With the recent drama surrounding a rumor of an unaltered Original Trilogy release, there’s been new debate over what Disney can or can not do with the Star Wars movies. Some people believe now that Lucas sold his company he has no say in the movies, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. And there’s even comments from Lucas from eighteen years ago that backs up why he would make such an arrangement with Disney when he sold the company.
In 1999 Lucas spoke about film preservation. Now a lot of people on the internet like to pull out his comments from that to try to point out he was a “hypocrite” for changing Star Wars, but that’s because they’re idiots who don’t understand or care about context. Lucas was talking about big corporations who would buy a filmmaker’s movie years after release and do things never intended such as colorizing a black and white movie.
Based on a lot of comments from people online, who believe Disney can do whatever they want with Lucas’ movies since they bought Lucasfilm, his comments ring pretty strongly today:
“Everybody signs on to bring forth the director’s vision- that’s part of the way movies are made and always have been. The real issue is whether a corporation that buys the film 10 years later has the right to change it. My response continues to be no.”
If George Lucas was so defensive of protecting a filmmaker’s vision from the altering hands of a corporation, you’d better believe there was some kind of agreement in the sale to Disney to ensure that they’d never alter the Star Wars movies without his involvement.