Wednesday, October 31, 2012

George Lucas hands Star Wars over to Disney

I feel very emotional about the news this morning that George Lucas is retiring and handing over his Lucasfilm empire to Disney. It feels like he has died. I guess it's that realisation that we've come to the end of another era. That unlike Star Wars, George Lucas is mortal and getting older every day. This then reminds you that you are not five years old boy anymore, but a middle aged man and time is running out for you too.

Despite all the grief he was given over the Star Wars prequels, lets not forget that without him, Star Wars and Indiana Jones would not exist. It must have been incredibly hard to let go of such a huge part of your life - your legacy. No wonder it has taken him four years to do. I think he must feel incredibly sad, relieved and excited all at the same time. I know I do. 

Kathleen Kennedy (The Producer of Indiana Jones and many of Steven Spielberg's other films) is going to take over the running of Lucasfilm and will be producing the next trilogy of Star Wars films which follow on from Return Of The Jedi. Lucas wrote treatments for these around the same time as he developed the first three films. They subsequently became novels and graphic novels in the early to mid-nineties. 

Way back then, when I was still at University, I learned that they were going to be making the prequels. I swore (to anyone who'd listen) that I would direct the ninth Star Wars film. I worked out that it would not be released any earlier than 2015, which gave me nearly nineteen years to calve out a successful directing career. I even made Danny Boyle sign my Trainspotting/Shallow Grave screenplay book "Good Luck with the ninth Star Wars." 

In 1997, while working on The Phantom Menace, I asked George Lucas' daughter Amanda if he would be making the final trilogy and without hesitation she said no. At that moment my dream of directing a Star Wars film had been shattered. Over the years I had forgotten that dream and instead been grateful for the wonderful experience I had working on Episode One that summer. The opportunity to meet the big man himself was inspiring enough for me to leave Star Wars behind and crack on with my own fantastical ideas and possible franchises. 

Despite the fact that in the last fifteen years I have unfortunately not yet reached a Hollywood level career in directing, this morning's news reignited a spark of excitement. There was still a chance, however small that I, Derek Boyes, could direct the ninth Star Wars film by 2020. 

Anyone know Kathleen Kennedy's number? 

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