After selling his Star Wars franchise to Disney and having little involvement in developing follow-up film Episode VII: The Force Awakens, George Lucas has finally seen JJ Abrams’ finished movie – and according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, “he really liked it”.
This seal of approval might reassure some fans (though let’s bear in mind it comes from the man who first thought “you know what this space opera needs? Jar Jar Binks”) – but apparently it came at something of a personal cost for the 71-year-old filmmaker.
Speaking to the Hollywood reporter, Kennedy said the process had been tough for Lucas, “watching this go on without his direct involvement. At the same time, he really wanted to step away.”
She added: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about George is it’s that he’s never, ever held back. Having him 100 percent on board is up to him and he can’t do that unless he’s running everything.”
Lucas himself had previously compared the process to a divorce, and likened his attendance at a screening to going along to his ex-wife’s wedding.
“I gotta go to the wedding,” he told the Washington Post. “My ex will be there, my new wife will be there, but I’m going to have to take a very deep breath and be a good person and sit through it and just enjoy the moment, because it is what it is and it’s a conscious decision that I made.”
Ouch – who knew that going to watch a film about magic space wizards could be so fraught with regret and emotion?