Disney Didn’t Use Any Of George Lucas’ Ideas For ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

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George Lucas has been making the rounds promoting his upcoming animated movie, ‘Strange Magic’ and he let it known that although he did present his ideas for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ to Disney, they decided to pass on them.

The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those. So they made up their own. So it’s not the ones that I originally wrote [on screen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens]

After hearing what he said, it reminded me of a few months ago, after the first trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ was released, Lucas was asked what he thought of the trailer. His response was:

“I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet because it’s not in the movie theater. I like going to the movies and watching the whole thing there. I plan to see it when it’s released.”

I had the feeling that Lucas was not happy with the direction that Disney and JJ Abrams were going and that maybe they haven’t been using his as a consultant. That Disney passed on all of his ideas makes me think that what I thought is true.

Lucas recently revealed that he did see the new trailer and this was his response:

“I saw the trailer. I saw it in a theater because I don’t watch movies online.” When asked if he liked it, he smiled. “Yeah, it was intriguing.”

To me this is not a positive response and that was his best way to not really say anything positive or negative.

Editorial: The problem that I have with George Lucas now is that he really has lost his way and he has been surrounded by yes men for so many years that he thinks he can do no wrong. I am very grateful for George Lucas in that he created the stories and characters for ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ but ever since the ‘Star Wars Prequels’, I have come to the conclusion that he is not a very good director or story teller.

I was ecstatic when it was announced that Disney was purchasing Lucasfilm and they had announced that there would be an ‘Episode VII.’ Some fans were upset fearing that Disney would make an awful kid friendly movie but seriously, could any movie be worse than any of ‘The Prequels?’ ‘The Prequels’ were horribly written, horribly directed, horribly acted and relied to much on green screen and CGI rather than real locations and practical effects. And lets face it, the blame squarely goes on George Lucas who wrote and directed them. I have seen Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Samuel L Jackson and Christopher Lee in movies where their acting was really well done. If all of your normally good actors are horrible in a movie, it’s because of direction. According to many that have acted with Lucas, he doesn’t like second takes, doesn’t really give direction and the most popular words of direction that he gives his actors are, “Faster and more intense.”

After Lucas finished ‘The Prequels’, he was asked out of the 6 ‘Star Wars’ movies, which was his least favorite? Lucas shocked ‘Star Wars’ fans and said, ‘The Empire Strikes Back!’ That is when I knew Lucas had lost his mind but also read into some jealousy there too. To me, and most Star Wars fans, ‘Empire’ is by far the best of the ‘Star Wars’ movies. Lucas’ complaint was that there was “to much drama.” What Lucas calls drama, most movie lovers would refer to that as “character development.’ ‘Empire’ was the movie that Lucas had the least control over. Irving Kershner directed ‘Empire’ and it had a different tone and feel from any of the other Star Wars movies. Back when I was a kid, this was the first sequel that I had ever seen that was drastically different from the first movie and that made it special.

‘Return Of The Jedi’ was directed by Richard Marquand, but I have read that Lucas had much more control and essentially directed the movie himself. The first thing that I thought of when I first saw ‘Jedi’ was ‘Do they really have to destroy another Death Star?’ Even a a kid, I thought that was weak writing. Why not have an all out war against the Rebel Alliance and The Empire.? And the Death Star was basically destroyed the same way, poor design. It did have a powerful ending, that was eventually ruined due to Lucas’ constant altering of the film (see below).

Yes, I do agree that this is his world and he has a right to create whatever story he wants with it but I am very much against it when anything from ‘The Prequels’ leak into ‘The Original Trilogy.’ Even though I did not like ‘The Prequels,’ I understood that millions did. So the way I looked at it was that ‘The Prequels’ just didn’t exist to me, just like ‘The Godfather Part III’. Now with Lucas’ obsession to have every aspect from ‘The Prequels’ tie to ‘The Original Trilogy,’ he has ruined parts of ‘The Original Trilogy’ for me and for a lot of Star Wars fans. ‘The Star Wars Special Editions’ had improved some parts of  ‘The Original Trilogy’ but ultimately did more harm than good. The worst additions that he made were to ‘Return Of The Jedi’ where he added Hayden Christensen, the young version of Anakin Skywalker, to the end of Return Of The Jedi, replacing Sebastian Shaw, who portrayed the older version of Anakin Skywalker.

