‘Star Wars’ George Lucas Revealed His Favorite Part of Filmmaking — From 40 Years Ago — It’s Still the Same

When George Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney in 2012, it wasn’t to make money. Although many reports of the filmmaker complaining about Disney surfaced after the sale, he sold the company to pursue his passion — his favorite thing about filmmaking.

George Lucas, 'Star Wars' creator and Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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Why did George Lucas sell ‘Star Wars’ to Disney?

“I felt that I really wanted to put the company somewhere in a larger entity which could protect it,” Lucas explained in a YouTube video with Kathleen Kennedy. “Disney is a huge corporation. They have all kinds of capabilities and facilities so that there’s a lot of strength that is gained by this.”

In the 2012 video, the creator admitted that he had plans for Episodes VII, VIII, and IX.  

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“I’m doing this so that the films will have a longer life, and so that more fans and people can enjoy them in the future,” he continued. “It’s a very big universe I’ve created, and there are a lot of stories that are sitting in there.”

Lucas’ goal was always to make small films with great visuals, rather than a strong plot, he admitted in an interview with Charlie Rose, via NoFilm School. He hoped to continue making movies after selling Star Wars, but smaller films that wouldn’t make any money.

‘Star Wars’: What is George Lucas’s favorite part of filmmaking

“To me, editing is what filmmaking is really all about,” Lucas said in a 1979 interview. “It’s the one time you get a chance to create something out of material and actually deal directly with an audience.” 

Lucas believed 40 years ago that editing was the most crucial part of filmmaking. He compared making a film to cutting down trees and building a house. He believes that the building of the house is like editing a movie. 

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“Everybody says, ‘the script doesn’t work, but we will fix it later. Well, we are shooting this, but it really doesn’t work, so we will fix it later.’ The editing is where it’s got to be fixed, Lucas continued. “If it doesn’t work there, the movie doesn’t work. So, that, to me, is the most exciting part.” 

After Star Wars, Lucas hoped to get back to that passion of editing — making small movies with big visuals.

What did Lucas direct or produce after the sale of ‘Star Wars’ to Disney?

So far, the only non-Star Wars related film Lucas created since 2012, was Strange Magic. The 2015 computer-animated musical fantasy was written and executive produced by Lucas. The film was his first writing credit since 1994. He was working on the project for 15 years before production began.

The movie garnished mostly negative reviews and did poorly at the box office, grossing only 13.6 million worldwide. However, it sounds like Lucas achieved his goal of producing a film that didn’t make any money.