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George Lucas jealous of Irvin Kirshner's Star Wars?

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Watching the lost behind the scenes video in the preservation forum, I couldn't help but notice there's a much bigger emphasis on Irvin Kershner- it seems almost like it's his movie. There's a lot of footage of him talking to each of the actors and doing everything himself. He obviously knew exactly what he was doing.

Link

And this....

Washington, D.C.: With all of the questions about Lucas's own lack of directing talent in comparison to the many areas in which he is quite talented, I was curious about your impression of how genuine directors feel about working with him. We all know that Lucas and Spielberg are (publicly at least) very good friends. What about others who have worked on movies that Lucas played a large creative/production role in? Kershner is the most obvious example, but not the only one.

Dale Pollock: Both Kershner and Marquand resented Lucas' interference with their methods, and Lucas resented their resentment. Kershner still feels he directed the best STAR WARS film with EMPIRE, and personally, I agree with him. I also think very few established directors would have wanted to direct EPSIDOES I, II or III, given Lucas' reputation for creative control of this franchise.

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New York, N.Y.: Hello. Same NYC poster as before, just wanted to ask a followup:

How/when did Lucas come to believe that Kershner ruined Empire? I ask because (1) a lot of people (me included) believe it's the best one, and (2) even after that, he still had someone else direct Jedi. (Thanks for taking questions, by the way. Very interesting chat!)

Dale Pollock: Glad you're enjoying this chat. Kershner said he would never work with Lucas again after his EMPIRE experience, and I think Lucas felt the same way. He felt Kershner went too emotional in EMPIRE, and put too much emphasis on Vader's struggle, and not enough on Luke's. It just wasn't the movie he would have made (I think many of us are glad he didn't make it!)






Is Lucas perhaps jealous that Kershner made a better film? Do we know anything else about this?

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From what I have understood, Lucas never intended to "hand over" the entire project and after flops like 'The Holiday Special,' you can't entirely blame him.

Lucas has a vision, and his purpose in making the films was to put that vision on film. Empire, although the original story is written by him, I have heard is not his favourite.

My impression is that he is not jealous, but rather, he simply doesn't like the film because it doesn't come close enough to his vision.

I recently watched all 6 films in order (1-6, not 4-6, 1-3) and I found that there was a definite sound... a definite look/feel/tone to his films.

Empire, however, stuck out from the rest.

For one, the characters established in ANH are expanded upon, but it is done so in such a way that it almost mocks the characters.

Han and Chewie's relationship and the Falcon never working the entire film. Yes it's called a bucket of bolts in ANH, but it works. It's been taken care of. In Empire, it seems like they've let it go and it's almost a lost cause.

Irvin Kershner has said before that he wanted to do a film that had humor in it. Look at all the other star wars, and humor is appropriate.... but that George said he couldn't really have any slap stick humor, which isn't appropriate.

So instead, we get situational comedy and inter-personal comedy... neither of which were really appropriate to the extent we see them....

Most of 3P0's lines were adlibbed and yes, almost all of them were perfect for the film and did show his character, but I think that they took a bit too much creativity in it and I think that's what George didn't like.

Also, to exemplify the amount that the writers didn't quite get the characters, one need but look at one of the most famous lines in the film.

Leia: "I love you."

Han: "I know."

In the original script, he says "I love You," but as Harrison Ford so keenly points out, Han would NEVER say that...

And if someone who scripted/wrote the film is neive enough to think that Han would say that, then they truly don't understand the character...


Then listen to the score. To many fans, Empire is their favourite star wars score and I have to say, it is a GREAT score... But it feels entirely different. The fact that almost the entire film is scored, and the music that is unused, if you put it back in the film and compare it, you can see how Williams really felt about the film and where his mind was and it's not very "star wars"-ey.

Great score, but in a lot of cases, it is a different feel than a normal star wars film.


I mean, the falcon was written in the original story to not work. But when something doesn't work, there is more than one way to do it.


Han: Ok, chewie hit it!

The hyperdrive whirls up then powers down::

Chewie: Roar!

Han: Quick Chewie, check the (insert techno-babble here). Princess, keep an eye on this guage.

Leia: What? I don't know anything about--

Han: Well, your highness, want to be captured by the Empire? You forgot how fun it was last time. ... Watch the gauge.

Instead we get:


Han: Ok, Chewie hit it.

::engine whirls up and powers down::

::Leia looks at Chewie, then they booth look at Han::


They do the same thing, but one is more strict and tense, while the other is comical and to an extent, inappropriate. They are being chased by Imperial Star Cruisers after all.

