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Did GL take too much credit?

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I've been a Star Wars fan literally longer than I can remember. George Lucas was my role model growing up, until I realized that he was using Star Wars as a way to make money. I remembered him stating on the interviews on the pre-special edition THX releases that "movies are an art, not a business."

Forgive me if this has been brought up before, I tried searching for it but couldn't find any previous discussions on it.

George Lucas only wrote "the story" for the Star Wars trilogy. Most of the actual writing was done by other people. I'm sure we all already knew this. According to imdb.com, George Lucas wrote Episode IV; and he wrote "the story" for episodes V and VI. The actual writing credits for Episode IV are given to Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan; and
Lawrence Kasdan, Lucas, and David Webb Peoples (uncredited).

One of my good friends, who is just as much of a fan of the originals as I am, has been telling me that there was actually one person who did most of the writing for all three of the original movies. I'm not sure on the validity on this, and it figures, my friend can't remember this guy's name. He said that this guy got mad and left when Lucas decided to use Ewoks instead of Wookies on Endor. This kind of makes sense...seeing how the lack of the original writer would explain the 20-year delay for the prequels.

Anyway, if anyone has any information that proves/disproves what I'm talking about, please post it.

But, what this really brought something to my attention. Did George Lucas take too much credit? The only one of the original films that he can really call "his" is Episode IV, since he wrote the "story," wrote the movie (according to the credits anyway), and directed it. Empire and Jedi were both directed by other people, and other people shared writing credits. And let's not forget all the other hundreds of creative people who worked on these movies.

Have any of the other directors, writers, or crewmembers issued comments on the changes made for the Ruined Edition DVDs?

If you disagree with what I'm suggesting, please explain why. I'd like to *discuss* this...not argue it. I don't want to hate George Lucas, but right now I think he's insulting the original actors, crewmembers, and writers by altering their performances. Adding special effects he couldn't achieve in the 70s and 80s is one thing, but removing the original actors is like slapping them in the face...isn't it?
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Yes.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering
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Well, obviously he took credit for other people's work then, and continues to do so today.
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Originally posted by: ricarleite
Yes.


lol...yes to which question?
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I believe Lucas is now the unfortunate result of what happens with age. He's gone from being a dynamic, shit kicker off a director to a mellow old man, obessed with his own legacy.

But yes I tend to agree that while Lucas can take credit for coming up with the ideas for all SW films, he accepts too much credit and too much ownership for my liking. I've always thought Lucas was a brilliant ideas man, but hopeless at implementing them. The partnership he had with Speilberg is the perfect example of what could have been with the prequels, ie Lucas behind the ideas and Speilberg behind the camera.
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Yes Lucas wrote the 4 or so draft scripts for Star Wars all of which are pretty terrible and came up with the basic story outlines for Empire and Return. But the actual shooting script for Star Wars was written by him AND Leigh Brackett AND Gloria Katz AND Willard Huyck (AND LET'S NOT FORGET AKIRA KUROSAWA).

As thanks for their help Lucas lent his name and fame to Katz and Huyck's Howard The Duck in gratitude for their work on the narrative structure, dialogue and for giving the script a general polish.

"Written by George Lucas" is a misnomer. Even the novel of Star Wars says Written by George Lucas based on his script but this is a LIE as it was written by Alan Dean Foster based on the script by all of the above.

The direction on the original film was helped by GL's good friend Francis Ford Coppola's respected advice and for Empire and Return Lucas served as a meddling creative consultant exectutive producer and backseat director to better talents.

Lucas showed a roughcut of Star Wars to his friends: Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck, John Milius, Matthew Robbins, Hal Barwood, and Time magazine film critic Jay Cocks. They were merciless and he made many a few wise changes thanks to their advice.

All of this is pretty well documented, although good luck getting Lucas to step up and admit it.

As far as I know the only Star Wars film written and directed by Lucas is The Phantom Menace and it sure shows.
"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." - Goering.

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." - Goebbels.

"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - Orwell.
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Originally posted by: D0CT0R_W40
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Originally posted by: ricarleite
Yes.


lol...yes to which question?


Did GL take too much credit? Yes.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering
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Regicidal_Maniac, what's your source on that info?
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Hi,

In regards to the novel, Reg is correct stating Alan Dean Foster is the ghost writer and GL's name is on it. A recommended read for Star Wars fans to review the history, quotes and directions (and misdirections) of Star Wars is "The Unauthorized Star Wars Compendium".

The Force.Net's book review of Star Wars also confirms Alan Dean Foster as the true author.

Kevin
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but will have eternal life." The Holy Bible - John 3:16
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GL was and still is a great IDEA guy, he has an immense imagination, that at times is stagering. He is, however, very poor and bring those ideas to fruition in an entertaining fashion. If you need to see what i mean, just watch the empire of dreams doc. In the casting clips you here all sorts of jubbled, long winded dialogue, some of which made it into the film, some that did not. Obviously some of the less disireable dialogue was cut/altered/replaced because it is no where in the films. Another example is in ESB, the "i know" line by han was improvised on the set by harrison and Irvin Kershner, something that GL would have never allowed if he would have been at the helm. The best thing that happened to star wars was the forced absenteeism by GL in ESB and ROTJ, plus his openess in ANH. This allowed awsome input from various sources that really polished SW and made the OT the classic movies that everybody loves. His tight fistedness is what has ruined the PT. In my opinion the PT could have been saved if he would have allowed input in the same way...
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He has followe dthe path of his own creation.
He has become what he hates.
A greedy money driven yuppie who can only create crap.

