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Lucas's filmmaking rut

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It's hard not to get a feeling of deja vu when listening to George Lucas's recent comments regarding the state of his filmmaking career and future plans. It's like 1983 all over again.

Lucas has stated that Episode III will definitely be the last Star Wars film. He's glad to be finished with the trilogy, that the full story of the Star Wars saga is now on film and he move onto "other thing." He wants to make little, artsy, experimental films. To be a truly independent film maker. To be known for something besides big Hollywood blockbuster movies. I'm not buying it.

It's funny: he said the same things leading up to "Return of the Jedi" in 1983. Sometime after "Empire" he abandoned the idea of making a 9 episode saga and suddenly announced that "Jedi" would be the final Star Wars film. He said he wanted to complete the trilogy and move on to other things. He wanted to make artsy, independent "experimental" films and work outside the Hollywood establishment. He had all these big plans for the future. To direct "THX 1138" type movies. Like the ones he made during college. 22 years later, we're stilll waiting.

You got to wonder what holds Lucas back? The guy was a great director. A visionary. His creative peak was between 1971 and 1977. He made "THX," "American Graffiti" and "Star Wars." He was up there with Coppola, Speilberg, DePalma, Scorcese, etc... One of the most talented young filmmakers to come on the scene. And then his creative drive stalled. Was it success that ruined his artistic drive and love for directing films?

After the release of "Jedi" he decided to put Star Wars to bed. The world waited for Lucas to return to the director's chair and make more groundreaking films. Instead of "artsy and experimental," Lucas made a bunch of "Ewok Adventure" movies & cartoons, produced "Howard the Duck" and designed video games. He spent 11 years being Mr. Mom, raising his 3 adopted kids. Nothing wrong with that. But why state in interviews that the public is holding you back. And that the critics/filmgoers only think you can do commercial Hollywood projects?

And for 11 years while laboring over the SW prequel trilogy, Lucas constantly complained that he was "tied down" to his original story for the films. That Episode I "had to be" about Anakin as a child, Ep II a love story. And admitted the only story the found really interesting was Ep III, because it told how Anakin turns to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader. So why not just produce Episode III? Why even bother with the other two movies and waste 6 years? It makes no sense.

So now it's almost 2006 and Lucas once again has grand designs for the future. He talked about directing a movie about World War II pilots called "Red Tails." And then spending the rest of life producing independent, non-mainstream "experimental" films. Instead, he's put "Red Tails" on hold. He may only produce the project, if it's even made at all. Instead of making more "Star Wars" episodes, he's decided to once again tinker with the ones already made, by re-releasing them in "3-D," a gimmick that hasn't been cool since the
mid-80's.

And he's going to make a "Star Wars" television series. Just like how Episode VI led to countless "Ewok" spin offs, Ep III is going to lead to a TV series about the Jedi who survived Order 66. I think "Star Wars' has always been too big for TV. It's meant for the big screen. And even IMAX. Not the wasteland that is television. Lucas is going back to the dried up Indiana Jones franchise one more time. In greenlighting "Indy 4," a film that has "ill conceived" written all over it.

To be fair, I think Lucas simply changed in 1981 when "Raiders of the Lost Ark" became such a huge hit. His sensibilities as a filmmaker were forever altered. As much as he would like to return to the daring, rules be damned upstart visionary he was in the 70's, the fear of losing money has changed all that. Now he's worried about box office receipts and keeping his corporation going.

It's a shame because when you look at "THX," "American Graffiti," the first two Star Wars and the last 30 minutes of "Revenge of the Sith" you can see that a great filmmaker still exists in there somewhere. Lucas should use his friend and "challenger" Steven Speilbers's filmmaking choices as a career guide. Speilberg's creative output is 10 times that of Lucas's. The fellow boy genius goes from making mainstream commercial movies to experimental ones. And he doesn't take 3 years making anything.

As Lucas said at the AFI awards, he's only really made 3 films. (I count four: THX, Graffit, Star Wars (Ep I to 6), and Indiana Jones (3 films, TV series). Problem is since 1981 he really hasn't had any new ideas. He's just been living off the past. Going back and "updating" THX, SW, Graffit and Indy. You get the feeling that Lucas lost his footing once he split up with Marcia Lucas & Gary Kurtz.

Oh well. It will be interesting to see what the future holds. Maybe Lucas will end up making 3 more Star Wars films and complain the whole time that he wished he was making "little, experimental" movies instead. I'm sure he'll be bitching during the production of Indy 4.

What do you all think? I saw a parody film that used a "New Hope" era pic of Lucas and had it captioned "George Lucas: 1944-1977."
Did George Lucas the auteur really die in 1977?





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I think you've hit the nail on the head on pretty much all points.
I'd like a qui-gon jinn please with an Obi-Wan to go.

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

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72/greencapt/hansolovsindy.jpg
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I think the key here is a lack of fresh ideas.

Basically...he's had two THX and AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Both STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES were serial storylines rehashed. Don't get me wrong...he did an incredible job...but it ends there.

I think Lucas' downfall came in owning such huge, innovative companies such as ILM, THX, Skywalker Sound, Pixar, etc. When his personal life went to hell after Marcia left, he griped the reins of his companies tighter. You can see his obsession with control and perfection in his directing. Directing for Lucas is now more of an exercise in creating 'perfection' than an artistic representation from within himself.

I, for one, can't wait to see something new and different from the guy. I think there is a good filmmaker still there...although I didn't really see evidence in SITH of it...most certainly not in the last thirty minutes. It was typical Lucas cut-ups.
  • Todd

STAR WARS: Symphony for a Saga

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Lucas to me has always been a better producer and storyteller. If you watch the prequels, I love them because they are Star Wars, but you can see his flaws as a director. He is a great storyteller, the whole Star Wars universe is so unique and interesting. He is also good at pushing the envelope for special effects. Every movie gets better with the use of CGI (though some people don't like too much CGI, and I respect that). He is trying to push all-digital film to movie theaters, so in a sense he still is a pioneer.

