When the news broke earlier this week about Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and plans for new “Star Wars” movies, the franchise’s obsessively devoted fandom, and the media outlets that cover it, set the Internet ablaze with an outpouring of reactions, emotions and analysis about what the news meant for more “Star Wars” films, not necessarily the unfathomable amount of money spent to do so.
Now that we’ve got all the emoting and analyzing out of the way the new question is: “Hey Lucasfilm head honcho/owner George Lucas, you’ve just acquired $4 billion! What are you going to do now?” He’s going to… give it all away.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Lucas, who owns 100 percent of Lucasfilm, plans to put the bulk of the money into a charitable foundation that will focus on educational issues.
“For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company,” Lucas said in a statement on Wednesday. “As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy.”
“George Lucas has expressed his intention, in the event the deal closes, to donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors,” a spokesperson for Lucasfilm told THR. “[The] announcement continues a commitment that Lucas made in 2010 to The Giving Pledge, where he stated, ‘I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. 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 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.’ ”
This isn’t Lucas’ first foray into philanthropy, as he’s been donating large sums of money over the years to various organizations, like a $175 million donation to his alma mater University of Southern California in 2006 and support for the Film Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Knowing what we now know about his charitable future, this should squash any rumblings or jokes about building evil empires, Death Stars, etc.