No one in a galaxy far, far away was ever meant to wear glasses because, according to George Lucas, glasses don’t exist in space. Now, they do. A sneak peak at March 11’s episode of Star Wars Rebels, “Double Agent Droid,” revealed not only some of the trouble that the Rebellion’s droid will find itself in, but also that glasses aren’t outlawed in the Imperial dress code.
“Double Agent Droid” will feature yet another look into the inner workings of the Galactic Empire as well as introduce some new faces to the story. One of the behind-the-scenes commanders — a man with a bald head and neatly trimmed beard — wears yellow-tinted eyeglasses as he stares forebodingly down at a screen and plots the annihilation of the Rebellion’s spy.
And as far as canonical Star Wars stories go, this is the first time a character with actual glasses has been seen.
Sure, Maz Kanata wears vision-enhancing goggles in The Force Awakens and Gorga the Hutt dons a single lens in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but glasses are virtually nonexistent in the canon Star Wars universe.
The 1985 made-for-TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor featured a hermit created by George Lucas named Noa Briqualon, a human man who always wore eyeglasses, but the movie lies so far out of Star Wars canon that it’s irrelevant. Other non-canon books and stories also have bespectacled characters amongst their ranks, none of whom have any effect on the canon story.
Star Wars creator George Lucas supposedly didn’t like glasses being in his galaxy, much in the same way he reportedly once told Carrie Fisher that she couldn’t wear underwear under her dress as Leia Organa because underwear didn’t exist in space. Janu Godalhi — a background character in Revenge of the Sith played by Star Wars veteran Pablo Hidalgo — was allegedly forced to wear contacts rather than the glasses Hidalgo usually dons. Lucas didn’t want them in his movie.
And on some level, Lucas’s insistence makes sense. A galaxy that relies so heavily on automated systems, audio/visual communication, and holograms wouldn’t have much need for reading glasses — no one really reads in the Star Wars universe. And the medics in Star Wars have proven themselves time and time again — with the Skywalker boys alone — that prosthetics and physical amplifications are an easy and common (if not cheap) reality. It’s easy to assume that anyone with bad eyesight would be able to get a simple surgery and avoid corrective lenses altogether.
But the Imperial leader’s glasses in the sneak peak might not be corrective so much as protective. There’s a yellow sheen to them similar to the kind IRL that are used to prevent eye strain when — for example — a person is staring at screens for an extended period of time. This Imperial officer might just be looking to take care of his surgically corrected eyes so he doesn’t have to pay money to get them fixed again a few years from now. More power to him.
Star Wars Rebels’s “Double Agent Droid” premieres March 11.