Some people love the new movies, while other people feel that J.J. Abrams and his minions have ruined Star Wars. But the saga’s fan base was divided years before that. They have the platform to debate these issues now, thanks to social media, but those debates go back decades. Here are 10 Things Star Wars Fans Were Divided About Long Before Disney’s Sequel Trilogy.
When Rian Johnson introduced the Porgs in The Last Jedi, fans were up in arms. They hated their cuteness and the fact they were clearly designed to sell toys. But there was another overly adorable species that grated on Star Wars fans years earlier: Ewoks.
The full force of the Empire came down to the forest moon of Endor and a bunch of cuddly Ewoks decimated them with nothing but twigs and logs. Reportedly, even the cast and crew of Return of the Jedi hated the Ewoks. Ralph McQuarrie even refused to design them when he discovered what Lucas had in mind: space teddy bears.
9 Didn’t Chewie deserve a medal?
At the end of A New Hope, after the Rebel Alliance – or, more specifically, Luke Skywalker – has destroyed the Death Star, there’s a lavish ceremony in which Princess Leia awards both Luke and Han a medal for their efforts.
But Chewbacca walks up to the podium with them where they receive their medals, and he isn’t given one. According to George Lucas, “Chewbacca wasn’t given a medal because medals don’t really mean much to Wookiees. They don’t really put too much credence in them.” However, since Lucas sold his prized creation to Disney, this isn’t a part of the official canon.
In the original Star Wars movie, Han Solo famously brags about making the Kessel Run in “less than 12 parsecs.” But fans would discuss for years later that “parsec” is actually a unit of distance, not time. Solo: A Star Wars Story would later explain this error with the revelation that there’s a safe 18-parsec route to Kessel through the Maelstrom, but Han took a shortcut that was only 12 parsecs long.
However, that movie did reveal that Han actually made the Kessel Run in slightly more than 12 parsecs. When he brags about making it in “less than 12 parsecs,” Chewie argues with him, but he counters that it is 12 “if you round down.”
7 Hayden Christensen as Anakin’s Force ghost
In the original cut of Return of the Jedi, Anakin’s Force ghost appears alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda at the party on Endor and he’s played by Sebastian Shaw, whose face we saw under the mask when he died in Luke’s arms. However, in the special edition, Shaw was replaced by Hayden Christensen, who played him in the prequels.
The idea is that Anakin reverted to the look he had when he was last on the Light Side. But he turned his back on the Dark Side when he threw the Emperor down a reactor core shaft to save Luke. If he hadn’t redeemed himself at that moment, he wouldn’t have a Force ghost at all.
6 Stormtroopers’ Aim
Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi got us all geared up for a formidable army of soldiers under the rule of Darth Vader when he said, “Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.”
However, when we actually got to see the Stormtroopers in action on the Death Star, we found that they weren’t very precise at all. They hardly make a single shot in the whole trilogy. Are the Empire even training these guys to use their blasters? It seems like they’re just seen as thousands of human shields to take the first barrage of artillery – it’s not a great battle tactic on Vader’s part.
5 Viewing Order
This is mainly an issue for Star Wars fans who have kids. If you were born before 1999 – and especially if you were born before 1977 – then you probably watched them in release order. If you were born after 2005, then you probably watched them in chronological order.
But which is the best order to watch them in? What order should you show the Star Wars saga to your kids? The prequels are set before the original trilogy, but most of their narrative strengths revolve around foreshadowing and call-backs to the original trilogy. Plus, the original trilogy is simply better. You want the prequels to feel like an afterthought, not your introduction to the world of Star Wars.
4 Which Movie Is The Best?
Upon The Last Jedi’s initial release, some critics made the bold claim that it was the best Star Wars movie of them all. At least half the fan base would come to strongly disagree with this claim. Long ago, a debate raged among the fans about which of the movies was the best. The prequels are pretty much disregarded from the conversation, while Return of the Jedi is also considered to be a weak contender.
However, the sheer originality and sense of adventure and wonder in A New Hope make a strong case for the 1977 original, while the dark tone, plot twists, and cinematic excellence of The Empire Strikes Back make a strong case for the 1980 sequel. This debate will probably never rest.
When Luke Skywalker asked Obi-Wan Kenobi about the Force in the original 1977 Star Wars movie, the wise old Jedi Master said, “It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” So, we took that as gospel.
However, in the prequels, the Jedi started talking about midi-chlorians and midi-chlorian levels and how your Force sensitivity is carried by your bloodline. It makes sense in terms of the Skywalker family being at the center of the Star Wars saga, but it detracts from the spiritual wonder of the Force.
2 The Prequel Trilogy
Fans who had waited 16 years to see a new Star Wars movie were horrified when The Phantom Menace failed to live up to their expectations that it would be the greatest movie ever made. They were similarly miffed by its follow-up Attack of the Clones. And then, to be fair, they responded warmly to Revenge of the Sith.
But on the whole, the prequels were thought to have destroyed the good name of Star Wars – by the thirtysomething fans who grew up with the original trilogy. The kids who grew up with the prequels, on the other hand, enjoyed them.
1 Who shot first?
Disney’s sequel trilogy has created a lot of debates among the Star Wars fan base, but still, none of them have topped the debate of who shot first. It encapsulates the debate between the original cuts of the old movies and the special editions. The special editions might have updated visuals with new CGI effects, but George Lucas went overboard with it and rammed a bunch of CGI alien creatures and Imperial vehicles into every shot.
Easily the most egregious addition was a shot coming out of Greedo’s blaster right before Han kills him. Lucas didn’t want Han to be a cold-blooded killer, but he never was. He could tell Greedo was going to fire before he actually did it and somehow managed to miss from across the table.