In my understanding, George Lucas created the Star Wars universe and directed 6 episodes. Despite this monumental contribution, I frequently see various comments and answers on this site poking fun at George Lucas' ability.

For example:

  • A highly upvoted comment says: "It's because George Lucas is not good at continuity, or storytelling, or directing, or (this list goes on for a while)"

  • Various answers and comments mock George Lucas for being inept at writing dialogue

  • This answer basically says that the original Star Wars is great thanks to Lucas' co-writers, and that the prequels are so bad since Lucas wrote them

As a casual Star Wars fan I find this very puzzling. What exactly is the role of Lucas in the universe, e.g. conceptualization, directing, screenplay writing, guiding the novelization? (More opinion-based) How can the community seem to love the story yet ridicule the story-teller?

EDIT: Since some have expressed both interest in the question and the concern that it's too opinion-based, I've edited the question so that it is about an objective list of Lucas' contribution.

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    A very good question, alas one that is a) Very opinion-based and b) Will probably descend into name-calling and recriminations.
    – Valorum
    Jan 4, 2016 at 19:22
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    "yet ridicule the story-teller?" because in the classic Trilogy, he was not the only storyteller, as you already mention "thanks to Lucas' co-writers". Lucas did an amazing job in so many aspects of creating SW, and we love him for that. However, there are other things he was not great at, and it's unfortunate that he took control of those things when creating the prequels. He forgot how to delegate the things he is less good at.
    – zipquincy
    Jan 4, 2016 at 19:29
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    @Richard - You forgot to pre-emptively call anyone defending Lucas "Moof-milkers". (or, those attacking Lucas. I am not sure where you stand) Jan 4, 2016 at 19:29
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    I think this is a good question, but a serious answer will need to go beyond hearsay and opinion and cite sources that give real substance to the usual criticisms of Lucas.
    – user33616
    Jan 4, 2016 at 19:32
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    Short version of the answer: because creating something like "Star Wars" requires multiple distinct roles. Someone to come up with central idea. Someone to write the high level plot. Someone to write engaging dialog (I am not an expert but it seems there are sometimes different people writing the script who specialize in either). Someone to cast. Someone to direct. Someone to produce. Someone to check consistency. etc... Lucas, as would be anyone else, is differently-capable at these different tasks; and wore several hats, some for tasks people don't consider to be his strengths. Jan 4, 2016 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


As long as I know, Lucas wrote the first 9 episodes, but they were rough sketches about 12 pages long. When he received the green light from Fox and the first 10 million dollars to produce the film, everything blow up out of proportion. Lucas had to develop his own technology to produce the film (for instance, the motion control camera) and stretch those 12 pages into a franchise. This left little space for clever dialogue and directing actors. Besides, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were not what you will call powerful method actors at that time; you can see most of the acting in the first movie is covered by masks. From there, is easy to make fun of the Lucas' directing abilities, but he was able to create a new universe from what basically were a fairy tale. Since he sold the rights of Star Wars to Disney, he has nothing to do with the Episode VII and beyond. His original plots for episodes 7 to 9 were discarded. The real abilities of writing and directing of George Lucas can be seen on the Indiana Jones franchise, or in other works less known as Howard The Duck and American Graffiti.

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    Is George Lucas also ridiculed for the Indiana Jones franchise?
    – Heisenberg
    Jan 8, 2016 at 19:04

In regards to the opinion-based part of the question, another thing to take into account is the actors' own responses towards the franchise. looper.com has a list of Star Wars Actors Who Have Dissed The Franchise (while certainly not the most authoritative source, it does bring together much of what is already posted elsewhere). Several Star Wars actors have made their general distaste for the movies (and George Lucas specifically, in some cases) publicly known. These types of comments from people who actually worked on the films have undoubtedly colored fan perceptions through the years - especially those of fans that avidly follow such things, resulting in some of the snarky comments about George Lucas and his abilities.

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