In J. W. Rinzler‘s new book Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life, about the producer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Star Wars editor Marcia Lucas does not mince words in voicing her dislike of the Disney-produced Star Wars films, believing that those in charge of the franchise “don’t get it.”
Lucas made her name as an editor working on Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. She went on to be nominated for an Oscar for George Lucas‘ film American Graffiti and won the award for her work on the original Star Wars. She was also an editor on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, though she was uncredited for the former.
In her quote from Rinzler’s book, Lucas says that she likes the President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy as a person, but doesn’t think she or director J.J Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, understand the magic of the iconic sci-fi series:
“I like Kathleen. I always liked her. She was full of beans. She was really smart and really bright. Really wonderful woman. And I liked her husband, Frank. I liked them a lot. Now that she’s running Lucasfilm and making movies, it seems to me that Kathy Kennedy and J.J. Abrams don’t have a clue about ‘Star Wars.’ They don’t get it. And JJ Abrams is writing these stories — when I saw that movie where they kill Han Solo, I was furious. I was furious when they killed Han Solo. 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?”
Lucas goes on to be highly critical of the decision to kill Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi:
“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. 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. Just terrible. Awful. You can quote me…JJ Abrams, Kathy Kennedy — talk to me.’”
The interview took place between the releases of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, so these excerpts don’t provide any insight on how the famed editor felt about the ending of the Skywalker Saga, though from her past comments, it would be hard to believe that her impressions of the sequel films have changed. Rinzler, unfortunately, passed away on July 28, missing the publication of his new book. Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life was published on September 14.