Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC is an American film and television production company that is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company. The studio is best known for creating and producing 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. Disney acquired Lucasfilm in December 2012 for $2.2 billion in cash and $1.855 billion in stock.
|Founded||December 10, 1971|
|Headquarters||Letterman Digital Arts Center|
1 Letterman Dr.,
Number of locations
Number of employees
|Parent||The Walt Disney Studios|
|Subsidiaries||Industrial Light & Magic|
Independent era (1971–2012)
Lucasfilm was founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1971, and incorporated as Lucasfilm Ltd. on September 12, 1977. In the mid-1970s, the company's offices were located on the Universal Studios Lot. Lucas founded The Star Wars Corporation, Inc. as a subsidiary to control various legal and financial aspects of Star Wars (1977), including copyright, and sequel and merchandising rights. It also produced the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special for 20th Century Fox Television. That year, Lucas hired Los Angeles-based real-estate specialist Charles Weber to manage the company, telling him that he could keep the job as long as he made money. Lucas wanted the focus of the company to be making independent films, but the company gradually became enlarged from five employees to almost 100, increasing in middle management and running up costs. In 1980, after Weber asked Lucas for $50 million to invest in other companies and suggested that they sell Skywalker Ranch to do so, Lucas fired Weber and had to let half of the Los Angeles staff go. By the same year, the corporate subsidiary had been discontinued and its business was absorbed into the various divisions of Lucasfilm.[a]
In 2005, Lucasfilm opened a studio in Singapore. In January 2012, Lucas announced his retirement from producing large-scale blockbuster films and instead re-focusing his career on smaller, independently budgeted features. 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 chairperson, which she did in June 2013.
On July 8, 2012, 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. Lucasfilm had planned an expansion at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, but shelved the plan in 2012 due to opposition from neighbors. However, it still plans to expand elsewhere. Skywalker Sound remains the only Lucasfilm division based at Skywalker Ranch.
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.
Subsidiary of Disney (2012–present)
Discussions relating to the possibility of The Walt Disney Company signing a distribution deal with 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. Lucas told Iger he was considering retirement and planned to sell the company, as well as the Star Wars franchise. On October 30, 2012, Disney announced a deal to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, with approximately half in cash and half in shares of Disney stock. 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.
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 originally announced as serving as creative consultant. The company also announced the future release of new Star Wars films, starting with Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015.
Under the deal, Disney acquired ownership of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Lucasfilm's 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. Star Wars merchandising would begin under Disney in the fiscal year 2014. Starting with Star Wars Rebels, certain products will be co-branded with the Disney name, akin to what Disney has done with Pixar. 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. On December 18, 2012, Lucasfilm Ltd. converted from a corporation to a limited liability company, changing its name to Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC in the process,. On December 21, 2012, Disney completed the acquisition and Lucasfilm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney.
Iger confirmed that Lucasfilm had plans to have standalone Star Wars films released sometime during the six-year period the sequel trilogy is being released, with Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg each developing a title.
In April 2013, the development arm of the LucasArts division was closed down and most of its staff was laid off. However, LucasArts remained open with a skeleton staff of fewer than ten employees so it could retain its function as a video game licensor. 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.
20th Century Fox, the original distributor of the first six Star Wars films, retained the physical and theatrical distribution rights to the original two Star Wars trilogies and permanent full distribution rights for the original 1977 film, until May 2020 according to the 2012 Lucasfilm acquisition deal. On March 20, 2019, Disney officially acquired the studio after acquiring its owner, 21st Century Fox, thus combining all these rights under its umbrella. Lucasfilm retains the television and digital distribution rights to Star Wars Episodes I through VI with exception to Episode IV. In December 2013, Walt Disney Studios purchased the distribution and marketing rights to future Indiana Jones films from Paramount Pictures, although the latter studio would retain the distribution rights to the first four films and would receive "financial participation" from any additional films.
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. On April 24, 2014, Lucasfilm announced that the Star Wars expanded universe would no longer be explicitly sub 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. 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.
On January 16, 2014, Lucasfilm opened its Sandcrawler building on Fusionopolis View in Singapore as its regional headquarters with all staff moved from Changi Business Park. The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia and ESPN Asia Pacific were also moved into the building.
In mid September 2018, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that there would be a "slow down" in the production of Star Wars films following the under-performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story at the box office. In addition, Iger also confirmed that several Star Wars films including The Rise of Skywalker and David Benioff and D. B. Weiss' films were in development. In late September 2018, Kennedy's contract as president was renewed for three additional years.
- Industrial Light & Magic – visual effects
- Skywalker Sound – post-production sound design
- LucasArts – video games
- Lucasfilm Animation – animation
- Lucasfilm Animation Singapore
- Lucas Licensing – licensing and merchandising
- Lucas Online – websites
- Lucasfilm Story Group (2012–) The first two revealed members were Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee, headed by Kiri Hart as Lucasfilm's SVP, Development.
