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“They Wanted To Do A Retro Movie​”: George Lucas Talks His Break Up From ‘Star Wars,’ And More In 54-Minute Talk

"They Wanted To Do A Retro Movie​": George Lucas Talks His Break Up From 'Star Wars,' And More In 54-Minute Talk

Breaking up is hard to do, and George Lucas is taking his exit from the franchise rather hard. Back in November, he went into detail about his "break up" from "Star Wars" (though not many relationships end with the $4 billion sale of a major company) and in a much longer holiday-season chat with Charlie Rose, he once again reflects on how everything went down.

READ MORE: George Lucas Explains His "Break Up" With ‘Star Wars,’ Says Franchise Is A "Soap Opera" And Not About "Spaceships"

As we well know by now, Lucas had his own story ideas for the sequels ready to go, but Disney wasn’t so keen on them, and that is pretty much what led Lucas to split from the franchise he started. "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….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," he said. "And so I said, ‘Okay, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’ "

READ MORE: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ The Legacy-Quel, And The Rising Danger Of Fan Service

He goes on to call the "Star Wars" films his "kids," but concedes that, “I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and [laughs]" and thankfully bailed out of that metaphor before it got any worse. But he succinctly details what differed between his approach and Disney’s when it came to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

"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," he said.

READ MORE: Podcast: The Playlist Spoiler Talk About ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

However, the director does remember how Hollywood tried to replicate the success of "Star Wars" when his film broke out in the ’70s, and he sees the same patterns in the industry today. “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,” he said.

“Of course, the only way you could really do that [make money] is not take chances. Only do something that’s proven," Lucas added. "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!”

READ MORE: What To Expect From ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII,’ And The Secret Of Rey’s Background

So, what’s coming next? Well, as Lucas has long explained, he wants to make "experimental" films, and he details a bit of what means. “These are little tiny movies…I’m going back to where ‘American Graffiti’ or ’THX [1138],’ where I can completely change the way you tell a story in using cinema. I produced a few films that were like this, but they weren’t like what I would do,” he explained.

"I’ve been fascinated with the true nature of the medium — it’s been used more as a recording medium, than as a art form unto itself," Lucas elaborated. "…they call them tone poems — in the beginning in Russia, this was a whole movement of: how do you tell visual stories, basically without dialogue, without all the things you use to tell a story, and you just use the film itself. It’s kind of esoteric, it hasn’t come much further in one hundred years. I’m going to try and take it into something that is more emotionally powerful than most of the stuff we’ve done up to this point."

May the force be with you, George. Watch the full interview below.

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"Every movie I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships, make it new". Unfortunately, what he didn’t work hard at was believable dialogue, character motivations that made any sense, interesting plotlines, proper story pacing, etc. So basically, he’s a set and creature designer, lol.

Jan F. Braun

I agree with RNL above! Lucas has been talking about making experimental films for a decade! Where are these films?! Are they so experimental that they can’t be seen or what?! Plus Lucas should be critical about his own performance on those dreadful prequels! These certainly haven’t stood the test of time George!


And he’s right. What Abram’s has done is essentially de-mythologiise Star Wars, the worlds largest secular mono-myth. That’s a serious disturbance in the Force…: Google THE END OF MAGIC/ THE FORCE AWAKENS Review-


DROME— Me too!!!


Lucas may not have directed Empire but he was the "showrunner" so to speak. Every decision had to go through him. Kershner and Marquand were journeymen.


The three best movies in the franchise were the ones he DIDN’T direct.

zulkifli ahmad

I want to know the best actor and actris 2015


Original? How is making 3 prequels about a series that you wasted your whole life on original. He is a tool and can get bent. TFA is better that Return of the Jedi. Is itba remake, no. It has similar subject matter and familiar story. Was Star Wars original, hell no. He ripped of flash gordon serials from the 30’s. He is such a turd to comment on something more successful and praised than those pieces of crap he shoveled our way from 99 to 05.


One day, his ideas for the sequels will be leaked online.


To clarify: The director of American Graffiti is criticizing a movie for trading in nostalgia.


A fascinating interview. Only a lifetime in film can produce pragmatic point of view such as this. He has certainly earned his place in the industry, we all call cinema.


His story ideas have to be better than the soft reboot crap of the New Hope Awakens lol.


George I want to know your story for episode 7!!!


Lucas clearly hasn’t been told ‘no’ in a preproduction meeting in 35 years. The prequels were nothing but call backs and references to the original trilogy only badly done.


It’s time to sh-t or get off the pot with these ‘tiny experimental movies’. He’s been talking about this since Revenge of the Sith (at least).


He is right TFA is a riff off, nostalgia movie, just like Spectre is.

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