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[Article] Kershner Would Have Directed One of the Prequels

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 (Edited)

 

I remember reading in 1983 that George was going to take two years off, then take three years to make the first prequel, which would be released in 1988. If that had actually happened in 1988 (instead of 1999), would you have considered directing one of the prequels? 

Ten years later, I would have said yes to directing one of the prequels. 

 

 

Check out the article here.

 

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Given Lucas' issues with the Director's Guild, that might have been difficult to pull off.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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In some alternate universe, this happened.

Like a story out of Sliders, I will journey into this dimension and retrieve them so that we may enjoy a prequel series that is good.

I'll pick up the Gary Kurtz version of Return of the Jedi while I'm there.

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Give me a call- I'll go with you!

(though I might not come back... depending on if it rains doughnuts or not)

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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A universe in which the prequels are good would probably be such a paradise, I wouldn't be surprised if it did rain doughnuts.

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...But the people wouldn't know what doughnuts are, so they would confuse you and you'd run away in horror before you saw the rain.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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Then there will be like 5,000 enterprises gathered at one point in space.

"The other versions will disappear. Even the 35 million tapes of Star Wars out there won’t last more than 30 or 40 years. A hundred years from now, the only version of the movie that anyone will remember will be the DVD version [of the Special Edition], and you’ll be able to project it on a 20’ by 40’ screen with perfect quality. I think it’s the director’s prerogative, not the studio’s to go back and reinvent a movie." - George Lucas

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So this would have erased RoboCop 2.

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Unfortunately for Kersh the only good mainstream flick he ever made was Empire.  Robocop 2 and Never say never again were awful.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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It's true.  We tend to put Kersh up on this pedestal like he's God's gift to film directing, or to Star Wars at least...

But what else did he do that's worth a darn?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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The old "you're only as good as your last movie" argument, eh? ;)

Kershner made a little thriller called "Eyes Of Laura Mars" which probably got him the Empire gig. He also directed what is probably one of the best episodes of Speilberg's "Amazing Stories", the side splitting "Hell Toupee".

There's a persistent illusion that a film director is lord of all they survey. They are often simply a gun for hire. One can be saddled with an oft rewritten script, and micromanaging producers breathing down your neck. (Not to mention prima donna actors!) And then there's the issue of whether you get "final cut".

Kershner got an amazing free rein on Empire, that Marquand probably never had on Jedi. It's accepted by many fans Lucas was backseat directing on that, so it's likely to have happened to Kersh in his long career on other films.

Based on what I've read in "Once Upon A Galaxy", the guy knows how to make a movie, given the right circumstances. The fact we're still marvelling over Empire 30 years later is proof.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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If Robocop had not been released first (and the quickly dated CGI hadn't been used) I would rate Robocop 2 as a better film than Robocop.

If does all the things in Robocop better than Robocop does but sadly most of the story had already been told so the story was largely redundant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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Bingowings said:

If Robocop had not been released first (and the quickly dated CGI hadn't been used) I would rate Robocop 2 as a better film than Robocop.

If does all the things in Robocop better than Robocop does but sadly most of the story had already been told so the story was largely redundant.

Huh? CGI in Robocop? Have we seen the same trilogy?! :)

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Uh Bingo....are you feeling okay?

Help back OMNO!

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No he's most likely talking about Kane once he's taken cyborg form, he had a weird CG monitor face. What I don't get is how he can claim Robocop 2 is better than 1.

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 (Edited)

SilverWook said:

The old "you're only as good as your last movie" argument, eh? ;)

Nah... I didn't really mean that.  What I meant was: Name one other thing that's in the same ballpark as good as ESB that Kersh had ANYTHING to do with.  If he'd made 10 awesome movies, and then one stinker, then I would be dropping the "as good as your last" argument.  I was more making a "if he was able to wrest ESB from Lucas and actually make it a good movie, he should also have a deep history of other awesome work" but I've never seen it.

I think we're all maybe suffering more from the "Anyone but George" argument.  Not that Kersh didn't do a great job... but maybe he doesn't deserve as much credit for ESB as we all want to give him.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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The late Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan deserve some kudos for crafting a great script to begin with.

Gary Kurtz for being a good producer and not a yes man.

Mark, Carrie, and Harrison, who in spite of their personal problems public and private at the time, gave it 110%, and didn't phone it in.

Frank Oz, for making us believe a little green rubber puppet was a living creature.

And the rest of a great cast, who made you believe in those characters even if you never saw their faces or heard their real voices.

This could potentially be a really long list. Just watch the closing credits of the film instead. ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Well, one could argue that pretty much anyone other than George could have done a better job directing the prequels. There are many scenes that really look like they were shot in only one take. George was too eager to shoot fast and go play with his computers I think.

Reading the "Making of ESB" book, and in particular the part about the carbon freezing chamber scene you can see just how much thought Keshner put into the movie. I doubt good old George put one tenth as much thought on any scene for the prequels, other than to make it look cool to sell toys.

On the other hand, Kershner was working with sets, props and actors. The rebel base, Dagobah, the carbon freezing chamber all were real. Could he have adapted to the "nothing but blue screen" sets?? I'm talking about stuff like Geonosis, the scene with Mace Windu leaving a Gunship for example. Nothing was there, and I doubt Kershner would have made much difference there.

 

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SilverWook said:

The late Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan deserve some kudos for crafting a great script to begin with.

Gary Kurtz for being a good producer and not a yes man.

Mark, Carrie, and Harrison, who in spite of their personal problems public and private at the time, gave it 110%, and didn't phone it in.

Frank Oz, for making us believe a little green rubber puppet was a living creature.

And the rest of a great cast, who made you believe in those characters even if you never saw their faces or heard their real voices.

This could potentially be a really long list. Just watch the closing credits of the film instead. ;)

100% agreed. 

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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I like this part:

Why do you think the reaction is so overwhelmingly positive today as opposed to 1980?

Fans have written over the last 30 years telling me how eagerly they awaited the second film of the trilogy. I hadn’t realized how many young children would be seeing the film, and how it would effect them. I think the kids responded to the movement, the characters, and the fairy tale quality of the film. The humor helped make the film appealing to more mature audiences as well.

The humor appealing to adults gives you an idea that it is a much different humor than was employed in the later films.

Pink Floyd -- First in Space

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Now I'm left to wonder, could Lucas have gotten away with frozen poop and yellow snow jokes in a PG rated film in 1980? ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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 (Edited)

I didn't say there was CGI in Robocop but there definitely is in Robocop 2  (and it was a bit rubbish even then):

CGI

More CGI

I also said that because of the pre-existence  of the first film Robocop 2 is rendered narratively redundant (because it basically tells the same story) but in my opinion it tells the same story with better production values (if you discount the CGI) , performances and better direction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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I know it's been said before but ESB had the best script of the OT, great cast, and went way over time and budget to make it great.

Give Kershner one of the weak-to-mediocre prequel scripts, no pre-production, and Lucas's rigorously short shooting time, I don't think there's any guarantee of a much better movie.