Review: Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

TFAAround the age of 8 or 9, I was experiencing Star Wars for the first time on a screen of 10 inches. I preferred watching movies in solitude, so I would set up our family’s box-sixed portable TV on one of the endtables in our living room, and insert one of three tapes – the edited-for-TV Special Edition of A New Hope taped off of PBS, the edited-for-TV Phantom Menace taped off Fox, or a rented copy of the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi (I’d deemed Empire to depressing for a rewatch). For the first time in my life I was part of a larger world, and a great love of film bloomed.

I’m like many with their own childhood Star Wars stories. The series holds a timeless, universal appeal that inspires the most passionate emotional attachment of any film franchise ever made. Perhaps that’s because of how Star Wars seems to blend every genre of film together in one big, beautiful mosaic. Star Wars practically IS film, and with its latest installment The Force Awakens, the vice versa can be true once again.

I’ve expressed my fears as Star Wars transferred hands from creator George Lucas, who’d pledged an end to the series on film, to the Disney corporation, who had instantly greenlit The Force Awakens and would surely whore it out tenfold. I expected, perhaps even wanted, to hate director J.J. Abrams and the Lucasfilm team for The Force Awakens being the one to drop the torch, to extinguish the light of the series for all time.

And that’s just me – Star Wars’ legacy spans nearly 40 years of films, TV, comic books, video games, merchandise, and more. The universe means so much to so many different generations with different takes on its many tales. Lucasfilm and Abrams have taken careful consideration of all this, and in an exhaustive effort to please everybody, The Force Awakens is actually a very likable, if familiar rebirth of the series.

Like its predecessors, the film is drawn in simple strokes – Luke Skywalker is missing. The Galactic Civil War rages on thirty years after Return of the Jedi, in the form of the New Order (bad guys) and the Resistance (good guys). Before being captured by the Empire on the planet Jakku, X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) gives droid BB-8 a secret map to Skywalker’s whereabouts. BB-8 then stumbles upon Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger who traverses Jakku’s deserts for the remains of imperial machinery. There is also Finn (John Boyega), a Stormtrooper horrified by war, who teams up with Rey to return the map to the Resistance. They are pursued by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), a wannabe Darth Vader of the New Order wielding the power of the Dark Side. There are appearances from the older players of the saga as well, but I’ll leave those as nostalgic surprises for the viewer to discover, just as they are intended to be.

While watching The Force Awakens, I found myself internally berating its inane dialogue (“C’mon! We need a pilot!”) and hokey sentimentalism (“You came back for me?!”). But, I recalled, are these not qualities of the original Star Wars as well?

So I sat back, shut my mind up, and I let the movie work its magic. And I was whisked right back into that larger world.

If the original trilogy was George Lucas’ prize automobile, then J.J. Abrams has gone to Lucas’ old garage, studied the original blueprints, cosmetics of the machine, looked under the hood, memorized every detail of its design, and then built a pretty chewiewerehomedamn close replica. And it runs like a dream. I imagine a lot of that can be attributed to Abrams calling in all the old pit crew to put the vehicle together – we have Empire and Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan co-scribing, sound master Ben Burtt bringing back some familiar sounds from the series’ past, and John Williams rounding out with a rousing, triumphant score. Even Drew Struzan was enlisted to provide some poster art. And though Harrison Ford’s Han Solo is mugging at CGI monsters now, he’s still got that leading-man swagger that made him a star back in ‘77. And the new players are holding their own just as well amongst the veterans to boot.

Abrams is also one of those smart everyman directors who, like Lucas, puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you the full sensory experience of its speed. We nod. We like the way this engine sounds. We like the feel of it when it vrooms. And Abrams’ own tiny contributions feel like welcome twists on an old machine. The lightsaber duel, for one, is slower, more feral and akin to medieval fencing, a fresh perspective on the cartoonish acrobatics of 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. Abrams understands through and through why these movies worked so well; The Force Awakens, like Hope, Empire, and Jedi, are about idealism, comradery, friendship, loyalty, and on a deeper level, life and legacy. Awakens retains the tone, the spirit, and the fun, rah-rah attitude of the originals. Credit Lucasfilm for that too – The Force Awakens can stand among the best of the company’s Expanded Universe stories as a natural complement to the Original Trilogy before it.

