Marcia Lucas, a crucial visionary behind Star Wars, has actually scathing criticism for the Sequel Trilogy and also the franchise under Disney.

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By Joseph Baxter | September 20, 2021 | | comment count:0
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Photo: Lucasfilm

The divisiveness of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy remains powerful nearly two years ~ its conclusion. Yet, as topically wide-ranging—and, in some cases, strange political—as debates over the Disney follow-ups to the sacred original Trilogy became, the cold-hard metric of box office grosses check they caused a decrease among Star Wars’ mainline movies (not even counting the anemic Solo). Now, the camp the sequel detractors has actually apparently got a how amazing authoritative ally in film editor Marcia Lucas, who, besides being the ex-wife the George Lucas, was a crucially ground connection visionary in the franchise’s formation.

One that Star Wars’ beforehand guiding forces, Marcia Lucas (born Marcia Lou Griffin), has offered some scathing criticism of Sequel Trilogy films The pressure Awakens (2015), The critical Jedi (2017) and also The increase of Skywalker (2019), rife through the sort of adjectives the don’t beat approximately the bush. The stinging indigenous stem indigenous Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life by J.W. Rinzler, a brand-new biography top top the legendary film producer and Lucas collaborator. In the book’s foreword, Marcia Lucas it is provided a damaging rebuke (via Inverse) of the franchise’s most recent films and their stewardship under veteran producer catalent Kennedy—albeit with the rhetorical analgesic that a cost-free preamble.

“I favor Kathleen. I always liked her. She was complete of beans. She was yes, really smart and really bright. Really wonderful woman. And I favored her husband, Frank. I chosen them a lot,” claims Lucas. “Now that she’s running Lucasfilm and making movies, it seems to me the Kathy Kennedy and J.J. Abrams don’t have actually a clue about Star Wars. Castle don’t acquire it. And J.J. Abrams is composing these stories—when I observed that movie whereby they death Han Solo, i was furious. I was furious as soon as they eliminated Han Solo. Absolutely, positively there was no rhyme or factor to it. Ns thought, ‘You don’t obtain the Jedi story. You don’t gain the magic of Star Wars.’”

Interestingly, Lucas’ duty behind the scene of the initial Star Wars Trilogy—and the George-developed, Steven Spielberg-directed Raiders that the lost Ark—as an editor and also informal story consultant has actually only newly started to come to be widely known, thanks to a handful of tell-all books and behind-the-scenes television specials. However, that does seem clear in hindsight the the world-altering pop society groundswell that was 1977’s original Star Wars was a gestalt effort that observed George’s early, allegedly-vague Flash Gordon-esque serial sci-fi designs polished by personnel such as producer Gary Kurtz and, most notably, Marcia. Indeed, together alleged, Marcia—as his wife—primarily own the clout to slam George’s wilder, unfeasible ideas and constructively refine them in a way that bore pathos ~ above the screen; the Apollo come his Dionysus, if friend will.

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However, the acrimony in their marital relationship metastasized beneath a public façade in 1982 during production of the trilogy closer at some point titled Return of the Jedi. In hindsight, this arguably influenced the circulation of the film, i m sorry is widely believed (an admittedly anecdotal qualification) to be the weakest and also most out-there entry of those very first three films. Unfortunately, the chemistry the conjured several of the many beloved and influential movies of all time unceremoniously dissipated upon their divorce and also professional split, which to be announced soon after Jedi’s 1983 release. In fact, a frequently-cited reason for the divisive direction of George’s ultimate tenure top top the 1999-2005 Prequel Trilogy was the their manufacturing occurred versus an untenable dynamic, in i m sorry George boring unchecked power as director, writer, and studio bigwig. Indeed, nevertheless today’s newfound nostalgic love conveyed come the prequels, traditional critiques frequently allude to convoluted plots, normally dry performances, and artificial green screen aesthetics—aspects that conceivably can have been neutralized and/or salvaged through the splicing and advice the Marcia.

