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October 30, 2012

‘Star Wars’: Three new movies, Lucas won’t write or direct

Posted in: Movies

ilm1 Star Wars: Three new movies, Lucas wont write or direct

George Lucas and ILM visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren (center) on set of “Return of the Jedi” (ILM)

In an interview with The Times in 2008, George Lucas said that his personal connection to the “Star Wars” saga ended with the Ewoks on Endor.

“There really isn’t any story to tell there,” the filmmaker said at the time of prospects for his participation in the movie life of the franchise beyond the tale-concluding events in “Return of the Jedi.”

“I get asked all the time, ‘What happens after “Return of the Jedi”?,’ and there really is no answer for that,” Lucas continued. “The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that’s where that story ends.”

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The Walt Disney Co. announced today that it’s agreed to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, and word quickly followed that there are plans in place for not one but three new “Star Wars” movies, the first of which will arrive in theaters in 2015. Lucas, however, will only serve as a “creative consultant” and will not write or direct.

“It’s true, I’m not going to do any more,” Lucas said today in a video released with the Disney Co. announcement of the deal, which will give Disney ownership of the “Star Wars” franchise and Lucas’ special effects, sound and animation companies.

In the video, Lucas said that he has story treatments for Episodes Seven, Eight and Nine in the space opera and that he was going to hand that “treasure trove” of intellectual property over to Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, who will serve as executive producer on the upcoming seventh live-action movie in the blockbuster franchise.

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“We are absolutely going to make ‘Star Wars’ movies,” Kennedy said, using the plural, in the video.

c3po Star Wars: Three new movies, Lucas wont write or direct

George Lucas and Anthony Daniels, dressed as C-3PO, on the Tunisia set of “Star Wars” in 1976. (“The Cinema of George Lucas” by Marcus Hearn)

In June, Kennedy was named co-chair of Lucasfilm, which positioned her to take over the legendary San Francisco studio as its founder Lucas looked toward retirement.

Referring to Lucas as her Yoda, Kennedy in the video said she’s sitting down with writers now to talk about what those stories would look like.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said today that the long-range plan would be to release a new “Star Wars” film every two to three years.

“I’m doing this so that the films will have a longer life, so more people can enjoy them in the future,” Lucas said in the video. “I get to be a fan now. I sort of look forward to it.”

So, who should take the creative reins on the “Star Wars” franchise? Leave your writer-director ideas in the comments section.

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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