|Type||Limited liability company
Subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
|Headquarters||Letterman Digital Arts Center (Presidio of San Francisco)|
|Key people||Kathleen Kennedy
|Parent||The Walt Disney Studios
(The Walt Disney Company)
Lucasfilm Ltd., LLC is an American film and television production company based in the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, California. The studio is best known for its films, such as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as its leadership in developing special effects, sound and computer animation for film. The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm in 2012 at a valuation of $4.05 billion. Lucasfilm was founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1971 in San Rafael, CA. Most of Lucasfilm's operations were moved to San Francisco in 2005.
On July 8, 2005, Lucasfilm's marketing, online, and licensing units moved into the new Letterman Digital Arts Center located in the Presidio in San Francisco. It shares the complex with Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts. Lucasfilm had planned an expansion at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, but shelved the plan due to opposition from neighbors. However, it still plans to expand elsewhere.
In June 2012, it was announced that producer Kathleen Kennedy, a long-term collaborator with Steven Spielberg and a producer of the Indiana Jones films, had been appointed as co-chair of Lucasfilm Ltd. It was reported that Kennedy would work alongside Lucas, who would remain chief executive and serve as co-chairman for at least one year, after which she would succeed him as the company's sole leader.
On September 5, 2012, Micheline Chau, who served as president and COO of Lucasfilm for two-decades, announced that she was retiring. With her departure, senior executives for each of the Lucasfilm divisions will report directly to Kathleen Kennedy. Chau was credited with keeping the Lucasfilm and Star Wars brands strong, especially through animation spin-offs and licensing initiatives.
Discussions relating to the possibility of The Walt Disney Company purchasing Lucasfilm officially began in May 2011, after a meeting that George Lucas had with Disney CEO Bob Iger during the inauguration of the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction. Lucas told Iger he was considering retirement and planned to sell the company, as well as the Star Wars franchise. On October 30, 2012, Disney announced a deal to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, with approximately half in cash and half in shares of Disney stock. Lucasfilm had previously collaborated with Disney and Walt Disney Imagineering to create rides and attractions centered on Star Wars and Indiana Jones for various Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide.
Kathleen Kennedy, co-chairman of Lucasfilm, became president of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she serves as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney's global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Kennedy serves as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. The company also announced the future release of new Star Wars films, starting with Star Wars Episode VII in 2015.
Under the deal, Disney acquired ownership of Lucasfilm and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, video games, animation, visual effects, and audio post-production. Disney also acquired Lucasfilm's portfolio of entertainment technologies. The present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations. Future films will be co-branded by both the Disney and Lucasfilm names (as Disney | Lucasfilm), akin to what Disney has done with Pixar. On December 4, 2012, the Disney-Lucasfilm merger was approved by the Federal Trade Commission, allowing the acquisition to be finalized without dealing with antitrust problems. On December 21, 2012, the deal was completed, and Lucasfilm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney.
20th Century Fox, the distributors of the first six Star Wars films, still retain the distribution rights to the original two Star Wars trilogies, owning permanent distribution rights for the original film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, while holding the distribution to Episodes I-III, V and VI until May 2020. Paramount Pictures retains some distribution rights for the Indiana Jones films, and future films will only be produced if both Paramount and Disney agree on terms.
Disney's CEO Bob Iger confirmed that Lucasfilm had plans to have stand-alone Star Wars movies with Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg lined up to develop the movies that would be released sometime during the six-year period the sequel trilogy will be released.
- Industrial Light & Magic — visual effects
- Skywalker Sound — post-production sound design
- Lucasfilm Animation — animation
- Lucas Books — Book publishing imprint of Del Rey Books, licensed from Lucasfilm.
- Lucas Licensing — licensing and merchandising
- Lucas Online — websites
- Kerner Optical — Practical effects division (model shop) and 3D development team (spun off from ILM in 2006)
- LucasArts — video and computer games shut down in April 2013 with 10 LucasArts employee retain for licensing
- Pixar Animation Studios — computer animation film production company sold to Steve Jobs in 1986, and is also now a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
- THX Ltd. — theater sound system (spun off from Lucasfilm in 2002) Creative Technology now owns the majority share in THX.
- Star Wars Episode VII (2015) — co-production with Walt Disney Pictures and Bad Robot Productions
- Star Wars Episode VIII (TBA) — co-production with Walt Disney Pictures
- Star Wars Episode IX (TBA) — co-production with Walt Disney Pictures
- Star Wars: Droids (1985–1986)
- Star Wars: Ewoks (1985–1987)
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1996)
- Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003–2005)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008–2013)
- Star Wars Detours (TBA)
- Star Wars live-action TV series (TBA)
Television films and specials
- The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) (uncredited)
- Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
- The Great Heep (1986)
- The Making of Star Wars (1977) (produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television)
- SP FX: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television)
- Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983) (produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television)
- From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga (1983) (produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television)
- Return of the Ewok (1982)
- Captain EO (1986)
- Star Tours (1987)
- R2-D2: Beneath the Dome (2001)
- Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy (2004) (produced by Prometheus Entertainment in association with Fox Television Studios)
- Lego Star Wars shorts:
- Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed (2007) (produced by Prometheus Entertainment in association with The History Channel)
- Lego Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick (2008)
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (2011)
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