There was a great disturbance in the Force ― or at least in the Disney executive suite.
In his new book, “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,” Disney CEO Bob Iger reportedly wrote that “Star Wars” creator George Lucas felt “betrayed” by the company’s followup films to his beloved franchise.
ComicBook.com reported that Iger’s book describes how the company purchased three new “Star Wars” outlines from Lucas around the time Disney bought LucasFilm in 2012 for $4 billion. Iger said they made it clear to Lucas when they purchased the outlines that they would not be contractually obligated to use them. Lucas also agreed ― “reluctantly” ― to act as a consultant on the new films.
But when the company’s filmmakers finally met to discuss the new plot, Lucas was not happy.
“George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations,” Iger wrote, adding:
Now, in the first meeting with him about the future of Star Wars, George felt betrayed. And while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start.
That was Lucas’ first reaction to the ideas, and it seems his view didn’t change much. Iger also wrote that Lucas “didn’t hide his disappointment” when he saw a screening of 2015′s “The Force Awakens,” and complained it had “nothing new.”
Lucas stirred controversy around that time when he described how it felt to sell his characters to Disney.
“I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and …,” he said in an interview with Charlie Rose, then laughed and didn’t finish the thought.
He also said the Disney execs “weren’t that keen” to have him involved in the franchise after they bought it.
“And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way and I’ll let them go their way.’” he said.
Lucas later apologized for the “white slavers” comment and said he was “thrilled” with the “exciting directions” of the franchise.
In his new book, Iger did not detail the plot of the treatments they bought; however, Lucas told fellow filmmaker James Cameron that he had wanted to explore the “microbiotic world” of “Star Wars.” In the companion book to the AMC series “James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction,” Lucas said:
There’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force.
Lucas used the analogy of people as vehicles for the Whills to travel in.
“We’re vessels for them. And the conduit is the midi-chlorians,” he said. “The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force.”
Lucas predicted that, if his idea had been made, “a lot of the fans would have hated it.”
“Star Wars” star Mark Hamill also detailed what he heard from Lucas about future films: Luke would’ve died in Episode IX after training Leia to become a Jedi, he told IGN last year.
“The Ride of a Lifetime” hits bookstore shelves today.