George Lucas on Life Post-Star Wars: "Ready to Move on to Bigger and Better Things"

Filmmaker dishes to E! News about his plans for the future (let's just say, education is a really lucky cause)

By Natalie Finn, Alicia Quarles Nov 03, 2012 5:04 AMTags
George LucasAlberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

We have no idea what could be bigger and better than Star Wars, but we'll just have to give George Lucas the benefit of the doubt.

Asked how he felt selling Lucasfilm—aka his life's work—to Disney this week for $4.05 billion, the pioneering action-adventure visionary exclusively told E! News tonight that it was "very sad" for him, but it was the result of a decision he made about four years ago, when he first decided it was time to transition away from the Star Wars franchise.

The business doesn't just encompass the existing six films (seven if you count the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars), of course--there's TV, video games, merchandise, theme park attractions, and a seemingly infinite number of other aspects to the brand.

"It was 40 years of work," Lucas said when we caught up with him at the Ebony Power 100 Gala at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall. "It has been my life, but I am ready to move on to bigger and better things."

Such as?

"I have the educational foundation," said the 68-year-old father of three, who has already announced his intention to donate the majority of the proceeds of the Disney sale to educational causes. "I do a lot of work with education and I am very excited about doing that."

That is big. But what about making movies? Won't he miss having a hand in Episode VII and beyond?!

"In a few months I will be able to be on my own and the transition will be all over with and I can go do my own thing," Lucas said. "I am a control freak, so I have turned it over to a wonderful producer, [Lucasfilm chair-turned-president] Kathy Kennedy. I have known her for years. She is more than capable of taking it and making it better than I did."

It was previously announced that Kennedy, who is also a longtime production partner of Steven Spielberg's, will serve as an executive producer on the next three Star Wars films.

But it's not as if Lucas is turning his back on movies, though it sounds like he may be sorta done with the big-Hollywood-studio scene. He told us he still plans to make his "own littler personal films."

Asked if that meant more movies like Red Tails, his years-in-the-making feature about an African-American squad of World War II fighter pilots that came out ealier this year, Lucas said he's going "further out than that."

"The ones I am working on now will never get into the theaters."

Party in Lucas' private screening room it is, then!