Star Wars: Disney and George Lucas’ Disagreement Over Episode VII

By November 20, 2015

We can all agree that the Star Wars prequels were not what we wanted, or needed them to be. While I rest in the camp that they’re not as bad as some people think (with the exception of The Phantom Menace, because that is just unwatchable!), I get where the dislike comes from. The original Star Wars trilogy is the reason a lot of people became filmmakers and film-lovers to begin with. But somehow, those films lost the magic and essence that was Star Wars, in favor of special effects and poor direction.

When Disney bought Lucasfilm for eleven trillion dollars, and announced that they would be continuing the saga, we all breathed a sigh of relief because it didn’t appear that George Lucas would be involved with the new films, in anything more than a consultant role. It seems that his involvement with the new films ended rather abruptly after he had helped map out the final trilogy, with the studio eventually deciding to scrap that idea in favor of one of their own. Although Lucas has always been supportive of the production, recently he seems to have given up being the nice guy and decided to discuss why he and Disney couldn’t see eye to eye on the new films. Here’s what he told CBS This Morning:

The issue was ultimately that they looked at the stories and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,’” Lucas said. “People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera and it’s all about family problems – it’s not about spaceships. So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing so I decided, ‘fine…. I’ll go my way and I let them go their way.’

He also went on to say:

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 it would do is just muck everything up.

Look, George Lucas is a great idea man… it’s just that sometimes, with the execution, he leaves a lot to be desired. And seriously, after all this time, he’s still blaming the fans for not understanding his ‘vision’? We get the idea and we understand that it’s about family. It was just really, really bad! And also, if it was all about family, then why were the prequels so full of CGI space crap that you couldn’t get away from it, even if you wanted to? You can’t have it both ways, George.

While I would love to know what Lucas’ plans for Han, Luke and Leia were, I’m happy that someone else took over the reins and that we’re getting a film that is both for the fans and yet still pays homage to the original trilogy. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set for release on December 18, 2015.

Make sure to check back for updates—right here on Geek Nation.

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Erin Parisien
Erin is a writer, a comic-book geek, a movie nerd and a pop culture junkie... all long before it was cool! She's the senior Editor and a writer over at and can always be found behind a keyboard, because it's all about the words. Follow her @erin_the_novel over on twitter.
  • KardASSianButt

    I’m old. I saw the first one in the theater. There was an issue of Dynamite magazine sometime in late 1977 with I believe John Travolta on the cover. I’ve been trying to get my paws on one for years. In that issue Lucas detailed his ideas for the prequels and the sequels. There were always 9 in the form of 3 trilogies. It had spoilers. That is where I first learned that Darth Vader was a burned person. I had no clue what he was, I was a little kid. I would love to compare that with what happened. I will go and bash Lucas’ casting for the prequels and his ruining the originals in DVD form by adding weird CGI and icky Anakin to the end of Return of the Jedi. I do realize he is the creator but when you make a movie series for 5-12 year olds who are now in their 40s – do you REALLY expect them to “get” it’s not about space ships? It was about space ships, fuzzy aliens and Princess Leia kicking butt for a 70s girl – and I loved that.

    • Wild Horse Fantasy

      I was one of those kids and I got it. But then, I did didn’t walk away right after the movie screen and forgot it. I kept buying whatever I could get my hands on. And I loved the whole redemption story, it just got more powerful the older I got. The prequels made it even more powerful still. ( I can’t watch Anakin fall to save Padme without tears. And I NEVER do that.)

      “The first thing we realized was that our fan base had grown a bit
      older…It was clear to us that simply revisiting the past would be of
      marginal interest. It was too early for a nostalgia play & frankly,
      not very stimulating. We needed to give fans something new, something
      that appealed to a more mature sensibility.” ~ Howard Roffman, President, Lucas Licensing.- Foreward, Heir to the Empire 20th anniversary edition by Timothy Zahn.

      Fact. Nostalgia baiting is something I found downright insulting, given they bash everything that came before including every book, comic, game, movie and TV show Lucas was directly involved in, while stealing it’s content and pretending its new and they should receive credit.

