I usually don't run the stories that are "Person involved with a movie/franchise/company says anticipated movie they are involved with is really good!" because they're nonsense. Of course James Gunn is gonna say something nice about a Marvel movie. Wake me up when someone involved with a movie/franchise/company says something negative about an anticipated movie they are involved with. So here we are.
To be fair, George Lucas didn't trash Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which he has seen (and which he will see again next week at the premiere). But he didn't really praise it much, or at least he gave it a kind of a backhanded compliment. Here's the quote from Vulture:
I think the fans are going to love it. It’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.
He's basically saying the movie is fanservice, which is a big concern many of us have had all along. I think the Prequel Trilogy, shitty as it is, shows Lucas' thoughts about this - he told the story he wanted to tell, how he wanted to tell it (with the exception of Attack of the Clones, which feels like a major reaction to fan outrage and suffers for it). Lucas, for all his failings, comes from a school that is about artistic vision, not about keeping the audience happy. He comes from a belief that good stories that matter to the storyteller will find an audience. That's where Star Wars came from in the first place - you have to remember that the original film was not a guaranteed success by any means, and it was very much a movie coming from a personal place for Lucas.
I'm seeing the movie on Monday so I'll know better what Lucas means here, but this quote does confirm my belief that I'm going to very much enjoy a movie that is hitting certain expected beats. I'm hoping that between those expected beats and callbacks ("Hey, we got a desert planet too!" "Hey, we got a big superweapon!" "Hey, we got cute droids!") there's something that breaks new ground and moves Star Wars forward. I've heard only positive things about the film from Lucasfilm and Disney insiders, but there's definitely a difference between a good movie and a great movie. Lucas makes me think we'll be getting a good movie.