Below I transcribed the Indiana Jones IV part of the interview:
Lucas: It's not like any of us really need the money," "We just sort of wanted to have a movie vacation."
TotalFilm: It's been quite a while since our last appointment with Dr Jones.
Lucas: When we finished Last Crusade we figured, that's it -- three films, that's fine. Originally, that's all we were going to do. Steven and Harrison kind of wanted to do another one but I said I couldn't think of any story -- and I'm the one who has to come up with it! It's very hard to come up with a good MacGuffin, which in our case has to be a supernatural object of an archaeological nature that is real of that people believe to be real. That's as opposed to all the copies that have been churned out since Raiders, which are about fanciful, made-up objects. Then I came up with an idea when I was doing Young Indiana Jones. I was very excited about it, but Steven and Harrison were a little reluctant. I worked on a script they didn't like, then another, then another. Finally I just gave up.
TotalFilm: And then?
Lucas: For a couple of years it sat quietly, then Harrison said he really wanted to do another Indiana Jones. So I said, "This is the only thing I can come up with." Finally they said "OK." I worked on a script for a number of years with a number of writers until we got to a point. where everyone was happy. But it was a long 15 year process.
TotalFilm: You've already voiced doubt that the film will satisfy critics and fans.
Lucas: With this kind of movie, no matter what you do, it's not going to live up to expectations. I had it with The Phantom Menace. The fans say, "Oh, I expected the Second Coming and it didn't happen!" The critics say, "It's just more of the same." They didn't like the first three anyway, so why expect that they'll like this one?
TotalFilm: We've got high hopes at Total Film.
Lucas: Well, if you love the other ones, you'll love this one. But you have to love all of them! I think this one's a little funnier and more interesting that the others. Although if you think it's going to be better than the other ones it's not. It's the same as.
TotalFilm: It's just as great?
Lucas: It's just as great! but if you're a disgruntled fan who's already written the story and you find it doesn't follow your script, then it's gonna be terrible. We did it primarily because we just wanted to have fun.
TotalFilm: And did you?
Lucas: We did. So for us it's already a success. We've accomplished everything we could ever want and more. We had the best time making this movie. And since we got what we wanted, we've decided to put the film in a trash can and bury it. That way nobody has to see it and we don't have to get bad reviews! Sorry. It's too bad the way that happened, but we had a great time making it!
TotalFilm: There's a lot of speculation that this is Indy's odyssey into science fiction.
Lucas: It's not. It's an archeology film just like the others. He's going after a supernatural object. The first films were based on those '30s Saturday matinée serials, as was Star Wars. Then when this one came along I realized that it was 19 years later and I couldn't do 'then' -- I had to do 'now' is basically the mid-'50s. I said, "Gee what's the equivalent of B-movies in the '50s?" A it's science fiction films -- Them, It Came From Outer Space, The Thing. It gave us a whole new genre to play with and a new texture beneath the story. And I came up with a great MacGuffin.
TotalFilm: So why the reluctance from Ford and Spielberg?
Lucas: They thought it was a little too much of a Spielbergian idea! Or a Lucas-Spielbergian Idea. A little too obvious. I think possibly they didn't fully understand the malleability of Indiana Jones -- that we don't have to do the same movie over and over again. Because we never did. The great thing about this movie is that it's the same but different. It's of a different genre, but it's stilll Indiana Jones the archaeologist going after something -- its' just now he's pushing 60.
TotalFilm: You've managed to do a fine job of preventing the plot from leaking online.
Lucas: Well, after Star Wars we know how to do that. Steven is more adamant about it that I am. I'm not sure having everything be a secret makes much difference one way or the other. It's not like Jaws or Jurassic Park failed because they were books before they were movies. It's one thing to know what happens, another thing to see it. People go to these movies because they want to see Steven do his brilliant star turn as a director. If anyone else did the story it wouldn't be as good. He can do anything --- Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan. But this is the kind of movie he can do in his sleep. Not that he does it in his sleep -- he actually gets a kick out of it!
TotalFilm: Harrison Ford calls you the "global authority" on Indy. Do you own the character the way you own Star Wars?
Lucas: I created the character so everything has to come back to me. I'm the one who knows what he does and doesn't do and I make up the stories. I'm the one who tries to keep them grounded in some kind of reality, which means we don't cheat a lot. Well, we cheat a little bit but we're clever; we don't just invent things to get him out of a mess.
TotalFilm: Although some handy divine intervention has saved Indy's neck a few times.
Lucas: Yeah. The thing is, if you believe in the Ark of the Covenant, if you believe it has some relationship to God, if you believe it strikes people down -- which is all true in a certain code of reality -- then it all makes sense. But you can't just make something up, like a time machine. That's not what it's about. These are supernatural mysteries, not action-adventures where you have no historical or archaeological context.
TotalFilm: Is Crystal Skull a full stop or a new beginning?
Lucas: I don't know. There's no motive other than to enjoy ourselves. We'll see what happens.