For original fans of the Star Wars movies, the greatest tragedy the franchise suffered from was when its creator Geoge Lucas decided to sell the series to Disney in 2012. Author Paul Duncan has presented an extract from his upcoming book about Star Wars in which Lucas admits that he stepped away from the giant franchise he kickstarted in order to spend more time with his family.
"I'd still be working on Episode IXI 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. Even though the people were friends of mine and they did great work, it wasn't the same as me doing it; it was like being once removed, I knew that probably wouldn't work again, that I'd be frustrated. I'm one of those micromanager guys, and I can't help it."
Despite being responsible for possibly the most lucrative big-budget Hollywood blockbuster franchise of all time, Lucas' most central tendencies as a filmmaker veer towards those of an indie-movie auteur rather than a distant studio manager of generic tentpole cinema. Clearly, George Lucas believed that his desire to have a direct hand in navigating the direction that his franchise would take was ultimately not helpful to him or to Star Wars. According to the filmmaker, selling off Star Wars allowed him to focus his energies on other interests, even though it was very difficult to walk away from his cinematic legacy.
"So I figured I would forgo that, enjoy what I had, and I was looking forward to raising my daughter. Also, I wanted to build a museum, which I'd always wanted to do, so I was thinking, 'If I don't do this now, I'll never get that done.' 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. Life is like that."
While ending his involvement with Star Wars was not an easy decision for Lucas, the filmmaker can take solace in the fact that the world he created decades ago continues to inspire great devotion from fans the world over. The filmmaker has also found huge success in various other business ventures and hopefully gets to spend more time with his family like he so desperately wanted.