George Lucas’ weirdest ‘Star Wars’ change involved a fart joke

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By Webdesk

It’s May 4, that is Star Wars Goodbye, that special moment when fans of the beloved sci-fi franchise stop bickering The Last Jedi 24 hours to spend money on useless merchandise, all in the service of a gag-like pun.

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So we want to honor this bogus holiday by taking a moment to reflect on one of the strangest, most controversial, most windy moments inside Star Wars history — that scene in it The Ghost Threat in which some kind of alien camel creature farts outright Jar Jar Binks‘ sight.

Critics, not surprisingly, prickly to the gaseous plug (not to mention Jar Jar’s “Pee-Yousa!” response) who singles out this particular scene as proof of the franchise’s descent from an epic space opera to a cartoon full of kid’s toilet humor. “Fart jokes and help create a two-headed sports reporter The Ghost Threat a little more earthy than it probably should be,” wrote The AV Club at the time.

Fans, too, are divided over the controversial “Eopie fart” scene — an Eopie, of course, is the “quadrupedal herbivorous mammals native to the planet Tatooine.” Some like it “funny,” while others believe it to be so “totally unnecessary.”

Oddly enough, the scene was almost even longer. For the ghost threat DVD, Lucas added an alternate “extended” version of the podrace, which thankfully was shot as a separate feature film and not clumsily crammed into the film itself. Lucas’ original vision for the sequence included a number of bizarre additions, including the revelation that the hilarious death of a lizard-like alien tragically orphaned several children, including a newborn baby.

For some reason, Lucas also felt compelled to cut Eopie’s fart scene. In the extended version, we get a few extra seconds where the poor creature realizes it needs to fart, struggling to squeeze out the gas before finally managing to blow its Death Star.

George Lucas, of course, is notorious for tinkering with his movies long after they’re released, be it now introduction of CGI “upgrades” to the original Star Wars trilogy or shoehorn a digital sunset in the DVD release of American graffiti. And, bizarrely, if some fans have pointed it outhis subsequent reworks of The Ghost Threat have completely robbed the fart joke of its narrative purpose.

In the theatrical cut of the movie, the fart was arguably an important beat in the story because it was temporary derived Jar Jar, allowing the villainous Sebulba to sabotage Anakin’s vehicle.

But in the “extended” cut and every subsequent home video release, including the version currently on Disney+, the scenes are shuffled, making Sebulba’s sneaky move several minutes long after Jar Jar gets a face full of fart. That’s right, George Lucas actually had a really good reason to put a fart joke in one Star Wars movie, but thanks to his irrepressible urge to keep interfering with his own work, that reason has effectively been erased from the movie available today.

Phew, George.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you read this).

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