Star Wars: George Lucas Reveals Reason for Selling Lucasfilm to Disney
Ever since the Star Wars sequel trilogy concluded its Skywalker Saga with 2019’s Rise of the Skywalker, many fans have been wondering what it would have been like if creator George Lucas was the one who had directed the latest trilogy, especially when many in the fandom were disappointed with Disney’s treatment of the later films in terms of story and character development. Now, fans will get an idea why Lucas decided to give up his directing duties on Star Wars with writer Paul Duncan taking to Twitter to share an excerpt from his interview with Lucas for his upcoming book about the long-running sci-fi franchise.
Why did George Lucas sell Lucasfilm in 2012? He tells me why in this extract from my new book The #StarWars Archives Eps I-III. My unboxing video here: https://t.co/M907YGZsjm pic.twitter.com/MEPRStOil8
— Paul Duncan (@kershed) December 3, 2020
In the interview, Lucas opened up about his game-changing decision of selling Lucasfilm to Disney, revealing that even though it was very difficult to give up the control of the franchise, it was the right thing to do in order for him to be able to prioritize his personal life.
“At that time I was starting the next trilogy; I talked to the actors and I was starting to gear up. I was also about to have a daughter with my wife. It takes 10 years to make a trilogy – ‘Episodes I ‘ to ‘III’ took from 1995 to 2005,” Lucas explained on the time-demanding effort of building up a Star Wars trilogy. “I’d still be working on ‘Episode IX!’ 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.”
He continued, “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. Even though the people were friends of mine and they did great work, it wasn’t the same as me doing it. It was like being once removed. I knew that probably wouldn’t work again, that I’d be frustrated.
I’m one of those micro-manger 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. Also, I wanted to build a museum, which I’d always wanted to do, so I was thinking, ‘If I don’t do this now, I’ll never get that done.’”
Lucas also dispelled fan speculations that he was tired of the franchise, as he stepped away from the sequel trilogy by admitting that letting go of his creation wasn’t easy for him and that he did plan on being a little bit involved in Disney’s creative process.
“I’ve spent my life creating ‘Star Wars’ – 40 years – and giving it up was very, very painful,” He revealed. “But it was the right thing to do.”
He continued, “I thought I was going to have a little bit more to say about the next three because I’d already started them, but they decided they wanted to do something else. Things don’t always work the way you want it. Life is like that.”
In 2012, Disney officially acquired Lucasfilm as its subsidiary for more than $4 billion. Since then, they had full control over the Star Wars franchise. Despite earning a box office gross of more than $4 billion, the sequel trilogy wasn’t received well by fans. However, it has been gaining momentum lately due to the success of Disney+’s The Mandalorian series.
(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Dodge)