We now know, straight from the top, that the original leads of Star Wars are "negotiating" to come back for Disney's rebranding. Except, well, George Lucas isn't on top anymore. In Devin Leonard's new cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek about Disney's takeover of Lucasfilm, he reveals that Lucas was never totally comfortable giving Disney control of his beloved Star Wars franchise. Even as he was negotiating the deal, Lucas didn't want to let Disney's people get their mouse paws on the ideas he had for the next three movies:
At first Lucas wouldn’t even turn over his rough sketches of the next three Star Wars films. When Disney executives asked to see them, he assured them they would be great and said they should just trust him. "Ultimately you have to say, 'Look, I know what I’m doing. Buying my stories is part of what the deal is.' I’ve worked at this for 40 years, and I’ve been pretty successful," Lucas says. "I mean, I could have said, 'Fine, well, I’ll just sell the company to somebody else.'"
Lucas finally handed over his stories to certain people after he "got assurances from Disney in writing about the broad outlines of the deal." Disney, throughout this process, wanted to make sure that Lucas knew that Disney would get final say on everything. Though Lucas was "melancholy" when he finally signed away his franchise, Disney CEO Robert Iger was, well, in Iger's own words, "I was Darth Vader."
But Lucas has attended meetings for the new Star Wars Episode VII, he admits in the Businessweek interview: "I mostly say, 'You can't do this. You can do that.'" And as for that rumors that the three original leads will be returning, Lucas is as cagey as everyone else has been over the last few weeks:
Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
Read the full story, which also proves that Lucas is impressive handling a light saber, here.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.