“Walt Disney Co has agreed to buy filmmaker George Lucas’s Lucasfilm Ltd and the ‘Star Wars’ franchise for $4.05 billion in cash and stock, a blockbuster deal that adds one of the most beloved franchises in entertainment history to Disney’s lineup,” Lisa Richwine and Ronald Grover report for Reuters.

“Disney said there would be a new series of ‘Star Wars’ feature films as part of the deal, with the first movie expected in 2015,” Richwine and Grover report. “Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, in prepared remarks for analysts, said the plan was to release a new movie in the series every two to three years thereafter.”

Richwine and Grover report, “Lucas, a Hollywood icon known for exercising control over the most minute details of the fictional universe he created, will remain as a creative consultant. ‘It`s now time for me to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers,’ he said in a statement.”

George Lucas

George Lucas

“Lucas will become the second-largest individual holder of Disney shares, with a 2.2 percent stake,” Richwine and Grover report.

MacDailyNews Note: Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, is the largest individual holder of Disney shares.

Richwine and Grover report, “This deal marks the third time in less than seven years that Disney has signed a massive deal to take over a beloved studio or character portfolio, part of its strategy to acquire brands that can be stretched across TV, movies, theme parks and the Internet. In early 2006, Disney struck a deal to acquire ‘Toy Story’ creator Pixar, and in the summer of 2009 it bought the comic book powerhouse Marvel Entertainment.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Thank God for beards or George Lucas would have no discernible chin.

Oh, come on, you were thinking it, too.

The good news is that any future “Star Wars” movies can’t be much worse than the last three.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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