There should be a giant caveat to this topic … that being … a certain point of view. Dutifully set up and reflected on by the OP, it suggests that George Lucas has a certain point of view, but not a legitimate one.
Is George Lucas in a stage of dementia? Is he a cynical liar? Or are we missing something? Most of us (including me) saw this topic and stopped here to have our prejudices reinforced by a title that said it all: George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator & Time Traveling Revisionist. That’s what I thought … until I thought of something I hadn’t before … a certain point of view.
That certain point of view is the George Lucas point of view, which isn’t mentioned in that treatise. Sure, he’s quoted, but not his point of view. It’s like OriginalTrilogy proudly bannering their 54,800+ members with 22,100+ topics, but not mentioning the 7,200+ bans, a telling statistic of … a certain point of view.
If you were to read the Lucas quotes in the context of the time made, you would realize the certain point of view of George Lucas has been consistent throughout his career. He was writing Star Wars before filming, and was writing Star Wars during filming, and was writing Star Wars after filming, and was writing Star Wars during the successive movies, and was writing Star Wars for the re-releases. They were all drafts in his certain point of view. Each idea, each draft, each rewrite he makes is his same point of view in action. The fact is, he has never “finished” writing Star Wars.
How can this be? George Lucas is not “a writer”, he has no sense of writing. He once admitted in a filmed interview, on the old Star Wars website of decades ago, “I bleed all over the page” when writing the script. He further opined that he felt Star Wars “wasn’t his film” because of all the others’ ideas and skills and talent that went into the movie it was becoming.
Likewise, George Lucas is not “a filmmaker”, he has no sense of film. His editing of Star Wars was so bad, it nearly sunk the film in production. He had to hand it over to his then-wife Marcia (a professional film editor) to re-cut the film into the blockbuster we saw in the theaters. That is why he is always wanting to take a back-seat on the “big films” and is always opining to “go back” to his “small films”. (His small films were the very, very short “tone poems” he made in his “University Of Southern California” film-school days.) His behavior even puzzled legendary producer/director Stanley Kubrick, who once wondered aloud why the director of American Graffiti would want to “run a business” instead of make films. A very telling observation, that.
It seems George Lucas is mostly good at surrounding himself with others who can re-mold his fuzzy-inspirations and transform his inept-everything-else into complete movies. That doesn’t take anything away from him. Without him being the magnet to attract and ignite others’ talent, there wouldn’t have been a THX 1138, an American Graffiti, or a Star Wars.
So no fan-boyz pile-on (a soft & loving pile-on, to be sure) and hope that we finally realize that George Lucas will never finish Star Wars, because he never had a Star Wars film, in him, to begin with. Rather, he had films that he loved growing up and put bits of them together over, and over, and over again, to make a monied success of his own.
Take a look at the world through the eyes of George Lucas:
SLATE.com: Star Wars Is a Postmodern Masterpiece: How George Lucas spliced together Westerns, jidaigeki, space adventure serials, fairy tales, dogfighting movies, and Casablanca to create Hollywood’s first world-conquering collage. By Forrest Wickman