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Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker - Discussion * SPOILER THREAD * — Page 118

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Darth Hade said:

pleasehello said:
Isn’t that what Rian Johnson tried to do? RJ may be the most “auteur” of any director to helm a Star Wars movie; he did something quite different and people hated it.

I think there is a fine line there. With Star Wars, you can take some chances.

But there is a big difference between that and going off the reservation.

Johnson went way off the reservation.

That’s a phrase with a lot of sad U.S. history behind it, and probably shouldn’t be so casually used in this context.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I’m simply arguing, that I don’t agree with the idea of the designation art being automatically attached to a movie like a toy in a box of cereal, simply because people put effort into it.

This is what I was trying to get at earlier. It’s more than enough to call something bad art. Loads of bad art exists. But there’s no real point in trying to disqualify bad art AS art simply because you don’t like it. That’s just being unfair and irrational. Manos: The Hands of Fate is a work of art. It’s a work of exceedingly, shockingly POOR art, but it’s an artistic expression. I understand the inclination to hyperbolically try and strip it of its legitimacy if you dislike it, i.e. every person who has ever looked at a Jackson Pollock and said “this isn’t art my 3 year old can do this hahaha” but that’s not how art (or the Force) works.

Art’s very definition isn’t like prizes at the bottom of a crackerjack box at all. And you don’t need to go so far as to attempt re-defining art (and the nature of artistic expression) simply because a movie didn’t work on you the way you’d hoped it would.

Further: The notion of “originality” being a key aspect of artistic validity is vastly overrated. Sure, it’s wonderful when it’s present, and I appreciate its presence quite a bit, especially when the execution is realizing the potential of the newness. But the definition of “art” isn’t reserved only for “new” things, and honestly, I’d go so far as to say “originality” as people try to describe it (i.e. “something nobody’s ever seen or tried before”) is not only limiting, but a hugely unrealistic expectation to hold over any work of art as a baseline. The large preponderance of art - not just film, or television, but book, painting, music, etc. is mostly unoriginal by those criteria - and that includes Star Wars, which is mostly pastiche of pre-existing art. You could argue the pastiche is “new” but even then I don’t think that argument holds, and the most strikingly “original” aspect of it was almost entirely technical in nature. The tech was advanced to serve the art - but the art itself wasn’t really “original.”

Nor does it need to be. It’s just another example of retroactively boxing in artistic expression in order to redefine other works in relation to it, and find those other works to be wanting. It’s not very generous, and isn’t doing any favors to art, or to the movies you love.

You don’t have to disqualify something from being art in order to dislike it. You can just dislike it. Intensely even. But it’s still art. Just bad art.

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Broom Kid said:

I’m simply arguing, that I don’t agree with the idea of the designation art being automatically attached to a movie like a toy in a box of cereal, simply because people put effort into it.

This is what I was trying to get at earlier. It’s more than enough to call something bad art. Loads of bad art exists. But there’s no real point in trying to disqualify bad art AS art simply because you don’t like it. That’s just being unfair and irrational. Manos: The Hands of Fate is a work of art. It’s a work of exceedingly, shockingly POOR art, but it’s an artistic expression. I understand the inclination to hyperbolically try and strip it of its legitimacy if you dislike it, i.e. every person who has ever looked at a Jackson Pollock and said “this isn’t art my 3 year old can do this hahaha” but that’s not how art (or the Force) works.

Art’s very definition isn’t like prizes at the bottom of a crackerjack box at all. And you don’t need to go so far as to attempt re-defining art (and the nature of artistic expression) simply because a movie didn’t work on you the way you’d hoped it would.

Yes, but here you make the mistake of assuming that my like or dislike for a movie has anything to do with it. It doesn’t. There are plenty of movies, that I like, that I don’t consider art, and there are plenty of movies I don’t like, that I would consider art. I just think just designating any form of expression as art, is deflating the term art. It puts some piece of fluff entertainment like a Transformers movie, a product clearly created to make a buck (not that there’s anything wrong with that) in the same league as a painting by Rembrandt.

