Star Wars: George Lucas Says Selling Franchise Was "Very Painful," But The Right Thing To Do

The creator of Star Wars says he would "still be working on Episode IX" right now.

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All the way back in 2012, Disney bought LucasArts, and the rights to Star Wars, for $4.05 billion, making series creator George Lucas even richer than ever before. In the years since, we've had insights into the man's thoughts on the new films, and how he feels about no longer being involved with Star Wars. Now, in an excerpt from an upcoming book about the series, Lucas has talked more about his decision to step away from the spacefaring saga.

This excerpt, from Paul Duncan's upcoming book The Star Wars Archives Eps I-III 1999-2005, is from an interview with Lucas, who directed Episode IV and the prequel trilogy.

Lucas reflects on how, before the sale, he had begun work on a new trilogy, and at the same time he was anticipating the birth of his daughter. "It takes 10 years to make a trilogy--Episodes I to III took from 1995 to 2005," he reflected, saying that he was 69 years old at the time. "So the question was am I going to keep doing this the rest of my life," he reflects.

Lucas says that working on the prequel trilogy took 10 years--so if he'd started work in 2012, he'd likely finish in 2022.

Ultimately, Lucas decided that he'd rather spend time raising his daughter and pursuing other projects. "I could have not sold Lucasfilm and gotten somebody to run the productions, but that isn't retiring," he says. "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."

Lucas says that he'd always wanted to build a museum, and knew that if he spent a decade making another trilogy, that likely wouldn't happen. The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was established in 2014.

"I've spent my life creating Star Wars--40 years--and giving it up was very, very painful," Lucas says. "But it was the right thing to do."

It's previously been revealed that George Lucas felt "betrayed" over how the Disney deal played out. Lucas does not go so far in his own words, but he suggests that he had less input on the new films than he anticipated. "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," he says. "Things don’t always work out the way you want it. Life is like that."

While Lucas wasn't directly involved in the new films, there's a single joke in Solo that was influenced by him--although we're not sure which one, exactly. He also might have been under one of those Stormtrooper costumes in the new films. Lucas was working on a Star Wars TV show, Star Wars Underworld, 10 years ago. The series never released, but some test footage leaked earlier this year.

The Star Wars Archives Eps I-III 1999-2005 released in the UK on November 8, 2020. It'll release in the US on December 13.

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