This Celebrity Told George Lucas the ‘Star Wars’ Opening Made No Sense
George Lucas’ original Star Wars is one of the most beloved movies ever, however, not everyone loved it at first. A celebrity had the chance to see an early screening of the film only to tell Lucas the opening of the film was nonsense. Here’s a look at differing accounts of these events.
What a movie icon supposedly said to George Lucas upon seeing ‘Star Wars’
Firstly, a little background. Lucas is part of a generation of filmmakers called “New Hollywood” that revolutionized the American film industry. Among his peers are Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola. Another talented member of that generation is Brian De Palma.
De Palma directed several iconic movies, including Carrie, Scarface, The Untouchables, Dressed to Kill, and Mission: Impossible, as well as cult classics like Sisters, Obsession, and Body Double. According to Business Insider, De Palma had the privilege of watching an early cut of Star Wars because he knew Lucas. His reaction was not exactly positive.
According to the book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, De Palma said “The crawl at the beginning looks like it was written on a driveway. It goes on forever. It’s gibberish.” The opening text in Star Wars, also known as the opening crawl, is very famous and opening crawls became a hallmark of the series.
Brian De Palma sets the record straight
Oddly enough, De Palma later said the quotation of him in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls was inaccurate. “That is not correct,” De Palma told Business Insider. “I am sarcastic. I am considered the class clown, but a sarcastic clown. So I would make fun of certain things. Because everyone would take this stuff too seriously.”
Then, De Palma revealed he did, in fact, sincerely criticize the opening crawl — even if he was quoted incorrectly. “The crawl didn’t make any sense at all,” De Palma said. “And I kept kidding him about the Force. I was like, ‘What is the Force?’ But you have to understand, we used to look at each other’s movies in order to be helpful. We might say some things that weren’t nice.”
How the public reacted to ‘Star Wars’ versus ‘Carrie’
De Palma certainly offered some criticisms of Lucas’ film — albeit constructive criticism. This raises an interesting question: Who’s work resonated more with the public — Lucas’ or De Palmas’?
According to Box Office Mojo, the original Star Wars earned $775 million against an $11 million budget. It also spawned a still-active franchise. On the other hand, Box Office Mojo reports Carrie, a film De Palma released the year before Star Wars, earned $33 million against an unknown budget. It spawned a franchise based on Stephen King’s novel Carrie — albeit a more modest franchise than Star Wars. De Palma offered criticism of Lucas but Lucas was better at appealing to audiences.