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Star Wars’ Original Cast a Death Star for The Walt Disney Company (DIS)?

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Earlier this week, the entertainment world was abuzz with excitement following comments from Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher — also known as Princess Leia.

The rumor mill
But first, here’s some background for those of you who haven’t been keeping track.

Star Wars rumors have been swirling since last November, when Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) acquired Lucasfilm for $4 billion and wasted no time announcing plans for a Star Wars: Episode VII movie, slated for release in 2015.

Shortly afterward, a “highly placed source” told Entertainment Weekly that Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill were all “upbeat” about the prospects of reprising their respective roles as Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker.

Commence nerdy meltdowns:

Source: Fanboys movie

Now fast-forward to this week.

When asked during an interview if she could confirm whether she would return to as Leia in the new sequel, Fisher simply replied, “Yes.” Then she jokingly suggested Leia will be elderly, “in an intergalactic old folks’ home, [and] just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle.”

Of course, Fisher’s rep later quickly tried to douse the rumors, insisting she was only kidding about the role.

Meet your maker
Then George Lucas himself stepped out and matter-of-factly told Bloomberg Businessweek that Hamill, Fisher, and Ford are ready to suit up. Apparently, according to Lucas, all three were on board even before Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s acquisition of his company:

We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison — or we were pretty much in the final stages of negotiation. Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them. I won’t say whether negotiations were successful or not.

It’s OK, George. We forgive you.

But this is an investing site, right?
So who wins in this scenario? Arguably everyone.

Aside from the fact Fisher, Hamill, and Ford were almost certainly lured in part by massive paydays, it’s safe to say Disney probably knows better than any other company the long-term value of stirring excitement for an iconic brand.

In fact, that’s one big reason I recently offered Disney as a viable option for investors looking for stocks to hold for the next 50 years.

Fortunately for Disney investors, its most recent big buy is looking like an even better deal by the day; just last week, Disney also announced that it’s working on two additional Star Wars character-specific spin-off movies to be released after Episode VII. With more than 17,000 Star Wars characters in the Star Wars Universe from several thousand planets covering a span of 20,000 years, Disney has plenty of new material on which to chew — and a loyal fan base that’ll eat up every bit of it.
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