In 1977 George Lucas Explained How Interesting it Would Be See Other Directors Interpret The Theme of STAR WARS
When Star Wars was still in its infancy George Lucas was still in the process of figuring out the future of the franchise and how the future films would be made. In 1977, following the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, George Lucas gave an interview with Rolling Stone and was asked about the possibility of seeing other directors take on future films in the franchise, and at the time he was actually really excited with the idea. He explained:
"It would be interesting. I would want to try and get some good directors, and see what their interpretation of the theme is. I think it will be interesting, it is like taking a theme in film school, say, okay, everybody do their interpretation of this theme. It's an interesting idea to see how people interpret the genre. It is a fun genre to play with. All the prototype stuff is done now. Nobody has to worry about what a Wookiee is and what it does and how it reacts. Wookies are there, the people are there, the environment is there, the empire is there... everything is there. And now people will start building on it. I've put up the concrete slab of the walls and now everybody can have fun drawing the pictures and putting on the little gargoyles and doing all the really fun stuff. And it's a competition. I'm hoping if I get friends of mine they will want to do a much better film, like, 'I'll show George that I can do a film twice that good,' and I think they can, but then I want to do the last one, so I can do one twice as good as everybody else."
As you know he went on to hire different directors to helm Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but those films were made following under Lucas' guidance and story treatments. Lucas tried to get other directors to jump on board and direct his prequel films, but every friend director that he asked turned him down so he just decided to do it himself.
It wasn't until The Force Awakens where a director was given the creative freedom to take the story in a different direction than what Lucas had intended. It started with J.J. Abrams and continued with Rian Johnson with The Last Jedi, Gareth Edwards with Rogue One, and Ron Howard with Solo. That's just how Star Wars is going to be from here on out. There's going to be all kinds of directors playing in the sandbox.
We may not all like what is going to come from it, but it's still going to be interesting and fun to see what happens and watch these movies. In the end, whether we agree with the direction of these films or not, they are being made to entertain the fans, and I don't know about you, but I've been loving it! Even George Lucas himself said The Last Jedi was "beautifully made."
When talking about A New Hope and how it turned out, Lucas said that it wasn't everything he wanted it to be. He explained:
"Star Wars is about 25% of what I wanted it to be. It's really down there quite a bit. It's still a good movie, but it fell so short of what I wanted it to be. And everyone said, 'Well, Jesus, George, you wanted the moon for Chrissake, or you wanted to land on Pluto and you landed on Mars.' I think the sequels will be much, much better. What I want to do is direct the last sequel. I could do the first one and the last one and let everyone else do the ones in between."
At this point it doesn't look like Lucas won't be the one to direct the last Star Wars film. I don't even know if that's something that he'd be interested in doing at this point, but he wanted to show everybody up with that final film.
I just thought it was interesting that his vision for Star Wars always hinged on bringing other directors in to build on the foundation that he built and now it's happening.