happened or something.  There was or is a Marvel title called “What If…” and the purpose of that title was specifically to tell non-canon stories about Marvel characters.

        So if a bunch of fans declared a movie to be non-canon, they would essentially be saying: “We refuse to accept that the series of events in question happened in the ‘real’ (fictional) universe.  They happened in some other (fictional) universe.”  So a non-canon Star Wars movie would have the same relationship to the Star Wars movies that “What If…Wolverine Was an Agent of SHIELD” had to the X-Men comics.

        1. But what if Conan Doyle published a book that had Holmes moving to Southampton or something, and the fans were so outraged that they declared, “We refuse to accept this as canon.”

          And Conan Doyle replied, “Suit yourself, but all future books I write will be set with Holmes in Southampton.”

          Is it just an expression of displeasure on the part of the fans?

          1. See?  Down the rabbit hole the discussion goes.  Or is that “over into Piglet’s house,” since Rabbit had to move out after that damned chubby bear went and died while stuck in his doorway.

          2. And what’s interesting about that is that those were written specifically by fan demand, so if they are then non-fan-canon, that’s pretty harsh. :)

          3. I wouldn’t say “just”.  I think there’s a question of whether an artist “owes” something to the people who makes him or her successful.  For example, how do you feel about Lucas re-releasing the original Star Wars movies with all the edits?  A lot of people seem to think it was pretty bullshit to the extent of even seeming to feel betrayed by Lucas.

            So I think of it more of a conversation or negotiation between fans and the artist.  If an artist creates a world but only becomes successful because of all the time and attention fans devote to that world I think there’s a legitimate question of whether the artist should do things that are “wrong” from the POV of the fans.  “Canon” is like a negotiation between the artist and fans about what “appropriate” plot developments, character revelations, etc. should look like.

            Obviously there’s limits.  Some people get pissed over really stupid stuff.

          4. Huh, interesting. I must have a very old-fashioned attitude towards the relationship between the fans and the creators. To me, to declare a new Star Wars movie non-canon would be like saying, “The first three operas of the Ring Cycle are fine, but Götterdämmerung is not canon.” I don’t even quite know what the means.

            I do get a bit uncomfortable with the notion that a creator somehow has an artistic obligation to clear his creations by with his fans. (Of course, the fans have no obligation to support a creator whose works they no longer enjoy, too.)

          5. If an artist creates a world but only becomes successful because of all the time and attention fans devote to that world I think there’s a legitimate question of whether the artist should do things that are “wrong” from the POV of the fans.  

            An example of such a “conversation”:

  9. I believe it is safe to say someone at Disney is playing a tremendous joke. If Lucas were dumb enough to do this, he would become a pariah. Disney will simply “disneyfy” Star Wars and run it into the ground to sell toys.

  10. Some friends of mine in 501st Stormtrooper Legion are concerned Disney could crack down on IP rights and put their fan organizations in jeopardy. Anybody know how Disney has dealt with IP and big fan communities in prior acquisitions?  

  11. “Acquisition continues Disney’s strategic focus on creating and monetizing the world’s best branded content, innovative technology and global growth to drive long-term shareholder value.” Urgh.

  12. Lucas was a shit storyteller, and is believed by the hardcore fans to have ruined the franchise, so  …..

    good?  So torn.

  13. I dunno, Disney has actually been on a roll with a few franchises the last few years. And have actually done a pretty good job with The Muppets, Marvel, and the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies. Pixar movies seem to be the only mature socially relevant movies being made these days.

    And Disney can’t possibly do a worse job than Lucas did with the prequels, if they keep him away from it, there might be some hope!

  14. Disney’s done a great job managing Marvel and they’ve both thrived financially and creatively. Same with The Muppets.

    Everything Disney’s done with Star Wars so far has been respectful and well-made.

    This is a win-win for everyone: the companies and the fans.

    I have no idea why it’d be considered evil or bad or a cause to mourn.

    1. You said it.  If this had happened circa 1996 I would have howled at the miscarriage of justice.  Now I can only shrug.  I just don’t see how putting the Mouse in control could further hurt the Star Wars franchise.  The worst part of the deal is letting Lucas have any further “creative” input.

    2. It’s a little alarming that they came right out and said “Star Wars 7 in 2015!”  To start an artistic pursuit with such a firm deadline as the first thing in place does not bode well.

