When George Lucas appeared at Star Wars Celebration in 2017, he gave a necessary reminder to the thousands-strong crowd: much like the Wu-Tang Clan, Star Wars is for the children. “It’s a film for 12-year-olds. This is what we stand for,” he said. “You’re about to enter the real world. You’re moving away from your parents. You’re probably scared, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Here’s what you should pay attention to: Friendships, honesty, trust, doing the right thing. Living on the light side, avoiding the dark side.” Also, death sticks. Stay away from death sticks.
Star Wars as kid-friendly entertainment is one of the reasons why Ahmed Best, who played the much-maligned Jar Jar Binks in the prequels, agreed to host the Disney+ series Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge. Think: Legends of the Hidden Temple in a galaxy far, far away. “[Kids have] always given me the feedback and the positivity that I always looked for,” he recently told interviewer Jamie Stangroom. When I was Jar Jar, I would always get great responses from kids and I really wanted to, not just continue that, but give back to the kids. I wanted to give them something else, because Star Wars has since skewed older and there isn’t very much for the kids anymore in Star Wars.”
In the post-Lucas era, Best believes Star Wars has gotten too adult.
“It’s very much for the millennials and gen-Xers like myself…so kids are kind of left out of these, and the kids have to go to the animated series in order to get their dose of Star Wars, or they do like Phantom Menace. Phantom Menace is very much a kids movie. The new iterations of Star Wars are not really skewed towards kids, which is not something that George ever really wanted to do. George was always about the kids, and he used to say that if you get the kids, you have fans for the next 20 years; he was very much about kids. This idea that the movies are for adults is a very new thing, to be honest.”
Best’s point can be picked apart (how kid-friendly is talk of trade disputes?), but to be fair, I thought this was the funnest sh*t ever, pun intended, when I was nine years old.
It’s still kinda funny now.
(Via Comic Book)