Lucas Was to Direct 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Before Lucasfilm Sale
If you're one of those fans who is glad that George Lucas isn't messing with Star Wars anymore, you can count your lucky stars that the creator of the galaxy far, far away changed his mind from what he originally had planned to continue the sci-fi saga. USA Today recently interviewed Lucas in an effort to build some excitement for Lucasfilm's animated release Strange Magic, and inevitably the conversation turned to Star Wars. Obviously, Lucas isn't involved with The Force Awakens, so they didn't talk about that, but Lucas did reveal that he originally wanted to direct Episode VII for a May 2015 release before he sold Lucasfilm.
That's right, Lucas would have directed Star Wars: Episode VII first, and then walked away from the franchise and sold the company after that. This makes sense since Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher previously mentioned that Lucas had spoken to them about coming back for Episode VII before Disney picked up Lucasfilm and hired J.J. Abrams to direct Episode VII. Disney came around at a time when Lucas realized that if he embarked on a new trilogy, it would be hard to walk away after the first film, and that would be another 10-year commitment. And spending time with his family was more important:
"It’s better for me to get out at the beginning of a new thing and I can just remove myself. The time is more important to me than the money."
Lucas and his wife made plans to have another kid, and the prospect of a new trilogy, especially at his age, was just too daunting. And the rest is recent history. So does George Lucas have any regrets about walking away? It doesn't seem like it, and in fact, he's actually excited to experience the world he created as an outsider, "The only thing I really regret about Star Wars is the fact I never got to see it — I never got to be blown out of my seat when the ship came over the screen. The next one, I’ll be able to enjoy it like anybody else." We'll be right there with you this winter, George. And don't forget you can watch Lucas chat with Robert Redford at Sundance later this month.