George Lucas Coming Back To Produce Obi-Wan Film?

I’ve been tracking a recent trend lately, but Ethan Van Sciver has recently released a video that has forced me to publish this blog post earlier than expected.  So before we get into that, let’s go over some recent history.

As a preface, readers of this blog will know that I’ve been able to piece together a general idea of what George Lucas planned for his Sequel Trilogy, from bits and pieces published in various articles.  It’s worth a read to understand the undercurrent of the following events.

So what’s interesting is that around the time of the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney through to the beginning of 2018, there were a slew of articles written that openly declared how wonderful it was that Disney would be taking over Star Wars, and how much better Star Wars would be without George Lucas’ influence.  Here’s a sampling of those headlines:

Six Reasons Pixar Is Better Than George Lucas 4/4/2013

Useless Drivel – George Lucas: Still Sh*tting Over Everything 9/25/2015

George Lucas’s 5 stages of Star Wars grief 12/15/2015

So while everyone falls into a deliriously happy spiral over how The Force Awakens is the sequel that real fans have been waiting for since the beginning, its creator has been trundling around the edges of the frenzy as a “creative consultant,” looking on with the hangdog expression of someone on the outskirts who can’t quite decide whether he cares enough to make a play for acceptance.

Kill Your Parents – Why It’s Good That George Lucas Was Kept Away From The New Star Wars Films 12/15/2015

A Not-So-Brief History of George Lucas Talking Shit About Disney’s Star Wars 12/31/2015

Why Star Wars is better off without George Lucas 1/24/2016

How George Lucas Lost His Integrity…and Why it’s So Important 5/18/2016

16 Ways George Lucas Almost Ruined Star Wars 1/1/2018

George Lucas was persona non grata at the time due to the perceived poor opinion of the Prequel Trilogy, and people like JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy even saw fit to take swipes at Lucas’ other creations.

Then sometime around June, when the legacy media realized that their attempt to prevent #TheFandomMenace criticisms from leaking out into the general public was failing, they started publishing pieces telling fans how horrible George Lucas’ vision for the Sequel Trilogy would have been.  Here’s a sampling of those headlines:

GEORGE LUCAS REVEALS HIS LAME IDEAS FOR THE ‘STAR WARS’ SEQUELS HE NEVER GOT TO MAKE 6/13/2018

George Lucas’ Plans for Star Wars Episodes 7-9 Would’ve Really Made Fans Mad 6/13/2018

George Lucas had a terrible idea for Star Wars sequel trilogy 6/13/2018

George Lucas’s Lost Star Wars Trilogy Was Basically ‘Osmosis Jones’ 6/13/2018

So apparently fans were to believe that George’s ideas were far, far worse than anything in Disney’s Sequel Trilogy, and that we ought to just be happy with what we got.

Then something interesting started happening roughly around February of 2018. Though it really picked up steam in October.  Articles started appearing that touted George Lucas’ involvement in current and recent Disney projects.

Ron Howard Had Guidance from George Lucas on ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Set 2/9/2018

L3-37 from Solo: A Star Wars Story was conceived by George Lucas 10/6/2018

George Lucas influenced L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story 10/10/2018

George Lucas Gives His Blessing To The ‘Star Wars’ Live-Action TV Show 10/19/2018

George Lucas visits set of Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian 10/20/2018

Simon Pegg Misses George Lucas’ Influence On Star Wars 11/10/2018

I even published a blog post about this sudden turnabout.  It’s quite odd, that we’ve seen the retired President’s presence in Star Wars more often than the current President of Star Wars, who only popped up just recently to give what could be interpreted as a farewell speech.

More recently however, a trend has begun with articles being published stating that the Sequel Trilogy which George Lucas intended, was the same Sequel Trilogy that Disney produced after all, despite the fact that Lucas himself publicly stated that his treatments for the Sequel Trilogy were discarded by Disney.  As always, these articles begin with a trickle much earlier, then pic up steam more recently in November.  I suspect that perhaps certain ideas are floated out early to gain feedback, which they then use to polish the narrative for later use when the articles are published widely by multiple sources.

