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George Lucas says he was warned that doing a young-Anakin Skywalker 'Star Wars' movie would 'destroy everything'

Nov 19, 2020, 22:39 IST
Insider
Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace."Lucasfilm
  • George Lucas has revealed that executives at Fox were initially not pleased when they learned the first movie in his prequel trilogy, "The Phantom Menace," would be focused on a 10-year-old Anakin Skywalker.
  • "You're going to destroy the franchise; you're going to destroy everything," Lucas said he was told, according to a new book, "The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005."
  • But Lucas recalled telling them he'd rather make a "movie that nobody wants to see" then tell the same story again.
  • The film went on to earn over $1 billion at the global box office but was mostly panned by critics and fans.

To this day, George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels are some of the most polarizing titles in the franchise. Mostly panned by fans and critics when they first opened in theaters, the trilogy has been met with more acceptance over the decades as younger generations become introduced to the saga.

Perhaps the most hate from fans is spewed toward the first of the prequels, 1999's "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," which centered on a 10-year-old Anakin Skywalker.

In a new book, Lucas said that when he told Fox executives his plans to tell the story of Anakin's journey to becoming Darth Vader, and it would begin with him as a boy, they were not encouraged.

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The gaming website Polygon reports that in "The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005," Lucas said executives warned him, "You're going to destroy the franchise; you're going to destroy everything."

In the new book, which is a deep dive into Lucas' prequel trilogy, the director's response to that feedback was reportedly that he'd rather make a "movie that nobody wants to see" then tell the same story again.

Lucas cast the child actor Jack Lloyd in the Anakin role in "Phantom Menace." And though the Fox execs were partially right about the young-Anakin storyline turning off fans (for some, it did), what they didn't anticipate was the universal hate toward the CGI character Jar Jar Binks.

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Despite all of that, "Phantom Menace" would go on to earn over $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

"The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005" will be available in the US on December 13 and has already been released in the UK.

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