George Lucas Moving Away from Lucasfilm to Make “Experimental Movies” in His Garage

     May 30, 2012


Despite closing the book on his career-defining Star Wars franchise some time ago and finally bringing the long-gestating Red Tails to fruition earlier this year, George Lucas’ passion for his craft burns bright as ever. In fact, he’s looking to take his work in a fresh, “experimental” direction. The good news for anyone who hasn’t really dug his post-Return of the Jedi work: you won’t have to see it. Empire Magazine had a quick chat with the producer/director for their latest print issue, during which they posed the standard “So, what’s next?” query. Lucas’ unexpected answer: he’s leaving Lucasfilm behind to make movies in his garage…using a hammer and saw, apparently. Hit the jump to read what the filmmaker has planned for himself in his own words.

george-lucas-star-wars-imageHere’s what Lucas had to say (From EmpireOnline via /Film):

“I’m moving away from the company, I’m moving away from all my businesses, I’m finishing all my obligations and I’m going to retire to my garage with my saw and hammer and build hobby movies. I’ve always wanted to make movies that were more experimental in nature, and not have to worry about them showing in movie theatres.”

We don’t know what this means exactly. But given the man’s skillset and apparent areas of interest, one assumes these “hobby movies” will focus on VFX trickery while dispensing with character and narrative, which his recent work hasn’t shown much of a penchant for, anyway.

And that’s it. After one of the most lucrative, influential careers in history, this American legend plans to live out his days puttering around the garage, trying to keep busy, raving about his boys Harrison and Ewan to politely-nodding neighbours. Though keep in mind that George Lucas’ “garage” may very well contain a fully functioning podracer bay and bantha stable.

So what does everybody think? Are you ok with Lucas hanging it up? Any interest in checking out his hobby flicks? I know I wouldn’t mind taking a peek, especially if it involves the use of a hammer; the guy can certainly conjure up a mean visual and it’d be interesting to see him wade back into practical SFX.

I’ll also be curious to see if he stays in the game long enough to usher in ambitious live-action series Star Wars: Underworld, a project that fellow Lucasfilm producer Rick McCallum described as “The Empire Strikes Back on steroids” when he spoke with Steve earlier this year.

Around The Web
  • jsthedarkknight

    Mr. Lucas,
    you don’t need to be so sensitive to all that’s going on around you. Sure, you should have not done the new trilogy. However, you did what you had to do to expand your business and it raked in a boat load of cash. The Indiana Jones movies, while not all on par with Raiders of the Lost Ark, have also been a good experience. I don’t see why you have to walk away now with only as many movies as Chris Nolan. And to say the least, I was really pumped on hearing that you were buying the rights to old movie legends to bring them back to the big screen with a CGI that would make it look and sound like they were present during the actual filming. I’ll bet you still have a few more great ideas. Don’t let peoples’ baggering get you down.

    • sccitylhh

      ^ this comment

  • Yahzee

    Did Matt Goldberg changed his last name to Currie? HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Cpt. Hindsight

    So turn Star Wars over and let some hungry writers and directors give us a new trilogy that has nothing to do with any original characters. Maybe some last names would be ok. I’d kill to see what a Whedon or some other visionaries could do with the franchise. Maybe do the Starkiller Force Unleashed stuff. But that adds Vader.

  • mattinacan

    hang it up george, the new trilogy is awful, red tails was terrible, you influenced Spielberg to go against his better judgement and make a horrifyingly bad crystal skull movie, just go chill in your garage and lets not hear from you again.

    • GET OVER IT!

      Yes, some one on this site with some sense. Lucas is business man not a film maker, so the sooner he leaves the film industry the better.

    • GET OVER IT!

      Yes, some one on this site with some sense. Lucas is a business man not a film maker, so the sooner he leaves the film industry the better.

  • murdernexxus

    Will he be able to fit that thing on his neck in the garage?……George let other people make Star Wars movies and sit at home collecting money…does that sound so bad? I’ve been to the part of California where Skywalker Ranch is. The weather is awesome there. Just relax by the pool while a personal chef makes you whatever you want.

  • Joe

    15 years too late methinks.

    Thanks for the memories.
    And also paradoxically, no thanks for the memories!

  • Northern Star

    George Luca$ has earned his comfortable retirement, and his place in movie history is assured, but before he rides off into the sunset of his years, I just wish he would release the theatrical versions of the original Trilogy in a remastered and anamorphic presentation for DVD and Blu ray…

    • Nik


  • John

    I love this for 2 reasons.

    1, I want to see a movie made by the “real” George Lucas. The one who did THX and American Graffiti. I want to see a George Lucas movie as far away from star wars as you can get.

