George Lucas has finally seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And guess what? He really liked it. At least, that's according to the sequel's producer and Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy. In the events leading up to the screening, it didn't sound like the creator of this universe was interested in watching the 7th chapter in his space opera at all.
In recent interviews, George Lucas, who directed the first movie and the entire prequel trilogy, compared his current relationship to the Star Wars franchise as a 'divorce'. And he claimed that the new film would likely ruin his vision. We don't get to hear from the director himself. Probably because Disney is afraid he'll show his true feelings. For now, we'll have to take Kathleen Kennedy's word that he enjoyed the experience of seeing his beloved series worked over by someone completely new.
George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney back in 2012, and both parties washed their hands of each other. Lucas always had plans for Star Wars 7-9, but all of those ideas were tossed in the trash once his company traded hands. And he was not invited to help out with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in any way. But now, he has been invited to both the London and Los Angeles world premieres of the movie. And he's accepted that invitation.
Leading up to the film's December 18 release, the creator of this universe has appeared ambivalent about the whole thing. And it's clear that he didn't agree with the direction the story was headed. Speaking with CBS last month, he had this to say about turning in ideas for the new trilogy.
"Ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said, 'We want to make something for the fans'. People don't actually realize it's actually a soap opera and it's all about family problems - it's not about spaceships. So they decided they didn't want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing so I decided, 'fine. ... I'll go my way and I let them go their way.'"
Kathleen Kennedy admits that these past few years have been rough for George Lucas, who had a strong hand in bringing all six previous films to life. He's not used to sitting on the sidelines with his hands tied. She had this to offer.
"[He didn't like] watching this go on without his direct involvement. At the same time, he really wanted to step away. If there's one thing I've learned about George is it's that he's never, ever held back. Having him 100 percent on board is up to him and he can't do that unless he's running everything."
Some fans have wondered if George Lucas will publicly endorse the movie. Or any of the upcoming spinoffs. That hasn't happened yet, but we can expect to hear from the man himself when he is interviewed on the red carpet for the premiere happening in Los Angeles on December 14. It was only earlier this week that he claimed not to have seen the movie. He said this about eventually screening it.
"I gotta go to the wedding. My ex will be there, my new wife will be there, but I'm going to have to take a very deep breath and be a good person and sit through it and just enjoy the moment, because it is what it is and it's a conscious decision that I made."
Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn't screening for the press, and only the cast and crew have seen the movie. Steven Spielberg claims to have seen it three times already. And of course, the top brass at Disney were the first to see an early cut. We should start hearing the first critic reviews on December 14th, after it screens for the first time. But we're not sure what kind of embargo journalists attending the event will be held under. Until then, we can breath easy knowing that George Lucas 'really liked it', which really isn't a ringing endorsement when it comes down to it.