George Lucas gave the world Star Wars. One of, if not the most, beloved franchises in existence. However, Lucas has proven that he is not the best thing for the galaxy far, far away. The Prequel Trilogy was a complete disaster, and I mean that! The changes he’s made to the Original Trilogy are abhorrent. Well, most of them. Let’s not forget that he SOLD Star Wars to the House of Mouse! What good could possibly come from the man getting involved with the property again? NONE!
Hopefully, you’re still reading and haven’t jumped straight to the comment section. Let me explain that I love Lucas’s original Orignal Trilogy. Those films are such a huge part of my life that I named my own son Lucas. Weird? Maybe. The OT is an amazing blend of science-fiction and fantasy. It pushed the limits of filmmaking technology. It is pretty much responsible for the idea of film merchandising. I was/am the world’s biggest Star Wars Expanded Universe fan even. I have lived and breathed Jedi, Sith, Lightsabers, and X-Wings for decades… but that doesn’t mean I want Lucas back in the fold.
Let’s start with the OT. Lucas only wrote and directed the original film, A New Hope. He let others write and direct the next two films and the majority of people consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the greatest of them all. There are countless stories of cast members making fun of the dialogue in ANH and to be fair, it is rough. The first film is a great standalone story that wraps up nicely but left the door for more. The next two films tell a great story of Luke Skywalker finding his legacy and redeeming his father, Darth Vader. It all wrapped up nicely in 1983 with Return of the Jedi and despite Lucas saying this trilogy was part of a larger story, the world settled for books (the EU) to give us more.
Flash forward to 1997 and the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. This brought the OT to theaters for a whole new generation, but it came with changes. Some were good, like the expanded backgrounds for Cloud City in ESB. Others were terrible, like the Jabba Scene and Greedo Scene in ANH. The Greedo scene is probably the most controversial change to the OT and gave us the infamous “who shot first” discussion.
George Lucas wasn’t finished tinkering though. When the films hit BluRay in 2011 he made more changes. Vader’s terrible “Nooooooo” in RotJ and the horrible makeup job and dialogue additions for Palpatine in ESB. The ultimate sin, however, was substituting Hayden Christensen as Anakin’s Force ghost at the very end of RotJ. That change basically undid the idea that Luke saved his father as an old man. It literally undoes the entire plot of the final film! That wasn’t all though. Lucas f***ed around with the Greedo scene again in preparation for the OT’s 3D release. The now infamous “Maclunky” addition to ANH we saw when the film hit Disney+.
Every major change that George Lucas has made has been negative. Well, maybe adding full body shots of the Wampa in ESB wasn’t bad, but so many of them are. I don’t know what happened to Lucas in the 15 years from RotJ to the Special Edition and beyond, but it showed its ugly head in 1999 in the form of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
The Prequel Trilogy
Here’s where I may lose some of you. There’s a large group of people that were kids (between 9yo and 13yo) when TPM hit in 1999 that LOVE the PT. It is THEIR Star Wars! However, the PT is the worst of the worst in the franchise. George Lucas decided to write and direct all three films instead of just helping with the story outline and letting others take charge. That meant we ended up with three films that suffered from the same dialogue issues seen in ANH. Lucas started the PT with trade tariffs and politics. He cast the worst kid that tried out for the role of young Anakin. He wasted a great villain in Darth Maul. The worst sin, in my opinion, was making the Force into bacteria. The only saving grace for TPM is the Duel of the Fates Lightsaber duel.
The next film, Attack of the Clones, gave us the cardboard acting of Hayden Christensen. It brought a love story between two people with NO chemistry. It gave us the first of several upcoming techno-dancing Lightsaber “duels” and acrobatic Yoda. Its story attempts to fill in some blanks from one phrase about the Clone Wars from ANH, but it is just a blue/green scene mess. Also, again… the dialogue is terrible. Oh yeah, and he wastes time by keeping Anakin and Obi-Wan separated which keeps us from really caring about their relationship and eventual falling out.
Many people try to claim Revenge of the Sith is a good film, but it’s not. The film looks terrible on BluRay thanks to all of the dated CGI and blue/green screen, the dialogue (again) is terrible, there’s still no chemistry between Anakin and Padme, and the final “duel” is one of the worst sword fights in cinema history. That duel is long and boring and filled with pointless twirling, spinning, and bad stunts. You can hear more about that duel, and others, HERE. Because of the time wasted by starting with a 10yo Anakin and the love story, we never really feel the connection between Anakin and Obi-Wan. You only get that relationship if you watch the Clone Wars series. So, Lucas ruined his OT and produced a really crappy PT. Why in the world would we want him to come back?
What Comes Next?
There have been RUMORS about George Lucas coming back to LucasFilm and be involved with a Disney+ series like the one about Cassian Andor or Obi-Wan Kenobi. Thankfully that rumor is being debunked:
FACT CHECK: No, George Lucas is NOT returning to write/produce/direct the Cassian Andor series for Disney+. Yes, I'm embarrassed to say I checked into it and bothered actual sources. This has been Friday's edition of Debunking Ridiculous Star Wars Clickbait Rumors. As you were.
— Clayton Sandell (@Clayton_Sandell) February 8, 2020
None of what I’ve said means you can’t enjoy what Lucas has provided… well, if you approve of some of the OT changes I may hate you with the white-hot passion of 1000 suns, but I get that some of you love the PT. It isn’t good though. This is coming from someone whose viewing order from this point forward will be Rogue One and the OT only. I don’t think I’ll ever watch the PT or ST again, not unless I’m getting paid.
Look, we can all be thankful for the idea of Star Wars that Lucas provided to the world. We can be thankful for the memories and toys that will last a lifetime, but we can’t lie to ourselves and act like he is some great writer or director. The Sequel Trilogy may have left fans divided, but the future of the franchise should put as much distance between itself and Lucas as it should itself and anyone named Skywalker. I like the idea of series’ like The Mandalorian and would love to see the time between RotJ and The Force Awakens explored some more. I think the films should go 1000 years into the past or 1000 years into the future. I think there are plenty of stories to be told, the EU was a prime example of that. However, I know in my heart of hearts that George Lucas should not be a part of it.
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