Star Wars manages to be more than one of the most successful and prolific brands. It’s almost one of the most family friendly. There are Star Wars fans of all ages and not just because the stories from the universe have been churning out since the 1970s.
Yet just because the whole family can still down and watch a Star Wars movie, this doesn’t mean that there have been some questionable choices made by the people in front and behind the cameras.
There are various moments throughout Star Wars, in various mediums, where things have just gone a bit too far. The easiest way to define “too far” would be to point the series’ most offensive or worst moments.
While there is some of that material on this list, the whole list doesn’t consist of the most shocking, violent, or depressing moments in Star Wars. Any good story, even the most family friendly, has some challenging material.
The moments when Star Wars has gone too far includes shockingly violent moments but also ones when the creators made decisions that unjustifiably angered fans, pushed the limits of the sci-fi fantasy to its logical breaking point, or did pretty much anything that was possible to take fans out of the story altogether.
With that said, here are 15 Times Star Wars Went Way Too Far.
15. The “Love Story” of Luke and Leia
According to George Lucas, the plans for the first six movies in Star Wars were always set. The big twists were planned out from the beginning and Lucas knew exactly where he was going at all times. This is a little hard to believe and if it’s true, it makes some of the plot points in A New Hope and Empire rather gross.
There’s an obvious love triangle between Luke, Leia, and Han in the original trilogy.
Han is even ready to step away in Return of the Jedi because he believes that Leia is more in love with Luke than him. Yet all the tension between brother and sister is meant to be wiped away by the reveal from Yoda.
It’s uncomfortable and, if the plan was always for Luke and Leia to be twins, totally unnecessary.
14. Destroying Alderaan… And Never Mentioning It Again
There’s absolutely no problem with A New Hope having Alderaan be destroyed. In a very economic way, it sets up the threat of the Empire, the power of the Death Star and the reason that any rebel would want to fight.
The issue with Alderaan’s destruction, however, is that the Star Wars saga doesn’t spend enough time focusing on everything that is lost aftewards. In A New Hope, Leia’s full reaction isn’t even shown, as the movie cuts away to show Obi-Wan feeling the disturbance in the Force.
It’s true that in novels and comics, whether canon or not, Leia and other character’s grief for Alderaan has been explored. However, none of that makes into the main series. In fact, Bail Organa, the symbolic face of Alderaan’s sacrifice, is barely a character in the prequels.
13. Bringing Peter Cushing “Back from the Dead” for Rogue One
The practice of “resurrecting” dead actors through CGI is perfectly legal, at least for the moment. Yet there’s still something very disturbing about it. Especially when it’s used for more than a quick glance. In Rogue One, it’s impossible to describe anything with Grand Moff Tarkin as quick.
Peter Cushing, the man who played Tarkin in A New Hope, died in 1994. Yet in 2016’s Rogue One, Tarkin is a supporting character, baring the face, voice, and even mannerisms of Cushing.
Putting aside the technical achievement, there is something unsettling about a dead actor’s face being reused for a movie, decades after his death.
The resurrection of Cushing through CGI for Rogue One is even stranger following the death of Carrie Fisher. After Fisher’s passing, Kathleen Kennedy and other Star Wars execs made it clear that they wouldn’t bring Leia back through CGI, in respect for Fisher. Cushing, apparently, was fair game.
12. Anakin Goes After the Younglings
It does seem strange to criticize the prequel trilogy for showing Anakin as a villain. After all, the man is destined to become Darth Vader, someone who choked his inferiors for “fun.” Yet even amid Anakin’s bloody fall from grace in Revenge of the Sith, his going after the young Jedi is just a step too far.
Anakin’s attack on them is the thing that convinces both Obi-Wan and Padme that he’s truly fallen but it really isn’t all necessary. Anakin storming the Jedi Temple, lightsaber drawn, and attacking everyone he sees is more than enough to show his fall to the Dark Side.
The appearance of the cute little Padawans and their spokesperson with his thick and unconvincing accent was overkill. Not too mention “younglings” is far more pretentious than just saying kids.