Yes, there’s a “but” coming.

You might recognize the film’s key plot points, the cute little droid carrying secret plans, the captured Rebel leader being tortured for the location of said plans, the mysterious masked villain, the shadowy evil figure behind him, the old man mentor, the cantina of bizarre creatures, the giant space station that can destroy planets…are all retreads of A New Hope. Sure, the series has always called back to and paralleled itself (“like poetry” says Lucas), but a beat-for-beat recreation of Hope feels too safe, a concession to fans lying in the wait with pitchforks for anything deviating from the series’ past, and a studio with a very large investment to protect.

Which is the key problem with Awakens…it fails to innovate, to push the technological envelope in the same way its predecessors did. All stormtroopersthe planets look like rehashes of the original trilogy’s – desert planet, forest planet, and ice planet. The World War II symbolism of the originals also feels conspicuously foregrounded, not to mention dated. Abrams claims the New Order are like if the Nazis all fled to Argentina and reformed, and obviously fans would not object to bringing back such iconic enemies. I would’ve liked, however, to have seen Abrams do something a little ballsier to parallel more modern warfare…what if instead of Nazis, the bad guys were stand-ins for the Russians during the Cold War?

Abrams also struggles to find the visual comedy of the series. Awakens has some chuckle-worthy moments but nothing like the campy humor of the originals, which while occasionally cringe-worthy, provided a cutesy way of breaking up the action. Add to that some lingering continuity issues with the series as a whole, and Awakens isn’t quite as satisfying as it could’ve been.

My past posts have suggested a great distaste for Disney corporatizing the series. With The Force Awakens, I felt just as pumped up as I did watching the originals as a kid. And I think I’ve made peace with those anti-Disney sentiments now. The simple truth is, Star Wars isn’t mine anymore. It is being passed to a new generation. Episodes I-VI will always hold special places in my heart, and the series will continue to be a great influence on me as an artist and as a person. But when you love something, you let it go. Rather than selfishly denounce all future Star Wars material, I want the kids of today to see The Force Awakens and get as wide-eyed, as uplifted, and as inspired I was was watching the originals.

Though hopefully on a slightly bigger size screen.

7.5/10

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Images: themarysue, dolimg.com, images.smh.com

From the Archives: Star Wars Blu-Ray Release

Originally published September 13th, 2011. Layout & titles by Nathan Carter.

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A Bad Feeling About This: Why Disney’s Lucasfilm Acquisition Spells True Doom for ‘Star Wars’

 

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If there are two things I’ve learned in the seven-and-a-half years since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, it’s that women are impossible, and Star Wars is dead. Kaput. Expired. Regardless of what the prequels yielded, George Lucas and his company were finished making live-action movies. So whenever discussion of a potential Star Wars 7 arose in casual conversation among friends, I would chuckle warmly and perhaps reference one of the many parodies surrounding the title. The series had endured enough damage, I thought. It was time to settle back and enjoy a lifetime of pleasant memories and warm nostalgia, maybe re-watch the Original Trilogy with my kids someday and share with them something that had long ago inspired me to do what I do. And maybe, just maybe, in that time, George Lucas’ recently-announced retirement would bring about the long-awaited restoration of the original release versions of the trilogy. Either way, I saw no Gungans or re-edits in my future, and I was all the happier for it.

So like many, the news of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm came as a complete shock. The George Lucas once demanding full control over any and all aspect of his property was now lamenting the fact that he was the only one who never got to be a fan and happy that the prospect would finally come. Still, the deal made sense in a way – Disney and Lucas have been longtime partners, namely teaming up to bring about the many Indiana Jones and Star Wars-themed events and attractions at the company’s theme parks. You’d think that, given how protective Lucasfilm was over its franchises, that the company would be allotted complete creative control over its output. You’d think that maybe Lucasfilm would finally be allowed to reclaim some of its former glory after Lucas’ departure, given the many talented people still working there with likely several bold new ideas of where to take the franchise next.

Right. Then I woke up.

