It's fair to say that the new iteration of 'Star Wars' hasn't been met with the kind of universal love and acclaim that the original trilogy.
While some felt that it was an update too far, others believed that 'The Force Awakens' wasn't unique enough, while 'The Last Jedi' was too revolutionary in how it handled the original characters. In a nutshell, people's mileage varies on 'Star Wars' as much as any piece of popular culture. Yet, the one person who probably had more weight behind his opinion than anyone else was George Lucas.
Lucas, of course, sold off Lucasfilm and the rights to 'Star Wars' to Disney in 2012, but had laid out plans for where to take the franchise. In Bob Iger's memoirs, 'The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company', he talked about how Lucas' plans for the franchise were part of the deal for Lucasfilm. According to Iger, "we made clear in the purchase agreement that we would not be contractually obligated to adhere to the plot lines he’d laid out."
Sure enough, Lucas' plans - which would have delved into the microscopic world of the midichlorians (yes, really) - were dumped out by JJ Abrams, although some parts were taken and adopted into what we eventually saw in 'The Force Awakens'. According to Iger, however, Lucas wasn't pleased with any of it. "George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations," Iger said.
"George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded... (he) felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start."
Not only that, Iger revealed that Lucas really didn't like 'The Force Awakens' at all, and that he wasn't shy about it either, telling him that they were "nothing new." Iger went on, adding that it was "(in) each of the films in the original trilogy, it was important to him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies."
Iger, on the other hand, argued that making 'The Force Awakens' look so tonally and visually familiar was important to draw back in fans of 'Star Wars' after so long. "We’d intentionally created a world that was visually and tonally connected to the earlier films, to not stray too far from what people loved and expected, and George was criticizing us for the very thing we were trying to do," Iger explained.
That said, it'll be interesting to see what Lucas makes of 'The Rise of Skywalker' went it lands in cinemas on December 20th, 2019.