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George Lucas: The End Of A Legacy?

Eric Parra |
January 21, 2012 | 12:15 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

George Lucas (creative commons)
George Lucas (creative commons)

"American Graffiti." "Raiders of the Lost Ark." "Star Wars." Some of the most celebrated movies made by a man who many people deemed a cinematic genius. 

"Star Wars: Episode 1." "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull." "Howard the Duck." Some of the not-so-well-celebrated movies by a man some people have deemed senile, crazy, and “a terrible person.”

George Lucas has had a long and enduring career with many ups and downs, being clawed at the entire way through. But above all else, he has remained a man of passion for his work, critically acclaimed or not. Harsh criticisms and rejection have followed him since his beginnings, first by the executives who wouldn’t bother with his childish movies and now by the fanboys who wish to go back to their childhood movies. Regardless, he has pushed his way through the difficulties to get his ideas out into the world and the mind of the public, even when that means paying for everything on his own. 

But apparently even Mr. Lucas can only handle so much. 

“Why would I make any more when everyone yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” George Lucas told the New York Times in regards to all of his sequels, prequels, and remakes of the "Star Wars" franchise.

It is with this attitude that Lucas decided his next course of action would be to finally give up on the action.  “I’m retiring,” Lucas said. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”

Red Tails Poster (IMDB)
Red Tails Poster (IMDB)

Of course, this does not mean Lucas is done with film. For a man of such a legacy and drive to give up on something he’s been going at his whole life is simply impossible. What he refers to in his claims of retirement is that he is (allegedly) finished with mainstream film. No more blockbusters, no more "Star Wars," no more sequels…but there is still a possible "Indiana Jones 5" in the making, to the fans’ liking or not. 

As a retired man, Lucas intends to take his creative spirit back to his roots, starting with the ending of his career: "Red Tails." "Red Tails," a WWII film about the Tuskegee training program, that Lucas came up with back in the 90’s and handed over as a screenstory, is his attempt to go back to the naivety and innocent style of film-making. He yearns to match the similar style he approached with in the 70’s, the beginning of his career and the start of his praise. 

According to Rick McCallum, a producer for Lucas, “Once [Red Tails] is finished, he’ll have done everything he’s ever wanted to do. He will have completed his task as a man and a film maker.”  

With all of his goals accomplished only to be followed by constant criticisms and backlash, Lucas is ready to put his past behind him and move on. When he retires, he intends to go back to experimental films, akin to those he made back in his USC college days. It was a simpler time where he could record clouds moving over the desert or make a movie based on an E. E. Cummings poem.

Regardless of where Lucas treks his film making prowess into, the people will still keep an eye on him, just as they have since his Star Wars debut. But will they be there to welcome him back or try to keep him in a place far far away? The future is still vast and infinite and full of surprises.

Reach reporter Eric Parra here

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