Producer Rick McCallum did not survive the Lucasfilm-to-Disney buyout

Let me clarify: Rick McCallum, producer of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the original trilogy Special Editions and the three Star Wars prequels (and who I have always cruelly thought looked like Dr. Evazan from A New Hope) was not fired by Disney. Instead, LucasFilm master of merchandise Steve Sansweet merely mentioned on the Forcecast podcast that McCallum had retired a little while ago, an oddly quiet farewell for a man so integral to Lucas and to the Star Wars franchise for the last two decades. Odd enough, in fact, that I have to wonder if McCallum got out because he was told to get out.

This is pure speculation on my part, but generally companies don't let executives that high profile retire without a press release thanking them for his/her work, no matter what the reasons for their departure. And McCallum's been high profile; he's been on countless DVD extras talking about the movies, sat at countless Star Wars con panels, and been the face of the franchise when George Lucas didn't want to deal with it, which was most of the time.

To have his departure be mentioned as an aside on a fan podcast is crazy, but equally crazy is that the news of McCallum's "retirement" has been secret for so long. Again, no announcement, not even a mention in the trades, nothing. That's weird, folks, and the most logical reason I can come up with is because Disney told him his services were no longer required, leading to this bizarrely secret "retirement."

Which is fine with me because, as a Star Wars fan, I've come to blame McCallum for pretty much everything that's gone wrong with Star Wars after Return of the Jedi. Greedo shoots first? Jar Jar? Anakin's hatred of sand? All these things happened under McCallum's watch, and I blame him. This is probably irrational, and I don't care in the slightest.

Oh sure, Lucas generated these horrible ideas, but McCallum was always Lucas' yes-man, telling him whatever shit Lucas pooped out was gold. Lucas' previous producers quashed his bad instincts in the original trilogy; McCallum let Lucas do whatever he wanted, and the prequels were the result.

So good riddance, Mr. McCallum. Your poor custodianship of the Star Wars galaxy will not be missed. Unless, of course, you retired because you're sick or something, in which case I'll probably feel really shitty about all this.

[Via First Showing]