Dear Geeks: Enough Already With The George Lucas Hate

Mcquarrie Vader Luke

I think it’s time to bury the hatchet. Let by-gones be by-gones. It’s all water under the bridge. Why cry over spilt milk.

In other words, get the fuck over it already.

I’ve been a Star Wars fan my entire life. Saw the original film more than a dozen times when I was a kid (and that’s when it was still in theaters). Seeing Empire Strikes Back at the Zigfield in Manhattan is a lasting memory for me. And Return of the Jedi was an epic experience and a sad time, because I knew that the ride was over. Star Wars had ended.

Oh, how little I knew in 1983. 

ESTB Falcon and Star DestroyerFirst there were comics, then books, then the biggest news of all time: George Lucas, the master of the galaxy far, far away, was going to make more Star Wars movies. A new trilogy that would explore the Clone Wars and the era before Luke, Leia and Han Solo.

What an exciting time. The speculation was rampant. Internet rumor-mongering and leaks were not exactly at the state they are now, but things came trickling out. Images of tanks and droids, small nuggets of information about the movie.

Then, in 1999, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace arrived on the big screen. So what that every critic thought it was terrible, it was Star Wars mother fucker!

That opening weekend should have been a glorious time. It should have been the beginning of a new age of Star Wars adoration. What it became was the beginning of something else. Something twisted and evil.

The age of Lucas Hatred.

Emperor and Crossed Lightsabers

Everywhere I turned there were geeks in brown cloaks with their lightsabers hanging limp and lifeless. Everywhere there were dorks wearing stormtrooper armor smashing their helmets. Lifelong fans were burning their action figures and selling off their once envied Millenium Falcons at the nearest flea market.

And each of them were seething with anger and venom for the man they once called hero.

“George Lucas raped my childhood!” they whined.

Well… guess what? No he didn’t you nerf-herder. Lucas did something else, he made a movie that wasn’t really all that great.

Star Wars AOTC Younglings

He then went on to do it again with Episode II – Attack of the Clones. He nearly did it a third time, but Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is mostly good.

Yet years later, the hatred is still there. Still simmering. Still dished out by supposed fans who have grown bitter and old. Who have lost touch with their affection for films they once adored because they didn’t quite connect with the most recent additions to the lore.

Now, I’m not looking to make excuses for the prequels. I most certainly don’t hate them like so many others, but I recognize they generally pale in comparison to the original trilogy.

Do I wish they had been better? Sure. If I had been given the opportunity, would I have done them differently? Of course. But regardless of what many fans have argued, Star Wars doesn’t belong to me. I don’t own the stories simply because I’m a fan of them.

Star Wars is George Lucas’ domain, and he’s free to do with it what he chooses. You can elect not to like the direction he’s taken it, but to bitch and whine that he’s “raped my childhood” or some other nonsense is ridiculous.

And let’s really think about those original Star Wars movies. The prequels were plagued with some pretty lame acting, some terrible dialogue, and some questionable plot points.

Know what? The original trilogy had those things, too. You telling me Mark Hamill was flawless in Return of the Jedi? You saying that the dialogue was outstanding in those movies?

EWOKS?!

Come on. All the crap that pissed everyone off in the prequels can generally be found in the original films. The only difference is that we fans don’t see those movies quite the same way because we saw them as kids. We saw the prequels as adults, with an adult perspective.

Even so, the originals are still superior.

Of course, the new found hatred for Lucas isn’t just a result of the films. They also extended to his business practices. The release of multiple versions of the movies on VHS and DVD (and now Blu-ray). The marketing of toys and other knick-knacks. The games and toothpaste.

Again, all things that he did when the original films came out. In fact, much of the modern marketing practices in the film industry can be drawn back to the first trilogy. Reaching out to fans, developing toys, tie-ins, advertising, sound tracks. You name it, he made sure it happened back then.

My lord, he did a fucking holiday special for christ’s sake.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Lucas was a pimp from day one. Nothing has changed. The man has found ways to milk Star Wars for every penny, and he’s been doing it since before 1977. And all those fans spewing hatred would likely still be lapping it up if he hadn’t gone and made a few movies they didn’t quite like (and then had the nerve to make changes to the ones they did).

Now, more than a decade removed from the initial release of The Phantom Menace and years past the motion picture premiere of Episode III, fans cling to that hatred like it has value. Like it’s hip. Because only cool geeks hate Lucas.

Give me a fucking break.

People who hate Lucas were the ones who were silly enough to think the dude was perfect in the first place. And now they hate him because hey, that’s what every self respecting geek does these days.

Well, that’s just stupid. So I’ll say it and I’ll say it with pride: I DO NOT hate George Lucas. I’m not going to waste myself being bitter and angry. I’m just going to enjoy Star Wars as a fan, because despite all the crap and parts of it I don’t like (Han shot Greedo first, bitches!), I’m still glad to have it around. Still glad to have experienced it as a kid. And still happy to watch it again and again.

