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George Lucas has an issue with Star Wars: The Force Awakens…

January 1st, 2016 by Matt Gault Comments

movie-news-banner-copyGeorge Lucas

Whenever Kathleen Kennedy revealed that George Lucas had seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one thing didn’t quite sit well with us. We didn’t actually get to hear his opinion from Lucas himself. Instead, Lucasfilm boss claimed that he ‘really liked it.’ Then, when Vulture magazine caught up with the Star Wars creator, he refused to explicitly state his opinion.

But now, Lucas has revealed what he didn’t like about the film. It turns out, that while Lucas enjoyed many aspects of the movie, he had a small beef in that it was too much of a nostalgia piece and was too similar to Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Appearing on Charlie Rose, he explained the following:

“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.”

While The Force Awakens has received largely positive reviews (it currently has a pretty rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomato Meter), some have claimed that it is merely the most expensive piece of fan fiction ever made. Interestingly, Lucas described selling Star Wars to Disney or $4 billion as a ‘break-up.’ Lucas already had the stories to Episode 7-9 envisaged in his head, although Disney abandoned his ideas and went in a completely different direction.

About the abandoning of his original drafts, George Lucas told Charlie Rose the following.

“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 hasn’t actually come out and said he ‘likes’ the new movie. Lucas goes on to explain the difficult in making a Star Wars universe.

“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!”

So, what is next for the man himself? He is going to make experimental movies. He says this about his future endeavors.

“These are little tiny movies…I’m going back to where ‘American Graffiti’ or ‘THX [1138],’ where I can completely change the way you tell a story in using cinema. I produced a few films that were like this, but they weren’t like what I would do. I’ve been fascinated with the true nature of the medium – it’s been used more as a recording medium, than as a art form unto itself. they call them tone poems – in the beginning in Russia, this was a whole movement of: how do you tell visual stories, basically without dialogue, without all the things you use to tell a story, and you just use the film itself. It’s kind of esoteric, it hasn’t come much further in one hundred years. I’m going to try and take it into something that is more emotionally powerful than most of the stuff we’ve done up to this point.”

What do you think? Does George Lucas have a point about Star Wars: The Force Awakens being pretty much a retro piece?

UPDATE: 

Lucas called Disney ‘White Slavers’ in the interview below and has since apologised for the use of such a term:

“I want to clarify my interview on the Charlie Rose Show. It was for the Kennedy Center Honors and conducted prior to the premiere of the film. I misspoke and used a very inappropriate analogy and for that I apologize.

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.”

Source: IndieWire via Squareeyed

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Matt Gault is a sports writer and film fanatic. He is a fully-qualified journalist and has worked for BBCNI, Sunday Life and has been published on The Guardian's website. He interns at REDNI, sub-editing for the Belfast Telegraph. He studied at Queen's University pretending to like history and literature and then University of Ulster Coleraine, where he slacked off enormously for a year and somehow got away with it. He also enjoys Captain Morgans, The Sopranos, Led Zeppelin and Hunter S. Thompson which makes him a remarkably uninteresting person.

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