George Lucas Force Awakens

George Lucas has been very quite for the past couple years, but over the past few weeks the Star Wars creator has made comments in a variety of publications about the future of the franchise he created. First George Lucas revealed that Disney was not interested in his involvement in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and didn’t like the stories he outlined for the sequel trilogy. Force Awakens filmmaker JJ Abrams was quick to respond, claiming that Disney made the decision before he came on board: the studio “had decided they wanted to go a different way” with the story. Well now Lucas has given a new interview, where he talks more about not being involved in the new film, and reveals that Disney has yet to screen the film for him. He also talks about the long-running Special Edition controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han.

Lucas continues to liken his relationship with Star Wars and Disney to a “divorce.” While his earlier comments sounded a lot more bitter, Lucas now appears to have come closer to term with not being involved. He explained to The Washington Post why he really can’t be involved in the future of the franchise.

“There is no such thing as working over someone’s shoulder. You’re either the dictator or you’re not. And to do that would never work, so I said ‘I’m going to get divorced.’ .?.?. I knew that I couldn’t be involved. All I’d do is make them miserable. I’d make myself miserable. It would probably ruin a vision — J.J. has a vision, and it’s his vision.”

While his good buddy Steven Spielberg has seen the film three times now, George Lucas still had not seen the movie, or not even a frame of the film for that matter, as of three weeks ago. But wouldn’t Disney screen JJ’s film for Lucas? Here is an excerpt from the article:

He expected that he would soon see it here at the ranch (“I’ve got the best theater in the world,” he notes), perhaps even with Abrams and Lucasfilm Ltd. President Kathleen Kennedy (a longtime Lucas collaborator) in the room, watching him watch it. What then?

“Now I’m faced with this awkward reality, which is fine,” Lucas says. Extending the metaphor, he says it’s like when a grown child gets married. “I gotta go to the wedding. My ex will be there, my new wife will be there, but I’m going to have to take a very deep breath and be a good person and sit through it and just enjoy the moment, because it is what it is and it’s a conscious decision that I made.”

Of course, JJ Abrams finished his film a couple weeks back so Lucas may have gotten a screening in that time. I’d be very interested to hear what Lucas ends up thinking of the film. And it seems like the filmmaker has been really honest in his public statements recently, so if they screen it for him I’m hoping we’d get his uncensored opinion.

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The article Lucas claims to have assiduously avoided the Internet since 2000 (which not-so-coincidently is the year after the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace), and that includes Facebook, Twitter, and even e-mail.

He also addressed the long-running fan controversy involving his choice to change it to Greedo shooting first in the 1997 Special Edition of Star Wars: A New Hope. His viewpoint hasn’t changed much, arguing that “Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’” Lucas compared the character to John Wayne and insists that “when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.”

Fans have been angered by this change ever since the release of the special editions, but its not a change thats really bothered me much (especially compared to some of the other CG nonsense that was added to the movies, like that musical number). At least Lucas’ explanation here makes sense, and Star Wars has always been an inspired mash-up of the films Lucas grew up on.

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