In a shocking announcement
today, the world has learned that Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder George Lucas signed an agreement with The Walt Disney Company's Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger, to sell Lucasfilm, Ltd. to Disney for $4.05 Billion. As sole owner of Lucasfilm, Lucas will take home half of the sale price in approximately 40 million shares at closing value, and the remaining half in cash.
Lucas has further signed an agreement with Disney, however, to remain on in an advisory capacity: in 2015 Disney intends to release to theaters Star Wars Episode 7
, and Lucas will serve as creative consultant on the movie. Kathleen Kennedy, who has been co-chair of Lucasfilm for quite some time now, will be Executive Producer of that film.
Lucasfilm has produced a number of television shows over the years, such as Star Wars: Droids
and Star Wars: Ewoks
(both animated programs from 1985), The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
(1992), the traditionally-animated Star Wars: Clone Wars
(2003), and the currently-airing Star Wars: The Clone Wars
show (2008) produced using CGI animation. There's also an upcoming program, Star Wars Detors
, which has yet to begin airing, as well as one-shot specials and telefilms such as 1985's Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
and the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special
How will Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm affect the DVD (and Blu-ray) releases of these various productions? So far there's no word about that. We can theorize, however, that existing contracts with studios such as Fox, Warner and CBS will continue as-is until and unless the licenses expire, at which time the rights would probably go to the new owners at Disney. For productions which have never been released on DVD, such as the not-yet-broadcast Detours
program being produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich (and the much-maligned Holiday Special
, we suppose), the home video rights would obviously belong to Disney now...unless, of course, those rights were previously assigned in a prior agreement (which may not be public knowledge).
All this is to say that the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, while surprising, has no immediate bearing on the DVD or Blu-ray Disc releases of TV shows produced by Lucasfilm. If something changes in the future, we'll certainly let you know! Stay tuned for further developments in the months and years to come.