George Lucas Blasts Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Films Amid Return Rumors

in Star Wars

Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill outside the Millennium Falcon

Credit: Disney

George Lucas has shared his thoughts on Disney’s Star Wars thoughts – and let’s just say he’s not the biggest fan.

It’s been just over a decade since The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm, and if the numbers are accurate, it’s yet to recoup the $4.05 billion it paid for the studio responsible for both Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) ready to battle with their lightsabers in Phantom Menace
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Since 2012, Disney has released five Star Wars films in theaters, including the controversial sequel trilogy. The adventures of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) in their fight against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order had their high points but have also generated their fair share of controversy – especially Star Wars: Episode IX – Rise of Skywalker (2019), which many deemed a lackluster ending to the Skywalker Saga.

While there are plenty of reasons to pick apart the Star Wars sequel trilogy, its greatest crime in the eyes of critics was its tendency to retread common ground. The plot of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), for example, is a near copy-paste of the first Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).

Princess Leia in her white hooded robes in 'A New Hope'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Some fans also feel like the sequels fail to capture the same energy as the original trilogy or even the prequels. The character arc of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), for example, was considered a character assassination by some, while others mourned the dark ending to the epic love story between Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

As it turns out, George Lucas isn’t overly keen on some of Disney’s Star Wars decisions, either.

George Lucas stands next to a person in a Darth Vader costume, with another individual in a Boba Fett outfit visible in the background, at a Star Wars franchise return rumor event.
Credit: Disney

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Speaking at the 77th Cannes Festival to accept a Palme d’Or for his contribution to cinema, The Hollywood Reporter quotes Lucas as saying that he thinks Disney has misunderstood several elements of the franchise.

“I was the one who really knew what Star Wars was … who actually knew this world because there’s a lot to it,” he explained. “The Force, for example, nobody understood the Force. When they started other ones after I sold the company, a lot of the ideas that were in [the original] sort of got lost.”

Lucas added that “that’s the way it is” when you hand over the rights to something like Star Wars, noting that when “you give it up, you give it up.”

George Lucas standing between two individuals dressed in white Stormtrooper costumes from the Star Wars franchise. The Stormtroopers hold blaster props.
Credit: Disney

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The filmmaker has previously commented on his role as a consultant during the production of The Force Awakens, admitting that there were plenty of creative differences between him and Disney.

“They wanted to do a retro movie,” he said in a PBS interview shortly after the film’s release. “I don’t like that. 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.”

He added: “I don’t have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up. And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.”

George Lucas and Mark Hamill on the set of 'Star Wars'
Credit: Lucasfilm

According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, Lucas didn’t hold back from sharing his honest thoughts on The Force Awakens. Iger’s memoir “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company” claims that the Star Wars legend was disappointed by the film’s lack of new ideas.

Just prior to the global release, Kathy [Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm] screened ‘The Force Awakens’ for George. He didn’t hide his disappointment. “There’s nothing new,” he said. In each of the films in the original trilogy, it was important to him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies. In this one, he said, “There weren’t enough visual or technical leaps forward.”

Lucas has, however, voiced his enjoyment of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), which he claimed was “beautifully made.” He was reportedly also a big fan of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), with the film’s co-writer claiming that he had a 45-minute phone call with Lucas in which he noted that “he loved it.” Lucas is also reportedly a fan of the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Kylo Ren and Rey fighting in Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

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What makes Lucas’ thoughts on the state of Star Wars under Disney particularly interesting is the fact that rumors recently emerged that he could make a return to the franchise for a live-action Disney+ series. Franchise alumnus Roger Christian (who worked on both the original and prequel trilogies) claimed, “I think that they’re now bringing him into the fold. From what I hear, ’cause there’s a Star Wars live-action series coming.”

Personally, we’d take that idea with a grain of salt. Lucas has made it very clear that he’s done with Star Wars and defined it as a “breakup.” While he feels he has more stories left to tell, he’s also said, “I am 70. And I don’t know whether I’ll be here when I’m 80. You know, every 10 years, the odds get less.”

Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill outside the Millennium Falcon
Credit: Disney

As of last week, Lucas is actually 80-years-old. With that in mind, we’d be shocked to see him jump back into a new production, especially considering his feelings towards Disney’s time at the helm. Stranger things have happened – but we wouldn’t hold our breath.

Would you like to see George Lucas return to the Star Wars franchise? Let us know in the comments!

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