Posts Tagged ‘ Star Wars ’

George Lucas to Donate $4 Billion from Disney Sale

Monday, November 5th, 2012

George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars who sold his storied franchise to The Walt Disney Company for $4 billion last week, has announced he will donate most of the money to charity.  The gift will make him one of the most generous givers in the world, according to

“I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education,” Lucas wrote in his pledge letter. “It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future — and the first step begins with the social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children. As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt — as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.”

Lucas founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation and the website Edutopia to reform and improve K-12 education. The foundation emphasizes hands-on, project-based learning over plodding devotion to standardized tests and traditional textbooks. It highlights innovative teaching efforts that are already working in classrooms. You can read more about Lucas’ efforts in a Q&A with Forbes’ Luisa Kroll.

While Lucas may choose to donate the billions he made from selling Lucasfilm to a broader range of efforts, it is likely that a large portion will be distributed to this cause. And when Lucas does make that donation official, he will have placed himself into rarified company among philanthropists. Only a select few billionaires will have given away as much as he plans to. While his $4 billion won’t get him as far as [Bill] Gates or [Warren] Buffett, who have donated more than $45 billion combined, Lucas is following their example and should reach the next tier of biggest givers.

Image: George Lucas, via cinemafestival /

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Two Family Entertainment Giants Merge: Disney Buys Lucasfilm

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The Walt Disney Company has bought Lucasfilm, the company that created the Star Wars movies, for $4 billion, news sources are reporting. The move represents the merging of two immense franchises that have created family entertainment for decades. It also gives new life to the Star Wars movie series, which last debuted a new film in 2005. has more:

“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers,” George Lucas said in a written statement. “I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

Lucas said he will work as a creative consultant on Star Wars Episode 7, the first of a planned new trilogy of live-action Star Wars movies. It is targeted for release in 2015, Disney said.

“The film is in what I’ll call early-stage development right now,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said on a conference call with analysts. Lucas did not join him on the call.

Disney hopes to essentially relaunch the Star Wars film franchise, which had its last installment in 2005 with Revenge of the Sith. Following the three planned sequels, the company envisions releasing even more Star Wars movies at a rate of a new film every two to three years.

Future movies may not be sequels but movies that focus on fringe characters. Disney also believes there is potential for a television series.

“Disney respects and understands — perhaps better than anyone else — the importance of iconic characters,” Iger said.

Image: Star Wars’ R2D2 droid, via Chris Harvey /

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