The Biggest Behind-The-Scenes Feuds Of The Star Wars Franchise

"Star Wars" is easily one of the biggest and most successful film franchises ever made, and it's been going strong for more than four decades. Getting things just right on a movie is no easy task, and it often requires the work of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Occasionally, those people don't see eye to eye, and "Star Wars" movies are no exception.

For the most part, actors get along while working on a movie set, but that's not always the case. There are plenty of stories out there about co-stars who can't stand one another, and some even filmed romantic scenes together. That's a testament to their professionalism and dedication to the craft. Many of the people working on "Star Wars" films have had similar experiences. The franchise has seen its fair share of tiffs on set. While this has typically resulted in a handful of stories leaking from an otherwise successful operation, it has sometimes resulted in people reportedly despising one another. 

At the end of the day, the "Star Wars" franchise is like any other successful film saga, and it has plenty of dark secrets hidden behind the scenes. Whether it was between an actor and their director, a couple of actors, or an actor who absolutely hated everything about the franchise, these professional moviemakers couldn't get along in a galaxy far, far away.

David Prowse and George Lucas aren't friends

Darth Vader is one of the most imposing figures in sci-fi, and a lot of that had to do with his height, costume, and mask. In "Star Wars," the man behind the mask was David Prowse, who stood at 6 feet and 7 inches. Prowse provided the dialogue for Darth Vader, but George Lucas hired James Earl Jones to dub over everything he said.

Prowse wasn't happy about that, but he remained a part of the franchise. In 1978, the actor made a public appearance and revealed a key detail about the sequel, which was captured by The San Francisco Examiner (via Retroist). David Prowse said there was to be a Luke vs. Vader "do-or-die lightsaber duel." During this fight, Luke was to learn that Vader was his father, and according to Prowse, "Father can't kill son, son can't kill father. So they live again to star in 'Star Wars IV.'" Prowse revealed a major spoiler for "The Empire Strikes Back," but the interesting thing is, the film's script wasn't even written at that time (per Den of Geek). The star is believed to have called his leak "a lucky guess" (via The Sun).

Lucas cast Sebastian Shaw for the role of the unmasked Darth Vader in "Return of the Jedi," leaving Prowse in the suit (although he was allegedly promised the unmasked part). In 2010, Prowse appeared in "The People vs. George Lucas," a decidedly anti-Lucas documentary. That same year, he was banned from attending any "Star Wars" events. David Prowse and George Lucas' relationship was no more.

Sir Alec Guinness disliked the Star Wars franchise

By the time Sir Alec Guinness starred as Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars," he was nearing the end of a long and celebrated career in film and onstage. Guinness played the titular character in "Doctor Zhivago," Colonel Nicholson in "The Bridge on the River Kwai," and Prince Faisal in "Lawrence of Arabia" long before George Lucas dreamed up his out-of-this-world story.

The veteran performer was one of many talented English actors who appeared in the first "Star Wars" film. Unlike his peers, Sir Alec Guinness didn't love working on the movie but came to loathe the character he played. He wrote his friend Anne Kaufman a letter before accepting the role of Obi-wan Kenobi and said of the opportunity: "Big part. Fairy tale rubbish but could be interesting perhaps." In a separate letter excerpted from his book, "Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography," Guinness wrote, "Can't say I'm enjoying the film ... new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day...and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable" (via Dangerous Minds).

Not only did Guinness dislike the movie — he also returned any "Star Wars" fan mail unopened and didn't want to be approached regarding his role as Kenobi. The actor once begged George Lucas to kill off the character, Force Ghost and all. He later said of his role, "I just couldn't go on speaking those bloody awful lines. I'd had enough of the mumbo jumbo" (via Entertainment Weekly).

Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher had a secret

In 2016, Carrie Fisher published a memoir titled "The Princess Diarist," revealing personal aspects of her life that she'd never spoken of previously. One of the biggest reveals was that she had a three-month-long affair with Harrison Ford while filming "Star Wars." At the time, Ford was 33 and a married father of two. Fisher was 19. "It was so intense. It was Han and Leia during the week and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend," the actor told People.

Their relationship ended when the film's shoot was completed, leaving Fisher to hold on to the secret for 40 years before going public. Her brother, Todd Fisher, later revealed in his book, "My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie," that Carrie Fisher told her mother that she regretted letting go of the secret (via the Daily Mail). As the affair continued, Fisher became swept up in the passion, expressing in her memoir that she wanted Ford to leave his wife for her (via The Verge). 

Years later, she looked back on it and called their time together a "three-month one-night stand" on "Today." Ultimately, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher's relationship was not a behind-the-scenes feud, but it was a whirlwind romance that certainly affected her.