///
Fine, mister Lucas, while you're at it why dont you replace Lando with will smith?
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Let us not forget one who has surrounded himself with toadies and yes-men.

One who is trying to erase the past and its memory.

One who has brainwashed the simpleminded into unquestioning servitude.

Lucas is a Sith.
"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." - Goering.

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." - Goebbels.

"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - Orwell.
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In Hollywood, IDEAS are a dime a dozen, and it's the EXECUTION of those ideas, by a director, screenwriter, actors, cinematographer, cameramen, etc. that is the important factor. Lucas writes like a 4-year old and the only reason we're even having this conversation is because somehow he swindled the rights away from the studios.

If Lucas did not own the rights to the OT, he'd be way, way, way down the pecking order in terms of importance, somewhere between the gaffer and best boy.
http://web.newsguy.com/theprofessional/ebay/sw_logo_s.jpg
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I've just come from Originaltrilogy.Com and I don't think I've seen a nastier, more malicious group of individuals. The people there are completly villifying GL and calling him little more than the conduit through which the idea of Star Wars flowed and was taken up by better qualified people. They basically believe that ANH turned out the way it did because of the intervention of others, and that TESB and ROTJ turned out the way they did because GL took a back seat on them. ONe individual even called him a "meddler" in his own films. The comments come on the heels of a very good question; Does GL take too much credit for the success of Star Wars? The way the question played out there the conensus is that GL does not acknowledge the participation of other and says that he is responsible for things that others haev done. Now, I have heard him say things like, "I put that shot in there" in regards to different things in the films, even the ones he did not direct. However I understand that, while the directors were responsible for th eday to day operations of the shoot, the movies were still guided by GL and nothing went in without his approval in the end, and most of the things were his ideas. It does not sound to me as if GL fails to give credit where credit is due, and I'm sure the laundry list of friends and associates he has maintained over the years can attest to that, but I'd love to hear what you all think.


ahhh fanboys....
you gotta love them!
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."
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lol Yeah...the evidence that he took too much credit is right in front of them, they just don't want to look at it. I understand how they can feel that way though...I had to see Episode I in the theatre nine times before I realized I didn't like it. By the time Episode II came out I knew something was up. For some fans it just hasn't hit home yet.
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Lucas showed a roughcut of Star Wars to his friends: Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck, John Milius, Matthew Robbins, Hal Barwood, and Time magazine film critic Jay Cocks. They were merciless and he made many a few wise changes thanks to their advice.
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All of this is pretty well documented, although good luck getting Lucas to step up and admit it.


this part is well documented in the Empire of dreams doco. Speilberg was the only one who liked it
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There was an excellent article online a while ago where they interviewed (i think it was) Irvin Kershner.
He basically explained how the beginning of the end came with Return of the Jedi, because that's when Lucas started getting too much control.

Does anybody know the article I mean, or have a link to it? It was extremely enlightening, and explained so much for those of us who wondered 'what went wrong with Star Wars'.

GPK.



www.mcqueenonline.com
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Do you have any idea where you saw it, or a rough guess at when it was published?
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I don't think it's a matter of Lucas taking too much credit but of him not taking enough blame.
"90% of the statistics used in quotes are made up."
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I think it's both...him not taking the blame is much more obvious. The reason I asked if anyone agrees with me that he took too much credit is because it's a little less noticable and requires looking into. It's also a much more serious accusation.
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Requires looking into?

Here's the deal, Lucas did not write, direct, film, edit, act, or partake in any of the other important creative position on ESB or ROTJ, and yet the madman continues to state he "created the original trilogy".

I personally think Lucas has gone totally senile and can't differentiate between OWN and CREATE.
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I agree. But do we have enough proof of this to use it against him, to get the attention of other directors? Lucas against the fans is one thing, but Lucas against other directors--that's something else.
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Originally posted by: D0CT0R_W40
Do you have any idea where you saw it, or a rough guess at when it was published?


On further thought, I now remember that it was on IGN.com. Also, it was with Gary Kurtz, not Kershner. Kurtz was the producer on the first 2 films, but left because he wasn't happy with what Lucas wanted to do with Jedi.

You have to pick through it (because Kurtz is talking about his personal career independant of SW as well), but there are some really juicy bits in there.

Heres the link, and I think it points out how *lucky* Lucas was to have talent around him for the first 2 films, and explains in part what happened to his creation when the talent started leaving or getting dropped from the production, and Lucas started totally controlling things:

http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/376/376873p1.html

I think this article clearly shows that the success of the original Star Wars went so much above and beyond Lucas's involvement.

GPK.



www.mcqueenonline.com
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Thanks!! This is the kind of thing I was looking for.

Let me know if you see any other articles/interviews that have the same effect.
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I agree , it's a fantastic interview, it would appear that Gary Kurtz was George's voice of reason, and probably the last person to ever say 'NO' to him.