These are just my opinion. When I watched all the films, it stuck out the most in my mind as being the most different of all the films. It is a lot of people's favorites and I can see why. It does a lot and has a great story to tell... but I personally think that's why George was displeased with it.


Is it not sad that in this time, we are more surprised by acts of love than acts of hate?
-Me

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Actually, Lucas did hand over the film to Kershner. He wanted someone else to have their take on the story and have it be their own. "Its Kershner's film" was the phrase he said over and over. Lucas was going to be hands off and it was--and is--Kershner's film. But something happened--Lucas basically changed his mind. I think that as Lucas saw someone else playing with his world and deviating from what Lucas himself would have done he couldn't help but begin to interfere. But Kershner wouldn't let him and Lucas had made a promise that Kershner would have creative control. Thats why when he went to make ROTJ the circumstances he set up were much different--it was Lucas' film from the beginning and Marquand was just a hired hand. But that was not his philosophy in 1978 when he began prepping ESB.

And I personally think Kershner did direct the best one, in terms of drama and characters. The humor I don't think is inappropriate at all--its character humor. Lucas would go for jokes or slapstick but Kasdan and Kershner are more into humor that comes from characters and their relationships. One of the best examples is 3P0 telling Han he'll have to replace a part, Han yelling at him to shut up, and then quietly relaying the same information to Chewie. Its not a joke but its funny, and it comes from the eccentricities and personalities of the characters.

FYI the malfunctioning hyperdrive was something Lucas added himself. Aside from "I am your father" and Han-frozen-in-carbonite, one of the main tonal changes Lucas made from Brackett's first draft was humor and slapstick, namely the ongoing gag of the hyperdrive breaking and 3P0 never quite put back together. Kasdan and Kershner made this centered around the characters of course through the way everyone reacts-- ie "would it help if i got out and pushed?" "it might!". Kasdan and Kershner's humor is more subtle and based on character dynamics, while Lucas' is more gag and slapstick based.

I don't think Kershner and Lucas hated each other--the animosity between them post-release is way overblown--but at the time of course there was massive tension. Kershner was justified in some sense because his ideas were usually bettter--and ultimately the ones that ended up in the film--but Lucas' hostility was also justified in that Kershner went way over budget and schedule. And thank god he did. If Lucas had his way the film would have half the budget, would have an erratic pace of only 100 minutes and would jetison most of the wonderful character moments and supulchral tone that the film is defined by. Seriously, that was how Lucas wanted the film to be made but Kershner and Kasdan wouldn't let him and Kurtz let them both get away with it.

I don't think he is jealous--in fact, all indication is that he considers it a lesser movie because its not the way he would have done it. I also don't think he's that resentful, and neither is Kershner--true, Kershner didn't want to work with Lucas again and Lucas didn't want to work with Kershner again (Kershner said he wouldnt direct ROTJ and Lucas never asked him) but at the end of the day they made amends and Kershner even visited Lucas on the set of ROTJ. I think there is still a bit of unspoken tension but I don't think its as scandalous as some people make it.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Good Musician, ESB does stick out like a sore thumb among the 6 films now, and sadly I have to say that Lucas abandoned the tone of ESB for ROTJ, TPM, AOTC, and ROTS.

This isn't about the movie being dark, nor the bad guys winning as many point out who are fans of ROTS too. It is a point that ESB took ANH to another level, and made it an adult scifi movie that doesnt' talk down to the viewer. Look at the whole cave sequence, nothing is explained, that is the power of a great movie, when the scene speaks for itself, and you don't have Yoda explaining why Luke failed at the cave to the viewer, you just have Yoda saying, "Remember your failure at the cave...." When you first watch the cave sequence and Vader comes out of nowhere, yet the scene is moving in slow motion, you are like WTF? You are challenged as a movie goer, and that to me is the reason I love movies, as I don't want everything spoonfed to me.

ESB made the least amount of money of the OT movies, and I honestly think Lucas abandoned the adult tone and went back to the cheesy-serial tone to caters to kiddies because he thought he could get a wider audience, and he did as ROTJ took in 52 million more dollars then ESB back in 1983. To prove my point earlier, I hated ESB as a kid, and loved ROTJ back in the 80's, and Lucas knew that kids = action figures = ??????

