The background on the mind-boggling deal for four billion dollars through which the Disney bought from George Lucas the exploitation rights for the saga of Star Wars they are at the center of the new book The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005, recently published.
In a particularly interesting passage the 76-year-old director talks about the sale of his Lucasfilm, today under the aegis of Disney. Lucas explains:
"In 2012, I was already over the years, so the question was, 'Will I continue to do this job for the rest of my life? Do I want to throw myself into the press again? '. Eventually, I decided that I would rather raise my daughter and enjoy life for a while. I could have decided not to sell Lucasfilm and get someone else to direct the various productions, but I knew that was not going to be retirement. In The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi I tried to stay away from the bulk of the work, but then I couldn't. I've been on the set of those movies pretty much every day because I'm a perfectionist and I can't help it. So I thought I should totally give it up, just so I could enjoy what I had. And, really, I was looking forward to raising my daughter. I've spent my life making Star Wars, something like 40 years, and giving up my family was very, very painful. But it was the right thing to do".
The experience accumulated in the 80s with the classic trilogy, whose direction was entrusted to Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand respectively for The Empire Strikes Back e Return of the Jedi, has therefore played a fundamental role in the conspicuous handover between Lucas and Disney, with the director who did not want to repeat the mistakes made at the time.
George Lucas is still very much involved in the creation of Star Wars today, as fans of The Mandalorian will certainly know, but his role has been downsized to that of occasional set visitor and advisor to those who succeeded him.
For other readings: Anakin's cameo was expected in The Last Jedi.