Disney buys Lucasfilm! Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 Coming!

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Huge news out of Hollywood today with the Walt Disney Co announcing they’ll be acquiring LucasFilm for $4.05 billion, giving them control of the immensely popular ”Star Wars” franchise. This deal boosts Disney’s position as a studio powerhouse, along with their recent acquisitions of Marvel Studios in 2009 for $4b and Pixar Studios in 2006 for $7.4b. And, in a surprise announcement, Disney also revealed plans to release a seventh live action ”Star Wars” film in 2015, with more feature films to come after that extending the franchise far into the future. Exciting news for fans of the films, but here’s hoping JarJar Binks does not make a comeback.

“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,” George Lucas said in a statement to the media. “Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment and consumer products.”

Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of LucasFilm will step into a new role as president of Disney’s LucasFilm Unit. In addition to LucasFilm, Disney will now also own their sound, special effects and gaming companies – Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light and Magic and LucasArts.

Within minutes of the announcement Twitter exploded with fans supposing what might happen from the deal, imagining a mashup between Star Wars and Disney films. Here is a selection of the best I saw:
@Futureboy: These are not the dalmatians you’re looking for #DisneyStarWarsMovies
@JaredSilver: Snow White and the Seven Droids #DisneyStarWarsMovies
@Zaneey: Sith Family Robinson. #DisneyStarWarsMovies
@Sepitcor: Wall-E-PO #DisneyStarWarsMovies
@Count_Marzo: Ratatooine #DisneyStarWarsMovies
@michaelidato: The Aristowookies #DisneyStarWarsMovies

Disney is paying for the acquisition with a mix of cash and stock shares, but regulatory authorities still need to approve the purchase before it’s completely official.