Truth be told, I believe that some of the very fans who are now lamenting that Lucas ever sold the franchise to Disney were the same ones that helped to push him to sell it in the first place.
The man had taken over a decade of slings and arrows from the fans since The Special Editions.
For a trip down memory lane, re-read the threads that announced the sale to Disney and the attitude that fans expressed at the time.
View attachment 1681977
This is the ultimate case of “be careful what you wish for”.
When the prequels came out, I had my own criticisms and whatnot, but I found far more to like than to dislike. I tried to appreciate them for what they actually were, rather than judging them by what they “should” have been. Because I’ve seen a lot of people going on and on over the years about what they “should” have been. Fans had 16 years to build anticipation and expectations. NOTHING could have met those expectations.
The prequels are underappreciated. They’re full of really interesting ideas, themes, and worldbuilding. It’s very, very clear that a great deal of thought, love, and craftsmanship went into their designs and conceptualization. While I don’t fully subscribe to the Ring Theory, there are numerous books and video essays out there which examine the subtle brilliance of the films’ construction (such as The STAR WARS Heresies
and the video video essays of Rick Worley, among others).
There was a barrage of vitriol aimed at Lucas. One fanboy after another spouting their dumb, fannish, and terrible ideas for what the films “should” have been. Patton Oswald wanting to go back in time and beat Lucas to death with a shovel. RedLetterMedia’s extremely negative video reviews (which the aforementioned Mr. Worley did an excellent job of debunking), which turned out-of-context moments from the prequels’ excellent making-of documentaries into soundbites “proving” how incompetent Lucas was (“Jar Jar is a key to all this”, “It’s kinda like poetry, they rhyme”).
And, of course, RLM infamously hoped that JJ Abrams would make STAR WARS movies, while Lucas showed people to their seats as an usher.
How well did that work out?
Be careful what you wish for.
As far as I’m concerned, actual
“toxic fandom” and the media went out of their way to tear George Lucas down at every turn, be it out of jealousy, stupidity, or unrealistic expectations. Personally, I’m very grateful for all of the innovations he brought to cinema, and the joy his films have brought to so many people, including me. What minor quibbles I have with his work pale in comparison to all of that.
So, of course, once a mainstream corporation got ahold of his baby, they destroyed it. Lucas always bucked the Hollywood system, and they hated him for it. This was all inevitable. A perfect storm of corporate greed and idiot fanboys getting exactly what they wanted: STAR WARS without George Lucas.
Except that, despite attempts to attribute its success to anyone and everyone BUT Lucas (which YouTuber Nerdnonymous has excellently debunked), there is no STAR WARS without Lucas. He was an artist, and it was his art, born out of his obsessions, eccentricities, and morality.
And it died as soon as he signed it over. The bodily has just been twitching ever since.