“I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”
That’s what George Lucas, the visionary filmmaker behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones, tells The New York Times. No, he’s not completely leaving the movie industry; in fact he wants to move on to smaller, more personal projects like the ones he made in his film school days. Lucas did note, however, that he’d return for another Indiana Jones movie.
On the subject of going back and editing his own movies, adding things here or there like Greedo shooting first, Lucas remembered the days when his earliest movies THX 1138 and American Graffiti were edited by the studio. It was then that he decided to finance his own movies, which would give him final cut, a DIY spirit that continues to this day with the release of Red Tails, which opens Friday. Some studios didn’t even show up to look at the film and none offered him any money for it, although he did set up distribution through 20th Century Fox.
The lack of studio interest as well as fanboy outcry have both contributed to Lucas’ move toward smaller movies. “Why would I make any more [Star Wars movies], when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” Lucas asked.
The feature goes on to have Lucas take credit for the nuked fridge scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, noting that director Steven Spielberg was trying to protect him by taking the heat for that in a recent interview.
If his quotes seem naive to some, that’s because, as several people in the article point out, that is one of Lucas’ central qualities. It will be interesting to see if that quality carries over into his more personal films.