Star Wars 7 For 2015 As Disney Buys LucasFilm From Creator George Lucas

Luke Skywalker and Yoda are joining Hulk, Nemo and Mickey Mouse as part of Disney, with George Lucas's company sold to the company for £2.5bn - and a new 'Star Wars' film planned for 2015.

'Star Wars' creator Lucas announced he was selling Lucasfilm to Disney, saying it was time for the franchise to go on beyond his involvement.

He said in a statement: "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 give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products."

Disney said in the announcement of the purchase that it planned to release a new 'Star Wars' film, episode seven, in 2015, followed shortly afterwards by episodes eight and nine and then one new movie every two or three years.

Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, and George Lucas will remain a creative consultant on the new movies.

According to Disney's Bob Iger, the deal came with "an extensive and detailed treatment for the next three ['StarWars'] movies".

The news was greeted with amazement and excitement on social networking sites.

According to Reuters, Lucasfilm deal also includes rights to the "Indiana Jones" franchise, though Disney did not elaborate on any plans for that series.

n 2009, the company bought Marvel for £2.5 billion, giving it control over superheros like Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor.