Luke, he just can’t quit you.
One year after the final “Star Wars” installment hit the bigscreen, George Lucas continues to mine the Force for major coin.
Heading into last week’s E3 vidgame confab, Lucasfilm said it would release the theatrical version of the original trilogy on disc for the first time — a seeming reversal of the filmmaker’s earlier vow to never do so — concurrent with vidgame sequel “Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy” and a new line of toys.
And next month, his new publishing imprint rolls out “Cinema by the Bay,” a handsome coffee-table tome on Bay Area filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Carroll Ballard and Pixar — and with chapters devoted to each installment of “Star Wars.”
Fans greeted the latest DVD initiative with mixed emotions. Purists rejoiced at the chance to watch the “Star Wars” films as they first appeared on the bigscreen, while others grumbled online at the prospect of ponying up for yet another set of discs.
Lucas opted not to release the original theatrical version on DVD two years ago, instead upgrading the f/x and recutting the pics to integrate them with his prequels. He said then that was the way he intended the pics to be presented. Now, both versions will be available on each disc.
Lucas is exploring new projects not directly tied to his past. Publishing director Lucy Wilson says the second book from George Lucas Press is a statistical look at everything in the world that kills you. “His interests are not just limited to one subject,” she says.
There’s also that other little franchise Lucas is a part of: Indiana Jones. A long-gestating fourth installment is still on the radar. But even Steven Spielberg, Lucas’ partner on the action series, is taking a wait-and-see view.
The helmer says the notoriously picky Lucas continues to nix drafts of the fourth Indy script.