Original Anakin:

Anakin-‘lite’:

I used to watch the original scene over and over and each time I saw that scene I really got the chills knowing that Anakin was redeemed and was now a part of the living spirit of the Light Side Of The Force. Now I see that scene with Hayden Christensen as the young Anakin Skywalker and each time I see it I think Luke must be thinking, “Who is that guy, who is younger than me, hanging out with Ben and Yoda?” First off, Hayden Christensen was God awful in ‘The Star Wars Prequels.’ Make that, his character was God awful. Before ‘The Prequels,’ I never imagined that the person inside the Darth Vader costume was an annoying, conceited, perverted, jealous, whiny, arrogant jerk. The original Darth Vader worked because fans loved to hate him. “The Prequel” Darth Vader doesn’t work because he is just a jerk. Then to make matters worse, Lucas decided to add probably the worst scene from ‘Revenge Of The Sith’ to ‘Return Of The Jedi.’ The dreaded “Nooooooooo!” yell from Darth Vader.

‘Return Of The Jedi: Special Edition’ “Nooooo!”:

‘Revenge Of The Sith’ “Nooooo!’ (Is he saying No or calling cattle?):

The other change in the ‘Return Of The Jedi Special Edition’ that is not as offensive as the other two is seeing Jar Jar Binks on Naboo at the end jumping up and down screaming “Weesa Free!” I really think that is George’s way of saying to all of the Jar Jar haters that, ‘Yep, you forced me to minimize his part in the sequels, but this guy is still alive and there is nothing you can do about it.’ And when Lucas is asked if we can have ‘The Original Trilogy’ on Blu-ray he basically says, “but these are far superior, besides I used the original negatives from ‘The Original Trilogy’ to create ‘The Special Editions’ so basically those negatives have been altered or destroyed and they no longer exist.” What he is saying is, “it’s either my way or the highway.” Why would you destroy the original negatives unless you wanted everyone to be forced to enjoy your new version? I still find ‘The Special Editions’ of ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ as watchable and enjoyable. I can’t say the same about ‘Return Of The Jedi’ because they are tainted with ‘The Prequels’ horrible storyline and characters.

I have no doubt that Lucas presented Disney with his version of a storyline for ‘Episode VII’ and it was rejected by them. Let’s not forget that the last thing Lucas wrote was ‘Indian Jones And The Chrystal Skull’ and that was another mess. He can’t write anymore but I think the basic problem is back when he was making ‘The Original Trilogy,’ he had people that would actually step up and say, “That doesn’t sound right. George.” Lucas used to listen to people. Now those people are afraid to stand up to Lucas out of fear of losing their jobs. Or he just doesn’t listen to them.

Mark Hamill recently said during an interview:

“The most interesting aspect from my point of view is that [Star Wars] is now in the hands of the generation who were fans,” Hamill said. “…It’s the next generation of filmmakers who were sort of weened on these pictures.”

And I couldn’t be happier now.

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About the author

Joe Hogarty

Joe moved from New York to Florida back in 1997. He currently resides in St. Petersburg and visits the parks frequently. His first visit to the Magic Kingdom was when he was 8 years old back in 1974. Joe originally originally started as a photographer for WDWNT and is now the host of WDWNT: Nerd Alert, our movie reviewer and reports the news for WDWNT. You can contact Joe through email at [email protected]

7 Comments

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  • I’m not disagreeing with the overall article, I think that you’ve hit it, with one exception, I think that coupled with Lucas and everyone telling him yes that WE the fans ruined the Prequels for ourselves. WE all knew what was going to happen, WE knew where these characters were heading, WE knew about the fall, about the battle on Mustafar, knew that she was having twins ans what happens from there. WE removed all questions from the movies because WE knew the result before it even happened. WE knew in Ep 1 that kid was eventually going to destroy the Jedi, WE knew in Ep 2 that Anakin and Padme were gonna “get it on” and produce Luke and Leia, WE knew in Ep 3 that Anakin was going to end up in a big black bodysuit. Knowing those facts before seeing the first scene, and having the expectations of what WE WANTED to see (because we all had imagined those things as kids) and disappointed because none of that was there.