    2, I can’t wait to see what happens to Star Wars once GL leaves it behind. I’d love to see an anthology type film with various SW-themed shorts by prominent directors who have been inspired by Star Wars. Let’s get Jackson, Abrams, Tarantino (!), Whedon, or anyone else to come in and dirct 20-30 minutes of Star Wars awesomeness. Hell, let Joe Johnston do that Boba Fett movie he’s been begging for. The possibilities are endless once GL decides to loosen his grip.

    • Shimmy Shames

      Agreed on 2 and especially 1. THX was awesome…well, the original, anyways…and of course American Graffiti. Hope he calls up Walter Murch for sound and editing too. THX was such a different animal, still is. I dont expect him to return fully to that form, like one doesn’t expect Ridley Scott to return to the look/feel of his early films, but I think he’s still got the drive. We’ll see.

  • John

    Fanboys might love to hate him now, but every filmmaker and film lover should be thankful for his contributions to cinema.

    I feel very fortunate to have had Star Wars as a key part of my childhood – all six films are fun to watch and are great family entertainment.

    Also, I think Lucas has done more to push filmmaking technology forward more than any other individual. And keep in mind that many of the best action/adventure films of the last few decades have gone through his companies ILM, Skywalker Sound, etc.

  • Old Soldier

    Please not Tarantino. We’ll get a 2/12 movie hour movie with two people sitting in a diner TALKING about what the call a 1/4 pounder in Theed.


    yes thank you George for writing Star Wars and opening a new world to us and making movies fun, thanks for PUSHING the effects to new levels, not that you did it personally and im not talking about CGI ;)
    Also very big thanks for giving directing duty for Empire Strikes Back, Jedi and the Indiana Jones trilogy to actual film makers, because you cant direct a car round a scalextric track pal.

    Well, have fun in your garage of film making dreams, you will be just like the effects guys who worked on A New Hope, expect you probably wont be as good at it, but good luck.

    ………..Wow just thought, Star Wars could be good again! ;)

    • onion

      George Lucas =
      Star Wars
      Indiana Jones
      American Graffiti

      YOU= NADA (just bitterness)

      George Lucas wins

  • Adam

    “Experimental Movies” in His Garage? he means making amateur porn !

  • pewter tea set

    thanks george neck for the neck original star neck wars movies neck and indiana neck jones, have neck a happy neck retirement. neck.

    • Dannyboy3030


  • mrperfect

    George Lucas made some cinematic masterpieces, no questions about it (along with the help of a lot of collaborators who were not afraid to say, “No George, that’s a terrible idea!”). No one can question the fact he had a great vision and talent.

    But he is past his creative prime and the last 5 movies of his have proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. At least in terms of mainstream theatrical releases. I for one would LOVE to see a GL experimental film. Of course, he said he would start doing that after the prequels and look what he did.

  • Evstar Galaxim

    Comon, haters. knock it off, this could be fun and cool. I recall watching the director commentary to a Soderbergh movie maybe it was SOLARIS maybe THE LIMEY, Soderbergh was talking about experimental sound techniques, expressing dismay that directors didn’t experiment with sound more often. There’s a scene of the guy walking through New York city traffic jam and all you can hear are the foley of his footsteps, all traffic noise is blocked out. That strange overlappery moment in A.I. where the unusual blends occur right before Monica says “I can hear him”. Stuff like that. He’s earned the right to tinker on anything he wants.

  • jetblac

    I was originally going to say, “People with necks like that should wear full beards.” Then I realized it was the only way to define his head from his neck.

    back to the main story, this is good news.
    Let go Luke.

  • JarJarThinks

    Those who can’t…..criticize. Step away from your computers and make a movie – any movie. Then get it marketed . Then, after it does well, let’s say, on the level of American Graffitti, see the studio balk on any future movies from you. Then, once you’ve shopped it around and found a producer who’s on board, develop entirely new technologies that will completely revolutionize film making. Repeat and rinse until you have a six-movie story arc that (though others may not love it all the way) is pretty much 100% the result of your drive and will, and while doing so, provide the tools for countless other filmmakers to benefit from the digital technologies that make it possible to make great entertainments, whether tentpoles or small indie films.

    Then retire to a garage and do whatever the hell yo want. I’d say you’ve earned it!!

    If you can’t attempt to do such a thing, then please just back away from your computers and go take a walk in the sun or something.

  • tarek

    Best news to date.

    Thanks George. Hearing this brings warm feelings to my heart.

  • aaronsullivan

    Frankly, I think he’ll do some great stuff, if he does what he implies here. The man is very talented, but he made some crucial mistakes in my estimation. His conclusions about Star Wars was that people just want flash and bang. Empire Strikes Back was a big disappointment to him (box office) and this just cemented his opinion. He has since been making movies that he thinks would somehow appeal to the masses and it has deeply stung the fans of the original trilogy as their vibrant dreamworld was sort of deflated into something they didn’t recognize. If he removes the cares about making money and pleasing the masses, I think he’ll make some really compelling stuff.

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