Follow me – if you dare – at twitter.com/SheridanWriter

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Commentary, Michael Sheridan, Movies, Science Fiction
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  • Timx13

    ::Standing Ovation::

  • http://www.nokkturnus.com Rob Roberts

    You're absolutely right! It's time I finally got over this hatr… wait.. having… Crystal Skull… flashbacks. No, nah, yuh, yeah – I still hate George Lucas.

  • http://www.beeteedee.com/ Bee Tee Dee

    I dunno, I don't think the storytelling ineptitude on display in the prequels can really be overstated even with the Internet Hyperbole Machine running at full blast. But I can't get angry, because it's supplied fodder for entertaining criticism like those Red Letter Media videos.

    I don't know if there's any upside to Han Solo stepping on CGI Jabba's tail though.

  • ChrisV25

    For the record I started hating Lucas when he remade episode 4 and Greedo shot first.

  • devoy

    sorry man its a wonderfull sentiment saying lets all not hate george lucas but its not going to happen he took something we all loved as kids some more than others and shat it all up in the end game dont get me wrong weve still got the originals but they are seriously sulleyed now and its hard to eaven find a decent coppy where greedo dosent shoot first its like spending years waiting to get back from war to see your wife only to find out shes gained 400 pounds ,become a racist and had a sex change . FUCK LUCAS.

  • Brian

    "Get the fuck over it, already." Loved that line. I agree that this is a different time, and I agree that saying "George Lucas raped my childhood" is absolute bullshit. If the man put out a third trilogy that sucked as much as the last one, I would still go see it. Why? Because it's fucking Star Wars. I hate the man for how he's whored the shit out of his series, but I can't say I haven't contributed. Great article!

  • dave

    I'll agree/accept they exist. But by no means will suggest they are an important watch for anyone, stick to the originals and call it a day. I do agree if tomorrow he decided to release a new trilogy I would totally go see it. Crystal Skull was dog shit.

  • http://nokkturnus.com Rob Roberts
  • http://japanesedudegirl.blogspot.com/ Charles Francis Mora

    "How am I a gonna throw the meatball at the screen!"

  • Sam T

    My question to people who complain so much about the new episodes is are you 10? When the first films came out you were 10 and you loved them… when the next films came out were you still 10? No your 40, starwars is a kids film designed for kids. The new films were not meant for you get over it!

    I am 27, too young to see the original films by a long way, i remember them as a 10 year old on tv at christmas but when the new ones came out i was in my mid/late teens which is probably a bit old for them, but alot closer to the correct age demographic than people who saw the originals at the cinema

  • Dudley

    Slow clap …

    Seriously, Lucas made the originals in the first place. Without them, we'd have … what … that Flash Gordon movie in the '80s in our shelves instead? Come on, people. The original trilogy of Star Wars and the Lucas-produced trilogy of Indiana Jones are absolutely amazing and can be watched over and over again.

    Are the new ones not as good? Of course! Were they giant disappointments? Yes, absolutely! Just pretend like they didn't happen and watch the original ones instead. It's like being excited when Michael Jordan came out of retirement to play for the Wizards and then getting pissed at him when he wasn't as good.

  • Redtah Hatred

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxKtZmQgxrI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfBhi6qqFLA

    These reviews basically sum up why this post is wrong and why real people hate Lucas. If you still don't get it after watching these reviews your just kidding yourself or being silly. Lucas himself is caught on film acknowledging that there was quite a bit wrong with Phantom Menace but then is told (and probably realizes) That he'd have to change the entire movie to fix it. PS the clip is in the movie review.

  • Carmen

    I disagree. I think that when you create something that ends up having the epic scale of Star Wars, something of archetypal proportions, at some point it becomes a Gestalt and no longer belongs to you…it become greater than the sum of its parts. It is of the people. I don't like the new films, but I am ok with ignoring their existence. I am not, and never will be, ok with him going back and re-writing/editing/etc. the original films…Like deciding to re-name your son or daughter when s/he is 15. Bullshit….by that time the child has developed its own personality, and while a parent could technically and legally re-name him/her it would be shitty and arrogant to do so. He made something bigger than himself (no pun intended) and as such, while it is literally his monetary property, it is not longer "his" in that sense. Hence forcing change on it is a rape. I don't have to be loud about the opinion, but I can still hold it. The man has lost his edge and no longer is in touch with what is poignant, cool, or even vaguely interesting.

  • http://www.elvisinmybasement.com Kmuzu

    Here are some reason to keep the hate going .. Star Tours revamp, Star Wars Casino and inserting a teenage Hans Solo into episode 1 (4th movie made) explaining how he obtained the Millennium Falcon.

  • http://www.elvisinmybasement.com Kmuzu

    Actually Star Wars was a bad imitation of The Hidden Fortress by Akira Kurosawa – So you can than the Japanese.

  • Sean

    …As you go on a huge rant about a subject you want people to drop?.

