'Star Wars' films head to Turner in major TV-rights deal

The Star Wars universe is heading to TNT.

In a major licensing deal estimated at more than $200 million, the Turner-owned cable network will gain access to 11 Star Wars films, including the upcoming Rogue One and three more yet-to-be-released movies.

The multi-year pact begins Sept. 20, when TNT begins a six-night marathon of films, including The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

The Force Awakens, released last December, is now available on Starz, the last of Disney films to hit the pay-cable network as part of a long-term pact that expired in December, and will reach TNT in early 2018. Netflix has streaming rights to all Disney movies released in 2016 and beyond, but not for earlier Star Wars films.

Rogue One, which hits theaters Dec. 16, will arrive on TNT in 2019, after a run on Netflix starting next fall.

The pacts were signed with Walt Disney Co., which owns Star Wars producer Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox, which owns distribution rights to A New Hope.


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