Luke’s Exile in Last Jedi Was George Lucas’ Idea 12/20/2017

George Lucas Had A Hand At The Last Jedi’s Bitter And Jaded Luke Skywalker 1/9/2018

Star Wars: How George Lucas’ Episode VII Outline Became The Last Jedi 3/16/2018

Star Wars: Luke Skywalker Would Have Died In George Lucas’ Episode IX 3/27/2018

Star Wars Would Be Pretty Much The Same If George Lucas Didn’t Sell To Disney 10/10/2018

Force Awakens Concept Art Confirms No Luke Retcon In Last Jedi 11/23/2018

Luke’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi Arc Was Planned Years Before The Force Awakens Came Out 11/24/2018

Star Wars 9 and Last Jedi shock: Will THIS Luke image and news make fan backlash WORSE? 11/24/2018

Phil Szostak is the Lucasfilm Creative Art Manager and author of The Art of The Force Awakens, The Art of The Last Jedi and The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

He just reignited the entire debate by posting the image below and basically confirming that Johnson was not responsible for Luke’s divisive behaviour.

He tweeted a picture by Lucasfilm design supervisor Christian Alzmann tagged: “My first image I made for StarWars: TheForceAwakens. This was January of 2013. Luke was being described as a Colonle Kurtz type hiding from the world in a cave… I got a George “Fabulouso” on it to boot.”

There may likely be many more of these articles published in short order.

Now, this all brings us to Ethan Van Sciver’s latest video:

I’ll transcribe the important bit here, which comes to us from former Mayor of London Boris Johnson.  He babbles quite a bit, so my transcribing is a paraphrasing, as I attempt to clean up the prose.

“Can you remember which was the biggest grossing movie of 2017?  It was Star Wars, whatever it was called, it was the latest edition. Where does George Lucas propose to make the follow-up bio-pic of the life of Obi-Wan Kenobi?  Anybody know?  Here in Northern Ireland?”

This statement opens up all kinds of questions.

So to briefly recap, first fans were told that George Lucas was toxic to Star Wars.  Then in June they were told that Lucas’ ideas for the Sequel Trilogy were lame anyway.  Then they started touting George’s influence on current Disney productions in October.  Then in November they began claiming that the current Disney sequel trilogy was all George Lucas’ idea after all.  Then we get this impromptu statement from Boris Johnson.  So what’s going on here?

Boris Johnson obviously isn’t a fan, we can see this from his “whatever it was called” statement.  Even fans who hated The Last Jedi know what it was called.  So why would he know about a detail like a “follow-up bio-pic of the life of Obi-Wan Kenobi,” unless it was somehow beneficial to him or his constituency in some way, particularly economically?

Did George suddenly become more involved in Star Wars in October after stating that he was going his own way, because he’s now involved in the pre-production of an Obi-Wan film?  Did the studio beg him to come back after Solo’s disastrous performance in May?  Did Simon Pegg have insider knowledge of Lucas’ potential return when he made his statement about missing him?  Was he encouraged to make that statement to gauge what the public reaction to it might be?

If George is back in a larger capacity, does this mean that George has taken on the reigns of acting President while Kathleen Kennedy sits back as a figurehead for her last 3 years?  During which time George may appoint and groom a new President to replace her when those 3 years are up?

Is this a desperate course correction by Disney to get the franchise back on track?  If so, it would then indicate that Lucasfilm knows it needs to get back on track, which would be huge and unexpected progress.

It’ll be interesting to watch the fall out over this over the course of the next week or two, and see if it’s confirmed or denied by official sources.

29 thoughts on “George Lucas Coming Back To Produce Obi-Wan Film?

