George Lucas says he’ll REMAKE the prequel trilogy!?
April 1, 2011
The internet is buzzing with talk about George Lucas rebooting Star Wars. Apparently Lucas wanted to wait until the project was underway to announce this news, but decided to take a few questions on the process! The entire interview from LucasFilm is posted below. (link to the original article).
LF: George, there’s been rumors flying everywhere.
Lucas: You’re telling me. (laughs)
LF: We’ve heard about remaking the Original Trilogy in 3D, giving direction to Zack Snyder… and now you yourself are saying you want to “reboot” the prequel trilogy? What’s going on here?
Lucas: I never used the word “reboot” with Star Wars. I hate the word. I think “reboot” has been so overused it’s now meaningless. As for all the rumors, I think what we’re seeing is that people are ready for the next thing from Star Wars.
LF: But there’s been videogames, books, a Clone Wars tv series…
Lucas: Oh, of course. There’s been kids stuff since the very beginning. Action figures, comic books… I’m talking about the essence of Star Wars. The films.
LF: You said you were never happy with how the prequel trilogy turned out. Is your disappointment driving your decision to reboot Episodes I-III?
Lucas: It’s not a reboot, because that would mean I’d have to alter the original trilogy. I’ve considered doing that, but then I think “where am I going to find another Harrison Ford?” (laughs) But yes, I was very disappointed. I’ve always had a vision for how I wanted Star Wars to look. My biggest struggle has been with technology, getting the look and the feel exactly right. And that’s why I didn’t want to start making the prequels in the 90’s. I knew the cgi wasn’t advanced to the point where I could do what I really wanted with it. Now that I’ve seen some of the things Peter Jackson and James Cameron have been doing, I think we’re finally ready.
LF: You’ve made a couple comments recently about The Phantom Menace being “rushed”. Can you tell us about that?
Lucas: I won’t name names… but certain people said we had to push Star Wars before the year 2000. They thought this new generation wouldn’t be able to appreciate the Original Trilogy because it was too dated. It was now or never. And they wanted a script.
LF: So what did you do?
Lucas: I decided to throw them a bone, send them my basic plotline but convince them we had to wait. I had ideas of course. I wanted Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine, a young Obi-Wan in Jedi training, a droid army, and of course I had some idea of what I wanted Darth Maul to be. I put these pieces in a script, then added bunch of fluff to make the project unfilmable. I was hoping the team would be so discouraged that they’d give up for a few years.
LF: You intentionally sabotaged the project with your script?
Lucas: Unfortunately, yes.
LF: What did you write in to make the project unfilmable?
Lucas: Oh… most of it made it to the screen, actually. Jar Jar Binks, Anakin building C3PO, all that nonsense.
LF: George, Star Wars is your baby. How did you let this happen?
Lucas: I’d rather not talk about that part of it. Basically, I sent them a script while I was working on other projects. Then I got a call from them a year later and they were already in pre-production and past the point of no return.
LF: With or without the ‘nonsense’, as you said?
Lucas: Again, not naming names… but certain people loved Jar Jar and a young Anakin. They went on and on about merchandising, talking about action figures and coloring books, calling me a genius for grabbing the attention of a new generation.
LF: Then what?
Lucas: I gave in. I made the films. And I regret that to this day.
LF: You regret making the prequel trilogy? All of it?
Lucas: I have regrets about certain choices that were made and the final product. When I made the original trilogy, there were problems that could be fixed with cgi and editing later on; I did that with the Special Edition release. It’s not that simple with Episode I-III. There are things I hate about it and the only way to fix that is to remake the entire prequel trilogy.
LF: What kind of things are you changing when you remake Episodes I-III?
Lucas: Darth Vader. I can’t be more adamant about that. Anakin’s journey is central to Star Wars and that needs to be consistent from the first time we see Anakin as a teenager to when we see his funeral pyre in Return of the Jedi.
LF: You won’t show Anakin as a child?
Lucas: No. And he won’t be building C-3PO this time, either. (laughs) I want to debut Anakin as a teenager, the way I did with Luke. I was never happy with Jake Lloyd or Hayden Christensen. I’ll be picking a more mature actor this time, someone who can give us the complexity we need to see from Anakin but still look young enough to play him in all three films.
LF: Do you have an actor in mind?
Lucas: No one is hired yet. But I have a dream cast in mind, yes.
LF: Can you tell us who…
Lucas: No, not yet at least. Check back with me in September. (laughs)
LF: What else are you going to change significantly?
Lucas: There are a lot of things I want to change. Like the midi-chlorian explanation of the Force, I hated that.
LF: How’d that get in the script if you hated the idea?
Lucas: People thought that giving the Force a more… logical explanation would give our science fiction credibility. Make it scientifically accurate and all that. But equating the Force to microscopic bacteria really dissolved the foundation of everything Star Wars is about, the Light Side and the Dark Side. I didn’t realize until the third film how damaging that one line about midi-chlorians from Liam Neeson was going to be to the entire franchise.
LF: How different will these remakes feel when compared to the prequel trilogy we’ve already seen?
Lucas: These films are going to be completely different; they won’t feel like a typical remake at all.
LF: How different?
Lucas: I don’t want to give anything away, but if you go in expecting to see a 15 year old Padme ruling an entire planet, you’re going to be disappointed. (laughs)