Further: The notion of “originality” being a key aspect of artistic validity is vastly overrated. Sure, it’s wonderful when it’s present, and I appreciate its presence quite a bit, especially when the execution is realizing the potential of the newness. But the definition of “art” isn’t reserved only for “new” things, and honestly, I’d go so far as to say “originality” as people try to describe it (i.e. “something nobody’s ever seen or tried before”) is not only limiting, but a hugely unrealistic expectation to hold over any work of art as a baseline. The large preponderance of art - not just film, or television, but book, painting, music, etc. is mostly unoriginal by those criteria - and that includes Star Wars, which is mostly pastiche of pre-existing art. You could argue the pastiche is “new” but even then I don’t think that argument holds, and the most strikingly “original” aspect of it was almost entirely technical in nature. The tech was advanced to serve the art - but the art itself wasn’t really “original.”

Nor does it need to be. It’s just another example of retroactively boxing in artistic expression in order to redefine other works in relation to it, and find those other works to be wanting. It’s not very generous, and isn’t doing any favors to art, or to the movies you love.

You don’t have to disqualify something from being art in order to dislike it. You can just dislike it. Intensely even. But it’s still art. Just bad art.

I think the entire concept of artistic expression as you define it is meaningless, because by that definition any form of expression is art, hence nothing is art. It’s like those schools, where a student can’t fail, and everyone gets a passing grade. Anyone calls themselves an artist these days, effectively putting themselves in the leagues of a Mozart, Beethoven, Leonardo DaVinci, Stanley Kubrick, Oscar Wilde, etc, etc. It’s preposterous in my view. Making a painting doesn’t automatically make you an artist in my book, just like being able to count to ten doesn’t make you a Math Professor.

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DrDre said:

I think the entire concept of artistic expression as you define it is meaningless, because by that definition any form of expression is art, hence nothing is art. It’s like those schools, where a student can’t fail, and everyone gets a passing grade. Anyone calls themselves an artist these days, effectively putting themselves in the leagues of a Mozart, Beethoven, Leonardo DaVinci, Stanley Kubrick, Oscar Wilde, etc, etc. It’s preposterous in my view. Making a painting doesn’t automatically make you an artist in my book, just like being able to count to ten doesn’t make you a Math Professor.

Don’t know what else to say. The question isn’t Art or Not Art. it’s Good Art or Bad Art.

Beethoven and The Prodigy are both musical artists. Daniel Johnston and Mozart. The Chainsmokers and Vivaldi. Skrillex and Johnny Cash. The entire concept of artistic expression as I defined it is how it’s defined. That doesn’t make it meaningless. Art has meaning, even the crappiest art. And that’s where your argument about it being like a “crappy school where nobody can fail” falls apart, because being Crappy Art is BAD. Yes, you tried to express yourself via artistic intent, and you did it terribly. That’s not a good thing. You made bad art and it reflects poorly on you. “Being an artist” doesn’t shield you from having made crappy art. It didn’t protect Mapplethorpe. Or John Waters.

That’s honestly enough. Trying to levy the charge that The Force Awakens isn’t really art AT ALL just doesn’t make any sense, and is a pretty huge overreaction, as is the decision to try and disqualify its status AS art in response. It’s obviously art. It’s okay if you don’t like it and think that it’s bad. You don’t have to go as far as you do. It’s a massively unneccessary step to take in order to make the criticisms you’re making.

The idea that Transformers and Rembrandt have to occupy the same rarified air doesn’t really make any sense. I don’t know why you’d do that. That’s a restriction you’re placing on art’s possibilities, not an actual artistic restriction. Star Wars and Tartovsky’s Solaris probably shouldn’t be on the same shelf either. The Statue of Liberty and Mad Max Fury Road don’t really go together. They’re both legitimate forms of artistic expression, though. Low art is still art. And people can make bad low art, but that doesn’t mean it’s not art. There’s no point in trying to disqualify it as art before you criticize it. You can just criticize it for what it is: Bad art.

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Broom Kid said:

DrDre said:

I think the entire concept of artistic expression as you define it is meaningless, because by that definition any form of expression is art, hence nothing is art. It’s like those schools, where a student can’t fail, and everyone gets a passing grade. Anyone calls themselves an artist these days, effectively putting themselves in the leagues of a Mozart, Beethoven, Leonardo DaVinci, Stanley Kubrick, Oscar Wilde, etc, etc. It’s preposterous in my view. Making a painting doesn’t automatically make you an artist in my book, just like being able to count to ten doesn’t make you a Math Professor.

