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Did Disney Really Break A Rumored Star Wars Rule About Glasses

Even a world bursting with as much imagination as the galaxy far, far away has its limits. The diverse creatures, rich philosophies, and futuristic tech of the ever-expanding "Star Wars" universe have captured the hearts and minds of audiences for over four decades, presenting settings and characters that feel grounded yet fantastical. But Disney may have taken things a step too far when it comes to one real-world detail often omitted from the sci-fi franchise. 

In 2017, the Season 3 "Star Wars: Rebels" episode "Double Agent Droid" introduced Imperial Intelligence agent LT-319 (voiced by Josh Gad), the first canon "Star Wars" character to don a pair of glasses. Later, the hit Disney+ series "The Mandalorian" featured another glasses-wearing face with Penn Pershing (Omid Abtahi), the doctor and engineer who experiments on the gifted foundling Grogu before Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) returns to save him.

While a seemingly superfluous aspect, it is notable that no canon "Star Wars" character prior had ever worn regular glasses, with the closest being the big goggles worn by Maz Kanata (voiced by Lupita N'yongo) in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." It has long been rumored that "Star Wars" creator George Lucas was against the idea of glasses being present in his epic space saga. Given the galaxy's bevy of advanced technology that can create sentient droids and repair missing limbs, the need for simple spectacles is a presumably outdated concept. 

However, Lucas himself has yet to confirm that such theories are true and it's unlikely he'd be up in arms about the implementation of glasses in modern "Star Wars" media — especially because it's far from the first time they've been worn.

Glasses have existed in non-canon Star Wars media long before Disney

Even if George Lucas hasn't outwardly expressed a hatred of glasses-wearing characters in "Star Wars," there is an undeniable rarity to seeing such accessories. But long before Disney acquired the franchise in 2012, a handful of heroes and heroines donned their own pair of spectacles. 

A number of characters in non-canon "Star Wars" Legends comics, cartoons, games, and other media can be seen wearing glasses. This includes several pilots from "Star Wars" spinoff comics, Vago the Hutt in the novel "Tempest Feud," and even C-3PO put on a pair to disguise himself in an episode of the animated series "Droids." 

As far as live-action appearances, two notable names stand out. First, and the closest to being canon, is Saun Dann (Art Carney), the lovable trader and friend of the Wookies from "The Star Wars: Holiday Special." While the canonization of the infamous 1978 television special is a bit complicated, Dann can nevertheless be seen wearing glasses during an Imperial inspection. Another television movie that included a glass-wearing hero was 1985's "Ewoks: The Battle for Endor," which introduced audiences to the kindly hermit Noa Briqualon (Wilford Brimley). Briqualon was specifically conjured up by George Lucas, who wanted the film's young protagonist to befriend a grumpy old man, likely meaning he approved of the character to have glasses. 

So there you have it. Saying that "Star Wars" characters have been without glasses before Disney is not entirely accurate. And in any case, these spectacles have done little to put a dent in the overall spectacle of this beloved franchise.