Disney buys Lucasfilm

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LOS ANGELES -- The "Star Wars" saga will continue with another trilogy followed by a new movie every two or three years as Disney reached a deal with "Star Wars" creator George Lucas to buy his production company, Lucasfilm Ltd., for $4.05 billion.

The seventh movie, with a working title of "Episode 7," is set for release in 2015. Episodes 8 and 9 will follow, completing Mr. Lucas' original vision for a nine-episode saga. The three new movies will carry the story beyond "Return of the Jedi," the third film released and the sixth in the saga. Mr. Lucas will serve as creative consultant in the new movies. The last "Star Wars" movie release was 2005's "Revenge of the Sith."

The Walt Disney Co. announced the blockbuster agreement to buy Lucasfilm in cash and stock Tuesday. The deal includes Lucasfilm's prized high-tech production companies, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, as well as rights to the "Indiana Jones" franchise.

The deal brings Lucasfilm under the Disney banner with other brands including Pixar, Marvel, ESPN and ABC, all companies that Disney has acquired over the years. A former weatherman who rose through the ranks of ABC, Mr. Iger has orchestrated some of the company's biggest acquisitions, including the $7.4 billion purchase of animated movie studio Pixar in 2006 and the $4.2 billion acquisition of comic book giant Marvel in 2009.

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