Disney is buying Lucasfilm, the maker of Star
Wars, for around 4 billion dollars, the companies announced Tuesday.
The deal provides a massive windfall for George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars who is the sole owner of Lucasfilm.
"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," Lucas, 68, said in a statement. "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers."
"This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value," said Disney CEO Robert Iger.
The Star Wars franchise is one of the most successful in Hollywood history and the seven films released since the 1977 original have grossed some 4.5 billion dollars at the global box office, behind only the Harry Potter and James Bond franchises.
The latest part of the Star Wars saga, Star Wars Episode 7, is targeted for a 2015 release.
The purchase by Disney follows its acquisition of Marvel Entertainment for 4 billion dollars in 2009 and Pixar Animation Studios for 7.6 billion dollars in 2006 as it seeks to compensate for the dwindling success of its traditional stable of family films.
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