Disney Buys Lucasfilm and the Star Wars Sequels Begin

Those of us who grew up with Star Wars the first time around remember how disheartened we were after Return of the Jedi when George Lucas said there wouldn’t be more movies in the series until that far-off future year of 1990. Those who also remember when there were supposed to be nine films, including a sequel trilogy… well, we pretty much came to terms with that over the years, since it’s not like there wasn’t plenty of other Star Wars stuff to go around.

Today, though, the inner child revives, and Mark Hamill’s agent is likely doing cartwheels – not only did Disney just buy Lucasfilm in a four billion dollar deal, but they also announced they’re targeting Star Wars Episode VII for 2015. That’s right: Star Wars Episode VII, to be followed not just by VIII and IX, but “a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years,” according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.

And let’s not forget that Lucasfilm isn’t just Star Wars. Does this mean that if there’s another Indiana Jones adventure, it’ll be the Sleeping Beauty castle that morphs into scenery rather than the Paramount mountain? Could Marvel be planning a more faithful Howard the Duck reboot, possibly as a Disney animated feature? Entire theme parks based on the galaxy far, far away? Will Disney see a value in spinning Red Tails into a franchise? Is Lucas now planning on making those experimental movies on is own that he’s teased for so long? Will the sequel movies incorporate or ignore such characters from the Expanded Universe canon as Jaina Solo, Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn?

If you’re a toy collector, better make some room. And check out our gallery of some of the best Disney/Star Wars mash-ups to date.

UPDATE: We asked Dark Horse to comment on the future of Star Wars comics, since Disney owns Marvel, but Star Wars is currently at DH. Mike Richardson, president of Dark Horse Comics, Inc., responded: “Dark Horse and Lucasfilm have a strong partnership which spans over 20 years, and has produced multiple characters and story lines which are now part of the Star Wars lore. Star Wars will be with us for the near future. Obviously, this deal changes the landscape, so we’ll all have to see what it means for the future.”

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