George Lucas has sold the company which owns the Star Wars brand to Disney for $4.05 Billion. Disney will take control of Lucasfilm Ltd in return for around 40 million shares and about $2.25 billion in cash.
George Lucas will remain as creative consultant on Star Wars: Episode 7 – set for release in 2015.
He said of the deal:
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. 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.”
To date, Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in box office takings. The Star Wars brand with Lucasfilm will join Pixar and Marvel as another major acquisition for Disney.