George Lucas Planning Third Star Wars Trilogy?

As Allahpundit puts it, when one hears news like this, the instinct is to shudder:

Big honking Saturday morning rumor here! According to IESB.net, George Lucas will be creating a new trilogy once the first six Star Wars movies go 3D. This echoes what Lucas did in the 1990s after the original trilogy was rereleased.

When you check the link, IESB.net may be down from a traffic surge, but here are the pertinent details:

George Lucas is plotting to create new Star Wars movies at the ultra top-secret Skywalker Ranch. This is deja vu of the mid ’90s when Uncle George start[ed] tweaking the Holy Trilogy to gear up for the Special Editions. […] These new film will have nothing to do with the live action television series currently in development. That show already has over 50 scripts ready to go and plenty of pre-production time and money has been spent on artwork and storyboards. Once that show goes into production, Lucasfilm hopes to be able to produce at least 100 episodes since that is the threshold for syndication in the United States […Fans] can expect the new trilogy after the entire saga is released in 3D which is expected to be complete around 2015 or 2016.

Also, the trilogy is reported to kick off approximately 24 months after the 3Ding of Return of the Jedi, and the next three episodes (which could be either Episodes 7-9 or 10-12) could possibly “occur as far as 100 years or 1,000 years in the Star Wars universe future.” Furthermore, the IESB source claims that the movie will not focus on the Skywalker clan.

This is a rumor that’s been around for a years, but the seemed to have been put to rest a few years ago when Lucas said that his saga ended with Episode Six:

In a 1997 issue of Star Wars Insider, George said “The whole story has six episodes…. If I ever went beyond that, it would be something that was made up. I really don’t have any notion other than ‘Gee, it would be interesting to do Luke Skywalker later on.’ It wouldn’t be part of the main story, but a sequel to this thing.”. In 1999, speaking to Vanity Fair, Lucas denies ever having any plans to make 9 movies. “”When you see it in six parts, you’ll understand. It really ends at part six.”

And in May 2008, Lucas stuck to his blasters and said I get asked all the time, ‘What happens after Return of the Jedi?,’ and there really is no answer for that. The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that’s where that story ends.

Of course, when Lucas looks at the billion dollars that Avatar has earned since it’s release, one can guess that he certainly might be tempted to open up the franchise for further filmmaking. Unfortunately, after the mediocre plots and acting that market the Prequel Trilogy and future movies will likely just involve a lot of special effects, and little of what drew people in thirty three years ago.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Vast Variety says:

    20 years ago there were only 3 good Star Wars movies, somethings never change.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I do seem to recall that, during the run of the original trilogy, that Lucas was talking about doing more movies set twenty-odd years in the future, with a middle aged Luke and so forth. But doing something 100 or 1000 years into the future, with no relation to the existing storyline, makes no sense at all.

  3. James,

    Well, it does make sense if your goal is to bring in big box office dollars.

    Lucas has already demonstrated that he doesn’t care so much about the integrity of his story — Han shot first ! — that I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him do this. As the Prequels (and pretty much any summer blockbuster) proved, you’ll put people in the seats as long as you have a lot of cool effects and blow stuff up.

  4. sam says:

    Yeah, I’d always understood that the story was conceived as comprising nine episodes. If he’s going to make the final three, let’s hope he’s learned to turn the writing over to someone else.

  5. The new Star Trek movie proved that you can use young actors to fill old roles and pull it off. Avatar proved that adults will embrace a sci-fi action movie if there is enough plot (and in Avatar’s case, only barely enough plot) to keep them mentally engaged. Star Wars fans speak very well of a series of novels concerning a character named Admiral Thrawn. So it’s not like there couldn’t be interesting stories to tell that could generate massive audience appeal.

    To tell them, and to make the billions of dollars thus available, George Lucas would have to:

    1. Cede creative control and scriptwriting to people who actually have talent at that sort of thing, which means admitting his own shortcomings in that regard to himself; and

    2. Grasp that what made Avatar work visually was that the viewer looked in to action scenes involving sympathetic characters, rather than moving human and CGI puppets through set-piece battles involving cheesy “comin-at-ya” shots; and

    3. Find new actors who can look and sound enough like the old ones for continuity but allow them to bring their own style to the movie, which can be done (see the new Star Trek).

    While these things are easily done given the deep talent pool from which he could draw, I predict that all three of these mental feats will be utterly beyond George Lucas’ abilities because he will insist on keeping ultimate control of everything. It’s in his nature.

  6. Brett says:

    little of what drew people in thirty three years ago.

    What, the special effects? The “wow” factor was what drew people in back then, not any particularly amazing story or acting.

    I don’t think the Prequels were amazing, but people really need to take the nostalgia glasses off.

  7. Dave Schuler says:

    I don’t think the Prequels were amazing, but people really need to take the nostalgia glasses off.

    I was one of those who stood in line to see Star Wars (now called “Episode 4”) when it opened in 1977. It had been nine years since there had been a science fiction film with any real scope. All had been rather claustrophobic.

    Star Wars was different. It was big. It was grand. It moved. It engaged. It was optimistic. The writing was lousy and the acting wooden. But it was grand.

  8. “And in May 2008, Lucas stuck to his blasters and said I get asked all the time, ‘What happens after Return of the Jedi?,’ and there really is no answer for that.”

    But there’s only a thousand or so books out there saying exactly what happens.

    And the worse of the Expanded Universe books are a thousand times better than anything that has come out of George Lucas in the last twenty years.

  9. @Timothy,

    And since those books are all officially licensed, they’re canon. Sort of makes any future movies making difficult.

    @Dave,

    The first trilogy worked because Lucas still thought of them as expanded versions of the old Saturday morning movie theater serials. By the time he got to the Prequels, the saga had turned into something mystical and psuedo-scenitific. And when he turned Ep 2 and 3 into some kind of commentary on contemporary politics, it just went downhill