- Kerner Optical – Practical effects division (model shop) and 3D development team (spun off from ILM in 2006 and subsequently went bankrupt in 2011)
- Pixar Animation Studios – Computer animation film production company that was sold to Steve Jobs in 1986. It became a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, six years prior to the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm.
- THX Limited – Theater sound system (spun off from Lucasfilm in 2002) Creative Technology owned 60% of THX, and then sold to Razer Inc. in 2016.
|Year||Film||Director(s)||Story by||Screenwriter(s)||Distributor(s)||Budget||Gross||Rotten Tomatoes||Metacritic|
|1973||American Graffiti||George Lucas||George Lucas, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck||Universal Pictures||$777,000||$140 million||96%||97|
|1977||Star Wars||George Lucas||20th Century Fox[b]||$11 million||$775.4 million||93% (114 reviews)||90 (24 reviews)|
|1979||More American Graffiti||Bill L. Norton||Universal Studios||$3 million||$15 million||22%||N/A|
|1980||The Empire Strikes Back||Irvin Kershner||George Lucas||Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan||20th Century Fox1||$33 million||$547.9 million||95%||82|
|1981||Raiders of the Lost Ark||Steven Spielberg||George Lucas and Philip Kaufman||Lawrence Kasdan||Paramount Pictures||$18 million||$389.9 million||95%||85|
|1983||Return of the Jedi||Richard Marquand||George Lucas||Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas||20th Century Fox1||$42.7 million||$475.3 million||81%||58|
|Twice Upon a Time||John Korty and Charles Swenson||John Korty, Bill Couturié and Suella Kennedy||John Korty, Charles Swenson, Suella Kennedy and Bill Couturié||Warner Bros.||Unknown||N/A|
|1984||Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom||Steven Spielberg||George Lucas||Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz||Paramount Pictures||$28.2 million||$333.1 million||85%||57|
|1985||Latino||Haskell Wexler||Cinecom Pictures||Unknown||N/A|
|Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters||Paul Schrader||Leonard Schrader and Paul Schrader||Warner Bros.||$5 million||$20,758||88%||81|
|1986||Labyrinth||Jim Henson||Dennis Lee and Jim Henson||Terry Jones||TriStar Pictures||$27.68 million||$11.6 million||68%||50|
|Howard the Duck||Willard Huyck||Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz||Universal Pictures||$37 million||$48 million||15%||28|
|1988||Willow||Ron Howard||George Lucas||Bob Dolman||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer||$35 million||$57.3 million||53%||47|
|Tucker: The Man and His Dream||Francis Ford Coppola||Arnold Schulman and David Seidler||Paramount Pictures||$24 million||$19.7 million||84%||74|
|The Land Before Time||Don Bluth||Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss||Stu Krieger||Universal Pictures||$12.5 million||$84.4 million||70%||66|
|1989||Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade||Steven Spielberg||George Lucas and Menno Meyjes||Jeffrey Boam||Paramount Pictures||$48 million||$474.2 million||88%||65|
|1994||Radioland Murders||Mel Smith||George Lucas||Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, Jeff Reno and Ron Osborn||Universal Pictures||$15 million||$1.3 million||24%||N/A|
|1999||Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace||George Lucas||20th Century Fox1||$115 million||$1.027 billion||53%||51|
|2002||Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones||George Lucas||George Lucas and Jonathan Hales||$115 million||$649.4 million||66%||54|
|2005||Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith||George Lucas||$113 million||$850 million||80%||68|
|2008||Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull||Steven Spielberg||George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson||David Koepp||Paramount Pictures||$185 million||$786.6 million||77%||65|
|Star Wars: The Clone Wars||Dave Filoni||Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching, Scott Murphy||Warner Bros.||$8.5 million||$68.3 million||18%||35|
|2012||Red Tails||Anthony Hemingway||John Ridley||John Ridley and Aaron McGruder||20th Century Fox1||$58 million||$50.4 million||40%||46|
|2015||Strange Magic||Gary Rydstrom||George Lucas||David Berenbaum, Irene Mecchi and Gary Rydstrom||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures||$70-$100 million||$13.6 million||17%||25|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||J. J. Abrams||Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt||$250 million||$2.068 billion||93%||81|
|2016||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||Gareth Edwards||John Knoll and Gary Whitta||Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy||$200 million||$1.056 billion||85%||65|
|2017||Star Wars: The Last Jedi||$200 million||$1.333 billion||91%||85|
|2018||Solo: A Star Wars Story||Ron Howard||Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan||$275 million||$392.7 million||70%||62|
|2019||Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker||J. J. Abrams||Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow, J. J. Abrams and Chris Terrio||J. J. Abrams and Chris Terrio||$275 million||$1.029 billion||52% (465 reviews)||54 (60 reviews)|
|2021||Indiana Jones 5||Steven Spielberg||N/A||David Koepp||Walt Disney Studios
|TBA||Children of Blood and Bone||Rick Famuyiwa||Kay Oyegun||Development|
- Maniac Mansion (1990–1993)
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1996)
- The Mandalorian (2019–present)
- Untitled Cassian Andor series (2021)
- Untitled Willow sequel series (TBA)
- Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series (TBA)
Television films and specials
- Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) (as The Star Wars Corporation)
- Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
- The Great Heep (1986)
- Defenders of Dynatron City (1992) (produced by DIC Entertainment in association with LucasArts)
- Robot Chicken: Star Wars (2007)
- Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II (2008)
- Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III (2010)
- Filmmaker (1968)
- The Making of Star Wars (1977) (produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television)1
- SP FX: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television)
- The Making of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)
- Return of the Ewok (1982)
- Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983) (produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television)
- From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga (1983) (produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television)
- The Adventures of André & Wally B. (1984)
- The Making of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1985)
- Captain EO (1986)
- The Making of "Captain Eo" (1986)
- Captain EO Promo & Pre-show (1986)
- Star Tours (1987)
- Wow! (1990)
- Paula Abdul: Rush Rush (music video; 1991)
- ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (1994)
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye (1995)
- The Phantom Menace: Web Documentaries (1998–1999) (Distributor)
- Star Wars: Starfighter, the Making of the Game (2001)
- R2-D2: Beneath the Dome (2001)
- The Beginning: Making "Episode I" (2001)
- Star Wars: Connections (2002)
- Films Are Not Released, They Escape (2002)
- From Puppets to Pixels: Digital Characters in "Episode II" (2002)
- State of the Art: The Pre-Visualization of "Episode II" (2002)
- Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy (2004) (produced by Prometheus Entertainment in association with Fox Television Studios)
- The Birth of the Lightsaber (2004)
- The Characters of 'Star Wars' (2004)
- The Force Is with Them: The Legacy of "Star Wars" (2004)
- Making the Game: "Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith" (2004)
- The Story of Star Wars (2004)
- Star Wars Episode III: Becoming Obi-Wan (2005)
- Clone Wars: Bridging the Saga (2005)
- Star Wars Episode III: Seduction Spot (2005)
- Star Wars: A Musical Journey (2005)
- Science of Star Wars (2005)
- Within a Minute: The Making of "Episode III" (2005)
- The Chosen One (2005)
- It's All for Real: The Stunts of Episode III (2005)
- Revenge of the Sith: Web Documentaries (2005)
- Clone Wars: Connecting the Dots (2005)
- Star Wars Heroes & Villains (2005) (Distributor)
- Lego Star Wars shorts:
- You Can Draw "Star Wars" (2007)
- Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed (2007) (produced by Prometheus Entertainment in association with The History Channel)
- Star Wars Tech (2007) (Distributor)
- Star Wars: Star Warriors (2007) (Distributor)
- The Fan Film (2007) (Distributor)
- The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones Documentaries (2007–2008)
- Spike TV Segments (2008)
- Lego Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick (2008)
- Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest (2008) (Distributor)
- Unleashing the Tech: The Power Behind the Force (2008)
- A Force Wrecking Ball, Part 2: The Characters of "The Force Unleashed" (2008)
- The TFU Experience: Unleashing the Force on Your Favorite Console (2008)
- Unleashing the Force, Part 1: The New Beginning (2008)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Preview Special (2008)
- Warrior Make-up (2008)
- The Star Wars Comic Con 09 Spectacular (2009)
- The Making of Star Wars: In Concert (2009)
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (2011)
- Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2011)
- Double Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War (2012)
- Manifest Destiny (2012)
- Transmission CVI: AUG 23, 2012 (2012)
- On Set with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (2012)
- Kathleen Kennedy 2013 Pioneer of the Year Award Tribute Reel (2013)
- Words with Warwick (2013)
- All seven episodes of Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles (2013, 2014)
- Clash at the Cantina (2014)
- Rebels Recon (2014–2018)
- Star Wars Celebration Live Anaheim 2015 stream
- Star Wars: Episode VII—Toys (2015)
- Star Wars: Launch Bay—Meet the Makers (2015)
- Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales (2015)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens World Premiere Red Carpet (2015)
- Lego Star Wars: The Resistance Rises (2016)
- The Star Wars Show LIVE! Celebration Europe 2016 stream
- Rogue One: Recon—A Star Wars 360 Experience (2016)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—World Premiere (2016)
- Daisy Ridley Exclusive Q&A (2016)
- Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures (2016–2017)
- The Star Wars Show (2016–2018)
- The Star Wars Show LIVE! Celebration Orlando 2017 stream
- Star Wars Blips (2017) (animated shorts)
- Science and Star Wars (2017)
- Live from the Red Carpet of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
- Live from the Red Carpet of Solo: A Star Wars Story! (2018)
- Our Star Wars Stories (2018–present)
- The Director and the Jedi (2018)
- LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars (2018)
- Reflections (2018)
- Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures (2018–present) (produced with Titmouse, Inc.)
- The Star Wars Corporation's name may still be seen on certain Star Wars-related items, such as the end credits copyright notice of the film, and in reprints of Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker and Splinter of the Mind's Eye as the copyrights have not expired or been renewed.
- Now part of The Walt Disney Studios
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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 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.
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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,
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