George Lucas' Ex-Wife Gets Real About the 'Most Problematic' Star Wars Film

George Lucas' Ex-Wife Gets Real About the 'Most Problematic' Star Wars Film
Image credit: Legion-Media

If the Star Wars sequel trilogy achieved anything, it is the definite confirmation that George Lucas always was the main creative mind at the center of Star Wars and that his vision was crucial for the franchise.

However, there is no doubt that the original trilogy was so extraordinary successful because due a confluence of circumstances Lucas at the time attracted an extraordinary crew of assistants, whose combined effort managed to polish his rough ideas into diamonds.

One of those assistants was his then-wife Marcia Lucas, who served as a film editor on the entire original trilogy. Her work on Episode IV earned her both the Academy Award and the Saturn Award for best film editing.

The two got married in 1969, but eventually divorced in 1983. The stated reason for divorce was Marcia growing tired of George's growing workaholism, and in all probability this boring reason is true, as not only she agreed to delay the divorce until after Return of the Jedi was released, but she came to help with editing it – the last major film project she ever worked on.

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These personal problems, however, might have impacted her assessment of the trilogy. As she said about Return of the Jedi (via):

"The third film was the most problematic editorially. It went through several English editors and we weren't happy with any of the assembled footage. I had to beg off another movie to stay and fix this one."

Quite possible, but according to what we know, the story of A New Hope's editing was also troubled and dramatic, with Lucas having to fire his first editor and bring in Marcia. Then she had to edit, among other things, the extremely complex space dogfight scene, which really had no precedents on screen at the time, as dogfight scenes from World War II movies, which inspired it, did not really involve any plot going on.

Of course, the perception of Return of the Jedi as the most problematic movie in the original trilogy is not limited to Marcia, and regularly surfaces in Internet discussions, with various sets of reasons stated.

The consensus seems to be that Episode VI has some of the best scenes in Star Wars, but does not quite reach the heights of Episodes IV and V due to getting slowed down by a few weak parts, such as the first act, which took too long to tie a loose end after the previous film, and most of what happens on Endor (even those who believe that Ewoks were fine in themselves, sometimes think that this subplot too dragged on).

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It is possible that Marcia's opinion resulted from the fact that unlike with A New Hope, her work on Return of the Jedi did not result in something she considered perfect.