George Lucas opens up about ‘Star Wars: Episode VII â€“ The Force Awakens’ and speaks candidly about selling the legendary franchise to Disney, whom he calls ‘white slavers.’ It’s just the beginning of the eyebrow-raising comments the creator is making even as the universally critically acclaimed movie sets box office records.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ has already broken numerous records and made cinematic history; fastest to reach 1 billion worldwide, biggest box office returns in the U.S. on Christmas Day and so on. It seems well on its way to becoming one of the top grossing movies of all time — currently at this writing it’s at No. 5 on that list and moving up quickly.
George Lucas has attended the red carpet premieres and has appeared to voice support and approval for the Disney reboot of his legendary franchise that sees JJ Abrams at the helm.
Now in a new interview with CBS News’ Charlie Rose, that surfaced after the movie’s huge opening weekend, George Lucas’ candor is raising eyebrows. In unsparing language he speaks about what it was like to sell the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. as well as his other legendary franchise, ‘Indiana Jones,’ which is still in development.
He said, “It’s a very, very, very hard thing to do. You have to say, ‘I have to move on,’ and everything in your body says, ‘Don’t. You can’t.’ These are my kids.”
Charlie Rose pointed out, “Those were your kids and you sold them.”
To which Lucas said, “I sold them to the white slavers that take these things and….” He then trailed off and laughed. But needless to say, it’s still an eyebrow raising remark, and he appeared to couch it in humor after the fact. And humor, after all, is rooted in truth and “white slavers” is a pretty strong term when one considers its true meaning.
Elsewhere in the interview, George Lucas opens up about some creative differences he had with Disney when he shared his stories with them. He said, “They looked at the stories and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans. I said, ‘All I want to do is tell a story.’
It begs the question, though, what was the basis of the clash, and what was Lucas’ vision for the movie? He said, “People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera and it’s all about family problems â€“ it’s not about spaceships.”
Continuing, he said, “They decided they didnâ€™t want to use those stories. They decided they were going to do their own thing. They werenâ€™t that keen to have me involved anyway. 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. All I would do is muck everything up. And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.'”
In the interview, George Lucas, now 70 years old, also spoke of his legacy and of why he sold the franchise to Disney. Recently married to 46-year-old businesswoman and Ariel Investments president Mellody Hobson, the couple now has a two-year-old child.
He said, “I made that decision because I looked at the future, I looked at the fact that I was going to have a baby, I looked at the fact that I was married, and I looked at the fact that I wanted to build a museum, and I looked at the fact that I wanted to make experimental films. So my life was going on a different track. So that started that ball rolling.”
He also reflected upon the reality and feasibility of doing a new trilogy, of which Episode VII was the first. He said, “There are three more stories. To do it right would be 10 years, and I said, ‘I’m 70 â€” I don’t know whether I’ll be here when I’m 80,’ every 10 years the odds get less, and I want to do [other films], so I have to make the decision on my own that it’s time for me to move on.”
And of course, now, the rest is history. The new ‘Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens” with newcomers — including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Adam Driver and others — sees a new generation emerging even as the original iconic actors of the Trilogy, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamil make appearances. And it’s even won over the critics. When the review embargo was lifted, just a couple days before the movie’s opening, the universal critical acclaim became yet another story in and of itself. One had to look diligently to find the handful of mixed and negative reviews.
You can see both a highlights video and the entire 54 minute video below, as George Lucas opens up about ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Pictures: PR Photos