Giving up his role at the head of Lucasfilm may shield him from the fury of rebellious fans and critics. He said in a video released by Disney that the sale would allow him to "do other things, things in philanthropy and doing more experimental kind of films."
"I couldn't really drag my company into that."
Still, Lucas is not planning on going to a galaxy far, far away.
Speaking on Friday night at Ebony magazine's Power 100 event in New York, Lucas said: "It's 40 years of work and it's been my life, but I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things. I have a foundation, an educational foundation. I do a lot of work with education, and I'm very excited about doing that."
This week he assured the incoming president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy that he'd be around to advise her on future "Star Wars" movies —just like the apparition of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi helps Luke through his adventures.
"They're finishing the hologram now," he told Kennedy. "Don't worry."
Liedtke reported from San Francisco. Global Entertainment Editor Nekesa Mumbi Moody in New York contributed to this story.