I often wonder what SW would have been had Lucas kept the tone of ESB into ROTJ, and even if he ever did the PT movies, as they would have catered more towards teenagers/adults that kids could latch onto, not viceversa like ROTJ & the PT movies. ANH is a different animal because it is a standalone movie that doesn't flesh out the characters, has a beginning, middle, and ending, and it is true to its roots so being part of the saga was not what it was suppose to do, so in that respect, the movie works just as well as ESB, as those 2 are still my two favorite movies of all-time.

If you watch the movies 1-6 now, you have 2 solid adult movies in Episode IV & V, and 4 entertaining popcorn movies in I, II, III, and VI, and that is why you have so much strife among the SW community, it is so obvious they are two different tonalities of movies, and when it was just SW, ESB, and ROTJ, many 'put' up with ROTJ cause it was the ending of the OT and that is the way it was, but now the PT just continued the cheesiness of ROTJ, instead of the hard-hitting drama of ESB.
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Empire doesn't stick out from the other five. The other five fail to live up to Empire (although some come close). You see, I'm not a Star Wars fan. I'm an Empire fan. Everything else in the Star Wars universe, film or EU, I look at through the lens of Empire.

As for the Falcon, it was busted up in Empire to physically represent the sacrifices that Han had made in the years since he hooked up with the Rebellion. His fortunes had clearly fallen since the end of ANH, thus the Falcon is in a poor state of repair. Chewie starts to repair the Falcon just as Han resolves to finally leave and go pay off his debt. But the Empire attacks, interrupting Han's independent plan and Chewie's repair efforts. Likewise, the Falcon's flight is always interrupted by something. If the Falcon were in perfect working order, it would subtly clash with the disorder of Han's life. And people would wonder why a smuggler with a perfectly good starship hadn't used it to pay his bills.

Even in its disordered state, the Falcon was a formidable prey for Death Squadron. Just like Han, the morally disordered "scoundrel," was a formidable ally for the Rebels.
"It's the stoned movie you don't have to be stoned for." -- Tom Shales on Star Wars
Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived.
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well, I do have to say this:

The films were made for kids... they were made with them in mind... purposefully...

We just happen to see in the films what we wish to see in the films...

If I may be so bold, to look at the films through the lens of "Empire" is... well... nearsighted...

I can understand loving Empire... I can even understanding wanting to up the others to its level... but by looking at the other films through that sort of stigma, you will loose a great deal of wealth and depth available within the films.

I didn't present the falcon here as a possible argument. As I clearly stated, there are ways of going about showing or explaining the falcons problems. Neither of which were done very effectively.

We aren't explained why the Falcon is in such disrepair. I mean, if they had enough time to build up the echo base in ice, they had enough time to fix the falcon.

Maybe they just came back from a great battle? Don't know... doesn't say in the opening scroll or something...

Maybe they just haven't had time because they've been running... That is alluded to, but the state of disrepair the falcon is in in Empire, I doubt they would have escaped many battles.

We go from seeing how great the falcon is in A New Hope, to seeing it not working at all in Empire, to saving it saving the day in Jedi... it's a strange arc...

But as I stated, there are ways to show it not working without "mocking" it ... which they do, perhaps with subtley.

Han solo is this strong Rebellious character in ANH, but in Empire, he's gone soft... seems unintelligent and unsure how to deal with his own ship... which is strange seeing how in ANH he makes it seem like he knows the ship in and our... like the back of his hand...

That's my point.


Is it not sad that in this time, we are more surprised by acts of love than acts of hate?
-Me

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I see it as the opposite--in ANH the Falcon is a bucket of bolts but in ESB its this graceful acrobat of the sky that can do things no other ship can. The thing about the Falcon is that it is a bucket of bolts. Thats how Solo conned Luke and Kenobi in ANH--"oh youve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? Its famous!" But then when they finally see what they expect to be a suped up racer they see this old transport truck sitting in a garage and Luke says "What a piece of junk!" Thats the joke. It's a piece of junk. But as Han says, its got it where it counts--it can do the jump to lightspeed and Han is a clever and wiley fellow. If you look at it in ANH it doesn't move impressively, it just chugs along like a truck, and it even backs out of the Death Star hanger like one (its not hard to imagine beeping sounds as it reverses). But in ESB its this amazing thing that can do acrobatics and really is an impressive ship. But thats sort of a retcon of ANH. Its just a transport freighter. It doesn't work all the time, it looks like its literally falling apart, and its probably really old and outdated but its kept around because Han's made a lot of special modifications and updates.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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It's a mistake to look at SW with today's compulsive, anal desire for all movies in a series to be consistent with each other above all other things. Empire, like Aliens , Wrath of Khan and Godfather 2, is different because sequels SHOULD be different, otherwise what's the point? Even Return of the Jedi forces ALL the characters to end up in a different place from where they started, and aims for a new tone that mixes the heavy (Empire) and the light (Star Wars). I don't even care that it didn't totally work. I'll take that any day over something like entire decades of James Bond and Star Trek, two series that amounted to a continuous circle jerk. In other words, that mix of Lucas/Kershner/Kasdan/Marquand is one of my favorite things about the OT.
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Originally posted by: GoodMusician
well, I do have to say this:

