Star Wars creator George Lucas took a break from his retirement project to speak to Bloomberg Businessweek about his decision to sell his galaxy to Disney, which if nothing else surely counts as the largest fake real estate deal in history. The piece is filled with plenty of behind-the-scenes intrigue for anyone interested in how one gigantic pop culture empire merges with an even-more-gigantic pop culture empire, but the boldfaced takeaway comes when Lucas tells Bloomberg that, even before the Disney deal was financed, the original-cast trio of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford were already onboard. “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison — or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.'”
However, because this wouldn’t be a Star Wars casting post without a bit of confusion and misinformation, Lucas then backpedals: “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” He concludes: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.” So Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia will definitely be in the next movie, unless they aren’t. Lucasfilm did not comment on the casting news when we asked them yesterday, so let’s assume the status is quo on all fronts.
Other quick hits from the piece:
–When Lucas was in negotiation with Disney, he refused to turn over his rough sketches for the sequel trilogy. According to Bloomberg, “He assured them they would be great and said they should just trust him.” (Bloomberg does not explicitly say that Lucas said that while quickly scribbling “Han and Leia have children, and also lightsabers” on a napkin, but use your imagination.)
–Lucas is still a consultant meetings about the new films. In his own words: “I mostly say, ‘You can’t do this. You can do that’…you know, “The cars don’t have wheels. They fly with antigravity.”
–The day after closing the purchase, Disney head honcho Robert Iger went trick-or-treating with his kids dressed as Darth Vader, which is clearly a good omen that totally should not be transformed into some kind of cheap-irony Disney-as-Evil-Empire metaphor at the end of a blog post.
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