Don’t know what else to say. The question isn’t Art or Not Art. it’s Good Art or Bad Art.

Beethoven and The Prodigy are both musical artists. Daniel Johnston and Mozart. The Chainsmokers and Vivaldi. Skrillex and Johnny Cash. The entire concept of artistic expression as I defined it is how it’s defined. That doesn’t make it meaningless. Art has meaning, even the crappiest art. And that’s where your argument about it being like a “crappy school where nobody can fail” falls apart, because being Crappy Art is BAD. Yes, you tried to express yourself via artistic intent, and you did it terribly. That’s not a good thing. You made bad art and it reflects poorly on you. “Being an artist” doesn’t shield you from having made crappy art. It didn’t protect Mapplethorpe. Or John Waters.

That’s honestly enough. Trying to levy the charge that The Force Awakens isn’t really art AT ALL just doesn’t make any sense, and is a pretty huge overreaction, as is the decision to try and disqualify its status AS art in response. It’s obviously art. It’s okay if you don’t like it and think that it’s bad. You don’t have to go as far as you do. It’s unneccessary to make the criticisms you’re making.

Exactly. The problem with trying to disqualify something as art is that there’s no clear definition. If you were to separate things into proper art and not art then logically there’d be works that straddle that line. But how would you decide when it crosses over that line into either art or not art? It’s too vague and subjective. Quality obviously has similar issues, but then you can start making clearer arguments, like the difference between the quality of the craftmanship and originality between, f.ex. a Pollock and a Dahli painting. Or the difference in originality between ANH and TFA.

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Broom Kid said:

DrDre said:

I think the entire concept of artistic expression as you define it is meaningless, because by that definition any form of expression is art, hence nothing is art. It’s like those schools, where a student can’t fail, and everyone gets a passing grade. Anyone calls themselves an artist these days, effectively putting themselves in the leagues of a Mozart, Beethoven, Leonardo DaVinci, Stanley Kubrick, Oscar Wilde, etc, etc. It’s preposterous in my view. Making a painting doesn’t automatically make you an artist in my book, just like being able to count to ten doesn’t make you a Math Professor.

Don’t know what else to say. The question isn’t Art or Not Art. it’s Good Art or Bad Art.

This is where your argument falls apart in my view, as good or bad has very little to do with it. Good or bad is in the eye of the beholder.

Beethoven and The Prodigy are both musical artists. Daniel Johnston and Mozart. The Chainsmokers and Vivaldi. Skrillex and Johnny Cash. The entire concept of artistic expression as I defined it is how it’s defined. That doesn’t make it meaningless. Art has meaning, even the crappiest art.

The viewpoints on art have changed drastically over time, and even now there are many schools of thought, and so it’s definition isn’t as clear cut as you suggest, which is why we’re having this discussion.

And that’s where your argument about it being like a “crappy school where nobody can fail” falls apart, because being Crappy Art is BAD. Yes, you tried to express yourself via artistic intent, and you did it terribly. That’s not a good thing. You made bad art and it reflects poorly on you. “Being an artist” doesn’t shield you from having made crappy art. It didn’t protect Mapplethorpe. Or John Waters.

Again, what does good, or bad have to do with it? It’s about the definition of art, which in my view relates to a timeless quality, and influence that can only be evaluated over time. In my view a painting is just a painting, and only becomes Art when it is placed in the context of the time it was created.

That’s honestly enough. Trying to levy the charge that The Force Awakens isn’t really art AT ALL just doesn’t make any sense, and is a pretty huge overreaction, as is the decision to try and disqualify its status AS art in response. It’s obviously art. It’s okay if you don’t like it and think that it’s bad. You don’t have to go as far as you do. It’s unneccessary to make the criticisms you’re making.

Why not? I don’t even dislike TFA, but in my view TFA is a product created with the intent to cash in on the popularity of Star Wars. It’s a movie created by committee, where the movie wasn’t based on someone’s creative vision, but deliberately tailored to put bums into seats through the power of nostalgia by emulating someone else’s artistic expression.

