Last weekend’s Star Wars Celebration Think of it as Nerd Prom. And I say that in the best possible sense of the word. More than 30,000 fans from around the world descended on the Convention Center for the third and possibly final Star Wars Celebration, held in anticipation of the release of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Where else can you see Boba Fetts, plural, crossing the street en masse. Too much time on their hands: Several displays at the convention showed off mammoth Lego projects, including a life-size rendition of Darth Vader. Not to mention George Lucas, in his first convention appearance since 1987. Before his brief appearance, every Lucas look-alike in the room — there are more than you might think — stood up and waved for a little attention. Local actor George Starkey, who’s actually portrayed Lucas on screen, may have had some people convinced he was the real thing.
“I think I saw a crowd like this in St. Peter’s square,” someone mentioned. And indeed, when Lucas finally took the stage, he did the little benediction wave that the pope gives from the balcony, and got about the same reaction.
Here’s a rundown on Lucas’ thoughts during his Q&A with fans:
Why did you create Star Wars?
“You know, I ask myself that every day. Sometimes I watch the movies and you get halfway through and you’re like ‘What in the world am I thinking about?’ They’re weird. But I wanted to make a film for young people, that had values, that dealt with issues that young people confront, and I wanted to make it a lot of fun. Little did I realize that they would enjoy it so much, so I spent the rest of my life doing it.”
What about a final trilogy?
“I never, ever thought about anything that happened after Episode VI. I could always say there is a backstory, but the story is, you’ll see that it’s actually the Darth Vader story. It starts with him being a young boy and ends with him dying. The books and everything go off on their own path, because I never really considered taking that particular story any further.”
What will he miss the most?
“It has been a big family. I’ll continue to make movies and stuff, but the actual camaraderie of making the films and having such a great fan base to show the films to is something that’s unique in making movies, and I guess I’ll miss that as I go off and make movies that nobody wants to see.”
On wrapping up Star Wars and moving on.
“It’s the last piece of the puzzle, where you realize it’s all one movie, one story, and makes sense as one piece … I don’t mind making small movies that nobody wants to go see. I know a lot of fans wanted to see Darth Vader going around killing people in the first episode, but I said, no, it’s about a 10-year-old boy.”
On who’s really the main character.
“This is R2-D2’s story. R2, if you think about it, is the hero. He is the one that gets them out of the mess, every time they get into a mess. And he doesn’t need any special powers. He’s already powerful enough on screen there!”
On fans getting a little too involved with fandom.
“The point of the movies is to get on with your lives, to leave your uncle’s moisture farm, to move on and save the universe.”
On directing and taking others’ input.
“The director’s job is to keep the big picture in mind at all times. And everyone else is looking at it from their point of view. I take what I think fits and I don’t take what I don’t think will work at all.”
He laid out a series of different goals over the next few years, including producing Red Tails, a long-in-development film about African-American fighter pilots in World War II; expanding the recent Clone Wars animated miniseries into a regular series; a possible live-action Star Wars television series taking place after Episode III; moving Indiana Jones 4 closer to production; and even the possibility of a Willow TV series.