Now that we know there will be three more Star Wars movies, the speculation’s been flying fast and furious about who could possibly direct them.
A lot of interesting lists were drawn up on the ‘Net, and one possible idea has infinite possibilities: Steven Spielberg.
Interestingly, Spielberg was asked about potentially directing Star Wars, and he publically declined, telling Access Hollywood, “No! No! It’s not my genre. It’s my best friend George’s genre.” Quentin Tarantino also publically turned it down, saying he “could so care less.” It’s actually funny to think of him making a Star Wars movie, although he’d certainly drown it in a lot of lengthy speeches. (You also wonder why somebody pushing fifty talks like a Valley girl…)
But getting back to Spielberg, he of course famously worked together with Lucas on the Indy series, and on Raiders it worked out right. Lucas came up with the concept, Lawrence Kasdan, who also wrote Empire, wrote the script, and Spielberg directed. Way back in the day, Spielberg also volunteered to help out on Star Wars, but then it was Lucas who declined.
As Spielberg recalled in the 70’s cinema chronicle Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, he offered to shoot second unit on Star Wars for Lucas but “George wouldn’t let me. He was always more competitive with me than I was with him. I was admiring and jealous of his style, his proximity to audiences. But he did not want my fingerprints anywhere around Star Wars.”
Then Star Wars was screened for a group of people without many of the FX shots, which was similar to watching a porno without the sex scenes. Yet Spielberg told Lucas he had a winner. Spielberg of course had a competing sci-fi film coming the same year, Close Encounters, but he told George, “I’ve made the esoteric science fiction movie, you’ve made the crossover one.”
Although the big directors of 70’s are friends and have helped each other out with each others movies, it’s clear Spielberg and Lucas play in their own sandboxes. It would still be fascinating to think what Star Wars would look like through the prism of Spielberg, although good, bad or indifferent, it’s always going to be Lucas’s brainchild, no matter who helms it.