Lucasfilm Addresses George Lucas’ Disappointment With Star Wars Sequel Trilogy

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In late 2012, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise to Disney for $4.05 billion. Not a bad retirement plan. But he was relinquishing his baby and Disney was going to make back that $4 billion fairly quickly.

In fact, it only took five years. Following the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Disney surpassed that mark in worldwide ticket sales and now, the final chapter in the saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, releases in December.

Despite the success both financially and critically of the Sequel Trilogy though, Lucas was less than enthusiastic about the new direction. In Disney CEO Bob Iger’s recent memoir, it’s revealed that Lucas was especially frustrated that the studio wasn’t following his plan for the remaining three films in his saga.

Now, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has responded to George’s frustrations and noted that it’s hard for any artist to see their vision taken over.

“I think there’s plenty of examples where people create something that is fundamental to who they are, where it’s difficult letting go and watching that become something different,” Kennedy shared with Rolling Stone. “So I think initially, that was difficult for George — I don’t think he anticipated how hard that would be. And [director] J.J. [Abrams] came into it with such enthusiasm and, frankly, reverence for Star Wars and for George, and had to find what was personal for him. He had to make it his own. Every director who comes into a movie has to make something their own; they have to find themselves in the storytelling. And then that’s going to become a different point of view. And I think that’s all George was reacting to.”

Those comments are interesting considering Lucas didn’t direct The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. But he did write and produce those films whereas The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were conceptualized without Lucas’ input. During the negotiations of the Lucasfilm sale, the writer/director shared with Disney his ideas for the remaining three movies, which the Mouse House chose to ignore, according to Iger.

“George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations.”

His frustrations are understandable, but at some point you have to allow what you created to evolve. After all, he sold the company. New voices, interpretations and directions are inevitable.

Kennedy went on to say that despite all this, Lucas is ultimately happy and proud with what he’s built. And why wouldn’t he be? It’s been 42 years since A New Hope’s release and Star Wars is still relevant.

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