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George Lucas planned to direct Episode VII before selling Lucasfilm

01.13.2015

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George Lucas has caught a lot of flak over the years as a director. Not only for his doctoring of the original STAR WARS trilogy, but also for delivering a prequel trilogy that was less than stellar. Lucasfilm is now under new management and the big shots are being called by the Mouse House after that infamous $4 billion sale, but this business maneuver, while inevitable, seemed to be more a matter of good timing. At least, as far as a J.J. Abrams-directed EPISODE VII is concerned. Speaking with USA Today, Lucas confided that his original plan was always to deliver unto us Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. Given the 10-year commitment directing a trilogy entails, Lucas was going to instead just direct EPISODE VII before handing the reins off to other directors (a la EMPIRE and JEDI). Instead, Disney approached him and the rest was history. Lucas married Mellody Hobson the following year and the two had a baby two months after that.

George Lucas on why he decided NOT to direct EPISODE VII and instead spend more time with his daughter:

By the time she's 5, she'll have her own career going and being in school and talking about her friends and her homework. The fun, goofy time will fall into place in reality, as opposed to right now, she doesn't have much else to do but hang out with her father.

It's better for me to get out at the beginning of a new thing and I can just remove myself. The time is more important to me than the money. The only thing I really regret about STAR WARS is the fact I never got to see it — I never got to be blown out of my seat when the ship came over the screen. The next one, I'll be able to enjoy it like anybody else.

There's no denying that Lucas is a smart businessman and while I feel he has a wealth of creativity, I'm happy he decided to leave the execution up to others this time around. Besides, Lucas will always be involved in film in some form or fashion, as evidenced by the animated STRANGE MAGIC that's looking to hit later this month, in which he executive produced. Here's hoping that Lucas, as well as everyone else, will be blown out of our seats when STAR WARS: EPISODE VII - THE FORCE AWAKENS hits this December.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII - THE FORCE AWAKENS will be released on December 18.

Do you think this really would have been the case had Lucas returned to the director's chair?

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Source: USA Today

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3:22AM on 01/15/2015

Funny ass video

I almost pissed myself I was laughing so hard when the llight saber kept opening! What a funny video lol, priceless!
I almost pissed myself I was laughing so hard when the llight saber kept opening! What a funny video lol, priceless!
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+0
10:42AM on 01/14/2015

i wonder if George ....

cares what we think about Him....
cares what we think about Him....
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8:47AM on 01/14/2015
I don't consider him to be a good director or very creative. Star Wars became a success because of the production design, not because of a fancy storyline, great acting or good direction.
He should never have directed the prequels.
I don't consider him to be a good director or very creative. Star Wars became a success because of the production design, not because of a fancy storyline, great acting or good direction.
He should never have directed the prequels.
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+1
12:46AM on 01/14/2015
I'll always appreciate what Lucas did for Star Wars. Don't care about what others say. If it wasn't for him, cinema would not be where it is. The originals had to be updated in order to fit today's world otherwise the prequels would have been disastrous.
I'll always appreciate what Lucas did for Star Wars. Don't care about what others say. If it wasn't for him, cinema would not be where it is. The originals had to be updated in order to fit today's world otherwise the prequels would have been disastrous.
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9:07AM on 01/14/2015
Totally Agree
Totally Agree
11:42PM on 01/13/2015
I'm glad he didn't. While Revenge of the Sith was better than the other two prequels, it was only marginally so - and probably only due to the fact of how dark it was.

George has shown himself to be a kid's movie kind of filmmaker. Maybe he should stick with kid's movies.
I'm glad he didn't. While Revenge of the Sith was better than the other two prequels, it was only marginally so - and probably only due to the fact of how dark it was.

