George Lucas Defends The Prequels, Says Fans Don’t Understand The Style Of Star Wars

Image via Lucasfilm

Star Wars creator George Lucas has always come under fire for his work on the Prequel Trilogy. Though Episodes I-III have undergone a major reappraisal in recent years, some old criticisms are still levelled at the movies. For one, there are numerous cringeworthy pieces of dialogue from the films that have become iconic with fans for all the wrong reasons, like Anakin’s sand speech in Attack of the Clones. 

In a new behind-the-scenes book, though, Lucas has defended his writing and here’s what he had to say about it:

“It [the dialogue] is presented very honestly, it isn’t tongue-in-cheek at all, and it’s played to the hilt,” Lucas explained. “But it is consistent, not only with the rest of the movie, but with the overall Star Wars style. Most people don’t understand the style of Star Wars. They don’t get that there’s an underlying motif that is very much like a 1930s Western or Saturday matinee serial. It’s in the more romantic period of making movies and adventure films. And [Star Wars: Attack of the Clones] is even more of a melodrama than the others.”

Lucas’ point about how he was aping the old fashioned movie serials of his youth – something he also did in the Indiana Jones franchise – is fair enough, though his comment that “most people don’t understand the style of Star Wars” might rankle a few fans who think they know the saga pretty well. There definitely is a deliberately melodramatic feel to the prequels, however, and in their best moments, Lucas’ scripts and direction nail the appropriate tone.


Unfortunately, at other times, the tone was way off. That might be why acclaimed playwright and script doctor Tom Stoppard was secretly brought in to touch up the screenplay for Revenge of the Sith. Though he went uncredited, Stoppard is known to have contributed some of the more memorable lines in Episode III, such as Padme’s “so this is how liberty dies” speech.

For anyone looking to get a greater insight into Lucas’ mindset, the new Star Wars Archives book is not to be missed. In it, the director also reveals what led him to abandon his own plans for the Sequel Trilogy and sell his beloved property to Disney, as well as unveiling his original ideas for Anakin’s arc. Of course, rumors abound that he might be returning to Lucasfilm to be involved in a future Star Wars project, but at the moment, that hasn’t been confirmed.