      1. Makes perfect sense.  Back when they still made them, it would take about three years to make a new SW movie.  Making new movies (and thus more tie-in merchandise to sell) is one of the primary motivating factors for Disney to covet this IP in the first place.  So: deal in place.  New movie in three years!  May 22, anyone?

  15. I’m just waiting for the costumed characters of Vader and Boba Fett to start wandering the paths of the Magic Kingdom and mingling with Goofy and Winnie the Pooh.

    1. They have been for years — Disney’s been doing yearly Star Wars Weekends where all the SW characters mingle with the Disney characters in parades and such. This was kind of inevitable, really.

      1. When Star Tours first opened, the gift shop had some amazing merchandise I never saw anywhere else. That particular Disney/Lucas collaboration went rather well, I think.





  17. I have an indiegogo campaign to produce a series of 14 epic-scale STAR WARS-inspired paintings to show at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC in the summer of 2013. The title of the series is ‘SANDSTORM’. http://www.indiegogo.com/sandstorm

    Please watch this short vid about the $25 incentives now available in return for supporting my campaign: 

    Thank you!


  18. While I’m not thrilled with everything Disney’s done with respect to Marvel, but I think I’m cautiously optimistic about this… mainly because I really think Lucas needs to step aside and it’s a good sign that he seems to have recognized this.

    As for Star Wars Episodes 7+… I’ll probably watch the first just on curious goodwill. After that, they’ll have to earn it. Make it awesome.

    1. The thing is that Disney hardly did anything to Marvel, except maybe give them any resources they might need. Their approach to Marvel so far has been really hands-off.

  19. There’s one good thing that could come out of this, there’s always a slim chance now that we’ll get the original trilogy on bluray without all the redundant tinkering. Of course, that assumes Lucas didn’t make that one of the conditions of sale.

    1. Apparently FOX still owns the distribution rights to the first Star Wars movies. Disney will only be dealing with future Star Wars movies.

  20. Here’s the next big question: will Disney actually pay a couple of million to some screenwriters (you know they’d be allergic to using just one) to whip out a fresh screenplay for Episode VII: Revenge of the Rodent, or will they simply dip into the slushpile ocean of fanfic screenplays from the last 35 years?

    1. In a Disney video they posted up on YouTube talking to George Lucas, he apparently has laid out plans on the next trilogy will work out, how it ends and how movies after that will work. LucasFilms has already been working with screenwriters, as it seems that this plan has been in progress since George Lucas stepped down from LucasFilm this last summer.

  21.  “Our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.”

    Lame. I can’t see this kind of dilution ending well. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised but it doesn’t seem likely to me.

  22. i really don’t know how to feel about this.  it’s like finding out that your parents are selling the house you grew up in to a family you know, and like, but you don’t want them touching your stuff.

    1. It’s more like your parents who had already redecorated the home you grew up in beyond all recognition after you moved out, moving to another home in a similar neighbourhood.

  23. I really don’t care except I hate all the rampant consolidation that kills true competition in America.  I wonder how long before everything is owned by just one evil family?

    1. I wonder how long before everything is owned by just one evil family?

      Fortunately, even the most aggressively evil usually have children or grandchildren who are too lazy to hold onto empire.

      1. I’ve found that people born with silver spoons in their mouths find it much easier to dip their greedy spoons into the meals of other people despite their slothy handicaps.

      2. Yes, I read a book recently about the rise and fall of the grocery chain A&P. Apparently in the 1920’s everybody in the US feared that it was going to take over the industry, much as people fear Wal-Mart today. But by the 1970s it had begun to falter (although I remember still seeing them around), and these days they hardly exist at all. Still, a 50 year domination of an industry isn’t bad (well, for the owners, not necessarily consumers).

    2. It’d probably be the Waltons.  Their wikipedia page reminds me: “In 2011 six members of the Walton family have the same net worth as the bottom 30% of American families combined.”

      Can you imagine the repercussions of that particular minivan crashing on the way home from the seniors’ bowling league tourney?

  24. If this results in a dedicated Star Wars-land at California Adventure with a full sized Millennium Falcon then it has mu blessing.

    In fact, just convert California Adventure to Star Wars-land.

  25. I love this. Taking George Lucas out of the process can only mean better stories. Plus I got a kick out of the previous season of FRINGE having new Star Wars movie posters in the theater in the alternate universe (where both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series were still going strong, Star Wars with The Legion of the Droids and the latter with Indiana Jones and the Hex of the Hydra!). Pics: http://www.superpunch.net/2010/04/star-wars-legion-of-droids.html

    1. That really highlights how much cleavage Disney princesses normally show. It would seem that we’ve proceeded on the incorrect assumption that they would use slinky nightgown Leia instead of metal bikini Leia.

