The original Star Wars franchise changed Hollywood and popular culture forever, so when Fox got the hint that George Lucas would make three more in the 1990s, they couldn't help but be excited...
Until they found out you'd meet Darth Vader as a kid.
In the new Taschen book, The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005, George Lucas talks about how stressed the execs were when they found out his return to the franchise was going to track how Vader became an evil Sith lord.
According to Polygon:
"When Lucas initially told 20th Century Fox that he was making the story of how Anakin became Darth Vader, they were as excited as anybody else. Then he told them that, in the first film, Anakin would be 10 years old. ‘You’re going to destroy the franchise; you’re going to destroy everything!’ Lucas explains that he told people at Lucasfilm he was ‘making a movie that nobody wants to see,’ but would rather do that than telling the same story over and over. And to be fair to George, it still made a billion dollars.”
Looking back at the prequels, which are all available on Disney+, no one really cared that Anakin was 10 years old when we met him. People were more upset at the dreary politics and some of the love story in the second and third, which felt a little out of whack.
And let's not even get started on Jar Jar Binks.
I have always thought Lucas was admirable in his desire to tell new stories inside the same universe. it's a sentiment that I think Disney should pick up on now, especially when a show like The Mandalorian is the best thing to come out of Star Wars in a long time.
Still, people go into those movies wanting fun and adventure, not trade agreements. There has to be a happy medium. Like the quote says, they still made a billion dollars. But you have to ask, was it worth it?
Are you a fan of Anakin's origin story? Let us know your reaction to the prequels in the comments!