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Lucasfilm Ltd., LLC
Industry Film
Founded 1971
Founder George Lucas
Headquarters Letterman Digital Arts Center (Presidio of San Francisco)
Key people
Products Motion pictures and television

Lucasfilm Ltd., LLC[3] is an American film and television production company based in the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, California. The studio is best known for its films, such as those in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as its leadership in developing special effects, sound and computer animation for film. Lucasfilm was founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1971 in San Rafael, California; most of the company's operations were moved to San Francisco in 2005.[4] The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 at a valuation of $4.06 billion.[5]


Independent era

Lucasfilm was founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1971.[6]

On July 8, 2005, Lucasfilm's marketing, online, and licensing units moved into the new Letterman Digital Arts Center located in the Presidio in San Francisco. It shares the complex with Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts. Lucasfilm had planned an expansion at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, but shelved the plan[when?] due to opposition from neighbors. However, it still plans to expand elsewhere.[7]

In January 2012, Lucas announced his retirement from producing large-scale blockbuster films and instead re-focusing his career on smaller, independently budgeted features.[8][9]

In June 2012, it was announced that producer Kathleen Kennedy, a long-term collaborator with Steven Spielberg and a producer of the Indiana Jones films, had been appointed as co-chair of Lucasfilm Ltd. It was reported that Kennedy would work alongside Lucas, who would remain chief executive and serve as co-chairman for at least one year, after which she would succeed him as the company's sole leader.[10]

On September 5, 2012, Micheline Chau, who served as president and COO of Lucasfilm for two-decades, announced that she was retiring. With her departure, senior executives for each of the Lucasfilm divisions will report directly to Kathleen Kennedy. Chau was credited with keeping the Lucasfilm and Star Wars brands strong, especially through animation spin-offs and licensing initiatives.[11]

Disney subsidiary

Discussions relating to the possibility of The Walt Disney Company purchasing Lucasfilm officially began in May 2011, after a meeting that George Lucas had with Disney CEO Bob Iger during the inauguration of the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction.[12] Lucas told Iger he was considering retirement and planned to sell the company, as well as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.[13] On October 30, 2012, Disney announced a deal to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion,[14] with approximately half in cash and half in shares of Disney stock.[15] Lucasfilm had previously collaborated with the company's Walt Disney Imagineering division to create theme park attractions centered on Star Wars and Indiana Jones for various Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide.[16]

Kathleen Kennedy, co-chairman of Lucasfilm, became president of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she serves as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney's global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Kennedy serves as producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant.[17] The company also announced the future release of new Star Wars films, starting with Episode VII (later titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens) in 2015.[16]

Under the deal, Disney acquired ownership of Lucasfilm and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, video games, animation, visual effects, and audio post-production. Disney also acquired Lucasfilm's portfolio of entertainment technologies. The intent was for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.[18] Star Wars merchandising would begin under Disney in the fiscal year 2014.[19] Starting with Star Wars Rebels, future productions will be co-branded by both the Disney and Lucasfilm names,[20] akin to what Disney has done with Pixar.[21] On December 4, 2012, the Disney-Lucasfilm merger was approved by the Federal Trade Commission, allowing the acquisition to be finalized without dealing with antitrust problems.[22] On December 21, 2012, the deal was completed, and Lucasfilm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney.[5]

Disney's CEO Bob Iger confirmed that Lucasfilm had plans to have stand-alone Star Wars movies with Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg lined up to develop the movies that would be released sometime during the six-year period the sequel trilogy will be released.[23]

In April 2013, the development arm of the LucasArts division was closed down and most of its staff was laid off.[24][25] However, LucasArts remained open with a skeleton staff of fewer than ten employees so it could retain its function as a video game licensor.[26] On May 6, 2013, Disney announced an exclusive deal with Electronic Arts to produce Star Wars games for the core gaming market. LucasArts retained the ability to license, and Disney Interactive Studios retained the ability to develop, Star Wars games for the casual gaming market.[27][28]

20th Century Fox, the original distributors of the first six Star Wars films, still retain the distribution rights to the original two Star Wars trilogies, currently owning permanent full distribution rights for the 1977 Star Wars film, while also holding the theatrical and home video distribution rights to Episodes I-III, V, and VI until May 2020.[29] Lucasfilm retains the television and digital distribution rights to all the Star Wars films except the original.[30] In December 2013, The Walt Disney Studios purchased the distribution and marketing rights to future Indiana Jones films from Paramount Pictures, although the latter studio will continue to distribute the first four films and will receive "financial participation" from any additional films.[31][32]

