Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed he attempted to get George Lucas to sign a “non-disparagement clause” concerning Star Wars.
In an excerpt from Iger’s new book The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, courtesy of Reddit user Egoshoppe, Iger details how he tried to get Lucas to sign the clause. Iger begins by discussing how they convinced Lucas to attend the premiere of the movie despite him not wanting to. (Related: Bob Iger Admits George Lucas Felt Betrayed With Disney’s Version of Star Wars)
“Even though he had issues with the film, I thought it was important for George to be at the Force Awakens premiere. He didn’t want to come at first, but Kathy, with the help of George’s now-wife, Mellody Hobson, convinced him it was the right thing to do.”
He then details how he tried to convince him to sign a “non-disparagement clause.”
“Among the last things we negotiated before the deal closed was a non-disparagement clause. I asked George to agree that he wouldn’t publicly criticize any of the Star Wars films we made. When I brought it up with him, he said, “I’m going to be a big shareholder of the Walt Disney Company. Why would I disparage you or anything you do? You have to trust me.” I took him at his word.”
Obviously, Lucas did not sign the agreement. He referred to Disney as “white slavers” in an interview with Variety back in 2015 saying, “I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and…” (Related: George Lucas’s Vision for Star Wars Episode VII Revealed!)
As reported by Disney Star Wars Is Dumb, Tom Berge detailed George Lucas’ distaste for the Disney sequels in an episode of Toy Run Star Wars Action Figure Cast.
At around the 1:25 mark of the podcast, Berge discusses a visit to Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch where he states:
“I can tell you with 100% accuracy because this came out of George Lucas’s mouth. George was not a fan of what they did with a sequel.”
He adds, “George, as it turns out, he wasn’t too keen what they did with the sequel up to this point.” Berge continues, “He said he didn’t like what they did to the characters…That came straight from George Lucas’ mouth.”
Lucas would also backhandedly describe The Force Awakens saying, “I think the fans are going to love it. It’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.” In a similar manner he described Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi as “beautifully made.”