George Lucas Explains Why He Sold Star Wars To Disney


George Lucas will always get a lifetime pass from fans of the Star Wars franchise for coming up with the idea in the first place, which is more than likely one of the reasons why the Prequel Trilogy tends to be grudgingly acknowledged as a crucial part of canon despite the many glaring flaws and shortcomings found across the three movies, and The Phantom Menace in particular.

The 76 year-old had dedicated close to four decades of his life almost entirely to a galaxy far, far away, and the last feature film he directed that wasn’t part of the franchise was American Graffiti back in 1973, despite handing the reins over to Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi respectively in an effort to make sure his creative batteries didn’t completely run out.

In 2012, Disney swooped in to purchase Lucasfilm for the tidy sum of $4 billion, acquiring Star Wars and Indiana Jones in the process. And in the new book The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005, Lucas explained his decision to sell up to the Mouse House and cede control of his greatest and most famous creation.

“In 2012, I was 69. So the question was, ‘Am I going to keep doing this the rest of my life? Do I want to go through this again?’. Finally, I decided I’d rather raise my daughter and enjoy life for a while. I could have not sold Lucasfilm and gotten somebody to run the productions, but that isn’t retiring. On The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi I tried to stay out of the way but I couldn’t. I was there every day. I’m one of those micromanger guys and I can’t help it. So I figured I would forgo that, enjoy what I had and I was looking forward to raising my daughter. I’ve spent my life creating Star Wars, 40 years, and giving it up was very, very painful. But it was the right thing to do.”

The much shorter answer would be to admit that nobody in their right mind would turn down a $4 billion offer, especially when Lucas hadn’t shown a particularly vested interest in returning to Star Wars, even though he outlined a Sequel Trilogy of his own. He’s still kept in the loop, though, and has become a valuable resource of advice and information for Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni as they expand the world of The Mandalorian. But at this stage, his involvement on any sort of grand scale appears to be over for good.