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George Lucas is responsible for giving us Star Wars, but after selling the franchise to Disney in 2012, he passed the reins to others to carry on his work for longtime fans and a new generation. Since then, he has served as a creative consultant on the sequel trilogy, though he's been vocal about how he didn't care for certain creative aspects in The Force Awakens. However, he wasn't involved with making Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but he still got to take a look at the spinoff when it was shooting, and it sounds like he left quite an impression.
During Star Wars Celebration in London, our own Sean O'Connell was in the room when Rogue One director Gareth Edwards recounted a Monday when George Lucas visited the set, and it turned out to be a weird experience for everyone around that day. He said:
I was told on Friday and spent the whole weekend crapping myself. I challenge anyone to have a more surreal experience than showing a Star Wars film to George Lucas. He'd criticize things, but then we'd realize he was joking. But we'd all be having heart attacks.
George Lucas may not be the head honcho on all things Star Wars related anymore, but you can't blame Gareth Edwards and the others for being on edge around him. After all, this is the man who created the universe that they're now playing around in. Even though they're going in a special creative direction with this cinematic entry, his opinion is by no means inconsequential. It sounds like Lucas simply used the Rogue One set visit to have some fun at the expense of the cast and crew, and his critiques were all in jest. We'll likely to wait until the movie released to find out what he thought of the movie, if he even provides any comments to the public.
For George Lucas, and the rest of us, Rogue One is an interesting entry in the Star Wars universe. Before now, all the theatrical movies have been part of the main series, and have, in one way or another, told the saga of the Skywalkers. Rogue One, on the other hand, is a one-off tale showing the Rebel Alliance trying to secure the plans to the first Death Star shortly before A New Hope. The previews released so far have also demonstrated that this movie will feel darker and grittier, thus emphasizing the "Wars" part of the title. Rogue One is the first of the Star Wars "Anthology" movies to come out, followed by the 2018 young Han Solo spinoff and a third movie in 2020 that's rumored to star Boba Fett.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16.