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George Lucas to donate most of his money earned from the Disney-Lucasfilm deal to education charity

Nov. 1, 2012by: Alejandro Stepenberg

George Lucas and Disney 1

Taking a moment out from the extensive STAR WARS speculation running rampant the last few days...

So far as I understand, there's one thing George Lucas dislikes on a level far higher than anything else in his life: studios meddling with his vision, intention, and method. Studio merchandising desires transformed his previous plans for RETURN OF THE JEDI into a more marketing-friendly product, which in turn led Lucas to vow to himself that he would never again be pushed around into making a film in any way other than his own.

Now while he has since taken the Star Wars brand to previously unheard of heights in the world of cross-promotion, and earned a boatload (Death Star load?) of money in the process, it is a fundamentally sound line of reasoning and worthy of commendation. It's just unfortunate that one of the results of Lucas ensuring that nobody meddled was that there wasn't anybody able or willing to question the track he took with the Prequel Trilogy. A series of movies which, as you can well imagine, earned Lucas equally unheard-of sums of money. But contrary to popular belief, Lucas isn't swimming in all of that money Scrooge McDuck style.  He has actually donated a great deal of his fortune to charity, and to The George Lucas Educational Foundation in particular. Which is exactly what he's going to do with the $4.05 billion he recently received from the Disney-Lucasfilm deal.

Edutopia logo

And yes, I said he received. Lucas is the sole and single owner of Lucasfilm, a position of power that he has (on the whole) used primarily for good. Back in 2010, Lucas said the following in an outline of his main interest these days with regards to his time, energy, and money: “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.’”

Which is, if you'll pardon my language in the context of this news, f**king AWESOME. He's right about what's important, he's right about how important it is, and he just became my hero again for thinking so. And for not just thinking so, but acting on it besides. You can check out the 2010 letter he wrote explaining his perspective and purpose in full here. Now, to this greater end, a spokesperson for Lucas has shared the following: "George Lucas has expressed his intention, in the event the deal closes, to donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors.” We've all been talking as though the deal has already closed, but I really think there's little doubt that it will go through. The possibilities, for all involved, are too expansive, lucrative, and exciting to be passed by.

Which means that it's now time to get right on back to that STAR WARS speculation.

George Lucas and Disney 2

Extra Tidbit: I would have paid a lot more attention in certain classes if certain Star Wars characters were my teachers.

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8:41PM on 11/01/2012

Good On Ya

I know I have hated George in the past but good move Sir.

God knows this country can use a better educational system. Not that his donation will make a dent in the idiocracy that is the US Educational System but it can't hurt.

Maybe one or two of the people the money helps can go on to be the next Dykstra or Tippet.
I know I have hated George in the past but good move Sir.

God knows this country can use a better educational system. Not that his donation will make a dent in the idiocracy that is the US Educational System but it can't hurt.

Maybe one or two of the people the money helps can go on to be the next Dykstra or Tippet.
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5:16PM on 11/01/2012

Respect.

Respect... even though he is already swimming in money so it's not like he is making a huge personal sacrifice.
Respect... even though he is already swimming in money so it's not like he is making a huge personal sacrifice.
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3:39PM on 11/01/2012

Great job George

I think he made a great move here, he couldn't possibly ever need that much money and he can bring so much good to the world with it. May the force be with you.
I think he made a great move here, he couldn't possibly ever need that much money and he can bring so much good to the world with it. May the force be with you.
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11:20AM on 11/01/2012
I was thinking about all of this last night while going to sleep... George Lucas is awesome. I was thinking about all of the things he invented to create Star Wars... Languages, races, planets. I mean I don't think I'd ever be able to come up with something as simple yet clever as an "X-Wing". Either way, I have a lot of respect for this man. He even had a cameo in one of my stupid favorite guilty pleasures The OC. So I mean... Say what you will... But he has my respect.
I was thinking about all of this last night while going to sleep... George Lucas is awesome. I was thinking about all of the things he invented to create Star Wars... Languages, races, planets. I mean I don't think I'd ever be able to come up with something as simple yet clever as an "X-Wing". Either way, I have a lot of respect for this man. He even had a cameo in one of my stupid favorite guilty pleasures The OC. So I mean... Say what you will... But he has my respect.
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9:45AM on 11/01/2012

ok BTW

He created the fuckin lightsaber!!!!!
He created the fuckin lightsaber!!!!!
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9:43AM on 11/01/2012

Say what others may..

