Following the conclusion of the prequel trilogy, Lucasfilm founder George Lucas decided to sell his company and the Star Wars franchise to the Walt Disney Company in 2012, and now, the filmmaker has revealed why he decided to walk away.
During an interview for The Star Wars Archives: 1999 – 2005, Lucas explained that while it was difficult to give up the reins to the franchise, his decision to sell Lucasfilm to Disney was down to new priorities regarding his family.
“At that time I was starting the next trilogy, I talked to the actors and I was starting to gear up. I was also about to have a daughter with my wife. It takes 10 years to make a trilogy – Episodes I to III took from 1995 to 2005,” Lucas said. “I’d still be working on Episode IX! 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.”
Lucas added, “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.”
Since Lucas decided to sell his former company, the Star Wars films, specifically the sequel trilogy, has been hit with mixed reactions from both critics and audiences regarding its scripts and character development. However, the series’ TV shows including the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian have mostly gathered positive reactions for the franchise.