George Lucas – Not Impressed With Production Of The Last Jedi
Star Wars creator George Lucas wasn’t happy when he went backstage to look at how Episode VIII, The Last Jedi was being made.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s production designer Rick Heinrichs told The Hollywood Reporter that the legend of the franchise personally came to tour the set at London’s Pinewood Studios.
Heinrichs described him as a “cranky guy” who was not a fan of the amount of sets that were being built for the shooting of the sci-fi blockbuster.
Heinrichs recalled that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson originally had about 160 sets in his original script.
He described it as “ridiculous”.
“I didn’t say that to Rian, because I figured on something this big he’ll find that out on his own. It’s a 100-day shooting schedule,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“So there’s more than one set a day you have to prepare for.”
In the end, the production of the film had 125 sets on 14 stages at the studio.
Heinrichs said that Lucas’ original thinking played a part in their decision to reduce the number of sets they were making.
He recalled how they tried to “hew to the original mandate that George Lucas had; treat it as if it’s a documentary somewhere out in space, so you really believe this is happening”.
“That’s one of the appeals to Star Wars is that it’s not this endless world-building place,” he said.
“There’s a very grounded aspect to it and they always tried to find a place that’s connected to our world.”
When Lucas toured the studio, Heinrichs said he made his strong opinion known.
Heinrichs said: “We went into Star Wars saying we’re going to do matte paintings and we’re going to be hanging miniatures. That’s the way we’re going to do this cause that’s what George would want. And of course George visited and he’s like, ‘Why are you building all these sets?’ ‘Well, because that’s what you like, isn’t it?’”
He added: “He’s a cranky guy but his point is that for the big stuff, obviously planets, spaceships flying, when you’re not close enough to see actors in it, there isn’t much point anymore in actually building something.”
While Heinrichs shared Lucas’ reaction to what they were doing before the film was finished, Lucas has not shared his reaction to the The Last Jedi yet.
After Episode VII The Force Awakens was released, Lucas gave a candid interview where he said he was disappointed by the film.
George Lucas said it was very similar to his original trilogy — and begrudgingly described it as a “retro” movie.
“They wanted to do a retro movie,” Lucas said in an interview with Charlie Rose in 2016.
“I don’t like that.”
“Every movie, I work very hard to make them different,” he said.
“I make them completely different, with different planets and different spaceships, to make it new.”
George Lucas also said he has always called the first six movies his “kids,” saying he “sold them to white slavers that take these things and…,” before stopping and laughing his comments off.
Lucas was alter forced to apologize for criticizing Disney’s handling of Star Wars and saying he had sold his characters to “white slavers”.
In a statement, Lucas said he misspoke and used a “very inappropriate analogy.”
It’s not clear what he meant, and Rose didn’t ask a follow-up question on his PBS show.
Lucas sold his production company Lucasfilm with the rights to Star Wars to Disney in October 2012 for more than $4 billion.