“I had created the most irritating character ever”: George Lucas on How Star Wars Critics Tried Destroying a Fan-favorite Original Trilogy Character Before Jar Jar Binks

Even Star Wars legend was not safe from the critics and their merciless bulldozing of everything that didn't fit into a box they could define.

george lucas, jar jar binks
credit: wikimedia commons/torfilm

SUMMARY

  • Star Wars faced a rocky journey right from the start, even with George Lucas defending his creation without mercy.
  • Critics almost drove a fan-favorite character into erasure after their tasteless attack on the first Star Wars movie.
  • George Lucas lashed out at critics whose tunnel-view opinions put a limit on his creative masterpiece that was ahead of its time.
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George Lucas, the rebel and the legend, created a living legacy in his lifetime with the Star Wars franchise that represents more human emotions than the species in itself. With each film representing one human emotion – from retribution to love – the franchise soon spawned into a global conglomerate, impossible to be controlled by any one man or be limited to his vision only.

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George Lucas [Photo: Joey Gannon, Wikimedia Commons]
George Lucas [Photo: Joey Gannon/Wikimedia Commons]
But the resulting product was a marvel of creation and Star Wars was right to be recognized as such. The space saga that began with Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo, stretched into half a century’s worth of narrative arc with fans who still revisit the idiosyncratic characters and expansive tales that first originated from the imagination of George Lucas.

Star Wars Breeds Criticism After Breaking the Status Quo

The universe that holds the creations of George Lucas captive is indeed a blessed one. With Skywalkers and Ewoks and Jedi and pit droids as witnesses, the galaxy far far away bloomed and grew into one with incredible potential.

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On the set of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Carrie Fisher on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope [Credit: 20th Century Studios]
As such, it was only fair that a franchise that threatened the status quo of Hollywood’s sci-fi genre and broke the ceilings on box office earnings, an IP that dared to transcend the barriers of film and fantasy and encroach into the lives of people and their never-ending love for these stories would face some harsh criticism along the way. After all, nothing revolutionary was truly achieved without a little bit of resistance.

However, the criticism of Star Wars was more eccentric than its already idiosyncratic characters. Way before Jar Jar Binks spawned into existence, the masses targeted the beloved droid programmed for etiquette and protocol, C-3PO, which was introduced in one of the very first and defining moments of the Star Wars saga.

George Lucas Tackles Star Wars Criticism With Grace

Star Wars: A New Hope – C-3PO and R2D2
C-3PO and R2D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope [Credit: 20th Century Studios]
In a frank interview with Empire Online, visionary director and auteur George Lucas opened up about the criticism that was thrown at his characters, the psychology behind his creation, and the fearlessness that went into defending them as if they were his own flesh and blood. Speaking of the “stinging American reviews,” Lucas claimed:

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“The critics pretty much hated the first three movies; they said the dialogue is bad, the acting’s wooden, no story, too many special effects, it’s a children’s film… It was written about Star Wars that in C3PO I had created the most irritating character ever created on film. Now one of the reviews for The Phantom Menace says in Jar Jar I have created the most irritating character ever created on film. It’s exactly the same sentence. It was like, ‘Hey, haven’t I been here? I already did that once.'”

But even in his frank and brutal honesty, there was an underlying concern for his characters. Lucas also followed up his harangue against the critics by elaborating on his building frustrations:

 “t’s always been there. There’s a group of fans who don’t like comic sidekicks. They wanna see The Terminator, they wanna see a different kind of movie. But this isn’t that movie. That same group of fans absolutely hated R2 and C3PO in the first film; in the second film they hated Yoda, he was not a well-liked character – “we can’t understand what he’s talking about, he’s green, he’s a muppet.”

In the third film, they hated the Ewoks, couldn’t stand the cute little sidekick characters – “we don’t like it. It makes it beyond a children’s film.” They can’t stand it that there is this aspect to these movies, but comic sidekick characters have been in every single movie.

And they will continue. I’m sorry if they don’t like it. They should go back and see The Matrix or something. These are PG movies. I’m not gonna take those kinds of characters out.”

In their limited and tunnel-view understanding of George Lucas’ operatic masterpiece, the critics attempted to sink a franchise that would grow much bigger and stretch much further than the limits of their inadequate and restricted imagination.

The Star Wars franchise is available for streaming on Disney+

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Diya Majumdar

Written by Diya Majumdar

Articles Published: 1670

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has over 1600 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for music, Monet, and Van Gogh.