Some might say the Star Wars franchise died with the introduction of Jar Jar Binks in the Phantom Menace. But reports of the end of the Star Wars franchise are somewhat misreported, based entirely on TMZ’s ambush ‘interview’ with Lucas on March 29th.
Asked when the newest installment of “Star Wars” would be, Lucas was blunt: “Never,” he said, adding “I’m retired.”
This is bad news for Star Wars fans, especially considering the long awaited Star Wars Underworld live-action TV series was quietly put on hold by studios due to high production costs and needed “advances in technology”.
Certainly this announcement has nothing to do with the popularity or profitability of the franchise. Kids and adults alike have been buying movies, toys and comics since 1977– defining the science fiction genre for 35 years. For Lucas, it seems the issue is personal.
Lucas has been at odds with fans since episodes I, II and III– and changes he made to the release of epidodes IV,V, and VI. Specifically, additions to Darth Vader’s dialogue ignited serious (absurd) Internet hate.
But the truth behind Lucas’ sudden retirement in January 2012, has more to do with major studios refusing to finance his 23 year long venture Red Tails because it has an all black cast.
In a New York Times article, Lucas says one studio’s executives didn’t even bother to turn up for the screening of Red Tails. He is quoted as saying, “Isn’t this their job? Isn’t their job at least to see movies? I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”
In moving away from box office films Lucas has decided to devote the rest of his life to making independent art films, commiting to an uncommercial world.
All this news centers around George Lucas, and the direction he wants to take with his career. Despite his retirement, fans can still get their Star Wars fix through Clones wars… which will return this fall for a fifth season. There are a variety of Star Wars video games, a lego partnership, novels, and comics that continue to keep the universe alive. But that’s not all…
If we’ve learned anything about Hollywood in the last 20 years, we can count on a Star Wars reboot sometime around 2030.