With the announcement of Disney’s acquisition also came the incredibly presumptuous news that the company had set a target 2015 release date for a seventh Star Wars film to be set after Return of the Jedi. I stared at my computer screen dumbfounded. I bitched. I cussed. A friend called me up and we bitched and cussed together. Overreaction? Perhaps, but I know I’m not the only one. This series has touched so many people, and I know there are others just as disgusted and horrified at the larger implications of this news as me. Really, you’d think by this point, the ongoing reputation of Star Wars hitting rock bottom wouldn’t be so repulsing, but I suppose to ever expect the series to finally bottom out would be wishful thinking. Where Lucas dug deeper and deeper to lower the bar before finally hitting a rock and giving up, Disney came in to toss away the shovel and start drilling. You think Lucas was beating a dead horse? Now he’s got the Mouse Machine beating it for him.

But why, you might ask, if this such a bad thing for whatever modicum of dignity this series has left? Glad you asked.

Let’s start with the fact that Lucasfilm is seemingly no longer in direct control of its properties. From the looks of it, this isn’t the same situation as when Disney acquired Marvel some years ago, where the company has since been essentially left to its own means. Lucas himself assigned producer Kathleen Kennedy as head of the company, and now she reports to Alan Horn, head of Walt Disney Studios. We’re talking about all new management here, which, while certainly there may be some good things that come with Lucas’ departure, on the whole, it’s going to be Disney calling the shots from now on.

Really, for all their faults, Lucasfilm under George Lucas did have the good sense to quit making live action movies for a time. While I won’t argue that Star Wars was whored out immensely under his regime, the company was also independent and with limited resources, with just a single man at the helm. Now, with a major multi-million dollar corporation calling the shots, the potential for abuse is practically unlimited. How about a Jar-Jar themed attraction at Disney World? A Disney Channel cartoon starring a young Luke Skywalker and his buddies on Tatooine? An ABC sitcom featuring everyone’s favorite whistle-blower Garindan? In the pantheon of bad ideas, Lucas’ misdeeds are petty compared to what’s been made of Star Wars without his involvement. Really, we could be looking at several decades worth of material rivaling the Holiday Special in terms of awful. Just let that sink in for a minute.

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Under Lucas, there was at least a familiarity to the mediocrity. Now, it’s a whole new ball game. And it’s not just Star Wars – once the distribution rights to Indiana Jones are sorted out with Paramount, it and seemingly every other Lucasfilm property will all be going to Disney. Remember that Shia LeBouf-centric Indiana Jones 5 batted around for a time after the fourth film? And remember how Disney basically launched Shia LeBouf’s career with Even Stevens? You see where I’m going with this, let us speak no more of it. And what happens with Harrison Ford once he’s hung up the fedora for good? Even Lucas and Spielberg understood that Ford was Indy and to recast the role would be blasphemous. You think Disney shares that sensibility when there’s money to be made? If you do, you’ve more faith in them than I.

Not to mention, Disney has a long, storied history of abusing its new acquisitions. Think of how the company has whored out the Muppets over the past several years. For last year’s release of Jason Segel’s The Muppets (a solid movie in its own right, to be clear), the familiar Jim Henson characters were everywhere, making appearances on talk shows, interviewing celebrities for the red-carper premieres of other Disney movies…the company completely took away the fantasy of the Muppet world. A rag-tag group of mischief makers had been turned into squeaky-clean kids toys, marketing tools pandering to children and plastered all over the media. Hell, what was Mickey Mouse originally but a mischievous cartoon character? Now you see aging mothers wearing his likeness on t-shirts. Say what you will about Lucasfilm, but for all the merchandising and perceived selling-out, the fantasy of that world, the edge of that universe, was still more or less preserved. Disney is going to scrub away whatever’s left of it.

I mean, look at this (credit goes to Bleeding Cool):

And even this, long before the acquisition:

Good god, can you miss the point any more? If you’re going to completely sterilize Star Wars and take the punch out of everything it once stood for, then this is a pretty damn good start. And this is what Disney is already doing to Lucas’ beloved characters. Now picture that on a massive, widespread scale.

Some might argue that, like Marvel before it, Disney may very well leave Lucasfilm alone. Bullshit. Marvel has committed people at their company determined to keep its properties all on the right track and keeping to a consistent image/vision. Lucasfilm had George Lucas there to give the final word on everything as far as integrity to the property was concerned, and now that he’s gone, who’s going to be the visionary now? Horn and his cronies, that’s who, and unlike Lucas’ largely one-man operation, they’ve got the means to keep this kind of thing going on for an eternity.

Let’s not forget also that even Disney employees themselves have admitted their live-action output is garbage, focused more on visual flair than narrative. What makes people think a future seventh episode will be any different? “Oh, but they hired an Oscar-winning screenwriter, and he’s using George Lucas’ old story treatments!” some might counter (writings which Lucas denied the existence of for years, but that’s another matter entirely). Really, who cares? They could resurrect Shakespeare for all I care. In Disney’s hands, Star Wars won’t be Star Wars.

Besides, it’s widely know that whatever treatments Lucas may have been plotting weren’t extensive enough to be translated to film without being heavily rewritten, as was the case with the prequels before them. And that’s even ignoring the fact that much of what Lucas planned for those films was used in Return of the Jedi to wrap everything up when he thought he was done with the series for good (see The Secret History of Star Wars for details). So what we’re looking at, in a sense, is a company with a shitty live-action division hiring people other than those who made Star Wars Star Wars to make Star Wars. Even as a Lucas dissenter, that just makes me feel dirty.

So then, what people made Star Wars the legacy it is today in the first place? People like Ben Burtt, John Williams, Joe Johnston, Irvin Kershner, Stuart Freeborn, and countless other names, not the least of which Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher. I don’t see any of these guys returning to their respective positions, regardless of what’s already been making headlines in recent weeks. Look past the PR bullshit and you’ll see a group of people that have long moved on, a people with far too much going on right now and with too much pride to return, under new management no less, to what will likely be a soulless imitation of what came before. If they do, I will lose a great deal of respect for them.

Even from a basic screenwriting perspective, George Lucas had a very distinct way of telling his stories. And even the prequels, essentially the filmmaker’s one-man show, had tbilderaces of good stuff amidst their visual indulgence. Lucas’ dialogue, while bad, had an idealistic, otherworldly quality to it that made the Star Wars universe feel so unique. Such unnatural, yet endlessly-quotable lines like “I have a bad feeling about this” have become iconic over the years…who could try to replicate that? Really, the highest one could hope to shoot for is to ape Segel’s Muppets and just make the best fan film possible. But even then, it’s not really Star Wars, just someone else’s interpretation. So as much as internet fanboys are ready to rally behind movie-of-the-week names like Jon Favreau and J.J. Abrams, nothing Disney could do would convince me a seventh episode would ever truly be a worthy follow-up.

What it all comes down to is, too much time has passed. These films have been engrained in our cultural heritage for generations; people are too familiar with the saga and its classic status to accept anything less than what came before. Really, another time and place and I would’ve been thrilled at this news. Back in 1978, Lucas himself wanted the series to become something of an anthology series, with his friends Spielberg, Coppola, De Palma, and more each getting to direct an episode. The approach could’ve worked, except when Star Wars exploded into a major franchise, Lucas claimed direct ownership and kept the property largely to himself. In the time since then, the remaining story threads Lucas planned for future episodes were all tied up with Return of the Jedi, having only left room to go backward and make the prequels if he ever desired to. Then those happened, and pretty much cemented the fact that the series should’ve stayed dead.

I’ve actually seen several online forum dwellers celebrate the fact that the franchise is no longer in Lucas’ hands. Sure, that’s all well and good, but at what cost? Lucas should’ve left the company to its own means and its own decisions. Lucasfilm could’ve once again been a visionary company employing visionary people with great ideas to share. If there are any such people working there now, it looks as though they’ll never be heard in the way their predecessors, Ben Burtt, Joe Johnston, etc. were. Now, Disney’s corporate hand will be there to continue to stifle their ideas, a reality made especially clear by the fact that the studio is setting a release date on another episode before they’ve even entered pre-production.

I’ve also seen people celebrate the idea of more Star Wars movies in generalFOCStarWars_jpg_627x325_crop_upscale_q85. May I ask why? Because of how much time has passed, I’ve always failed to see the point of Star Wars without its principle players from the OT present. What is Star Wars without Han, Chewie, Leia, Luke, 3P0, R2, Vader, etc.? Character is an integral part of what makes this series so special. Could I buy into a new set of characters and a new time period? Maybe, but you’d think in all the time the Expanded Universe had been around, someone would’ve been able to make something better or on par with the OT. If even that’s not possible, then what’s the point?

