George Lucas passes on a higher salary
He gave up a significant part of his salary for merchandising rights that would someday be worth billions.
During negotiations with Fox, George Lucas proposed to accept a lower salary in exchange for retaining all merchandising rights as well as the rights to any sequel. After the success of his previous film ‘American Graffiti, he would have been entitled to $500,000. Instead he received $150,000.
Star Wars themed toys produce $3 billion a year in revenue. Disney bought purchased the entire franchise for $4 billion in 2012