‘Star Wars’: Did George Lucas Really Use C-3PO to Cover for the Movie’s Limited Special Effects?

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t the clearcut success anyone wanted it to be. But even as fans continue to argue over everything Star Wars, they remain as passionate as ever about George Lucas’ original trilogy. One fan even posted a fun theory regarding an unexplained line early in the first film.

George Lucas at the Academy Awards
George Lucas at the Academy Awards | Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

George Lucas created a ground-breaking cinematic spectacle

Regardless of how divisive some of the Star Wars saga has been, Lucas’ own legacy is indeed secure. Even with the limitations of the time, the filmmaker created something that has inspired generations of fans. To execute his vision, Lucas and his team needed to develop new ways to bring the story to life.

In some ways, Lucas was simply applying character archetypes and classical storytelling techniques to a new medium. But in the process, he shaped everything that has followed Star Wars to the big screen. In hindsight, some fans are even reassessing Lucas’ prequel trilogy. Now that Lucas has moved on, it’s even more fascinating to consider his approach.

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Fans suggest Lucas had another motive for a key ‘Star Wars’ scene

The effects in the original Star Wars trilogy still hold up even decades later. But since Lucas is known for being a perfectionist, a fan took to Reddit to post a theory about one seemingly throwaway line uttered by none other than Anthony Daniels’ C-3PO.

In the opening moments of Star Wars: A New Hope, Darth Vader (David Prowse) and his forces attack and invade Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) ship. And C-3PO and R2-D2 narrowly escape the clutches of the Empire by hopping into an escape pod. Once they’ve reached a safe distance, C-3PO says, “That’s funny. The damage doesn’t look so bad from here.”

This line lies at the center of the fan theory. The Redditor suggests that Lucas added this dialogue to cover for the imperfect special effects. Leia’s ship, in his eyes, probably should have been more visibly damaged. So having C-3PO observe as much smooths over this apparent plot hole for audiences.

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Lucas’ final project in the saga only recently ended its run

Of course, this theory is pure speculation. We don’t know one way or another whether this was Lucas’ intention. But if it is true, it is yet another testament to the filmmaker’s creative solutions to telling his stories. His instincts and vision, according to some fans, has left Star Wars a bit hollow.

Just months after The Rise of Skywalker ended the Skywalker saga, the final Star Wars project with Lucas’ credit — Star Wars: The Clone Wars — also concluded. For the first time, Lucas bears no direct influence on the saga he created. Still, at least his protegé, Dave Filoni, is very much involved.