When it comes to the new Star Wars films, George Lucas is hands-off. The creator of the franchise sold Lucasfilm to Disney a few years back and handed over his story treatments for Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, but he was apparently not thrilled when he found out that J.J. Abrams and Co. opted to discard Lucas’ ideas and move forward with their own. So in the wake of The Force Awakens, there’s been the expectation that Lucas won’t really be involved with anything Star Wars related anymore.
However, it turns out that’s not exactly true. Rogue One director Gareth Edwards recently took part in an interview with a French news outlet (via Making Star Wars and /Film) where he revealed that he showed Lucas a cut of Rogue One:
“I think there are two things that are incredibly surreal that you can do in your life. Number two is having to show George Lucas your Star Wars movie. Like, that was really crazy. And I think number one is to be George Lucas and have someone show you a Star Wars movie. So I felt for him, and he was incredibly gracious.”
Lucas also offered some advice to Edwards when he visited the set:
“He said, ‘Don’t screw it up.’… He joked a lot about how we should do more in the computer, and not build so much. We didn’t take his advice. We tried to shoot as much in-camera as possible.”
Classic George. In all seriousness, it’s kind of neat that Lucas got a peek at Rogue One. This is different than Force Awakens in that it’s not continuing the story he created, but filling in gaps of the previous story. It mirrors Lucas’ outlook on fan-fiction and those various Star Wars novels—he didn’t much care that other people wanted to write stories set within his Star Wars universe, and one imagines he’s more comfortable weighing in and/or watching these A Star Wars Story films than the proper Episodes, given that he had ideas for the Episode stories that were ignored. You’re up next, Phil Lord and Chris Miller!
Will we get to hear what Lucas thought of Rogue One? I suppose we’ll find out in due time. For now, you can watch the Edwards interview (dubbed in French) below. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16th.