Beloved 'Star Wars' Author Claims Disney Has Yet To Pay Him
Even in these increasingly divisive times, most of us can still come together and harmoniously crap on the Walt Disney corporation. Whether it's because they charged you thirty bucks to watch Mulan on a streaming service you already pay for, or because they furloughed (and eventually laid off) thousands of theme park employees while keeping over a billion dollars in bonuses for corporate executives, or, who knows, maybe you just remembered the creepy-as-hell romantic subplot in Blank Check. Well, now the internet has a new reason to be legitimately pissed at the Mouse House.
Author Alan Dean Foster has come forward with claims that Disney has yet to pay him any royalties for the Star Wars books he's written, which they now own and are still very much in print. Foster famously ghost-wrote the original 1976 Star Wars novelization, which contains subtle differences from the final film, such as Obi-Wan's unhinged murder-spree at the Mos Eisley Cantina.
Foster was then contractually-obligated to pen a second book, which became Splinter of the Mind's Eye. The book was George Lucas' back-up plan, a small-scale story he could adapt into a cheap movie if Star Wars flopped at the box office. That's why it takes place on just one planet, features no giant space battles, and only focuses on Luke and Leia since Harrison Ford wasn't locked down for a sequel. This, naturally, leads to some retroactively cringey sexual tension between the Skywalker twins.
Most insanely, during their meetings, Lucas insisted that Darth Vader was a "weak villain" and suggested that Luke should kill him at the end of the book! Foster didn't listen and "effectively saved Vader's life." Now Foster, who is battling cancer, is asking to be paid what he is owed for sales of these (and other) books, prompting the hashtag #DisneyMustPay to trend on Twitter. And maybe they could offer some kind of bonus as a thank you for ensuring that The Empire Strikes Back didn't begin with a crawl describing how Darth Vader was murdered off-screen on a budget-friendly swamp planet.
Top Image: Dark Horse/Lucasfilm