We love all things STAR WARS here at SMTM towers (well, maybe not Jar Jar!) and so much so that it was largely thanks to the franchise that this humble reader was inspired to work in the movie business for so long. One man who we unfortunately have not yet met during our time in the ‘biz’ is George Lucas. While he (rightly or wrongly) gets a load of stick from STAR WARS fans for his handling of the prequels there’s no doubt that he should be praised for having such a creative vision and providing the world with a wonderful galaxy far, far away…
Before Disney bought the STAR WARS franchise back in 2012 George Lucas had outlined his own plans for another trilogy and when Disney purchased the rights they also bought the option to use Mr Lucas’ ideas for the new trilogy. Now, in an excerpt from Disney CEO Bob Iger’s memoir – “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,” he stated that although they decided that they needed to buy them, they “made clear in the purchase agreement that we would not be contractually obligated to adhere to the plot lines [Lucas had] laid out.” We all know what happened next but apparently Lucas felt betrayed that Disney, Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams did not consider his vision at all for the new movies during a meeting with them. Bog Iger explains the following from his book:
“George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations. George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded. I’d been so careful since our first conversation not to mislead him in any way, and I didn’t think I had now, but I could have handled it better… George felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start.”
Since this meeting the STAR WARS franchise has produced the new trilogy (almost) as well as some less than successful spin-offs (SOLO anyone?) but in our humble opinion they have largely succeeded doing the impossible – keeping everyone happy! It’s intriguing to think about what George Lucas had lined up for his new trilogy and now the Skywalker saga is being closed out with THE RISE OF SKYWALKER I guess we’ll never know.
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is released on 19th December in all good movie theatres (and probably some not so good ones too!)