In short, I wouldn’t be caught dead watching a new episode in the hands of Disney, who will no doubt continue moving the property further and further away from what made the Original Trilogy so great in the first place. I’m saddened to think that the greatness of those films may one day be so diluted by Disney’s corporate prostitution that even the simple sense of child-like wonder I felt while watching the OT as a kid will begin to fade away. The ubiquitous reach of the Disney Corporation is so wide, there’ll be little chance of staying completely away from their version of the Star Wars universe. I worry that myself and new fans will never again be able to see the old movies the way they should be seen.

As for Lucas himself, the filmmaker has become all but blameless for whatever happens to the franchise. I’d bet that’s probably part of why he sold it all off in the first place, tired of being a constant pariah for what he’s done. So instead of pointing my finger back at Lucas yet again for such a disastrous decision for the fate of Star Wars, I’m pointing it squarely at fans and general audiences. Where we go from here, ladies and gentlemen, is up to you. The responsibility has fallen to you. It’s your fault if this thing isn’t allowed to be put out of its misery like it should be. It’s your fault if you continue buying tickets and complain about it afterwards. It’s your fault if you continue to blindly support an even larger Empire sure to criminally exploit Star Wars into oblivion.

Me, I’ll be continuing to swear off anything further to do with the property outside of the Original Trilogy. I suggest anyone with the good taste to understand what I’m saying to do the same. Ignore the widespread media attention and endless rumors to come. It’s time to move on from this dead, buried, unearthed, raped corpse of a franchise.

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One of the central themes of Star Wars is the underdog/nature vs. the machine, a metaphor for Lucas’ ardent criticism of the studio system and his fight to maintain the integrity of his work. How ironic that for everything he sacrificed along the way, his greatest creation is now a part of that machine.

George Lucas: New Approach, Same Colossal Dickhead

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To say that George Lucas is one of the most polarizing figures in filmmaking history would be a hefty understatement. Yes, the man created Star Wars, but in the end, many claim he effectively tarnished his legacy with the Special Editions, the prequels, and his overall demeanor towards the very people that made him a success. Indeed, few deny Lucas’ current status as a man completely out of touch with reality, sitting on a lonely throne at Skywalker ranch, a modern-day Charles Foster Kane.

I read a very revealing interview of the director back in January, when it was first announced that Lucas would be retiring from blockbuster filmmaking. And just last month, longtime Spielberg producer Kathleen Kennedy joined Lucas as co-chairman of Lucasfilm, apparently in a move to help ease Lucas into retirement and ensure the continued security of his company.

The above interview paints Lucas in a far more sympathetic light than most would, myself included. But what particularly opened my eyes was what Steven Spielberg had to say about his close friend.

Critics have said that Lucas’s personal flourishes are elemental and unsophisticated. But, as Spielberg put it, that is George.

Over the years, people have pondered what exactly happened to Lucas between Star Wars and The Phantom Menace that changed him into a seemingly less thoughtful filmmaker. Reading the above, this simple, clear fact dawned on me: Lucas didn’t change. The world around him did. The world became more cynical, less open to some of the more naïve charms that the prequels do, admittedly, have in some capacity. Nor did Lucas let the explosion of digital technology go to his head; it was how he’d always wanted to work – lazier, less concerned with story and character, and more visually savvy.

But the biggest reason for the shift in quality output was the change in creative teams. For the prequel trilogy, Lucas was no longer surrounded by equally visionary talents to challenge him when his sensibilities weren’t working. Marcia Lucas, his wife and frequent collaborator on the original trilogy, often lent a greater sense of emotion towards Lucas’ more sterile direction (read the excellent “Secret History of Star Wars” by Michael Kaminski for more on that). When the two divorced, that voice of reason was gone, in its place a group of yes men directed to do whatever Lucas wanted, right or wrong.

The world misattributed Star Wars’ breakout success entirely to Lucas. Thus, when the prequels came out, the cynicism only increased tenfold. People thought the magmarcia13_thumbic was lost, when it was really a case of the supposed mastermind behind the entire original trilogy turning out to be just parts of a whole, filled by the fantastic cast and crew behind the three films. The backlash blindsided Lucas; he’d long been championed as one of the greatest American directors, and lived comfortably with that notion for the 16 years following Return of the Jedi. So when I go into the following rant about how much I despise Lucas’ behavior, I still can’t deny my sympathies for the man for those reasons.

