It’s tough to feel sorry for George Lucas. His place in the pantheon of film legend has been cemented, and he’s earned an insane amount of money in the process. Not only did he give us Star Wars, giving birth to the very concept of a blockbuster. His zeal for technological advancements has enriched and democratized film-making.
That said, in recent years, Lucas has arguably become a tragic figure. His Star Wars prequel films were poorly received, so much so that — after acquiring the brand — Disney made a conscientious and none-too-subtle effort to exclude prequel references. The mouse house rejected Lucas’s treatment for a seventh Star Wars film, deciding to craft a whole new story for The Force Awakens (2015). Lucas was not happy about that, and fairly public about it.
It was thus with some trepidation that Rogue One (2016) director Gareth Edwards presented his stand-alone film to the Flanneled One for judgement. Edwards spoke of the results with Collider:
“So two days ago we got to show George the movie, and we all had a phone call and I got to speak with him yesterday. I don’t wanna put words into his mouth but I can honestly say that I can die happy now. He really liked the movie, so it meant a lot. To be honest, and no offense to anyone here, it was the most important review to me.”
Scarce few Star Wars fans will ever get that experience, creating a new film in the franchise which pleases its creator. While that’s good for Gareth, the question remains whether Lucas’s opinion proves indicative of audiences’.
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