Over the years, the myths and legends surrounding Star Wars have become more ponderous than ever, to the extent that rabid fans examine each new development in the franchise through a harsh and unforgiving lens. But the creator of the series, Geoge Lucas, took a much more laid back approach to his work. In a recent tweet, Mark Hamill, who played the lead role of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, confirmed that Lucas wanted to show a Duck Dodgers cartoon parody before his films to let audiences know not to take the whole thing too seriously.
“George really did want this classic Daffy Duck cartoon shown before every screening of #SW. It would’ve been an icebreaker to let the audience know what was coming was less than dead serious. I was disappointed when we couldn’t get the rights to it & it didn’t happen. #TrueStory”
Duck Dodgers was a Looney Tunes riff on the Buck Rogers adventure stories, which made fun of space movie tropes with Daffy Duck in the lead role. Nowadays, if the studio tried to air the cartoon in connection to Star Wars, some fans would accuse them of undermining the “serious” nature of the franchise. But Lucas had always intended his series to be kid-friendly, a fact he underlined in a speech in 2017.
“It’s a film for 12-year-olds. This is what we stand for. You’re about to enter the real world. You’re moving away from your parents. You’re probably scared, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Here’s what you should pay attention to: Friendships, honesty, trust, doing the right thing. Living on the light side, avoiding the dark side.”
The truth is, after a certain point, franchises are shaped by their fanbases, even if the end result becomes much divorced from the original movie that started the whole thing. Just compare the first Fast & Furious film to the latest installments in the franchise.
So while George Lucas designed his films to be kid-friendly, today they are all about complex mythology, self-important characters, and just less “fun” in general. Because that is apparently what the fans want. As far as Mark Hamill is concerned, after being known as the face of Star Wars for decades, the actor is happy to pass the baton to a younger generation. Last year, Hamill emphasized the need for his character’s story arc to stick to a proper conclusion.
“I had a beginning, middle, and end. Those films gave me far more than I ever expected when we started out so it’s never even occurred to me. My farewell was in Episode IX and it was bittersweet. I love all those people and I certainly have affection for George and the character he created. I’m full of gratitude for what it has given me and my career but I don’t want to be greedy. There are still so many more stories to tell and so many great actors to tell them, they don’t need me.”