October 31, 2012 - 16:38 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Disney is buying Lucasfilm, the company behind the Star Wars films, from its chairman and founder George Lucas for $4.05bn, according to BBC News.
Lucas said: "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of film-makers."
In a statement announcing the purchase, Disney said it planned to release a new Star Wars film, episode seven, in 2015.That will be followed by episodes eight and nine and then one new movie every two or three years, the company said.
The last Star Wars film was 2005's Revenge of the Sith, and Disney said it believed there was "substantial pent-up demand".
James Burns, founder of Jedi News fansite in the UK said: "It is fantastic that we are doing to be seeing more Star Wars films as George Lucas has said many times that there wouldn't be any more."
Disney will pay about half in cash and half in stock, issuing 40 million Disney shares in the transaction.
The deal follows Disney's acquisitions of Pixar studios for $7.4bn in 2006 and Marvel comics for $4.2bn in 2009.
"Our valuation of Lucasfilm is roughly comparable to the value we placed on Marvel when we announced that acquisition in 2009," Disney said, adding that the valuation was almost entirely driven by the Star Wars franchise.
Kathleen Kennedy, currently co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become president of the firm and will be the executive producer on the new Star Wars films. She worked on the Jurassic Park and Back to the Future franchises and co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg.