Was he trolling when he had Vader yell NOOOOOOOOO! in Return of the Jedi, because Lucas knew fans hated it in Revenge of the Sith? Like when he said Empire Strikes Back was the worst film because he knew fans would read that and flip.
Replacing Shaw with Hayden his whole explanation for it didn’t make sense but i don’t think at the time he did that to anger OT fans. But the 2011 Blu Ray change might be trolling. Still not gaslighting like the things he says about the Greedo scene or having this one big script thing in 74 when there was barely one movie. Or the Oxymoron thing about not being able to give us the originals.
I think most of us around here are aware that Lucas plays it loose with the truth and accuracy.
Many fans in 1980 and even later in the 80’s felt TESB was the worst film. I did for many years. My opinion changed. And I don’t for a moment think that Lucas gave a single thought what fans wanted when he worked on the SE changes. I think he did what he wanted.
And Lucas did have a larger script. It basically went from ANH and leaving Tatooine, to Bespin, to Endor. Except Bespin was Imperial so it was kind of like the Death Star part of ANH, but on a city in the clouds. That was his big story. The script exists. I’ve read it. It is a huge story that would have made 2 movies, but with him taking the climactic space battle for ANH, he had to rework the rest of it which expanded it out to 3 films. But what he had was definitely more than 1 film in that script.
As for the originals. We are all aware around here of what can be done in restoring film. We know that the original version is easily within reach. It is not lost. But doing from the original negatives might not be possible. Like that has stopped anyone from restoring any classic film. They just can’t do it by running the original reels through a machine so it isn’t worth the effort as far as he is concerned.