George Lucas ambivalent about watching Star Wars

Film director George Lucas walks through the pit area prior to the Formula One British Grand Prix 2015 in Silverstone, England in this July 5, 2015 file photo.
Film director George Lucas walks through the pit area prior to the Formula One British Grand Prix 2015 in Silverstone, England in this July 5, 2015 file photo.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Star Wars creator George Lucas, who was not involved in making the long-awaited new film, The Force Awakens, said he is as ambivalent about watching the movie as a divorced father would be about attending his child's wedding.

Lucas, who sold the franchise to Disney three years ago for about US$4 billion, told The Washington Post in an interview that he has no connection with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens worldwide on Dec 18.

Despite initial reports that he would act as a consultant, the director said Disney "didn't like" the stories he had outlined for the three sequels.

"There is no such thing as working over someone's shoulder," he told the Post.

"You're either the dictator or you're not. And to do that would never work, so I said 'I'm going to get divorced'. I knew that I couldn't be involved. All I'd do is make them miserable. I'd make myself miserable. It would probably ruin a vision - J.J. (Abrams) has a vision and it's his vision."

At the time of the interview, about two weeks ago, he said he had yet to see the film, which reunites original 1977 cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill and is directed by Abrams.

Lucas said watching it would be like a divorced man going to the wedding of a grown child. "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 I made."

He also defended his controversial decision to change a key scene in the original 1977 movie, in which pilot Han Solo (Ford) opened fire first on bounty hunter Greedo.

When the digitally enhanced version was re-released in 1997, it was Greedo who shot first, creating one of the most enduring and divisive debates among Star Wars fans.

"Han Solo was going to marry Leia and you look back and say, 'Should he be a cold-blooded killer?'" Lucas told the Post, adding he thought of Solo as a John Wayne-like hero.

"When you're John Wayne, you don't shoot people (first) - you let them have the first shot. It's a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2015, with the headline 'George Lucas ambivalent about watching Star Wars'. Print Edition | Subscribe