George Lucas Done With 'Star Wars' Fanboys, Talks 'Red Tails'
George Lucas has heard the criticism over the changes he's made over the years to his "Star Wars" movies. He just doesn't really much care.
Since Lucas first retouched the space opera saga for a theater relaunch in 1997, he has made a number of tweaks to the films. Those changes include having Darth Vader yell "Nooo!" when attacking Emperor Palpatine in "Return of The Jedi," and having the alien Greedo shoot at Han Solo first before Solo shoots and kills him; in the original film, Solo shoots him without coming under assault.
"On the Internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made a change are completely changing the movie," Lucas tells the New York Times in a new profile, referring to YouTube fans who have re-cut his films in retaliation for the small changes he has made. "I'm saying: 'Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.'"
Combine that experience with the cool reception the three "Star Wars" prequel films received in the late 90s and early 2000s, and Lucas says he's done making new films in the canon.
"Why would I make any more," Lucas says, "when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?"
Still, Lucas is producing an animated "Star Wars" show, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," and is planning a live-action show, as well.
This weekend, the filmmaker will finally release the Tuskegee Airmen film "Red Tails," which he personally financed when he said studios balked at getting behind an historical action film starring an African American cast.
"It's because it's an all-black movie," he told Jon Stewart last week on "The Daily Show". "There's no major white roles in it at all...I showed it to all of them and they said no. We don't know how to market a movie like this."
Lucas stayed dedicated to the cause because he believes it is very important to the future of black film.
"They have a right to have their history just like anybody else does,” Lucas says of African Americans. "And they have a right to have it kind of Hollywood-ized and aggrandized and made corny and wonderful just like anybody else does. Even if that's not the fashion right now."
The film has drawn great enthusiasm from the black community, with many groups planning outings to support the film in its first weekend. Lucas is concerned with its box office take not for his own pocket, though he stands to make a lion's share of the profits, but because it would mean black filmmakers would have an easier time getting their films green lit.
Spike Lee, who has been helping to promote the film, disagreed with Lucas's assertion that "Red Tails" will serve as a litmus test for black filmmakers, telling the NY Daily News last week "I have great respect for George, but I don’t think any film can determine whether black cinema lives or dies."
For much more from Lucas, including talk about his future plans, "Indiana Jones," and his girlfriend, click over to the NY Times.