You can take the George Lucas out of LucasFilm, but "Star Wars" is forever. In what is likely going to be the biggset news item of the next few weeks and months, Disney has not only purchased LucasFilm (for a cool $4.05 billion), they've slated an untitled "Star Wars: Episode 7" movie for 2015. Let us repeat: a new "Star Wars" movie is coming in 2015.
LucasFilm has gone through some changes this year, with George Lucas stepping away from the day-to-day with the company, and Steven Spielberg's Kathleen Kennedy taking over his position on the board. And while Lucas has continually professed he just wants to go into his basement and tinker with making experimental movies, he's never been one to shy away from milking the franchise he started, and we can't imagine this next installment in the series won't have his guiding influence in some capacity.
Of course, details are still coming together, and Disney and LucasFilm are scheduled to get on the phone with press later today to talk about the deal. But let's just remember that when Disney bought Pixar, it wasn't long until the acclaimed animation giant was churning out sequels. $4.05 billion is a lot of cheddar, and we'd wager Disney plans for "Star Wars" will be less about integrity (and let's face it, the series is now a product/brand and not much more) than making sure we keep getting bi-annual updates on the trade embargos threatening the Federation or whatever. And indeed, the torch is being passed to a new (moneymaking) generation.
"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," Lucas said in a statement as he hit eBay for ivory backscratchers. "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."
We really want to be excited by this, but we remain cautious -- after decades of disappointment -- about where this series goes next. But continuing the saga with a new episode? That's a very big mountain to climb. Where do you want to see the "Star Wars" story go? Let us know below.