In 2012, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney for the bargain basement price of $4.05 billion, thus launching the Disney era of Star Wars. The new films, while hugely successful, haven't all been met with universal enthusiasm, leading to the belief that something isn't working. Whether it's the release schedule of the movies, the stories being told or the method of the telling, there's something missing. For actor Simon Pegg, that something is the influence of the creator, George Lucas, as he explained:
I must admit, watching the last Star Wars film, the overriding feeling I got when I came out was, 'I miss George Lucas.' For all the complaining that I'd done about him in the prequels, there was something amazing about his imagination. I do feel like his voice is missing from the current ones.
For Simon Pegg, the absence of George Lucas from the new Star Wars films is felt keenly. The creator's imagination and voice are not easily replaced and have proven obvious in their lacking. This has caused the actor to realize that he misses George Lucas being the shepherd of the galaxy far, far away.
This is especially honest coming from Simon Pegg, considering that the actor was in one of the new Star Wars films, playing Unkar Plutt in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It is, of course, not lost on Simon Pegg how ironic missing George Lucas is, considering how famously critical he was of what George Lucas did with the prequel films.
But hindsight is 20/20 and while the Prequels showed what was wrong with George Lucas' influence, the Sequel trilogy and spinoff films have shown what Star Wars looks like without George Lucas and have also illuminated the things that George Lucas got right.
On The Adam Buxton Podcast, Simon Pegg specifically noted that he felt that he missed George Lucas while watching during the last Star Wars film, though it isn't entirely clear if he is speaking about Solo: A Star Wars Story or Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Opinions on those films and the Disney Star Wars films overall are deeply divided, but one of the criticisms of The Last Jedi is that it doesn't feel like Star Wars. Perhaps that intangible quality is what George Lucas brought and that's what's now missing.
It is kind of fascinating how even back in an era before the ubiquity of social media, George Lucas got such vocal hate for the Prequels and was blamed for ruining people's childhoods. Now, George Lucas isn't a part of things and the Sequel trilogy is just as divisive.
We've heard a lot of different things over the years about what George Lucas had in mind for Episode VII, VIII, and IX. Some of them have sounded great and like what you would expect from the story, while others have been quite weird and made some fans glad George Lucas is no longer in charge of Star Wars. It did seem though like George Lucas had an overall arc in mind,which is something Disney clearly didn't when it chose not to use his ideas.
Missing George Lucas' influence on Star Wars is likely part honest assessment and part nostalgia for the past amid disillusionment of the present. While not a great filmmaker, George Lucas' imagination did make him a great storyteller, and it's understandable to long to see him tell stories in this universe again.
This is the first holiday season in years without a Star Wars movie, but fear not, there are plenty of other films worth seeing, check them out in our Holiday Movie Guide.