There’s a full on royalty war underway in regard to Alan Dean Foster’s books, Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (a novelization of the first ever Star Wars film, A New Hope), and Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, (its sequel). Apparently, when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the checks stopped rolling in for purchases on the ghostwritten sci-fi works. Disney is refusing to pay Dean Foster under the grounds that it only bought the rights to Lucasfilm, not the liabilities.
According to Newsweek, Foster confronted Disney in a letter addressed to “Mickey:”
“When you purchased Lucasfilm, you acquired the rights to some books I wrote. STAR WARS, the novelization of the very first film. SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE, the first sequel novel. You owe me royalties on these books. You stopped paying them.”
Foster wrote Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker in 1976 and its sequel was published ten years later in 1986. He’d been receiving decades of royalties for these works before Disney absorbed the rights to Lucasfilm. Although Disney claims that they purchased the rights and not the liabilities, these books are still in print and earning money. “You’re certainly reaping the benefits of the assets,” Foster wrote. “I’d very much like my minuscule (though it’s not small to me) share.” Foster went on to explain that he and his wife are both getting on in years and need the financials that Disney owes to pay medical expenses.
He also claims that Disney owes him for three Alien film novelizations, as they purchased the rights to these works from Century Fox in 2019.