The truth remains – Lucas’ actions have been unforgivable, and his demeanor downright disrespectful, acts of a petulant, isolated boy mad at the world. When posed with the question of further Star Wars films in the above article, the director replied, “Why would I make any more, when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” Now, I certainly won’t deny that there are fans (fanatics, really) out there who go too far in their criticism of Lucas, but realistically, making the Star Wars prequels does not make George Lucas a terrible person. A bad filmmaker, maybe. A tasteless shadow of his former self, perhaps. But not a terrible person. No, what makes Lucas a terrible person is, again, his outright lies and disregard for the people that made him such a success. His former co-workers, his fans, his entire legacy…all things effectively tarnished by his own hand.

Sure, it can’t be easy to come under the amount of ridicule Lucas receives on an almost daily basis by Internet communities. But at the same time, if he really wanted to change that, if he really wanted to win back the goodwill of his fans…wouldn’t making a few concessions to them, like releasing the original versions of your films, be worth it in the end? Wouldn’t just saying, “Sorry for being a stubborn, lying asshole all these years…here you go.” Be preferable to such a lonely, hated, existence, all for the sake of clinging to a largely pigheaded ideology?

As it reads in the article, Lucas’ ideals dictate that he wants to make his own movies, no interference from the studio, fans, or anyone else. I get that, and I’m not one to bash Lucas for pouring his heart out into his work and expecting to see that same vision in the final product. That’s his prerogative, he’s earned that freedom. But his strict adherence to that mentality has given him tunnel vision. He’s disregarded any and all legitimate criticism, like a child who wants it his way or no way.

It’s contradictory, in a way. Lucas believes that his movies belong to him, end of story. That may be true from a legal standpoint, but movies, as art, are designed to be seen by others. Hell, Communication 101 dictates for the transfer of information, art or otherwise, to even take place, george_lucas_the_most_hated_filmmaker_in_america-460x307feedback is essential. Point is, film is an interactive experience, and with audience members imprinting themselves into the film and sharing reactions, symbolically, it passes into their hands. Thus, the film truly does belong to the public in that respect, and Lucas got so caught up in the fanboy backlash, that he just completely shut out any and all consideration for the audience. And truthfully, Lucas is greatly dishonoring to both his audience and his co-workers by changing his movies around for the Special Editions, trivializing both the memories of fans and the hard work his co-workers put into those films.

Last September, Lucas was rumored to answer an innocent fan question about not releasing the original films with “grow up”. Grow up? The man who stubbornly refuses to let anyone even watch his films in a proper viewing format is telling fans theyneed to grow up? It’s unbelievable, the depths this selfish, insensitive, jaded prick will sink to.

Regardless, Lucas’ impending retirement poses several new questions for the future of Lucasfilm. Will the company be free to properly restore and release the original versions of the trilogy? Will the National Film Registry finally be granted access to their original negatives, which Lucas has thus far refused to give them? Can we all breath a sigh of relief that talk of a fifth Indiana Jones movie has finally been laid to rest?

What the change in management does mean is that Lucas plans on making  smaller, more experimental films on his own terms from now on, mirroring  former mentor Francis Ford Coppola’s decision to move towards independent filmmaking. Still, Lucas has been talking about making those kinds of movies for decades with nothing to show for it. Who knows what, or more importantly when, he’ll get around to making them?

And truthfully, Lucas was never a very good director to begin with. Star Wars is more or less his sole directorial achievement, and that film was brought to life more in post-production than anything. But I’m assuming the kinds of films Lucas plans on making from now on will be more in the vein of his first, the mediocre THX 1138. If that’s the case, I’ve already lost interest.

I do think Lucas is doing the right thing by surrendering the company to someone with (hopefully) the foresight to realize that it’s much easier and more profitable to just release the original, unaltered Star Wars films than withhold them for Lucas’ own petty personal reasons. I just hope Lucas doesn’t leave directives for his successor that continue those kinds of ridiculous policies.

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Have your new career, Lucas. Nothing you could do or say will make up for what you’ve done, but maybe Kathleen Kennedy and the people at Lucasfilm can bring a modicum of dignity back to your crumbling empire.