      Arm Yourself with Facts for the Conflict between Expanded Universe fans and the new Disney Empire

      On Canon, Continuity and the Expanded Universe:

      “Canon refers to an authoritative list of books that the Lucas
      Licensing editors consider an authentic part of the official Star Wars
      history. Our goal is to present a continuous and unified history
      of the Star Wars galaxy, insofar as that history does not conflict
      with, or undermine the meaning of Mr. Lucas’s Star Wars saga of films
      and screenplays.” ~ Sue Rostoni, Lucas Licensing Editor, Star Wars Gamer #6

      “We’ve stuck to a very clear branding strategy for the past decade. This is Star Wars. Individual movies come and go, as do TV shows, video games, books. They all contribute to the lore of Star Wars, but in the end it is one saga and that saga is called Star Wars. We’ve wanted to send a clear message to our fans that everything we do is part of that overall saga.” ~Howard Hoffman, Executive Vice President, Franchise Management. quote from Star regarding The Clone Wars. Original Article is no longer available but the archive file is here.

      “After Star Wars was released, it became apparent that my
      story—however many films it took to tell—was only one of thousands that
      could be told about the characters who inhabit its galaxy. But these
      were not stories I was destined to tell. Instead they would spring from
      the imagination of other writers, inspired by the glimpse of a galaxy
      that Star Wars provided. Today it is an amazing, if unexpected, legacy of Star Wars that so many gifted writers are contributing new stories to the Saga.” ~ George Lucas, foreward in rerelease of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye

      “Over the years, many artists and designers have contributed to the
      articulation of the various universes of Lucasfilm. Taking their cues
      from the minimal words of description on a script page, these talented
      men and women have sketched, drawn and/or modeled creatures of
      magnificent breadth, unimaginable terror, and mind-boggling
      eccentricity. Some of these creatures have made it into film, while
      others, because of the way stories unravel, have not (so far). But this
      does not mean they do not exist. For once something is created, no
      matter what the context, it takes on a life of its own.”

      ―Foreword written by George Lucas in Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas

      Unlike other franchises that reboot with most every
      incarnation, Star Wars had proven itself over the years to be a singular
      universe. Everything outside of the films was collectively known as the
      Expanded Universe serving as an extension of the same universe as the
      films. If something happened in a book or a comic, it could potentially
      affect everything else happening in the universe. Any
      discrepancies that resulted would be resolved or retconned (short for
      retro active continuity, ie changes from previously established
      continuity) across the board to try and create some consistency. ~ Leeland Chee, Star what is the holocron, Original page here. Backup archive is here.

      “We have a tremendous amount of reference material including the
      original screen plays, the films, the West End Games books, the Guide to
      the Star Wars Universe and our in house timeline which includes, titles
      and synopses of all published material. As new works our published we
      update an in house extension of the guide, adding new characters, terms
      and events. We also have access to the memory banks of other Star Wars
      professionals for those rare occasions when we are stumped.” – Sue
      Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor and Allan
      Kausch Continuity Editor for Lucasfilm, Star Wars Insider 23 Fall of

      “Gospel or Canon, as we refer to it, includes the screenplays, the
      films, the radio dramas and the novelizations. These works spin out of
      George Lucas’ original stories, the rest are created by other writers.
      However between us, we’ve read everything and much of it is taken into
      account in the overall continuity.”- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas
      Licensing Managing Editor and Allan Kausch Continuity Editor for
      Lucasfilm, Star Wars Insider 23 Fall of 1994

      “A great deal of attention and care has been put into fleshing out
      the star wars universe because fans are sophisticated and demand a
      cohesive approach. Star Wars universe is unique in each story builds
      upon the last and leads into the next.”- Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books
      and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor and Allan Kausch Continuity Editor
      for Lucasfilm, Star Wars Insider 23 Fall of 1994

      • Uncle Deadly

        Coo. EU was never canon. Fact.

  • Eagle F

    I know that I’m in the minority but I liked all 6 films just as they are. I would be very interested to know what George had in mind. Also, I get tired of it being assumed that everyone hated the first 3 movies!

    • Me too. I used to be against the prequels and now I appreciate them for their story. Sure the execution was bad but they can stand now as a piece of history. I mention on Far, Far Away that I hope Force Awakens uses some ties to Prequels.

  • I would pay eleven trillionty dollars if George Lucas would just admit that he made three really bad movies and stop being a passive aggressive ding dong about it. You’re a bad movie maker, George. Now be like Tommy Wiseau and own it.

