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Lucasfilm: Beyond Star Wars and Indiana Jones

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Just the other day I was reading the Lucas biography, Skywalking, and was thinking, not for the first time, what a shame it is that Lucas’s vision for Lucasfilm and Skywalker Ranch - a collective for filmmakers to work together to create original films outside of the studio system - never came to pass. And as much as I’ve liked what’s been done with the Star Wars franchise under Disney, I’ve thought it’s unfortunate that they moved even further from that vision.

Of course, I’ve always hoped that Kathleen Kennedy would someday seek out potential opportunities for LFL beyond Star Wars and Indy. Well, seems today is that day, with “Children of Blood and Bone”:
https://deadline.com/2019/08/children-of-blood-and-bone-movie-lucasfilm-kathy-kennedy-kay-oyegun-rick-famuyiwa-fox-disney-1202662804/

Hopefully we’ll see more stuff like this in the future.

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Great news! I think that looks like a story George would totally get behind in adapting. I do think a doctrine Lucasfilm should maintain is to always experiment and try new things, so seeing that they want to foster brand new projects and franchises is a good sign to me!

And speaking of of Lucas’ original vision for Lucasfilm and Skywalker Ranch, I don’t know if it will ever truly live up to his original vision, since he sold it to Disney, which is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Hollywood studio. Despite that, I like to think George achieved that dream in a different way.

Even though he is not the sole person responsible for the natural progression of filmmaking, I do think certain choices he made in his career, like pushing digital filmmaking and VFX technology during the Prequel era, encouraged the democratization of filmmaking in the 21st century. So although a physical filmmaker’s paradise outside of Hollywood doesn’t really exist, there are thousands of independent filmmakers around the world that can use consumer digital cameras and post-production software to make their own movies. The technology Lucasfilm and ILM pioneered during Lucas’ time helped push forward the filmmaking tools any of us could use today.

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Sounds like a horror movie which will confuse mainstream audiences. I wonder if it will do any business in a time when fantasy outside of superheroes and SW usually dies at the box office.

As for George’s dream… I’d believe if it I saw any proof he liked to actually direct movies.

Yub Nub for life

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Mocata said:
As for George’s dream… I’d believe if it I saw any proof he liked to actually direct movies.

I’m pretty sure he just dislikes pressure, because he talks wistfully about his student films.

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Mocata said:

Taking the director’s chair is a high pressure role. His contemporaries all managed it.

I mean, he “managed” to be the sole director of an all time classic, so hey.

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Yeah and when I mean managed I mean y’know one all time classic saved in editing etc. rather than a whole career sparkling with gems like Scorsese, Coppola and De Palma. People with passion who thrive on rather than shrink away from the job. But sure maybe those alleged personal projects he’s been speaking about for the last decade will appear and surprise us all…

Yub Nub for life

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Mocata said:

Yeah and when I mean managed I mean y’know one all time classic saved in editing etc. rather than a whole career sparkling with gems like Scorsese, Coppola and De Palma. People with passion who thrive on rather than shrink away from the job. But sure maybe those alleged personal projects he’s been speaking about for the last decade will appear and surprise us all…

“Saved in editing” carries so many false implications.
Lucas himself was a skilled editor to the point where George was asked by De Palma to edit all his student films.

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I thought it was documented that a British editor did the first rough cut?

In any case, the Oscars Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew, and Paul Hirsch received for editing Star Wars speaks for itself.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

I thought it was documented that a British editor did the first rough cut?

In any case, the Oscars Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew, and Paul Hirsch received for editing Star Wars speaks for itself.

The way I know the story is that a British editor (not sure how he became involved) did a cut without Lucas really watching (I think he was busy), Lucas sees it and hates it, scraps it and starts over with new picks, who each take a chunk of the movie under his supervision and in collaboration with him.
And as I noted above, De Palma vouches for Lucas’ editing skills.

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MikeWW said:

SilverWook said:

I thought it was documented that a British editor did the first rough cut?

