When it comes to imagination and worldbuilding, George Lucas has to be viewed as one of cinema’s greatest ever, given that he’s responsible for creating the sprawling Star Wars mythology that’s still going strong almost 45 years later across all forms of media including movies, TV shows, animation, video games, comic books, novels and much more.
However, his abilities as a screenwriter have never been viewed as one of his strong points, with the dialogue often cited as the weakest aspect of his first two trilogies set in a galaxy far, far away. It became particularly noticeable in Episodes I, II and III, with some of the words coming out of the actors’ mouths almost laughably clunky, and the memes are still rolling out to this day. Just mention the word ‘sand’ to a Star Wars fan and you’ll be sure to get a response, with most of the exchanges between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala generating a similar effect.
Ewan McGregor has been hyping up his return as the title hero in Disney Plus’ limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi by admitting his frustrations with the prequels, in terms of trying to deliver a worthwhile performance in what was essentially an empty room covered in wall-to-wall green screen, and he was certainly honest when it came to his appraisal of Lucas’ heavy-handed writing style.
“George loves technology and loves pushing into that realm. He wanted more and more control over what we see in the background. After three or four months of that, it just gets really tedious, especially when the scenes are… I don’t want to be rude, but it’s not Shakespeare. There’s not something to dig into in the dialogue that can satisfy you when there’s no environment there. It was quite hard to do.”
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Of course, the lore has always been a much bigger selling point for Star Wars than the dialogue and exposition, but Obi-Wan Kenobi is coming burdened with such high hopes and expectations that it needs to be firing on all cylinders from the storyline and casting right down to the production design and scripts.