Image credit: Hulu
A few weeks ago, before Episode VII was released, we talked about how similar it might look to the first Star Wars Movie (Episode IV). You can read everything about it here. It turns out the similarities were even stronger than we expected. For some fans that is a positive aspect of the movie. J. J. Abrams succeded in bringing the franchise home. For others, Episode VII lacks originality. No matter what we think, it is always important to listen to the father of Star Wars: George Lucas himslef. He explains his feelings on the new episode of the Star Wars franchise in a hour-long interview with Charlie Rose. This article provides a summary of the interview and a link to the video interview.
For George Lucas the difference between his vision and J. J. Abrams' is that Abrams wanted to do something for the fans while Lucas wanted to tell a story of generations. For him Star Wars is (was) a family soap opera (in space) and not really about spaceships. Disney didn't agree with George's ideas, so he decided to leave them alone. He describes this as dealing with a "relationship breakup."
Lucas sees himself as a visionary (and I think we can all agree on that). And for him, this new Star Wars episode doesn't have a bit of innovation, there isn't anything really new, and it is too "retro" (not in a good way). He also said "Every movie, I work very hard to make them different... I make them completely different, with different planets and different spaceships, to make it new." With The Force Awakens this wasn't done at all.
Lucas not only talks about Star Wars during the interview, he also talks about his relationship with Steven Spielberg, his family, his life achievements, Indiana Jones, American Graffiti, among other subjects. It is very interesting to see his points of view on all these subjects, especially The Force Awakens. Fans were probably waiting for his seal of approval, but I think he is clearly separating two eras for the franchise: before and after George Lucas. If we have to do that differentiation, I would prefer to do it by trilogies, since the prequels, although original ideas, lack the quality in characters, and even plot, of the original trilogy.
Lucas also says that the film industry nowadays suffers from lack of imagination, and fear of creativity, not like it was when he created Star Wars. For him the film industry is all about money now, something he doesn't like. He is now experimenting with new movies (that we will probably never see) using the money he got from selling his beloved franchise (aside from working on a science fiction museum), a group of six movies that he calls "his kids" that, in his words, he "sold...to white slavers."
As a side note, it is interesting to hear the father of the biggest science fiction franchise saying that when he started, he wanted to be more like the Michael Moore of his time, making documentaries, creating trouble. But thanks to Francis Ford Coppola, who challenged him to create something more fun and less "artsy," he ended up creating Star Wars.
You can watch the video below or following this link