George Lucas: This ‘Star Wars’ Film Is ‘More Soap Opera’ Than the Others

The Star Wars saga has given us some very acclaimed movies — in addition to some less acclaimed films. George Lucas described one of the Star Wars films as being more like a soap opera than the others — which is interesting because comparing something to a soap opera can sometimes be a form of disparagement. After all, some people see soap operas as overly dramatic. Here’s what Lucas said about the film — and how critics reacted to it. 

Stormtroopers in a row
Storm Troopers | Gareth Davies/Getty Images

Why George Lucas shot one of the ‘Star Wars’ films differently than the others

According to MSN, Lucas opened up about many elements of the saga in a book called The Star Wars Archives 1999-2005. For example, he discussed how Revenge of the Sith differs from the other films in the saga.

“There’s a bit more soap opera in this one than there has been in the past, so setting the scenes up and staging them was more complex than it usually is,” he said. “Normally, we would have rehearsals at the beginning of the film. This one, because there was a lot more complex staging, I would take the week’s work and on the previous Saturday, I would spend all day rehearsing with the actors and the cameraman, and we would stage the scene and rehearse it a couple times. So for the rest of the week, we would have a very clear vision of what we were doing, and didn’t have to spend time on the set trying to figure things out.”

The trailer for Revenge of the Sith

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How the world reacted to ‘Revenge of the Sith’

Soap operas aren’t always critically praised. Did Revenge of the Sith do well with the critics? The film has an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This is fairly impressive on its own. In addition, it’s especially impressive considering the previous two Star Wars films, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, have a 52% and 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively. In a similar vein, controversial academic and cultural critic Camille Paglia wrote a book called Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars, where she analyzed Revenge of the Sith as a serious work of art.

During an interview with IGN, Paglia said “Episode III epitomizes the modern digital art movement…. I had considered using Japanese anime for the digital art chapter of the book, but it lacked the overwhelming operatic power and yes, seriousness of Lucas’s Revenge of the Sith.” That’s high praise. After all, Star Wars is a family-friendly franchise for all ages, and family features aren’t always lauded for their “operatic power.”

A scene from Revenge of the Sith

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So did Revenge of the Sith resonate with audiences or only critics? According to Box Office Mojo, Revenge of the Sith earned a whopping $868 million. Clearly, it did well with both critics and audiences. Revenge of the Sith‘s somewhat like a soap opera — but moviegoers seemed to like it.