George has shown himself to be a kid's movie kind of filmmaker. Maybe he should stick with kid's movies.
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11:37PM on 01/13/2015
Love him or hate, what he created became the biggest fictional universe of all time.
Love him or hate, what he created became the biggest fictional universe of all time.
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+2
8:07PM on 01/13/2015
This headline made hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
This headline made hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
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4:38PM on 01/13/2015
Been reading some of the responses. Not sure of some of the criticism here. Not sure why everyone is being cynical about his reasons to sell Lucasfilm and the SW franchise. It seems like a legit enough reason to do so. When I'm that age and if I have as much money as he does, I hope I can just walk away from a life's work to enjoy the really important things in life (SPOILER ALERT: It's not Star Wars).

That being said, I do agree with the criticism of his ability to make good movies
Been reading some of the responses. Not sure of some of the criticism here. Not sure why everyone is being cynical about his reasons to sell Lucasfilm and the SW franchise. It seems like a legit enough reason to do so. When I'm that age and if I have as much money as he does, I hope I can just walk away from a life's work to enjoy the really important things in life (SPOILER ALERT: It's not Star Wars).

That being said, I do agree with the criticism of his ability to make good movies at this point. I think he certainly has some great creative fuel and great ideas. But I think he let the entirety of the Star Wars franchise as well as the success get ahead of him putting together a great story for the Prequel Trilogy. Basically, in the some odd years since JEDI came out he was able to come up with numerous story ideas and just let them all fester until he was ready to make the movies. When that time did come, I feel like he tried to include every idea he came up with in the 25 years since JEDI which ended in an overly complicated and convoluted story over three movies. The bare bones of the story is really good (specifically regarding the themes and the overall rise of the Sith and decimation of the Republic), but he overshadowed it with too many ideas and plot points that the real story got lost somewhere. That and he cast the worst possible actor to be Anakin Skywalker.
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11:11PM on 01/13/2015
I think I'm the only one that was suspicious of his motives. He publicly stated time and again that there would never be anymore Star Wars films. Now that he sold the property he says he was planning episodes VII, VIII and IX all along? His version of reality seems to change a lot.
I think I'm the only one that was suspicious of his motives. He publicly stated time and again that there would never be anymore Star Wars films. Now that he sold the property he says he was planning episodes VII, VIII and IX all along? His version of reality seems to change a lot.
3:50PM on 01/13/2015
Okay, it's probably a good thing that he's not directing again. But lets face it, the film might have been bad but the fans would've made it a hit anyway.
He's been part of 2 legitimate cinema phenomenons during his career. People forget before Star wars he made American Graffiti which was a HUGE hit and was re-released almost every year.
Okay, it's probably a good thing that he's not directing again. But lets face it, the film might have been bad but the fans would've made it a hit anyway.
He's been part of 2 legitimate cinema phenomenons during his career. People forget before Star wars he made American Graffiti which was a HUGE hit and was re-released almost every year.
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4:30PM on 01/13/2015
Umm, what about Indiana Jones?
Umm, what about Indiana Jones?
7:41PM on 01/13/2015
MickLoud, he fucked up that franchise too! Very good point!
MickLoud, he fucked up that franchise too! Very good point!
+3
3:49PM on 01/13/2015

True evidence that God exists.

Lucas is a terrible filmmaker. Period, end of story. One needs only to look at the PT with an honest eye and read his original scripts for the original Star Wars to learn the truth: Lucas takes credit for the entirety of Star Wars when it was really more of a collaboration between a great many people. That is why there is such a divide in look, quality, and feel between the OT and the PT. OT - Council of people, usually films made by competent writers and directors. PT - FULLY controlled and
Lucas is a terrible filmmaker. Period, end of story. One needs only to look at the PT with an honest eye and read his original scripts for the original Star Wars to learn the truth: Lucas takes credit for the entirety of Star Wars when it was really more of a collaboration between a great many people. That is why there is such a divide in look, quality, and feel between the OT and the PT. OT - Council of people, usually films made by competent writers and directors. PT - FULLY controlled and dominated by Lucas. These are facts, not opinions and the movies speak for themselves.
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11:29PM on 01/13/2015
Couldn't agree more. If these new films were being brought to us by Lucas, do you think they would be receiving the positive reaction and anticipation they currently enjoy? I don't think so. If anything the new films are benefitting from the Star Wars community's collective desire to get the rotten taste of the prequels out of its mouth. That the prequels suck is a generally accepted fact now.

