What Exactly is George Lucas’ Role With ‘Star Wars’ Going Forward?

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George Lucas Disney Star Wars What Exactly is George Lucas Role With Star Wars Going Forward?

October 30th, 2012 will forever mark the end of an era. It is the day George Lucas stepped away from Star Wars, selling Lucasfilm to Disney and passing leadership of the company over to Kathleen Kennedy. It’s a day many fans waited for.

Anyone displeased with George Lucas’s Star Wars prequels – and their upcoming 3D re-releases – can now target their anticipation towards the year 2015, when the first non-Lucas film in the franchise is planned for release. But Lucas will still serve as a “creative consultant” on Episode 7 and its sequels so what does that mean?

At the 2012 Governors Awards this weekend, hosted by American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, Access Hollywood caught up with Lucas and inquired about just how involved he will be with the Star Wars franchise going forward.

“[If the filmmakers ask],’Who’s this guy?’ I can tell them. I mean, they have a hundred encyclopedias and things, but I actually know a lot. I can say, ‘This is this and this is that.’”

In terms of how involved he really will be with the production of the next Star Wars and the following episodes and rumored spinoffs:

“Basically I’m not — I don’t really have much to do.”

There you have it. When Lucas passed the torch, so to speak, by selling his company to Disney, he really meant it when he said he was moving on. He’ll be there as a source of canonical information, as someone who may know the details or relationships of certain characters that perhaps were only briefly touched on in the six films so far, but the new scripts will tell a new story and the new director will direct without answering to Lucas.

george lucas lucasfilm disney What Exactly is George Lucas Role With Star Wars Going Forward?

This is what Lucas said upon the official announcement of the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm and it rings true with his description of his involvement in Star Wars going forward:

“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

This is good news all around as Star Wars needs to be refreshed and taken into a new direction. At the same time, having Lucas there in some capacity, supportive of the franchise going forward, and still involved – however loosely – can only be a positive thing as he won’t be able to interfere, but will be able to help provide ideas and information on the universe he crafted, the universe we’re so excited to see return in 2015.

What’s especially interesting about his involvement is that it lends credence to the rumors and reports that Star Wars: Episode 7 will see the return of characters we know and love from the original trilogy. Why else would they need his knowledge? Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford cannot avoid questions about their interest in returning and perhaps it’s a no-brainer that their characters will have a part to play since the next Star Wars movie is continuing the saga.

It’s also possible that the screenplay for Episode 7 and the scripts in-development for Star Wars 8 & 9 are drawing inspiration and story ideas from the treatments drafted by George Lucas himself for another two full trilogies (episodes 7-12) that Dale Pollock, author of the 1984 George Lucas biography, Skywalking: The Life And Films Of George Lucas, claims to have read. Pollock believes Disney wants to use those story ideas and that they were a big motivator for their interest in Lucasfilm. Although other reports hint at a more likely scenario of an original story (sorry, Admiral Thrawn), Pollack’s claims would give more reason for Lucas to still be involved.

For an entertaining read, check out our features:

Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters in 2015.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Access Hollywood

TAGS: Star wars
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  1. The one thing that is evident is that no matter what, the new sequels will not be the vision of one man. Regardless of how you viewed Episodes 1-3, they were well and truly Lucas’ vision. He wrote them and directed them. He is as solely responsible for what they were as anyone in film history. The same can be said for Empire and Jedi, even though he didn’t direct them, it was clearly his vision and work. The next three movies will be, good or bad, the work of a committee. Hopefully, it will be dominated by the creative side and not the corporate side, but you know that it is impossible for the corporate side (We’re talking about Disney here) not to have strong input. If we get a great product on the screen, then no one will complain much. But if it sucks, then whom do we blame? At least with the prequels, it was Lucas and only Lucas. Sure he could have handed the reins off then, but it would not have been in Lucas’ nature to do so at the time. I suppose he had to convinced that, like the emperor who has no clothes, his work stunk. But he needed to shown that. We know that Kennedy is now the CEO more or less. Pretty sure she’ll take an Executive Producer credit. They need a Gary Kurtz type to basically lead the creative team as a producer. Or, Kennedy just might do that. He/she needs to corral the writers, Arndt, Kasdan, and the other guy, make sure they are all on the same page, literally. And also make sure that they are working with the director(s) who I am sure will be taking the pages and starting pre-production work literally as they get them. It’s a massive task, so really it’s almost not even really important who the director(s) is. You need that producer/boss/overseer.