On January 3, 2014, Lucasfilm announced that Dark Horse Comics' license for Star Wars comics would end in 2015, and return to fellow Disney subsidiary Marvel Comics.[33]

On April 24, 2014, Lucasfilm announced that the Expanded Universe would not become canon (but may be drawn upon for future works) and that The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series would be considered canon and future Star Wars projects would be overseen by a new story group to keep to that canon. Additionally, the Star Wars Legends banner would be used for those Expanded Universe materials that are in print.[34] Disney Publishing Worldwide also announced that Del Rey would publish a new line of canon Star Wars books under the Lucasfilm Story Group being released starting in September on a bi-monthly schedule.[35]

Company structure


Former divisions


Film Year Distributor
THX 11381 1971 Warner Bros.
American Graffiti 1973 Universal Pictures
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 1977 20th Century Fox
More American Graffiti 1979 Universal Pictures
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 1980 20th Century Fox2
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 Paramount Pictures
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi 1983 20th Century Fox2
Twice Upon a Time 1983 Warner Bros.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 1984 Paramount Pictures
Latino 1985 Cinecom
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters 1985 Warner Bros.
Labyrinth 1986 TriStar Pictures
Howard the Duck 1986 Universal Pictures
Willow 1988 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Tucker: The Man and His Dream 1988 Paramount Pictures
The Land Before Time 1988 Universal Pictures
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989 Paramount Pictures
Radioland Murders 1994 Universal Pictures
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 1999 20th Century Fox2
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 2002 20th Century Fox2
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 2005 20th Century Fox2
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 2008 Paramount Pictures
Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2008 Warner Bros.
Red Tails 2012 20th Century Fox
Strange Magic 2015 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (released by Touchstone Pictures)
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens 2015 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (released by Walt Disney Pictures)

In development

  • Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One directed by Gareth Edwards, written by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz (2016)—co-production with Walt Disney Pictures[42]
  • Star Wars Episode VIII written and directed by Rian Johnson (2017)—co-production with Walt Disney Pictures
  • Untitled Star Wars Anthology film (2018)—co-production with Walt Disney Pictures
  • Star Wars Episode IX written by Rian Johnson (2019)—co-production with Walt Disney Pictures
  • Untitled Star Wars Anthology film written by Simon Kinberg (TBA)—co-production with Walt Disney Pictures
  • Untitled Star Wars Anthology film written by Lawrence Kasdan (TBA)—co-production with Walt Disney Pictures
  • Untitled Indiana Jones film (TBA)—co-production with Walt Disney Pictures[43]

Television series

Television films and specials

Other productions

See also

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  1. ^ Despite being produced by American Zoetrope, this is often considered to be a Lucasfilm production.
  2. ^ Physical distribution rights will be transferred from 20th Century Fox to the Walt Disney Studios in May 2020.[29] The digital distribution rights are held by Disney, as Lucasfilm had retained the digital distribution rights to all Star Wars films produced after the original.[44][30]


