George Lucas on why he’s done with directing Star Wars: “all you do is get criticised”

"You can't experiment, you can't do anything," says the founder of Lucasfilm

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It’s been three years since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and with it the rights to George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise. That’s 37 long months for fans to count down to Episode VII – but now, finally, the moment is almost here. Next month the Force will return to cinemas across the globe as JJ Abrams’ new instalment aims to enchant a whole new generation of fans.

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But how does Lucas – whose company Lucasfilm masterminded the first six episodes – feel? And why did he choose to hand over the keys to his brainchild? 

“You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticised and people try to make decisions about what you’re going to do before you do it and it’s not much fun,” he’s told Vanity Fair. “You can’t experiment, you can’t do anything. You have to do it a certain way and I don’t like that – I never did.

The 71-year-old, who has served as a “creative consultant” on the new Star Wars film, does intend to continue directing – but don’t expect to see him at the helm of any blockbusters. “I started out in experimental films and I want to go back to experimental films but, of course, nobody wants to see experimental films. I will be directing movies but not movies generally that will be shown anywhere.”

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With £2.5 billion in his pocket from the Lucasfilm sale, he can certainly afford it.