Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed in his memoir that Star Wars creator George Lucas was disappointed with Star Wars: The Force Awakens when he first watched it. He’s obviously not thrilled with how these sequel trilogy films have turned out.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy offered a response to Lucas’ disappointment saying that it has to do more with the difficulties of handing over his creation to other filmmakers and storytellers to continue the story. She explains:
“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. 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.”
I can understand that, or Lucas just simply didn’t like the movie and the way his characters were handled. It was previously explained by Iger that Lucas wasn’t very happy when he found out Abrams wasn’t going to use any of the ideas that he had originally planned for the trilogy. Iger noted, “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.”
I can see how that would be frustrating. But, Kennedy goes on to say that now Lucas appreciates what the new films have accomplished:
“He may not agree with every choice J.J. made. He may not agree with every choice [Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/ director] Rian [Johnson] made. But he appreciates the filmmaking. That I know. And he so appreciates, for instance, what ILM [Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm’s visual-effects arm] has done in the work of these movies. I mean, that’s a company he created. And he just continually tells me how astounded he is by how far things have come and how, now, whatever comes into your mind can be achieved.”
“And he came down, for instance, on The Mandalorian to see what we were doing — he’s worked a long time with [director] Dave Filoni. And he’s known [ series creator] Jon [Favreau]. And he was just like a little kid on that set when he was watching what we were doing. So I see him get caught up in this again, and I think there’s a little bit of regret that he’s not on the stage and directing movies and in it still. And that may filter into it as well. I can’t really speak on behalf of what George is feeling all the time. But I know that he’s very, very proud of what he created. And to see people go on and enjoy this now into almost 2020 is pretty remarkable.”
Well, that’s because The Mandalorian is a freakin’ great show! I bet that’s Lucas’ favorite Star Wars project to come out of Disney and Lucasfilm.