Over 15 years after the end of the Original Trilogy, George Lucas returned to the Star Wars universe to make the Prequel Trilogy. Regardless of how they went down after the fact, the hype for The Phantom Menace back in 1999 was phenomenal and the franchise’s creator writing and directing new movies to continue the Skywalker saga seemed like the best thing ever. But what was it that led to Lucas deciding to travel back to that galaxy far, far away?
Well, the second episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian has arrived on Disney Plus, offering new insight into the production of the hit TV show. What’s more, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy also spoke about the origins of the prequels in the episode and revealed that we actually have the Indiana Jones series to thank – or maybe blame – for the filmmaker deciding to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker’s early years.
“I was around with the movies that were in between [Star Wars trilogies] which is the Indiana Jones movies. I don’t think he ever stopped thinking about whether he would do more Star Wars and I think what happened during Indy was that he was not on the floor directing. He was not necessarily in it, because it was primarily Steven [Spielberg]. So, with anybody like George, and anyone who’s a filmmaker, they get antsy after a while at not being able to be on that floor telling stories, making movies, and his love of pushing the technology, obviously, we were doing a certain amount of that with each of the Indiana Jones movies, but it wasn’t like Star Wars and I think that each time we would push the technology, in making those movies, he got the bug to start thinking about what that might mean for Star Wars.”
It makes complete sense that after having limited input on the Indiana Jones movies Lucas would want to return to the franchise that’s all his own and take total control of the prequels. Unfortunately, that may not have been the best move for the films themselves. Looking back, fans have come to the conclusion that Lucas is probably better when working with collaborators. For instance, film editor Marcia Griffin, Lucas’ ex-wife who did a terrific job on the Original Trilogy.
Lucas is, of course, the co-creator of Indy alongside Steven Spielberg. He also conceived the stories for all four entries in the franchise. However, similarly to the modern Star Wars efforts, he’s not involved with the upcoming Indy 5. Spielberg is likewise not directing, though will still produce. Helmed by James Mangold, expect it in July 2022.