George Lucas is on everybody’s mind at the moment thanks to the success of his baby, Star Wars, at the box office. Technically it might be due to his absence from the latest film, but his legacy is still great and the man just received a Kennedy Center honor for his accomplishments over the years. But he might regret giving up Star Wars to the folks over at Disney and he might also not be the biggest fan of The Force Awakens.
In a new interview with Charlie Rose — embedded below if you need that fix — Lucas talks a bit about the deal with Disney over Star Wars, his original ideas for Episode VII, and the diverging path between himself and the House of Mouse. His brief description of the company really tells it all:
“I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and…,” Lucas said before laughing and deciding it better not to finish…
“They looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,’” Lucas said. “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, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’”
The Force Awakens is indeed fan service, but you almost need a little bit of fan service after all the years of Lucas tinkering with the series and creating the prequels. He’s the man behind the characters that plenty know and love, so he deserves the benefit of the doubt on the direction the series was taking. It just seemed like he was on a completely different level than everybody else who supports the series.
Even his criticism of The Force Awakens seems a little off:
“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,”
One could say that “making it new” is a nice way to sell toys, but that might be a little cynical. Instead, I think the different planets and different ships are not the reason the prequels fell apart. The Force Awakens isn’t perfect, but it also doesn’t have anybody dying from a broken heart.