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George Lucas

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Are the people here of the opinion that George was never talented, or do you guys think it’s more of a Francis Ford Coppola situation where he just lost his touch?

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My two cents: Lucas was a good idea man, but he needed better writers, better directors, and a tonne of constructive criticism to flesh his good ideas out into good stories.

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

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And honestly, I do think he knew that. It’s just that no one wanted to do the prequels for him, because this was when everyone still thought he was a genius - Spielberg and whoever else didn’t want to “ruin his vision”, or deal with the pressure that would come with doing them.

We can be cynical about it and theorize no one wanted to do it because maybe his initial treatments of the prequels were terrible or whatever, but I don’t think anything about those movies and its ideas ended up seeming un-doable by anyone. You definitely could have made something great out of a lot of thematic stuff there. They still worked to some fraction of an extent, despite of what you think of those films. People then just had faith (a little too much) in him, or just didn’t want to help him.

So I think characterizing him as this narcissistic crazy guy is a little wrong. He’s been very open about his insecurities about this “movie for 12 year olds” he made in 1977. It’s why he continued tampering with it long after they were released in theatres.

I don’t even think his ideas are too far out there, he’s actually responsible for reigning in/veto-ing the more out there ideas that never made it into the prequels and Clone Wars animated series. So we know he has/had a somewhat specific vision (he’s not just doing whatever the hell he feels like) - he just needs to organize them, or get someone to organize them for him, and learn that some things - like the OT - were fine and don’t need to be fixed.

Stuff like “he hates his fans” is just self-victimizing and immature, and is only ever true when you start saying stuff like that to antagonize him. I mean no disrespect to anyone who genuinely believes he was out to get them by not releasing the OOT, but I do hope they get some perspective.

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To say he was untalented would be ridiculous. The man was the main creative force of OT. He was exceptionally talented film-maker, story-writer and visionary.

真実

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Lucas is obviously an extremely talented film-maker (and he was a genius when it came to tie-in marketing and monetizing his franchise… but that’s another topic).

He’s a fantastic producer, editor and is clearly a visionary when it comes to effects technology (visual and audio).

I actually think he’s a great high level creator of stories as well.

Where he ended up struggling was in the director’s chair later in his career as well as with script-writing.

I think the PT could have been really good if he had brought in other director(s) and had more help on the script and dialogue (IIRC there were issues with people who were members of the director’s guild working on it because they don’t put credits at the beginning of the film or something).

Yeah - there’s stuff in the PT that sucks, but I don’t hate Lucas for it… I think he tried; he just didn’t succeed as well as we would have liked him to.

The only thing I really get pissed at him about are some of the really stupid (and pointless) SE changes. Greedo/Han, Han stepping on Jabba’s tail, Vader no… etc. I could probably even live with some of the more annoying SE changes if he had just left out the character ruining ones.

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To make THX, GRAFFITI and STAR WARS (mostly in your 20s) you have to be absurdly talented.

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He was never a really great writer overall (he’s always been better at some aspects) nor a great director of actors. It really comes down to that he had a lot more critical voices at the time. He handed the original SW script around to his peers constantly and really honed it down to what it ended up being from the craziness that it started out as, which was far closer to the messiness of the prequel scripts (which likely didn’t have very many revisions at all). When it came to ESB and ROTJ, obviously he had others write those scripts entirely. Again for the actors, he was pretty lax about actors rewriting dialogue during the original film (whereas I doubt many of the actors felt comfortable trying to change things while shooting the PT), and then again on the other two he didn’t even direct them. Editing wise it’s the same idea. For the original film he screened it to all his peers and they trashed it and he took notes.

So I’d ultimately say that the idea that he was surrounded by too many yes men is true and that was the root source of the problems, though I wouldn’t necessarily say that he purposefully created that environment in which no one would say no, I think it just kind of happened because people just assumed he was a visionary that’d be able to make OT-level films on his own. And I do tend to think he’s a brilliant visionary but maybe not the greatest filmmaker. He’s talented in many ways as a filmmaker but not perfect and benefits a lot from skilled collaborators.

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DominicCobb said:
When it came to ESB and ROTJ, obviously he had others write those scripts entirely.

I was under the impression that he wrote full scripts for both films, but had other writers do subsequent drafts.

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Chlorine said:

DominicCobb said:
When it came to ESB and ROTJ, obviously he had others write those scripts entirely.

I was under the impression that he wrote full scripts for both films, but had other writers do subsequent drafts.

For ESB he basically wrote the initial script, while Kasdan fixed the dialogue. For ROTJ he and Kasdan had more blended approach.

真実

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He was one of several people who creatively collaborated to make the OT and its presentation magical. He deserves that much credit, but he is a fraud because he spent most of the last 40 years trying to take undue credit. Many of the things that people like most about the OT are actually not what he wanted at all. I do think he dislikes Empire Strikes Back, for instance. I do think the silliness in Return of the Jedi and the absolute juvenile presentation of the prequels are much more his M.O.

I think he just bought into the adulation and truly believed how great and talented he was, to the point where he thought he could just role out of bed and turn a vomit first draft into a movie after 15 years of retirement.

