The Washington Post has a new profile of George Lucas, where he talks about Lucasfilm, the old movies, the new movie (he hasn’t seen it yet,) and his reasoning for Han shooting second:
“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’ ” Lucas asks. “Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, ‘Yeah, he should be John Wayne.’ And when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.”
There’s no doubt in my mind he’s said something like that many times, but even I can’t spare any more brainspace for these things. They are what they are, and sometimes being healthy about Star Wars means you just have to shrug.
On “the divorce” with Star Wars and Lucasfilm:
“There is no such thing as working over someone’s shoulder,” he says. “You’re either the dictator or you’re not. And to do that would never work, so I said ‘I’m going to get divorced.’ . . . I knew that I couldn’t be involved. All I’d do is make them miserable. I’d make myself miserable. It would probably ruin a vision — J.J. has a vision, and it’s his vision.”
Later, he compares it to a grown child getting married, and admits “it is what it is and it’s a conscious decision that I made.”
In any case, it’s a nice profile that doesn’t avoid the unavoidable, but does the job of catching us up with George.
Harrison Ford had an AMA on Reddit this afternoon as part of the promotion for the Showtime documentary Years of Living Dangerously. This was more brief and less focused on Star Wars (and guacamole) than Mark Hamill’s a few months back, but Ford did answer several Star Wars and Indiana Jones questions.
Someone said thank you for being a part of so many childhood films: Well, thank you. I really appreciate that. It’s a privilege to be able to be involved with people as talented as the people I’ve had the luck to work with, and it’s just been a great experience for me, and I’m glad that so many of the films I’ve had the luck to do were films that could be enjoyed by families together.
The Phantom Menace is coming upon us yet again, and the press has been piling up. We’ll have more of a roundup tomorrow, but for this afternoon let’s start off with The Hollywood Reporter’s feature on Star Wars George Lucas. In it, we learn the franchise raked in $3 billion in licensing revenue last year. (That’s a lot of lightsabers – in the accompanying photo gallery, they say the franchise has raked in $20B in licensed goods alone.) Overall though, the feature doesn’t hold much for informed fans – merchandising rights, The Clone Wars, etc. So what’s really making waves among the geeky internet is a Q&A sidebar, where Lucas talks reaction to his Star Wars tweaks (“…when I make the slightest change, everybody thinks it’s the end of the world.”) and Han not shooting first:
Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie. The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.
He also talks about CGI Yoda, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and SOPA, but you know what’s getting passed around the internet for the rest of the evening…