Since 1977 launched the very first Star Wars (technically Episode IV), the franchise has captured the imagination and passion of fans worldwide. Yet, with that loyal dedication comes also the downside of every element being scrutinized and debated, so you can imagine how embarrassed everyone feels if the powers behind the throne made a misstep or judgment error in elaborating and expanding on the famous brand title.
Unlike several other movies that are watched then disappear into the ether, this series is quite the opposite. Unless you have one of those MIB mind-wipe devices, quite frankly, the fans will never forget, leaving those more embarrassing fails the series took looking that much more painful – heck, it has been over forty years since the series launched and we’re still discussing the errors!
With that said, there’s little doubt that the powers-that-be would love to have you completely forgot these sore points once and for all - but yeah, that's never going to happen.
So for fun, let’s take a look at those prevalent instances the series did a face plant and the studio wished you pesky fans could just forget and move on…
25 Darth Maul Returning In Solo: A Star Wars Story
The reveal of Darth Maul alive and well (via some robotic legs) in this Star Wars spin-off created a confused reaction over the unanimous cheers Disney hoped for.
For long-time fans of the animated shows Clone Wars and Rebels, the addition of Maul was a positive yet unsurprising one (although his arc has already been wrapped up).
Unfortunately, casual fans were left scratching their heads at how in the heck he survived being split in half and tumbling down a garbage shoot.
24 Leia Goes Mary Poppins
Well, there’s plenty of sore points about Last Jedi for specific fans but none so ridiculous as Leia flying through zero gravity like she was a native of Krypton. It doesn't work for a couple of reasons...
After decades of hyping Leia’s link to the Force, it was an underwhelming reveal.
Secondly, its almost quickly forgotten about within the plot, making it even more awkward. Lastly, it just looks straight-up silly and Mary Poppins-esque. We can notch it down as something that’ll be swept under the rug when the next installment releases.
23 Boba Fett Ended By The Sarlacc Pit
George Lucas could not predict the fan-fair Boba Felt conjured. Emerging as a simple bit-part henchman in Empire Strikes Back, he’s quickly dispatched in a downright silly manner in Return Of The Jedi, as a blinded Han Solo smashes into his Jet Pack and sends him flying into the Sarlacc Pit.
It was a ridiculously underwhelming wrap-up for a character that managed to conjure countless comics, toys, and video game appearances - yet was effectively done-and-dusted from the mainline continuity. Lucas tried to remedy this by including his father Jango (basically Fett 2.0) in the prequels but the misjudgment still cannot be forgotten.
22 Anakin Really Doesn't Like Sand
Likely Star Wars fan's favorite meme moment when it comes to scapegoating the prequels and spelling out all that is terrible about them, really must go to the painfully cringe-worthy moment where Hayden Christen monologues about sand.
Now in all fairness, even the most championed Star Wars movies has its fair share of clunky dialogue (just ask Harrison Ford) yet this scene meant to play as a poetic moment were Anakin reveals the pain behind his past and grows romantically closer with Padme ( it plays more like nails on a chalkboard and is hilariously over the top). Hey, at least it lead to some great memes.
21 Greedo Shoots First
George Lucas riled up a fan rage with his ‘revised’ Star Wars 1997 re-releases. Sure, it remastered the negative and added some snazzy CGI fix-up’s to dated effects; no one will argue those benefits.
But Lucas also used this as an opportunity to re-write a movie now established as gospel for fans for over two decades.
This was most apparent in Han Solo’s iconic introduction that originally had him offing a villain in cold blood.
It was revised into Greedo firing first, (nonsensically missing at point blank range) with Solo reacting back. Not only did it sully a classic moment, but the effect was bad and the logic didn't add up.
20 Luke Passing On
Man, did this get a lot of people upset. Luke Skywalker’s return to the franchise was a much-hyped one but the results were polarising as it cut right through the middle with no bigger point than his ultimate fate; as he evaporates (by choice) and becomes one with the Force.
It was a creative choice that had many perplexed and was hardly the satisfying send-off most had pictured for the character. Disney most likely wishes the fate had been left open-ended to be further discussed and explored in a future sequel.
This highly controversial concept was dropped quicker than a hot potato, so much so that it's surprising that Lucas didn’t go back and actually erase it in a ‘Special Edition’ version.
In Phantom Menace, it is revealed that the secret behind the Force comes down to the number of particles called Midichlorians inside our bodies.
This whittled down what has been seen as a mystical art into some unnecessary pseudo-science.
It was a direction that no fan was happy about and just as soon it as it was revealed, it was never mentioned in any other entry ever again.
