In 1962, an 18-year-old boy named George Lucas was drag-racing his car. He skidded out of control and wrapped his hotrod around a tree in Modesto. My step-brother’s grandfather pulled George from the wreckage that nearly killed him.
In 1982, a box of super-8 movies Steven made as a kid had long been lost, but were found. I hired two 16-year-old young filmmakers to restore them. One of those boys was J.J. Abrams. We paid him $300.
"I talked to Kathy about it, but I think that it's a different thing from... I don't know what Disney-Lucasfilm will be like. It's tricky. My favourite is The Empire Strikes Back. If I said, 'I want to do something more like that,' then I'm sure the people paying for it would be like, 'No! You can't do that! We want it like the other one with all the creatures!' I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [ C-3PO and R2-D2 ] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters' folly, the ultimate folly of man... I thought it was an interesting idea in the first two, but it's kind of gone by Return Of The Jedi."
"I talked to [producer Kathleen Kennedy] about that and look, it’s a plum assignment. I don’t know what’s worse: being George Lucas on the set of the first one where everyone’s going, “Alderaan? What the hell is this?” Where everyone’s making fun, but I can’t imagine the kind of intestinal fortitude one has to have following up the success of these last two. That’s a whole other level. One is that you have to endure the withering abuse of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, and the other is you have to live up to a billion or a billion-five, and that becomes its own kind of pressure. I think [The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner] had the best job. He had a pretty great script and he had the middle story. He didn’t have to worry about where it started and he didn’t have to worry about where it ended. And he had the great reveal. You’d have to really clear your head, I think. You’d have to really be sure this is what you wanted to do because either way it’s two years of your life, 14 hours a day, seven days a week."
I had to hear if he was joking about that boldfaced part, he was.
"[The next three Star Wars films] were going to get into a microbiotic world. But there’s this world of creatures that operate different than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force. Back in the day, I used to say ultimately what this means is we were just cars, vehicles, for the Whills to travel around in…We’re vessels for them. And the conduit is the midi-chlorians. The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force."
"All the way back to – with the Force and the Jedi and everything – the whole concept of how things happen was laid out completely from [the beginning] to the end. But I never got to finish. I never got to tell people about it. If I held onto the company, I could have done it, and then it would have been done. Of course, a lot of the fans would have hated it, just like they did Phantom Menace and everything, but at least the whole story from beginning to end would be told."
This is the sort of idea that would be different, and potentially very good. Unfortunately, for as good of an idea guy as Lucas is, I don't think he had the talent to pull it off. Get the right team behind the project, though, and I think it could have been (or still be) something interesting to explore.
I feel like it would have to shy away from pseudo-science explanations and be full-blown mysticism with ethereal characters to be entertaining to more of the public.