Disney Buying Lucasfilm / Releasing Episode VII in 2015

Roughly thirty minutes ago Disney announced that they will be purchasing Lucasfilm Ltd., it's subsidiary companies, and all relevant intellectual propery for a whopping $4.05 billion. Most importantly for Star Wars fans, Disney has announced that they will be releasing Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015, followed shortly thereafter by Episodes VIII and IX and further new movies every two to three years. You can read varying reports of this story at Reuters, ABC NewsMTV, and Fox News.

I'm really not sure how to feel about this, but for now my mood is probably best described as 'devastated'. We all knew that George Lucas couldn't maintain ownership of Lucasfilm indefinitely, but the idea of the entire franchise being turned over to Disney is hard to swallow.

For now I'm hoping that reports of Episodes VII, VIII and IX are misguided. Hopefully reporters have simply counted the current films and assumed that the next three releases will follow chronologically. We don't need a continuation of the original saga. The future of those characters has already been thoroughly explored and documented in the Expanded Universe (starting the very day after RotJ in The Truce of Bakura). Any attempt to make an Episode VII would be horribly messy and, for this fan, might very well do irreparable harm to the franchise. My hope is that the films are instead side-stories. Perhaps a vehicle for the unused live-action story set between Episode III and IV, or films set in another era entirely (The Old Republic anyone?)

More information is sure to come to light, so be sure to check back here for updates.