Yesterday Vanity Fair posted a short interview with George Lucas and Lucas revealed why he is pretty much done with Star Wars:
“You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticized,” is how George explains why he stepped away from the world-famous franchise he created. “And it’s not much fun. You can’t experiment.”
He also says Jar Jar is his favorite character, heh heh.
Today CBS revealed in an upcoming interview with Charlie Rose, Lucas reiterated what he told Vanity Fair and added this disheartening note about his original ideas for the sequel film(s), how they were discarded, and now Lucas has basically walked from the whole thing:
“The issue was, ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said we want to make something for the fans. So I said all I wanted to do was tell a story of what happened, you know it started here and went there. And it’s all about generations, the issues of fathers and sons and grandfathers, it’s a family soap opera. They call it a space opera, but people don’t realize it’s actually a soap opera, and it’s all about family problems and that kind of… it’s not about spaceships.
So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to go do their own thing, so I decided fine, basically I’m not going try to… they weren’t that keen on having me involved anyway, but at the same time I am not going to, if I get in there I am just going to cause trouble. Cause they’re not going to do what I want them to do, and I don’t have the control anymore to do that anymore and all I’ll do is just muck everything up. So I said I will go my way, and let them go their way.”
To be blunt, this sucks. Imagine J.K. Rowling being told her input isn’t needed or wanted anymore in the Harry Potter universe. Put two and two together…Lucas found the anti-prequel backlash from “fans” and from the media painful enough not to want to work on more films. When he sold Lucasfilm to Disney, Disney didn’t want Lucas’s cooties because it doesn’t want a similar backlash against their investment and instead wants a “mainstream” and “safe” Star Wars (dare I say dumbed-down?) with more whiz bang. The question is whether Abrams and Kasdan realize that Star Wars isn’t any more about sci-fi action than the Godfather films are just about organized crime, or if there’s anyone with enough power and influence at Lucasfilm to keep these new films as close to Lucas’s vision as possible. We won’t know that for another 27-29 days. But it certainly explains why the GFFA shown so far in TFA’s ads and trailers doesn’t have the same freshness.
Even if TFA is absolutely wonderful, this is no way things should end with Lucas and with the saga he created. It’s wrong. The really sad part is so many people who have benefited one way or another from his work or claim to be fans of it don’t seem to care. If what we get from now on are rehashes and generic sci-fi action crap that’s full of spectacle but no myth (or worse yet, warps it beyond recognition), “Star Wars fans” have no one but themselves to blame. That Lucas got exiled from his creation through a coup of fools is already their eternal shame.