So George Lucas has finally handed over the reins of Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion, with the majority of the money going to charity.
Once the big deal was announced, Lucas mentioned he’d been planning to retire for several years, and felt Disney was the perfect company to rule the empire from here on out.
With the Disney deal, Lucas made a big charitable donation towards improving education, and whether you love or hate Lucas and the Star Wars flicks, you can’t knock him for a making this big of a donation. After all, with a reported personal net worth of $3.3 billion before the Disney deal, how much money can the guy personally spend? Forbes reported with Lucas’s charitable donation, it makes him “one of the biggest givers ever.”
So now that he won’t be guiding the force anymore, what else is Lucas planning to do with the rest of his life? Well it may sound familiar to Lucas followers, because he has made similar sentiments for years, but as reported in Entertainment Weekly he wants to go back to is experimental roots as a filmmaker.
Lucas has said he didn’t want to make his “own little personal films” inside his Star Wars empire, and when he was first breaking in to Hollywood, his work was more abstract and experimental before he hit pay dirt with American Graffiti and his legendary space opera. Both Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola have said they would have made smaller, personal films if they didn’t have huge blockbuster success, but thanks to that success, they both have the resources to fund their own films without having to rely on the major studios for money.
Lucas’s first feature, THX-1138, was too cold, slow and bizarre to ever reach a mass audience. Even after the success of Star Wars, Warner Brothers re-released THX trying to cash in on Lucas’s success, and it never found an audience. It would be interesting to see if Lucas will put his money where his mouth is and go back and make a movie like this again, especially from his perspective today. (THX was released in 1971).
Lucas finally came out with a new, non-Star Wars film this year with Red Tails, and he promised Entertainment Weekly, “I’m going to go further out than that. I barely got Red Tails into the theaters. The ones I’m working on now will never get into theaters.”