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“This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen”: Many Pundits Including Steven Spielberg Were Awfully Wrong About George Lucas’ First Star Wars Movie

Star Wars is a highly successful franchise that has made George Lucas the richest director in the world.

"This is the worst thing I've ever seen": Many Pundits Including Steven Spielberg Were Awfully Wrong About George Lucas' First Star Wars Movie


  • Despite initial doubts from fellow directors, including Steven Spielberg, the first Star Wars movie, "A New Hope," went on to become a massive hit, grossing over $775 million worldwide.
  • The franchise has expanded to include movies, series, and TV specials, and has generated over $10 billion worldwide.
  • While the franchise's popularity may be waning compared to others, such as Marvel and DC, it can still be streamed on Disney+.

Counted among the most watched and streamed franchises in the world, with millions of fans and billions in worldwide grossing, Star Wars is what made George Lucas the richest director in the world. Thanks to the insane world-building, a fresh storyline, new characters, and exciting elements, the franchise has now expanded to numerous movies, series, and TV specials.

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in Star Wars: A New Hope
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

However, when Lucas had first shown an unedited, unfinished cut of the first even Star Wars movie to a group of his director friends, including Steven Spielberg, they had told him it would be a complete failure. But these pundits couldn’t have been more wrong about it!

Also Read: George Lucas Filmed an Epic Star Wars Scene Like a Silent Film, Had John Williams Do the Heavy Lifting

When Steven Spielberg Told George Lucas Star Wars Would Be A Failure

steven spielberg (via flickr)
Steven Spielberg (via Flickr)

Also Read: Steven Spielberg’s Masters of the Air WW2 Series Reportedly Has a Mammoth Budget That Even Dwarfs The Marvels, Features Son Sawyer in Major Role

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George Lucas is now the richest director in the world thanks to his huge Star Wars franchise. However even before the first movie, Star Wars: A New Hope was released he was told that the movie was a failure and could only gross about 50 million dollar at best. Even his fellow director Steven Spielberg, who is known for his unique vision, was sure that the movie would be a failure.

In a still from behind-the-scenes documentary of the series (via YouTube), Lucas had invited fellow directors who were also his good friends, for an early screening of the first movie in 1977. It was just a rough-cut and the majority of the special effects were missing from it.

After the screening was finished, his friends stated,


“I showed it to a group of my friends. Some… you know, felt sorry for me and said ‘Oh Gee, that’s too bad George.’ Some said ‘This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen’. And some of who liked it.”

As for Spielberg he was sure the movie would be a failure, he he himself recalls,

“And then later on when George and I were together, you know, George said, ‘I think I just made a kids movie, I think this is not gonna fly.’ I said, ‘I think it’s going to be a big hit. I think it’ll make $50-$60 [million].”

Well, all of them couldn’t have been more wrong!

Also Read: Mark Hamill Was “Sad” After George Lucas Made a Massive Change to Luke Skywalker After Shooting Star Wars For Months

Star Wars Is Now Among The Highest Grossing Franchises In The World

Star Wars Franchise
Star Wars Franchise

George Lucas, after watching his friend’s reactions was sure the movie would only manage to make about $15 to $20 million. So obviously it must have been a shocker to see when the movie managed to gross a record-breaking $775 million worldwide. And now it is among the highest grossing movie franchises of all time, having generated more than $10 billion worldwide.

From its immersive storyline to catchy musical scores, numerous factors have made the franchise it is today. However, as the franchise fever seems to be slowly fading away, with studios like Marvel and DC facing unprecedented challenges to uphold their dominance, it would be interesting to see whether Star Wars would be able to navigate these challenges facing franchises.

Star Wars franchise can be streamed on Disney+.

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Written by Maria

Maria Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. Having honed her skills are a Freelance and Professional content writer for more than 5 years (and counting), her expertise spans various genres and content type. A Political Science and History Graduate, her deep interest in the world around shapes her writing, blending her insights across diverse themes.

Outside the realm of writing, Maria can be often found buried in the world of books or pursuing art or engaged in fervent discussions about anything or everything, her passions balanced by binge watching Kdramas, Anime, Movies or Series during leisure hours.