Disney’s Third Star Wars Trilogy Betrays George Lucas As He Claims It
Disney CEO Bob Iger releases his memoirs this week. ‘ The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learn from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company ‘ addresses many topics about his career as the head of the studio. But one of the most interesting was the subsequent development of a new Star Wars trilogy.
George Lucas had the idea that the new trilogy would focus on the world of microbes. Everything would revolve around the Whills. The creatures that feed on the Force and control the universe. The creator of Star Wars was quick to get his plans to Iger, who summarizes the process:
At some point in the process, George told me that The arguments for three new films are Complete. We did agree that he would send us three copies. One for me, One for Alan Braverman [vice president of the company] and another for Alan Horn. Alan did get hired to lead the study. Alan and I read George’s arguments and decide that we had to buy them. Although we make it clear in the agreement that we were not contractually obligated to use those plot lines.
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In this way, the question arises whether Iger intends to use those stories. If they wanted to reserve the possibility, then they will never saw the light. That lack of commitment extends to all the ideas of Lucas. He also did agree to involve in the process without much enthusiasm:
He knew he was going to be firm about creative control, but it wasn’t easy for him to accept it. So he reluctantly agrees to be available to consult when we need it. I do promise that we would be open to his ideas. This was not difficult to do; of course, we were going to be open to George Lucas’s thoughts. But with the plot lines, we would not be subject to any obligation.
During the development of the new trilogy, it soon became apparent that Lucas’s ideas were to discard. Something that was not taken too well:
The truth is that Kathleen Kennedy, JJ Abrams, Alan, and I discuss the direction that saga should follow. We did agree that it was not going to be George’s plans. He knew that we were not contractually bound to anything. But he thought that buying his treatments was an unspoken promise that we were going to follow them. So he has to disappoint that we discard them.
He had been conscientious since our first conversation so as not to confuse him. I don’t think he did, but I could handle it better. I should prepare you for the meeting. In that first meeting about the future of Star Wars, George felt betrayal. Although the whole process was never going to be easy for him. We had unnecessarily had a complicated start.
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It was clear that Lucas was not going to be precise about the result. But there was the question of what the reaction would be once the ‘The Force Awakens’ was seen. Something that he had the opportunity to make time before its premiere as Iger recalls.
Before the world premiere, Kathe shows ‘The Force Awakens’ to George. He did not hide his disappointment. ” There is nothing new, ” he said. In each of the films of the original trilogy, it was vital for him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies.
In this, he said, “There were not enough improvements in the visual or the technical.” He was not mistaken. But he also did not take into account the pressure we had to give passionate fans a movie that was quintessential ‘Star Wars.’
We had intentions to create a world that was in the visual and in the tone which connects the first movies. Not too far from what people love and expected. George was criticizing us for doing what we were hoping to achieve.
I was looking back at the perspective of several years and some Star Wars movies. I think Abrams achieved the near-impossible, creating a perfect bridge between what he had been and what he was going to become.
‘The Force Awakens’ end up raising more than 2 billion dollars worldwide. It is currently the fourth highest-grossing film of all time. You will like it more or less. But from the economic point of view, it is difficult to put some. Recall that Disney paid 4 billion for Lucasfilm, so that aspect was essential for them.