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George Lucas To Donate Most Of His $4 Billion To Education Charity
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The biggest news to come out of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion isn’t the size of the deal, the number of Star Wars films that will come out in the next few years, or that Episode VII could be an original story. No, the biggest news to come out of this acquisition is how George Lucas will use his $4 billion.

A spokesman for Lucasfilm shares that Lucas plans to “donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors.”

Lucas is currently the chairman of Edutopia, which is part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. It’s very likely that his educational foundation will receive the bulk of the donation while other portions, if any, are spread out to various charities. It is also possible that Lucas could start up a new educational foundation to further his philanthropic cause. It should be noted that in 2010, Lucas made a commitment to using his wealth to improving education. Today is the day that the filmmaker stays true to his word.

Below are excerpts from a speech made by Lucas in 2010, which shows just how passionate he is about promoting the bettering of education. You can read a full text version of that press statement in the links below.

* Storytellers are teachers and communicators who speak a universal language. That was Homer’s primary role, and both Plato and Aristotle used narratives and dialogues as a means of educating. Good storytelling is based on truths and insights, and a good storyteller is ultimately a teacher – using the arts as a means of making education emotionally meaningful. These are all tools at our educational system’s disposal, but too often we aren’t making use of them.

* It’s scary to think of our education system as little better than an assembly line with producing diplomas as its only goal. Once I had the means to effect change in this arena, it became my passion to do so – to promote active, life-long learning. I believe in the artisan school of learning, through apprenticeships and Aristotelian questions and discussion. This level of engagement dates back to the beginning of human life, but it’s still the best way of doing things. There have to be universal standards – particularly in education – and while it seems unwieldy, there is a willingness among educators to share their best practices.

* We need to build new foundations, fostering independent thought and a desire to keep learning. Our students need to come away with more than just survival skills, and more than just what is required to complete the program. We need to promote critical thinking and emotional intelligence. We need to focus on building an education system that promotes different types of learning, different types of development, and different types of assessment. We have an opportunity and an obligation to prepare our children for the real world, for dealing with others in practical, project-based environments. It’s about working together and building character – being compassionate, empathetic, and civil as a means to a greater end.

* 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 the 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.

Though no amount of a donation should be judged, I think it should be commended that Lucas has given a majority of his $4 billion to charity. So whether or not you liked the Star Wars prequels or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, know that Lucas’ generosity knows no bounds.

[Source Press Release | THR]

  • Yetti

    Dear Disney and LucasFilm,

    Congratulations! You now possess the power of the force and with it comes a great deal of responsibility. So here’s what you’re going to do:

    STEP 1 – you’re going to set the new films (Episode 7, 8 and 9) 30 years after episode 6 (Jedi) and you’re going to have the FULL original cast back playing themselves as older people. DID YOU HEAR ME? You are going to cast Harrison Ford as Han Freaking solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Leia, Billy Dee Williams as Lando and even Denis Lawson back as Wedge Antilles. HERE’S THE CATCH: THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE THE MAIN CHARACTERS. They are older now and you can use them as side characters revolving around NEW lead characters. We don’t care what new characters take over leading roles but you HAVE to bring back the old cast for this all to be LEGIT and to come FULL circle. PLEASE don’t cast new actors in these roles and don’t CGI faces to make them look like the actors 30 years ago (Like in Tron Legacy) PLEASE!!! You can even kill them off in the first scene, just don’t replace them.

    STEP 2 – DON’T LISTEN TO ANYTHING GEORGE LUCAS SAYS! You paid him $4 Billion so tell him to shut up take his money and go make Radioland Murders Part 2! Put somebody in charge of directing who knows what we want. WE WANT EMPIRE STRIKES BACK ON CRACK. That means ACTING, ACTING, ACTING, ACTING, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, DRAMA, DEATH!!!!!

    STEP 3 – Whatever you did to make AVENGERS as good as it was, do the same for STAR WARS! I feel the force is strong with you and your company can pull this off. The prequels were the worst films EVER MADE! They showed us just how evil the dark side of the force can be when it seduced George Lucas and took over his ability to distinguish right from wrong! Please redeem the Star Wars Universe. DO OR DO NOT…THERE IS NO TRY

    Sincerely,

    Geeks

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelMidnight Michael Midnight

    Man… this is where Lucas’s legacy will really shine through!

  • jsmith0552

    Say what you will about Lucas, this is what it’s all about. My hat is off to you sir!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5319881 Tuvia Dulin

    You can criticize Lucas’ artistic abilities and decisions all you want, but he has always been a compassionate, altruistic, and generous man. Hopefully, he will be known for this moreso than his artistic decline.

  • A.I.

    Massive tax evasion. Ask Bill Gates and his wife how this works. This is what happens when you have a Sith accountancy firm working your finances.

  • Stephen Albert

    As I can’t ask Bill Gates how this works, could you explain to me how you use a donation of $4 billion to save more than $4 billion in taxes?

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  • A.I.

    If you aren’t smart enough to work it out for yourself, then I’m not waiting my time explaining it. The world at your fingertips and you can’t use Google? No wonder the 1% get away with so much.

  • A.I.

    *Wasting……sorry, auto-correct moment.

  • Stephen Albert

    You are making the claim that it’s possible to profit off of a $4 billion charitable donation, which seems unlikely. George Lucas has never made enough money for his taxes to be $4 billion. I did do a Google search when I first read your comment, and found no evidence for your claim. If you aren’t smart enough to support your claims with citations, then I’m not wasting my time believing it. If you can’t back up your statements then they are absolutely useless and you’ve wasted everybody’s time.

  • A.I.

    First off, READ what I said. I never once mentioned profit. I mentioned tax evasion. Secondly, he isn’t making a $4 billion donation. He pledged to put ‘most’ of the money into his own charitable trust. The one he controls. Stop seeing what you want in my words and focus on just the words themselves. Lastly, 10 seconds on Google turned up this. http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gates_Foundation_Critique

    That should keep you reafing for a while, but make sure you read whats written and not make up your (inaccurate) version.

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