George Lucas sells Star Wars to Disney for over $4B…that’s a lot of t-shirts
Following the success of American Graffiti, George Lucas was negotiating the deal on Star Wars. It wasn’t at all clear the movie would be a success. The studio, 20th Century Fox, was legendarily fine with Lucas getting the merchandising rights and other creative control of future related works. As I recall it, Lucas figured that might mean selling silk-screened t-shirts at a convention in a few years.
Needless to say, Star Wars became a huge hit, and the merchandising rights were even more impressive.
George Lucas and Robert Iger (CEO of Disney) explain the deal that Lucas literally signs in the video, selling LucasFilm, ILM, and more to Disney.
Honestly, this makes sense. Lucas gets $4 billion, and the ability to go off and do much less commercial things, like philanthropy and more artsy projects. He’s also been working with Disney for a long time, and honestly, who protects their characters more than Disney?
Disney gets Star Wars, and that’s just the beginning.
They also explain that we’ll get Star Episode VII in 2015 in the theatres. The first movie was episode four, which means this next movie will chronologically come after Return of the Jedi.
There are already tons of Star Wars novels, including many deal with the offspring of characters in the original trilogy. They may or may not go for continuity with these.
Is this a good thing for fans?
My guess is that it will be. Disney’s done okay by Marvel and Pixar (they also own those). ..some might argue that they’ve done at least as well as George Lucas has with his own Star Wars prequel trilogy. Kathleen Kennedy steering Star Wars (she has worked with George Lucas for decades) was part of the deal.
And hey, here’s a chance for a reboot of Howard the Duck 😉
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.