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.