Disney Settles Royalties Dispute With Star Wars Authors

Last fall, sci-fi novelist Alan Dean Foster made waves when he published an open letter claiming that Disney hasn’t been paying him royalties for his Star Wars and Alien books. His allegations caused an uproar throughout the fan community, and eventually got the hashtag #DisneyMustPay trending on social media. But now, the studio is finally taking steps to make things right. According to the #DisneyMustPay task force (via BleedingCool), Disney has agreed to compensate not just Foster, but other unpaid writers as well.

The task force was formed specifically to obtain justice for these writers. It includes several well-known authors, including Neil Gaiman, Tess Gerritsen, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Chuck Wendig. Additionally, the coalition has also helped James Kahn and Donald F. Glut get payments for their novels. Kahn previously wrote the novelization for The Empire Strikes Back and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Glut wrote Return of the Jedi’s novelization.

“Lee Goldberg, IAMTW, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America bring valuable experience to the Disney Task Force,” said Kowa in a statement. “Their support demonstrates that writers stand with each other.”

“Since we launched the Task Force, progress has been made,” added Kowal. “We are pleased that a few writers have been paid. However, we do notice the difference in how the lower profile writers are being treated. We should not still be having the discussion about honoring their contracts.”

Foster was the ghostwriter for the first Star Wars novelization. Foster also wrote the next Star Wars novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, as a potential sequel to the film. But once A New Hope became a hit, George Lucas shifted gears and instead began developing The Empire Strikes Back. Foster returned to the Star Wars universe in 2002 with The Approaching Storm, a prequel trilogy-era novel set before the events of Attack of the Clones. He also penned the novelization for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.

Are you happy to hear that these authors are finally getting their royalties? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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