George Lucas Rips Hollywood Studios: They’ve ‘Always Been the Problem’

“Star Wars” writer and director does not think corporations are capable of nurturing talent

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas thinks the biggest problem in the movie business today is the corporations that are running it.

“You’re selling creativity. Raw creativity from talented people. Now, the problem has always been the studios,” Lucas told CBS anchor Charlie Rose during an interview at Chicago Ideas Week. “Although the beginning of the studios, the entrepreneurs who ran the studios were sort of creative guys. They would just take books and turn them into movies and do things like that. Suddenly all these corporations were coming in. They didn’t know anything about the movie business.”

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Lucas, a University of Southern California graduate, explained that there was a time in the beginning of his career when executives trusted creatives emerging from film schools. But that time was short lived.

“The studios went back to saying, Well we don’t trust you people and we think we know how to make movies,'” Lucas said. “The studios change everything all the time. And, unfortunately, they don’t have any imagination and they don’t have any talent.”

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The filmmaker best known for introducing the world to The Force added that his brand of science fiction, now a massive franchise owned by Disney, would never be made today. He credited one studio executive at 20th Century Fox for trusting his vision.

“He believed in me because he loved ‘American Graffiti.’ He said, ‘You’re a talented guy. I’ll do whatever you want to do.’ But you’d never hear that today,” Lucas said. “He said, ‘You know, I don’t understand what this thing is about big dogs flying spaceships around. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Are you sure this is going to work?’ And I said, ‘Well, I know it’s different but, you know, I believe in it.'”