The films were made for kids... they were made with them in mind... purposefully...

We just happen to see in the films what we wish to see in the films...

If I may be so bold, to look at the films through the lens of "Empire" is... well... nearsighted...

I can understand loving Empire... I can even understanding wanting to up the others to its level... but by looking at the other films through that sort of stigma, you will loose a great deal of wealth and depth available within the films.

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The films were not made for kids, they were made for teenagers, and that is a huge difference. SW in 1976 was being advertised heavily at Comic-Con, which is where all the teenage and adult Sci-Fi geeks were all at, and could be targeted.

Lucas had no idea 5 year old kids like myself would love SW in 1977, or else there would have been action figures ready that Christmas. The big fallacy is that SW was made for kids, and that just isn't true. After Lucas realized there were a whole market of kids under the age of 10 who will see the movie AND buy the action figures, halloween costumes, etc, he realized that he couldn't go after the niche comic-con geeks anymore, he had to broaden the movie.

That is why ROTJ, and in someways the PT movies seem to hit every age group. You go from the cute, cuddly Ewoks in one scene, to the Luke/Emperor/Vader scene which is are way different in who they are maketed to. In TPM, you have Jar Jar Binks frolicking around the whole movie, yet you have a large part of the movie on Coruscant that deals with the Politics of the Galaxy which is more like watching C-Span.

Lucas just gave into what is going on in movies today: The dumbing down of these types of movies to get a wider audience, and it works. Look at all the summer blockbusters: Transformers, Pirates 3, Spiderman 3, all entertaining movies, but none will be remembered 20 years from now as compared to a SW movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Jaws, and the reason is those movie did not try to cater to kids, kids like myself latched on because they were more adult, and even though I probably didn't understand alot of stuff in the movie, it was cool to feel older for 2 hours, now it is the opposite.
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Anyone willing to stand up to Lucas is alright by me. Personally, if Lucas feel that way, he's perfectly entitled to, but beyond the changes he's made for the SE, I really don't think that there's much he can do about it.


HEY! HEY! Watch what you say about Star Trek and Bond. Both franchises have had their share of good stuff.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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I can understand loving Empire... I can even understanding wanting to up the others to its level... but by looking at the other films through that sort of stigma, you will loose a great deal of wealth and depth available within the films.


Respectfully, no, I will not. When I approach Star Wars as escapist entertainment, I can enjoy it any way I want, and that does not diminish my ability to perceive depth even in something I enjoy less. I could view Star Wars entirely through the lens of "Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina" and it would not occlude any facet of the Star Wars films. It would simply be my preferred mode of escaping into fantasy.

I'm a big fan of world-creating fiction. I know ANH established the SW universe, but ESB consolidated it and made it real. That's why it became, inevitably and irrevocably, my lens into the SW universe. The stories set in the Star Wars universe are told in various modes--Dark Empire is dystopian science fantasy, the Thrawn Trilogy is almost hard sci-fi, the Holiday Special is kitschy entertainment--but to me, Empire is the real Star Wars universe. The other stories are no less valid, but they don't satisfy my preference for reality in created worlds.

When approaching Star Wars as art, I like to think I practice connoisseurship, no matter how amateur it may be. And as a connoisseur, I feel that Empire is the best of the films, and the others succeed where they most resemble Empire. I think this is true in pretty much every respect; whether it's direction, dialogue, plot, music, set design, miniature work, costuming, sound effects, or poster art. I did not arrive at this opinion capriciously, but by plumbing the depths of the other films.

So my use of Empire as a lens to view the saga is both the result of unconscious and conscious factors. It is the "kind" of story I like, and it also compares favorably to the rest of the saga on technical grounds. In the latter case, I am not deprived of the "wealth and depth" of the rest of the saga; I could not have made my conscious choice for Empire unless I had already explored the rest of the saga.
"It's the stoned movie you don't have to be stoned for." -- Tom Shales on Star Wars
Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived.
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Originally posted by: CO

To prove my point earlier, I hated ESB as a kid, and loved ROTJ back in the 80's.

