Bank Rate has determined Star Wars creator George Lucas’s net worth to be $4.8 billion, as of August 2016.
George Lucas: creator of a blockbuster science fiction franchise known around the world, philanthropist, father, husband, and today, a billionaire. A $4.8 billion billionaire, to be precise, according to Bank Rate.
Lucas being worth over four billion dollars should not come as a surprise, given Star Wars was (and still is) a financial rocket ship. A New Hope, then titled Star Wars, surprised everyone in 1977 by becoming a smash hit around the world. Unlike some franchises where sequels bomb at the box office, each succeeding Star Wars film added to the success of the first. The six films, in addition to one animated theatrical spinoff, toys, collectibles, cosplay, games, books, and more recently, television series, would have set anyone for life.
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Lucas is not some miser who, having made his fortune, stepped back from the world. He is a well-known philanthropist and supporter of children’s education. Most of the $4 billion Disney paid him for Star Wars, Lucas gave to an educational foundation (via THR). Currently, he is trying to have a narrative art museum built in Chicago which will “celebrate the power of visual storytelling.” And all of this – the charity and the museum – is being paid for out of Lucas’s own pocket.
Some people don’t like George Lucas. Much of this dislike stems from a dissatisfaction with the way Lucas directed the prequel trilogy, which is still a sore spot for many fans today. Personally, I don’t understand the hate. Regarding the prequel trilogy, George has described himself as a visual director; dialogue and acting are not his strong points as a filmmaker. Unsurprisingly, the dialogue in the prequels is cringe-worthy at times, while the films themselves are a treat to watch. Say what you will about the quality and quantity of the CGI in those films, you have to admit George broke visual effects ground with Episodes I–III, just like he did with the original trilogy. Using a combination of symbolic visuals and mythical archetypes, he told a powerful story which completed the original trilogy and gave poignancy to the Skywalker drama.
More important than his work on Star Wars, though, George is a pretty good guy. I can’t think of any other director in Hollywood who so strongly supports children’s education and the preservation of cinematography as an art form. If I ever become a billionaire, I will use him as a role model for how to be a truly rich person.