Jeremy hopes the Force is with him as he pursues a forensics career in the swamps of Louisiana.
Welcome to a countdown of the some of the greatest blunders in the famous sci-fi saga, Star Wars! Now don't get me wrong, I love the series (movies, novels, video games, you name it), but I'll readily admit Star Wars and its creator, George Lucas, have made some pretty baffling choices. Today we'll review some of the perplexing decisions and most regrettable actions of Star Wars. To maintain our sanity, we'll start off fairly tame, and get to the real head-scratchers at the end. Let's begin!
Oh, and spoilers ahead, so watch out.
Skip to 3:56 to see Luke's blunder
6. Luke Skywalker calls Leia "Carrie"
The very first movie features a pretty large blunder. Luke and Leia are pretty close in the films (a little too close sometimes, as we'll see below); at the end of Episode 4: A New Hope, the two happily celebrate the destruction of the Death Star. Luke exits his X-Wing, sees Princess Leia, and joyfully shouts... Carrie. Who the heck is Carrie, you ask? It's simply the name of the actress who plays Leia, Carrie Fisher. Nice job breaking the fourth wall there, Luke. Still, the blunder is largely obscured by the other noises from the scene, so many of us never even caught the error.
It's even possible the editors did catch the mistake but found that because so much emotion was put into this take, it should be left in. Who knows?
5. Luke and Leia's Kiss
Many critics agree that Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars film yet. However, there's one scene we all try to forget about: the incest kiss. When Episode 5 was released, it hadn't yet been revealed that Luke and Leia were twins; now, we know better. I kind of wish I didn't. I mean, this scene is already awkward enough with Han and Chewie observing; throw in the fact that it's brother-sister lip action, and you almost have some nightmare fuel. To explain this odd scene, it's possible George Lucas hadn't yet decided that Luke and Leia were related and developed that detail when making Episode 6.
But if you want someone to blame, try Obi-Wan, who knew all along of the twins' relation. After all, when Luke and his mentor observe Leia's hologram in Episode 4, Luke clearly remarks that "she's beautiful." Might have been a great time to let Luke in on the secret, Obi-Wan. Instead, you allowed the poor guy to pursue his own sister for three years. Nice.
Regardless, to see various characters (both from Star Wars and other sources) humorously react to this awkward kiss, click here and skip to about 35 seconds in.
4. Overacting in the Prequels: "Unlimited Power!"
Heck, let's face it: many fans consider the prequels themselves a mistake. Still, I think there are many great moments in Episodes 1-3, but sometimes (especially in Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith) these awesome instances or characters are dragged down by incredibly hammy acting. I don't know if it's the director's fault, the actor's, or George Lucas's (most people blame him for everything), but there exist some pretty cheesy moments. Watch this short clip from Episode 3 where the main villain, Chancellor Palpatine (the Emperor) gets really excited while killing a Jedi. I get that his plans are coming to fruition and all, happy day, but up until this point, the Chancellor was an amazingly subtle and cunning villain, which is what made him so great. After this corny moment in the movie, his voice and mannerisms change to make him overtly evil and overdramatic; I strongly believe he'd have been more interesting if he remained as the manipulative politician rather than the giddy Emperor.
Still, take a page from Palpatine's book and scream "Unlimited Power!" at school, work, or in the bathroom to yield amusing results from anyone nearby.
Han Shot First (and second)
Awkward Song from Return of the Jedi
3. Original Trilogy Edits
Ever heard the phrase "Han shot first"? It's become a popular expression of distaste against edits made to the original trilogy (Episodes 4-6). You see, Lucas tweaked some things for the DVD releases of the movies, and many fans are displeased with the results. I can't blame them; most seem to be negative changes. For example, in Episode 4, the alien Greedo is now shown to be a quicker shot than our hero Han Solo. In Episode 6, an immensely awkward dance sequence is added. And also in 6, Darth Vader screams "no" when he saves Luke, detracting from the subtle splendor of his change of heart.
I feel most of the changes hamper the movies, but to be fair to Lucas, there are a few I like. For example, the ending of Episode 6 used to have the Ewoks singing at the celebration; now, a more majestic theme is provided. George, I deeply thank you for giving us this amazing saga, but please don't fix what isn't broken.
