AceShowbiz - George Lucas is apparently not happy with the direction of the "Star Wars" franchise under Disney's control. After acquiring Lucasfilm, the studio launched a new trilogy which began with 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". In his memoir "The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company", Disney CEO Bob Iger reveals Lucas' disappointment in the new trilogy.
According to Iger, when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, Lucas also handed over outlines for three new movies. "[W]e decided we needed to buy them, though we made clear in the purchase agreement that we would not be contractually obligated to adhere to the plot lines he'd laid out," he writes of the decision made with studio head Alan Horn.
But Disney and the new head of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, decided to ditch Lucas' stories for the new installments. Iger recalls the filmmaker's reaction upon finding out about this during a meeting with Kennedy and "The Force Awakens" writers J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt, "George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren't using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations."
He adds, "George knew we weren't contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we'd follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded. I'd been so careful since our first conversation not to mislead him in any way, and I didn't think I had now, but I could have handled it better."
"George felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we'd gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start," Iger goes on sharing.
It only got worse after Lucas watched the final product of "The Force Awakens" in a private screening. "Just prior to the global release, Kathy [Kennedy] screened 'The Force Awakens' for George. He didn't hide his disappointment," Iger admits. " 'There's nothing new,' he said. In each of the films in the original trilogy, it was important to him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies. In this one, he said, 'There weren't enough visual or technical leaps forward.' "
In their defense, Iger says Lucasfilm and Disney "intentionally created a world that was visually and tonally connected to the earlier films, to not stray too far from what people loved and expected." He argues that Lucas didn't understand that and "George was criticizing us for the very thing we were trying to do."
Lucas has not responded to Iger's confession in his book.