Why Did Fox Tell George Lucas Star Wars Would Fail?

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: The Phantom MenaceCredit: Lucasfilm
What did you think of Anakin? 

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!      

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1 Comment

I don't think politics was a bad thing, quite the opposite, it could have added a lot of depth to the universe. Move it away from the common hero journey into a broader world where stakes would feel a lot higher. Not that the destiny of the galaxy isn't enough but with arguments and plots closer to our every day lives we could empathize better.

Just think about Game of Thrones, there are lots of personal stories and there are also the broader plots that move everything around.

I don't even find it a problem how it actually is but it doesn't feel important, almost like an excuse for things to move forward. Which is not terrible but could be A LOT better.

George Lucas screwed it with the midiclorians, that, with all due respect, is a very stupid thing to come up with. The force was more spiritual, not biological. and it had power because of that; now the force is on par with diabetes.

Also, the Mandalorian is fun and we all want a baby Yoda, maybe even people who don't want kids. Despite being the best of SW in a long, long time (other that Jedi Fallen Order) it's not a good show just because all the episodes, or most, are EXACTLY THE SAME.

Mando needs to go here or there, or needs this or that. He goes to get it, someone else has it or know how to get it and they request for his help first before helping him. He helps, then they help him and off to the next episode. Last 90 seconds of the episode shows something juicy. Next ep: back to the beginning of this paragraph.

Anyways, one can't lose hope for the next great Star Wars thing to arrive, eh?

November 24, 2020 at 4:06PM