This may come as a disappointment to a certain kind of stereotypical internet user who goes on angry message board rants full of thoroughly tasteless language about the damage that Jar Jar Binks did to their childhood, but George Lucas doesn’t pay attention to the horrible things you say about him online. In fact, he has effectively avoided the internet altogether for the last 15 years—a completely arbitrary period of time that probably has nothing to with any movies that came out around the turn of the millennium. Like, in May of 1999, just to pick out a random example.
This (fairly unsurprising) revelation comes from an extensive interview that Lucas gave to The Washington Post, and though “George Lucas doesn’t go on the internet” is a snappy takeaway, it’s not the snappiest takeaway from the article. That would be the fact that Lucas still stands by his infamous decision to make Greedo shoot first in his revised version of A New Hope, a seemingly pointless alteration that some very dramatic Star Wars fans think ruined the entire movie. Lucas believes that Han Solo shouldn’t have shot first because he’s supposed to be a classic John Wayne-style white hat cowboy, not “a cold-blooded killer.” He says, “when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people—you let them have the first shot.”
At the risk of defending George Lucas, it’s a solid argument. The problem is that the original version simply makes for a better story. When Han shoots first, it’s because he is a cold-blooded killer. The whole point of him returning to help Luke in the end, though, is that he makes a conscious decision to start being a good guy. He may not fit into the archetypal John Wayne mold, but it gives him an actual story arc instead of a pre-determined path to follow.
Anyway, this is a news article, not the comments below a news article, and the only other real piece of information to come from Lucas’ interview is that he still hasn’t seen anything from The Force Awakens. Last December, he declared that he had no intention of watching its first trailer, and apparently he has managed to keep up the inhuman task of completely avoiding any and all footage of the sequel. He’ll see the movie eventually, though, and he’s even hoping to screen it at his Skywalker Ranch, noting that he has “the best theater in the world.” Finally, though he says he treats all of this new Star Wars stuff “like a divorce,” he’s still “optimistic” about how it’ll turn out, and it even sounds like he’s looking forward to The Force Awakens. “I never got to see the spaceship come over [in the original],” Lucas says. “I never got that experience that everyone else got to have. I never got to see Star Wars. So this time I’m going to.”