2. Jar Jar Binks
Yep, you knew he'd be here. Jar Jar Binks is the annoying Gungan from Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Pretty much every film viewer hates this guy... but to be honest, when I first saw the film, I didn't really mind him. Maybe being 7 just gives silliness some leeway. But now that I'm older, even I have to admit he's irritating. His jokes are lame, his character stereotypical, and his plot importance minimal. It's a shame, too; I found the underwater Gungan city to be very aesthetically appealing, and most Gungans seem like proud and honorable warriors. Too bad we got stuck with this pain in our backsides.
Give Lucas some credit: he listened to his audiences by largely removing Jar Jar from the later prequel films. The Gungan barely talks in Episode 2 and has no lines whatsoever in 3. He was basically kicked out of the movies... I wonder how he spends his time now?
These microscopic cells are the explanation of the Force given to us in Episode 1. Many fans hated compacting the mystical Force into something more scientific, but I never really minded them.
The cartoon "Ewoks"
This old cartoon isn't a mistake, per se, but it's definitely catered towards children and many older fans are simply bored by it.
The Star Wars Episode 7 trailer
I'm hopeful about the actual movie, but the first trailer didn't impress. The second's a little better.
1. Star Wars Holiday Special
My word, this 1978 program was awful. If you've never heard of it, count yourself lucky. The Star Wars Holiday special is a bizarre mix of live 'action' segments and cartoons. Calling this Star Wars segment poorly written and animated is an insult to poorly written and animated programs everywhere. If you want to know, the story revolves around Han Solo and Chewbacca visiting Chewie's family on the forest planet Kasshyyk to celebrate "Life Day." But Han and Chewie are barely in the program; you'll see many random cuts to uninteresting sets (a bartender who's losing her bar, badly drawn cartoons); most of the show is Chewie's lame family doing mundane activities.
George Lucas reportedly stated that he wished he had enough time to track down every copy of this special and smash it with a hammer. It's that bad.
As many odd moves as there are in Star Wars, it's still a delightful saga to experience. Whether you're watching it for the first time, or experiencing it for thirtieth, try not to let the minor faults of the series impede your enjoyment.
Except Jar Jar; I completely understand if he's doing some enjoyment-impeding.
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on May 06, 2018:
I never noticed the "Carrie" shout. I guess we all agree Jar Jar was a mistake. I think Lucas was going for a love triangle situation at first, and some siblings and parents do kiss on the lips. After all, they are from different planets.
It's amazing to me how Lucas had all this going through his head all those years and got it as well as he did.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on February 26, 2016:
I'll agree at the time it wasn't so bad, because we didn't know, but in retrospect, most fans will admit it's pretty weird. Can you imagine how strange things would have been if Leia had chosen to marry Luke before they found out they were related? Thankfully, Han was there.
Benjamin Plazek on February 26, 2016:
In the light of things, Luke and Leia's kiss was NOT that bad. First, fans had no way of knowing they were related when the movie first came out. And they never would have guessed they were when it was revealed! It only reinforced the twist. Second, luke and Leia didn't know they were brother and sister, it would only be incestuous if they knew and still did it. Thirdly, George Lukas originally wanted to make the story into a love triangle between Luke Leia and Han. Now imagine how cringeworthy that would have!
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on February 04, 2016:
Unfortunately, with Disney now owning Star Wars, clips from the movies are going to be harder to have on youtube without them being taken down. But keep an eye out in New Hope and you'll hear it!
Peter from England, UK on February 01, 2016:
I'm very pleased to see that Jar Jar Binks is topping the polls on this one. I was afraid the holiday special may trump him, but it's clear and simple, now: we all hate Jar Jar.
I have never noticed Luke shouting Carrie - the video link is broken as LucasFilm have placed an order to YouTube for it to be taken down I think. I'll have to re-watch A New Hope this week and keep alert!
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on May 15, 2015:
Thanks for dropping by, Ron. Star Wars is a fascinating series, but there's certainly some amusing mistakes within. Maybe you'll experience more of them one day!
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on May 15, 2015:
Although I love identifying mistakes in films, I'm sorry to say I can't appreciate the blunders you describe. That's because I've only seen the first Star Wars. I enjoyed watching that one in the theater, but couldn't get excited enough about the later ones to make the effort to see them. You make me almost wish I had, just for the blunders!