That was my opinion on it exactly until I was, say, 10. So yes, to a certain extent CO, you are correct.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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Originally posted by: bkev
Originally posted by: CO

To prove my point earlier, I hated ESB as a kid, and loved ROTJ back in the 80's.

That was my opinion on it exactly until I was, say, 10. So yes, to a certain extent CO, you are correct.


Yeah, as a kid I didn't appreciate ESB as much as I do now.
I'd like a qui-gon jinn please with an Obi-Wan to go.

Red heads ROCK. Blondes do not rock. Nuff said.

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Well you know guys, It's like real life. You got your funny moments, you got your dramatic moments, sad ones. Just like you got funny friends, serious friends, friends with problems. Star Wars is just a rollercoster of events.

To me, personally, I'm glad that each STAR WARS has a unique feel to it.

TPM=fun family movie
AOTC=A good romantic flick
ROTS=Sad and Dramatic
ANH=Adult humor (most cursing in a SW film)
ESB=I am your father
ROTJ=Fun and enjoyable (Fuck, I like Ewoks and I don't care what they say)

 

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Originally posted by: Scruffy
When approaching Star Wars as art, I like to think I practice connoisseurship, no matter how amateur it may be. And as a connoisseur, I feel that Empire is the best of the films, and the others succeed where they most resemble Empire. I think this is true in pretty much every respect; whether it's direction, dialogue, plot, music, set design, miniature work, costuming, sound effects, or poster art. I did not arrive at this opinion capriciously, but by plumbing the depths of the other films.

So my use of Empire as a lens to view the saga is both the result of unconscious and conscious factors. It is the "kind" of story I like, and it also compares favorably to the rest of the saga on technical grounds. In the latter case, I am not deprived of the "wealth and depth" of the rest of the saga; I could not have made my conscious choice for Empire unless I had already explored the rest of the saga.


I agree that Empire was the height of the OT Star Wars saga, but within the OT+PT saga, Empire actually kind of sucks. It's like that boring filler episode that the little kids don't really enjoy but will sit through anyways . . . .

Wow, I'm suddenly getting the feeling that George has been unconsciously trying to destroy the impact of Empire Strikes Back . . . I mean, I know that the above quote was a joke and that he doesn't really dislike Empire (nor does he really think it's the worst), but, when I think about, perhaps he subconsciously wants to tear down the movie in the eyes of popular culture. His prequels (and RotJ) make the film seem out of place and unimportant while simultaneously ruining the meaning and impact behind every revelation in the film. The two remaining strengths of Empire, its character drama and emotional impact, have been at least partially maimed in his latest edits of the film.

If it weren't for the fact that I know George Lucas better, and the fact that I know he doesn't have the attention span to carry out such a long-term vendetta, I'd almost call his mistreatment of Empire deliberate. Hell, its worked well enough on me that I'm almost on the verge of becoming a fan of the original, original Star Wars only (like Anchorhead). Perhaps his desire to make money and turn Star Wars into a money-making franchise is the external expression of his inner hatred for Empire Strikes back. It was his initial and only lasting criticism of the film, and now it's as if his desire to be right (in the end) is actually destroying what was best about it. It suddenly seems more than coincidence to me (at the moment at least). Perhaps it's so easy to believe that George Lucas hates Empire because he really does deep down.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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Originally posted by: Tiptup

I agree that Empire was the height of the OT Star Wars saga, but within the OT+PT saga, Empire actually kind of sucks. It's like that boring filler episode that the little kids don't really enjoy but will sit through anyways . . . .


Is this an opinion that you espouse or a quote?

If it weren't for the fact that I know George Lucas better, and the fact that I know he doesn't have the attention span to carry out such a long-term vendetta, I'd almost call his mistreatment of Empire deliberate.


Why not? I'd make sense.

Perhaps his desire to make money and turn Star Wars into a money-making franchise is the external expression of his inner hatred for Empire Strikes back. It was his initial and only lasting criticism of the film, and now it's as if his desire to be right (in the end) is actually destroying what was best about it. It suddenly seems more than coincidence to me (at the moment at least). Perhaps it's so easy to believe that George Lucas hates Empire because he really does deep down.