  1. Lucas is almost 80 and beyond giving a f*ck about Stat Wars.
    I think Disney is simply going to parade him around for extra points the same way they did with Stan Lee.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, sadly I don’t think so. Sounds like “George Lucas” and “Obi-Wan biopic” are just stand-in, generic terms for “Star Wars director” and “Star Wars movie” for the general public. He’s not talking to “young”, in-the-know, Star Wars audience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that he may have simply meant Lucasfilm when saying George Lucas. And it would appear that one star wars movie is the same as the next one to this guy, from his inability to name the one in 2017.

      But I would argue that citing the Obli-Wan follow up biopic is a little too specific. It’s the kind of detail that a non-fan wouldn’t know.

      Now, it’s possible that not being a fan, that he’s citing the derailed or delayed attempt at an Obi-Wan movie, and just doesn’t know yet that it’s been put on ice.

      Like

      • In my interpretation, he said “Obi-Wan biopic” the same way he could have said Luke Skywalker or Yoda’s adventure. It’s just a generic term for the content of a Star Wars movie. People not familiar with everything Star Wars are able to associate Obi-Wan to it.

        Now sure, it’s a coincidence that there was a planned Obi-Wan movie not that long ago and I can understand that people might put 2+2 together. But taking the context into account, I just don’t see it. And as much as I would love for Lucas to be back (assuming he would be allowed to do things his way), I think he’s dead set on being retired, specially with his daughter and museum going on.

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        • I have to disagree.

          Obi-Wan isn’t the first character that non-fans generally cite. They cite Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia. If he were using a generic term, he’d be far more likely to use the term Luke Skywalker rather than Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan simply isn’t the most popular go-to name among non-fans, so it’s really not generic enough.

          Furthermore, a non-fan wouldn’t know that an Obi-Wan film had been discussed or in the pipeline, or had any controversy surrounding it whatsoever.

          It could be a coincidence, but I don’t think it is. Having said that, I’m skeptical that Lucas himself would be coming back for it in any capacity more involved than producer.

          It’s also highly probable that he may be citing the Obi-Wan film that was in production before Solo’s failure at the box office, but has since been put on ice. I’t’s possible that he wouldn’t be aware about the production being stalled.

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          • Obi-Wan may arguably not be the very first character cited, but is one of the main characters of Star Wars and one of the most well known too. Merlin and Gandalf aside, he’s probably the most famous mentor. Definitely the first, cinematically speaking. And considering that this is the UK we are talking about, it makes perfect sense that the audience is familiar with the iconic, prominent and major Star Wars character that was portrayed by famous englishmen in both trilogies: Sir Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor.

            That said, I might be wrong in that he may have meant the actual Obi-Wan movie that was allegedly cancelled. But I wouldn’t put money on it and stand by what I said.

            I’m fine with the movie being cancelled. Without Lucas, I’d rather that they leave the character alone. The less classic characters are ruined, the better.

            Like

            • Many in the UK may be familiar with Obi-Wan. But we’re talking specifically about this individual, and extremely casual fans. We’re talking about a guy who couldn’t even name the title for The Last Jedi. He’d be lucky to even know the name Darth Vader. All of the details that you mention, being a mentor, being a prominent and major Star Wars character portrayed by famous Englishmen, would be lost on a guy like this. The only things he might remember, are things that would affect him personally. Just as he couldn’t remember the name of the 2017 film, but could remember that the first lightsaber was made in his area.

              I’m fine with it being cancelled too. I’d prefer to see the franchise come to an end, rather than limp along in this condition.

