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Why George Lucas Didn't Work On Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Especially for those of us from a certain age, Star Wars is about as big a deal as you can find. Though George Lucas masterminded the franchise, the reins have now been handed off to a new generation for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and beyond, he knew that, as connected as he is to the saga, he couldn’t continue to be involved. As much as the new guard doesn’t want to screw up Star Wars, Lucas didn’t want to impede their vision either.

With the mammoth level of anticipation surrounding The Force Awakens, there has been a great deal of interest on George Lucas’ take on the situation. After all, he has a wholly unique perspective. Talking to The Washington Post, the filmmaker discussed why he didn’t want to work on the new movie, saying:

There is no such thing as working over someone’s shoulder. 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. has a vision, and it’s his vision.

I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be to try to work in that situation, to see this world that you created, that you birthed and steered across decades, in the hands of other people. It would probably be damn near impossible for him to contribute to a Star Wars movie that he wasn’t in control of, having to hold his tongue as the new generation made decisions and choices that impact what he made. He’d just bum out everyone involved, including himself. It’s probably for the best that he stayed away.

Though we don’t know what it is just yet, and won’t for a couple of weeks, it does appear that J.J. Abrams does have a distinct vision in mind for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While there are obvious connections to the franchise—there are a slew of familiar faces making a return to that far, far away galaxy, and what we’ve seen definitely feels like a Star Wars movie—there are also a lot of fresh elements in play as well. This includes new characters, new heroes and villains, and what appear to be some key tweaks to the formula. All in all, we hope that the final product is something that both honors the originals we love so much but that also brings something new to the table (we’re not way too demanding or anything).

That’s a fine line to walk, and we’ll see how J.J. Abrams and company pulled it off when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.