New York—Despite being in town for a press junket to promote his upcoming Tuskegee Airmen film, “Red Tails” starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., filmmaking icon George Lucas was asked endlessly about his other films, particularly the six “Star Wars” movies. So after the seventh or eighth question about Princess Leia talking about memories of her mother in “Return of the Jedi” despite her mother dying during childbirth at the end of “Revenge of the Sith,” Lucas apparently had finally had enough of trying to talk about his future World War II film and let loose.
“I took a lot of crap for Jar Jar Binks,” Lucas said, referring to what is quite possibly the worst character in the history of American cinema, as he stood up from the panel table he’d been sitting behind for 45 minutes. “But let me say here once and for all: He was the best damn character in any of the six movies. He was by far my favorite. He was funny, he was kind and moral and he ended up playing a pivotal role in setting the course of the Emperor’s actions in motion. If not for him, the story would’ve gone nowhere. Nowhere.”
Lucas went on a tirade for the next 10 minutes or so saying he never liked the Boba Fett character, and had “absolutely no plans” on making him and his father, Jango, such an important part of the saga, but caved to pressure from other producers on the film after the popularity of the bounty hunter grew in the years after “Return of the Jedi” was released in 1983. “But, whatever,” Lucas said.
Lucas also said how he would have loved to make the original three “Star Wars” films with the technology available now, where he could film everything on a soundstage since filming in the Tunisian desert was so difficult, and he “was so sick and tired of listening to Harrison” (Ford) gripe about the heat there and the frozen conditions while filming “The Empire Strikes Back” on a Norwegian glacier.
“And for all the fanboys out there who’re gonna pitch a fit about this when they read this on some post in a chat room,” Lucas said, “I’m sorry. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to lose any sleep tonight when I fly back to California on my private jet and I’m at home counting my money at, what’s it called? Oh, yeah, Skywalker Ranch. Lucas out.” Lucas then let the microphone that he’d been using fall to the floor and walked off stage.
Besides Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr., “Red Tails” also features Academy Award-nominated actor Terrence Howard, Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston and Method Man. A release date is sill pending.