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One interesting thing - ANH and TESB are widely considered his two best SW films, and those are also the 2 that went well over budget. I personally think that there was more effort to get good takes in ANH and TESB… and those films (esp TESB) feel more perfectionist. As a fan I don’t care that they went over budget (but I do understand why Lucas and the people providing funding would care).

I’ve read reports that when he was making the PT Lucas wouldn’t do that many takes and instead would try to fix everything in post. Lucas is a great editor, but I think he leaned too heavily on trying to fix everything in post and as such we are left with scenes that leave me thinking “That’s the best take you could get?”

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Chlorine said:

DominicCobb said:
When it came to ESB and ROTJ, obviously he had others write those scripts entirely.

I was under the impression that he wrote full scripts for both films, but had other writers do subsequent drafts.

I fucked up, what I meant was that he had others write entire scripts for those.

He wrote a couple drafts on Empire after Brackett passed and before Kasdan came on and then he again wrote with Kasdan on Jedi. The difference I was trying to point out being that on Star Wars he was the only one who wrote any drafts while on the other two that wasn’t the case.

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Alderaan said:
I do think the silliness in Return of the Jedi and the absolute juvenile presentation of the prequels are much more his M.O.

So how do you account for THX 1138 or his many student films that were addressing contemporary issues in a tactful (i.e. Ewok free) way?

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Alderaan said:

the absolute juvenile presentation of the prequels are much more his M.O.

That is a stupid statement considering he made THX.

真実

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imperialscum said:

Chlorine said:

DominicCobb said:
When it came to ESB and ROTJ, obviously he had others write those scripts entirely.

I was under the impression that he wrote full scripts for both films, but had other writers do subsequent drafts.

For ESB he basically wrote the initial script, while Kasdan fixed the dialogue.

That’s not really true. Brackett wrote the initial script based on his story treatment (that they developed together). Much of what was in that script made it to the final film. And Kasdan did more than “fix the dialogue.”

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Chlorine said:

Alderaan said:
I do think the silliness in Return of the Jedi and the absolute juvenile presentation of the prequels are much more his M.O.

So how do you account for THX 1138 or his many student films that were addressing contemporary issues in a tactful (i.e. Ewok free) way?

That’s a good question. While I would agree that in retrospect you can clearly see that many of the issues that ended up plaguing the PT started in ROTJ it’s also true that not all of Lucas’s films had these issues.

Lucas did adopt his first child between TESB And ROTJ IIRC… maybe that had something to do with it?

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DominicCobb said:

imperialscum said:

Chlorine said:

DominicCobb said:
When it came to ESB and ROTJ, obviously he had others write those scripts entirely.

I was under the impression that he wrote full scripts for both films, but had other writers do subsequent drafts.

For ESB he basically wrote the initial script, while Kasdan fixed the dialogue.

That’s not really true. Brackett wrote the initial script based on his story treatment (that they developed together). Much of what was in that script made it to the final film. And Kasdan did more than “fix the dialogue.”

I thought most of Brackett’s draft was thrown out? I know I read that somewhere

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DominicCobb said:

imperialscum said:

Chlorine said:

DominicCobb said:
When it came to ESB and ROTJ, obviously he had others write those scripts entirely.

I was under the impression that he wrote full scripts for both films, but had other writers do subsequent drafts.

For ESB he basically wrote the initial script, while Kasdan fixed the dialogue.

That’s not really true. Brackett wrote the initial script based on his story treatment (that they developed together). Much of what was in that script made it to the final film. And Kasdan did more than “fix the dialogue.”

Well Brackett’s draft was essentially completely discarded.

Obviously it was more than dialogue but I would say that was Kasdan’s main/best contribution. Then again Lucas and Kasdan were meeting regularly so the input was mutual.

真実

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Alderaan said:

imperialscum said:

That is a stupid statement considering he made THX.

It’s just a weird, dumb movie.

When was the last time you even watched the theatrical version, if ever? A lot of people here (myself included) have put in lot of effort and money to restore it.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Disco_Lobot said:

DominicCobb said:

imperialscum said:

Chlorine said:

DominicCobb said:
When it came to ESB and ROTJ, obviously he had others write those scripts entirely.

I was under the impression that he wrote full scripts for both films, but had other writers do subsequent drafts.

For ESB he basically wrote the initial script, while Kasdan fixed the dialogue.

That’s not really true. Brackett wrote the initial script based on his story treatment (that they developed together). Much of what was in that script made it to the final film. And Kasdan did more than “fix the dialogue.”

I thought most of Brackett’s draft was thrown out? I know I read that somewhere

In some respects yes, but a lot of the beats in there survived. Look it up, it’s pretty interesting.

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SilverWook said:

Alderaan said:

imperialscum said:

That is a stupid statement considering he made THX.

It’s just a weird, dumb movie.

When was the last time you even watched the theatrical version, if ever? A lot of people here (myself included) have put in lot of effort and money to restore it.

What - did Lucas change that one too?

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Disco_Lobot said:

SilverWook said:

Alderaan said:

imperialscum said:

That is a stupid statement considering he made THX.

It’s just a weird, dumb movie.

When was the last time you even watched the theatrical version, if ever? A lot of people here (myself included) have put in lot of effort and money to restore it.

What - did Lucas change that one too?

Andddd thread derailed.
Yeah, he added CGI rats and cars and other stuff.