George Lucas is viewed as a prolific filmmaker because he is the brainchild behind one of the biggest franchises of all-time: STAR WARS. Beyond this franchise, Lucas doesn’t really have another set of iconic films that can put him in the same league as someone like Steven Spielberg but another highly-praised director, Francis Ford Coppola, says he wishes that Lucas had more of an opportunity to make films outside of the Star Wars universe.
“[George] created something that brought joy and happiness and pleasure – and even some wisdom – to so many people. Whatever benefits he got from it, he deserved and is welcome to. If I feel sadness, it is that he didn’t make the other movies he was going to make. George is truly a brilliant, talented person. Just look at ‘American Graffiti’ and see all the innovation. We should’ve had more.”
Creating the Star Wars universe did consume George Lucas for years and it really isn’t something he really purged until he sold the franchise off to Disney, a move he recently said he had to make in order to focus on other aspects of his life. In a new book by author Paul Duncan, Lucas revealed why he really sold the rights off to Disney and why he felt like he had to:
“I figured I would forgo [micromanaging new Star Wars films as a producer], enjoy what I had, and I was looking forward to raising my daughter. Also, I wanted to build a museum, which I’d always wanted to do, so I was thinking, ‘If I don’t do this now, I’ll never get that done.’ I’ve spent my life creating Star Wars – 40 years- and giving it up was very, very, painful. But it was the right thing to do. I thought I was going to have a little bit more to say about the next three because I’d already started them, but they decided they wanted to do something else. Things don’t always work out the way you want. Life is like that.”
While Lucas has seemed to make peace with his Star Wars legacy, Coppola believes that Lucas is still sensitive about the fact that he was not able to make any films in other genres before retiring from the film industry. In fact, Coppola thinks Lucas is so sensitive to it that Coppola refuses to bring it up to him anymore:
“I’m at the point where I can’t bring it up anymore. I do sort of think of him as a kid brother. We older people have to celebrate the success [of younger people]. I recognize that my daughter, Sofia, is, in a way, more successful than I am, and people are more interested in what she’s going to do next than [what I’m going to do next]. That’s how it should be.”
I’ve always wondered what other films or genres Lucas could tackle and while I think he’s a good storyteller, his skills as a director have always been questionable, in my opinion. He’s a good idea person and I think he needs someone else to make those ideas work in a way that is best served as a film. Combine his mind with a great writer, director, and editor, I think that could create magic.
Do YOU think about other films George Lucas could’ve made outside of Star Wars?