For many, George Lucas' work on the Star Wars prequels did more to blow up the galaxy than the Death Star ever could. But it's only now, free of his obligations to the series, that Lucas can really stick the vibroknife into the gut of Star Wars fans. In an interview with Vanity Fair this week, the creator of the galaxy far far away was asked who he would be if he had to be a Star Wars character. He paused for a moment, equivocating, before offering an absolute truly worthy of a Sith. "Jar Jar Binks," he said, the corners of his mouth curling into a wry smirk.
"I'd be Jar Jar Binks."
Star Wars is about completing circles. The student becomes the master. The scoundrel becomes the champion. The hero becomes the villain. George Lucas was so obsessed with Anakin Skywalker's journey from fresh-faced savior to bitter tyrant that not only did he make a second trilogy of movies about it, he walked that path himself. As Anakin turned his back on the Jedi that raised him, so too does Lucas spurn his movie's fans, teasing them on camera by offering advice on how to make Star Wars movies that he himself didn't follow.
"There's more to it than just spaceships," says the man who filled a major chunk of The Phantom Menace with a pointless pod race sequence. "I'm curious that the Force doesn't get muddled into some garbledegook," says the man who ushered in the concept of midichlorians. The Force, previously a mystic and unknowable connection to life and the universe itself, became the mundane actions of some apparently benevolent molecules, meaning the most powerful Jedi and Sith in the galaxy were simply those with the largest number of them swimming in their veins.
Lucas says he'll direct more experimental movies in the future
At the end of the short interview, Lucas offers up the kind of bitterness toward his past life that Anakin epitomizes. "You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticized," he says. "It's not much fun and you can't experiment. You have to do it a certain way." After more than a decade of vitriol, it's understandable that Lucas is tired, but perhaps — like Senator Palpatine putting on a public face — it's also made him evil? After all, obsessive fans lead to internet comments, internet comments lead to hate, and hate leads to the dark side.
Sure, maybe there's a fairly wide gulf between slaughtering a room full of younglings and making a trio of poorly received movies, but in his interview answers, Lucas outs himself as the real Phantom Menace at the heart of Star Wars, demolishing something he once loved and walking away in disdain. Now all he needs is a black cloak and the ability to shoot lightning from his fingertips, and the circle is truly complete.