George Lucas Explains Why He Gave Up On His Star Wars Sequel Trilogy


As much as it might pain some fans to hear it, one of the major recurring issues throughout the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy was George Lucas himself. There’s no denying the seismic impact that the filmmaker’s boundless imagination had on both cinema and popular culture as a whole, but The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith brought many of his worst tendencies to the forefront.

When it comes to sheer worldbuilding, Lucas is one of the best ever, but he’s never exactly been regarded as an accomplished writer or director. His camerawork is largely uninspired, while his dialogue is frequently wooden and often outright terrible, as evidenced by the fact that some of the worst lines from the prequels are still widely used as memes to this day.

Before agreeing to sell up to Disney and make himself $4 billion richer in 2012, Lucas was working on a Sequel Trilogy of his own. He was reportedly very unhappy that the overwhelming majority of his plot points and story ideas were abandoned completely when the Mouse House took over, but in an excerpt from new book The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005, the world’s foremost plaid enthusiast explained why he was happy to walk away from a galaxy far, far away after selling up.

“At that time I was starting the next trilogy, I talked to the actors and I was starting to gear up. I was also about to have a daughter with my wife. It takes 10 years to make a trilogy, Episodes I to III took from 1995 to 2005. I’d still be working on Episode IX. In 2012, I was 69. So the question was am I going to keep doing this the rest of my life? Do I want to go through this again? Finally, I decided I’d rather raise my daughter and enjoy life for a while. I could have not sold Lucasfilm and gotten somebody to run the productions, but that isn’t retiring. On The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, I tried to stay out of the way but I couldn’t. I was there every day. Even though the people were friends of mine and they did great work, it wasn’t the same as me doing it. It was like being once removed. I knew that probably wouldn’t work again, that I’d be frustrated.”

Of course, George Lucas is always going to be an integral part of Star Wars, and he’s now ironically become a sort of Yoda figure to the likes of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni on The Mandalorian, offering his expertise and advice without becoming too heavily involved in the creative process, which is arguably the ideal way to use him as the beloved franchise moves into a future beyond the Skywalker Saga.