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Famous Prequel Hater Simon Pegg Now Thinks Star Wars Is Missing George Lucas

Here we go again.

Simon Pegg, like most of us, has some strong opinions on Star Wars. His feelings on the prequel trilogy and Jar Jar Binks were the prequel haters’ rallying cry for a while; after actor Ahmed Best spoke about being suicidal following the near-constant hate, Pegg apologized. Despite his good friend J.J. Abrams getting him a small role in The Force Awakens, Pegg has continued to talk about the franchise through a critical lens.

First, it was stoking the fires of Rey’s parentage by saying Abrams intended Rey to have a different family than was revealed in The Last Jedi, and now it’s to claim the new films are missing something.

“I must admit, watching the last Star Wars film, the overriding feeling I got when I came out was, ‘I miss George Lucas,'” Pegg said in an interview. “For all the complaining that I’d done about him in the prequels, there was something amazing about his imagination. … I do feel like his voice is missing from the current ones.” Considering his friendship with Abrams, that’s got to hurt.

Pegg is allowed his opinions, but there’s something frustratingly familiar about his words. There are plenty of Star Wars fans, many of whom look like Pegg, who absolutely ripped the prequels to shreds. However, the second the sequels dropped, these fans changed their tunes; suddenly, the prequels were masterpieces and the sequels were spitting on Vader’s grave. These fans seem to only like the originals, and the original theatrical versions at that, and anything else can’t come play with them in their sandbox.

George Lucas’s voice is missing from the current films, though his fingerprints remain, but that’s okay. Lucas has grand visions, but his narrative skills leave something to be desired. The original Star Wars worked by the grace of Marcia Lucas, and later films had different directors and screenwriters telling Lucas’s story.

The prequels, all directed and written by Lucas, had grand ambitions but stumbled in certain regards, especially in terms of catchy dialogue and Padmé’s characterization in Revenge of the Sith. (Why did Lucas delete all her scenes?) Lucas’s vision for that era was better realized in The Clone Wars, where, again, someone else took his story and helped shape it into something else.

Not all of the new Star Wars canon has landed—here’s looking at you, Solo—but it has shown great imagination. It’s hard to fully judge the sequel trilogy as a complete narrative only knowing 2/3 of the entire plot, but The Force Awakens revitalized the franchise in a massive way, and the new stories being told across the board showcase steps towards a new perspective and commitment to representation. There’s imagination there—just not the imagination that appeals to Pegg.

This is a tiring cycle; it really is. Star Wars fans seem to be unable to accept anything without someone coming along to spoil the fun about how Kathleen Kennedy and Disney have ruined the franchise. In their minds, either you’ve got too much nostalgia, or not enough respect for what came before. Everything is just a cynical cash grab to sell toys to kids and eager collectors. Honestly? I’m tired of it.

You can dislike the direction of the franchise, but there are some people who will never be pleased. They want Star Wars to exist as this beautiful, frozen moment in 1977. They are very much restricted by their own desire to hold onto that idea. Pegg could very well not like the concept of certain plots in the sequels, but to phrase it as “I miss George Lucas” is to invite the idea that only one person can tell this particular story, when Lucasfilm has been doing a fairly decent job of finding new voices who capture the magic of the series.

To say that the franchise lives and dies with Lucas is, to quote Luke Skywalker, vanity. If we want the franchise to continue, then we have to invite new storytellers. Lucas is tired of telling Star Wars stories, so it’s time to let different writers take their chance with it. The franchise has to grow if it wants to remain relevant. Maybe it’s time to let these thoughts of Lucas fade a bit, and instead look to the horizon for the next visionary who will emerge to guide a galaxy far, far away.

(via Digital Spy; image: Lucasfilm)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.