Why George Lucas Was Intentionally Vague About His Star Wars Design Plans

George Lucas cemented himself as a pop culture icon when he helped to kick-start the "Star Wars" franchise. When the first movie first premiered in 1977, simply known as "Star Wars" and later renamed "A New Hope," it was clear that it would become a stepping stone for a major franchise. Part of this had to do with the fact that Lucas seemed to have a specific creative vision for what the rest of the "Star Wars" universe and continuity looked like.

However, that wasn't necessarily the case, at least according to the main effects designers that worked with him. Joe Johnston, one of the designers for "A New Hope" and eventual visual effects director for "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," spoke during the "Light and Magic" documentary panel at "Star Wars" Celebration. While speaking at the panel, he revealed that Lucas wasn't the clearest when it came to how he wanted the original trilogy to look, arguably helping the franchise in the long run.

He needs a shuttle

It can be annoying when working with someone on a project and your partner doesn't have a vision for what they want to do. That was initially the case with Johnston, who also served as a miniatures designer for the movie. During the panel, he revealed that Lucas had vague instructions for even the smallest of details. However, it didn't take him long to discover the method to the director's madness, as he recalls:

"George was very vague about asking for stuff because, and I figured out why, he wanted choices. So he would say things like 'Darth Vader needs a ship to get him from the Star Destroyer to the Death Star. He needs a shuttle, he needs a shuttle,' and that would be the only input he had, but it gave him a lot of choices."

This ship would later become the Executor, a Star Dreadnought made by the Empire-controlled Kuat Drive Yards. Of course, Lucas originally just wanted a vessel that could take Darth Vader from one ship to the other. However, there is a lot you can do with that barebones concept, something that Johnston and the rest of the miniatures crew took advantage of. Upon further collaboration with Lucas, the Executor was born.

If you thought that was a chaotic situation, it's nothing compared to when Johnston remade the iconic "Star Wars" logo in one night

Star Wars Celebration runs until May 29, 2022.