George Lucas relates to ‘Lost’: ‘The trick is to pretend you’ve planned the whole thing out in advance’

May 18, 2010 | 10:59 p.m.

George Lucas at Cannes 2010

The executive producers of the ABC series Lost just got the Jedi stamp of approval.

The “Lost” team of Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse opened their mail recently to find a letter from George Lucas, according to a report on Zap2It. “Congratulations on pulling off an amazing show,” Lucas reportedly wrote in that note. “In six seasons, you’ve managed to span both time and space, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I never saw what was around the corner. Now that it’s all coming to an end, it’s impressive to see how much was planned out in advance and how neatly you’ve wrapped up everything.”

But was it really all planned? Sure, in this final season, “Lost” writers have returned to and referenced landmarks from earlier seasons. There may be more, too, on Tuesday night, the last episode before the two-hour finale on Sunday.

ABC Studios exec Barry Jossen read the Lucas letter aloud last week at the Lost Live event at UCLA and it had one funny bit that Lucas probably never expected to reach an audience beyond the ABC staff room.

Lucas winkingly “confessed” that he too has some experience in using last-minute spackle to fix plot holes and then pretending that all of it was part of some grand master plan.

“Don’t tell anyone,” Lucas wrote, “but when ‘Star Wars’ first came out, I didn’t know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you’ve planned the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to other stories — let’s call them ‘homages’ — and you’ve got a series.”

After that, Lindelof was so moved that he practically declared himself a Jar Jar Binks fan. “I just want to apologize to Mr. George Lucas for everything I said about the prequels.”

— Mark Milian (


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Photo: George Lucas. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

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5 Responses to George Lucas relates to ‘Lost’: ‘The trick is to pretend you’ve planned the whole thing out in advance’

  1. wcmartell says:

    Isn't it better to actually plan it out in advance? If you are doing a 100 episodes of TV, even if it isn't some puzzle show, knowing how each peice is part of the whole is critical. Or you end up with loose ends and contradictions and riots in the streets when you can't explain it all in that last 2.5 hour episode.

  2. Trent says:

    Lucas may not have planned everything, but he shouldn't imply that the "Lost" creators didn't. That's kind of … rude.

  3. chew221b says:

    You guys are both idiots – It was a friendly letter that meant he did not now the ENTIRE story and whether or not it was going to be successful

  4. rp says:

    The television series that has been entirely planned out in advance is the rare exception. I think most simply develop a back story and characters rich enough to generate endless possibilities a rough guideline to get through one season and then fly by the seat of their pants.
    The creative process is often mysterious and spontaneous. When allowed to be so, it can be quirky, amazing, surprising, rich and unique- when forced and reduced to a formula, can become restrained, predictable and fall flat. There is absolutely no insult in acknowledging that- just one artist admiring another's work and empathizing with the crazy process.
    Many sculptures have said when they begin a work, they have no idea what they are making- they simply begin chipping away at the stone until what lies within reveals itself.

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