Simon Pegg feels the modern Star Wars movies are sorely missing the creative input of George Lucas. When he sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, Lucas settled into a peaceful retirement, passing on his prized creation to a new generation of directors. Since the acquisition, the likes of J.J. Abrams, Rian Johnson, Gareth Edwards, and Ron Howard have leant their voices to the galaxy far, far away, expanding the mythology and adding new characters to the canon. With the exception of Howard's Solo flopping at the box office, the Star Wars renaissance yielded excellent results. The four movies release to date all received positive reviews from critics and combined to gross nearly $5 billion worldwide.
That being said, anyone who's been following the Star Wars franchise for the past few years knows the discourse has reached toxic levels. Heated debates over The Last Jedi's creative choices continue to rage on, vocal corners of the fan base want Kathleen Kennedy fired, and there are even those clamoring for Lucas to return and make a new movie himself. Surprisingly, Pegg finds himself amongst that last group.
In an interview on The Adam Buxton Podcast (via Digital Spy), Pegg talked about his feelings on the modern Star Wars films, straight up admitting he misses Lucas:
"I must admit, watching the last Star Wars film [The Last Jedi], the overriding feeling I got when I came out was, 'I miss George Lucas.' For all the complaining that I'd done about him in the prequels, there was something amazing about his imagination. I do feel like his voice is missing from the current ones."
Pegg was one of the most well-known Star Wars prequel detractors, using his role on Spaced to voice his frustrations with those films and Jar Jar Binks. Considering Pegg's history, this is a pretty surprising 180 for the actor. It's worth remembering he had a small role in The Force Awakens as Unkar Plutt, where he also served as a sounding board for his frequent collaborator, Abrams. At the time, Pegg described making Episode VII as a "genuinely magical" experience, so obviously something changed between then and now. He singled out Last Jedi in his comments, suggesting Pegg took issue with some of Johnson's more polarizing decisions. Earlier this year, he made headlines for saying Abrams initially had a different idea for Rey's parentage.
All in all, Pegg has certainly mellowed out in regards to the prequels, regretting his intense criticism of Jar Jar Binks and now changing his tune on Lucas. Of course, Lucas himself confessed fans would have hated his sequel trilogy ideas, so there's no telling if Pegg would have been on board with them. It'll be interesting to see if Abrams brings Pegg back in some capacity for Episode IX, but for the time being, it sounds like the actor isn't jumping at the chance to be in more Star Wars.
Source: The Adam Buxton Podcast (via Digital Spy)