When the news came out earlier this week that George Lucas as announcing he was going to step down as head honcho of LucasFilm to make small, independent movies “in his garage,” as he put it, I immediately dismissed it. Why? Because Lucas has literally been saying the same thing since before Return of the Jedi came out — he’s been talking about going off to make weirdo films like his first flick, THX 1138, for three full decades at this point, and I didn’t know why I should take this time any more seriously than the other times. Here’s why I’m now taking this more seriously (from the press release):
SAN FRANCISCO – Lucasfilm Ltd. today announced that Kathleen Kennedy will become Co-Chair of Lucasfilm. In an effort to move forward with his retirement plans, George Lucas will work with Kathleen Kennedy to transition into her new role. Lucas will become Co-Chairman of the Board of Lucasfilm and continue as CEO. Micheline Chau will remain as President and COO of Lucasfilm, and continue to focus on the day-to-day operations of the business.
That’s an actual step being taken. Now, this doesn’t mean that George will actually step down as CEO (let alone step down gracefully) in the near future, or even give away control of an iota of the Star Wars franchise to Ms. Kennedy, but it does appear like Big George is actually on his way to really retiring from LucasFilm.
I don’t want to get into what George has or hasn’t gotten right, but the point is the man gave us Star Wars
— the good as well as the bad — and I’ll always be grateful to him for that. He deserves to be happy, and if that’s making crazy art flicks in his garage, well, more power to him. Meanwhile, Ms. Kennedy — can I talk to you a moment about the potential sales benefits of releasing original, unaltered versions of certain movies in anamorphic widescreen Blu-ray? (Via /Film