George Lucas Is Confirmed To Direct The Sequel To ‘Rogue One’ And Why It’s A Risky Choice

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There will be some SPOILERS from Rogue One! Please proceed with caution.

Star Wars is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving! A new Star Wars film has just been announced after the successful box office opening to Rogue One. The film has raked in over $300 million dollars in the first two weeks of its release. The surprise hit made a sequel inevitable. 

It’s now being confirmed that one of Hollywood’s upcoming directors will helm the very first Star Wars sequel. Rumor has it that the film will simply be titled The Star Wars. 

Lucas has just a few films under his belt having directed two lower-budget films in THX 1138 and American Graffiti. While his directorial debut had a few notable actors in Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence, it wasn’t enough to garner much attention and was a disappointment both critically and financiallyAmerican Graffiti on the other hand had a more broad appeal bringing in over $140 million dollars at the global box office.

George Lucas decided to change things up going away from science fiction this time around and instead electing to direct a coming-of-age comedy-drama. The casting choices for this film was spot on. Lucas brought in Richard Dreyfuss (The Young Runaways, Hello Down There) and early child actor Ron Howard who played Opie Taylor from the hit television show The Andy Griffith Show. It also certainly helped to have brought on a producer of such high caliber in Francis Ford Coppola who recently directed the Oscar(s) winning film The Godfather one year prior. Lucas now has a hit on his hands but can he be successful in directing a Star Wars film?

Can George Lucas Pull Through?

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Yes I believe he can. Though he only has a couple of films under his belt, I believe that George Lucas is capable of creating a film with a much larger budget. Lucas has since pitched a “space opera” type of film to major film studios such as United Artists, Universal, and 20th Century Fox. However, only Fox would agree to finance the project not because they believed it could be a massive hit, but because they enjoyed the successful hit of Lucas’s American Graffiti. 

Is Lucas the right man for the job? It’s tough to say at this point but I for one am a person who’s willing to give someone a chance, especially if it’s a passion project. Thankfully Fox is willing to back him up. Were it not for American Graffiti, it’s safe to say that this Rogue One sequel would not have been green-lit. Will Lucas pull it off? Only time will tell…

What Could The Sequel Be About?

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Those who have seen Rogue One (and I hope that you have), know that the film ends on a cliffhanger. The stolen Death Star plans have been safely turned in to the Rebel Alliance as they plot a course to figure out a way to take out this lethal weapon. The final shot of the film shows us a young female wearing a bright white garb being handed the plans from one of the Rebels aboard the ship.

While we don’t know who this mysterious (princess?) figure is, she appears to be highly important and should play a pivotal role in Gareth Edwards’s follow-up to Rogue One. The character in question is played by actress Carrie Fisher who recently starred in Shampoo (1975), a satirical romantic comedy-drama film and was directed by Hal Ashby.

The film also introduced us to a few memorable villains including Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing), and a dark suited character who had one of the most memorable scenes in this entire film. While his real identity has yet to be revealed, a few of the characters in this film most notably Tarkin have referred to this character as Lord Vader. We should expect to see this character play a more expanded role in the sequel.

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Though actor Peter Cushing didn’t have a lot of screen-time in this film, it would be a mistake not to bring him back for the sequel. Mostly known as the character of Victor Frankenstein in the Hammer Films, Cushing would bring a certain gravitas to this potential franchise.

With Krennic having met his demise in Rogue One, Tarkin has now taken over as Director of Advanced Weapons Research to continue overseeing the final construction of the Death Star project. It’ll be interesting to see what Cushing will bring to the sequel. He’s already proven to be an established actor so there’s no doubt we will be receiving a meaningful villain.

Will The Sequel Be A Success?

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George Lucas certainly has a lot to live up to if he’s to make a lucrative Star Wars film. Although I’m not a huge fan of the working title of The Star Wars, I hope that Lucas will bring us a film that we will be talking about for a very long time. Making a successful sequel is no easy task. Just ask Francis Ford Coppola who somehow followed up his Godfather film with a stellar sequel in The Godfather Part 2. 

To be fair, I cannot wait to see what Lucas has in store for us! I’m excited to see what he will bring to the table having only directed two smaller films. Is it a risk? Of course it is, but that goes for any studio taking on a director’s idea. The Star Wars currently has no official release date but it’s certainly good to know that a story about a bunch of Rebels rebelling against an evil Empire will continue. The cliffhanger ending to Rogue One absolutely has me intrigued.

Those are my thoughts on George Lucas helming the sequel. But what are your thoughts on George Lucas? Should they have brought in a more seasoned director or do you think Lucas could bring something special to this franchise? Sound off in the comment section below and let me know what you all think!  

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