  26. I’ve said this a dozen times today. No idea why I don’t copy and paste. But I’ll say it one more time. Lucasfilm includes ILM. Every Disney action film over the past decade has had extensive amounts of effects done by ILM.
    Their focus on Tron, a new Black Hole film, and their acquisition of Marvel means they have been focusing even more on action films.
    Other studios also use Industrial Light and Magic as well as Skywalker Sound on their projects. More recently, the new Star Trek film was delayed. That was supposed to come out summer 2012. The reason for this is that ILM was too busy with Avengers, GI Joe, and other films.
    With Disney needing more special effects, it is in their best interest to not end up like Star Trek, waiting in line for ILM to be ready for them.
    If I were Disney, I’d pay 4 billion just for ILM’s creative team alone.
    Getting all the other assets just sweetens the deal.
    Also, I think over the past ten years Disney’s live action fantasy/sci-fi endeavours have only gotten better and better. 
    Pirates, Tron, Avengers.
    I don’t expect the new Star Wars films to be anything like the old ones. I don’t expect them to be like the new ones either. I’m ok with this. Maybe they will find a formula that makes both the old fans and new fans happy. Going to see a Star Wars film and having the entire audience love it would be more fun for me, rather than being selfish and fulfilling my childhood idea of it. The kids that grew up on the prequels have an entirely different idea of Star Wars, but they’re also growing up now, those 10-year-olds who saw Phantom Menace are in their 20s and there are a ton of kids who only watch Clone Wars and have seen none of the films. I was a kid in the 90s, I was the awkward inbetween when nothing new was coming out, I feel my idea of Stars Wars is different from my uncle who saw it in theaters. He hated the Ewoks. I love the Ewoks. I hate JarJar. My nephews love JarJar. I think Disney is business savvy enough to recognize that what they need to make is a film that appeals to multiple generations, unlike the prequels which felt especially like films geared towards children to me. 
    I expect to enjoy it. I don’t expect the nostalgic feeling much in the way I thought the new Tron film was amazing, but was NOTHING like the original.

  27. Has someone remixed the famous “Empire Strikes Back” duel where Vader reveals he’s Luke’s father?  But made Vader Mickey Mouse & make Luke’s screams of “NnnnnooooOOOooOo!!!!” to be connected to the Disney news?
    Someone should do that.

  28. May as well have Disney make some new films.They can’t possibly screw up the franchise more than the prequels did. It would be neat if they focused on another band of rebels fighting the Empire at the same time Luke and co. were doing their thing. Meanwhile…

  29. Fuck it.  Go ahead.  Might as well: I’m not gonna totally piss on Ol’ George: his cinematic genius is solidly encased in Carbonite.  (Of course so is Howard the Duck…but so what)

    Time to move the hell on and tell some stories that hopefully don’t suck. There are two (ONLY TWO!) Star Wars movies worth watching in their entirety..and you already know of the two of which I speak: IV and V, respectively.

      Return is Mostly ok…but somewhere in Endor stuck in a doorway the film loses focus and it takes Admiral Ackbar to wake us up…

      The latest three?  6+ hours of ho hum and oh god no with about 90 minutes of actual entertainment.  Who in the name of all that is good and pure thought it would be acceptable to make the new aliens speak in recognizable racist jargon?  You suck chump(s).  Too hard to make a new language?  Not a real one, nobody had to engage their gray matter inordinately…just make it sound cool: ‘ooootiineee!’ “utah goota Solo?’ etc.

      But not all was terrible: the foley work for Slave 1, various monsters, jumping Yoda (though I could see some folks hating that)…Liam Neeson: That’s Entertainment!

    But then the midichlorians caused the over acting and terrible dialogue that caused me to chew my Red Vine gripping arm right the fuck off

    Not like Uncle Walt gonna make it all better: what was will never be again…but at least with properly lowered expectations anything forthcoming wont hurt as much.

      1. How could I not see that?  Damn…those sneaking sneaks coming around the back to greedily grasp the true intellectual product…

        I bet they walk in single file…

  30. So you’re wandering around at the Magic Kingdom, making your way from Liberty Square to Fantasy Land, and as you walk past the start of the queue to the Haunted Mans-OMIGODITSPURPLETENTACLE!!!!!!

    Totally worth it.

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