Lucas said he sold the franchise to help insure its longevity. "I'm doing this so that the films will have a longer life, so that more fans and people can enjoy them in the future," he said. "It's a very big universe I've created and there's a lot of stories in there." ...
Way back in 1977, I encountered Mr. Lucas in a funny way.
I was working with Disney veteran Ken Anderson on a river delta opus titled "Catfish Bend" (about which more later). We were in Ken's large second floor office, and a third party (I don't remember who) came in and mentioned that George Lucas was in the Disney Animation Building getting shown around.
I was in my mid-twenties then, and a "Star Wars" geek, having seen the picture with other young Disney employees a few months before, on the day the picture came out. Ken Anderson, however, was not as awed or star-struck as I was. In fact, he was downright hostile about the movie, grumbling about what an over-rated piece of crap it was, how he didn't like it in the least, and blah-de blah blah.
At which point George Lucas walked in, accompanied by a studio publicist. Ken's face went through several contortions ending in a wide grin, and he instantly reversed course, gushing over Mr. Lucas and showing him the storyboards hanging from the wall.
I have no idea if George Lucas overheard any of Ken's rant as he walked in. I suspect not, because he was polite, and listened attentively as Ken described his boards. After a few minutes he left with his Disney escorts, and we went on with whatever it is we'd been doing. I remember Mr. Lucas as being young, quiet, and slender. And even then having some gray in his beard.
Ken never said anything more about not liking "Star Wars."