George Lucas once famously referred to Disney as White Slavers. The creator of Star Wars has not been a big fan of the latest trilogy spearheaded by J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy. Disney boss Bob Iger's new memoir confirms the reports that have swirled around since 2015's The Force Awakens hit theaters. Now J.J. Abrams is responding to them.
Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and has largely ignored the direction that George Lucas wanted to take the franchise, which has led to some frustration. In a new interview, J.J. Abrams addresses Lucas' feelings on the latest trilogy.
J.J. Abrams has had more than a few Star Wars discussions with George Lucas over the years. The Rise of Skywalker director understands how there could be some frustration over the new course that the franchise has been going, but also has nothing but respect for the man who created it all. It can't be easy to see something you brought into the world being taken over by others. Abrams explains.
"I've only had gratitude for George. It's probably a complicated thing for him. To decide you're going to sell this thing that you created, that was your baby, to anyone - that must be more complicated than signing a check and smiling about it. But he's been incredibly gracious. He's been super-generous."
When crafting The Rise of Skywalker, J.J. Abrams sat down with George Lucas to talk shop. Obviously, they talked about Midi-chlorians, but it's unclear if Abrams included them in the final installment of the Skywalker Saga. Abrams ended up taking a lot of Lucas' advice on how the story should come to an end. Abrams had this to say about speaking with Lucas.
"He came over, we had a meeting when we first started working on this (new movie), talked through a ton of different ideas and stories, and heard from him what was important. And we've done nothing but try and adhere to some fundamental aspects of the story. It wasn't a difficult thing to try and do. And again, he was really gracious. So, I'm only grateful. Do I wish that Force Awakens had been his favorite movie of all time? Yes, I only wanted to do well by him. I would just say that I have nothing but profound respect for the guy and am still truly, even more so now, working on these movies in awe of what he created."
Maybe George Lucas will be satisfied with the way that The Rise of Skywalker closes everything out. We'll just have to wait and see when the movie hits theaters. He has been on the set of various Star Wars projects over the years, including Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Mandalorian. As J.J. Abrams points out, it's all a matter of respect when being able to talk to Lucas and get advice for specific storylines. Plus, it must be gratifying for Lucas to come down and still have some influence on a project.
The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th and that will close out the Skywalker Saga. From there, Disney is looking to take the franchise in a new direction, which will more than likely be announced in January 2020. It is going to be interesting to see where the franchise decides to go after the success of The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker. The interview with J.J. Abrams was originally conducted by Rolling Stone.