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How Francis Ford Coppola Really Feels About Protege George Lucas' Star Wars

Francis Ford Coppola is one of the most acclaimed directors in cinematic history, whose work continues to influence new cinephiles. His films have consistently topped Best Of lists, which is no surprise considering his CV boasts projects like "The Godfather" and its equally beloved sequels, and Vietnam war drama "Apocalypse Now."

Part of what film historians have referred to as the "American New Wave" (via New Wave Film), Coppola and his peers sprung onto the scene in the mid-'60s and changed how Hollywood operated, particularly in how studios began to give directors more control. A number of iconic creatives emerged during this pivotal moment in film history, including "Star Wars" director George Lucas.

Coppola and Lucas first became acquainted with one another on the set of "Finian's Rainbow." "The Godfather" director eventually took a budding Lucas under his wing, producing his first two films: "THX 1138" and "America Graffiti." Lucas eventually went on to make "Star Wars," which become an international cultural phenomenon. Coppola didn't aid his young protégé in what was arguably his biggest film, and looking back on it, he has some thoughts on what eventually became the epic sci-fi franchise.

The Godfather director has mixed feelings on Star Wars

Francis Ford Coppola has never shied away from sharing his opinion on the filmmaking business, most recently criticizing the Marvel film formula in an interview with GQ. While he takes issue with superhero films, how does he feel about George Lucas' "Star Wars," which was one of the first fandom juggernauts? His feelings are more mixed than expected.

"Well, he created something that brought joy and happiness and pleasure — and even some wisdom — to so many people,"  the director told Vulture in 2020. "Whatever benefits he got from it, he deserved and is welcome to." However, Coppola expressed he does feel disappointed, adding, "If I feel sadness, it is that he didn't make the other movies he was going to make. George is truly a brilliant, talented person. Just look at 'American Graffiti' and see all the innovation. We should've had more."

When asked by Vulture if the "Star Wars" director is aware of the sentiments Coppola has, he said, "He knows. I'm at the point where I can't bring it up anymore. I do sort of think of him as a kid brother. We older people have to celebrate the success [of younger people]."

While sci-fi fans might find it frustrating that Coppola doesn't agree with the direction Lucas went with his career, it's reassuring that "The Godfather" director appreciates how beloved "Star Wars" is to millions of fans across the world.