|The Walt Disney Company|
- "For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I'm confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney's reach and experience gives Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products."
- ―Star Wars creator George Lucas, upon Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm
The Walt Disney Company, also known as Disney Enterprises, Inc. or simply Disney, is the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the world and the current owner of the Star Wars franchise.
Founded on October 16, 1923 by brothers Walt Disney and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, the company was reincorporated as Walt Disney Productions in 1929. Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production, television, and travel. Taking on its current name in 1986, The Walt Disney Company expanded its existing operations and also started divisions focused upon theater, radio, publishing, and online media. In addition, it has created new divisions of the company in order to market more mature content than it typically associates with its flagship family-oriented brands.
The company is best known for the products of its film studio, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, today one of the largest and best-known studios in Hollywood. Disney also owns and operates the ABC broadcast television network; cable television networks such as Disney Channel, ESPN, and ABC Family; publishing, merchandising, and theater divisions; and owns and licenses eleven theme parks around the world. The company has been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since May 6, 1991. An early and well-known cartoon creation of the company, Mickey Mouse, is the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company.
On October 30, 2012, Disney announced that it had agreed to purchase Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion from George Lucas and revealed its plans to release Star Wars Episode VII in 2015, followed by Episodes VIII and IX. Lucas did this because his three adoptive children did not wish to take over the Lucasfilm company, and so he would have enough to evade tax penalties that would be enacted by 2013.
Links to Star WarsEdit
Theme park attractionsEdit
Star Tours, a Star Wars themed motion simulator ride developed by Lucasfilm and Disney, opened at Disneyland in California in 1987. The ride later opened at Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, and Disneyland Park in Paris. The ride was superseded in 2011 by Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, an all-new version of the ride.
Disney's Hollywood Studios has played host to Star Wars Weekends once a year, since the summer of 2000. The event includes appearances by actors involved in the Star Wars films and animated series and a number of events.
Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland in California also feature a Jedi Training Academy attraction at which a Jedi instructor teaches "younglings" lightsaber techniques to utilize in battle against either Darth Maul or Darth Vader. In both parks, this show is held near the Star Tours ride.
In conjunction with Star Tours and Star Wars Weekends, a number of Star Wars toys have been developed for and released exclusively at Disney theme parks. This Hasbro toy line included a collection of action figures based on the characters seen in the Star Tours attraction, as well as previously released toys in new packaging. Other toys include figures of Disney characters dressed as Star Wars characters.
In 2005, the toy line included a set that featured a Yoda action figure alongside a figure of Mickey Mouse dressed as a Jedi Knight (aka "Jedi Mickey"), with his trademark gloves and yellow clothes under the robes. According to the text on the package, "Mickey takes up his lightsaber and joins forces with the other Jedi Knights in their battles to fight evil," suggesting that Mickey is a Jedi Knight. In StarWars.com's Star Wars Weekends coverage, Mickey is given the title of honorary member of the Jedi Council, and in Spring 2010, Disney released a figure of R2-MK, promoted as Jedi Mickey's astromech droid.
Disney-developed Star Wars projectsEdit
Star Wars RebelsEdit
On May 20, 2013, Lucasfilm announced its first project under the Disney banner: the animated TV series Star Wars Rebels, from executive producers Simon Kinberg, Greg Weisman, and former The Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni. Disney Channel, the company's flagship television property, will broadcast the premiere episode of Rebels, after which the series will move to sister network Disney XD for its regular run.
- The Walt Disney Company on Wikipedia
- Official site of The Walt Disney Company
- "Star Wars Weekends at Disney-MGM Studios" at StarWars.com
- Star Tours toyline Photo Archive at Rebelscum.com