1. November 2012 08:56
It was maybe the only thing that could have stopped the Internet talking about Superstorm Sandy: After more than three decades, George Lucas is stepping back from control of the Jedi, with the Walt Disney Company purchasing Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock, the companies announced Tuesday.
As if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, Disney announced that a new Star Wars movie would open in 2015, and — even more! — it would serve as the start of a new series of movies, with an installment planned for every two or three years.
In the press release accompanying the news, Lucas is quoted as saying that “it’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers,” adding that he’s “always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me” and that “it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.” Although he will act as a creative consultant on the new series, the filmmaker will hand over caretaking duties on the franchise to Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm’s current co-chairman, who will become President of Lucasfilm and Star Wars “brand management” under the new Disney ownership. According to Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger on an investor call late Tuesday afternoon, Lucas has signaled his “intention to retire” following the sale of the company.