George Lucas isn’t universally loved by the Star Wars fan community. Though he created the saga and introduced the world to characters such as Han Solo and R2-D2, he also made a number of changes to the original trilogy years after the fact and inflicted Jar Jar Binks on an unsuspecting world.
Though Lucas is no longer involved with the production of new Star Wars films, he still has strong feelings about the series and the vision that drove him to continue and update the story. Removed from the action, he also has time to reflect on the history of Star Wars and letting the series go its own way.
Speaking with the Washington Post, Lucas talked extensively about the reasons behind his “divorce” with Star Wars and making the decision to let Disney tell the stories it wanted to tell instead of the ones he had envisioned. He also reflected on some of the things he’s done that enraged the fanbase, including the direction he took with the prequel trilogy and the whole “Han shot first” uproar.
Lucas has long defended the choice to make Han shoot second in the special edition version of Star Wars. He claims that the scene had always bothered him, and going forward it ran counter to the core principles of the films.
“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’ Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, ‘Yeah, he should be John Wayne.’ And when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.”
With regard to the prequels, Lucas admits that he avoids the worst of the things that are said about him and the films by staying off of the Internet. He still interacts with fans, of course, most of whom simply want to tell him about how Star Wars affected their lives. He defends the heavy use of CGI in the films as being a way to tell the story he wanted to tell, admitting that seeing Jurassic Park got him asking “Was there finally a way for Yoda to have a sword fight?”
Fans have their problems with George Lucas, but he still maintains pride in what he’s accomplished. Lucas is enjoying his retirement from being ‘the Father of Star Wars,’ having remarried and raising a two-year-old daughter with his new wife. He’s pledged to give away almost $5 billion, with most of the money going to education and the arts, and has spent nearly $700 million building and endowing the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts in Chicago.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Lucas, though, is the fact that he hasn’t seen any of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He plans to watch it in his home theater after its release, possibly with J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy; he’s avoided it thus far because he wants the experience to be special. “I never got to see the spaceship come over [in 1977]. I never got that experience that everyone else got to have. I never got to see ‘Star Wars.’ So this time I’m going to.”
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: The Washington Post