Anthony Daniels believes George Lucas should have won an Oscar for his work on the Star Wars films. For years, the Academy's had a perceived bias against popular genre movies, mainly relegating them to the various technical categories like visual effects and production design. There have been a few blockbusters that have broken through (most recently Black Panther last year), but it remains an uphill struggle for these types of films. This is despite some of the past decade's most acclaimed tentpoles arguably being better works than some of the actual Best Picture nominees. The Academy's failed attempt to launch a Best Popular Film category last year highlighted how out of touch they were.
The original Star Wars film, released in 1977, is the rare blockbuster that doubled as an Academy darling. It earned 10 Oscar nominations, and remains the only installment in the franchise to receive a Best Picture nod. This is despite the series being widely credited with changing the movie industry in numerous ways. For fans, it's a sad turn of events Star Wars never took home one of the major Oscars, and Daniels agrees with that sentiment.
In an interview with The Sun while promoting his new book, I Am C-3PO, actor Daniels (who's played the protocol droid in 10 live-action films) talked about Star Wars' lack of success with the Oscars:
“The Academy can be very snobbish and almost obviously. And George is not a Hollywood person – ‘If you don’t like our gang we’re not going to have you in our gang,’ sort of thing... Really p**ses me off that I don’t think George ever won an Oscar for himself, just departments – special effects and all that kind of thing. George deserves more than that."
It's worth mentioning the Academy did give Lucas the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1992, acknowledging his career accomplishments. That's considered an honorary Oscar, but Daniels is saying Lucas should have earned a competitive Oscar. During his time with the franchise, Lucas was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay on A New Hope, but lost both to Woody Allen (Annie Hall). Unfortunately, that was the closest Lucas got to winning an Oscar for Star Wars. Having sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, Lucas is retired and no longer involved with the films. Perhaps if Star Wars and Annie Hall were released in a different era, where splits are more prevalent and the Academy spreads the wealth, Lucas might have won something. As it stands, he'll have to make do with the Thalberg Award.
As great as it would have been to see Lucas on the Academy stage, he doesn't need a competitive Oscar to validate his achievements. There's no denying Lucas' place in film history, as one of the most creative and revolutionary voices the industry's seen. He helped change the way movies are made and marketed, inspiring countless others to pick up a camera and tap into their imaginations. And with Disney continuing to grow the Star Wars franchise on the big and small screens, Lucas' legacy will continue to live on for years to come.
Source: The Sun
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019