David Lynch Turned Down Star Wars Because George Lucas Gave Him A Headache


Imagine a world where, in 1983, David Lynch directed a Star Wars film. What would the opening line have been? “He’s alive, wrapped in carbonite?” In another universe, perhaps this may have actually happened. But, in our reality, Lynch turned down the opportunity, and George Lucas brought on director Richard Marquand who delivered, well, a very commercial Star Wars film in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. We can only dream of the surrealist elements Lynch may have brought to a galaxy far, far away, but why did he turn down the opportunity, anyway?

Well, according to an interview with the Hudson Union Society, it was mostly out of respect of the craft. “You know, George is a guy who does what he loves, and I do what I love. The difference is, what George loves makes hundreds of billions of dollars,” Lynch says to laughter. After George continued to talk about the scope of the universe, Lynch developed a bit of a headache just due to the massive undertaking this job would be.

Lynch then follows George into an upstairs room. “He took me upstairs and showed me these things called ‘Wookies,’ and that headache is getting stronger…,” and it’s at that point that Lynch realized he would never be able to direct a Star Wars film. The Eraserhead auteur implored to Lucas that he should direct the film himself, since he had the vision all in mind already. Sure, Mr. Blue Velvet himself lost what his lawyer said was “‘I don’t know how many millions of dollars'” in turning down the job, but he stuck to his principles. Plus, we got Dune out of it, so, uh, that’s something.

It’s still fun to imagine a David Lynch Star Wars, though. “The Light Side? Fuck that shit! The! Dark! Side!”

Source: Mental Floss