In 2012, George Lucas sold the rights to one of the most popular and recognizable franchises in history to Disney for $4 billion. Then, when it came time to actually make another Star Wars film (which Lucas would have never done, mind you), the director was a bit miffed that they went in a different direction than he would have. In an hour long interview with Charlie Rose, George Lucas let his bitter feelings fly, and had this to say*:
“They looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans’….They decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing….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 I don’t have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up,” he said. “And so I said, ‘Okay, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’”
“They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that. Every movie I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships, make it new.”
Ok, let’s break this down a bit. First up, “they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans.” Well no shit. Why the hell wouldn’t they? The fans have spent a better part of the last four decades devoted to this franchise, dishing out millions and millions of dollars to them. The question is, why the fuck did you NOT want to make something for the fans, you ungrateful prick?! WE MADE YOU THE BILLIONAIRE THAT YOU ARE, YOU ARROGANT ASSHOLE!!! So, yes, you should Goddamn WANT to make something for the fans.
Next, “They decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing.” Well duh. Are you just not aware that the prequels were crap? Yes, each had their moments, but those moments were overshadowed by crap. Loads and loads of crap. So Disney had zero trust in you to make a good film, or even tell a good story for that matter.
As far as “They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that. Every movie I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships, make it new,” we’ll give you that you had new planets in each of the films. Episodes IV, V and VI each have completely different environments, which is fantastic. And by enlarge, so do Episodes I, II, and III. The problem there, however, is that because the environments are almost all CGI in the prequels, they are in no way memorable, or important. But if you don’t like the idea of a “retro” movie, why the holy hell did you have to shoehorn C3PO and R2D2 into the prequels? They were so illogically forced into the films, that the script calls for them to have their memory erased! That’s TERRIBLE story telling, so don’t go getting high and mighty about not wanting to go “retro.” I’ll be the first to admit that one of the (only) issues I have with The Force Awakens is that it borrows a bit too much from the earlier films, but it is not enough of an issue to take away from the fact that it’s an incredible movie.
Lucas went on to say this little gem:
“Of course, the only way you could really do that [make money] is not take chances. Only do something that’s proven,” Lucas added. “You gotta remember, ‘Star Wars’ came from nowhere. ‘American Graffiti‘ came from nowhere. There was nothing like it. Now, if you do anything that’s not a sequel or not a TV series or doesn’t look like one, they won’t do it!”
YOU MADE THREE PREQUELS TO THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FRANCHISE IN THE WORLD THAT NOBODY ASKED FOR, OR EVEN WANTED!!! You’ve had almost forty years to make something OTHER than Star Wars, but that is all you’ve done! More Star Wars! Sure you’ve produced other things than Star Wars films. Like four Indiana Jones films And don’t forget the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. And a handful of Star Wars animated shows (I could go on, but just take a look at his IMDB page for yourself at just how many NON franchise/sequel/spin-off projects he’s worked on. There are very few there). My point is that he’s a hypocrite.
Look, George Lucas’ work was an enormous part of my childhood, and has literally helped form who I am, which is why it pains me so much to see him spiraling down this bitter drain. You had a good run, George, but you decided to hand over the reins to your life’s work to someone else. You CAN’T be surprised that they don’t share your exact vision. It’s literally insane to think they would. And it’s not like they stole it from you. You sold it to them them for more than the yearly capital for some third world countries. So just let it go and move on. If asked what you think, be a better man and just smile politely and say “It’s a good film,” then quietly sneak away to swim in your giant Star Wars money vault, just like Scrooge McDuck.
*Lucas was also quoted as saying ““I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and…,” before deciding not to finish the sentence. He has since apologized for this statement, so despite it getting a fair amount of press, I chose not to include in in my rant.