Writer: Chris Kettner
May the 4th is a day to celebrate all things Star Wars. We dress up as characters, throw screening parties and make Star Wars themed food. People love Star Wars, yet many are quick to tear down its creator. Lucas has his faults, but Lord JJ has taken the reigns, and Lucas is now 100% out of the picture; he can no longer “damage” your beloved franchise. This May the 4th, I propose we celebrate Lucas for who he is, forgive what he became and remember all he’s done for us.
Before I defend Lucas, let’s cover some of his offenses. In 1988, Lucas fought against recoloring classic black and white films; he later did essentially the same thing to his films. He had his reasons, but he still changed movies the public had grown to love, while holding the uncut versions for ransom. Later he created Jar Jar Binks and the prequels, and even threw a little hissy fit when The Force Awaken premiered.
Now that I’ve covered why Lucas sucks, let’s smash those arguments to bits.
Meddling with his own works aside, Lucas still created one of the most beloved things in the galaxy. Creators have a hard time letting work be finished. I know, because I am a creator as well, and as I get better at the things I do, I see my early work and want to make it as good as my new stuff. I am in no way comparing myself to Lucas, all I’m saying is that I can relate.
George always had a vision when it came to Star Wars. He’s openly admitted he hates the cantina scene because the budget wasn’t there to make exactly what he wanted. Now all of a sudden the technology is available, so of course he’s going to change what he hates. He knows that the public loves his work, but he’s displeased with his product, and he felt the need to make it right. He’s even said “I’m sorry if you saw half a completed film and fell in love with it.” What I’m petitioning is this; lets not look at Lucas as setting out to ruin your favorite movie. Instead, pity the man for being a perfectionist who can’t embrace his genius.
If you love Star Wars, you owe a huge debt of favor to George Lucas. He may have tooled with the series in a way that made you uncomfortable, but you have to remember he created this sandbox in which we all play.
Jar Jar Binks is an abomination, and The Phantom Menace was a bit of a nightmare. However, Lucas had the best intentions with Jar Jar. The problem came when there was no one working on set to shoot down Lucas’ terrible ideas; everyone was a yes man, and they were just blown away being in the presence of Lucas. Whenever he would toss out an idea, everyone in the room would laugh, smile and agree with him. No one knew how bad it would be until they screened the first cut.
The prequels got a bit better after Phantom Menace, but let me ask you this, how many of you made excellent decisions the first time you lived completely on your own? Did you knock it out of the park, or did you make some pretty terrible decisions? If you fall under the latter, you know exactly how Lucas felt.
For the first time in his career, he was in 100% control over every aspect of the movie. He hadn’t failed yet, so why would anyone hinder his creativity? Phantom Menace doesn’t fall squarely on Lucas’s shoulders, he just wanted to give you what he thought was the best movie he could make. You don’t have to love Phantom Menace, I’m just asking you get over it.
Many people hate the prequels, and tolerate Revenge of the Sith. People say they were too weird, didn’t really feel like a Star Wars film, and the acting was terrible. I’ll nip the acting in the bud, one can only do so much with the material and direction you’re given. Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman are both incredible actors, and they did their best with what they had. I won’t argue Hayden Christensen, dude dropped out of acting, proving us right.
As for not feeling like a Star Wars movie, Lucas went out of his way to bring us to new locations with new characters every single movie. It wasn’t until Force Awakens that people started complaining about rehashing old ideas. The prequels may not have felt like Star Wars, but Lucas pushed each movie forward in a new way.
Now we get to Lucas being a bit of a turd when The Force Awakens finally came out. Yes, he sold off the rights, but have you ever broken up with someone and agonized after the fact, seeing the thing you love in the arms of another person? Not only that, but then people are thrilled that you’re finally out of the picture, and some hot new model has taken your place.
This is absolutely a breakup for him. The characters you love, cosplay as, and write weird erotic fan fiction about, Lucas created them. He loves those characters more than anyone else ever could.
Maybe that’s not the case now. His characters have gone far beyond what he ever imagined they would become, and now they belong to everyone. You know how you hurt a bit when you see changes Lucas made to the prequels? He’s just trying to be the best for you. And when he gets a little snippy about new movies, its because he still loves Star Wars. Everything Lucas has ever done is out of love for his franchise, and if you love Star Wars as much as claim, you’ll finally leave Lucas alone. May the 4th be with us all.