Only Reason Disney Isn’t Selling Star Wars Is Because It Has No Value?

Disney is too invested to sell Star Wars, making it worthless to any other company.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

star wars franchise darth vader luke skywalker mark hamill carrie fisher harrison ford

Between major legal battles with Florida and a streaming platform that can’t seem to make them any money, Disney’s finances have been taking a dive down the Splash Mountain of misfortune recently. The entertainment conglomerate has made quite a few bold attempts to bring its financial fortunes back to the black, including bringing back ex-CEO Bob Iger, laying off thousands of employees, and removing multiple titles from Disney+ in exchange for tax write-off money. In fact, the rumor mill was even convinced that the House of Mouse was so desperate for a bit of change that they were about to let go of one of its biggest franchises—Star Wars—though, according to Twitter user @ValliantRenegad, there is no way that would ever happen simply because Star Wars isn’t worth enough.

The Twitter debate started after Twitter user @KochoDragon27 posted a rumor about Disney selling Star Wars back to George Lucas to help resolve the company’s climbing debt. In October 2012, Disney made what would soon become the controversial decision to purchase Star Wars from Lucasfilm for a whopping $4.05 billion in exchange for the rights to create movies, TV series, attractions, merchandise, and other materials after Lucas’s characters and story.

Now, just over 10 years after the big buy, Disney is facing an Everest amount of debt with an estimated $48.4 billion in the red, with many observers thinking that the four B’s Disney paid for Star Wars might be looking pretty good to executives right now.

However, as Twitter user @ValliantRenegad was quick to point out, Disney already has a plan for getting back some of their moolah, and it doesn’t include selling Star Wars, or even a theme park. Not because they want to hold on to the galaxy far far away, but because the franchise simply isn’t worth enough to sell. As Twitter user @OrangeGrove55 also pointed out, because of the Star Wars areas in Disney’s theme parks, even if the entertainment magnate found a buyer willing to buy the space fantasy franchise, Disney would end up owing even more money in residuals just to be able to keep the rides and attractions at Disneyland and Disney World.

As @ValliantRenegad explains, if Disney were to find a buyer willing to purchase the Star Wars franchise, it wouldn’t be worth the $4 billion that Disney paid for it 11 years ago unless Disney was willing to demolish the Star Wars lands in both its parks (which also cost more than a billion to build a piece). The fact that Disney would need to hold on to partial rights to keep the park means that the cost of the franchise would go down respectively, meaning that any profits Disney could make for the sale wouldn’t even make a dent in the debt the company is trying to absolve. 

According to Proactive Investors, as of this year, Disney has made an estimated $1.3 billion off of Star Wars since buying the franchise from Lucas in 2012. While that’s a fair chunk of change, it’s barely even a quarter of how much the company purchased for it, meaning that if Disney did sell Luke Skywalker and all his friends, they likely wouldn’t make any money off the franchise at all and it would probably end up a total wash at best.

So, with all that in mind, we’re putting our money with @ValliantRenegad and betting that Disney won’t sell Star Wars, simply because the franchise doesn’t have enough value to make it worth it to Mickey and his best buddy Bob Iger. Instead, Disney will likely keep on with its current strategy of slashing series and laying off employees to try and do whatever it can to decrease the company’s astronomical debt.

This is the way.

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