    • The same cannot be said about Jedi or Empire . The originals were a culmination of true teamwork. Empire had thr least Lucas input and Jedi had marginally but obvious Lucas input i.e. Ewoks, Leia/Luke siblings and emmotional Han Solo.

      • George Lucas is a god of the cinematic world and his gifts and contributions to it should and will be long remembered.Thank you Mr.Lucas and May The Force Be With You,Always. :)

    • Lucas had a lot of help on Empire and Jedi’s scripts and gave over the directing reins to Kerschner and Marquand. “A New Hope” was the only one from the original trilogy to be more or less completely Lucas’ work.

  2. I think it’s gotten to the point where I just don’t care about future Star Wars episodes anymore. I remember getting really excited about 7 years ago with ROTS, but this doesn’t do anything for me.

  3. Now, this will all be for nothing if they make three crap movies. If they do that, then we’ll wonder why they bothered to waste our time and our money with this. I’m sure some part of the fanbase out there always wanted to see those episodes 7-9. But I wonder if perhaps they were always more interesting as mere fantasies. Just like with 1-3. We imagined in our own minds what story they would tell. I’m sure some people even went so far as to write out treatments and fake scripts. It was all a lot of fun for some. Then we got the real product and, for most, they were disappointing. It pointed out the faults of prequels. Now with proper sequels, it’s a whole different matter. Clearly they can go in many directions. The stakes, in some ways, are much higher. They need to overcome the bad taste of the prequels, and the inevitable diminution in quality after having seen 6 movies, and God knows how many novels, games, and other product that can be used to compare with the new ones. Their task is monumentally harder. They have to compete with the Marvel movies. Sure it’s all Disney now, but who ever said internal competition wasn’t good? It’ll force Marvel to up their game, and the same with Lucasfilm. They’re competing for budget from Disney. Disney has deep pockets but they’re bottomless. They got deep for a reason, and they aim to stay that way. Disney is going to see which franchise is the most successful and direct more money and time and marketing in that direction. Lucas’ advantage in the old days was that he was independent. He made enough money off of Star Wars to run things his way. He had his own studios, post-production facilities, visual effects house, all of it. Sure he still had to make deals with studios for distribution but he owned it all, or almost all of it. Now it’s all under Disney. They can’t operate like how it used to be. The new team can’t have the same freedom that Lucas had in just wanting to do something and being able to do it. Seeing that Disney logo appear on the screen before the Star Wars intro crawl will be strange for sure.

    • Bro, here’s a tip- learn to use paragraphs when you write.

      • It’s stops people skipping your post because staring at it has given them a headache. (^-^)

  4. “It’s over George! I have the high ground,” – Disney Kenobi

    I’m ecstatic that Lucas is gone. Hopefully this new trilogy can re-attain it’s former glory

    • You realise your statement is illogical? Because the ‘former glory’ was created by Lucas.

      There’s no way the corporate suits and screenwriters-for-hire can create the magic of the first films. It just isn’t possible. Except maybe if they give it to the Pixar guys to develop. Those dudes still have their creative passion and haven’t been infected yet.

      • The former glory was created hby Lucas & Company. If you ever read or watched and if the Making of Star Wars stuff you’d know there was A LOT of creative input from other people. Lucas was a big special effects guy and a businessman. He realized selling toys & merchandisewould make an enormous profit.

        As for Disney, you’d be wrong. They have made many heart felt films. FYI Disney has owned Pixar for quite a while.

        • George Lucas is the Godfather of Star Wars,he created it,he concieved it and even though he’s handed over the reigns to Disney and Kathleen Kennedy,George Lucas will always be sonnomous with the Franchise he created,so just deal with it haters especially YOU Ingur Rant. You should really get into The Hobbit or something other than Star Wars because it seems to bring nothing but negativity out of you. JUST MOVE ON AND LEAVE STAR WARS AND GEORGE LUCAS ALONE and be happy again.

