No matter what anyone thinks of him, George Lucas is one of the most powerful and influential filmmakers of all time. As the man behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones, Lucas has not only revolutionized the way we look at blockbusters, but the world around us as a whole. But after over four decades in the industry, Lucas is leaving that world behind to focus on smaller art house films from now on.

“I’m retiring,” Lucas said in a New York Times interview. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.” Although this retirement has a little wiggle room if Indiana Jones 5 ever happens. But if not, then his latest film, Red Tails, which he conceived and produced, will be his last big-budget movie.

“Once this is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do,” says Rick McCallum, producer on Lucas’ films for over 20 years. “He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.”

The plan is for Lucas to concentrate on smaller, esoteric films that will only be screened in art house theaters, much like the films he made as a student at USC. But by “smaller” we certainly hope he doesn’t mean an intricate family drama revolving around the marital problems of Jar Jar Binks. We just wouldn't be able to take it.

[via The New York Times]