When the Legends of Tomorrow reunited with Rip Hunter this Tuesday night, the MIA Waverider captain was in the midst of helming a film school project alongside the George Lucas.
When fisticuffs and a futuristic firefight quickly broke out, thanks to Legion of Doom members Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn, George was scared off of filmmaking, meaning no Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark movies would ever come to be. As a result, Ray Palmer and Nate Heywood saw their respective smarts fade away, having never been sparked to study science or archaeology.
The CW series of course has depicted famous faces such as Albert Einstein and Al Capone, but presenting a young version of George Lucas “definitely” demanded extra prudence, says co-showrunner Phil Klemmer.
Spinning a story around a real, living person “is something we have to let our legal department know about well in advance. There are strict parameters, especially when it’s somebody who’s very powerful and very concerned about how they’re portrayed,” Klemmer shares.
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“We take a piss on a lot of things on our show. There’s nothing sacred that we can’t make a joke out of,” the EP notes. Working a super-successful filmmaker the likes of Lucas into a storyline, though, offered an opportunity to pay homage, in the form of real stakes for two characters that revere him (if not Howard the Duck).
“The [Star Wars and Raiders] films shaped our own sensibilities and sent all of us writers into careers in Hollywood, so we are not looking to make fun of George Lucas. We are trying to send a love letter to this guy,” Klemmer says. “We saw a way to explore that with Ray and Nate, and how George Lucas’ body of work affected their lives. And I don’t think that’s hyperbole at all, because I fall into that category as well.”
Alas, even after the Legends survived a trash compactor (heh) and convinced George to stay on course as a filmmaker, their crisis was far from over. Rather, their bid to return former team leader Rip Hunter to his daring, dynamic ways fell short, despite film student Phil’s attempt to fake his way through time mastery — before getting abducted by the Legion.
“The crazy thing is there won’t be just one new version of Rip’s character this season. There will be multiple versions, and they’re not all improvements,” Klemmer previews with a laugh. “You will get to see Arthur Darvill do a full-on Jekyll and Hyde transformation — maybe Jekyll-Hyde-Jekyll, or Hyde-Jekyll-Hyde.
“I don’t know how many times we swap him, but he’s playing essentially three characters,” effuses the EP. “Some of them are lovable, some of them are hard to explain!”