In any case, the Oscars Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew, and Paul Hirsch received for editing Star Wars speaks for itself.

The way I know the story is that a British editor (not sure how he became involved) did a cut without Lucas really watching (I think he was busy), Lucas sees it and hates it, scraps it and starts over with new picks, who each take a chunk of the movie under his supervision and in collaboration with him.

Yes, that’s correct.

If Star Wars was “saved in editing,” which I don’t think it’s fair to say it was, then it was saved in editing by, primarily, Lucas himself.

Lucas is obviously a man of many talents and from the start of his career always seemed more interested in visuals, sounds, and editing, rather than actors. And it’s not surprising to me that he stopped directing after the health problems he faced on Star Wars, though I don’t know why he never did get back around to making that experimental stuff. Who knows, probably the becoming a business man and parent just took priority.

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DominicCobb said:

MikeWW said:

SilverWook said:

I thought it was documented that a British editor did the first rough cut?

In any case, the Oscars Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew, and Paul Hirsch received for editing Star Wars speaks for itself.

The way I know the story is that a British editor (not sure how he became involved) did a cut without Lucas really watching (I think he was busy), Lucas sees it and hates it, scraps it and starts over with new picks, who each take a chunk of the movie under his supervision and in collaboration with him.

Yes, that’s correct.

If Star Wars was “saved in editing,” which I don’t think it’s fair to say it was, then it was saved in editing by, primarily, Lucas himself.

Lucas is obviously a man of many talents and from the start of his career always seemed more interested in visuals, sounds, and editing, rather than actors. And it’s not surprising to me that he stopped directing after the health problems he faced on Star Wars, though I don’t know why he never did get back around to making that experimental stuff. Who knows, probably the becoming a business man and parent just took priority.

Part of me thinks he HAS made them. He made a comment once about only showing them to his friends.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a “fuck the haters” attitude after all the prequel reactions.

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MikeWW said:

DominicCobb said:

MikeWW said:

SilverWook said:

I thought it was documented that a British editor did the first rough cut?

In any case, the Oscars Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew, and Paul Hirsch received for editing Star Wars speaks for itself.

The way I know the story is that a British editor (not sure how he became involved) did a cut without Lucas really watching (I think he was busy), Lucas sees it and hates it, scraps it and starts over with new picks, who each take a chunk of the movie under his supervision and in collaboration with him.

Yes, that’s correct.

If Star Wars was “saved in editing,” which I don’t think it’s fair to say it was, then it was saved in editing by, primarily, Lucas himself.

Lucas is obviously a man of many talents and from the start of his career always seemed more interested in visuals, sounds, and editing, rather than actors. And it’s not surprising to me that he stopped directing after the health problems he faced on Star Wars, though I don’t know why he never did get back around to making that experimental stuff. Who knows, probably the becoming a business man and parent just took priority.

Part of me thinks he HAS made them. He made a comment once about only showing them to his friends.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a “fuck the haters” attitude after all the prequel reactions.

Seconded.

The “British editor” was John Jympson, who was specifically hired for the role of editor. Lucas thought his work was too slow-paced and didn’t use the best takes.

Of note is that Jympson wasn’t Lucas’ first choice; he wanted Richard Chew in that role from the beginning, but Jympson was already licensed to work in England, which was no small issue in those days.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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SilverWook said:

I thought it was documented that a British editor did the first rough cut?

In any case, the Oscars Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew, and Paul Hirsch received for editing Star Wars speaks for itself.

This.

All I have to do is watch the prequels to see what a GL film looks like when he has no one around to reign him in or say “no” when needed.

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Creox said:

SilverWook said:

I thought it was documented that a British editor did the first rough cut?

In any case, the Oscars Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew, and Paul Hirsch received for editing Star Wars speaks for itself.

This.

All I have to do is watch the prequels to see what a GL film looks like when he has no one around to reign him in or say “no” when needed.