George Lucas left all the guilds over Empire Strikes Back

One of the most fascinating behind-the-scenes feuds in the "Star Wars" franchise was between George Lucas and pretty much every professional guild in the industry. It all started with the first movie's opening crawl, which pushed the director, cast, and crew credits to the end of the film. That was technically allowed if the director signed a waiver. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Director's Guild of America (DGA) let it happen. When it came time for "The Empire Strikes Back," the guilds didn't approve.

Their decision was due to the inclusion of "A Lucasfilm Limited Production" with no mention of Irvin Kershner, the film's director, before the crawl, and that violated the guilds' rules. Per The New York Times, George Lucas was fined by the Directors Guild for his offense. Lucas paid the bill, but he was so frustrated over what happened, he pulled out of the WGA, the DGA, and the Motion Picture Association (MPA). 

This is a feud that's never been resolved, as Lucas never returned to any of the professional guilds in his industry. Despite this, he continued to make movies, often financing them himself through his exorbitant "Star Wars" profits. Interestingly, the feud is the reason Lucas hired Richard Marquand to direct "Return of the Jedi," since he had to find a director who didn't belong to the DGA.

Carrie Fisher hated working with Richard Marquand

George Lucas wrote and directed the first "Star Wars" movie, but he handed over directing duties for the first two sequels. Irvin Kershner directed "The Empire Strikes Back," and Richard Marquand directed "Return of the Jedi." For the most part, the cast and crew got along with the directors, but Carrie Fisher despised working with Richard Marquand. She enjoyed working on the first two films, but the third was a nightmare for her.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Fisher described how she felt about Marquand, saying, "I hated him. He fell all over Harrison, but he would yell at me constantly." Marquand yelled at her on one memorable occasion, and when she "burst into tears," her makeup was ruined. "It took an hour for them to do my makeup again," Fisher said, which didn't help her standing with the director. 

In Hollywood, there's a poorly kept secret that George Lucas ghost directed several scenes in "Return of the Jedi." Whether this had something to do with the cast issues or Lucas' controlling nature has long been debated. Still, for whatever reason, he got involved. Marquand reportedly described Lucas' presence on the set, saying, "It is rather like trying to direct 'King Lear' with Shakespeare in the next room" (via Rare).

Terence Stamp couldn't work with George Lucas after The Phantom Menace

When George Lucas finally came back to release his long-awaited "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, he hired a plethora of talented actors. One of the most celebrated was Terence Stamp, who was cast as Chancellor Valorum in "The Phantom Menace." Stamp was meant to reprise his role in the sequel but chose not to return. The reason for his absence was simple: he really disliked working with George Lucas.

In an interview with Empire (via Comic Book Movie), Stamp reportedly said of his relationship with Lucas, "We didn't get on at all," and went on to say that "I didn't rate him that much as a director, really. I didn't feel like he was a director of actors; he was more interested in stuff and effects. He didn't interest me, and I wouldn't think I interested him." Stamp further explained how he came from Australia to meet Natalie Portman after seeing her work in "The Professional."

While he did have an opportunity to meet the actor, she was absent when it came time to film their scene together. After asking Lucas where she was, the director pointed to some paper on a wall, saying, "That's Natalie." Stamp fell victim to George Lucas' penchant for green screen digital effects, which didn't require his co-star to physically be there with him. He found the whole experience of filming "The Phantom Menace" to be "just boring." Essentially, his reason for not returning was simply because "actors prefer to work with actors," he told GMTV (via The Guardian).

Harrison Ford clashed with George Lucas

Harrison Ford and George Lucas don't have a history of feuding — after all, George Lucas made him a star. That doesn't mean the two didn't clash on set, especially where Han Solo was concerned. Ford famously brushed off the character, referring to him as "Ham Yoyo" (per HuffPost), and he's gone on record plenty of times saying he wanted Solo to be killed off. He finally got that wish granted in "The Force Awakens." Long before that happened, he and Lucas argued about Solo. A lot.

George Lucas' ability to write compelling dialogue has been called into question over the years, and Ford reported some problems on the set of "Star Wars." The actor notoriously told the director, "You can type this s***, but you sure as hell can't say it" (via HuffPost). In numerous interviews, he spoke about their backstage kerfuffle, saying that he was wrong, and the dialogue ended up working. Regardless, they butted heads over dialogue throughout the making of the first film.

Harrison Ford has described Han Solo as a character he had no interest in, but his concern over dialogue may prove otherwise. On the set of "The Empire Strikes Back," he and Irvin Kershner (politely) argued over his iconic line in response to Princess Leia's "I love you." Han says, "I know," which wasn't in the script. Ford clearly cared what Solo said at that moment, and he convinced the director to let him keep the change for the final cut of the movie.

