George Lucas says a new "Star Wars" trilogy, made up of episodes 7, 8 and 9, is in the works, not just one sequel, as previously revealed as part of the Walt Disney Company's announcement that it has agreed to acquire his production company Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion.
The deal, which Lucas said marked a "perfect match," comes following years of collaboration. Lucas, who created the multi-million "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" film franchises, has worked with Disney since the 1980s to create rides and attractions at Disney's theme parks based on his iconic serials. Lucas also produced "Captain EO," the Michael Jackson 3D movie and ride first featured at the Disneyland Resort.
Check out a transcript of George Lucas' full statement about the Disney-Lucasfilm deal, which Disney released as a videotaped interview on Tuesday, October 30.
"I'm been a big fan of Disney all my life from when I was born. First day at Disneyland. Love Disney movies. Got very involved with Disney in the '80s and working in the parks and I've always had a fondness for Disney.
"At the same time, as I've gone through my career, I realized that at some point, I needed to retire and I wanted to go on and do other things, things in philanthropy and doing more experimental-kind of films but I couldn't really drag my company into that and I felt it was time for me to start thinking about retiring and I've been doing that for the last four years."
"One of the most important shifts that I had was I found Kathy Kennedy, who I'd been working with for 40 years, and asked her if she wanted to come and be a co-chairman with me and get ready to take over the company and take over the franchise and do everything and once that piece was in place, I knew I could step away and actually retire."
"The final block in that was to find a good, solid home for the company and the first place I thought was Disney. They're large enough and the match of what our two companies are is just perfect, 'cause we're like a 'mini-Disney' - we have the same kind of operations, we do the same kind of thing and I worked with Disney over the years and I know how they operate."
"So, it was a perfect match of two companies that are constructed similarly, do the same kind of product and I think it'll give me a chance to go off and explore my own interests at the same time."
"I feel completely confident that Disney will take good care of the franchise I've built and at the same time, for me, I look it as I'm investing in Disney, 'cause that's my retirement fund."
"The future of 'Star Wars' films - Kathy and I have been working on future 'Star Wars' films and the main reason I brought Kathy on is, rather than quit, I wanted to have it move forward but I needed somebody I trusted who could take that franchise and make it work the way I intended it to."
"So once Kathy came on board, we started working with writers and started working on all the processes of doing the films, so we've got a plan for 7, 8 and 9, which is the end of the trilogy, and other films also. So we have a large group of ideas and characters and book and all kinds of things. We could go on making 'Star Wars' for the next 100 years."
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