What do you mean? I am totally lost.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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Originally posted by: Tiptup


I agree that Empire was the height of the OT Star Wars saga, but within the OT+PT saga, Empire actually kind of sucks. It's like that boring filler episode that the little kids don't really enjoy but will sit through anyways . . . .

Wow, I'm suddenly getting the feeling that George has been unconsciously trying to destroy the impact of Empire Strikes Back . . . I mean, I know that the above quote was a joke and that he doesn't really dislike Empire (nor does he really think it's the worst), but, when I think about, perhaps he subconsciously wants to tear down the movie in the eyes of popular culture. His prequels (and RotJ) make the film seem out of place and unimportant while simultaneously ruining the meaning and impact behind every revelation in the film. The two remaining strengths of Empire, its character drama and emotional impact, have been at least partially maimed in his latest edits of the film.

.


I disagree with ya there Tiptup, cause SW'77 or ANH is the one that suffers with the saga now, not ESB or ROTJ. You have to look at it this way when you watch it 1-6 in that order. The story is established and focused on the jedi vs sith, not the common man like the OT established. You follow in the PT the story of Anakin, Kenobi, and QuiGon for 3 movies along with The Emperor rising to power, and then you have characters like Mace & Yoda, who are both jedi too. The only non-jedi character is Padme, and she is a queen/senator, so she has EVERYTHING to do with the politics of the rise and fall of the Empire.

Now you get to Episode IV, and all of the sudden you have this movie that deals with a bunch of common guys like Luke, Leia, and Han battling the Evil Empire, while the movie has humor spread throughout that actually makes it a pretty funny sci-fi movie in some respects. The only main character who is a jedi is Ben Kenobi. So you have an audience who has followed around the jedi/sith battle for 3 movies, and all of the sudden they are wondering what happened to Yoda & The Emperor?

On top of that they are used to huge CGI environments in the PT movies, and now are stuck in a movie on a dessert for the first hour, which luckily resembles Tatooine in TPM, and the claustophobic deathstar for the second half, something will have to give, either you love one or the other? On top of that, they followed Anakin and his story for 3 movies, and now he is in the movie for about 15 minutes?

ESB/ROTJ were atleast made with the Anakin/Luke relationship in mind, and that fits with the PT movies, so in that respect they work a hell of alot better then Episode IV does. ESB has a glimpse of the Emperor, and it is about the same amount of time he gets in AOTC. It has Yoda for a huge part of the movie, so now it is dealing again with jedi issues as the MAIN story. And finally you get the Vader/Luke battle at the end which finally continues on the story of why Anakin turned in Episode III.

ESB doesn't suffer, ROTJ doesn't suffer, ANH does big time. The irony of the whole saga thing now is Lucas actually fucked up his best movie he ever directed, cause anyone who sees it 1-6 will not love it as much as someone who sees it as their 1st SW movie.

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of course lucas thinks empire is the worst film because it actually is the best film out of all six.

when reality comes along and knocks him upside his dumbass head i'll be frankly suprised. i'm not holding my breath or crossing my fingers.

despite having some of my favorite moments in the original trilogy jedi was the worst of all three released from 1977-1983.

Even some fine scenes like yodas death scene, luke and vaders confrontation. Luke confronts the emperor etc.

and some great star wars 77 esque swashbuckling scenes like the sandskiff and sailbarge in the dune sea.

To be honest my favorite star wars scenes are those like the old pirate movies, or errol flynn swashbuckling pictures. Everyone basically goes to star wars to see the Lightsaber duels. seems to me the only saving grace of episode one is its awesome duel. the duel in episode II is a joke, episode III comes in a close second in the duels of the prequels.


the prequels lack the humanity of the originals, good triumphing over evil, heroism and noble ideals. Even the music suffers in this department, and i don't blame john williams he only had what material he had to work with.

“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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People don't want to see cynicism and negativity and darkness that mirrors reality in films. they want to be uplifted. Lucas made the same mistake i thought he had learned from THX 1138 dark and social commentary films don't work. the lord of the rings trilogy and the harry potter films have there darker moments but their is an essential humanity to the characters that seems to be absent from the prequels.

(i had to do a double post because the stupid system says i ran out of space)

“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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An interesting point was raised : Empire does stick out notably. That's because it's better.
VADER: Let me look on you with my own eyes...

LUKE: Dad, where are your eyebrows?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WO_S6UgkQk0
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Originally posted by: Zebonka
An interesting point was raised : Empire does stick out notably. That's because it's better.


