Published On: Thu, Aug 5th, 2021

Star Wars actor deemed George Lucas’ work ‘fairytale rubbish’ | Films | Entertainment

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Today, August 5 2021, is the anniversary of Sir Alec Guinness’ death. The actor, who died aged 86, lost his life after being diagnosed with both prostate and liver cancer. The Shakespearean actor made a name for himself appearing in such films as The Horse’s Mouth, Lawrence of Arabia and Twelfth Night. In 1977 he was cast in George Lucas’ first science-fiction adventure, Star Wars, as the age-old Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, his first reaction to the script was not very favourable.

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As revealed in his memoir, Alec Guinness: The Official Biography, Sir Alec wrote to a friend to explain how “rubbish” Star Wars was.

He wrote: “I have been offered a movie (20th Cent Fox) which I may accept if they come up with proper money.

“[Filming in] London and [North] Africa, starting in mid-March. Science fiction – which gives me pause – but is to be directed by Paul [sic] Lucas who did American Graffiti, which makes me feel I should.”

Sir Alec added: “Big part. Fairy-tale rubbish but could be interesting perhaps.” (sic)

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Star Wars: George Lucas was picked out by his star (Image: GETTY)

Star Wars obi wan kenobi sir alec guinness

Star Wars: Obi Wan Kenobi star Alec Guinness spoke out about the film (Image: LUCASFILM)

Sir Alec didn’t stop there, however. He later penned another letter from the set of Star Wars where his disdain for the franchise continued.

He continued: “Can’t say I’m enjoying the film, – new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper – and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable.

“I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread [money], which will help me keep going until next April even if Yahoo collapses in a week.”

He went on to discuss his colleagues – one of which he couldn’t remember their name.

Star Wars obi wan kenobi sir alec guinness

Star Wars: Sir Alec eventually changed his mind (Image: LUCASFILM)

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Sir Alec went on: “I must off to studio and work with a dwarf (very sweet, – and he has to wash in a bidet) and your fellow countrymen Mark Hamill and Tennyson (that can’t be right) [Harrison] Ford – Ellison (? – No!*) – well, a rangy, languid young man who is probably intelligent and amusing.”

Finally, he complained: “But Oh, God, God, they make me feel ninety – and treat me as if I was 106.

Despite his continuous complaints about the film during production, Sir Alec did change his mind – eventually.

Speaking in an interview with Michael Parkinson, he said of Star Wars: “There’s a sort of wonderful freshness about it.”

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Sir Alec went on: “Like a wonderful fresh air. When I came out of the cinema… I thought: ‘London’s sort of gritty, and dirty and sort of rubbish, isn’t it?’ Because this had all been so invigorating.”

He also wrote in his diary: “It’s a pretty staggering film as spectacle and technically brilliant. Exciting, very noisy and warm-hearted.

“The battle scenes at the end go on for five minutes too long, I feel, and some of the dialogue is excruciating and much of it is lost in noise, but it remains a vivid experience.”

He also made a staggering amount of money from being involved in the picture.

Sir Alec negotiated a two percent cut of Star Wars’ profits with Lucas.

The pair later upped this to 2.5 percent after offering some amendments to the script during filming.

He later mentioned his wealth, saying: “Let me leave it by saying I can live for the rest of my life in the reasonably modest way I am now used to, that I have no debts and I can afford to refuse work that doesn’t appeal to me.”

The Star Wars saga is available on Disney Plus now.


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