George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic to Disney for $4 billion in cash and stock.

The next Star Wars feature, which is coming out in 2015 apparently, will no longer be an independent film. Disney now owns the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Disney bought Pixar for $7B and Marvel for $4B and business wise its acquisition of Lucasfilm is very smart.

More intriguing though is why Lucas sold out now. Lucas let slip he has treatments for three new Star Wars movies so he isn’t quite done with his galaxy far, far away. But he also stated he won’t be directing or producing the new movies. It looks like Uncle George has lost interest in making films and just wants to find a good home for Star Wars and Indy.

If Disney can get Star Wars firing on all cylinders like it has with Marvel films then this might be a good time for Star Wars fans. Imagine Star Wars in the way Ron Moore did Battlestar Galactica or JJ Abrams did Star Trek. And after the prequels there’s really nothing to lose.

Unless you’re a licensee that is. Star Wars is a merchandising power house. In fact more money is made from merchandising than films. Disney is no stranger to merchandising either. But these two companies have already existing relationships. The comic rights for Star Wars currently belong to Dark Horse. People like what Dark Horse are doing with Star Wars, but Disney owns Marvel. What about toy licenses or board and card games. Disney has already said they aren’t focussing on consoles for Star Wars. Much of the minutia that you know about Star Wars was made up by West End Games for the Star Wars tabletop RPG. Do you think Disney knows or cares about RPGs? Are Disney really interested in making a couple of thousand more dollars on niche hobbies.

This deal makes sense for everyone and especially for fans of Star Wars movies. Lucas is getting out on his terms. Disney acquires a valuable pop culture franchise. Fans get movies by people who care about their franchises and the fans of those franchises. If you only care about filmed entertainment then you’re golden. If you like all the crazy licensed merchandise, then you might be holding your breath for a while longer.

Iain McGregorMoviesDark Horse,Disney,FFG,George Lucas,ILM,Indiana Jones,Lucasfilm,movies,Star Wars
George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic to Disney for $4 billion in cash and stock. The next Star Wars feature, which is coming out in 2015 apparently, will no longer be an independent film. Disney now owns the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Disney bought...