              Like

              • Oh, I think the guy is more familiar with Star Wars than most of those he’s speaking to. At least on a surface level. My point is that he used George Lucas (Star Wars creator/director) and Obi-Wan (Star Wars character) merely as terms that his audience can understand. I don’t think he’s up to date with the series and I can’t blame him for not remembering the title of the latest Star Wars. The point is that I understand why he would jokingly call “Obi-Wan biopic” to refer to whatever is the next Star Wars movie (as opposed to being a reference to an actual Obi-Wan standalone movie). Most of those people would understand, wether they have seen the movies or not. They might not know the story or the particulars of each character, but virtually everyone knows that Obi-Wan is the old guy from Star Wars, just like Darth Vader is the bad guy from Star Wars (or lightsaber is the Star Wars weapon, like he mentions in the video). That’s the audience he’s speaking to.

                Like

      • He is not a fan but he could definitely be in the know on production stuff. These films are shot in the UK because the Conservative government (that he is a part of) has made a deal with Disney Lucasfilm for massive tax cuts in return for filming in Britain. That’s why there are so many UK locations and British actors, it’s to qualify for the tax rebates by passing a ‘cultural test’, basically Star Wars qualifies as a British film franchise due to that, and I guess also its historical legacy of production in Britain.

        That was kind of the thrust of why he was mentioning it in that speech, the point of the deal from the politicans’ side is to bring economic boosts to depressed areas like Northern Ireland. So he was effectively boasting about bringing George Lucas to NI to make the next Star Wars film.

        Another example of these deep ties is George Osborne, another Conservative politican with connections in politics and the media, he was the guy who brokered the deal with Lucasfilm. He visited the set of TFA, he’s thanked by name on the credits, and even got thanked in person by Abrams at the premiere, (while the audience booed him, haha).

        That’s what makes this leak legit to me, Boris wouldn’t know much about the films themselves but he could definitely be aware of details of what’s going on with the next films in production, since his government cut the deal that brought these productions to the UK.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have to agree with you, Obi-Wan is just too small of a detail for a non-fan. The only way that Boris would remember it is if it were beneficial to him in some way, as you’ve outlined here.

          Of course, there was also this:

          https://movieweb.com/obi-wan-movie-star-wars-production-george-lucas/

          So I think there’s two primary possibilities here.

          One, is that he’s remembering the pre-production stuff that was going on back in February before the spin-off films were put on ice, and forgetting that it’s been delayed if not outright red lighted.

          Or two, he knows it’s been given the kibosh but is relating the anecdote anyway because most people who don’t follow Star Wars will buy it, and it makes him look good to his constituents that don’t.

          Like

          • Yep the Belfast Telegraph article linked from that article is interesting too:
            https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/news/belfast-to-join-star-wars-universe-as-spinoff-movie-comes-to-town-36591457.html

            Seems to indicate firmly that there will definitely be something big for Star Wars being made in 2019 at a studio in NI.But worth noting that the article dates back to when Daldry was still attached to the project.

            I think you’ve got some solid sensible theories there. But, I have to challenge your underlying assumption: Lucasfilm has often put out disinformation so you can’t really trust them saying they canned it, that could be a complete lie, like when they completely lied and said Enfys Nest was male.

            So I have a more outlandish theory, some would say a batshit theory, take it with a pinch of salt of course:

            They are keeping it secret, but Ewan is coming back to play Obi Wan. They are going to do a CGI experimental hybrid thing of him in 9, mixing him with Alec Guinness. They will reveal Rey as Obi Wan’s daughter in 9. Then George Lucas will come back and direct Ewan as the the CGI hybrid version of Obi Wan!

            Like I say, a batshit theory. But my hunch is telling me, this is the kind of thing that gets George off his couch. He only got off the couch to do the prequels because he wanted to see what he could do with CGI. That’s why Jar Jar exists. So this new CGI hybrid man idea, that’s the sort of thing that will flick George’s switch. He is a technician/pioneer at heart. I think the technological challenge of it is exciting to him, enough to make him come back one for one last go!

            I’m probably completely wrong. But thanks for this article, excellent collection of links and great analysis as always.

            Like

  3. Pingback: Sabattical Luke Is Not Vagrant Jake | Disney Star Wars is Dumb

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