“In August 1977, an unusually jaunty George Lucas gave an interview to Rolling Stone about his surprise summer blockbuster, Star Wars. He was full of ideas for what to do with his newfound wealth; he’d just funded a comic shop that sold original art, and was mulling a store that sold burgers and diabetic ice cream.
How about more Star Wars movies? Eh. He’d let friends like Steven Spielberg direct the next ones, Lucas said. He was only interested in directing the closing chapter in the Skywalker saga, which at the time he imagined would run to about 9 episodes.
“I want to do the last one,” Lucas said, “so I can do one twice as good as everyone else.”
When the director of Star Wars Episode IX, Colin Treverrow, was dumped by Lucasfilm Tuesday, I tweeted Lucas’ 1977 quote as if he were throwing his hat in the ring through a time warp. A surprising number of fans were into the idea.
Even after the controversy over the prequels, a surprising number of fans are into the idea of the Creator returning to save his franchise in its hour of need, fulfilling his 40-year-old prophecy.
Cool your jets, flyboys.
There are some very good reasons why this 72-year-old would not want the job of directing Episode IX — even though there’s one big reason why he should. […]
As a storyteller like Lucas knows, the idea of a redemption arc is profoundly compelling.
A younger generation of fans is already reclaiming the prequels via Reddit memes, proving the internet isn’t such a hostile place after all. If Lucas came back for Episode IX and gave us a movie as widely loved and critically acclaimed as The Force Awakens or Rogue One, he would secure his legacy and wipe over memories of the prequels tearing fandom apart.
Would he want to bring Jar Jar Binks back as a bit player? Maybe so — but he could also take some pride in filming the satisfyingly tragic end to the Binks narrative that we’ve recently seen in the world of Star Wars novels.
And for a guy who made the prequels revolve around a prophecy of “bringing balance to the Force,” there would no doubt be tremendous satisfaction in fulfilling his own prediction from four decades ago that he would direct the last sequel and make it “twice as good.”
Will Episode IX be the last? As far as Lucasfilm is concerned, it currently is; Kennedy has said the company is considering making each Star Wars film beyond that a standalone in the style of Rogue One or the upcoming Han Solo film.
We could see the continuing adventures of Rey and friends without making it an episode in the Skywalker saga — especially as it looks increasingly likely that she’s no Skywalker. Besides, Lucasfilm is kind of done with that Roman numeral numbering system, as shown by the fact that neither Episode VII nor Episode VIII were marketed with that title.
Han Solo is dead. Leia Organa, the late Carrie Fisher, will get her swan song in The Last Jedi. The only original trilogy hero likely left for Episode IX is Luke Skywalker. And who better to bring his story to completion than the guy who put himself into the character in the first place?
Think of it, the last scenes with Luke S. directed by Lucas. Talk about dropping the mic.”