After Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens, we will be inundated with not only reviews, but also a multitude of thinkpieces as sites try to wring every last drop from this hit-licious fruit Disney has delivered to us. But few observations will be as stinging and as telling as what George Lucas had to say about the movie.
While he didn’t go into specifics, when he was asked about his opinion on the film at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington on Sunday, he replied [via Vulture]:
“I think the fans are going to love it. It’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.”
And with that, Lucas summoned a CGI mic, dropped it, and walked away.
You don’t have to like the prequels (and you shouldn’t because they’re not very good), but on some level we have to respect that George Lucas made three personal films that were free from studio meddling and told everyone they were franchise blockbusters. He made exactly the films he wanted, and you have to admire that even if you think what he came out with was an utter mess.
Lucas clearly had a vision for where he wanted a sequel trilogy to go, and again, reading between the lines, it sounds like he wanted to know what happened with the Skywalker grandkids. For Lucas, the entire Star Wars saga hasn’t been about a galaxy; it’s been about a particular family playing an important role with the galaxy. You can kind of swing it if it’s father-and-son, but Lucas’ interest in knowing what the grandkids were up to makes it about a dynasty, and dynasties by their very nature are exclusive.
As far as we know, Rey and Finn aren’t Skywalkers. In fact, they don’t even know if what happened in the original trilogy is true or just myth. Abrams, like his protagonists, appears to be the outsider looking in, rather than Lucas, who could only ever be the insider.
And he’s an insider who is fine standing apart from the fans, which, while not the cuddly Uncle George you wanted, is at least honest. I also expect that he’s right: this is a movie designed as a panacea to everyone who felt burned by the prequels, and it will attempt to copy the feel of the original trilogy as much as possible. If that’s what you’re looking for from The Force Awakens, then it looks like you’ll be walking out of the theater with a smile on your face next week. If you wanted something different, maybe you’ll finally understand where Lucas was coming from.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18th.