      • No way. I hate Pixar.

  5. I grew up loving Star Wars but I have zero belief that Disney will get it right. The original trilogy had soul. There was a intangible something that made them beautiful and that something was the passion of George Lucas.

    I don’t know how he lost that passion in making the prequels but it is unfortunately common for artists to lose their vision when they become rich and famous.

    What I do know is a big corporation cannot replicate the passion and vision of a young starving, imaginative artist. The Avengers was entertaining, but it had no soul. It left me feeling nothing, whereas the original Star wars films left me feeling like there was magic in the universe.

    I’m beginning to think this is just a bad idea, one big money grab by a Big Corp. No magic can come of this, not from a committee.

    • You worry too much.

    • I disagree. For me Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers were some of the first movies in a long time that managed to recapture the movie magic that I experienced with the original Star Wars trilogiy. Some other movies in that respect were Super 8 and the Star Trek remake. Of course they are not Disney productions but they should give you a bit of a reference about what I consider magical movies with soul. ;)

      p.s.: I actually liked John Carter, a Disney production. ;)

    • I agree. :I

  6. If this body is not capable of action, I suggest new leadership is needed. I move for a vote of no confidence for George Lucas and Disney.

  7. Good, I was one of those people that was disappointed of the Star Wars prequels.

  8. Excellent! And with Rick McCallum gone as well the future looks very bright for Star Wars, indeed!

    • Agreed. It just might be possible for a non-sucky Star Wars installment again. Bah, who am I kidding….

      • Good or bad anything involving Star Wars and movie theaters is authorized to print money. You could put Planet of the Ewoks in theaters and it would make bank (I would go see it, it’s a part of my childhood).

        • I saw “Ewoks: The Battle for Endor” in the theater, back in 1985 when I was 9 years old. Believe it or not, but they showed the trailer for Aliens in front of it. I remember it vividly, because I really wanted to see that movie after seeing that trailer. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to. :(

  9. Is that pic up there with George and those Disney characters Photoshopped ?

    About the rest…Gearge gone,Rick gone..I think we can all forget about a Mature Star Wars Live TV Show al Sopranos meets Deadwood meets Game of Thrones :( With Disney at the helm..it will be Hello Happy Hour !
    Sad :(

    • Nope. Both are actual photos.

  10. One thing I liked about Star Wars was the balanced structure, even if Vader has no real arc and Anakin’s story was ridiculously drawn out. Three movies of the Republic, three of the Empire, one man’s life on two sides of the Force. New movies could be better than fan service shoot ‘em ups but I’m worried they won’t.
    I’m not thrilled that Lucas is involved with canon because the philosophy of the Force is so cobbled together for the sake of the saga’s mythic formula element checklist that it really makes no sense under close examination. Fine to give the old man something to do. I always compare De Niro with the old admiral who gets to walk the ship and do whatever he wants even if he’s just in the way, and now George has become that guy too.
    I think he might be able to add something regarding story devices if he’s held in check by more reasonable minds. You have to judge somebody’s individual ideas on this or that subject. If you judge the man based on some stinker movies he’s associated with, you’re only giving the thin appearance of thinking.

  11. I grew up with the originals and loved them. I was excited for the prequels, but they left no lasting impact on me. However, my oldest nieces and nephews loved those films and thought the originals weren’t that great. I tried to force choke them for their blasphemy.

    Now, I see my younger nephews in love with the Clone Wars cartoons. I have two kids who are too young for Star Wars now. But in 2015, my kids could potentially fall in love with this new trilogy as I did with the original. That’s what is great about the Star Wars universe (same with Star Trek and comic books). It keeps evolving with every generation.

    With or without Lucas’s input, Disney will not be making a film that is overly appealing to 30-40 year-old comic book/sci fi nerds (like myself)…they are going to appeal to those nerd’s kids and get them to convince their parents to buy the next generation of toys, games, and officially licensed apparel.

  12. Maybe we were blessed that he made those awful prequels, I for one have dismissed them and they don’t exist to me, I like the fact that Vadar being Lukes dad was a surprise, why would you go and ruin one of the most amazing shocks in cinema history?!