    Also, I strongly disagree with you about which of the three prequels was the bad one. I wouldn’t call Phantom Menace unwatchable. Terrible yes, but it’s hardly the worst movie of the three. I think people rag on Episode I because it was the first time we realized that Star Wars had gone totally wrong, and so it’s the one that everyone associates with their disappointment.

    But I have to insist that Episode II is SOOOO much worse. Just complete dreck from beginning to end. Endless talking, particularly by annoyingly overdesigned cartoon characters. No clear motivation for ANYTHING that’s going on, including the effing war. All the Jedis look like idiots. I never watched a movie more infuriating in all my life. And it also has the audacity of being the longest Star Wars movie.

    In fact, it irritates the shit out of me that Lucas wants to say that the Star Wars movies are more about relationships, and yet he can’t seem to write a relatable character, much less have the characters talk to each other in a way that resonates with the audience.

  • Matthijs

    I found it much easier to forgive george lucas for perhaps not doing the best job he could have on the prequels, than forgiving Disney for destroying the expanded universe.

    • Victor Carvalho

      Couldn’t agree more… I was hoping to see Thrawn and Mara Jade on the movies, now what?

    • Homer Simpson

      Who would pay to see a movie based on Expanded Universe crap? Only the people who have read and invested in the books already. Doing that limits what the movie can do, since changing things would just piss you weirdos off even more while alienating future audiences by being pigeon-holed into a bad story. The Force Awakens will be better than anything they’ve erased from the timeline.

    • oknazevad

      The old EU started strong with the Thrawn trilogy, but within 5 minutes of that ending devolved into bloated crap with terrible plots. An alien invasion plot in a galaxy full of aliens? Really? And they were crap aliens, too. Plus the Kharma Houdinis, the clone Palpatines, and all the lame stuff that just weighed down after a short while that couldn’t be ignored because the fan boys who actually bought it would revolt if a sensible author said “this was shit, it didn’t happen”. Even Zahn couldn’t write around some of that crap. There were some good works, but I’m glad the slate was cleaned.

  • fedupfan

    First off, you have no right to just decide for everyone that they either hate the prequals or think they are bad or not that great. Second off, you claim to love sw, but hate/dislike/disrespect the maker, talk about rude and ungrateful. And the only person on the planet who has the absolute righ to say what is or isn’t sw is Lucas. The rest of us are just playing in his sandbox, and if disney haven’t gone with Lucas’s ideas or at the very least in the same direction as his ideas (which they clearly haven’t, unlike the eu which did) then their sw is just fanfic, not real sw and all those arguments against the sweu that people use can actually be used against disney wars.

    • I don’t think the intention of this article is to decide for everyone how they should view the prequels. It’s clearly an opinion of the writer.

    • Observe1981

      First off, the writer has every right to write whatever the hell she wants (and she’s not like, you know, indulging in hyperbole to state that the prequels are disliked by majority of Star Wars fans. Lucas’s attitude is proof of that alone). Second off, you don’t get to tell the writer if she’s a fan or not because she has an opinion about the poor direction the prequels took under its creator… an opinion shared by millions. I mean, I guess you COULD tell her that, but then you’re guilty of what you’re accusing her of in your opening salvo. I slow clap in salute to your hypocrisy. And no, what “is” or “isn’t” is not decided by Lucas. If art worked that way, Vanilla Ice could put out an album that was a remix of whales farting in auto-tune and declare it good and no one could say otherwise. You make something like a film, you’re giving it away to the audience. You can dictate Cannon and that’s about it. If this article pisses you off, stop reading them. Problem solved “fedupfan”.

      • keniwa

        i grew up in the 80s and i find the prequels boring, too much CGI but story is a sleeper. I’m very happy Disney took over.

    • Homer Simpson

      Actually, the company/person with the rights to an IP are the ones who now decide what is canon and what is really just fanfic, like Georges ideas for 7-9. Even without focusing on how horrible the dialogue and story-lines were in the prequels , his casting choices alone were horrible enough to warrant disdain. I respect him for creating the world, but if George R.R. Martin fucked up the last book or two in his series, everyone would turn on him too.

      • oknazevad

        Agreed. The old EU was the part that read like terrible fanfic.

  • kaavishkidwai

    the writer is pulling a sucker punch. Claims to find the prequels not too bad to pull in readers before dissing Lucas like he took a crap on the writer’s carpet.

    • Homer Simpson

      He did take a crap on the writer’s carpet.