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George Lucas reveals what you forgot about Star Wars, and he’s right

The Star Wars prequels were savaged by fans and critics, but George Lucas reckons the real problem was that people forgot something about the Star Wars movies.

Harrison ford as Han Solo in Star Wars

Everyone has their own opinion about what Star Wars should be, and creator George Lucas is certainly no stranger to controversy. And while George Lucas was right about Star Wars in many ways, fans don’t always agree with his views on some of the best science fiction movies ever made.


The original trilogy of Star Wars movies is held up as providing three of the best movies of all time, but there’s less fondness around the Star Wars prequels released between 1999 and 2005.

In an article for the Star Wars website looking back at the first of those prequels, The Phantom Menace, Lucas explained that he thinks people struggled with the new movies because of something they’d forgotten: these movies are for children.

“When it came out, we got blasted out of the water and then the movie had this patina around it of failure and stupidity and whatever. The films were designed for 12-year-olds. I said that right from the very, very beginning and the very first interviews I did for A New Hope. It’s just that they were so popular with everybody, that everybody forgot that,” said Lucas.

In fact, the man behind creating the best Star Wars characters, believes that this misconception was the main reason for the negativity around all three of the prequels.

“When I came back to do Phantom Menace, it was 20 years later. So if you were 10 years old when you saw A New Hope, you would be 30 years old when you saw Phantom Menace. So you weren’t a kid anymore,” he said.

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Lucas added: “I think you were kind of embarrassed, and what you thought was a really fantastic movie for a 12-year-old wasn’t that great for a grown-up. I think that was the main cause of the fall of Episodes I, II, and III. Believe me, it took a beating.”

Lucas didn’t make another Star Wars movie after the prequels, and sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012. Before long, there was another trilogy to round off the Skywalker Saga and several Star Wars series on the small screen. Now, there are more new Star Wars movies on the way.

For more on Star Wars, check out our lists of the best Star Wars aliens, the best Star Wars villains, the best Star Wars ships, and the Skywalker family tree.