Despite its humble beginnings as a standalone film that even George Lucas himself doubted would succeed, Star Wars has become one of the most influential and culturally significant franchises in movie history, a global brand that is only going to grow in importance over the coming years thanks to Disney's commitment to expanding the universe in perpetuity.
Yet, after being invited to become a part of this monumental franchise and carve their names into the annals of pop-culture, a surprisingly high number of directors have turned down the chance to get involved with Star Wars over the years.
The reasons behind the rejections vary, from indifference to the genre and a hatred of franchised properties to conflicting schedules and perceived studio mandates, though perhaps the most common excuse given by directors turning down Star Wars is simply that it belongs to George Lucas.
It is well documented that Lucas is not a great director. Despite his uncanny ability to create vivid worlds and inhabit them with memorable characters, he is known to be uncomfortable leading a large cast and crew. The solution seems simple, but his image as the all-mighty puppet-master of the Star Wars universe hindered his efforts to recruit people more suitable for the job for decades.
Even after he left, the simple daunting task of making a Star Wars seemed too much for some, leading to a long list of almost-rans for Episode VII.
From masters of practical effects to veterans of the blockbuster, some of the names leave you dreaming about what might have been.