There’s a reason that Strange Magic sports the tagline “from the mind of George Lucas.” Even though the iconic creator of the Star Wars saga has since sold his beloved property to Disney, he’s remained a figure of interest – not just in geek culture, but pop culture in general.
When it was announced that Lucas sold LucasFilm to Disney, one of the first questions on fans’ minds (beyond what Star Wars Episode VII will be about) was what would Lucas do without his premiere brand? Savvy fans learned that George had several films in production, and that Disney would be putting them out – but it’s doubtful many of them envisioned him putting out something like Strange Magic.
It even sounds strange on paper: a CGI fantasy musical based on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, with a clear George Lucas stamp on the world of strange Imps, fearsome Goblins and beautiful fairy princesses, along with a handful of comedic critters to spice up the fun. On top of all that is an eclectic songbook that combines contemporary pop stars like Kelly Clarkson with older Americana (and on-the-nose) musical selections like “Strange Magic”. Not your everyday animated feature, to be sure.
In the interview above, Lucas (along with Strange Magic and Red Tails star Elijah Kelly) talks about why he wanted to make such a film, and what his original – and even more musical – version of the film was like.
As an epilogue to our conversation I asked George Lucas about his involvement withStar Wars Episode VII and this is what he had to say:
“I haven’t seen anything; I mean I saw the trailer, it looks great, it looks interesting. But as I’ve said before: one thing I regret about Star Wars is that I never got to see it, you know? I never got to be blown away by the big ship coming over the thing, or anything. But this time I’m going to be, because I have no idea what they’re doing.”
The long short of it is this: George Lucas has nothing to do with Star Wars 7. The fate of that film is now in the hands of Disney, J.J. Abrams and his cast and crew.
It was sweetly warming to hear Lucas’ enthusiasm for his new perspective on Star Wars; after having missed out on one of the greatest pop-culture phenomenons of all time (because he was, you know, busy creating and financing it) he can now sit back and watch The Force Awakens like a fan – enjoying it as much as other Star Wars fans hopefully will. As the old adage goes: if you can’t get ‘em to stop hating on you, join ‘em.
Strange Magic is now in theaters.