What Will George Lucas Do Next?

George Lucas announcing that he is retiring from making mainstream movies might turn out to be "the Jedi who cried wolf," sort of like when Stephen King announced that he would retire from writing books while still churning out novel after novel nonstop. Mr. Lucas has expressed his desire to fully abandon the Hollywood system and make smaller art movies, but maybe this time he really means it.

He has already named Kathleen Kennedy as his co-chair at LucasFilm and his eventual successor. He claims he just wants to spend his retirement making experimental movies in his garage that might never be released in theaters.

At 68 years old, Lucas has nothing to prove. He has already revolutionized filmmaking through his Industrial Light and Magic special effects business and he has forever impacted pop culture entertainment with his epic Star Wars saga. I was hoping that he might deliver some new films that would cement his legacy not only as a weaver of box-office magic but also as the artist I know him to be from his early films American Graffiti and Star Wars: A New Hope, as well as the Indiana Jones classics, which he imagined and executive produced.

Some of his fans turned cynical after his Star Wars prequels didn't live up to their lofty expectations, even though the movies (and spin-offs and merchandising) were undoubtedly huge moneymakers. What will become of the Star Wars franchise now that its mastermind and guiding force (no pun intended) is stepping back from the day-to-day business operation of his Empire (pun intended)?