Cinemablend has convinced everyone in the world that George Lucas’ original ideas for the sequel trilogy have been abandoned and the story is running around like wildfire.
Here’s the quote in question:
George Lucas: The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those. So they made up their own. So it’s not the ones that I originally wrote [on screen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens]
That gives us articles from sites like /Film headlined: Disney Abandoned George Lucas’s Ideas for “Star Wars” Sequels and JoBlo’s Disney Did Not Use George Lucas’ Story Treatment for ‘Episode VII’. There’s countless others. It’s spreading like wildfire and it’s killing me since that’s not what the quote says and it’s hard to infer a complete abandonment of his ideas.
In my view, the use of the quote is definitely overblown. After George Lucas handed his handpicked screenwriter over to the process, JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over the writing duties, which is something you’d expect when a director comes on board a project. Is the final version of this film going to be different than the one Lucas envisioned? Undoubtedly. Is there anything here to indicate that they’ve thrown out everything Lucas did? Not one bit.
But do you want to know the reason I think the reports of this quote are reaching hyperbolic highs of idiocy? Here’s an interview with Simon Kinberg, the creative consultant for “Star Wars” and writer of at least one of the new spinoff films. I did this in July on Full of Sith, where I asked about this issue specifically:
Me: How much of Lucas’ blueprint do you rely on or is it even in play anymore?
Kinberg: It depends from movie-to-movie, is the answer. But it’s definitely a part of the planning of all the different movies and it was something that I was exposed to from the beginning of the process.
I think it’s safe to say that Simon Kinberg is more involved with the day-to-day of “Star Wars” now than George Lucas and that it’s even safer to say that Lucas’s “blueprint” is still very much in play. They obviously changed screenwriters. But this new Lucas quote shouldn’t give people any reason to think that they just tossed Lucas’ story in the garbage.
It makes sense the story would be in flux a lot, too. Did you all read how Kasdan and Lucas collaborated for “Return of the Jedi?” If they used George’s original idea for Jedi, there would have been two Death Stars and Palpatine’s office would have been in a lava pit.
That they don’t use ALL the original ideas is completely normal for Star Wars.
So please, don’t pass around the version of the story that basically screams the sky is falling. Don’t panic. Nothing is screwed here.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” comes out December 18, 2015.
UPDATE: I watched the video again where Lucas says “they changed what I originally wrote” and I see even less how this means Disney abandoned his idea. Of COURSE they’re not the ones he originally wrote. He passed off the story with a screenwriter, they took that basis and brought on Abrams and Kasdan, so it’s not originally what he wrote. The situation hadn’t changed, his blueprint is still in play exactly like Kinberg said, and it’s evolving as ALL films do at this stage.