The Star Wars franchise may be the most beloved movie franchise out there and for good reason. The original trilogy was a technological marvel at the time, and given the incredible story that it is, the series has withstood the test of time. The characters are timeless, the action is fast paced, the themes are relatable, and the fantasy aspect of the story is incredible and addictive.
Of course, the much anticipated prequel films didn’t come anywhere close to the originals, but had enough decent scenes and passable stories to keep fans watching. The most recent two films, The Force Awakens and Rogue One were able to bring back some of the excitement of the first three films, and with Disney indicating that a new film will be made annually, the faithful fans will have new tales to look forward to every year. What a time to be alive, right?
While we can’t say enough good things about Star Wars, even the series’ most dedicated followers have to admit that we have put up with a lot. For every lightsaber duel and space battle, there are terrible scenes, for every great character it seems like there is a brutal one to offset, and of course, for every brilliant quote, there is a poorly thought up or poorly delivered line. No matter how much we love it, Star Wars has some terrible aspects. Here are fifteen of the worst things about our favorite science fiction franchise.
15. Leia Remembers Her Mother?
We’ll start this off with one of the most absurd inconsistencies in the entire series. Nonsense like this will happen when you make trilogies thirty years apart. Way back when Return of the Jedi was made, we saw Luke and Leia talking about their childhood and particularly their mother. Of course, Leia has some memories of her mother but nothing significant. Some confused fanboys have suggested she was talking about Bail Organa’s wife Breha, but she did not die when Leia was a child; she was killed when Alderaan got destroyed.
Of course, in Revenge of the Sith, Padme dies shortly after the birth of her two kids. The official story might be that she saw her mother through the force but that’s an overly convenient cop-out. If that were the case, Luke would remember her too.
Don’t get us wrong, we love Return of the Jedi, but it is the weakest of the three originals. The Ewoks are also not one of the more applause-worthy parts of the film. George Lucas wanted the heroes to be aided by a primitive race and he found his solutions in the Ewoks. They are cute, don’t get us wrong, but the entire battle on Endor looked hilarious with little babbling teddy bears taking on Stormtroopers with spears and arrows. That was one of the most important scenes in the film, and while the rest of what we are going to discuss here are far worse, we just can’t get past the whole “teddy bear warrior” thing. We’re certain you agree.
Looking at The Phantom Menace, there is plenty about which to complain. Don’t worry though, we’ll get to several more Episode One abominations, but for now, that God-awful podracing scene. There is no question, there are plenty of ways that the audience could have been shown that Anakin was force sensitive, while also giving Qui-Gon Jinn a reason to take him off Tatooine.
Instead, we got a terrible F-1 parody featuring dreadful aliens making stupid noises, an announcer that is beyond annoying, and a nauseating fifteen minutes of sub-par “action” that we’ll never get back.
12. Two Death Stars and Then Starkiller?
One of the most legitimate criticisms of The Force Awakens is the many similarities to A New Hope. This is also a positive note because yes, we all loved A New Hope. It was amazing, and Episode Seven was a trip down memory lane with new characters. But the final battle was almost the exact same as the original as the film could have been, of course the super-weapon is a large spherical base that can destroy planets.
Our problem here isn’t that there was a third death star, it’s that there was a SECOND death star. The third one is just an example of the audience being mocked. When you have as much to work with as the Star Wars universe offers, there are many ways to embody evil beyond just creating a space station that can annihilate a planet.
If you didn’t laugh at the word “younglings”, we must come from different worlds.
This is just an example of terrible single word choice in the Star Wars films that ruined an important scene. While we’re virtually all on board with the fact that the prequels are vastly inferior to their predecessor trilogy, they are essential and the end of Revenge of the Sith is the downfall of Anakin; his transition to Darth Vader. He enters the Jedi temple on Coruscant and kills everyone there, including some small kids. Obi-Wan and Padme refer to them as “younglings”, one of the stupidest sounding words used in the series, and it made two scenes chuckle-worthy.
A monumentally significant moment in the series was made almost laughable by the use of the word. This may well be an example of nit-picking, but it is necessary. Here is just a short list of words that could have been substituted for “younglings” in the context of the scene that don’t sound stupid enough to laugh at: children, kids, padawans. For goodness’ sake, using “ankle-biters” instead of “younglings” would have been better.
10. Greedo Shooting First
For the 1997 re-release of the first trilogy, when Greedo and Han Solo met in the cantina in Mos Eisley, Greedo shot at Han first, missing, and was then blown away. Of course, we all remember that in the original (and in the later 2004 re-re-release), Han shot first and was the only one who actually fired.
Lucas said that he didn’t want Solo to come across as a murderer, so he had Greedo fire first. This is a terrible reason, given that Greedo had a gun on Solo and in such a situation, it is a fairly clear-cut case of legitimate self defense to shoot someone threatening you with a weapon. If Greedo had fired first, one could safely assume that it would be at least a decent shot if he was working for a gangster like Jabba, and therefore, would not have missed a human-sized target at point blank.
9. General Greivous
There is no shortage of incredible bad guys in the Star Wars universe. Given the amount of force powers there are, along with the various alien races and back stories, why was it necessary to include a half-organic/half-robot, ASTHMATIC villain, haphazardly swirling multiple lightsabers like a drunken, genetically modified octopus? According to the official story, the asthma part was thought up to remind the audience that Greivous wasn’t completely a robot and still had some human parts. George Lucas said that his hope for the character was to foreshadow Anakin eventually becoming partially mechanical.
