Disney’s Star Wars sequels certainly have their fans, but Marcia Lucas doesn’t count herself among them. The Oscar-winning editor behind the original trilogy (and ex-wife to George Lucas) makes her thoughts on the sequels very clear in a scathing foreword to the book Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life.
In the foreword, Lucas slams Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, arguing “they don’t have a clue about Star Wars” and criticizing the decision to kill off franchise icons Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.
“They don’t get it,” Lucas writes. “And J.J. Abrams is writing these stories — when I saw the movie where they kill Han Solo, I was furious… Absolutely, positively there was no rhyme or reason to it. I thought, You don’t get the Jedi story. You don’t get the magic of Star Wars. You’re getting rid of Han Solo? And then at the end of this last one, they have Luke disintegrate. They killed Han Solo. They killed Luke Skywalker. And they don’t have Princess Leia anymore. And they’re spitting out movies every year.”
Lucas seems to have little love for Daisy Ridley’s Rey either, pointing to the many unanswered questions surrounding the character and her background pre-Episode IX (when this foreword appears to have been commissioned).
“And they think it’s important to appeal to a woman’s audience, so now their main character is this female, who’s supposed to have Jedi powers, but we don’t know how she got Jedi powers, or who she is. It sucks. The storylines are terrible. Terrible. Just awful.”
And perhaps to set the record straight, Lucas also directs her wrath at her ex-husband’s prequel trilogy, revealing her disappointment in Episode I literally brought her to tears in 1999.
“I remember going out to the parking lot, sitting in my car and crying,” Lucas writes. “I cried. I cried because I didn’t think it was very good. And I thought [George] had such a rich vein to mine, a rich palette to tell stories with… There were things I didn’t like about the casting, and things I didn’t like about the story, and things I didn’t like — it was a lot of eye candy. CG.”
Lucas is probably best known for her work editing the original three Star Wars movies. She won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing in 1977 for Star Wars, having previously been nominated for 1973’s American Graffiti. Lucas also won a BAFTA for her work on 1976’s Taxi Driver.
Lucas’ contribution to the Star Wars franchise is the subject of the YouTube mini-documentary “How Star Wars Was Saved in the Edit,” which reveals just how pivotal a role she played in shaping her then-husband’s rough cut into a global blockbuster.
Abrams seemingly acknowledged the lingering controversy surrounding the Star Wars sequels in 2020, admitting he’s “learned the hard way” to always go into new projects with a clear plan.
As for what’s next for the franchise, we recently learned the upcoming anime anthology Star Wars Visions will be the first project set after the events of The Rise of Skywaker, though it’s unclear whether the series is meant to be part of the official canon.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.