18 Leia Remembering Her Mother
This entry is less a case of being an embarrassing plot point but more about the prequels rendering a formerly enticing story element into a gaping plot chasm.
In Return Of The Jedi, Luke confronts Leia about who their father truly is; Darth Vader.
Yet, Leia gets stuck on a memory of their mother, who she remembered as a child. Why should this be forgotten? Well, because when we actually got our answers with Revenge Of The Sith, we actually witness Leia’s mother giving birth but then immediately passing away. So Leia must have a darn good memory since childbirth then?
17 Rey’s Parents Being ‘Nobodies’
Chalk this one down to the disconnect between the new trilogies directors. JJ Abram’s plants the seeds that the identity of Rey’s parents will be some sort of "A-ha- moment" to be paid off later.
Yet, director Rian Johnson purposefully pulls the rug from underneath us in The Last Jedi as it is revealed (by Kylo Ren) that they are complete ‘nobodies’...and that’s it.
It was a massively controversial choice and one you feel Disney will retcon when Abrams returns for the next installment.
16 Jake Lloyd
You've got to feel for little Jake Lloyd. After becoming ten-years-old, he landed the role of a lifetime as the little tyke version of Darth Vader in the most anticipated movie of (likely) all-time – yikes.
It didn’t help that the reception of Phantom Menace was absolutely brutal, as Lloyd’s ‘gee shucks’ performance was one of the main culprits of the movie's disdain.
He certainly wasn’t in high demand to reprise his role afterward.
Lloyd is no doubt terrible in the film, yet so was Natalie Portman and she went on to win an Oscar – there must have been something in the water?
15 1313 Being Canceled
Likely the most painful casualty of the Disney/Lucasarts buyout (now that the Clone Wars show has been resurrected), is the axing of this promising looking title centred on a young Boba Fett.
It had a brief game preview in 2013 that clearly signified this would deliciously be 'Star Wars meets Uncharted'. It also had Cory Balrog - the visionary behind the award-sweeping God Of War reboot - behind it and development was fairly far along.
Yet, due to a company merger, it is no more – sniff, sniff.
14 Leia Kissing Luke
So back at the start of the originals, there was a clear-cut love triangle going on between Luke and Han with Leia. At one point Leia even puts a sly kiss on the naive Luke. Yet, its all revealed that they are actually brother and sister!
Their romantic entanglements were quickly swept under the rug as Han and Leia's flirtation took focus into a love story.
Still, Lucas had always had this twist planned – so, yuck? This isn’t Game Of Thrones, after all, it's likely the squeaky-clean new owners of Disney would rather brush this moment under the carpet, in hindsight.
13 That Entire Casino Sub-plot
Do I even need to remind everyone how divisive The Last Jedi is? No, I don’t – but even with this in mind, I assume everyone can agree that the casino sub-plot could easily hit the cutting room floor.
The lengthy Finn & Rose Casino planet B-plot goes nowhere special and takes ages doing so. Despite flaunting a bunch of weird CGI aliens into the mix, there’s little to recommend with the segment with it being rightly criticized part of the movie.
12 Loot Boxes
Reading that titular word just gives you the chills, doesn’t it? That incredibly toxic term in the gaming world gained its infamous reputation with Star Wars Battlefront 2 and its forceful use of Loot Boxes...
Also known as random boxes you paid for that could give you valuable items or absolutely zilch.
It caused an uproar of controversy since it's essentially gambling and many countries felt it should be treated a such. EA (who holds the exclusives rights to Star Wars games) have yet to recover, not to mention make a celebrated Star Wars video game.
11 Everything About Jar Jar Binks
Who doesn’t love themselves some Jar Jar Binks? Hello…anyone? Yeah, for all the flack that The Phantom Menace received on release there is no bigger culprit then the (supposedly) loveable alien sidekick that was added to proceedings and infuriated an entire generation of fans.
The venom the goofy E.T conjured is legendary, in fact, it's responsible for creating the internet talkback forum as a place where people from across the globe can gloriously unite and adamantly hate on a specific Star Wars-related subject.
More prevalent plans for the character throughout the trilogy were massively reduced for the rest of the installments because of his reception.
10 The Underwhelming Duel Between Obi And Vader
Everyone loves to rag on the prequels but you really can’t fault them for their incredible and exciting lightsabre duels; likely the best of was the emotionally charged showdown between Obi-Wan and Anakin in Revenge Of The Sith.
That was a rip-roaring and exciting duel with plenty of force powers and gymnastic flipping on display.
How does this compare to the meager ‘rematch’ between the two characters in A New Hope? Yeah, that tame and awkward sparring match between some old dudes doesn't equal it in the slightest.