    Like you said though, these movies had problems. Lucas, I believe, has a great imagination, but the best of the originals were when someone else ran the show. Lucas can’t write dialog, he (I believe) has never had that truly deep, intimate relationship with someone that produces lines like Han and Leia exchanged in Empire.

  • I agree with you Jeff. I guess prequels are tough because fans will always have preconceived ideas of what they feel they should be. When I first heard “Clone Wars” mentioned in the original trilogy I thought we were going to see clones of Obi-Wan, the Emperor and some Jedi and Sith, maybe leading a battle between Jedi and Sith. I remember that Dark Horse did a comic book series called Dark Empire and it was revealed that the Emperor had many Clones and that when he died his spirit went into a younger Clone and his reign would start all over again.

    The whole thing that in the Prequels all of the Stormtroopers are based on Boba Fett’s father is a little to coincidental and boring. Then you had Anakin build C3PO. Was that necessary? I mean what are the odds? And Yoda meeting Chewbacca, ET in the Senate. And the love story between Padme and Anakin was just painful to watch. They had no chemistry at all.
    Midichlorines. Dumbest idea ever. As a kid I used to think that if you believed in The Force strong enough, anyone could be a Jedi. Now you need to pass a blood test. The Prequels also made the Jedi look like idiots. And they could not have rescued Anakin’s mother after he saved everyone on Naboo? That would have solved a lot of problems. (I know, it’s a movie but it just made the Jedi look bad.) I am not kidding around with this, The Prequels are so much better when you have the sound off and you don’t have to hear the ridiculous dialogue. I would love if they included an isolated track that just played the score over the movie with no dialogue. One of my favorite lines in Sith is when Obi-Wan tells Anakin, “It’s over! I have the high ground, you cant win!” Then Anakin does his best impression of Mary Lou Retten and with one swing he chops off 3 limbs. Didnt Darth Maul have the high ground in Phantom Menace before Obi-Wan flipped over him, like Anakin did, and chopped him in half? I will say that the one thing I love is the Darth Maul duel in Menace. And then Lucas goes and kills the coolest character.

    I will admit that if I saw The Prequels when I was a kid, I am sure I would have a different opinion about them. I think that is part of my problem. I’m older now and less accepting of most of his ideas.

    I still am a little worried about The Force Awakens. I am confident that they will be better than The Prequels but the Prequels opened my eyes up to just because it is Star Wars, doesn’t mean it has to be good. (Actually I forgot about the Star Wars Christmas Special, which I still would rather watch than The Prequels.) :)

  • Very well said Joe! I grew up watching the original trilogy and though I enjoyed seeing the force again in the prequels, I will agree with you that they are nowhere near the original. it’s really disappointing that Lucas has to bad mouth the thing. Shows a really bad lack of character. Just because he doesn’t have a say doesn’t give him the right to tear down new ideas. AND for that matter he’s the one that sold it. Sad really. I am looking forward to the brand being in Disney’s hands and love what Mark Hamill said. I think that JJ did an amazing job with Star Trek and think he will do the same here. Cannot wait till December!

    • Thanks Ashley. Totally agree with what you said. I’ll never forget when the press had seen Mark Hamill going into a theater to watch The Phantom Menace for his first time. They waited for him to come out to find out what his opinion was of the film. Hamill came out and ran down the street full speed while the press was screaming, “What did you think of the film Mark?” That guy was fast! They never caught him. It was one of the funniest things I ever saw because you just know he hated it and didn’t want to say anything negative about Lucas’ work, so he ran like Forest Gump.

      I also liked Abrams’ Star Trek movies. The second one got a lot of hate from people but I still enjoyed it. The one thing that Abrams gets right is direction. Those actors were believable portraying their characters. And I really thought it was going to be impossible for me to accept the new actors in their roles of the crew of the Enterprise but I did. Chris Pine looked nothing like or sounded like William Shatner’ version of Kirk, but he was now Kirk to me because of his performance. Ewan McGregor was not Obi-Wan. He ruined the character for me. So Abrams does give me confidence. And I truly believe that the last scene of The Force Awakens is going to blow everyone’s mind, if it is what it is rumored to be. Only 325 days left!

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