Alexandre Philippe wasn't surprised to hear "Star Wars" creator George Lucas sold his film franchise to Disney for roughly $4 billion.
"I've learned to not be surprised by George anymore," says Philippe, director of "The People vs. George Lucas," a documentary chronicling the uneasy relationship between Lucas and the "Star Wars" fan base. "Just when you think you have the last of his surprises, he keeps surprising you."
"Star Wars" fans have had a mixed reaction to the news, Philippe says, but he thinks the franchise demands new blood ... for starters.
The writing in "Star Wars" has "been stale for a long time," he says. "You need great writers at the helm who understand the characters, to take risks, to go in a new direction that will make 'Star Wars' exciting again."
"We know we'll have a big special effects movie, it's going to be a spectacle," he says of the upcoming "Star Wars" film, tentatively set for a 2015 release. "That's fine. We need a great story."
If Philippe had his druthers, he'd like to see "The Avengers" writer/director Joss Whedon do similar double duty on a new "Star Wars" saga.
Comic book fans were aghast when Disney bought Marvel a few years back, but Whedon's "Avengers" feature, made after Disney bought the comics property, wowed both fan boys and critics alike. So Philippe isn't overly concerned about the Disney connection.
He would like to see Lucas seek out new creative galaxies along with his old franchise.
"The good news is George is finally letting go of 'Star Wars,'" he says. "Maybe now he's going to make the movies he says he wants to make ... if he took this step to fulfill that dream of his, I'm all for it."