George Lucas voices support for Bob Iger amid Nelson Peltz proxy battle

George Lucas in round glasses, a blue blazer and a plaid collared shirt.
George Lucas has voiced support for Bob Iger ahead of Disney’s annual shareholder meeting.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Is the Force strong with Bob Iger? On Tuesday, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas threw his support behind the Walt Disney Co. boss amid the executive’s fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz.

The Lucasfilm founder and longtime Disney shareholder released a statement professing his “full faith and confidence in the power of Disney and Bob’s track record of driving long-term value.” The Burbank-based entertainment giant acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion and has since released a spate of “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars” movies and TV series under the storied banner.

“Creating magic is not for amateurs,” Lucas said in a statement provided to The Times. “When I sold Lucasfilm just over a decade ago, I was delighted to become a Disney shareholder because of my longtime admiration for its iconic brand and Bob Iger’s leadership.”


For the second time in a year, activist investor Nelson Peltz is battling Bob Iger and Disney to shake up the company and nab two board seats.

Feb. 26, 2024

Lucas’ stamp of approval comes at a pivotal time for Iger and the Disney board. The House of Mouse’s annual shareholder meeting — which will see Peltz and his company, Trian Fund Management, attempt to unseat two Disney board directors — is scheduled for April 3.

Also on Team Iger is investment firm and Disney shareholder ValueAct Capital Management. In Peltz’s corner are former Marvel Entertainment Chief Executive Ike Perlmutter and ex-Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo, whom Trian is nominating for a board position along with Peltz.

“When Bob recently returned to the company during a difficult time, I was relieved,” Lucas continued in his statement. “No one knows Disney better. ... I have voted all of my shares for Disney’s 12 directors and urge other shareholders to do the same.”

Last week, Disney unveiled a political-style attack ad aimed at Peltz and his co-nominee, former Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo, which blasted the former’s credentials.

March 19, 2024

Lucas hasn’t always spoken so warmly about Disney. In 2015, in an interview with Charlie Rose, he expressed regret for selling Lucasfilm to what he referred to as “white slavers.”

“They looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,’” Lucas told Rose. “They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway — but if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do. ... And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’”

Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm was among Iger’s most high-profile accomplishments during his first 15-year run as CEO, along with the purchases of Pixar, Marvel and 21st Century Fox.


The company brought back the Skywalker franchise in 2015 with J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which grossed $2 billion in global box office sales. Jon Favreau’s series “The Mandalorian” was one of the first major hits for Disney+, leading to a surge in subscribers and Baby Yoda merchandise sales.

But the studio, led by Kathleen Kennedy, also has had stumbles, including the poorly received film spinoff “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The 2019 trilogy capper “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” grossed $1.08 billion, significantly less than the two previous installments, and got poor reviews. Lucasfilm’s latest movie, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” collected a disappointing $384 million in ticket sales.

The next “Star Wars” movie for theaters is “The Mandalorian & Grogu,” planned for 2026, with Favreau directing.