Yes, all Star Wars Fans are puzzled (note the F in fans is in capital. This is deliberate as Star Wars Fans are almost like religious believers!)
Why did George Lucas suddenly sell away all rights to Star Wars to DISNEY? And too add, Indiana Jones? And also my favorite visual effects company: Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) ? Just $4 Billion? Sounds small?
Being a cash plus stock combo sale, Lucas has become the second largest independent shareholder of Disney, holding more than 2% equity. So ALL future profits of Disney from Star Wars, Indy Jones series will CONTINUE to add to Lucas’ fat wallet, as Disney will make multiple reboots and sequels.
In addition, the sale was a master move by George Lucas in inheritance and estate planning according to experts:
Since none of Lucas’s three adopted children plan to take over his film empire, financial advisers say the strategy will save his heirs the the responsibility of managing their inheritance – and potentially going through the often long and fraught process of dividing it. “Mr. Lucas has obviously surrounded himself for years with world class legal, estate and tax advisers,” Wade Westhoff, a financial adviser based in Danville, Calif., says of the Disney deal. “This is a textbook example of exit planning for a private business owner.” (Lucas and a spokesman for LucasFilm were not immediately available for comment)
That Lucas struck a deal in 2012 may be no accident either, advisers say. Long-term capital gains tax from the sale of assets held more than one year are taxed at a rate of 15% for investors in the 25% income tax bracket or above (Lucas’s level), and zero for investors in the 10% or 15% bracket. Those rates are set to jump to 20% and 10%, respectively in January. “He probably wanted to take advantage of the lower rate on long-term capital gain while it’s certain,” says Bill Smith, managing director at CBIZ MHM, a national accounting and professional services provider.
Source: Jedi Estate Planning
The Force… is pretty strong in George Lucas!