Big news: Disney buying LucasFilm

Wow.

That’s my first reaction to the latest — and biggest in recent memory Bay Area entertainment-related — news: Disney is buying LucasFilm for $4 billion.

It’s strange to think that George Lucas’ lifework is going to be a part of the House of the Mouse. Lucas intentionally established LucasFilm in Marin to be separate and independent from Hollywood.

It’s also hard to believe that amount was all Lucas could fetch for LucasFilm, especially given the staying power of the “Star Wars” franchise. LucasFilm is a private company, so we don’t know what its finances look like.

But to put the selling amount in context, “Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace” alone raked in $1 billion in box office sales. Six years ago, Disney spent some $7 billion to acquire Pixar, itself a LucasFilm spin-off and three years ago, it bought Marvel for a similar $4 billion.

The deal means that the Bay Area’s two major film-related companies – Pixar and LucasFilm – will both now be under Disney’s auspices. Disney has seemed to do a good job of allowing Pixar to retain its independence. We’ll see how it will treat LucasFilm.

Troy Wolverton Troy Wolverton (256 Posts)

Troy writes the Tech Files column as the Personal Technology Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He also covers the digital media, mobile and video game industries and writes occasionally about Apple, chips, social networking and other aspects of technology. Previously, Troy covered Apple and the consumer electronics industry. Prior to joining the Mercury News, Troy reported on technology, business and financial issues for TheStreet.com and CNET News.com.