Charlie Rose's recent interview with George Lucas is exploding online right now and to no one's surprise, it's because of the man in the hotseat. The Star Wars creator spent an hour covering everything from American Graffiti to his friendship with Steven Spielberg to Disney's purhcase of cinema's biggest franchise.
Lucas's comments regarding Disney as the "white slavers" was among the top unsettling moments from this interview of course. He's apologized for it now and fans can either choose to accept it or not.
What's perhaps harder to accept at this point is just how incredibly out of touch the man truly is.
He had a problem with Disney wanting to make a "retro" movie, an obvious reference to the New Hope feel that The Force Awakens has. It seems that taking the Star Wars universe back to the central themes that made it an American treasure didn't really appeal to Lucas.
Updating it with modern day special effects and shoving Jar Jar Binks into the center of it all was apparently more important.
He shrugged off his latest recognition from The Kennedy Center Honors as if it didn't matter that much to him. Rose pursued him heavily on this point and truly wanted to get heartfelt sentiment from him on it but that never came. He gave the impression that he was above it all and perhaps he is.
He very nearly dismissed the idea that Star Wars was his crowning achievement, a fact that will surely cause more head turning among fans than anything else from the interview. Star Wars is his legacy, it's the biggest thing he's ever done or will ever do as an artist. Of course that's what he will be remembered for.
This is Star Wars; this is the cornerstone of the sci-fi genre in America, the franchise that made the blockbuster sequel possible. This is the story that launched thousands of books, TV projects and big screen flops that sought to cash in on the craze.
One by one creators tried to duplicate Lucas's success and one by one they failed. There is only one Star Wars and that's how it is.
There is no recreating the magic that was achieved with the original trilogy. A New Hope came at just the right time in America and when it captured the imagination of the country, it became very obvious that something very special had happened. This was a franchise that both young and old enjoyed, a story that captivated everyone that saw it.
A whole generation grew up with Star Wars and embraced it like any masterpiece of classic literature. It permeated our everyday lives and has become the backbone of American pop culture. It's part of who we are.
But the guy responsible for it all really doesn't think it's that big of a deal.
J.J. Abrams had a tall order in front of him when he was handed Episode Seven. He had to please a lot of people behind the scenes and a lot of fans that were looking to be taken back to the time when "A galaxy far far away" made them giddy with anticipation. He climbed every mountain put in his way and he did so with better results than anything from the last set of Star Wars films.
Abrams did a masterful job with The Force Awakens and the majority of fans are likely thrilled that Lucas was not the man in charge. There has perhaps never been a better case of an outsider understanding the source material better than the creator responsible. If The Force Awakens is any indication, the Star Wars expanded universe of films will continue to captivate audiences in the coming years.
If not for George Lucas, we would not have had Star Wars then. If not for George Lucas getting out of his own way, we would not have Star Wars now. He may be out of touch but fans know what they want and ultimately they decide what works.
Star Wars is working once again, whether George Lucas wants to admit it or not.