Star Wars & Phantom Menace/The rights
I was wondering what if any rights George Lucas has retained from allowing Disney to do the next movie trilogy? Does he have the rights to the prequels, merchandise, or Star Wars TV episodes? Video games?
Thanks for the question! From what I understand, Disney's $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012 included the rights to *all* the Lucasfilm franchises (including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.). Hence, George Lucas no longer retains any of these rights, and, apart from royalty earnings for creating the characters, he will therefore no longer make any money *directly* from these projects (whether it be new films released, theatrical or home video re-releases of the prequels and originals, etc.). I say "directly", because part of the deal was that Lucas will receive half of the $4 billion payment in Disney stocks, so it's still possible for him to indirectly make money from Star Wars, should the future Star Wars projects perform well and cause the Disney stocks to grow. One important caveat though: 20th Century Fox *permanently* retains all distribution rights to "A New Hope", and they also have theatrical and home video distribution rights to the other episodes made prior to the sale, until May 2020.
Having said all that, this of course doesn't preclude the possibility of George Lucas being involved creatively with future Star Wars projects, should Disney decide to bring him on board. Frankly, given that, from my own personal focus, the first six episodes were such a masterpiece (and also the seventh, though George wasn't too involved with that particular project), it'd be great if he could provide some creative input to any new Star Wars projects.
Hope that answers your question.