STAR WARS Creator George Lucas Explains His 2012 Decision To Sell The Iconic Franchise To Disney

Like it or not, the Disney era of Star Wars is here to stay, and creator George Lucas has now elaborated on his decision to part ways with the franchise back in 2012 in a new book. Check it out!

The new book Star Wars Archives: Eps I-III: 1999-2005 sheds a lot of light on the making of George Lucas' divisive prequels - though it's probably fair to say they didn't receive anywhere near as much backlash as the recent sequels! That trilogy was, of course, made by Disney after the franchise's creator sold Lucasfilm to the studio back in 2012. 

Author Paul Duncan recently took to Twitter to share a new excerpt from his book, which sees Lucas talk more about what led to him selling Star Wars to the House of Mouse. 

"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 explained. "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 acknowledged that he could have decided against selling Lucasfilm and instead got someone else to take charge of the trilogy. However, he admitted it would have been impossible for him to remain hands off, something the filmmaker says he struggled with on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Lucas denied claims he'd grown bored of the franchise, and admitted to being disappointed by Disney's decision not to follow the plans he'd handed them for where the sequel trilogy should go.

"I’ve spent my life creating ‘Star Wars’ – 40 years – and giving it up was very, very painful," the filmmaker reflects. "But it was the right thing to do. I thought I was going to have a little bit more to say about the next three because I’d already started them, but they decided they wanted to do something else. Things don’t always work the way you want it. Life is like that."

Do you wish we'd seen Lucas' take on the Star Wars sequels instead of Disney's?

Click on the "Next" button below to see a ranking of
the Star Wars movies according to Rotten Tomatoes!

11. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker


Score: 51%

Rotten or Fresh? Rotten

Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion.

What a disaster. In an effort to please everybody, director J.J. Abrams pleased pretty much no one with this rushed, messy finale to the Skywalker Saga. Kylo Ren got a decent enough ending, but beyond that, characters were mostly underserved, and the return of Emperor Palpatine was majorly botched. The franchise deserved better, so these reviews are by no means a surprise!

10. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Score: 52%

Rotten or Fresh? Rotten

Critics Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy -- albeit visually dazzling -- start.

In many ways, The Phantom Menace is treated too harshly, but it was as disappointing an opening chapter for the prequels as The Rise of Skywalker was a finale for the sequels! There's an awful lot here that does work, and it's hard not to be grateful to the movie for introducing us to characters like Darth Maul and Qui Gon Jinn who have been explored in greater depth since. 

9. Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones

Score: 65%

Rotten or Fresh? Fresh

Critics Consensus: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones benefits from an increased emphasis on thrilling action, although they're once again undercut by ponderous plot points and underdeveloped characters.

Arguably a worse film than The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones wasted far too much time on exploring Anakin Skywalker's romance with Padmé Amidala (CGI fruit!) and setting up a conflict which would only ever be touched on in an (admittedly stellar) animated series). There were some highlights - like Yoda seeing some action - but they weren't frequent!

8. Solo: A Star Wars Story

Score: 70%

Rotten or Fresh? Fresh

Critics Consensus: A flawed yet fun and fast-paced space adventure, Solo: A Star Wars Story should satisfy newcomers to the saga as well as longtime fans who check their expectations at the theater door.

Another Star Wars movie that gets a bad rap, the only thing really wrong with Solo was how badly marketed it was! It definitely wasn't the strongest origin story for the iconic smuggler, but there were a lot of surprises here, with Darth Maul's return one of the biggest in the franchise's history. Honestly, it's worth the price of admission for Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover alone.

7. Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith

Score: 80%

Rotten or Fresh? Certified Fresh

Critics Consensus: With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas brings his second Star Wars trilogy to a suitably thrilling and often poignant -- if still a bit uneven -- conclusion.

A much better conclusion to a trilogy than The Rise of Skywalker, Revenge of the Sith is by no means perfect, but witnessing the fall of the Jedi Order made for gripping viewing. The storytelling could have been stronger, and it was a shame more attention was devoted to key elements like Anakin's growing resentment of his fellow Jedi, but it's easy to see why this fared well with critics.

6. Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi

Score: 82%

Rotten or Fresh? Certified Fresh

Critics Consensus: Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy.

It's always difficult to make everyone happy with a finale, but Return of the Jedi fared better than the rest! We could have lived without the Ewoks and another Death Star, but everything with Luke and Darth Vader worked perfectly, as did Emperor Palpatine finally emerging from the shadows. That opening was also phenomenal, and Luke Skywalker made for a badass Jedi Knight. 

5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Score: 84%

Rotten or Fresh? Certified Fresh

Critics Consensus: Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground -- and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.

The first Star Wars spinoff movie may have been plagued by issues behind the scenes, but those weren't evident while watching it on the big screen! With a diverse, exciting cast of characters, Rogue One did an excellent job of filling in some of the gaps in the franchise's history, and made the story behind the theft of the Death Star plans a blast (no pun intended) to follow. 

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Score: 90%

Rotten or Fresh? Certified Fresh

Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga's rich legacy while adding some surprising twists -- and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for.

Perhaps the most controversial Star Wars movie listed here, it's not hard to see why fans were unhappy with what Rian Johnson delivered in The Last Jedi. Defying fan expectations, he made some big changes to Luke Skywalker, and those weren't at all well-received. The visuals and action were phenomenal, however, and as a film, the reviews being that positive isn't a surprise. 

3. Star Wars: A New Hope

Score: 92%

Rotten or Fresh? Certified Fresh

Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.

This is where it all started, and what a classic! Yes, it's easy to find fault in hindsight - why wasn't the long awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi/Darth Vader reunion more action-packed and emotional? - but that's only because of the other stories which have now informed this one. There's a huge amount to love here, and some moments which will go down in cinematic history as being legit classics.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Score: 93%

Rotten or Fresh? Certified Fresh

Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.

For some fans, J.J. Abrams stuck far too closely to the formula used by A New Hope, but between the introduction of some compelling new characters and the return of a few fan-favourites, The Force Awakens remains a joy to watch. Its biggest crime is not giving Luke Skywalker a decent role in proceedings, but Han Solo's death at his son's death hits hard each and every time.

1. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Score: 94%

Rotten or Fresh? Certified Fresh

Critics Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.

An absolute masterpiece, The Empire Strikes Back is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, and it just doesn't get any better than this. From that incredible opening on Hoth to Luke's time training with Yoda, the visit to Cloud City, and that epic final battle with Darth Vader (not to mention the big twist), this is impossible to fault, and it arguably deserves an even higher score than the one above.

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