My friends basically asked one question upon my return from Skywalker ranch, “What was it like to meet George Lucas?” I’m not what type of personality I expected the famous writer/producer to possess. He’s definitely a storyteller who changed our lives with his iconic “Star Wars” series, as well as, his fabulous work on all four of the “Indiana Jones” films. George sat in the back of the “the stag,” a theater at Skywalker ranch. He was dressed down in jeans, burgundy sweater and sneakers. The renowned director seemed quiet. I wondered what was zooming through his mind as he prepared for 25 parenting bloggers to screen his newest film “Strange Magic.”
His 3D-animated musical, “Strange Magic,” is a fantastical (divided of two lands) world made up of elves, fairies, goblins and hybrid insects. Finding love is the theme of the film, and that’s what George talked to us about. The father of four was forthcoming about his experience in love, which made him human and relatable. He seemed almost shy to me… but he was actually extremely open about his personal life.
While I was watching the movie I wondered which character George was in “Strange Magic.” There are two kings in the film, and the Elf King was definitely drawn to resemble George: they both had nice, stylish white hair. Their head shape was similar, and both had a nicely-groomed white beard. The kings wants the best for his daughters, but overlooks their true desires. Then again, is it the Bog King that George resembles? Grumpy, definitely not a fan of during Valentine’s Day…
After the screening of “Strange Magic,” we had a Q& A with George and he talked about why he created this film and about finding his princess. And whether or not he is the Bog King?
Why George made “Strange Magic”
GEORGE LUCAS: Well, it started quite a while ago, about 15 years ago, and I just got the idea that it would be fun. I love to do musicals, I love to do musicals using my favorite music so it kinda harks back to my pre-“Star Wars” days. I thought it would be fun to make a film that was more, for tween girls than “Star Wars,” which is for tween boys: even though in the end everybody loved it. And, girls love it and it all worked out.
So, I’m hoping that this one, even though it’s more teen, more teen girl-centric. Hopefully, it will engage all the boys and everybody will like it. Because, it’s at that magic age where, you don’t make movies, unless it’s “Hunger Games” or something. The idea of an upbeat, fun, simple movie just appealed to me. I’d finished all the “Star Wars” and everything and I was producing films, but I wanted to do one that I could actually get my hands dirty. It’s one of those fun movies, I love,which is the key in the end for me, it’s something I did for the fun of it.
The process of making a movie about true love vs infatuation.
GEORGE LUCAS: Well, the original process was to make a movie that is the difference between being infatuated and being truly in love. And, again since being infatuated ultimately is about surface value, being really in love is about interior issues, I wanted to make a movie about that in the end. It’s very easy to be infatuated with somebody.
And of course, people are infatuated with, boy bands and beautiful people. And, all the things you read in the magazines, but in the end, from experience, you don’t really want to be married to somebody like that. You really don’t want to spend the rest of your life like that, and you really aren’t going to have a serious, deep relationship with somebody like that. You know, they don’t have a tendency to be with somebody else like that, which means that it doesn’t last very long.
But as a result, it was just to play with that and say, and especially, again, for young girls who are prone to infatuations, to say, “You know, it’s not always the cutest guy in class that you really wanna be out with.” So that kind of idea and then as I moved along obviously, for me, personally I had been a bachelor for 20, I got married, but then I was divorced. But then, I was a bachelor for 20 years.
And I said well I’ll never fall in love again. It’s just not gonna happen, I was the old-old cranky Bog King.
No it’s never gonna happen to me, I just will never find anybody, and I found somebody who doesn’t look at all like me. I’m a ’60s radical, government unhappy, Wall Street-hating, person from San Francisco. And, I ended up meeting a woman who’s head of a big investment management firm, who’s on Wall Street, who doesn’t look like me.
Is the last person you would figure would fall in love with the Bog King or I’d fall in love with her since I am not into princesses.
Yeah, now I got a princess and I got a little princess .And my other princesses who have gone on to bigger and better things. But as time went on it became more meaningful to me because I realized that in the end, like with my wife, we fell in love because we were exactly alike inside.
You realize that you have so much in common that you would never have thought of on the surface. And it’s the same thing again with, like Roland (character from Strange Magic) which is, you know the classic pretty boy. You know that story has been told over and over and over again. But at the same time, it needs to be retold. It’s the same thing I did when I started doing “Star Wars,” and thinking about mythological motifs and the fact that kids need to, at 12-years-old.
To me, adolescence is a key period in a child’s life, and to make movies that say, “Look, these are the issues. They may seem obvious to us ’cause we’ve been through it, maybe your parents have told you about this. Maybe, they haven’t, but you need to know the story of why you have friendships. And what a friendship means, why there are things in the world that are bigger than you are, why your complicated feelings with your parents and all these kinds of things are not unusual, they’re not just you, this is something that everybody goes through.'”
So, this is kind of the same thing. I won’t call it a myth because I beat that one to death with “Star Wars,” but this is a fairytale. Same thing only much sweeter.
Strange Magic is in theaters January 27 and is rated PG.
* I attended an all-expense paid trip hosted by LucasFilms and Touchstone Pictures. Opinions are my own.