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Back in 2012, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm over to Disney and Star Wars would never be the same again. Under Kathleen Kennedy's leadership, Star Wars has been restored to its rightful place as one of the world's most popular blockbuster franchises, launching both the Sequel Trilogy and a promising range of spin-off movies. George Lucas may have retired from running our beloved Galaxy Far, Far Away, but that doesn't mean he has no creative input...
George Lucas Still Chips In
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly at Star Wars Celebration, Kennedy revealed that #GeorgeLucas still keeps in touch to drop guidance on Star Wars. She explained:
"He’ll whisper in my ear every now and then. Usually it’s something specific or important to him about Jedi training. Things like that."
After Lucas first stepped back from production ,Lucasfilm took a very different direction. While Lucas himself had considered making a Sequel Trilogy, he'd planned for it to center on teenagers, leading most fans to fear his ideas would have basically led to another critically-panned Prequel Trilogy. Fortunately, J. J. Abrams's The Force Awakens dropped that whole idea, introducing the new protagonist of Rey, and even daring to kill Han Solo. Lucas was initially more than a little frustrated by this, observing that they weren't keen to have him involved.
Reflecting on The Force Awakens, Lucas observed:
"Now I'm faced with this awkward reality, which is fine. I gotta go to the wedding. My ex will be there, my new wife will be there, but I'm going to have to take a very deep breath and be a good person and sit through it and just enjoy the moment, because it is what it is and it's a conscious decision that I made."
As the years have passed, though, it seems Lucas has grown more comfortable in his retirement. He's content to just make occasional set visits, and giving Gareth Edwards more jokes than advice back when he got a tour of the Rogue One sets. Lucas reportedly enjoyed Rogue One a lot more than he did The Force Awakens, and a delighted Edwards declared that he could die happy as a result.
It sounds as though Lucas is still kept in the loop, though. Kennedy's comment suggests that he gives very specific ideas and observations — too specific for someone who doesn't know where Star Wars is going next. It's touching to think that the creator of Star Wars still knows what direction the franchise is about to take, and can drop in specific ideas to help continue shaping our beloved Galaxy Far, Far Away.
The Galaxy may have grown beyond its creator, but George Lucas clearly still has his part to play. He's the one who chose Kathleen Kennedy as his successor, and she's still treating him with respect. Of course, nowhere does she suggest that she takes his advice!