For nigh on 40 years, George Lucas had dedicated himself to the Star Wars franchise almost completely, with the only film outside of it being American Graffiti back in 1973. Nevertheless, he cared enough to let Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand step in for the films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, just to keep his creativity in check and in stock. But, was there more to life than this?

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Why did George Lucas Sell Star Wars to Mickey Mouse Club?

When Disney dropped on his lap a slick $4 billion offer to snatch up Lucasfilm, that meant not only Indiana Jones would go, but also Star Wars. Lucas decided to give in to the enticing bait thrown his way by Mickey’s crib and let them have his most famous creation of all, since he was… well, getting old. His words, not mine. Or not entirely.

He explained the background of the decision he made in the new book The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005, “In 2012, I was 69. So the question was, ‘Am I going to keep doing this 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. I could have not sold Lucasfilm and gotten somebody to run the productions, but that isn’t retiring. 

On The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi I tried to stay out of the way but I couldn’t. I was there every day. 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.”

True, the $4 billion was enough to send one reeling and signing all over the place, but the daughter’s answer is nicer and sweeter. Plus, he still gets to provide info and advice for The Mandalorian, so that pretty much wraps it up as having your cake and eating it, too. Not too shabby, huh?

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