    If Lucas had made 7,8 and 9, he would have ruined them and definitely put and end to the franchise, keep him away!!

  13. Hopefully his new role is to leave it the f*ck alone.

  14. George: Umm, excuse me, Mr. Mouse – but Luke’s lightsaber isn’t supposed to be that color…

    Mickey: Ha-Ha – Where would you be without me, George Lucas? Ha-ha. Your last three movies sucked and you know it! Ha-ha! It’s because you make little fanboys’ winkies happy…and when little fanboys’ winkies are happy, I make money. Ha-ha. And that’s because little fanboys are stupid! Ha-ha

  15. The answer lies in the South Park episode, “The Chinese.”

  16. Looking forward to episode 7 hope it has the magic that the original trilogy had

  17. Great read. I’m lookIng forward to see what Disney are gunna come with, I just hope they don’t destroy the franchise as it is a big part of some people’s lives.

  18. Eight years ago I dated a girl that loved star wars. she had posters and toys and shirts. A few months into our relationship I discovered that she never saw the originals. She loved the prequels with a passion. They didn’t do much for me but I didn’t mind them either. And that girl turned out to be a total bore. Whats this mean in regards to the topic? I don’t know. but ol’ George did something right.

  19. I want Lucas to have a very LIMITED role.

    Also, I want the third trilogy to be based on some of the extended universe books. Yes, I know, it’s been reported that this isn’t likely. Nevertheless, I think that it’d be awesome to see Luke, Leia and Hans older and seeing their progeny deal with a whole host of issues.


    I think that it’d be great to see Jacen Solo’s turn to the dark side on the silver screen.

  20. The names may change but the themes will always be the same.

    someone turns bad
    someone turns good
    someone will be unredeemable
    someone will be redeemed
    someone will be in love
    someone will die
    someone will survive

    A government falls
    another government rises
    conflict ensues

    Have I left anything out??..

  21. All of you Lucas-haters are some of the most back-biting and ungrateful “fans” in the entire history of pop culture and you should ALL be ashamed of yourselves, I bet people watching this fandom from the outside must think some of us Star Wars “fans” are crazy for loving the franchise but hating the very man who created it,you guys make absolutly NO SENSE at all. You guys should be thanking him while he’s still here in his golden years of retirement instead of treating him like some unwanted step-child.

  22. I remember, as a kid, I liked Star Wars. The X-Wings, the lightsabers… But now, I think the whole story is bad. Skywalker and his mother seem like Jesus and Mary and this whole Jedi- and “The Force”-thing sounds like esoteric crap to me. The dialogues were ridiculous as well, when I think back. And Episode 1 and 2 (I turned the TV off after half an hour of Episode 2 and did not watch Ep 3) did a really good job on ruining Star Wars completely for me. Star Wars was successful back in the 80s, because there was nothing like it on TV or in the cinemas. But nowadays, how could Star Wars compete with eg. Firefly, Farscape or Babylon 5?

    So, I do not care about a new Star Wars movie if it follows the same pattern as Ep 1-3.

    But if it has to be made, I would like to see a drastic change: Get Lucas out and Timothy Zahn in. And then, let’s quickly forget about the disastrous Episode 1-3, remove it from canon and instead focus on the Thrawn-Trilogy. And rewrite the whole Jedi/Sith/Force-things to make it a little bit less childish. Maybe hire some Hard SF writer to make it serious. Greg Egan for example. This would make me care about Star Wars again.
    But I know, this will not happen…

  23. LANDO’S SON was the only one on here with an intelligent reply. If you actually hate Lucas, then move on with your life! You’re officially not a fan anymore in my eyes. Spending countless hours analyzing something, but hating its creator is akin to insanity. That’s like originally becoming a fan of a band’s first few records, then hating their next 3 records, but still remaining a fan. What?! I never understood that. That means you’re no longer a fan, since you do not like what that band has become. But you will still go to their concerts and complain about the set list. Newsflash. All the other REAL fans at the show don’t want you there. You see, they actually still like all the new stuff. Move along, move along.

  24. Don’t worry about George Lucas. He stands as Disney’s second largest shareholder behind the estate of Steve Jobs. I’m sure he’ll be fine.