Lucasfilm founder George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, is selling his company to Disney for $4 billion.
The deal will make Lucasfilm owner George Lucas a significant shareholder in Disney, which will pay for the film company with $2 billion cash and around 40 million shares of its stock.
Disney will gain control of Lucasfilm's blockbuster Star Wars franchise, which includes both a massive merchandising operation and filmed productions Disney will also absorb Lucasfilm's special-effects production business, Industrial Light and Magic, and its Skywalker Sound audio production studio.
"It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers," George Lucas said in a written statement. "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."
Lucas will work as a creative consultant on Star Wars Episode 7, the first of a planned new trilogy of live-action Star Wars movies. It is targeted for release in 2015.
Disney plans to relaunch the Star Wars film franchise, which had its last installment in 2005. Following the three planned sequels, the company envisions releasing even more Star Wars movies at a rate of a new film every two to three years.
Future movies may not be sequels but movies that focus on fringe characters. Disney also believes there is potential for a television series.
Disney respects and understands -- perhaps better than anyone else -- the importance of iconic characters. In all looks as if we have lots to anticipate in the near future from Disney. Star Wars fans stay tuned.