GEORGE LUCAS - KID WITHOUT TOYS
The man who single handedly made movie tie-in merchandise as successful a franchise as McDonalds, George Lucas has not one furry ewok, fuzzy wookie, stormtrooper uniform or mock lightsabre, at his Skywalker Ranch, reports Katherine Tulich in the latest issue of Australia’s DVD monthly, Region 4 magazine.
"This is the only thing I have," Lucas confesses as he leads me behind a door to the office's smaller annex. It's a glass case enclosing the Imperial speeder from Return of the Jedi, the original model that was used for the film, signed by the actors and technicians.
"When I got out of film school in LA and I first came up here everyone thought I was crazy. They said you can't go home and make movies. But I grew up here, I liked it here and I wanted to stay here. I didn't see any point in going down to LA to be a part of it all," he says. He may have created most of their biggest blockbusters but he has doggedly
"Down there they hang out together, talk together, think together, come up with ideas together. I prefer to be somewhere where I come up with my own ideas and do it my own way." The myth and might of Star Wars may be legendary but its 58-year-old creator is surprisingly diminutive in stature and presence. Standing only a medium sized 5' 6'', his stocky body wearing his de rigeur uniform of red plaid shirt, blue jeans and runners, his thick mop of wavy hair and beard liberally peppered with white hair. While his voice
is timid, often mumbling the end of sentences, it takes only a few minutes in his company to inhale his stoic single-mindedness and unassuming assertiveness.
"He's the most laid back guy in the world," says Attack of the Clones producer Rick McCallum. "But there is definitely an iron fist behind that velvet glove."
Ask him to describe the differences between filming the original Star Wars in 1977 and the current batch and he distills it down to a matter of interference. "I have less people intruding on it. Before you had thousands of studio executives come in and try to tell you how to make a movie, now I don't have any of that. Not dealing with all of that probably gives me 30% more time than any filmmaker in LA has," he says matter of factly.
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George Lucas on set