George 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.
That obviously didn’t happen. At some point he realized that making three more movies requires somewhere in the neighborhood of another ten years worth of commitment, and that prospect was too daunting. Then Disney came along with an offer he couldn’t refuse, and he said that, “It’s better for me to get out at the beginning of a new thing and I can just remove myself… The time is more important to me than the money.”
Lucas famously avoided watching the trailers for The Force Awakens when they first debuted, which put off some fans (it has to be hard to watch something you created, your baby that you spent so much time with, in the hands of other people), but that doesn’t mean he’s not anticipating the new film. He’s especially excited about how he’s going to get to experience it, saying:
The only thing I really regret about Star Wars is the fact I never got to see it—I never got to be blown out of my seat when the ship came over the screen. The next one, I’ll be able to enjoy it like anybody else.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18 (less than a year!!!) and you can bet from that moment until the end of time, every interview George Lucas does is going to ask him what he thinks about it.