“Here’s the thing. George Lucas has been simmering with anger for most of his career. His wife was one of the most talented story editors in the business. Bar none. She made concrete changes to the story that really saved the first movie, and had a significant impact on the entire franchise.
Credentials? She worked on Taxi Driver. She worked on two other Scorsese films. She helped Lucas with THX 1138 and American Graffiti and all three Star Wars films, and even pitched in a bit on Raiders. Of the six Oscars Star Wars won, one was hers for editing Lucas’ mess.
But she left George for another man, and somehow he got Hollywood in the divorce. She flips property now.
George Lucas didn’t even direct anything between A New Hope and the prequels. (My theory is there was a divorce settlement that ended around 1996 or so.) In between, his entire career has been milking Star Wars and Indy, both gifts to him from his wife.
So the prequels (and the changes he made to the original) were supposed to prove that he was the genius. To undo some of the influences that Marcia Lucas had on his films and show the fans “the movie I wanted it to be” . In his mind, he had to show that Star Wars belonged to him, and him alone. But the fans hated it. They hated the changes. They hated the Prequels.
Lucas was so salty that he retired and blamed the fans for it. He flat out said there’d never be another film, because he had no ideas. He claims that he always wanted to make documentaries anyway.
Then along comes an even better solution. Disney comes up with just stupid money for the entire fucking thing, so much he can’t pass that up. It’s perfect, sell it all… lock, stock, and barrel, and then give away all the money. Forget passing Star Wars down to his children.
For almost 20 years, this has been his life. And when he finally did “choose to run”, he just ended up proving to the world what he’d known in his heart all along. He was a better filmmaker when he was working with the woman who ripped that heart out.
No. It’s easier to burn it down and salt the earth. To disavow any interest (personal or vested) in the franchise and pretend like the entire thing was a lark he never cared about.”
Image of George and Maria Lucas from The Secret History of Star Wars and Marcia Lucas.