George Lucas has always wanted to direct the first and last Star Wars saga films. Will he now have his chance?
With Colin Trevorrow out as director for the un-titled Episode IX, Star Wars fans are now wondering who’s going to take charge as director for the highly anticipated film.
So far, there’s only been speculation and rumors, with Rian Johnson as the current front-runner, but others could quickly close that gap. The maker himself, George Lucas, is a name that has loosely been thrown into the mix. Could the creator finish what he started and close out the saga films?
Photo credit: Lucasfilm
An interview from nearly 40 years ago has resurfaced, generating some buzz on the possibility of the “retired” Lucas throwing his hat into the ring, for the directorial duties of Episode IX. It’s fun to see, in hindsight, how much of the original vision of Lucas has come to fruition, as well as see what clues we can gather while speculating on the future. “Always in motion, the future is.”
"What I want to do is direct the last sequel. I could do the first one and the last one and let everyone else do the ones in between."
Lucas has mostly stuck to his original blueprint, directing the first installment, A New Hope, but also the 4th-6th theatrical releases in Episodes I-III.
"I would want to try and get some good directors, and see what their interpretation of the theme is."
He has definitely done that, with The Empire Strikes Back, by giving directorial duties to Irvin Kershner, with a major payoff. The 1980 film is the highest rated of all Star Wars releases and arguably one of the best films ever made. Period.
Photo credit: Lucasfilm
Lucas also has kept the promise of giving his inner circle of friends a shot at directing his baby, both directly and indirectly, with Lawrence Kasdan for Return of the Jedi and Ron Howard with the upcoming May release for the untitled Han Solo film.
"I’m hoping if I get friends of mine they will want to do a much better film. ‘I’ll show George that I can do a film twice that good.’"
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Taking a huge risk at the time, Lucas was nearly broke after the successful American Graffiti and THX 1138. Star Wars almost never happened, so we can thank the maker himself that he took a swing for the fences and hit a grand-slam with this franchise.
"No way I expected American Graffiti to be a semisuccessful film and make maybe $10 million and then I went through the roof when it became this big, huge blockbuster. I never really expected that to happen again. After Graffiti, in fact, I was really just dead broke. I was so far in debt to everyone that I made even less money on Graffiti than I had on THX 1138. Between those two movies and after taxes and everything I was living on $9000 a year."
Whether George Lucas gets called in from the bullpen to direct Episode IX, or if The Clone Wars will be his walk-shot, we can all be eternally grateful that he took that huge risk over 40 years ago.
But first things first. The Last Jedi hits theatres this December 15th, then we can worry about what Episode IX has in store.