George Lucas Q&A at Vanity Fair

The latest issue of Vanity Fair has a cover feature devoted to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with photography by Annie Leibovitz and interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford. Of interest to Star Wars fans, of course, is the Lucas interview, which touches on the saga several times. Here’s an excerpt:

People who are over 40 love [Episodes] IV, V, and VI and hate I, II, and III. Younger people like I, II, and III and don’t like IV, V, and VI, or they like I, II, and III better and think IV, V, and VI are kind of boring and slow. And of course the older people say, “Oh, I, II, and III—it’s too jittery, too fast, too complicated, it’s too digital,” or whatever they want to say. But definitely one generation has grabbed hold of one of them, and the other generation has grabbed hold of the next one. One of the key characters that helped us realize what was going on was Jar Jar Binks, because the kids that are under 10 years old, he’s one of their favorite characters. For people over 40, they cannot stand him—it’s a hate thing. You know, they’ve always been for 12-year-olds, and that’s never changed. People don’t want to think of it that way. They want to think those films are for grown-ups. Even though they were 10 years old when they saw it, it’s still very important to them, so, for them, it’s a grown-up movie, as opposed to a kids’ movie. The pre–Jar Jar Binks was 3PO. Everybody hated 3PO. I mean, it was like they couldn’t stand him. It really had to do with his character. They don’t like his character, and they don’t like Jar Jar Binks—but they’re not designed to be likeable characters.


For the complete Lucas Q&A, read it online here. The Vanity Fair issue is on newsstands now.


11 Responses to George Lucas Q&A at Vanity Fair

  1. Graeme says:

    How ridiculous! I’m 35 and like them in this order: 6,1,3,5,4,2. Jar Jar made me laugh, I think, more than any character has in Star Wars since Han Solo! I have generally found that older people who don’t like the early episodes are a tad on the pretentious side! It’s all just good fun! I wish it could carry on (bring on episode 7!)! Cheers!

  2. Marianne Shinmon says:

    To start with, I am 68 and will be 69 in May. My favorite is episode 6. Shock to those who have made up their minds which episode they will like because of age. I like ep3 because of the action and the ability of Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor to do the fighting. I like ep1,2,3 because of the colors and the beautiful coxtumes. Jar Jar binks is full of fun and his character developes in the first three episodes. My favorite character is Anakin Skywalker and will always be. Remember Yoda was the favorite is ep 4,5,6. Don’t judge a person by their age. Everybody is different. People forget that these movies aare for entertainment and take a persons mind off of their probles. Best movies George Lucas ever did. Thanks for allowing me to voice my opinion,

  3. Jack says:

    Age don’t determine which trilogy is liked best. I’m 17 and my uncle initiated me to Star Wars and although EP 3 is my favorite, the original trilogy is far superior in terms of story. Sure, the special efects aren’t as kick-ass as in the prequels but it’s all more authentic. Most of the actors in EP 1,2,3 were digitalized. I’m nearly surprised that Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen learned swordplay ‘cuz each time a Jedi use a force jump, he’s in 3D. Mark Hamil wasn’t made of polygons and pixels when he leapt from the platform’s ledge in Return of the Jedi.

    As for Jar Jar binks, he’s not so annoying, he added a bit of comedy to Ep1 and faded in the background after that.

    If Mark Hamil, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford weren’t so old, maybe we could’ve have cinema adaptaions of the Admiral thrawn trilogy! That would’ve been nice! 🙂

    But if they think about taking younger actors for Luke, Leia and Han, then I don’t wanna hear about it. The original actors will always be best.

  4. Jordan says:

    Bah! I saw Episodes I – III at a young age and I like them all! In fact, my favroite is Episode V! The is just an attempt to get people all excited and talking.
    I love jar jar! People just need somthing to be mad at for making star wars “digital” but that’s what its all about. Back in 1977 star wars had top of the line effects, and lucas did a good thing repeating that in this era.
    Ironicly though, EP III is my least favroite.

  5. Emily says:

    I grew up with the original trilogy and saw Episode I at seven, I think, and although Episode I is my least favorite, I have never been able to choose a “favorite”. I just love anything and everything that is Star Wars. I never had a problem with 3PO at all, but mixed feelings about Jar Jar.

  6. Eddie says:

    Lucas is right in saying that most original generation fans like the classics, and I am one of them. But there are certainly things about the prequels that I like too. I came out of EP III thinking that it was as great as any of the originals, and the lightsaber part of EP I and the whole last 40 or so minutes of AOTC is topnotch. Similarly, there are a lot of younger fans who do recognie how good the classics are.

    But sadly, Lucas may be engaged in “revisionist history” in his nonstop defense of Jar Jar Binks including the rather ludicrous suggestion that C3PO was as hated as Jar Jar first time out but there was no Inernet then. NO WAY! C3PO and R2D2 were actually the stars of the 1977 film! Everybody found them amusing.

    Similarly, the Ewoks are much-reviled now, but they WERE popular in 1983; no one was dissing Return of the Jedi because of them, and they were popular enough to launch their own TV movies and an animated show. R2D2 and C3PO had their own Droids cartoon show too. Could Lucas ever have done that with Jar Jar? Did the excellent “Clone Wars” cartoon even feature Jar Jar?

    Yes, the films are for kids, but Jar Jar Binks was just too much. If he weren’t around, EP I would have been MUCH better and the prequels would be more popular than they are, with older as well as young fans.

  7. Shaun says:

    I like V as my favorite as well because the bad guys win and I love the bounty hunters. I am 32 and like 4,5,and 6 the most because of the special effects and the stories. Sure, they aren’t great compared to some of the stuff that you can do today, but when you are looking at a TIE and an X-wing, you are looking at real objects. They are small models, but they are real objects, and at this point in CGI, the eye can tell real from computer generated. It may be old technology, but it has a more realistic look and feel. They also had to be really inventive and I think all the new technology has made movie makers lazy, including Lucas.

  8. Cris says:

    I’m not yet 40, in fact i’m 35 but like the prequel better. For the colours and fx and actors, I like Jar-Jar, well everything realy. Of course the argument is not so good as in ep IV, V and VI … we can’t have everything… But I also like VI very much, in fact, III and VI are my favourite ones… They complete each other.

  9. Geoff says:

    I’m 32. EP 5 will always be the best for me because of the mood. It was authentic. The main reason I love the original trilogy is actually because of the different directors – each one had a different feel that kept my interest going. Unlike the second trilogy….the same….and waaayyy overboard on the special effects and not enough in getting the actors to reach their full potential!
    Jar Jar sucked. There was no point for him except for comic relief and I think C3-PO handled that job just fine. Same reason why I thought the Ewoks were a bit much.

  10. Laura says:

    Too funny – My favorite character has always been C3PO – then Solo – then Leia. But hey – I will have to say my first time seeing EP I – was HARD to get past Jar Jar. Once I figured out the character and the necessity of him, it was easier and then I tuned him out. But Lucas is right – I don’t “re-watch” the new ones like the old ones. But I’ll flip to the action scenes like the pod race over and over again! Totally impressive!

  11. Jason O'Brien says:

    I have seen all 6 films when they came out, and have to say when I first saw Ep1 I was very disapointed, however having seen it again and taking in the context of the whole saga it works fine. I have never liked Binks from the beginning. and still don’t. I never had a problem with 3PO I always found him amusing. My favourite episode is and probably always will be Empire. EP 111 is a close second, followed by IV and VI, II and I in that order. I am by the way 37.

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