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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.