And you nailed the reason behind it. Complete lack of outside influence, opinion or oversight on
Couldn't agree more. If these new films were being brought to us by Lucas, do you think they would be receiving the positive reaction and anticipation they currently enjoy? I don't think so. If anything the new films are benefitting from the Star Wars community's collective desire to get the rotten taste of the prequels out of its mouth. That the prequels suck is a generally accepted fact now.

And you nailed the reason behind it. Complete lack of outside influence, opinion or oversight on Lucas. He got to make EXACTLY what he always wanted and it was terrible. He even went as far as to go back and make the original trilogy exactly what he wanted too and it was also terrible. Just terrible ideas, terrible plotting, terrible dialog, terrible acting, terrible overuse of CGI, etc. He had fifteen years to work on it all and he delivered a trilogy that satisfied almost no one, and actually managed to tarnish the legacy of the original trilogy.

I think Lucas expected to be hailed like Caesar for deigning to bless us with additional Star Wars films, and when the results were so poorly received, and he was criticized so heavily, it pissed him off. Without the sale I don't think we were ever going to see another Star Wars film.
3:27PM on 01/13/2015

Thank the God's!!!

I am sorry to say to all the Star Wars Fan base out there, but George Lucas is the worst thing that has EVER happened to the Star Wars Franchise... He just couldn't stop editing the original trilogy ...even when the Bluray release came out he had to add more stupidness (I know it isn't a word, but it fits perfectly and you all understand it!) to it. And not to mention those terrible prequels and horrible casting choice for young Anakin.
I am sorry to say to all the Star Wars Fan base out there, but George Lucas is the worst thing that has EVER happened to the Star Wars Franchise... He just couldn't stop editing the original trilogy ...even when the Bluray release came out he had to add more stupidness (I know it isn't a word, but it fits perfectly and you all understand it!) to it. And not to mention those terrible prequels and horrible casting choice for young Anakin.
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-11
2:08PM on 01/13/2015
Sorry to wreck the usual feelgoodery, but Lucas is a terrible director. He's a creative guy, or was, and has been involved in some of the titanic film franchises of my life, but he lost anything he might have had talent-wise a long time ago. The prequel trilogy was infantile, middling effects- laden garbage. His passing on the rights has more than a little to do with the onslaught of criticism and derision he took for the prequels. He has complained about it voraciously. Also, pretending that
Sorry to wreck the usual feelgoodery, but Lucas is a terrible director. He's a creative guy, or was, and has been involved in some of the titanic film franchises of my life, but he lost anything he might have had talent-wise a long time ago. The prequel trilogy was infantile, middling effects- laden garbage. His passing on the rights has more than a little to do with the onslaught of criticism and derision he took for the prequels. He has complained about it voraciously. Also, pretending that the guy that milked the Star Wars franchise for every dime he could wring out of it (and its fans) just wanted to raise his daughter and has no interest in money is more than a little difficult to swallow. Call me a cynic.

He was wealthy beyond anyone's wildest dreams before he sold LucasFilm, he will keep being wealthy beyond all reasonable comprehension after. His reputation and ego took a huge hit so he sold his ball and went home. No big deal. Just don't buy the spin.
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2:27PM on 01/13/2015
Ah...ok
Ah...ok
2:54PM on 01/13/2015
awww!!!! sorry man!!! you are a lonely boy..
awww!!!! sorry man!!! you are a lonely boy..
3:25PM on 01/13/2015
LOL....you couldn't be more right, but you've got the fanboys in a frenzy.

Just remember, "George Lucas is raping Indiana Jones!!!"
LOL....you couldn't be more right, but you've got the fanboys in a frenzy.

