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George Lucas names Lucasfilm successor Kathleen Kennedy

Legendary filmmaker George Lucas (right) is seen in this undated file photo.

June 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
George Lucas announced Friday that his company Lucasfilm has a new co-chair and successor.

Veteran producer Kathleen Kennedy will fill the role at the company. She and Lucas will serve as board co-chairs as the 68-year-old Lucas prepares for retirement.

"It is nice to have Yoda by your side," Kennedy said in a statement. "George and I have talked about the enormous opportunities that lie ahead for the company, and as George moves towards retirement I am honored that he trusts me with taking care of the beloved film franchises."

Lucas will continue as CEO of the company and will help Kennedy with her transition.

Since Lucasfilm was established in 1971, it has grown into an international entertainment company that produces movies and television shows, designs interactive software and provides visual effects and audio post-production services.

Lucas says he's spent his life building Lucasfilm and wanted to make sure it was in the hands of someone who shares his vision.

Kennedy is Steven Spielberg's long-time producing partner and has worked on blockbuster films like "E.T.," "Schindler's List," and the "Indiana Jones" and "Jurassic Park" franchises. She has also been nominated for seven Oscars.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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