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Why George Lucas Says It Was 'Very, Very Painful' To Sell Lucasfilm To Disney

Back in 2012, the entertainment industry changed forever when it was announced Disney was purchasing Lucasfilm in a historic deal worth $4 billion. 

Star Wars has never been the same, with Disney embarking on its own path for how the franchise would look, going forward. This involved getting rid of what had been established in the extended universe, and instead forging ahead with new characters in the last three chapters of the Skywalker Saga. Disney also pushed ahead with other properties that we likely wouldn't have seen if Star Wars creator George Lucas had decided to retain the right to the films: These include spin-off films as Rogue One, and the Disney+ original series The Mandalorian. That's not even getting into all of the new Star Wars attractions appearing at Disney parks around the globe. 

It's a far cry from what we could have gotten if George Lucas had stayed on for another trilogy of films — which, as Lucas has explained since, would have focused on the microbiotic world, and creatures known as Whills. As it turns out, though, we came very close to seeing Lucas' vision come to life, as he recently described just how difficult of a decision it was to sell the property to Disney. 

George Lucas knew stepping away from Star Wars was the right move to make

Author Paul Duncan posted a snippet from his upcoming book The Star Wars Archives 1999 – 2005 to Twitter, which includes illuminating passages about the lead-up to the historic Disney deal. The section features an interview with George Lucas where he explains his decision to step away from the franchise, in the aftermath of the prequel trilogy. 

Lucas said that it takes him a decade to make a single trilogy, so if he had started in 2012, then it would take until 2022 for him to complete his vision. As he put it, "The question was am I going to keep going 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." He goes on to discuss how he needed a clean break from the franchise. While he could have let someone else run the productions, he admits to being "one of those micromanager guys." He wanted to raise his daughter and build a museum in the coming years, and he felt that he needed to simply walk away from Star Wars if he was going to do those things. 

Lucas concluded, "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. 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 it. Life is like that." 

With Disney at the helm, we can expect plenty of Star Wars properties in the years to come, and perhaps one day, the company will return to those original plans George Lucas had for the franchise. The film series itself may currently be going on hiatus, but fans still have The Mandalorian to look forward to. as well as a plethora of other original shows going to Disney+ in the near future. 

Lucas may not be affiliated with Star Wars anymore, but his vision will live on in the hearts and minds of fans forever.