“Star Wars” creator George Lucas felt “upset” and “betrayed” over the new trilogy, according to Disney boss Bob Iger.
In his memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Iger revealed that he was compelled to buy Lucas’s outlines for three new movies as part of Disney’s acquisition of the movie mogul’s Lucasfilm company in 2012, but made it clear that they weren’t “contractually obligated to adhere to the plot lines he’d laid out”.
Despite this warning, Lucas felt let down when he met with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens writers J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt to discuss the first film in the new trilogy, The Force Awakens.
“George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations,” Iger wrote. “George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded. I’d been so careful since our first conversation not to mislead him in any way, and I didn’t think I had now, but I could have handled it better.
“George felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start.”
Matters got worse when the Star Wars creator watched a final cut of the movie ahead of its 2015 release and “didn’t hide his disappointment” that the film presented viewers with “nothing new”.
“We’d intentionally created a world that was visually and tonally connected to the earlier films, to not stray too far from what people loved and expected,” the 68-year-old explained. “And George was criticizing us for the very thing we were trying to do.”
Iger is set to leave his position as chief executive and chairman at Disney when his contract expires in 2021.
– Cover Media0