In a stunning report, George Lucas will donate most of the $4 billion he recently acquired in the high profile transaction in which Disney paid as the purchased price for his Lucasfilm company, which includes Star Wars according to “The Hollywood Reporter.” Lucas plans to give a significant portion of the proceeds to a foundation that will primarily focus on educational issues.
“George Lucas has expressed his intention, in the event the deal closes, to donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors,” a spokesperson told THR.
“For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company,” Lucas said in a statement Wednesday. “As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy.”
We reported yesterday that Hollywood was in some sense, still reeling over the Disney acquisition, which brought Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, Han and gang into the Mouse house. A number of tabloids and newspapers had confirmed that on Tuesday, October 30, George Lucas had sold Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion as Disney strengthen its merchandising power.
We pondered the question if the iconic director sold Star Wars just for the money or was the director interested in his prized creation’s longevity.
Yesterday we were incline to believe that the director was more interested in longevity, however with the breaking of today’s news it appears that both answers apply because when the goal is to give most of the money in a business transaction such as this, it seems you’d want to give away as much money as you could.
The entire event appears to have changed from somewhat controversial to applause.
Lucas was reported as having said; “It was a perfect match of two companies that are constructed similarly… It will give me a chance to go off and explore my own interests[and] at the same time feel completely confident that Disney will take good care of the franchise that I’ve built.”
The indication yesterday was that Lucas had sold his entire franchise to Disney with the open endorsement that the Big Mouse could make “Star Wars” movies for “another 100 years,” while he raced away from the deal loaded. Now we know that the deal was just part of a larger philanthropic plan to contribute much of the money away to a cause that was dear to the man’s heart.
Of course it was logical for those who were not acquainted with the man to think Lucas might be doing the deal solely for money. But sometime doing a deal exclusively for money can have a just cause as a foundation. However, it turns out, Lucas’s motives were manifold.
For instance, Lucas appears to have settled on Disney because he has always visualized “Star Wars” as having a perennial destiny. And the director says as much in a Youtube.com video. In it, Lucas expresses in detail the reasons he chose to do business with Disney, pointing to their success with Marvel and Pixar.
Another reason he chose Disney is he believed it would be good news for fans, for they will not only get an episode seven, but, in fact, an entire new trilogy. “I always said I wasn’t going to do any more, and that’s true, I’m not going to do any more,” said Lucas, who will not write or direct the upcoming films, but whose iconic imprint will be all over them.
“It was a perfect match of two companies that are constructed similarly,” Lucas said. “It will give me a chance to go off and explore my own interests [and] at the same time feel completely confident that Disney will take good care of the franchise that I’ve built.”
We closed our argument in yesterday’s report, suggesting that for those afraid of the MouseHouse takeover, in the end, the overall deal with Lucasfilm proves that Disney wants to really make (and take) its role as parent company seriously. By fostering a variety of creative studios (Pixar, Marvel, and now Lucasfilm), rather than creating in-house content—which has, at times, been a bit spotty these days, let’s be honest—they stand to not only make a lot more money (shocker!) by acquiring these brands, but also allow these creatives a bit more freedom to develop themselves and their technologies.
And for Disney, that means a lot less competition for their demographic expansion. Countering Fairytale Princesses with Sith Lords! It’s a heck of a business plan.
Today we would be remiss if we didn’t responsibly report that first off, the deal with Disney, while apparently a done deal has not closed yet. But more importantly, though it’s not clear which foundation will get the proceeds, the $4.05 billion payout that George Lucas is set to receive from Disney will not go entirely toward the filmmaker’s retirement fund, inflating his Forbes standing, or to building a fully operational Death Star, loading it with paid SAG extras in Chewbacca costumes, and sending it to a galaxy far, far away for interplanetary posterity. Instead, will “donate the majority of the proceeds” from the sale of Lucasfilm “to his philanthropic endeavors.”
It is quite a compassionately concern for others and we must applaud the man.