George Lucas still offers his insight on certain things regarding the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The legendary filmmaker had sold Lucasfilm and all its assets, namely the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, to The Walt Disney Company in October 2012 for a whopping $4 billion. Upon acquiring the studio, the Mouse House wasted no time in announcing plans to develop Star Wars: Episode VII -- which ended up becoming J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- along with other plans to expand the saga that Lucas originally created.
Lucas' longtime collaborator and producing partner, Kathleen Kennedy, subsequently replaced him as president of Lucasfilm following Disney's acquisition, and she has been in charge of shepherding the new Star Wars installments, including the ambitious anthology/spin-off films, ever since. Furthermore, it has been reported numerous times that Disney had set aside Lucas' original stories for the sequel trilogy in favor of developing their own stories, but that doesn't mean Lucas has lost all input whatsoever.
Kennedy told EW at Star Wars Celebration 2017 earlier this year that while Lucas doesn't offer creative input on the general scope of the sequel trilogy, or the anthology films, he does still offer his insight on specific things, such as a Jedi's training.
“Not really. But he’ll whisper in my ear every now and then. Usually, it’s something specific or important to him about Jedi training. Things like that.”
It's certainly possible that Lucas wanted to extend some advice to approaching Rey's presumed training with Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To in Rian Johnson's upcoming sequel, Star Wars: Episode VIII -- The Last Jedi. Apart from Lucas's occasional insight on the ways of the Jedi, Kennedy also said that he's finally adjusting to life as a Star Wars fan, not having to worry about creating and further developing the ongoing franchise anymore. After all, Lucas' involvement with the Star Wars saga extended beyond the core six films; he also worked on developing the beloved animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
“I think he’s starting to settle into this and just be a fan. It’s taken a while. It’s hard to let go, after 40 years. That’s a lot of expectation and things he thought a lot about. Suddenly that next generation, that whole thematic idea he came up with, is in [the] process.”
Lucas may not have the amount of creative input that he once did, but that doesn't mean he has been completely cast aside. Shortly before Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters last December, it was revealed that Lucas had visited the film's set, and the only thing the retired filmmaker offered the up-and-coming director, aside from a few jokes, was to not screw up. It appears that he may have had a little more to say about the Jedi in Episode VIII.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019