Walt Disney just announced that it will buy Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4.05 billion in cash and stock! This includes the Star Wars franchise, Indiana Jones franchise, ILM, LucasArts, and Skywalker sound.
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production.
Here's what George Lucas had to say:
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
The announcement also mentions that Star Wars Episode 7 is scheduled for release in 2015. Episodes 8 and 9 are planned as well, every 2-3 years.
Update: George Lucas on the future of Star Wars:
Edited by capnsmak - 10/30/12 at 2:31pm