If you’re a Star Wars purist, you might be the type of person who separates the films into two categories, BC (Before Corporate Sellout) and AD (After Disney). And clearly there are some people who favor one side to the other. Me personally? I’m only interested if Baby Yoda is involved. George Lucas sold the Star Wars universe to Disney in 2012 for $4 billion, and it didn’t take him very long to start talking shit about the first post-Disney film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it was released in 2015. George didn’t like it then, he still doesn’t like it now. J.J. Abrams, director and screenwriter of The Force Awakens, has had just about enough of George’s hateration and holleration in this spacery.
George’s most recent public attack happened back in September, when Disney CEO Bob Iger wrote in his biography about personally screening The Force Awakens for George, and watching George declare that there was nothing new about the film. George allegedly claimed that it was important to him to establish new worlds, stories, and characters with each film he made, and that The Force Awakens didn’t have enough “visual or technical leaps forward.” George was also allegedly pissed off that J.J. Abrams wasn’t planning on using one of the stories George submitted to Disney during negotiations of the purchase of the Star Wars franchise.
J.J. Abrams spoke to Rolling Stone about his second Star Wars film, Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, which comes out on December 20th. And he was asked about George’s claim that The Force Awakens presented nothing new and lacked originality. J.J. kept it diplomatic by saying he “only has gratitude” for George Lucas, before adding:
“It’s probably a complicated thing for him. To decide you’re going to sell this thing that you created, that was your baby, to anyone – that must be more complicated than signing a check and smiling about it. But he’s been incredibly gracious. He’s been super-generous.”
Even though George doesn’t like what J.J. put out with The Force Awakens, he apparently likes J.J. – they collaborated together on the making of The Rise of Skywalker.
“[George] came over, we had a meeting when we first started working on this [new movie], talked through a ton of different ideas and stories, and heard from him what was important. And we’ve done nothing but try 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.”
As for the claim that The Force Awakens is unoriginal, J.J. says they deliberately went back to the roots of the franchise, in order to push it “into new territory.”
If you didn’t see The Force Awakens, it’s about a resistance pilot who teams up with a plucky scavenger who has “the force“, and the round droid that follows her around, and the scavenger finds a lightsaber, and she uses it to fight Darth Vader’s grandson and…okay yes, it’s pretty much just the original Star Wars. J.J. basically recycled almost every single Star Wars character, except for George’s favorite, Jar Jar Binks. That’s obviously why George is so bitter about it. He probably showed up to that meeting with J.J. and said, “This third film needs less Adam Driver, more amphibious aliens from the space islands...”