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Dropping the really broad terms might be for the best, the larger almost philosophical level of discourse to be had about what defines art or an artist may be worth having as its own conversation, but far off the beaten path from the initial point. We need words that we can all agree on their definition, there’s so many splinters where we will inherently feel differently, about death of the author, auteur theory, “movies” vs “films”, etc. Sincerely I have softened my own view a little, I really don’t like being the bully and though Disney is a powerhouse empire themselves which often makes it feel like punching up, I don’t think it’s entirely fair to hold the new movies themselves to the impossible standards that is recapturing the lightning in a bottle that was the OT. That said, fans like myself comparatively do feel the invisible hands of corporate takeover muddying the waters, remember Disney had that whole thing about not wanting to see limbs getting chopped off, as well as the underlying sense the new property holders would much rather rest on their laurels and print what they knew worked when they bought it than truly expand into more original material, such as decades ago when the original founding studio heads like Jack Warner retired and sold their companies to Coca-Cola and so on. Course that’s a rock and a hard place, as Dave Chapelle put it, “where art meets corporate interests…” but I think both ends here have a biased starting premise: either that the new films cannot and never could have been truly authentic within the context of their creation (center cannot hold), OR that the means and ideas are inconsequential so long as the execution remains high. Both can be true, from a certain point of view.

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Broom Kid said:

Star Wars and Tartovsky’s Solaris probably shouldn’t be on the same shelf either.

At my house, Star Wars and Tarkovsky’s Solaris are literally on the same shelf.

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Gotta love Mike Zeroh. Sometimes he is full of it. He is claiming the George himself is helping do the final edits to the end of the film. I never take Zeroh at face value, but I do hope this is the case. The ending will be much better if George does it.

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Mike Zeroh is always full of it. He’s one of the most notorious YouTube grifters there is. There is no benefit to giving him clicks and helping his monetization.

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Mike Zeroh’s name is quite fitting. Why do people keep watching his videos?

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM

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pleasehello said:

At my house, Star Wars and Tarkovsky’s Solaris are literally on the same shelf.

Please add 2001 to the list. All 3 are top movies.

There’s a quote by Tarkovsky somewhere where he mentions having enjoyed Terminator 😉

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I don’t understand how George Lucas is getting all the breaks now for his “originality” while Rian Johnson is hated for doing exactly what haters of TFA asked.

This is what RJ possibly “ruined” about Star Wars:

  • Luke’s ultimate fate is sit around moaning about his failure before he returns to form and sacrifices himself.
  • You can now hyperspace attack.
  • Animal cruelty exists in Star Wars.

Compared to the PT:

  • Anakin wasn’t a brave warrior, he was a creep.
  • The Jedi were idiots.
  • Padmé died of a broken heart.
  • Stormtroopers are clones of Boba Fett’s father.
  • There’s a ton of weird names.
  • It’s potentially racist (likely accidental).
  • The Jedi Purge happened in a day.
  • Anakin built C-3PO and knew R2.
  • Anakin knew about Uncle Owen but never checked up on him.

Yes, TLJ is way worse than the PT! /s I can see the argument TFA is the worst one, although I beg to differ, but I don’t understand how RJ gets SW worse than GL.

Maul- A Star Wars Story

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OutboundFlight said:

I don’t understand how George Lucas is getting all the breaks now for his “originality” while Rian Johnson is hated for doing exactly what haters of TFA asked.

This is what RJ possibly “ruined” about Star Wars:

  • Luke’s ultimate fate is sit around moaning about his failure before he returns to form and sacrifices himself.
  • You can now hyperspace attack.
  • Animal cruelty exists in Star Wars.

Compared to the PT:

  • Anakin wasn’t a brave warrior, he was a creep.
  • The Jedi were idiots.
  • Padmé died of a broken heart.
  • Stormtroopers are clones of Boba Fett’s father.
  • There’s a ton of weird names.
  • It’s potentially racist (likely accidental).
  • The Jedi Purge happened in a day.
  • Anakin built C-3PO and knew R2.
  • Anakin knew about Uncle Owen but never checked up on him.

Yes, TLJ is way worse than the PT! /s I can see the argument TFA is the worst one, although I beg to differ, but I don’t understand how RJ gets SW worse than GL.

