George Lucas Reveals Why He Sold Star Wars to Disney

Image: AMC

There has been plenty of theories as to why George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, but now, we may finally have a definitive reason as to why Star Wars’ fate is in the hands of a mouse. In Paul Duncan’s new book, the Star Wars Archives: Eps I–III: 1999–2005, Lucas explained that he simply wanted to get away from it all and make time for more important things in life, like raising his daughter.

“I’d still be working on Episode IX!,” Lucas exclaimed in response to a hypothetical scenario in which he had helmed the sequel trilogy. “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.”

Lucas goes on to admit that the only way he could distance himself from Star Wars was to give the business away entirely, as he’s the type of guy who couldn’t help but be directly involved in everything.

“I could have not sold Lucasfilm and gotten somebody to run the productions, but that isn’t retiring,” he said. “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 micromanager 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.'”

The excerpt ends with Lucas pointing out that the Star Wars franchise had taken 40 years of his life, and while it was tough to let go, it was something that needed to happen.

“I’ve spent my life creating Star Wars—40 years—and giving it up was very, very, painful,” Lucas admitted. “But it was the right thing to do. 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 out the way you want. Life is like that.”

We can’t help but think that the astounding levels of vitriol from prequel trilogy critics might have had something to do with Lucas’ exit, though. It would have been interesting to see how his sequels turned out, but at the very least, his influence can be felt through the work of his protégés (e.g., Dave Filoni, who seems to be doing a fine job with The Mandalorian).

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