  1. ^ Graser, Marc (June 5, 2014). "Tony To Joins Lucasfilm as Head of Production, Development". Variety. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (June 5, 2014). "Lucasfilm Hires Tony To as Production and Development Exec". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ The Walt Disney Company. "The Walt Disney Company Completes Lucasfilm Acquisition (press release)" (Press release). Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Industrial Light & Film". Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Schou, Solvej (December 21, 2012). "Mickey meets 'Star Wars': Walt Disney Co. completes acquisition of Lucasfilm". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ Moss, Stuart (2009). The Entertainment Industry. Wallingford, UK: cab international. p. 89. ISBN 9781845935511. 
  7. ^ Les Christie CNN Money 5:43 p.m. PDT, May 21, 2012 (May 21, 2012). "After ritzy neighbors block Skywalker Ranch expansion, George Lucas strikes back with proposed low-income housing development - KCPQ". Retrieved October 31, 2012. [dead link]
  8. ^ Fischer, Russ (January 17, 2012). "George Lucas Ready to Retire From Blockbuster Filmmaking". /Film. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ Yamato, Jen (January 17, 2012). "George Lucas Promises Retirement (From Blockbusters... Not Counting Indiana Jones 5)". Movie Line. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ Richard Verrier and Ben Fritz, "Kathleen Kennedy to helm Lucasfilm as George Lucas phases out", Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  11. ^ Gregg Kilday, "Longtime Lucasfilm President and COO Micheline Chau Retiring", The Hollywood Reporter, September 5, 2012, Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  12. ^ Leonard, David (March 7, 2013). "How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for 'Star Wars'". Bloomberg Businessweek. p. 3. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Never mind about Star Wars 7. Who is going to be Bob Iger's No. 2?". Jim Hill Media. October 30, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  14. ^ Burr, Ty (November 3, 2012). "What to expect when Disney buys 'Star Wars'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm for $4 Billion". ABC News. October 30, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Disney purchases Lucasfilm, announces new Star Wars". 3 News. October 30, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  17. ^ "New Star Wars Movies announced as Disney enters agreement to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd.". October 30, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  18. ^ Smith, Ethan (October 30, 2012). "Mickey, Darth Vader Join Forces in $4.05 Billion Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Financial Report and Shareholder Letter" (PDF). The Walt Disney Company. February 3, 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 7, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Walt Disney Confirms J.J. Abrams Will Direct New 'Star Wars'". The Wall Street Journal. January 26, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ Acuna, Kirsten (November 9, 2012). "Here's What Disney CEO Bob Iger Says He Wants To Do With 'Star Wars'". Business Insider. Retrieved November 22, 2012. 
  22. ^ Patten, Dominic (December 4, 2012). "Disney-Lucasfilm Deal Cleared By Feds". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  23. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (February 5, 2013). "It's Official: 'Star Wars' Stand-Alone Films From Lawrence Kasdan, Simon Kinberg in Development". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Shaw, Lucas (April 3, 2013). "LucasArts to Cease Making Games, Will Lay Off Most of Staff". The Wrap. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  25. ^ Neal, Ryan W. (April 3, 2013). "Disney Closes LucasArts, Video Game Arm of LucasFilm, Cancels Star Wars Games". International Business Times. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Disney to Shut LucasArts Videogame Unit". The Wall Street Journal. April 3, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  27. ^ "EA takes helm from LucasArts, will exclusively develop future 'Star Wars' games". The Verge. May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  28. ^ "We're probably all about EA". The International House of Mojo. May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b Masters, Kim (October 30, 2012). "Tangled Rights Could Tie Up Ultimate 'Star Wars' Box Set (Analysis)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "The Walt Disney Company FY 2013 SEC Form 10-K Filing" (PDF). The Walt Disney Company. November 20, 2013. p. 13. Retrieved April 17, 2015. Prior to the Company’s acquisition, Lucasfilm produced six Star Wars films (Episodes 1 through 6). Lucasfilm retained the rights to consumer products related to all of the films and the rights related to television and electronic distribution formats for all of the films, with the exception of the rights for Episode 4, which are owned by a third-party studio. All of the films are distributed by a third-party studio in the theatrical and home video markets. The theatrical and home video distribution rights for these films revert back to Lucasfilm in May 2020 with the exception of Episode 4, for which these distribution rights are retained in perpetuity by the third-party studio. 
  31. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 6, 2013). "Disney Acquires Rights to Future 'Indiana Jones' Movies". Variety. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  32. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (December 6, 2013). "Disney acquires control of future 'Indiana Jones' movies". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  33. ^ Clark, Noelene; Blake Hennon (January 3, 2014). "'Star Wars' comics leaving Dark Horse, returning to Marvel in 2015". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  34. ^ McMillan, Graeme (April 25, 2014). "Lucasfilm Unveils New Plans for 'Star Wars' Expanded Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2014. While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, [Franchise creator George Lucas] always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU, 
  35. ^ McMillan, Graeme (April 25, 2014). "Disney, Del Rey to Launch New 'Star Wars' Book Line". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Tiny Death Star Available For Android". The International House of Mojo. October 11, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  37. ^ Droege, DB. "The future of Star Wars comics under Disney". TG Daily. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Welcome to Lucasfilm". Lucasfilm Recruiting. Lucasfilm. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  39. ^ Shelby Hill, Steven Gaydos (September 30, 2011). "Accusations fly in Kerner bankruptcy". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  40. ^ Crabtree, Sheigh (June 12, 2002). "Lucas' THX stakes out new galaxy". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 11, 2002. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  41. ^ Hoppel, Adrian (March 20, 2013). "Law & Apple: iFone Defeats iPhone, THX Targets Apple". MacLife. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  42. ^ Kit, Borys (May 22, 2014). "'Star Wars' Spinoff Hires 'Godzilla' Director Gareth Edwards (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  43. ^
  44. ^ Vlessing, Etan (April 6, 2015). "'Star Wars' Movie Franchise Headed to Digital HD". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 

External links