George Lucas Rips Into Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Update: Geoge Lucas issued the following statement following the interview:
"I have been working with Disney for 40 years and chose them as the custodians of Star Wars because of my great respect for the company and Bob Iger’s leadership. Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise. I rarely go out with statements to clarify my feelings but I feel it is important to make it clear that I am thrilled that Disney has the franchise and is moving it in such exciting directions in film, television and the parks. Most of all I’m blown away with the record breaking blockbuster success of the new movie and am very proud of JJ and Kathy."
Even though the Star Wars fanboys and fangirls are eating it up, The Force Awakens is far from a perfect movie.
Now George Lucas agrees as well, though we can't help but wonder if that's a good thing (sorry, George, you really blew it with Jar Jar), but Lucas does offer some valid points while appearing on the Charlie Rose show.
"They wanted to do a retro movie. I don't like that. Every movie I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships, make it new."
I've had similar conversations with Star Wars fans regarding just those topics as well. The Force Awakens doesn't really feature anything new when it comes to tech or spaceships, which is odd considering the amount of merchandising the movie features. Lucas also mentions it's a retro movie, which I found to be another problem, in that The Force Awakens really didn't drive the story forward. It actually left our movie reviewer scratching his head.
Lucas continues with mention of how Disney scrapped his storyline for Episodes 7-9, in favor of what some critics deem the most expensive piece of fan-fiction ever created.
"They looked at the stories, and they said, 'We want to make something for the fans'....They decided they didn't want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing....They weren't that keen to have me involved anyway - but if I get in there, I'm just going to cause trouble, because they're not going to do what I want them to do. And I don't have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up. And so I said, 'Okay, I will go my way, and I'll let them go their way.' "
Lucas also tackles how the industry as of late is playing it safe by making movies and sequels to things we've already seen instead of going the route he did with the original Star Wars, which was new at the time.
"Everybody went out and made spaceship movies and they were all horrible and they all lost tons of money. And you say, there's more to it than that. You just can't go out and do spaceships. Of course, the only way you could really do that [make money] is not take chances. Only do something that's proven. You gotta remember, 'Star Wars' came from nowhere. 'American Graffiti' came from nowhere. There was nothing like it. Now, if you do anything that's not a sequel or not a TV series or doesn't look like one, they won't do it!"
Update: Lucas also called the Star Wars movie his "kids" and joked about selling Star Wars to the "white slavers" at Disney before cutting himself off:
“I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and [laughs]..."