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Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

To say that George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy made an impression on audiences would be a gross understatement. Not only did the three films win moviegoers with their action, scope, humor and heart, but they also inspired a generation. After it was completed, many wondered if Lucas would ever create a new trilogy, and he eventually did so with the prequels. The filmmaker went back and forth for years about whether he would create new films, but Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy thinks she knows why he finally decided to go for them.

Kathleen Kennedy has known George Lucas for years and worked with him as a producer on the Indiana Jones films. Although Lucas wasn’t actually directing the movies, she believes the innovations in filmmaking employed for the Indiana Jones franchise got Lucas thinking about what could be done for Star Wars. And as a result, he may have been a bit more motivated to return to the galaxy far, far away:

I was around with the movies that were in between [Star Wars trilogies] which is the Indiana Jones movies. I don’t think he ever stopped thinking about whether he would do more Star Wars and I think what happened during Indy was that he was not on the floor directing. He was not necessarily in it, because it was primarily Steven [Spielberg]. So, with anybody like George, and anyone who’s a filmmaker, they get antsy after a while at not being able to be on that floor telling stories, making movies, and his love of pushing the technology, obviously, we were doing a certain amount of that with each of the Indiana Jones movies, but it wasn’t like Star Wars and I think that each time we would push the technology, in making those movies, he got the bug to start thinking about what that might mean for Star Wars.

Kathleen Kennedy brought up an interesting point during her appearance on the second episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian. Lucas has always had an interest in technology and visual effects and had already had numerous patents when kicking off production on the original Star Wars film.

Like Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series also contributed to advances in visual effects and, based on the way Lucas’ mind works, it likely would have been hard for him not to think about how those methods could be used for Star Wars movies.

Anticipation for the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy was high when it was first announced, but many longtime fans were left disappointed after the release of The Phantom Menace. Its sequel, Attack of the Clones, wouldn’t achieve much acclaim either, though many were relatively satisfied with Revenge of the Sith.

In recent years, the reception to the prequels has become more positive, with many coming to appreciate what they bring to the Skywalker Saga. This not only includes fans, but Star Wars actors have also acknowledged the high points of the films.

Many may still have differing opinions on George Lucas’ second trilogy, but it can’t be denied that they were an achievement in filmmaking. And in the long run, Star Wars fans are probably better for having them.

The first two episodes of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian are now available to stream on Disney+.

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