And it's the only film in the franchise which Lucas did not either write the screenplay or direct.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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Originally posted by: Mike O
Originally posted by: Zebonka
An interesting point was raised : Empire does stick out notably. That's because it's better.


And it's the only film in the franchise which Lucas did not either write the screenplay or direct.


Hmmm, coincidence? I THINK NOT! LOL!

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Originally posted by: CO
I disagree with ya there Tiptup, cause SW'77 or ANH is the one that suffers with the saga now, not ESB or ROTJ. You have to look at it this way when you watch it 1-6 in that order. The story is established and focused on the jedi vs sith, not the common man like the OT established. You follow in the PT the story of Anakin, Kenobi, and QuiGon for 3 movies along with The Emperor rising to power, and then you have characters like Mace & Yoda, who are both jedi too. The only non-jedi character is Padme, and she is a queen/senator, so she has EVERYTHING to do with the politics of the rise and fall of the Empire.

Now you get to Episode IV, and all of the sudden you have this movie that deals with a bunch of common guys like Luke, Leia, and Han battling the Evil Empire, while the movie has humor spread throughout that actually makes it a pretty funny sci-fi movie in some respects. The only main character who is a jedi is Ben Kenobi. So you have an audience who has followed around the jedi/sith battle for 3 movies, and all of the sudden they are wondering what happened to Yoda & The Emperor?

On top of that they are used to huge CGI environments in the PT movies, and now are stuck in a movie on a dessert for the first hour, which luckily resembles Tatooine in TPM, and the claustophobic deathstar for the second half, something will have to give, either you love one or the other? On top of that, they followed Anakin and his story for 3 movies, and now he is in the movie for about 15 minutes?

I agree with all of this. The original Star Wars does suffer heavily from the "1-6 saga" perspective. It's definitely an incredibly different film in style and in content from the "preceding" three and its story has practically nothing to do with what they featured. It's about some nobody farm boy with piloting skills and special powers who chooses to help fight against an evil empire. With the prequels on their minds, people will be less inclined to focus on all of that and will waste the film asking stupid PT based questions. Not only that, but much of the drama for Star Wars is weakened by the fact that it no longer introduces Darth Vader, the force, Obiwan/Ben and some other things. I certainly don't want to claim that the film has gone unharmed by Lucas’ latest actions.


Originally posted by: CO
ESB/ROTJ were atleast made with the Anakin/Luke relationship in mind, and that fits with the PT movies, so in that respect they work a hell of alot better then Episode IV does. ESB has a glimpse of the Emperor, and it is about the same amount of time he gets in AOTC. It has Yoda for a huge part of the movie, so now it is dealing again with jedi issues as the MAIN story. And finally you get the Vader/Luke battle at the end which finally continues on the story of why Anakin turned in Episode III.

ESB doesn't suffer, ROTJ doesn't suffer, ANH does big time. The irony of the whole saga thing now is Lucas actually fucked up his best movie he ever directed, cause anyone who sees it 1-6 will not love it as much as someone who sees it as their 1st SW movie.


This is where I disagree. You're actually trying to say that ESB doesn't suffer from the completed saga? (I think Empire suffers from it more than even the original Star Wars does.)

Maybe you don't remember what Empire Strikes Back is about (as a film), but it certainly isn't about the damn 1-6 saga. Maybe it has more content that relates it to the PT story (particularly when you get to the fight with Vader at the end) but that story’s not what the movie is supposed to be about!

If you take some time to remember what we knew when we only had the OT, Empire was continuing the story of that farm boy and his friends (not Darth Vader and the Emperor). Darth Vader was merely an evil, monster of a man who, as far as anyone knew, had gained an obsession to find Luke. As you remember, we knew nothing about Master Yoda; all we knew was that Luke was being delayed from finding him due to the strangeness of the little green creature helping him. Meanwhile his friends (who we cared about) were in danger but they weren't anything more than friends to him (maybe Leia was a potential love interest). Luke met Leia because she was working for the Alliance, and Han, Chewie, C3PO, and R2D2 were other friends he met in his previous adventure. I see no focus on a conflict between the Jedi and the Sith.

To the degree that you argue the original Star Wars is hurt by the 1-6 saga, I can then argue that much of what made Empire important is also now obscured. It still primarily focuses on those wisecracking adventurers from the first film. All we have now, if anything, is greater amount of character drama making us more inclined to care about them. But, if we spend the whole time wondering when the PT's story will resume, Empire’s strengths will also be ignored.

