Chances are if the recent shifts in Lucasfilm‘s administration prove a final blow to George Lucas‘ overall involvement, it is producer Rick McCallum that has primed that impression for years now. Since the “Star Wars” Special Editions onward, McCallum has slowly grown into the company’s most vocal member — appearing at conventions and answering press to drum up interest — but now in the midst of Disney‘s $4 billion deal, it appears the central force in Lucas’ camp has filed his most crucial decision.
Just one day after the groundbreaking Disney agreement, it was Lucasfilm’s director of content management and fan relations, Steve Sansweet, who announced (via East Valley Tribune) on the official ForceCast podcast that McCallum is now “retired from LucasFilm,” another surprising move in a series of many. The reasons for his departure were not confirmed, but given that in May of this year, McCallum was still highly involved in the developing “Star Wars” TV series — a project which he excitedly described as “’Deadwood‘ in space” — one can only assume there has been a renovation in the company’s agenda with Kathleen Kennedy now steering the ship.
With the new trilogy of “Star Wars” films, one wonders what becomes of the rumored 50 hours of scripted material that has accured. But given that Marvel is now moving with “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” we presume at some point Disney will be exploring how to bring their latest brand to other mediums. But it doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon. And as for McCallum, regardless of the quality of work that he leaves behind him at Lucas’ empire, his extended tenure through so many varied projects (“Young Indiana Jones Chronicles,” “Red Tails”) definitely warrants him a more pronounced sendoff than the one given.
In the meantime though, as we wait for Disney’s directorial choice for “Episode VIII,” an interesting clip (via Collider) of Kasdan speaking about “Return of the Jedi” in 1983 has surfaced, and it offers some interesting parallels to the Lucas-led vision of the franchise and fan anticipation. Check it out below.