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Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC
Lucasfilm Ltd.
Industry Film
FoundedDecember 10, 1971;47 years ago (1971-12-10)
Founder George Lucas
Headquarters Letterman Digital Arts Center
1 Letterman Dr., ,
United States
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Products Star Wars
Indiana Jones
Owner The Walt Disney Company
Number of employees
2,000 (2015) [2]
Parent Walt Disney Studios
Divisions LucasArts
Lucasfilm Animation
Lucas Online
Subsidiaries Industrial Light & Magic
Skywalker Sound
Website Official website Blue pencil.svg

Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC is an American film and television production company that is a subsidiary of 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. [3] Disney acquired Lucasfilm in October 2012 for $2.2 billion in cash and $1.855 billion in stock. [4] [5] [6]

A production company, production house, production studio, or a production team provides the physical basis for works in the realms of the performing arts, new media art, film, television, radio, comics, interactive arts, video games, websites, and video. Production teams are a group of technical staff who produce the media. Generally the term refers to all individuals responsible for the technical aspects of creating of a particular product, regardless of where in the process their expertise is required, or how long they are involved in the project. For example, in a theatrical performance, the production team includes not only the running crew, but also the theatrical producer, designers and theatre direction.

The Walt Disney Studios is an American film studio, one of the four major businesses of The Walt Disney Company and the main component of its Studio Entertainment segment. The studio, one of the "Big Five" major film studios and best known for its multi-faceted film divisions, is based at the eponymous Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Founded in 1923, it is the fourth-oldest among the major studios.

The Walt Disney Company American mass media corporation

The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Walt Disney or simply Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.



Independent era (1971–2012)

Lucasfilm headquarters at the Letterman Digital Arts Center Letterman Digital Arts Center, Building B (side view).jpg
Lucasfilm headquarters at the Letterman Digital Arts Center

Lucasfilm was founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1971, [7] and incorporated as Lucasfilm Ltd. on September 12, 1977. [8] In 2005, Lucasfilm opened a studio in Singapore. [9]

George Lucas 20th and 21st-century American film director and producer

George Walton Lucas Jr. is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur. Lucas is known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic. He was the chairman and CEO of Lucasfilm before selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012.

Singapore Republic in Southeast Asia

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%. The country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founder Lee Kuan Yew.

In January 2012, Lucas announced his retirement from producing large-scale blockbuster films and instead re-focusing his career on smaller, independently budgeted features. [10] [11]

A blockbuster is a work of entertainment – especially a feature film, but also other media – that is highly popular and financially successful. The term has also come to refer to any large-budget production intended for "blockbuster" status, aimed at mass markets with associated merchandising, sometimes on a scale that meant the financial fortunes of a film studio or a distributor could depend on it.

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. [12]

Kathleen Kennedy (producer) American film producer

Kathleen Kennedy is an American film producer and current president of Lucasfilm. In 1981, she co-founded the production company Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg and husband Frank Marshall.

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. [13] Skywalker Sound remains the only Lucasfilm division based at Skywalker Ranch. [14]

Letterman Digital Arts Center home of Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts, and Lucasfilms marketing, online, and licensing units

The Letterman Digital Arts Center (LDAC), located in the Presidio, San Francisco, became the new combined home of Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts, and Lucasfilm's marketing, online, and licensing units in 2005.

Presidio of San Francisco Neighborhood in San Francisco, California, United States

The Presidio of San Francisco is a park and former U.S. Army military fort on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

San Francisco Consolidated city-county in California, US

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a city in, and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of, Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.

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. [15]

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. [16] Lucas told Iger he was considering retirement and planned to sell the company, as well as the Star Wars franchise. [17] On October 30, 2012, Disney announced a deal to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, [18] with approximately half in cash and half in shares of Disney stock. [4] 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. [19]

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. [20] The company also announced the future release of new Star Wars films, starting with Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015. [19]

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. [21] Disney also acquired Lucasfilm's portfolio of entertainment technologies. The intent was for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations. [22] Star Wars merchandising would begin under Disney in the fiscal year 2014. [23] Starting with Star Wars Rebels , certain products will be co-branded with the Disney name, [24] [25] akin to what Disney has done with Pixar. [26] 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. [27] 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, [28] . On December 21, 2012, Disney completed the acquisition and Lucasfilm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney. [6]

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. [29]

In April 2013, the development arm of the LucasArts division was closed down and most of its staff was laid off. [30] [31] However, LucasArts remained open with a skeleton staff of fewer than ten employees so it could retain its function as a video game licensor. [32] 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. [33] [34]

