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George Lucas Talks Future Of 'Star Wars' and Why He Sold Lucasfilm

George Lucas discusses the future of Star Wars and what prompted him to sell the beloved franchise with the entirety of Lucasfilm to Disney for over $4 billion.

"Obviously I've been talking about retiring for several years now," Lucas says in a chat alongside new Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

"I wanted to get into sort of another stage of life where I'm not in the film business anymore and I don't have to run a corporation. It occurred to me one day that the perfect person to take over the company was Kathy. It's just such a perfect fit."

"I felt that I really wanted to put the company somewhere. In a larger entity which would protect it. Disney is a huge corporation. They have all kinds of capabilities and facilities. There's a great strength gained by this."

"They great thing about Disney is between the parks and all the things they've got going, it's great that we have a chance to probably expand that. You know there's lots and lots of opportunities at Disney that we wouldn't have at any other studio."

"There's huge opportunity given the tremendous success that Disney has had with Marvel and Pixar," adds Kennedy. "I think we couldn't be at a better home. In many ways it's the best company possible to take Star Wars into the future."

"When I first made Star Wars, people said this is a film Disney should've made," says Lucas. "I have story treatments of VII, VIII, IX and obviously we have books, comics and a bunch of other stuff... everything you could possibly imagine."

"I sort of move that treasure trove over to Kathy and have complete confidence that she's going to make great movies."

Kathleen Kennedy adds she looking to have Lucas around, as a consultant, as her "Yoda" to look to.

"The main thing is protect these characters. Make sure they continue to live in the way you created them and that the universe of Star Wars continues to grow," she acknowledges.

"I'm doing this so that the films will have a longer life," explains Lucas. "So that more fans and people can enjoy them in the future. It's a very big universe I've created and there are a lot of stories sitting in there."

"I get to be a fan now," he adds. "I sort of look forward to it. It's a lot more fun actually. Hopefully it'll be an inspiring package of entertainment that it's always been... well, well into the future."

Meanwhile, the announcement of a new trilogy wasn't a surprise to Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

Hamill has revealed that Lucas asked him and Fisher to lunch one day last year to talk about the franchise.

"He did tell us last summer about wanting to go on and do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX," Hamill says, "and that Kathleen Kennedy would be doing them."

"I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I've heard about...So when he said, 'We decided we're going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,' I was just gobsmacked. 'What? Are you nuts?!'"

"I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that's the way it should be and it's great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories."

"But on the other hand, there's this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It's one of those things: people either just don't care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about. We'll see."

November 1, 2012 |

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