11. Leia’s Space Flight in Last Jedi
The Last Jedi has sparked a lot of fan debate and rage. There are certain segments of Star Wars fans who believe that there are fifteen moments from Last Jedi alone that can be qualified as going “too far.” We don’t see things as nearly anything that dire. Although there is one big moment in Last Jedi that defies all logic and previous knowledge of the Force.
During the beginning of Last Jedi, General Leia is attacked abroad her starship. This causes Leia to be sucked out in the vacuum of space.
However, Leia ends up surviving due to her connection to the Force and the fact that she literally flies to safety.
It’s a cool moment and one that Leia more than earned throughout her journey. However, the image of Leia flying like Peter Pan in zero gravity space is ridiculous, even for the very fantastical Star Wars.
10. Ratts Tyerell’s Death During the Podrace
The podrace sequence is the undeniable best part of the very messy Phantom Menace. (The close second being the lightsaber battle set to “Duel of the Fates.”) However, there’s a small moment during the Podrace, which is played for laughs, that flies in the face of nearly all good taste.
Ratts Tyerell is one of the podracers and he dies relatively quickly into the race, screaming like banshee as it happens. Where things cross the line and get very dark is that Phantom Menance makes a point of highlighting Ratts’ family, specifically his wife. A wife who has been just been released from the hospital after giving birth.
Ratts’ death comes across like a little bit of fatal slapstick. Yet Phantom Menace takes a weird bit of perverse pleasure in underling his widowed wife and fatherless children.
9. Anakin’s Slaughter of the Sand People
Considering that the prequel trilogy is all about Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the Dark Side, it might seem strange to point out one of Anakin’s most violent on-screen deeds as going too far.
The problem with Anakin’s slaughter of the Sand People in Attack of the Clones isn’t so much that it happens. It’s the way that it all plays out that is the more questionable and disturbing part of the sequence.
Attack of the Clones spends a long time with Anakin trying to find his mother in the Sand People’s captivity. Once he locates her, Shmi dies very quickly and the rage hits Anakin immediately.
Attack of the Clones shows Anakin end the lives of two Sand People, then it cuts away.
With the truth only being revealed through one angsty monologue later in the movie.
It’s a huge moment for Anakin that the movie tries to cover up, and later, pretty much ignores altogether.
8. This Guy’s Name is … Porkins
There’s a lot of silly names in Star Wars. The name of one of the most dangerous men in the galaxy is Sheev Palpatine, which is fitting but hilarious.
Likewise, Jar Jar Binks is meant to be a lovable character whose name was supposed to be taken completely seriously. However, even with Star Wars’ propensity for insanity while naming characters, the Rebel pilot, Porkins, crosses a line.
Porkins is one of the more notable Rebel pilots seen doing the raid on the first Death Star. It’s even portrayed as a rather tragic moment when he dies in a fiery crash. All of this is undercut by the fact that the rotund man’s name is Porkins.
It’s not even a nickname either. (Point in fact, his nickname is “Piggy.”) It’s his real name, which is a cruel twist of fate in-universe and just plain nasty by the creative team.
7. Bodhi’s Death in Rogue One
To the surprise of virtually no one watching it for the first time, Rogue One ends with all of the major character meeting a brutal death.
The emotional resonance of Rogue One and what makes it such a brilliant movie, Star War or otherwise, is that there are real stakes and body count to the movie. The suicide mission to retrieve the Death Star plans is really a suicide mission.
Rogue One manages to kill off its main characters in a way that portrays the senselessness of war but also gives them a heroic send-off. Everyone gets this treatment… except for Riz Ahmed’s Bodhi.
Even though Bodhi launches the movie, he ends up getting the short stick by the end and his death is emblematic of that fact.
Bodhi dies, off-screen, almost as an afterthought. It lacks all impact or real emotion. It just occurs and everyone moves on.
6. Anakin and Padme’s Unbearable Romance
The Star Wars prequels made a fair bit of mistakes. One of the biggest sources of missteps, however, is in the romance between Anakin and Padme.
Things started off in a bad footing with the Natalie Portman playing Padme throughout the prequels. Meanwhile in Phantom Menace, Anakin was played by the significantly younger Jake Lloyd. This always gave the romance an (incorrect) cradle robbing impression.
More than that, though, Anakin and Padme’s love story is just poorly written and structured. It happens far too quickly and unconvincingly and so much of the trilogy is devoted to it.
