George Lucas is the creator of the Star Wars universe, however when he sold the rights in 2012 to Disney for $US4.05 Billion he lost creative control over the franchise. In a taped interview before the launch of the Star Wars : The Force Awakens, Lucas took at swipe at “the mouse” calling the company “white slavers” after he discussed how the previous six Star Wars films were “his children.”
“I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and…,” said Lucas. “They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that. Every movie I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships, make it new.”
“They looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans’….They decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing,” said Lucas.
“They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway — but if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do. And I don’t have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up. And so I said, ‘Okay, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.'”
Lucas then went on to talk about how the Disney rejection was akin to going through a break-up and going back now would just open old wounds that you need to move on from.
“You need to put it behind you and it’s a very, very hard thing to do” explained Lucas.
“When you break up with somebody, the first rule is no phone calls. The second rule, you don’t go over to their house and drive by to see what they’re doing,” he said jokingly. “The third one is you don’t show up at their coffee shop and say you are going to burn it… You just say ‘Nope, gone, history, I’m moving forward.’ ”
This may account for the seemingly gruff attitude of Lucas on the recent The Force Awakens Red Carpet Special (click to view). I guess if you have to go out to dinner and movie with your ex-girlfriend whenever they call and put on a smiley face it isn’t great for healing process.
Lucas is at peace with his decision to sell the rights to Disney however as he is 70 years of age and he knew there were three more stories he couldn’t commit to as they would take 10 years to do properly. Which seems to be another vieled swipe at “the mouse” which is churning out the next three Star Wars films in six years, plus three more origins story spin-offs in the same period, making it a grand total of six films in six years.
Lucas then continued on issues revolving around the Disney vision of new Star Wars trilogy and their desire to make a ‘retro’ themed movie for the fans, the fear of creativity in Hollywood, and it’s tendancy to overdo everything new (six films in six years) – something he witnessed when Star Wars was originally released in 1977.
“Everybody went out and made spaceship movies and they were all horrible and they all lost tons of money. And you say, there’s more to it than that. You just can’t go out and do spaceships.” said Lucas.
A pattern Lucas see’s repeating itself often in Hollywood today as profits are placed before creativity.
“Of course, the only way you could really do that [make profits] is not take chances. Only do something that’s proven,” Lucas explained. “You gotta remember, ‘Star Wars’ came from nowhere. ‘American Graffiti‘ came from nowhere. There was nothing like it. Now, if you do anything that’s not a sequel or not a TV series or doesn’t look like one, they won’t do it!”
You can watch the full 54 minute interview with George Lucas on Hulu below: