Alec Guinness thought Star Wars was "fairy tale rubbish"

Ben Skipper
9 January 2013
Alec Guinness thought Star Wars was "fairy tale rubbish"
Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi

It's well known that legendary actor Alec Guinness wasn't the biggest fan of 'Star Wars' both before and after its enormous success in 1977, but now letters have surfaced that allow us to hear what he thought straight from the horse's mouth, or rather pen.

In letters documented in an official biography of his long and illustrious career he wrote to his long-time friend Anne Kaufman, in which he expressed interest in working with George Lucas but dismissed the film's narrative content.

[Related story: Original Star Wars trilogy visualised in stunning artworks]

[Related story: J.J. Abrams turned down 'Star Wars 7']

"I have been offered a movie (20th Cent. Fox) which I may accept, if they come up with proper money," he wrote. "London and N. Africa, starting in mid-March.

"Science fiction - which gives me pause - but is to be directed by Paul [sic] Lucas who did 'American Graffiti', which makes me feel I should. Big part. Fairy-tale rubbish but could be interesting perhaps."

Guinness wrote again during filming in London in March of 1976.

He expressed further dislike of the film whilst also talking of his co-stars, including "Tennyson Ford".

Wait, what?

"... new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wedges of pink paper - and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable. I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread, which will help me keep going until next April ...

"I must off to studio and work with a dwarf (very sweet - and he has to wash in a bidet) and your fellow countrymen Mark Hamill and Tennyson (that can't be right) Ford. Ellison (? - No!) - well, a rangy, languid young man who is probably intelligent and amusing.

"But Oh, God, God, they make me feel ninety - and treat me as if I was 106. - Oh, Harrison Ford - ever heard of him?"

Can't say I have Mr Guinness.

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