Thankfully, both the original Star Wars and Empire can still shine through the distractions of the prequel trilogy in many ways. For example, Luke, Ben, Leia, Han, Chewie, and the droids are still compelling and likable characters. Also, while the fight against the Empire seems to not make as much sense when our minds are locked into the "Jedi vs. Sith" nonsense, the fight for the rebellion is still portrayed in its original form for people to immerse themselves in (if they can).

So much of what makes Star Wars an amazing film is still available to be experienced if a viewer just accepts it for what it is and lets it do its thing. The only bad part is how some of the historical revelations about Luke are ruined before they're even revealed by Ben. Thankfully we don't have too much ruined in this way and most of the character drama of the film is untouched by the prequels. However, the same cannot be said for Empire Strikes Back.

People will already know who Yoda is and will be bothered by the fact that Luke doesn't know. People will already know that Darth Vader is Luke's Father and they'll laugh at Luke for expressing horror and be annoyed by his unbelief. The fact that we have the presence of the Emperor in one scene and that we have a greater role for Vader will only serve to annoy people by pointing out how slow it takes Luke, the chosen son, to be initiated into the larger story (his destiny from birth).

So much of what made ESB the best film of the series is now meaningless. Its remaining good points are just as weakened as the original Star Wars good points (with only a lightsaber battle at the end to offset this). All of the great care the movie went through to make each important revelation special and dramatic is now for absolutely nothing and certainly of no effect. Then, to put the rotten cherry on top, the most exciting and emotionally-moving part in Empire, where Luke, Leia, and the others are escaping from Cloud City is ruined by a lame dialogue change for Darth Vader (that isn't even acted well) and a long sequence involving a shuttle landing on the Super Star destroyer!

I don't see how Empire doesn't suffer. (Certainly not how it harmonizes with the PT story.)

I suppose if you want to say that RotJ doesn't suffer then I'll be willing to agree with you more there. While the primary focus is still on Luke, Leia and Han, it shows enough of the Jedi vs. Sith story to keep the PT fan interested. Otherwise, I would argue that RotJ actually helps downplay the importance of ESB as a film by supplying relatively lame resolutions to all of its cliff hangers.

The original Star Wars can still stand on its own as a standalone story (if people can ignore the concerns of the saga). Empire Strikes Back needs the original Star Wars and a lack of prequel trilogy knowledge to remain as amazing as it was. Now, while still being a good film, Lucas has destroyed a whole lot of what made it great.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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Empire has my favourite sequences, and I probably saw it at the right age for the first time (I would've been 9 or 10). For ages it was my "favourite" SW movie. However, a few years ago I went to the back-to-back screening of SW 1,2,4,5,6 (3 was not released at the time) at London Waterloo IMAX, and I have to say ... Star Wars (I rarely call it ANH) stuck in my mind as absolutely the best one. It's well rounded, well paced, and highly engaging. Empire, though still containing my favourite sequences, just seems to drag on and on in Dagobah and Bespin. However the AT AT attack and asteroid field scene still rate as (probably) my all time favourite sequences in ANY movie (the car chases in Ronin come close). The prequels - well up there on the IMAX screen the actors performances in a studio vacuum came across as just that. The interaction with real sets serves to humanise the original trilogy in my eyes. Also the gags in the prequels really piss me off, Jar Jar, R2's jets, rubbish acting from fine actors ... it all gets up my nose. Even the sound effects seem largely recycled/reprocessed from the original trilogy. Let me put it this way ... with each successive release of a Star Wars film during my childhood Lucas genuinely presented me with a spectacle I had never before seen in my life. With the prequels I just felt the envelope was nowhere pushed it was just signed, sealed and delivered. When making Star Wars, the team drew a lot of inspiration from the past in the methodologies and tools (eg Vistavision, John Mollo), the prequels are just baked to a "New and improved formula, half the fat!" which we all know is marketing speak for "we made it with cheaper ingredients and didn't really stretch ourselves creatively". I'm not knocking the work that went into the prequels - the CGI stuff is genuinely impressive, but then so was Jurassic Park in, what, 1994. Some of the political subtext of the prequels I felt had potential, but was ruined by bad acting/directing and the stupid gags and characters. Anyhow, as Lucas himself proclaims over and over "it's just a movie".
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Can'tcha just see George Lucas storming around Skywalker Ranch at the time of the SEs yelling "It's all Irvin Kershner's Fault. He's jealous. He's holding me back!!!" and then throwing a prop?
I am fluent in over six million forms of procrastination.