Despite reportedly (according to comedian Seth Rogen) predicting the end of the world before the New Year, it appears that George Lucas is making plans for his new $4 billion.
The 68-year-old director and producer surprised everyone this week by agreeing to sell his Lucasfilm studios to Disney over over $4 billion. That sale includes the cash cow Star Wars franchise; of which Disney intends to start producing more of shortly.
“I’m doing this so that the films will have a longer life,” Lucas, the sole owner of Lucasfilm, said in an interview posted on YouTube. “I get to be a fan now … I sort of look forward to it. It’s a lot more fun actually, than actually having to go out into the mud and snow.”
Prior to this deal, Lucas – already one of Hollwood’s most generous celebrities – had an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion. With this new cash in hand, it appears that he will ramp up his passion for funding education initiatives. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a rep confirmed as such saying, “George Lucas has expressed his intention, in the event the deal closes, to donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors.”
“We need to build new foundations, fostering independent thought and a desire to keep learning,” Lucas wrote in designating education as one focus of his charitable giving. “Our students need to come away with more than just survival skills, and more than just what is required to complete the program. We need to promote critical thinking and emotional intelligence. We need to focus on building an education system that promotes different types of learning, different types of development, and different types of assessment. We have an opportunity and an obligation to prepare our children for the real world, for dealing with others in practical, project-based environments. It’s about working together and building character — being compassionate, empathetic and civil as a means to a greater end.
“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 the 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.”
“For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company,” Lucas said in a statement 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.”
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