8. Terribly Delivered Lines
We’ll touch on the dialogue itself later, but for now, the poor delivery is in our metaphorical crosshairs. There are two notoriously bad times when characters Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in Episodes Five and Three respectively, scream “Noooooooo”. These are at emotional and important scenes in the films, and it is hard not to crack a smile and chuckle when these two guys have their meltdowns.
The are plenty of atrociously delivered lines throughout the films, that make us wonder whether or not some of these actors even rehearsed their lines. Two that come to mind include a couple from The Empire Strikes Back when an Imperial officer exclaims, with no excitement or emotion whatsoever, “good, our first catch of the day” and when a rebel pilot, after hearing the battle plan prior to the attack on Hoth questions “two fighters against a star destroyer?” Obviously these are just a few examples, but there are many more.
We suspect these actors lacked enthusiasm because of cocaine binges the night before. It was the 80s after all…
The introduction of tiny organisms that apparently connect living beings to the force is something that dedicated fans of the series had a problem with since hearing of them in The Phantom Menace. We were all comfortable and happy with the explanation of the force as it was explained by Obi-Wan in A New Hope. It is an “energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together”.
Then when Lucas and his gang of merry storytellers coughed up Episode One we got a new explanation in the form of midi-chlorians. These microscopic organisms live within the cells of all living things and supposedly influence how they interact with the force. Fans called “BS” after this, and for good reason. While they were an idea that George Lucas had come up with back in the 1970’s, they didn’t get a mention until 1999, to much skepticism and even some displeasure on the part of the fans who already thought they knew how the force worked.
6. Hiring Hayden Christensen
So, we need to clarify something here, Hayden Christensen is a very respectable actor. Watch some other stuff he’s been in; including Life as a House and Shattered Glass. These are great movies and Christensen plays a main character very well.
Our problem is, he was a terrible Anakin. This isn’t news to anyone who watched Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith; we all know he overacted for quite a few scenes and had no chemistry with Natalie Portman. Often times we’ll see someone online saying Hayden Christensen is a bad actor but this isn’t actually the case; he just should never have been cast as Darth Vader.
5. Disney De-Canonizing the Expanded Universe
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re enough of a Star Wars fan to have had some exposure to the expanded universe. Between the video games, books, comics, these stories complimented the movies and built upon the foundation we had experienced in theaters. Of course, prior to the franchise being bought by Disney, the Expanded Universe was sort of canon, but not on the same level as the films. Now however, the EU has been rebranded as the “Legends” series, and as such, not canon. In essence none of it is really relevant. For those of us who grew up with these awesome stories, it is kind of a kick in the childhood, but Disney has actually confirmed some stories from the Expanded Universe.
4. Jar Jar Binks
If you saw The Phantom Menace at a young age, you may have liked Jar Jar Binks. He’s clumsy, he talks like a fool and as comic relief goes, he’s the kind of thing that could make a bored eight year old fall off a couch laughing. Unfortunately, if you had hit puberty by the time this movie came out, this guy was the most annoying part of the prequels, which, in case you haven’t noticed, were filled with bad scenes, poor casting and awkward dialogue. There were some rumors that he would be killed in The Force Awakens but that didn’t come true. We all wanted it though.
There are some fan theories that Binks may come back to the series and that he is secretly a Sith who has been manipulating events while pretending to be a half-wit, but anything that is a fan theory will likely never make it into a future film.
3. Romantic Dialogue in Episodes II and III
We’ll acknowledge that the touchy feely scenes between Han and Leia in the original trilogy weren’t great, but watching Hayden Christensen’s Anakin and Natalie Portman‘s Padme make googly eyes at each other while regurgitating lines like “you’ve grown too only more beautiful” and “it’s because I’m so in love with you” was enough to almost make the rest of the film unwatchable. Many people consider these two performers to lack chemistry on screen, but maybe there would have been something there if the love scenes didn’t sound like they were written by an eight year old celebrating his first Valentine’s Day.
2. Jabba’s Palace Musical Number: The Max Rebo Band
There were some decent scenes added to the re-release of the original trilogy. They had a few more shots of Mos Eisley and Cloud City, and added some effects here and there, but the big musical score, which was made longer and with more characters in an incomprehensible language during Return of the Jedi was the kind of insufferable garbage that even children get annoyed by it. The original song was disastrous, but in the later editions of the film, they added quite a bit of time, along with new musicians.
Between the repulsive tune, the unintelligible lyrics and of course, the circus freaks singing, this is a few minutes of suffering that Star Wars fans will never get back. It did nothing to advance the plot but this is one reason Jedi (at least the re-released version) is widely considered the worst of the trilogy.
1. The Holiday Special
It has been suggested that this ninety-eight minute catastrophe may have been “directed and written by a sentient bag of cocaine”. The Star Wars Holiday Special may well be the worst thing to have ever hit the airwaves and tells the story of the beloved gang trying to get Chewbacca back to Kashyyyk to celebrate life day with his family. Along with this story, there were cartoons (including the less-than-spectacular introduction of Boba Fett) a comedy routine and live musical performances.
Low budget, with a disjointed story, poor acting and a campy feeling (but not campy in a good way), there is virtually nobody out there who actually enjoyed this show business abortion. George Lucas has said that the show was a huge mistake and that he wishes he could destroy every copy of it that was ever made. He learned from the mistake, and considers allowing a television network to use his characters in such a way to have been one of the worst things to have ever happened to the Star Wars franchise.