Lucas Giving Most of Disney Billions to Education
Good or bad, it's not yet clear what Disney's Lucasfilm purchase means for the futures of Luke, Leia, hairy sidekick, primitive bear tribe, directionless stormtroopers, Yoda's ghost, Jar Jar's bones, Boba Fett, guy eager to explain how Boba Fett could still be alive, and Harrison Ford. But at least the deal will do some good for the future of man, beyond Harrison Ford.
Saving the most believable Star Wars last-act redemptive turn for himself, George Lucas is donating "the majority of the [Disney acquisition] proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors," a Lucasfilm spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter. It has not been made official where exactly the money will end up, but it seems likely to be going to educational organizations; Lucas is chairman of Edutopia--part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation--and in 2010 stated his intention of "dedicating the majority of [his] wealth to improving education."
Beyond the huge amounts of money, Lucas's decision to walk away from his namesake company also means more time he can devote to causes more noble than adding eyelids to ewoks. As the filmmaker said in a statement yesterday, his neck swelling with virtue:
"For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company. 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."
And when you get Lucas on a philanthropical task, you know he'll just keep at improving things, no matter if anyone asks him to or not. So this is genuinely great news. As far as I'm concerned, Lucas is exonerated of at least the whole "Han shot first" thing. Now EDUCATION SHOT FIRST, though that will probably not be as popular on novelty tees.