The tide has certainly turned at Lucasfilm. Long-time George Lucas collaborator Rick McCallum has quietly retired from Lucasfilm, following the announcement of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm a month ago.
The announcement came from Lucasfilm’s Director of Content Management and Fan Relations, Steve Sansweet, who stated the news on the ForceCast podcast. While the terms of McCallum are unclear, one can assume it had to do something with Disney buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion. What better way to clean house with a fresh start than letting the old guard quietly and respectfully fade away into the background.
Rick McCallum had been working with Lucasfilm since the early ’90s, most notably on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the Star Wars special editions, and the Star Wars prequels. He had been recently developing the long-awaited Star Wars TV series for Lucasfilm until the announcement of the Disney acquisition. McCallum described the Star Wars TV series as “Deadwood in space.” If Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm continue to develop the show, we wonder if it will still follow that path or if it will be rethought from the ground up.
McCallum received some criticism from fans for not challenging George Lucas enough during the production of the Star Wars prequels from 1997 through 2005. It seemed like Lucas and McCallum were more interested in how the films looked than how they actually worked as movies. McCallum also notoriously coined the phrase “It’s so dense,” in relation to how many visual effects were in one frame of the, then new, Star Wars films.
This is exciting news because it feels like Lucasfilm and the Star Wars saga are a brand-new company and franchise. Within the past month of the announcement, Lucasfilm seems like it has been given a new lease on life and has been making the right choices in hiring the people who will help chart the future of the Star Wars franchise.