Disney CEO Bob Iger Reflects on George Lucas’ Disappointed Reaction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens

In a matter of months, Star Wars will bring a close to the Skywalker Saga with an epic bang. December will usher in the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and excitement for the film is at a high. Still, there are fans who push back against the sequel trilogy, and it turns out they had some major support on their team. After all, Disney CEO Bob Iger says George Lucas was disappointed at first after he saw the sequel series' first film.

Recently, Iger shared the story of Lucas' reaction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens upon his first screening. The CEO chose to include the anecdote in his latest book, Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and it was there Iger said Lucas "didn't hide his disappointment" over The Force Awakens.

According to Lucas, there was "nothing new" about the film which caught his eye or interest.

"In each of the films in the original trilogy, it was important to him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies. In this one, he said, “There weren’t enough visual or technical leaps forward.” He wasn’t wrong, but he also wasn’t appreciating the pressure we were under to give ardent fans a film that felt quintessentially Star Wars," Iger explained.

"We’d intentionally created a world that was visually and tonally connected to the earlier films, to not stray too far from what people loved and expected, and George was criticizing us for the very thing we were trying to do."

While Lucas might not have been a fan of the film to start, Iger is wholly supportive of The Force Awakens. The CEO says J.J. Abrams' did the "near-impossible" by bridging the previous Star Wars trilogies with what was to come for the franchise. Nowadays, Disney has put a focus on Star Wars even outside of the big screen. In a matter of months, the company will see The Mandalorian debut on Disney+ as the franchise's first live-action venture. Clearly, things are ever expanding with Star Wars whether or not Lucas gives his seal of approval from the start.

Can you understand where Lucas' disappointment came from? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be in theaters on December 20th. The rest of the prequel trilogy is currently available on home video.

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