Following the revelation that iconic Star Wars editor Marcia Lucas is really no fan of the Disney sequel trilogy, describing them as “awful”, further comments have now emerged showing that she pretty much hates the prequels too. In fact, Lucas felt so disheartened by 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace that it reduced her to tears, and left her wondering how George Lucas had ended up with such a shallow story considering he had such a “rich palette to tell stories with.”
“But when I went to see Episode I-I had a friend who worked at ILM, who took me as a guest to a preview-I remember going out to the parking lot, sitting in my car and crying. I cried. I cried because I didn’t think it was very good. And I thought he had such a rich vein to mine, a rich palette to tell stories with. He had all those characters.”
Written and directed by George Lucas, The Phantom Menace takes audiences back to 32 years before the original trilogy, introducing Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and a much younger Obi-Wan Kenobi. They come across a young slave named Anakin Skywalker, who is unusually strong with the Force, while simultaneously contending with the mysterious return of the Sith. Of course, the movie was met with a hugely mixed response from critics, reducing many Star Wars fans to the same saddened blubbering as Marcia Lucas. All told, Lucas’ biggest problems with the prequel came down to the…questionable relationship between a young Anakin Skywalker and Padm&é and the movie’s overuse of CGI.
“I thought it was weird that the story was about this little boy who looked like he was six years old, but then later on he’s supposed to get with this princess who looked like she was twenty years old. There were things I didn’t like about the casting, and things I didn’t like about the story, and things I didn’t like-it was a lot of eye candy. CG.”
While the prequels have had something of a revival over recent years, in large part thanks to many a fan’s hatred of the Disney sequels, they are still considered to be weak, much lesser installments in the Star Wars saga, especially when compared to the cinematic wonder of the original trilogy.
Marcia Lucas, who won an Academy Award for Best Film Editing for her work on A New Hope and was married to George Lucas until 1983, is clearly extremely passionate about the beloved franchise, as demonstrated by her emotional reaction to seeing The Phantom Menace for the first time. Her feelings towards the ongoing Star Wars franchise have now come to light, with the award-winning editor no doubt echoing the sentiments of many fans who have felt let down by the further exploration of the cherished galaxy far, far away for some time.
Thankfully, Star Wars has seen something of a reinvigoration thanks to the efforts of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni and their acclaimed Disney+ series The Mandalorian, which is now getting a third season and several spinoffs on the streaming platform. Next up though is the anime anthology series, Star Wars: Visions, which has been met with rave reviews and is due for release on September 22, 2021 on Disney+. This interview is featured in the book “Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life”, which is now available to purchase, and comes to us courtesy of The Direct.