Read the posts above you.

Also there a lot of good editing moments in the PT.
For example, the 123 editing of-

“Who could have done this” -cut to- Anakin slaughtering the separatists -cut to- Palpatine monologuing about the first Galactic Empire.

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RogueLeader said:

And speaking of of Lucas’ original vision for Lucasfilm and Skywalker Ranch, I don’t know if it will ever truly live up to his original vision…

His talk of what he was going to do as an independent film maker wAs just that - talk. He belched out that crap for thirty years.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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Anchorhead said:

RogueLeader said:

And speaking of of Lucas’ original vision for Lucasfilm and Skywalker Ranch, I don’t know if it will ever truly live up to his original vision…

His talk of what he was going to do as an independent film maker wAs just that - talk. He belched out that crap for thirty years.

Independent crap.

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I’ve long held the belief that Lucas’ real passion for filmmaking was in editing. Just look at how excited he is in the TPM doc about how digital tools let him blend together a performance by actor A from one take and a performance by actor B from another take in the same shot.

Lucas is a great big-picture idea guy, an average writer and director, and a fantastic editor. I also think he would have personally edited every Star Wars movie if his duties as producer and director didn’t make that pretty much impossible.

a trolling bantha

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ChainsawAsh said:

I’ve long held the belief that Lucas’ real passion for filmmaking was in editing. Just look at how excited he is in the TPM doc about how digital tools let him blend together a performance by actor A from one take and a performance by actor B from another take in the same shot.

Lucas is a great big-picture idea guy, an average writer and director, and a fantastic editor. I also think he would have personally edited every Star Wars movie if his duties as producer and director didn’t make that pretty much impossible.

Him hiring Burtt for the position of editor on the PT certainly lends credence to that idea, since Burtt to my knowledge was not exactly known for his (non-sound) editing skill at that time.
It seems to me that Lucas picked an in-house buddy for the position precisely so he’d be able to backseat drive like crazy.

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ChainsawAsh said:

I’ve long held the belief that Lucas’ real passion for filmmaking was in editing. Just look at how excited he is in the TPM doc about how digital tools let him blend together a performance by actor A from one take and a performance by actor B from another take in the same shot.

Lucas is a great big-picture idea guy, an average writer and director, and a fantastic editor. I also think he would have personally edited every Star Wars movie if his duties as producer and director didn’t make that pretty much impossible.

Yeah exactly. He’s got some quotes where he says as much.

Also, regarding the Oscar for best editing that the original film won, technically Lucas deserved that award as well, as he did in fact physically edit a section of the film (the tie fighter attack).

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Speaking of (in the OP) “Skywalking”, that was the book (along with Rinzler’s ESB book) that really shaped my opinion of George as a talented guy who was the single person most responsible for the OT being what it was.
Before that I just assumed that people were being honest about all the “saved in editing by his wife”, “he wasn’t very involved in ESB compared to the other films”, etc.

There are those out there that want you to believe that Lucas is the Bob Kane of Star Wars.

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I think it is a matter of balancing perspectives. Every writer or journalist is going to have their own bias. Obviously George deserves a lot of credit and responsibility for what he created (good or bad, however you feel about it), as well as surrounding himself with other talented filmmakers who also contributed heavily to these films. Filmmaking is inherently a collaborative process, so videos like “How Star Wars was saved in the edit” aren’t trying to say the editors saved a sinking ship that George was sailing, it is just trying to highlight the contributions of other artists who helped make the movie what it was too.

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What’s funny though is that the (pre Disney) Star Wars movie most altered in the edit is probably Revenge of The Sith, and even Mathew Stover who wrote the novelization (that people like to say is better than the movie) called George’s assembly edit-based reshoots “genius”.

I feel that “saved in the edit” is indeed a phrase that carries certain anti-GL-credit connotations. Otherwise, what is the implication? That the editors salvaged George’s mess. It implies a distance between the film being shot and the film being edited.