Ask Disney Adulting: Why did George Lucas sell Star Wars to Disney?

Sell Star Wars

There’s a lot of speculation out there as to why George Lucas would sell Star Wars to Disney, but there’s really only one person who will ever know, and that’s George himself. In order to shed some light on this topic, other than the common gossip columns and fan opinions, we’ve gathered some of the facts around this question. Then, you can decide for yourself!

Protecting the Star Wars Franchise

Selling to a massive company like Disney would be quite the achievement if we were looking at this purely from a business standpoint, but the Lucasfilm acquisition has some very interesting stipulations that highlight reasons that are more than monetary.

Sole Ownership: Unlike many companies who are pushing to exit, Lucasfilm didn’t have investors and was 100% owned and controlled by George Lucas. There was no outside pressure to sell following the less-than-profitable outcomes from Episode I, II, III.

Huge Public Corporation: Disney is a huge entity, don’t believe us, just do a quick search for everything that The Walt Disney Company owns and see for yourself. However, because they are publically traded, they also answer to Wallstreet, which are known for being a less than a friendly bunch. So why would Lucas consider selling something he has full control over to such a huge entity like Disney? Protection. There’s something to be said for building a company for 35 years and wondering what will happen to it when you are gone. If anyone understands how to preserve a legacy, Disney is iconic.

Longevity for the Star Wars Legacy (and for George Lucas)

“I felt that I really wanted to put the company somewhere in a larger entity which could protect it. Disney is a huge corporation. They have all kinds of capabilities and facilities so that there’s a lot of strength that is gained by this. I’m doing this so that the films will have a longer life, and so that more fans and people can enjoy them in the future. It’s a very big universe I’ve created and there are a lot of stories that are sitting in there.” – George Lucas

In the Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book, co-production designer Rick Carter stated that after he met with George Lucas in December of 2012, it was clear that they would be embarking on an inter-generational hand-off. Lucas recalled that when he was a young filmmaker, images appeared to him as if he were looking through binoculars – very close and vivid. Now that he was getting older, imagery appeared as if the binoculars were turned around and he was seeing it all from a greater distance, with a deeper perspective. Carter felt that this was why Lucas was able to let go of the franchise he created.

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