George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, thus ushering in a new and forever era of Star Wars. Although massive, the $4.1 billion price tag Disney paid for Lucasfilm seemed like a steal and just a few years later Disney has already made that money back, in no small part thanks to Star Wars. Nevertheless, $4.1 billion is nothing to sneeze at, and six years later George Lucas is now America's richest celebrity thanks to that sale.
George Lucas now ranks first among America's rich and famous with a net worth of a cool $5.4 billion according to Forbes. The bulk of that $4.1 billion comes from that sale of his production company, and the beloved Star Wars property, to Disney. In the deal, George Lucas received 37.1 million shares in Disney stock. And as the Mouse's fortunes have risen, so have Lucas'.
Needless to say, the deal was a win-win for George Lucas and Disney, who both made out like bandits and can live that Scrooge McDuck life.
Behind George Lucas on Forbes' list of America's wealthiest celebrities is Lucas' friend and another shaper of countless childhoods, Steven Spielberg. The director of films such as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, and this year's Ready Player One sits at second on the list with a net worth of $3.7 billion.
After the two filmmakers, coming in at the number 3 spot is media mogul Oprah, who is worth $2.8 billion. Then, at number 4, sits his airness, Michael Jordan with an increased net worth of $1.7 billion thanks to the countless shoes bearing his likeness, and his 90% ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets basketball team.
So although George Lucas hasn't directed a movie since 2005's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, his decision to sell Lucasfilm and Star Wars has made him a wealthier man than any other American's that have gotten rich off their fame.
As for what he sold to get to this point, Star Wars is in an interesting place at Disney right now. After coming out of the gate strong after the sale with the 1-2 punch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the franchise has shown its first signs of vulnerability with the divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The first live-action Star Wars series titled, The Mandalorian, is coming to the Disney+ streaming service and J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX will end the Skywalker Saga George Lucas began back in 1977. All of that should help ensure that George Lucas enjoys a spot on the list of America's wealthiest celebrities for years to come.