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"Star Wars" sold to Disney

“Star Wars” is headed to a new galaxy.

Walt Disney Co. has agreed to pay more than $4 billion to acquire the company that controls the blockbuster “Star Wars” franchise — allowing Disney to exploit the brand through film, television, consumer products and theme parks.

Disney plans to churn out new “Star Wars” movies every two or three years beginning in 2015 with “Star Wars Episode 7,” Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said in conference call with analysts.

The acquisition surprised rival studios, especially 20th Century Fox, which has released all of the live-action “Star Wars” movies since the 1977 original. Executives at Fox and other studios said they weren’t even offered a chance to bid for Lucasfilm, the San Francisco company founded and owned by filmmaker George Lucas.

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