Credit: Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas go way back. They were friends long before either was famous, and Coppola was almost like a cool older brother who eventually helped get Lucas’s first film, THX 1138, off the ground. After Coppola struck it big with The Godfather, he remained a maverick who never quite kowtowed to the studio system. When Lucas started etching the characters who would become the heroes of Star Wars, there was a lot of Coppola’s persona that went in to Han Solo.

In a new interview with Screen Daily, however, Coppola expressed his regret that Lucas got essentially sidetracked by the Star Wars phenomenon. “I think Star Wars, it’s a pity, because George Lucas was a very experimental crazy guy and he got lost in this big production and never got out of it,” Coppola said.

In addition to THX, Coppola produced Lucas’s first blockbuster, American Graffiti, and the two collaborated on the story that eventually became Apocalypse Now, among other films. Lucas went on to direct the first Star Wars in 1977 and had supervised the franchise until recently selling Lucasfilm to Disney.

“I still hope that he made so much money out of it that he will just make some little movies,” Coppola said. “He promises me that he will.”

Read the full interview over at Screen Daily’s website.