Oct 8 2013 3:00pm

George Lucas Almost Made Star Wars: Episode VII Himself

George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, JJ Abrams

George’s son Jett (a phrase we wish we could write more often) was spilling the beans recently on a few interesting tidbits surrounding the new Star Wars trilogy, and how Papa Lucas was going to get around to that third trilogy all by his lonesome well before Disney stepped in.

According to Jett, George was doing his research and preparing to get Episode VII underway a whole year before he sold Lucasfilm to Disney:

“We knew probably a year prior he had started writing and king of researching, starting his whole little process. About halfway through that process was when the idea of selling to Disney came up.”

Jett says Lucas was really torn on whether or not he wanted to give up Star Wars, which is hardly shocking, knowing how carefully Lucas has controlled the franchise from day one. It does prompt that “alternate universe” mindset knowing that more Star Wars was always in the cards, regardless of who would helm it.

And for those who thought he was out of the picture now that Disney was in charge? Think again. Jett says that Lucas is talking to director J.J. Abrams about the film all the time. Which is... also not surprising.

We can already see where this is going, can’t we? Years from now everyone will be picking apart Episodes VII-IX—what went wrong, what went right. And everyone is going to want to know what parts Lucas had a real hand in, where he tried to put his foot down, etc. No matter how these films turn out, everyone will be curious about how much power Lucas had in their making.

Still, it’s interesting to hear what Jett has to say about the whole affair. (Remember how he was all tiny and a child when they filmed Episode I? Does anyone remember that? He got so... adult-ish.) Here’s the video, if you want to check out the rest of the interview:

1. TheDoctor
This thing is going to be awful. And at this point, I'm not sure I care. We need the next Star Wars, not a rehashing of nostalgia from the old one.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
2. Lisamarie
I haven't watched the interview (at work), but to me this is actually good news. I'm not super excited about the new movies - very curious, but not super excited (although I'm not going to be a doomsayer yet either). Time will tell how they are.

That said, flaws and all, my biggest concern is that Disney!StarWars would just seem completely unlike Lucas!StarWars. So, frankly, I'm glad he still has some input regarding the story (because I am quite interested in what he saw happening) and where it's going, but leaving the actual directing, screenwriting, etc to others.
Emmet O'Brien
3. EmmetAOBrien
Lisamarie@2: my biggest concern is that Disney!StarWars would just seem completely unlike Lucas!StarWars.

After Episodes I-III, I would be more inclined to describe that prospect as a new hope.
4. Lynne Stringer
I'm glad Lucas still has a hand in it, but I'm also glad he's not directing.
Anthony Pero
5. anthonypero
Episodes 1-3 is what we got when Lucas did them on his own. Episodes 5-6, and Indiana Jones 1-3 are what we get when another director helps interpret Lucas' vision.

Lucas' involvement with JJ Abrams is a really good pairing.
6. Meesa
Meesa gonna be in the new episodes, too! Yay! Ooh... Meesa step in poo!
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
7. Lisamarie
@3, well, I enjoyed the prequels, and I'm also not a huge fan of a lot of the various 'modern' reboots of things (such as the Abrams Star Trek, to be quite honest). Despite it flaws, at least Star Wars feels like its own thing. I don't want it to be just another clone of all the other stuff out there right now - even the stuff I DO like.
James Goetsch
8. Jedikalos
@7: I enjoyed the prequels as well, and I am glad Lucas will have input. The obligatory (almost reflex) bashing on Lucas is tiresome.
Alan Brown
9. AlanBrown
Lucas has always been best with the plotting and concepts, while leaving final scripts, dialog and direction to others. I am looking forward to the new movies. Even the weakest of Star Wars movies is more enjoyable than most everything else you see in the theaters.
If I remember my history, an urge to please young Jett is why Lucas created the Ewoks. I know he certainly pleased my own son (who is about the same age) with those little critters...
10. Genre Monkey
@9: Alan, I don't think Jett was born until 1993, ten years after Return Of The Jedi was released.
Alan Brown
11. AlanBrown
@10 I stand corrected. For some reason I remembered that Lucas had a new family when he was writing Return of the Jedi, and wanted to please his kids by inventing the Ewoks. But it appears my memory is faulty--unless he had unborn children in mind, it wouldn't have been Jett.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
12. Lisamarie
Well, at any rate, the other thing I meant to point out that is cool about Jett is that he plays the youngling padawan who actually puts up a decent fight against the 501st when Bail goes over to investigate :)

I always thought that was the coolest of all the Lucas kid cameos!
Anthony Pero
13. anthonypero

The story on the re-release DVDs bonus features that Lucas told went like this:

Original plot, 1 movie not three, no Yoda, 1 Death Star. Death Star is in orbit around Wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk (probably called something else back then).

When he realized he couldn't make what he wrote into 1 movie, and it needed to be three, he realized he needed the death star at the end of the first movie, and he wanted a wookie in it, so Chewbacca's character was created. He also decided to kill Ben (who was supposed to die fighting vader as the Nadir of Lukes original journey when it was one film) at the end of the first film, which didn't happen until after production had started. That led to the eventual creation of Yoda.

So, when the third movie was around, he didn't want to tell a Chewie homecoming story and muck up the narrative, so he was like, crap! What can we do here? The exact quote was that he decided to "cut the Wookies in half" And that's how he came up with Ewoks. Which is totally believable, because a) its kind of lame, and no one would make that up after the fact and claim it was a good idea and b) Wookie/Ewok. The names are obviously related. Talk about mailing it in.
14. celticarchie
JJ Abrams being crap and a complete hack is their real problem.

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