Contextually, Marcia’s Star Wars excoriation is being made almost a te after Disney’s 2012’s salvation of Lucasfilm (and the Star Wars franchise together a whole) in a $4 billion transaction that especially saw George capitulate any type of control he had over the franchise, business-wise and creatively. So, this is hardly a instance of decades-preserved tart grapes gift spewed onto an ex-spouse. Rather, it have the right to be regarded as the case of the franchise’s de facto mom watching native afar as her child provides what she believes are destructive choices. In fact, she no mince words as soon as addressing the elephant in the Sequel Trilogy room, Daisy Ridley’s Rey. While her condition as the trilogy’s clear protagonist meant that she to be destined to become a an effective figure, even proponents that the films have to admit that Rey’s climb was, in the really least, unnaturally quick, walk in one movie from solitude as a scrap salvager on desert remote world Jakku come besting the powerful scourge of the galaxy at his own game—something the took Luke Skywalker three movies to achieve.


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Regarding Rey, she sound off, “And they think it’s vital to appeal come a woman’s audience, so now their main character is this female, who’s supposed to have actually Jedi powers, but we don’t know just how she gained Jedi powers, or who she is.” Marcia’s criticism is clear destined to it is in met v opposition native the segment the the fandom that connected with Rey in a meaningful way. Yet, that is precious noting the Rey, through the finish of 2015 sequel opener The force Awakens, showcases an inexplicable preternatural capacity in the means of the Jedi, significantly in the film’s climax, in i beg your pardon she—without any lessons whatsoever—picks up a lightsaber because that the very first time come duel and also defeat Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, who—having been portrayed as experienced and an effective throughout the film—had been trained in the Jedi arts throughout his whole life before his dark next turn.


However, the Sequel Trilogy originally seemed destined come laugh its way to the bank with the J.J. Abrams written/directed The pressure Awakens walking on to gross $2 exchange rate worldwide, having tapped the fine of nostalgia hard—so hard, in fact, the film’s structure arguably provides it a work again, please again of A new Hope. Yet, as one might expect indigenous a sequel it is 32 year in the making, the movie shown up as a happen of the protagonist baton from return heroes favor Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and also R2-D2 come a trio of new heroes in Daisy Ridley’s would-be Jedi Rey, man Boyega’s side-jumping former Stormtrooper Finn, and Oscar Isaac’s heroic-but-cocky pilot Poe Dameron, together with rolling droid BB-8.


Unfortunately, the trilogy’s follow-up movies would endure from storytelling the went in disparate directions, an initial with 2017’s The critical Jedi, which witnessed writer/director Rian Johnson do bold, yet controversial transforms in tone and plot developments, specifically regarding Rey, who, in the film, seemingly had actually her chosen One status revoked once she learned her parents where simply ordinary people. Tellingly, that film yielded a crate office decline, which witnessed it gun $1.3 million worldwide. Consequently, upon the abrupt removed of the third film’s appointed visionary, Colin Trevorrow, Disney brought Abrams ago for 2019’s The climb of Skywalker, which retroactively rescinded those advances in lieu the a hastily-concocted climax that revealed Rey to it is in the granddaughter of a clone-resurrected Emperor Palpatine, who, together it turns out, had been hiding behind the scene manipulating the trilogy’s events the totality time. Additionally, she was given a pedantic, quasi-romantic link to Kylo Ren as part of a “dyad” the the Force. The result was a last box office whimper that $1 billion, cementing a steady decrease that resulted in much soul-searching end at Disney.

“It sucks. The storylines room terrible. Just terrible. Awful. You can quote me—J.J. Abrams, Kathy Kennedy—talk to me,” says Marcia. Yet, whatever one could think of the Sequel Trilogy, Rey, or even Daisy Ridley’s performance, the bizarre malleability of her arc absolutely boosts the point Marcia conveys about the weakness of she backstory. Indeed, the accelerated an abilities of a protagonist throughout multiple films (akin come Luke’s unexplained upgrade in between The realm Strikes Back and Return the the Jedi) deserve to be a forgivable offense if said an abilities drive the story forward. However, in Rey’s case, it seems to be an instance of a character being moved by what’s expedient to the story.


For now, though, the Star Wars franchise is taking a rest from the large screen as the current success of live-action Disney+ television collection The Mandalorian will shortly yield succeeding offerings prefer The publication of Boba Fett (which will certainly arrive in time for Christmas), Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Andor. However, a monumental comeback is collection for the far horizon as soon as the Patty Jenkins-directed Star Wars: Rogue Squadron at some point hits theater in 2023, the very first of much more films ~ above the docket.