The man created star wars, founded Industrial Lights & Magic, produced Indiana Jones and founded Pixar way back in 1979.... Now thats a resume and thats a legend..
The man created star wars, founded Industrial Lights & Magic, produced Indiana Jones and founded Pixar way back in 1979.... Now thats a resume and thats a legend..
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9:40AM on 11/01/2012

wait what

I thought we were suppose to hate this guy. His heyday ended years ago and anything he does lately has made us cringe. Now with this deal and his donation, he's back to being one of the most loved guys in Hollywood. What the hell Universe? this is like Michael Jackson, everyone was hating on him for the last decade of his life, but as soon as he died, we forgave him and gave him back his idol status.

Is George Lucas dying? I feel like the little kid in that scene when the parents are super
I thought we were suppose to hate this guy. His heyday ended years ago and anything he does lately has made us cringe. Now with this deal and his donation, he's back to being one of the most loved guys in Hollywood. What the hell Universe? this is like Michael Jackson, everyone was hating on him for the last decade of his life, but as soon as he died, we forgave him and gave him back his idol status.

Is George Lucas dying? I feel like the little kid in that scene when the parents are super nice and buying ice cream and going to the park. And the kid has a feeling they are only doing thing to tell him his dog died.

Sorry if i'm getting too Morbid. Seriously though, this is just great. The guy deserves all the respect he is getting. Lets hope this is a good sign that the movies will be great again
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9:29AM on 11/01/2012

Lucas ruined my childhood!!!

Oh wait. Sorry. Still stuck in mindless-fanboy mode. It's hard to fully process all of the Lucas news lately.

Anyways, Lucas is an awesome guy for doing this. My respect for him is through the roof. It goes to show that fanboys who are quick to judge people for being "greedy & money grubbing" really have no idea what they are complaining about.
Oh wait. Sorry. Still stuck in mindless-fanboy mode. It's hard to fully process all of the Lucas news lately.

Anyways, Lucas is an awesome guy for doing this. My respect for him is through the roof. It goes to show that fanboys who are quick to judge people for being "greedy & money grubbing" really have no idea what they are complaining about.
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+14
8:57AM on 11/01/2012

It's easy to hate on the guy...

... because of the prequels *cough* Jar Jar Binks *cough* ... But what a legacy he's created through the Star Wars films and the fact he's using his profits for good. May the force be with him
... because of the prequels *cough* Jar Jar Binks *cough* ... But what a legacy he's created through the Star Wars films and the fact he's using his profits for good. May the force be with him
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8:48AM on 11/01/2012
While almost all of us like to mock George Lucas, the things he's done to Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and his money-grubbing tendencies, it's gestures like this that show he definitely is a good guy. We'll always be grateful to Mr Lucas for creating the worlds and characters we've grown to love so much, and now we can be grateful for his generosity and social-mindedness.
While almost all of us like to mock George Lucas, the things he's done to Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and his money-grubbing tendencies, it's gestures like this that show he definitely is a good guy. We'll always be grateful to Mr Lucas for creating the worlds and characters we've grown to love so much, and now we can be grateful for his generosity and social-mindedness.
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+12
8:41AM on 11/01/2012
Vader looks a bit goofy in that pic, he he, sorry...
Vader looks a bit goofy in that pic, he he, sorry...
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8:16AM on 11/01/2012
Good for you George, you'll always be the king.
Good for you George, you'll always be the king.
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+20
8:09AM on 11/01/2012

...And now he has become the Lucas of my childhood again.

Thank you George for becoming my hero again.
Thank you George for becoming my hero again.
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