George Lucas Donating Billions to Charity, Explains Why He Sold 'Star Wars'

George Lucas Donating Billions to Charity, Explains Why He Sold 'Star Wars'

Nov 01, 2012

George LucasWe’re not even 48 hours past the announcement that Disney will purchase LucasFilm for $4.05 billion dollars, but we’ve got even more news on the megadeal that has the entire Internet chattering.

The news that Lucas was selling his massive production company (and the rights to future installments of Star Wars and Indiana Jones films with it) to the House of Mouse came completely out of left field, but a few people knew in advance: Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

Hamill told EW about his initial reaction to the news, which he’s known and kept secret since this past summer. Here are his thoughts about a new trilogy:

“In a way, there was a beginning, a middle and an end, and we all lived happily ever after, and that's the way it should be—and it's great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there's this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It's one of those things: people either just don't care for it or are passionate about it."

As far as Disney taking over goes, Hamill seems to be taking the same cautiously optimistic approach as the rest of us, telling the magazine, “I have mixed feelings about that, but they haven't done badly by Marvel and the Muppets and Pixar. It's one of those big decisions that at first seems unusual, but then the more you look at it, the more it makes sense."

Lucas will use most of the money to fund education

Many of us wondered what, exactly, George Lucas would do with another $4 billion bucks. After all, he’s already made boatloads of cash off his creations over the years. He couldn’t possibly need another $4 billion, right?

Turns out that’s exactly right. THR reports that Lucas will take the bulk of the windfall from the sale of LucasFilm and “donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors.”

Lucas hasn’t divulged which organizations will get money, but it seems likely that at least some of it will go to Edutopia, which is part of the George Lucas Education Foundation. Lucas has previously used this organization to make his $175 million dollar donation to USC (his alma mater) back in 2006.

This continues a trend started with Lucas’ “Giving Pledge” back in 2010. Lucas had this to say about his goals back then:

“I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education.  It is the key to the survival of the human race.  We have to plan for our collective future—and the first step begins with social, emotional and intellectual tools we provide to our children.  As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt—as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.”

Lucas has taken a lot of crap from the fanboys over the years (and some it has been justified…), but it’s hard to be angry at a man who would take this enormous lump sum of money and try to make the world a better place.

Lucas explains his decision to sell LucasFilm to Disney

While pretty much everyone and their brother has already weighed in on this whole deal, we haven’t heard a lot from Lucas himself. Aside from a few brief quotes, the man behind Star Wars has been rather quiet about this whole thing – until now.

Deadline has shared a new video that features Lucas (and new LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy) talking about his decision and why he made it. The short version is that Lucas is ready to move on with his life but wanted Star Wars to live on for future generations.

Check out the video below. Our favorite moment comes when Kennedy says now that Lucas is a fan, maybe he can start writing nasty blogs about how Disney is ruining Star Wars. Might be a nice change of pace for him to be on the other side of the keyboard for once…

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