9 That Mediocre Fighting Game
Back in 1997, everyone and their mother was making tournament fighter games. Lucas Arts brought their attention to creating their first PS1 game, and what we got was…Masters of Teras Kasi!
A flimsy story set after A New Hope has most of the iconic characters thrown into a Street Fighter-lite scenario, but fighting with tank-like controls and awkward movement against each other.
The results were painful and the graphics awful (even for then). It is by far the worst Star Wars game made; Lucas Arts was clever to downplay the marketing real quick.
8 Darth Vader Screaming “NOOOOOOO!’
One unanimous expectation that kept fans sitting through the much-maligned prequels, was the promise that we would finally get a good dose of Darth Vader by the end of it all.
This promise that was paid off finally after the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin.
Vader is assembled in a hauntingly shot sequence, with the topper being his helmet clicking into place and that eery breathing creeping onto the soundtrack.
Then, on hearing that he was responsible for his wife’s demise, he awkwardly stumbles out of his gurney and gives a cheese-tastic scream to the heavens - talk about souring an iconic moment.
7 Benicio Del Toro In Last Jedi
For those that enjoyed Last Jedi, did Benicio play any part in that? His role was not only pretty forgettable but the B-plot he's involved in sags the pacing brutally as well. His character is pretty dull and just looks Del Toro showed up randomly in a Star Wars flick.
He’s a fantastic actor when he wants to be, so it’s a shame he sleepwalks through the role with a half-baked attempt to make the character interesting with a lame vocal tick.
6 The Ewok Movies
Back when the concept of a Star Wars spin-off was but a twinkle in Kathleen Kennady’s eyes, we had the Ewok movies!
Yes, those fuzzy little bears from Return Of The Jedi that kids loved yet grown fans despised, had a duo of low-key films (Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and The Battle For Endor) that came and went – and then pretty much disappeared into obscurity.
That is likely due to these films sporting a shoddy budget and playing with the Star Wars continuity fast and loose.
In all fairness, The Battle For Endor is the superior movie - but that's not saying much.
5 Hayden Christensen
The role of young Anakin Skywalker in Episode 2 was one of the most sought-out for young up-and-comers in the early noughties. Lucas eventually settled on the near-unknown Hayden Christensen - yet, while the role made him, it also inequitably broke him too.
His arc as the young Vader succumbing to the dark side lacked the nuance it desperately needed, instead it has him come off as a whiny brat in need of reprimanding more than a troubled young man.
Much of the brunt of the prequels lacking landed at his feet and his career soon dried up after.
4 A Star Wars Story
With the recently relaunched Star Wars, Disney thought they could transpose the successful formula enjoyed with Marvel over to Lucas Films; switching from major new installments to smaller spin-offs focused on a singular character or event, which were given the subtitle of A Star Wars Story.
I mean, this is Star Wars, how can it ever fail at the box office?
Crazily enough, that’s exactly what happened with the recent Solo. This has made Lucas Films backtrack, in favor of expanding the franchise with original tv shows for its upcoming streaming service. Let’s just act like the mandate never happened, huh?
3 That Holiday Special
Wow, where do we begin with this utter disaster of the Star Wars brand? Whilst George Lucas was busy after the success of A New Hope, he outsourced his franchise for a television variety show.
All of the original cast returned for their iconic roles and it even featured the official intro of Boba Fett into the canon.
Yet, the half-cooked story (centered around Wookies celebrating their ‘Name Day’) was terrible, with bog-standard acting and horrible effects.
It only aired once and its Home Video was blocked personally by Lucas - who clearly wants no one to remember.
2 Padme Losing The Will To Live
By the end of Revenge Of The Sith, things were finally coming together and paying off after a three movie wait – in some instances, too fast, especially when it comes to the demise of Queen Padme.
The mum of Luke and Leia, and wife of Anakin/Vader was never meant to make it to the main continuity of the original trilogy, we all knew this, yet the way she’s dispatched is so random and nonsensical (e.g. she ‘loses the will to live’ after giving birth to her twins) that it simply felt like a case of Lucas haphazardly tossing out any loose ends.
1 The Entire Expanded Universe Pre-Disney
So pre-Disney buyout at Lucas Film, there was a wealth of material based around the Star Wars brand that fans had come to love and invest in. We’re talking close to three decades worth of video games, comic books, TV shows and novels that expanded the world in (mostly) fantastic and compelling ways.
After the Disney buyout – guess what?
The baby was tossed out with the water and all of it (asides from the main movie series and The Clone Wars TV show) were considered non-canon. That’s right, they effectively hit the reboot button and deleted the archives - hoping you just wouldn't remember.