George Lucas Doesn’t Want To Direct Star Wars: “All You Do Is Get Criticized”

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George Lucas doesn’t feel too sad about passing on his legacy to JJ Abrams and the rest of the directors lined up to take on the Star Wars legacy. In fact, he feels relieved. Lucas told Vanity Fair,

You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticized, and people try to make decisions about what you’re going to do before you do it. You know, it’s not much fun. You can’t experiment.

Lucas hopes to take more creative risks in future, as he plans to work more on experimental films. But he’s not above ribbing Star Wars fans a little bit when the situation calls for it; when Vanity Fair asked him his favorite character, he said, “Jar Jar Binks.” And I don’t know if that’s even a joke — Lucas seems to earnestly love Binks, to this day.

Is that any surprise? As a kid watching the original Star Wars flicks for the first time, I remember my Dad explaining to me that most people hate the Ewoks, and that no one understood why George Lucas put in a bunch of cutesy gag characters, because Star Wars is supposed to be serious. That was a big rumbling nerdy controversy way back when! Ewok hatred endures to this day, although the flames burned much lower once Jar Jar Binks entered the picture.

Even though my own tastes diverge with George’s vis-a-vis cutesy gag characters, I do feel a little sympathy for the fact that he’s had to endure piles and piles of fans telling him he “ruined their lives” (or, worse, “raped their childhoods,” which … can we retire that phrase, please). I’m all for fair criticism — I don’t like the prequels either — but I don’t like the way we talk about them (not least because there are some aspects to the prequels that aren’t that bad).

As an example, this morning I shared a video of Harrison Ford addressing Star Wars fans — but I didn’t bother mentioning that most of the YouTube comments for that video waste their time mocking one of the women in it, because she says Padme is her favorite character. Like … really? Can we not? Padme disappointed me a lot, too, when I first saw those movies — I expected so much more of her, even back then — but if some woman wants to reclaim her now, let’s not be jerks about it, okay? Come on.

Anyway, George Lucas has moved on, and at this point, I can’t hardly blame him. I may not understand the man’s creative choices whatsoever, but bad art cannot “ruin my life.” I like analyzing art and discussing it and respectfully figuring out why I had a problem with it. But that doesn’t mean I feel the need to personally disparage or dehumanize the creator of said art. Surely we can manage not to do that.

I hope George is sleeping easy on his pile of money, and that he’s largely ignoring the Internet.

(via Uproxx, image via Tumblr)

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Author
Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).