In what may be considered as the acquisition of all acquisitions, the Walt Disney Company has bought Lucasfilm Ltd. for just over $4 billion. The production company is responsible for all six Star Wars movies, as well as the Indiana Jones series, The Land Before Time, and American Graffiti.
The deal is a stock and cash transaction, with Lucasfilm founder George Lucas receiving around half of the $4.05 billion in cash, plus approximately 40 million stock shares. Lucas says that "it's now time for [him] to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers." Lucas always believed that the Star Wars name would live on well past his death, so Lucas "thought it was important to set up the transition during [his] lifetime."
The deal also includes Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound, and LucasArts, meaning that all the Star Wars video games are also now owned by Disney. Kathleen Kennedy, Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will take over as President of the new Lucasfilm division and will report to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. George Lucas himself will stay on as creative consultant for the new Star Wars films, with Kennedy serving as executive producer.
It's obviously unknown what the transaction will mean for the future of Lucasfilm and its many movies that it produced, but going from being completely owned by just one person (George Lucas) to now being owned by a huge corporation will surely spark some changes in the company, and possibly even some changes to upcoming films.