George Lucas has definitely been getting a rose-tinted-glasses treatment lately. Undeservedly so, in my opinion. Credit for creating and directing the original Star Wars, but beyond that his work really hasn’t been very good. Just think how boring the Empire Strikes Back would have been if it were written and directed by George Lucas.

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Originality is vastly overrated as a key aspect of artistic strength. “Yeah, but it’s new” doesn’t carry a lot of weight when what’s new isn’t made well.

However - Lucas DID basically whip up Empire Strikes Back’s story/structure more or less all by himself once Brackett was gone. Kasdan contributed heavily, yes, but by the time he came on the bones of the thing were firmly in place. But on the other hand: The most famous twist of all time, probably, and the one that basically doomed Star Wars to forever be taken way more seriously than it ever really needed to, and trained its biggest fans to expect twists and turns and huge surprises in every chapter despite the fact it’s ALWAYS been a straightforward fairy-tale other than THAT ONE TIME… that twist was basically pulled out of his backside at the last second before shooting started. It wasn’t a deeply considered, thought-out idea. It was just a hand grenade tossed at the end of the story to create one hell of a cliffhanger for the next chapter.

It was also not really the newest of ideas, either. In fact it was, even by 1978, a pretty obvious staple of soap operas and pulp fiction.

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Broom Kid said:

However - Lucas DID basically whip up Empire Strikes Back’s story/structure more or less all by himself once Brackett was gone. Kasdan contributed heavily, yes, but by the time he came on the bones of the thing were firmly in place. But on the other hand: The most famous twist of all time, probably, and the one that basically doomed Star Wars to forever be taken way more seriously than it ever really needed to, and trained its biggest fans to expect twists and turns and huge surprises in every chapter despite the fact it’s ALWAYS been a straightforward fairy-tale other than THAT ONE TIME… that twist was basically pulled out of his backside at the last second before shooting started. It wasn’t a deeply considered, thought-out idea. It was just a hand grenade tossed at the end of the story to create one hell of a cliffhanger for the next chapter.

Right, I think Lucas is a pretty good “big picture” guy, but when it comes to screenwriting and directing most of his work comes off sooooo flat. That’s why Star Wars 1977 is so perplexing. It’s the exception to the rule. It’s funny and emotional and when you watch it you think, “this guy wrote and directed the prequels?”

One of the biggest problems with the ST is that there was no “big picture” going into it. And it’s definitely been a detriment to the series. No matter how much you like TFA and TLJ as individual films (I think they work pretty well separately), there is very little narrative continuity between the two. And the way TLJ ended, there’s unlikely to be much narrative continuity with Episode IX either. The ST desperately needed a “big picture”, but I’m not so sure George Lucas would have been the right man to do it.

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I disagree in that “big picture” isn’t really a necessary ingredient. the OT didn’t really have one, either - part of the reason Lucas could blow up Empire the way he did is because he didn’t have any real big picture. He just made something up and stuck it at the end of his script and then had to try and figure out how that was going to work in Jedi. And then how he ended up having it work was ALSO something that didn’t have any big picture planning behind it. Same with the Prequels: The only real “big picture” was the status quo at the beginning of Star Wars. But the way he got to that status quo had no solid throughline at all, and that’s because he just made each story up as he went. Even the parts that he’d been telling us about for decades by that point weren’t the same when he finally got around to writing them.

Of course, those are semi-negative examples that sort of prove that a “big picture” might actually be necessary, but there are countless other examples of movies, film series, tv shows, books, etc. whose greatness is unquestioned, but whose creative paths were absolutely not mapped, or pre-ordained when they began. In fact MOST great stuff we all like and have copies of on our shelves wasn’t created that way. The idea of the “Big Picture” being a necessary element is mostly a myth, and it’s mostly a new one, created in response to TV fans reacting poorly to LOST and Battlestar Galactica. It’s less an actual recipe for making great art, and more like a security blanket for consumers so they can feel good about investing all their time and energy into following along with a story and feeling like they won’t be disappointed at the end. Since almost everything that causes someone to BECOME a fan was created without any serious “big picture” in place before it was started, the idea that the “big picture” is a thing that’s desperately needed doesn’t make any sense, unless you’re solely looking at it as an insurance policy.