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. [35] On March 20, 2019, Disney officially acquired the studio after acquiring it's 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. [36] In December 2013, Walt Disney Studios purchased the distribution and marketing rights to future Indiana Jones films from Paramount Pictures, although the latter studio will retain the distribution rights to the first four films and will receive "financial participation" from any additional films. [37] [38]

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. [39] 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. [40] 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. [41]

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. [9]

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. [42] [43] [44] In late September 2018, Kathleen Kennedy's contract as president was renewed for three additional years. [45]

Company structure

Former divisions


YearFilmDirector(s)Story byScreenwriter(s)Distributor(s)BudgetGross Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1973 American Graffiti [55] George Lucas [55] George Lucas, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck [56] Universal Pictures [56] $777,000 [57] $140 million [57] 96%97
1977 Star Wars George Lucas 20th Century Fox 1 $11 million [58] $775.4 million93% (114 reviews) [59] 90 (24 reviews) [60]
1979 More American Graffiti [61] Bill L. Norton [61] Universal Studios$3 million$15 million22%N/A
1980 The Empire Strikes Back [62] Irvin Kershner [62] George Lucas Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan [63] 20th Century Fox 1 $33 million [64] $538.4 million [65] 95%82
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark Steven Spielberg George Lucas and Philip Kaufman Lawrence Kasdan Paramount Pictures $18 million$389.9 million95%85
1983 Return of the Jedi Richard Marquand George LucasLawrence Kasdan and George Lucas20th Century Fox 1 $42.7 million$572.1 million81%58
Twice Upon a Time John Korty and Charles Swenson John Korty, Bill Couturié and Suella KennedyJohn Korty, Charles Swenson, Suella Kennedy and Bill Couturié Warner Bros. UnknownN/A
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Steven SpielbergGeorge LucasWillard Huyck and Gloria KatzParamount Pictures$28.2 million$333.1 million85%57
1985 Latino Haskell Wexler Cinecom Pictures UnknownN/A
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Paul Schrader Leonard Schrader and Paul SchraderWarner Bros.$5 million$20,75888%81
1986 Labyrinth Jim Henson Dennis Lee and Jim Henson Terry Jones TriStar Pictures $27.68 million$11.6 million68%50
Howard the Duck Willard Huyck Willard Huyck and Gloria KatzUniversal Pictures$37 million$48 million15%28
1988 Willow Ron Howard George Lucas Bob Dolman Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $35 million$57.3 million53%47
Tucker: The Man and His Dream Francis Ford Coppola Arnold Schulman and David Seidler Paramount Pictures$24 million$19.7 million84%74
The Land Before Time Don Bluth Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss Stu KriegerUniversal Pictures$12.5 million$84.4 million70%66
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Steven SpielbergGeorge Lucas and Menno Meyjes Jeffrey Boam Paramount Pictures$48 million$474.2 million88%65
1994 Radioland Murders Mel Smith George LucasWillard Huyck, Gloria Katz, Jeff Reno and Ron OsbornUniversal Pictures$15 million$1.3 million24%N/A
1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace George Lucas20th Century Fox 1 $115 million$1.027 billion54%51
2002 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones George LucasGeorge Lucas and Jonathan Hales $115 million$649.4 million66%54
2005 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith George Lucas$113 million$848.8 million79%68
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Steven SpielbergGeorge Lucas and Jeff Nathanson David Koepp Paramount Pictures$185 million$786.6 million77%65
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Dave Filoni Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching, Scott MurphyWarner Bros.$8.5 million$68.3 million18%35
2012 Red Tails Anthony Hemingway John Ridley John Ridley and Aaron McGruder 20th Century Fox 1 $58 million$50.4 million40%46
2015 Strange Magic Gary Rydstrom George LucasDavid Berenbaum, Irene Mecchi and Gary Rydstrom Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures $70-$100 million [66] $13.6 million17%25
Star Wars: The Force Awakens J. J. Abrams Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt $250 million$2.068 billion93%81
2016 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Gareth Edwards John Knoll and Gary Whitta Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy $200 million$1.056 billion85%65
2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Rian Johnson
$200 million$1.313 billion91%85
2018 Solo: A Star Wars Story Ron HowardLawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan $275 million$392.7 million70%62


YearFilmDirector(s)Story byScreenwriter(s)Distributor(s)Status
2019 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker J. J. AbramsJ. J. Abrams and Chris Terrio Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Post-production [67]
2021 Indiana Jones 5 Steven Spielberg Dan Fogelman [68] [69] Development [70]
2022Untitled Star Wars filmTBA David Benioff & D.B. Weiss Development [71]

Television series



Television films and specials

Other productions

See also


  1. ^ Now part of The Walt Disney Studios.

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