George Lucas has revealed that he was warned that including young Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace would “destroy” Star Wars.
Lucas’ first prequel to the original Star Wars story was released back in 1999.
In new book The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005, Lucas spoke of the enthusiasm executives at studio 20th Century Fox showed when he initially brought forward the idea for the prequels.
However, as Polygon report, executives didn’t like the idea of a 10-year-old Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader in his younger years, appearing in the films.
“You’re going to destroy the franchise; you’re going to destroy everything!” executives told Lucas, he says in the book, adding that he believed he was “making a movie that nobody wants to see” but one that he would rather make than simply re-telling the same story from the original Star Wars trilogy.
The Phantom Menace was poorly received upon its release, and is widely considered to be a failure among Star Wars fans.
Earlier this year, though, Liam Neeson said he was proud of his role in the film, as well as the production as a whole.
“I like the film,” Neeson began in an interview with Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM radio show. “I’m proud of it and proud to have been a part of it. I got to be a Jedi. I got to play with those wonderful lightsabers and stuff. It was terrific, Andy, it really was.”
In other Star Wars news, Ewan McGregor is set to star in an upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series in development at Disney+, and has revealed that the new project could exist as a standalone series. The untitled project is set to start production next spring.