In one of the most momentous pieces of movie news in recent years, Disney have stumped up $4bn to purchase Lucasfilm and the rights to the Star Wars franchise, with Star Wars: Episode VII set to land in 2015.
The movie will be part of an all-new trilogy, with Episode VIII and Episode IX likely to arrive in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Lucasfilm has already mapped out a new storyline, with George Lucas having consulted on a script for part VII.
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said Lucas in an official statement. “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 (the newly appointed president), 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.
“I have story treatments of 7, 8, and 9,” continues Lucas, “and a bunch of other movies and obviously we have hundreds of books and comics and everything you could possibly imagine. So I sort of moved that treasure trove of stories and various things to Kathy, and I have complete confidence that she’s gonna take them and make great movies.”
Meanwhile, Kennedy confirmed that she is already liaising with writers to advance the script for Episode VII. “We’re in the midst of the really fun part of the process,” she says, “which is we’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas and we’re starting to talk about what those stories might be.”
Earth-shattering stuff then, and news that’s going to take a little while to process. In any case, it looks like the Avengers and the Justice League are going to have some fairly hefty competition in 2015…
Watch a video of George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discussing the future of Star Wars :