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.