Even huge Star Wars fans will acknowledge that by and large the dialogue of the movies is not a strong point. But until this morning, I didn’t realize that that’s probably due to the fact that in real life George Lucas speaks in barely intelligible, rambling monologues.
Lucas was on Charlie Rose last week, and of course The Force Awakens came up. Here’s a snippet of the interview.
“I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and…,” Lucas said before laughing and deciding it better not to finish…
“They looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,’” Lucas said. “They decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing. … They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway — but if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do. And I don’t have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up,” he said. “And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’”
Fun fact, that was all an answer to the question “You have a beautiful home.”
I can understand why this would be hard for Lucas, and why the break-up metaphor isn’t entirely unwarranted. Being an artist means existing at the crossroads of brutal honestly and delusional ego. And when tasked with single-handedly wresting a universal truth out of your subconscious and presenting it to the world, you’re going to form an attachment to that truth.
Except this interview also proves why Lucas isn’t the guy to be telling the Star Wars stories anymore. Other than the fact that actually Lucas wasn’t doing any of this single-handedly and the meandering ways that he answers almost every question (are these movies your children? Or are you breaking-up with them? Or are you breaking-up with your children? Because that a whole different conversation), there’s the fact that he seems wildly out of touch with his own legacy. The original Star Wars movies did offer more than just spaceships and aliens. The characters were amazing and substantial. The story did resonate because it was part of a large social consciousness. The fact that the later three movies lacked all of that is also exactly why the prequels sucked so, so hard.
When given the chance to tell more of the stories that his fans loved so much, Lucas screwed up big. Which is a hard thing to acknowledge, but is important to do when you’re an artist. Instead of saying that he’d sold his children into “white slavery” (which by the way, don’t. Don’t do that.), he should recognize that he’s only allowed his children to grow and to find new people to grow with.
Also The Force Awakens kicked all of the asses so stop talking like an idiot.