Somehow, the discourse returned. Comments made by Marcia Lou Lucas, the Academy Award-winning editor of the original trilogy and George Lucas’ ex-wife, have resurfaced, rekindling fans’ discontent with the architects of Star Wars’ sequel trilogy.
In J.W. Rinzler’s new biography on the famous Lucasfilm producer Howard Kazanjian, titled Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life, Marcia Lucas provides a foreword that indicts the direction of the franchise under Disney. Lucas takes aim at the Death Star-sized targets on producer Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams, who infamously began work on the trilogy without a plan for the direction of the trilogy.
“[I]t seems to me that Kathy Kennedy and J.J. Abrams don’t have a clue about Star Wars. They don’t get it. And J.J. Abrams is writing these stories—when I saw that movie where they kill Han Solo, I was furious. I was furious when they killed Han Solo.”Marcia Lucas, Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life
Lucas went on to lambast the duo, saying: “You don’t get the Jedi story. You don’t get the magic of Star Wars.”
While she didn’t mention The Last Jedi’s director Rian Johnson by name, she shared a similarly bewildered reaction to how the film killed off another of the original heroes:
“You’re getting rid of Han Solo? And then at the end of this last one, The Last Jedi, they have Luke disintegrate. They killed Han Solo. They killed Luke Skywalker. And they don’t have Princess Leia anymore. And they’re spitting out movies every year.”Marcia Lucas, Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life
The above excerpt indicates that the foreword was written sometime before The Rise of Skywalker, which probably didn’t do anything to relieve the woman who has been called “the glue that kept the galaxy far, far away together.”
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Twitter was quickly divided on Marcia Lucas’ comments, which relitigated the age-old conversation: Was the sequel trilogy good, actually?
While Lucas’ comments didn’t tread any new ground, they do demonstrate an ignorance towards the prequel trilogy by appealing to a vague, undefined ideal of Star Wars that has been present in online conversations on the franchise since 2015. In doing so, she chooses not to engage with the themes of the films that purposefully question the heroes she had a hand in crafting.
But beyond that, Lucas invokes some of the worst arguments that have been leveled against the sequel trilogy. “They think it’s important to appeal to a woman’s audience,” Lucas writes, “so now their main character is this female, who’s supposed to have Jedi powers, but we don’t know how she got Jedi powers, or who she is.”
That comment in particular is gaining Lucas plenty of scorn.
The complaints, which were already rung out in the weeks following the release of The Force Awakens, is something of a dog whistle for the worst “fans” of the series. Lucas doesn’t bother to hide the whistleblowing in her commentary, which essentially levies misogynistic accusations against Rei, her actor Daisy Ridley, and Kathleen Kennedy for creating a female protagonist.
Lucas’ screed eventually peters out. “It sucks,” she says. “The storylines are terrible. Just terrible. Awful.” And we might agree, but for different reasons.