George Lucas is rightly heralded as the genius behind the Star Wars franchise.
However, when it comes to what is considered the greatest film in the franchise – Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back – does Lucas get too much credit?
Lucas was not the director of The Empire Strikes Back, nor was he one of the two folks responsible for the film’s screenplay.
His only credits for the film on IMDb are “executive producer” and a story credit.
Perhaps it is a risky time to ask if Lucas gets too much credit for The Empire Strikes Back. After all, Lucas is gaining in favor among fans, particularly because his Star Wars prequel trilogy is gaining favor in fans’ eyes.
But I’m saying it.
George Lucas Still Changed The World Of Cinema
The man who also directed the game-changing THX 1138 and American Graffiti should be heralded for the transformative art of Star Wars.
That would be art that has influenced and even steered the lives of filmmakers and fans alike.
Lucas is one of the greatest artists of our time.
But he had beyond capable crew that made a work credited to him perhaps his finest (if it’s accurate to call it “his”). Irvin Kershner, the director, knew Star Wars, if you watch or listen to commentary on The Empire Strikes Back from him. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan delivered a story that turned this writer inside out when he was a child, as happened to thousands of others.
Also, there were five credited or uncredited producers counting the special edition. The music by John Williams is as good as it ever is in a film Williams has scored. Stuart Freeborn, makeup and special creature designer, designed Yoda, for starters. And Ralph McQuarrie, design consultant and conceptual artist, gave us the worlds, bounty hunters, creatures and more.
We see in other work by these artists how good they were. For instance, Kasdan’s body of work is off the charts. He wrote or co-wrote Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark. He executive produced Solo and was an uncredited co-producer of The Force Awakens.
Learn more about Lucas and Star Wars at StarWars.com.