Just remember, "George Lucas is raping Indiana Jones!!!"
3:50PM on 01/13/2015
Don't listen to the sheep, you're right.
Don't listen to the sheep, you're right.
10:55PM on 01/13/2015
Ha. I couldn't care any less. I like talking about movies. The lack of popularity my opinion gets from a group of anonymous internet people doesn't matter to me.

This place is so weird. I participate in any number of film discussion boards and this is the only one where the majority of people seem to see it as their job to act as cheerleaders for nearly everything and everyone involved in filmmaking in any capacity. The only people that get any kind of criticism here are the most obvious of
Ha. I couldn't care any less. I like talking about movies. The lack of popularity my opinion gets from a group of anonymous internet people doesn't matter to me.

This place is so weird. I participate in any number of film discussion boards and this is the only one where the majority of people seem to see it as their job to act as cheerleaders for nearly everything and everyone involved in filmmaking in any capacity. The only people that get any kind of criticism here are the most obvious of targets (Brett Ratner, Uwe Boll, etc.).

I'm not looking to be negative. I love being able to be enthusiastic about a film project. But I fucking hate spin and other dishonest bullshit. Someone has to try and keep it honest. I'm cool with it.
1:34PM on 01/13/2015
He deserves time off. Kids grow up fast.
He deserves time off. Kids grow up fast.
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12:54PM on 01/13/2015
You know, I wouldn't mind him directing a stand alone Star Wars film in the future. The last movie he did, Revenge of the sith ,was really great, and if we get that Lucas back, it could be awesome.
You know, I wouldn't mind him directing a stand alone Star Wars film in the future. The last movie he did, Revenge of the sith ,was really great, and if we get that Lucas back, it could be awesome.
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3:28PM on 01/13/2015
You've got to be kidding.....
You've got to be kidding.....
11:38PM on 01/13/2015
He was good at directing action shots but not anything involving dialog
He was good at directing action shots but not anything involving dialog
12:29PM on 01/13/2015

Good for him!

People tend to forget he's actually a great family man. Which is quite rare in his business. I bet most people never even knew the biggest reason he hardly did anything movie-wise between return of the Jedi and the Phantom Menace, is because after a very bitter divorce he was left with sole custody of his three children and he wanted to have the time to raise them properly. Despite everything bad you can say about the prequels(and believe me I have a lot of problems with them myself!) and his
People tend to forget he's actually a great family man. Which is quite rare in his business. I bet most people never even knew the biggest reason he hardly did anything movie-wise between return of the Jedi and the Phantom Menace, is because after a very bitter divorce he was left with sole custody of his three children and he wanted to have the time to raise them properly. Despite everything bad you can say about the prequels(and believe me I have a lot of problems with them myself!) and his "skill" as a director, I think he's more than proven himself as a great human being.
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12:04PM on 01/13/2015

Nice

Good for him, and nice to see a concerted lack of snark from everyone here. Good on all of ya!
Good for him, and nice to see a concerted lack of snark from everyone here. Good on all of ya!
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11:53AM on 01/13/2015
He's right, though. By the time his daughter goes to school and etc., he wouldn't be able to spend time with her as he used to. Now he can spend his time with his daughter the way he likes and that's great. Will he come back to direct? I'm hopeful but not holding my hopes up.
He's right, though. By the time his daughter goes to school and etc., he wouldn't be able to spend time with her as he used to. Now he can spend his time with his daughter the way he likes and that's great. Will he come back to direct? I'm hopeful but not holding my hopes up.
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11:36AM on 01/13/2015
As much flack as I give the man, I'm happy for him. I'm glad he's allowed anyone to make new Star Wars rather than locking the vault. I truly hope that he is blown away by the new films and he can be proud of his decision.
As much flack as I give the man, I'm happy for him. I'm glad he's allowed anyone to make new Star Wars rather than locking the vault. I truly hope that he is blown away by the new films and he can be proud of his decision.
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11:31AM on 01/13/2015
I have nothing snarky to say. I think it's great he's using the time to spend with his kid. Being a good father is more important.
I have nothing snarky to say. I think it's great he's using the time to spend with his kid. Being a good father is more important.
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