Did Disney Use Any Of George Lucas’ Star Wars 7 Plans?

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George LucasA while back, George Lucas talked about how, before he sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion dollars, he had ideas for a shiny new Star Wars trilogy of his very own. He didn’t say what those were, precisely, just that he had them. These ideas were also apparently part of the deal when the House of Mouse took over—when you pony up that much cash, you get everything—and the real question is: how much inspiration did they take from Lucas’ plans? The short answer is none, though there is, of course, a little more to the story than that.

Though had an idea for a new trilogy, Lucas almost got the ball rolling on Episode VII before the sale. He said that he was considering getting the film ready to release in May of 2015 and then sell Lucasfilm—a full trilogy is something like a 10 year commitment—but the Disney offer came down the way, and how do you say no to $4 billion? In a recent interview with our lovely older sibling Cinema Blend, hyping his new animated feature Strange Magic, the subject came up. And while he didn’t reveal any specifics—that’s not really his style—Lucas did note that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is nothing like what he wrote.


George Lucas Had Very Different Plans For Star Wars 7

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star wars the force awakensGeorge Lucas both created and almost destroyed Star Wars. I know there are those of you who like the prequels, but regardless of personal feelings, the public backlash against them was so severe that it actually turned many people off to the franchise that they loved. (Hence the massive trepidation about the new movies.) A great many fans breathed a sigh of relief when they found out that Lucas has nothing to do with the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have plans for Episode VII, however, and he recently opened up about them a bit.

As far back as 2011 the idea of more Star Wars movies was bouncing around, but it wasn’t until Disney bought Lucasfilm for an outlandish amount of money in October of 2012 that those rumors were confirmed. Talking to USA Today about his upcoming animated film, Strange Magic, Lucas revealed that he seriously toyed with the idea of Episode VII with an eye on a May 2015 release date. In fact, he had plans for a whole new trilogy, though he mentioned that he was considering selling Lucasfilm off after the seventh film.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Gets The George Lucas Special Edition Treatment

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You’ve seen the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens — and if you haven’t, you’re clearly on the wrong website. But you haven’t seen it with all the bells and whistles that franchise creator George Lucas would have inevitably added to it had this still been his property. Open your eyeballs and your mind’s eyeballs for the George Lucas Special Edition of J.J. Abrams’ next blockbuster.


George Lucas Originally Wanted No Part Of Frank Oz’s Yoda Voice

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A genius, George Lucas isn’t always. Star Wars is one of the world’s most popular film franchises ever, but in the years since the first film’s release, the man behind the movies has repeatedly proven that the series became a massive hit often in spite of his wishes, rather than because of them. While this may not be the most super-secret declaration we’ve ever talked about on GFR, it’s worth discussing that Lucas originally rejected Frank Oz as the voice of Yoda, which is arguably one of the most iconic aspects of the franchise. It takes a bit of talent to pull off a Christopher Walken impression, but everybody knows how to sound like Yoda. Listen to Oz describe Lucas’ hesitance in the clip below.

As Oz puts it, Lucas wasn’t a fan of his vocal interpretation of the character in the beginning, and we might never have known the character’s throaty voice had Lucas stuck to his guns. (Or blasters in this case.) After initially rejecting Oz’s audition tape, Lucas went on and interviewed other voice actors for the part while The Empire Strikes Back was in post-production. Thinking he had no shot at the film, Oz was presumably surprised when Lucas contacted while on vacation and asked if he’d go out to the Empire set in Hawaii and record the vocal tracks.


Los Angeles Really Wants George Lucas’ Cultural Arts Museum

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george lucasWhen Star Wars creator George Lucas first proposed his visual arts mainstay, the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, it was presumed it would be built and housed in San Francisco, not too far from Lucas’ hometown of Modesto, California. But talks between the filmmaker and the city never actually reached the action stage, and so the museum began looking at other places, most likely Chicago, where a riverfront location as the optimal spot. But Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has a better idea for Lucas: put the museum in L.A.!

Taking advantage of social media’s power to sway people, Garcetti advised his citizens to show their love and support for their city by taking to Twitter with the hashtag “#WhyLucasInLA,” along with their reasons why the museum belongs in L.A. and photos or videos of potential locations. To say that the campaign was a success would be understating things.


Annotated Star Wars Meshes A New Hope With George Lucas’ Many Influences

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Star Wars, am I right? Everybody knows about it, whether from seeing it first-hand or just by breathing on the planet Earth. Here at GFR, we’ve seen an endless amount of Star Wars homages, fan films and retrospectives, but none are quite as geekily mesmerizing as Star Wars: Kitbashed, a stellar multimedia work-in-progress from Michael Heilemann, a Designer of Interface at the website creator Squarespace. It’s kind of like a documentary dedicated solely to George Lucas’ inspirations for A New Hope, only presented in such a way that you actually experience the subject matter as it happens. Plus you get to watch the entire movie. It’s amazing.

It’s no big mystery to anyone who’s ever read about Star Wars that Lucas culled his story elements and directorial style from everything that he liked about adventure fiction throughout his life. Heilemann, who named the project Kitbash after the Lucas-perfected process of using existing model kits to create new concepts, began this quest in order to pinpoint, and perhaps contextualize, the plethora of inspirations Lucas wears on his sleeves. For the last few years, he has been working on a book that completely surveys the first trilogy and compiles the many movies, books, songs, comics and more that inform the story and style of Luke, Darth Vader, and company. His scope even includes Lucas’ early short films. Eventually, it became clear to Heilemann that an audio-visual presentation would also be extremely useful for people to grasp it entirely.

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