Jake Lloyd came to hate Star Wars

Arguably the most significant role in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy was the central protagonist-turned-antagonist, Anakin Skywalker. For "The Phantom Menace," the part was given to Jake Lloyd, a relatively unknown child actor with a few credits under his belt. Lloyd's participation in the franchise was something that could have created a long and profitable career. Sadly, it did the opposite, leaving the young star to quit acting altogether shortly after the movie's release.

Of all the actors who had trouble following their appearance in a "Star Wars" project, none could be worse-off than Jake Lloyd. He came to hate his time working for George Lucas, saying that it ruined his life. According to Lloyd, he was constantly teased for his portrayal of Anakin, and his "entire school life was really a living hell," he reportedly said (via the Daily Mail). The young actor was doing up to 60 interviews a day and did not enjoy the limelight. As a result, he loathed the franchise and destroyed any memorabilia connected to it.

Despite this, Lloyd attended conventions for several years, though he never seemed to like talking about his work on the franchise. Eventually, he stopped making these appearances. In 2015, he had some run-ins with the law and was arrested for leading police on a high-speed chase, among other things. He was later transferred to a psychiatric facility following a diagnosis of schizophrenia, per TMZ.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

George Lucas was annoyed with Hayden Christensen

In many ways, Hayden Christensen's acting career was both made and unmade by his appearance in the "Star Wars" prequels. The actor gained a lot of fame with the role but largely retired from the profession because he felt he hadn't earned the fame. Regardless, he was a big part of the second and third prequel films and signed on to return to the franchise in the Disney+ "Ahsoka Tano" series (per The Hollywood Reporter).

While filming "Attack of the Clones," Christensen was a handful for George Lucas. When the actor was filming any scene with a lightsaber, he made the unique sounds the weapon would make in the film. It's something everyone with a flashlight, paper tube, or stick has done at least one time in their lives, and Christensen was no different. He wasn't even aware he was making the sounds, which must have been second nature to the young fan of the franchise. 

Christensen explained his filming faux pas at a Star Wars Celebration Event (via Digital Spy), saying that on several occasions, Lucas had to stop filming and tell him, "Hayden, that looks really great, but I can see your mouth moving. You don't have to do that. We add the sound effects afterward." According to the actor, it's a habit he's never broken.

George Lucas left his post on The Force Awakens

In 2012, George Lucas sold all of his "Star Wars" properties to Walt Disney for $4.1 billion. Before long, the House of Mouse launched the production of a sequel to "Return of the Jedi." When Lucas divested his interests in the franchise, he lost creative control, but that didn't mean he wasn't of use to Disney. He was hired on for "The Force Awakens" to work as a creative consultant — after all, he was and always will be the expert on all things "Star Wars."

The experience wasn't favorable to the franchise's creator, who ultimately walked from the project. He explained what happened in an interview with "CBS This Morning." Lucas said he brought in some story ideas and was told that they "want to make something for the fans." He further explained that "they decided they didn't want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing, so I decided, 'fine... I'll go my way, and I let them go their way.'"

George Lucas compared his leaving the franchise to a breakup. He explained that there were three rules: you don't call, you don't stop by to see what's going on in your absence, and "you don't show up at their coffee shop and say you are going to burn it... You just say, 'Nope, gone, history, I'm moving forward.'" That's essentially what Lucas did. He has no plans to return to the franchise or to direct anything related to it in the future.

Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker disliked one another

One of the biggest feuds in the franchise was the one that existed between Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker. Anthony Daniels portrayed C-3PO in every film in the Skywalker Saga. For the first six of those movies, he acted opposite Kenny Baker, who sat inside the Artoo robot costume, and the two never got along with one another.

In 2005, Kenny Baker told that Anthony Daniels didn't like to "mix at all" with the rest of the cast. He went on to say, "He never wants to have a drink with any of us." Baker also described a time he said hello to his co-star, who said, "Can't you see I'm having a conversation?" This left Baker "blazing with rage," and he said, "It was the rudest thing anyone had ever done to me." Baker was more outspoken about the feud than Daniels, but Daniels would say something about their relationship every so often.

In 2015, Daniels mentioned in an interview that Baker didn't do a lot on the set of the movies. Daniels told The Sun (via The Telegraph), "He's not actually on set. I haven't seen him for years. His name is on the credits as a sort of...I don't know, a good luck charm, a courtesy. He's a talisman." In the same interview, Daniels noted that Baker had "been saying unpleasant things about" him, but he preferred not to comment on them. Despite their dislike for one another, Daniels posted a touching condolence via Twitter when Baker passed away in 2016.