Don't expect any more "Star Wars" flicks after "Revenge of the Sith" — George Lucas says he's done.
"This was never planned as a nine-episode work," Lucas said. "The media [pounced when] I made an offhand comment, 'It might be fun to come back when everyone's 80 and do another one of these.' But I never had any intention of doing that."
Lucas said he only decided to do the back-story trilogy — which "Sith," due next May, will cap — because he realized he had already written it in order to tell the story in the first "Star Wars" films. "The original 'Star Wars' was only three films, and that was what it was meant to be," he said. "After a lot of pondering and thought, I went back to do the back story, but that pretty much tells the story. Episode six is the end. There isn't any more to it."
"Sith" may mark the end on an emotional level, too. "All the good guys die," he said, laughing. "And you know, it's pretty dark. It's pretty intense. I'm not sure this one is going to end up a PG like the others were."
That apparently doesn't have so much to do with actual violence — like previous "Star Wars" films, this one will have lots of battles and space action — as with what happens to Padme and the children borne from her union with Anakin Skywalker following their escape and separation. "It's a happy story," Lucas joked.
Despite the special-effects advances made since "Star Wars" premiered in 1977, Lucas doesn't feel threatened by films such as the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, nor does he feel the need to up the ante. Because of its legacy and consistent quality, his company Industrial Light and Magic really has no special-effects competition — not even Peter Jackson's WETA Digital.
"My company, we sort of pioneered special effects," Lucas said. "We're responsible for the rebirth of special effects in the film business. It disappeared back in the late '50s and early '60s, so we put together a group of kids, started it all over again, and eventually moved into digital. We've been pushing digital techniques and that sort of thing ever since, and we helped populate the special-effects industry as it is today. A lot of supervisors at all the other special-effects companies are from my lab. We even helped set up WETA in New Zealand, and have supported them with advice and that sort of thing."
Having accomplished so much on a blockbuster scale, Lucas said that after "Revenge of the Sith" and his upcoming fourth "Indiana Jones" installment (which he hopes to start shooting within a year), he'd like to return to indie-style movies like his 1971 debut, "THX 1138," which returns to theaters Friday (September 10) with a new director's cut.
"I think I've earned the right to fail," he said.
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