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pleasehello said:

OutboundFlight said:

I don’t understand how George Lucas is getting all the breaks now for his “originality” while Rian Johnson is hated for doing exactly what haters of TFA asked.

This is what RJ possibly “ruined” about Star Wars:

  • Luke’s ultimate fate is sit around moaning about his failure before he returns to form and sacrifices himself.
  • You can now hyperspace attack.
  • Animal cruelty exists in Star Wars.

Compared to the PT:

  • Anakin wasn’t a brave warrior, he was a creep.
  • The Jedi were idiots.
  • Padmé died of a broken heart.
  • Stormtroopers are clones of Boba Fett’s father.
  • There’s a ton of weird names.
  • It’s potentially racist (likely accidental).
  • The Jedi Purge happened in a day.
  • Anakin built C-3PO and knew R2.
  • Anakin knew about Uncle Owen but never checked up on him.

Yes, TLJ is way worse than the PT! /s I can see the argument TFA is the worst one, although I beg to differ, but I don’t understand how RJ gets SW worse than GL.

George Lucas has definitely been getting a rose-tinted-glasses treatment lately. Undeservedly so, in my opinion. Credit for creating and directing the original Star Wars, but beyond that his work really hasn’t been very good. Just think how boring the Empire Strikes Back would have been if it were written and directed by George Lucas.

Here is the problem with that line of thinking. The Lucas that created the OT, the Indiana Jones trilogy, amongst other things, is not the same guy who created the PT many years later. People change. That doesn’t invalidate their past achievements. Just look at the 4th Indy film. That was directed by Spielberg, but despite this fact, wasn’t able to recapture the magic of the past. Does this make Spielberg a hack, or should the quality of his past work be credited to his collaborators? Should we list all the boring self-important songs written by once great aging song writers, who in their prime wrote the soundtracks of our youth, and past generations? Lucas deserves all the credit for the classics he created along with the collaborators he chose to work with. He was and is one of the great visionary filmmakers of the 20th century, and even his less than stellar prequels have been influencial on a purely technical level. As fun and engaging as the Disney era may be to many, we should not forget, that the current creators do not develop these films and series from whole cloth. As irked as some may still be about Lucas and his PT & SE the current creators have only grown so tall by standing on the shoulders of giants.

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I don’t know how you can give Lucas all the credit while also giving his collaborators all the credit, unless you’re going to suggest that all his collaborators credit actually belongs to him because he’s the one who chose to collaborate with them?

Historically, you can see Lucas’ abilities as a creator start to fade pretty fast around 1982, when his life started entering into serious upheaval, and his focus turned more to being a CEO than to a creative. It’s why Jedi (and Temple of Doom) seem as compromised as they are, and why the other films with his name attached to them (save for Willow - which didn’t really work) at that point had minimal (if any) involvement from him (Last Crusade, Labyrinth, Howard the Duck, Tucker, etc.)

Part of the reason the Prequels didn’t go the way he wanted them to is because he didn’t really want to write or direct them, and his headspace was completely shifted. He was trying to reverse-engineer a story from a set point, and tried aiming it at children/families without having spent too much time in that world, if any, in the intervening 15 years. Which is probably why we wound up watching a kids movie about bureaucratic malfeasance in 1999. It’s the perfect example of his two halves just smashing together and not really mixing.

THX 1138 was (and still is) a misunderstood satire of capitalism
American Graffiti was autobiography
Star Wars was nostalgia pastiche.

Those are his three. He executed those three ideas brilliantly, and the uniqueness of his voice rang out as strong as it could, and that voice has been echoing ever since. But he had one hell of a backing band behind him, too, and not everybody gets to be a belter for all their life. Or even most of it. Sometimes you shine as bright as you can for a short period of time, and no matter how talented or gifted you are, that’s all you get on your own, and you’d better learn to work with, rely on, and fit in with others if you hope to carry on that path. There’s nothing wrong with that, or with acknowledging that, either. I think it’s fair to say he did that.

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You can look at that track record for yourself, really. The two don’t blend particularly well. Or at least they didn’t in his case. But he definitely made sure to implement technological changes in the making of movies that other creatives definitely put to good use, and that’s a very good thing.