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George Lucas to donate Star Wars billions to charity

Published: 8:31AM Friday November 02, 2012 Source: ONE News

Star Wars creator George Lucas plans to use profits from the $US4.05 billion ($NZ4.9 billion) sale of his company Lucasfilm to fund education charities.

Lucas inked the sale of his Lucasfilm empire to Disney earlier this week, and as he owns 100% of the company - which has little to no debt - that money is all his.

A spokesperson for Lucasfilm told The Hollywood Reporter that Lucas plans to quickly channel the bulk of his fortune into the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

"George Lucas has expressed his intention, in the event the deal closes, to donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavours," said the spokesperson.

Apart from film, education is Lucas' passion and he donated $211 million to his alma mater, the University of Southern California in 2006.

Lucas has also given to many other causes over the years, including the Film Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The spokesperson noted that this "announcement continues a commitment that Lucas made in 2010 to The Giving Pledge, where he stated: '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 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.'"

In a statement earlier this week, Lucas said: "For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into [Lucasfilm]. 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."

As a result of Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm, the entertainment conglomerate has announced plans to produce three more Star Wars films, with the first due for release in 2015.