Mickey Mouse Buys Darth Vader: With the Disney/Lucasfilm Alliance, What Comes Next?

In a bit of shocking news to pretty much anyone who has ears, George Lucas – the man behind one of the most epic and successful franchises of all time – has sold his company Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Co. for a whopping $4.05 billion dollars.

In a statement from the Star Wars creator and now former CEO of Lucasfilm, Lucas stated, “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.” In addition, he also commented on why Disney was the right fit for the franchise, saying: “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 acquisition of the beloved film series is the newest and possibly greatest achievement for Disney, a company that also procured Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Pixar Animation in 2006. Of course, the big questions on everyone’s minds now is: What will change, and what happens next?

Well, apparently, as far as control of the company is concerned, not much. While Walt Disney Studios chair Alan Horn will be backing the enterprise, current co-chair Kathleen Kennedy is poised to take over as president, ensuring that the franchise will be managed by familiar and capable hands. And although 20th Century Fox may be weeping in their empty popcorn buckets over the loss of their previously held distribution rights, it spells an extremely rewarding venture for Disney, who are already setting in motion plans for a 2015 film, with sequels to follow every 2 or 3 years.

With the Internet already ablaze over whether this is a fantastic or fatal move, we are left to watch, wait and see how things develop. Although some die-hard fans may be screaming “sacrilege!” over the deal, this could be the perfect step to add some renewed vigor and a whole new legion of fans into the franchise many (grown-ups at least) considered mortally wounded by the Lucas-overseen prequels. Disney and Star Wars share the same family-friendly message, and perhaps a drastic change in artistic license is just what the doctor ordered. Can you imagine Christopher Nolan or Brad Bird or Joss Whedon at the helm of a Star Wars film? Oh the possibilities. As master Yoda might say, excited I am.

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