It’s no surprise that Star Wars creator George Lucas wasn’t enthralled with 2016’s The Force Awakens. The J.J. Abrams-directed flick absolutely dominated the box office and is still, to this day, one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. It was the first Star Wars film that Lucas was not directly involved with, as the director had sold his company, Lucasfilm, to Disney.
Disney CEO Bob Iger recently released a memoir where he discussed Lucas and his feelings about The Force Awakens. Apparently Lucas thought the movie would revolve around ideas he had discussed with the studio after the purchase of Lucasfilm, but it wasn’t the direction they went in. Abrams was disappointed to hear of Lucas’ issues with the film, to say the least.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Abrams discussed his feelings for Lucas, which consisted of nothing but admiration. He admitted to having gratitude for the legendary director for creating the Star Wars universe and understood how difficult it would have been to build up such a franchise and then sell it away. He also called Lucas extremely “generous” and “gracious” throughout all of the recent Star Wars film productions.
Abrams is at the helm of The Rise of Skywalker after Rian Johnson took over directing duties for The Last Jedi. He noted how closely he worked with Lucas on the upcoming film and hopes to please him the second time around.
The Star Trek director remembered meeting with Lucas when he and his team first started working on the movie. The two directors met and they shared lots of ideas and Lucas revealed what he felt was very important to include in this final movie. Abrams commented that he and those working on The Rise of Skywalker did everything they could to use Lucas’ ideas and “adhere to some fundamental aspects of the story.”
“It wasn’t a difficult thing to try and do. And again, he was really gracious. So I’m only grateful. Do I wish that [Force Awakens] had been his favorite movie of all time? Yes, I only wanted to do well by him. I would just say that I have nothing but profound respect for the guy and am still truly, even more so now, working on these movies in awe of what he created,” Abrams admitted.
The final chapter of The Skywalker Saga debuts next month and Abrams will be on the receiving end of tons of criticism, but if anyone loves the film, the director certainly hopes its Lucas himself.
Star Wars: Episode XI – The Rise of Skywalker premieres on December 20.