Since Han and Leia, romance has played a big part in Star Wars but always as an entertaining side story. With Anakin and Padme, the story was neither on the side, nor at all entertaining.
5. How Many Jedi Actually Survived the Jedi Purge
The Jedi really are the lifeblood of the Star Wars franchise. The majority of fans simply aren’t that interested in a story in the Star Wars universe, unless there’s a space wizard involved. At the very least, a lightsaber is requirement.
It makes sense how many Jedi have been confirmed to survive the Jedi Purge. It’s just rather ridiculous how many have popped up.
It all began with Obi-Wan and Yoda in the original movie trilogy. Since that point though Jedi have started appearing more and more; there’s Kanan and Ezra in Star Wars: Rebels.
While technically exiled from The Order, Anakin’s apprentice, Ashoka, lived.
There’s even more if the canon of Star Wars Legends is considered.
It’s true that the vast majority of Jedi were wiped out but an almost comical amount survived, while Luke still claims to be the last.
4. Padme’s Death and Overall Arc in Revenge of the Sith
In order to make the original trilogy work and explain why Luke and Leia were separated as babies, Padme needed to die. Just as Anakin needed to fall to the Dark Side, Padme needed to meet her end. However, Revenge of the Sith could’ve found a way more satisfying and character-appropriate death for Padme than what was given in the movie.
In the first two prequel movies, Padme is strong, capable, entertaining, and independent. The same traits that made Princess Leia a feminist icon are totally evident in her biological mother… until Revenge of the Sith.
The second that Padme becomes pregnant, she becomes a totally useless character. She becomes nothing more than a plot point of Anakin’s story and then, most insultingly, dies of a “broken heart.”
The end of Padme is sad but not in an emotional resonant way. It’s just disappointing.
3. The Existence of Midi-chlorians
Before Phantom Menace, the Force was a mystical entity. The interesting thing about the Force is that it was unknown and magical. There was the sense that anyone could be a Jedi, if the Force chose them and moved through them.
After Phantom Menace, that all changed as courtesy of Qui-Gon Jinn. It was revealed that the Force acts through people due to their midi-chlorian count. Fans were, rightfully, outraged as the reveal took something magical and ethereal to make it biological and boring.
In the intervening years, midi-chlorians have been revamped to seem more mystical and fitting into the original spirit of the franchise.
They now exist more because of the Force– they don’t create the Force.
Sadly, the damage was done the moment they were introduced and explained. No back-pedaling can really fix it.
2. The Racial Caricatures of Jar Jar Binks, Watto and the Neimoidians
There’s so much internet bashing of the “humor” of Jar Jar Binks that no matter how well deserved it might be, it’s rather redundant. Jar Jar is annoying and far less amusing than he’s intended.
Yet that’s really not the biggest sin of Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar, like a couple other major characters in Phantom Menace, is a deeply offensive racial caricature.
Everything about Jar Jar– from his voice, his mannerisms, and even his story– fits the pattern of a bumbling African-American slave character. He’s just the tip of the iceberg too.
Watto, the slave owner of Anakin, is clearly meant to evoke the stereotypes of Jewish people with his large nose, accent and preoccupation with money. Worst of all might be the Neimodians, who are an amphibian looking species who all speak in broken English with heavy Asian accents.
One of these racial stereotypes is way too much, but three is horrendous.
1. Wiping Away 20 Years of Continuity with the Expanded Universe
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced a whole new series, it came with the reveal that decades of stories from the Expanded Universe were being wiped away. The canon was being given a clean slate outside of the movies and the animated Clone Wars TV series.
Clearing some of the canon makes perfect. The sequel trilogy for Episodes VII-IX needed full freedom and couldn’t curtail to the stories that the Expanded Universe that said happened with Luke, Leia and Han after Return of the Jedi.
Everything, even stuff that was no way related to the original trilogy and prequels– particularly the material set in the Old Republic– was erased, which just seems like several steps too far.
The stories are still as real as they ever were, as everything Star Wars is fictional.
However, wiping away everything in the Expanded Universe is slap in the face for the franchise’s most dedicated fans.
What moments do you feel are examples of Star Wars going too far? Sound off in the comments!