    Let's see, what's not to love? The continuity fails, Jesus-Anakin (Huh, Obi-Wan skipped that part. And how about that run with Yoda? The Force is always been strong in Luke's Family? Guess they decided to forget the grandmother there.), Killing off the one GOOD villain they had in the first movie, Obi-Wan's clearly senile by ep 4, cause he seems to have forgotten who trained him, and then came back from the dead to teach him how to come back from the dead. The blatantly unnecessary run where Anakin MAKES C-3PO, but has somehow forgotten who he is by ep 5 (so what we spent 20 years together and you talk, look, and act completely the same as before. Parents often forget what their kid looks like). And the existentialist medical droid, "She lost the will to live" my white ass buddy. The woman was smiling huge as she was naming her kids, and she just lost the will to live?!

  • Joseph

    When I first heard back in 1995 that George Lucas was making a Star Wars prequel, I thought the man had lost his mind. A PREQUEL? Who on Earth wants to see a PREQUEL? Just the idea, the bare idea itself, is stupid beyond all belief. We KNOW Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader. Why retread tired old ground?

    We don't want to see what happens BEFORE Star Wars. We want to see what happens AFTER Star Wars. After the Return of the Jedi. Do Han Solo and Princess Leia get married? Does Luke Skywalker restart the Jedi order? What happens to the droids, Chewbacca, and the Millennium Falcon (all our old friends and ships from the first three movies?) Make a movie about THAT, and I would watch it in an instant.

    A prequel is what someone with no creativity comes up with. Someone with no new ideas, who doesn't know how to look forward – so they look backward instead. If the movie doesn't have Han Solo, Princess Leia, etc., then it's not Star Wars. It's something else. The magic's gone. And it's never coming back.

    I had absolutely no desire to even SEE The Phantom Menace when it first came out. I avoided the movie theaters on principle alone. It was easy. The show held no interest for me whatsoever. And it still doesn't. No Millennium Falcon, no Han Solo, etc., then no Star Wars. Simple. I told everybody I knew that the movie was going to be terrible. They asked "How do YOU know? You don't even know what it's about!"

    I knew what it WASN'T about. And that was enough for me.

    To this day I have never watched the Phantom Menace. I have no desire to. I still have no idea what it's really all about. And who cares, anyway? The fact that everybody hates it is really beside the point. It's not Star Wars. And it never will be.

    The last thing that George Lucas worked on/sanctioned before he stopped creating for many years (after finishing Return of the Jedi) was a series of three Star Wars novels with science fiction author Timothy Zahn (briefly). These three books – Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command – are universally agreed upon by fans as the greatest Star Wars novels ever written.

    They really DO show what happens after Return of the Jedi – continuing the adventures of all our old friends from the Original Trilogy. And they are absolutely superb books. Although Lucas' involvement with these books was very slight, he still had it where it counted back then (around 1989, I believe.) He was STILL a great creator at that point. Some of the ideas in the books were suggested through his Lucasfilm company. He hadn't yet fallen into the trap of Jar Jar Binks.

    These three books, I believe, are our very last glimpse of the old George Lucas. But what a glimpse they are. THESE books are what should have been made into the new movies. Not the stupid, pointless PREQUELS. Star Wars fans eager for a glimpse of the movies that could have been should read Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. You will not be disappointed.

  • http://twitter.com/stefbearwitness @stefbearwitness

    you have a point..oh wait… Jar Jar Binks…nope he really did rape my childhood…and didn't have the common courtesy to lube up first.

  • Damien Oujia

    I don't hate him because I thought he was perfect. I don't hate him for trying to milk money out of the franchise (after all, that was the original deal he penned…he made the majority of his money off merchandising.) Hell, I don't even hate him for adding things to the movies with every new release.

    I hate him because he seemed to at least be open to input from other people at some point in the past. He let other directors handle Empire and ROTJ. He NEVER should have directed ANY of the prequel trilogy. And he should have watched the original trilogy first before writing the prequels to make sure things fit together better. There are far too many inconsistencies between the two trilogies that cannot be reconciled.

    I also hate him because he seems to surround himself with yes men. You CANNOT expect me to believe that somebody didn't see the disaster that Jar Jar Binks would be before the movies were released. It's been said that EVERYBODY thought he would be a huge fan favorite. B***S***. Lucas surrounded himself with yes men who NEVER would dare contradict him on that.

    And that's just one example. I could go on for quite some time.

    And finally, I really do think he's done fans a HUGE disservice (and the movie industry as a whole) by refusing to re-release the original trilogy unaltered in an acceptable format. And by acceptable format I mean something that looks like it was made in the last decade. The DVDs released a few years ago that were NOT anamorphic widescreen was like Lucas just taking a huge dump on the fans.

    Sorry if some people can't get it. At least Spielburg does…he regrets the digital changes he made to ET that Lucas talked him into and refused to re-release the movie again with those abominable changes. But at least he also gave the fans the original cut of ET on a second disc in the DVD release of it. Sorry, but I just will not get over what Lucas has done until he does what other directors do…give us the director's cut and the original cuts in their best presentation. Anything less is unforgivable.