Lucas is one of the greatest filmmakers in history – he created Star Wars and Indiana Jones for goodness sake. If we forget Howard the Duck (it's okay if you loved it as a kid and enjoyed his cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), the man has a pretty solid history when it comes to making movies.
Star Wars has made more money than any other piece of celluloid did and it has entertained a gazillion movie watchers a gazillion times. Yet some people seem to hate George Lucas.
They hate George Lucas because he created the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, they hate him because he made Jar Jar Binks, they hate him because he cast Sam Jackson as Mace Windu, they hate him because he made an Ewok's eyes blink, and they hate him because he suggested Greedo shot first.
Well, screw them all. We mean, those vocal individuals are entitled to their views.
But let's discuss this hate, just one more time.
Special Edition hatred
Let's take the example of the Special Edition of A New Hope. Han is bravely chasing a few Stormtroopers down a corridor – why they ran in the first place is a question in itself. However, Han abruptly finds himself confronted with a room chock full of at least a hundred troops, all added in by computer design.
And what happens? The rabid fans cry sacrilege! Lucas has ruined the scene!
No, he hasn't. And to make that point, just remember two things:
- Lucas has managed to catch up to himself. Budget restraints meant he probably couldn't get enough troopers in the original shot. Now he has the budget he can catch up and get them in.
- The Special Editions are a re-release for a new generation.
The author of this piece remembers being a university student in the late 1990s when the Special Edition was shown in Palmerston North. He took his girlfriend as she had never seen Star Wars and this was a movie event she needed to be a part of – did the extra troopers hinder her enjoyment of the film? No. If anything it made the joke better.
And that's it in a nutshell – Lucas' changes to the movies of the original trilogy are designed to enhance them.
An Ewok with blinking eyes is no big detail. A do-over of the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back is no big deal either. Temuera Morrison's voice as Boba Fett is not too annoying.
A young Anakin Skywalker subbed in for the classic redeemed Vader in Return of Jedi? Well, you got us there, that one didn't make sense.
Regardless, these reasons are not reasons to hate George Lucas.
The case for Prequel Trilogy
Given the content of this article and some of this website's other content, you may feel like it's an apologist platform for the prequel trilogy. But for every person that says they hate George Lucas because of the abomination that was Jar Jar Binks, it's easy to find another 15 who love Darth Maul.
Maul has become one of the classic Star Wars bad guys and he actually deserves it far more than a certain Bounty Hunter called Boba Fett – at least Maul actually managed to kill a great Jedi.
So what point are we getting at here?
Yes, the Prequels had some missteps, and Attack of the Clones was merely an “average” Star Wars movie, but within these three movies there was plenty to love, and fans did love them – you do recall the box office ticket sales don't you?
That's right, they cleaned up cash-wise as people went to see them again and again, despite the supposed hate.
And let's be clear, Revenge of the Sith is a GREAT Star Wars movie. It's actually a fan favorite.
Indeed, there's so much to love about Revenge of the Sith, one really wonders how anyone could hate it.
There's a lot of subtlety that a lot of people could miss if they have their “I hate Lucas” hat on. Anakin in the dark and Obi-Wan in the light is excellent filmmaking, example.
The Kids are alright with it
Ian McDiarmid who played Emperor Palpatine is on record as saying this about the prequels:
“I’m usually approached by mums and dads of four-year-olds now who’ve been watching the movies, who are completely fascinated by them. And they won’t leave their television screens until they’ve seen the whole lot. So it continues to grip, and it continues to grip kids. And even though, we all know with the prequels some of the adults who’d seen the early films were a bit disappointed, that’s not true of succeeding generations, which sort of means that these films are really going to go on forever, and that’s extraordinary, I think, and great.”
Even J.J. Abrams (the director of The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, if you've been living under a rock) said:
“A lot of kids who saw all the prequels when they were young really do identify with those movies as much as my generation identified with the originals.”
So that must mean there's a whole generation of 20 years olds (Gen Y?) that totally loves George Lucas!
Here's the real reason some people hate George Lucas
We all grew up. We stopped being mystified by Darth Vader. We stopped pretending to fly X Wings and we stopped taking part in epic lightsaber battles with our brothers.
We grew up and started judging new prequel movies as adults rather than wide-eyed kids.
Remember how you may have loved the speeder bike race in Return of the Jedi? Kids love the pod race in The Phantom Menace (admit it, you actually loved it, too).
So this has been a ramble and a half. You have to wonder if all the haters out there on the internet who unleash their venom from behind their keyboards would actually say the things they do to George's face. Somehow that seems doubtful.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.