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I have seen in various places that Lucas himself expected the movie to be a children's movie in the beginning. He also said that characters like the Ewok and Jar Jar Binks were added to specifically appeal to children.

Was the franchise intended to be a children's movie from the beginning? Or was it more mature and serious in the beginning, but kind of became more mainstream and children-oriented starting from Return of the Jedi, as some claim?

If it was intended as a children's movie, then its cult status nowadays might be a kind of hard to explain. Maybe it's more like a generation cherishing their childhood/teenage dream memory?

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    “If it was intended as a children's movie, then its cult status nowadays might be a kind of hard to explain.” How so? – Paul D. Waite Jun 11 '15 at 7:51
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    @PaulD.Waite I guess the OP hasn't heard of the Brony fandom. – Ajedi32 Jun 11 '15 at 15:59
  • This is just opinion but the greatest experience of Star Wars is as a kid. (I saw the original theatrical release in theaters at the age of 7 and it was transformative.) I can definitively say that, although I will always like the franchise, this obsession with it by adults is sort of... interesting. It's not even like it's the most hard-core sci-fi. Star Wars' original claim to fame was pushing the boundaries of special effects with each new film. Not the same w/out Lucas imo--it was these adult fans that later shunned him and made him feel unwanted. – DukeZhou Dec 20 '16 at 22:05
  • It's also interesting that the hating on Lucas began with Jar Jar, as though Ewocks weren't just as silly. Kids didn't mind Jar Jar. It was the adult fans that lost their sh*t, despite all of the awesomeness and creativity Lucas injected into the effects sequences in that particular film. So I think it's fairly safe to say Star Wars primarily intended for, and most appreciated by, children. – DukeZhou Dec 20 '16 at 22:09
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In 2005, George Lucas claimed that Star Wars was directed at children, though fans would not want to admit it. That, however, is the most notable demographic conjecture he has made. However, Star Wars is most commonly classified as family friendly.

"The movies are for children but they don't want to admit that. In the first film they absolutely hated R2 and C3-PO. In the second film they didn't like Yoda and in the third one they hated the Ewoks... and now Jar Jar is getting accused of the same thing."

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/394542.stm

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    If it was intended as a children's movie, then its cult status nowadays might be a kind of hard to explain. Maybe it's more like a generation cherishing their childhood/teenage dream memory? – xji Jun 11 '15 at 6:09
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    Also, could you give a source for Lucas' claim? – xji Jun 11 '15 at 6:09
  • A source is included in the response. – DarthBotto Jun 11 '15 at 6:13
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    Thanks. A quick Googling couldn't find it. He pretty much explained it all in the interview. – xji Jun 11 '15 at 6:19
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    I would have thought that the success of the merchandise sales would have meant Lucas would appeal to kids as kids buy toys , lunch boxes etc. and keeping in mind Lucas made sure he had all the merchandise profits of the first film, and was able to finance the the trilogy with this, it's a good bet he aimed it at kids to start with – Cearon O'Flynn Jun 11 '15 at 16:07
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It wasn't really made to be any kind of franchise so right off the bat that is a no to your question. I can't say for certain if all the people who worked to make the movie what it was even knew what kind of audience that they'd have and have read at the time before release that a lot of them probably thought it would fail miserably.

The whole production from beginning to end was pretty much a mess though. It was a struggle to produce anything, the script going through Lucas and his wife at the time (and probably a few others) getting tons of revisions, the limitations of the budget and what they could actually done at the time all building a film that was then saved mostly in editing and by a fantastic score. Accidental masterpiece or just a cross between Flash Gordon and Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.

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