Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy thinks she knows why George Lucas made his 'Star Wars' prequels

Ben Arnold
Revenge of the Sith (Credit: Fox/Lucasfilm)

Kathleen Kennedy, the boss of Lucasfilm, has weighed in on why she reckons George Lucas decided to return to his Star Wars universe and make his controversial prequel series.

Lucas made Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, then The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 before concluding the trilogy in 1983 with Return of the Jedi.

But it wasn't until 1999 that he reinvigorated the franchise with The Phantom Menace, which was followed by Attack of the Clones in 2002 and Revenge of the Sith in 2005.

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Speaking on new Star Wars behind-the-scenes series Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian on Disney+, Kennedy has said that it might have been the success of the Indiana Jones movies, which Lucas produced but didn't direct, that spurred him on.

“I don’t think he ever stopped thinking about whether he would do more Star Wars, and I think what happened during Indy was that he was not on the floor directing. He was not necessarily in it, because it was primarily Steven [Spielberg],” Kennedy says.

The Phantom Menace (Credit: Fox/Lucasfilm)

“So, with anybody like George, and anyone who’s a filmmaker, they get antsy after a while at not being able to be on that floor telling stories, making movies, and his love of pushing the technology, obviously.

“We were doing a certain amount of that with each of the Indiana Jones movies, but it wasn’t like Star Wars, and I think that each time we would push the technology in making those movies, he got the bug to start thinking about what that might mean for Star Wars.”

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Whether Lucas should have bothered remains a contentious issue among Star Wars fans.

While they were a hit at the box office – though Attack of the Clones took a significant dip in profits – they've long been considered a disappointment.

Though Revenge of the Sith received better notices, the first two movies were less well received critically, with many fans also complaining that they dwelled too much on galactic politics and suffered with sub-par dialogue.