In an unsurprising revelation, George Lucas says the decision to sell Star Wars to Disney was “very, very painful.”
As per Indiewire, Lucas was recently interviewed by author Paul Duncan for the new book The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III 1999-2005.
In an honest excerpt, the filmmaker detailed his life-changing decision to put his family above his movie franchise.
“At that time, I was starting the next trilogy; I talked to the actors and I was starting to gear up,” he stated. “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. I’d still be working on Episode IX. In 2012, I was 69.
So the question was, ‘Am I going to keep doing this for 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.
It’s a very reasonable decision that Lucas made but it must still have been hard to watch his movie child being taken in wildly unexpected (and unwanted!) directions by the subsequent directors Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams.
Somehow it’s eight years since Lucasfilm was sold to Disney in a deal worth an unfathomable $4 billion. He also thought about keeping Lucasfilm and just having somebody he trusted run the production of the sequel trilogy. However, that still wouldn’t have given him the family time that he desired.
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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
“On The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi I tried to stay out of the way, but I couldn’t,” Lucas explained. “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’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.”
“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,” Lucas added. “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 selfishly wish that Lucas had found the time to control the last three Star Wars movies. It might have been a car crash, certainly; it might have been the return to form that fans so craved. There would almost definitely have been a lot of Jar Jar Binks.
The alleged direction that Lucas planned to take the trilogy would have saw the return of Darth Maul as the franchise’s primary antagonist (no complaints here) and Leia would have emerged as the “Chosen One” character. If he could just tell us what he thinks about Baby Yoda, that would be great.
If you want to hear from Lucas about it all, The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III 1999-2005 is now available via Tachen.