I look at it this way, George Lucas is a talented man, but he is not a genius at everything. The Empire Strikes Back, IMO, is the best Star Wars movie, because it had the most collaboration:

Lucas wrote the overall story

Lawrence Kasdan & Leigh Brackett wrote the screenplay

Irvin Kershner directed

Gary Kurtz produced

Lucas executive produced

John Williams did the music

He had everyone who was on the picture at the top of their game. No clunky dialogue, he had good screenwriters. No bad acting, Kershner got great performances out of the cast. No kiddie stuff, Kurtz knew where to draw the line. Awesome score, John Williams of course. And finally, George Lucas overseeing everything to capture his vision. PERFECT MOVIE.
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Yea, why didn't he have Kershner do ROTJ again? Some fight they got into or something?
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I don't think it was a fallout, unlike Kurtz. Kershner found the shoot very tiring, as they ended up going overbudget and so on. It was also a pain for Lucas to have an American director, since he quit the director's guild - he had to pay a fine for doing so. Hence, one of the reasons he hired a Brit for ROTJ.

Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the war room!

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What really bothers me, is that Lucas had enough good ideas for the prequels he didn't stick to in the end. Take the design for example - the idea was to have many different designs in the beginning (that sometimes might even look alien compared to the original style) and then reduce that film by film to the amount and look and feel of designs from ANH. What we got instead was more vehicles and different designs stuffed into Ep3 than in any other SW movie. People who watched the film with me in theaters (and didn't now the vehicle designs from old rpg-books and the zahn novel trilogy) sometimes couldn't even tell apart which vehicle belonged to which fraction.

Just one example were he not only didn't stay true to the concept of the old movies, but also the concept he had originally in mind for the prequels.
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I rather like the way the ships were done, but maybe that's just me?

Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the war room!

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Although I personally felt like watching a toy-commercial at times, I also liked the many ships. Alas, it still does not represent the design approach that was originally planned for ep3. I suppose it might have had something to do with Doug Chiang not being available for ep3.
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i actually think the multitude of ship designs is one of the big underdiscussed flaws of the prequels. in the OT, there were X wings and Tie fighters. obviously there were also A wings, B wings, Y wings, etc...but you could look at a battle and tell whose ships were whose. color probably also played a part in that--the ties were dark blue/black, dark colors, and the rebel ships were all light colored for the most part.

in the prequels, i could not tell you for the life of me the name of any ship on either side. maybe a jedi starfighter i could recognize. otherwise, it's a crapshoot. i can kinda tell the good guys from teh bad, but certainly not in a massive space battle like the one in ROTS. in contrast, i could freeze frame any shot in teh ROTJ battle and tell you the ship name and faction.

the space battles would be so much better if there were only a few ship designs per side that remained mostly consistent throughout the prequels with only occasional and slight additions/changes. an x-wing was still an x-wing in all 3 OT films; the jedi have had, what, at least two different ships?
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That is so true. Even in Return of the Jedi, when all these new fighters like B-Wings, A-Wings, TIE Interceptors, etc. get in the mix, it's still easy to tell what is what. There's really a problem when it becomes so jumbled that all you can think of is, "Oooh, look at the pretty explosions!!!" I can't say that I remember any of the designs in Ep. III.

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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I still think that the republic should have been using brand spanking shiny new X-Wings in Episode 3, and by the time of the OT the rebels are using the same ships, which by that time are antiques.

War does not make one great.

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Yeah, that does make sense. Hell, it makes a lot of sense. Damn, why didn't they do that?

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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First time poster here, and if I may I wanted to make a few points...

First off, didn't Laurence Kasdan have more to do with 'ROTJ' than with 'ESB'? As I heard it, the script was pretty much already completed by the time he had come on board, and he polished off the final draft.

As for Lucas...I think the biggest mistake he made was not directing something before making 'Episode 1'. I think he needed to do something else first, just to get into the swing of things. One of the positive things I can say about Ep3 is that I think Lucas did a great job of shooting it, and decided to loosen up for once. It's a well known story that Spielberg used to taunt Lucas because he would always use static shots, never moving the camera. But what he proves in Ep3 is that he is capable of bringing his A-Game to the table...It's just a shame his writing leaves a bit to be desired, but then Lucas is the first to admit that he finds writing horrible.

I still think he'll get to work directing something else soon. Once the Ep3 DVD is released I think he'll start considering new projects. Yes I know that he has the TV project coming up, but he's just going to be overseeing it rather than being directly involved in the production of it.

As for what he's been doing with his time, well I think that he's been keeping a tight rein over Lucasfilm and all it's affiliates until it's reached a place he's happy with. As he said, he has enough money to fund his films for the rest of his life, even if all of them are failures financially.
http://timeonmyside.blogspot.com/
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Originally posted by: DrVenkman

First off, didn't Laurence Kasdan have more to do with 'ROTJ' than with 'ESB'? As I heard it, the script was pretty much already completed by the time he had come on board, and he polished off the final draft.



That he wrote pretty much the entire thing is my understanding. Leigh Brackett had written a draft, but Lucas didn't like it, and hired Kasdan to do the final one.

Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the war room!

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I think you're pretty close to the mark in most things.

Personally, I think the success of ESB was more critical that "Raiders", as ESB was the movie that funded Lucas' break from Hollywood and allowed him to move the whole operation up to Marin County. He was absolutely obsessed with the budget on ESB, and hated that it ran over budget and forced him to go to a bank to get the money he needed to get it finished (and thereby diminished his profits). Remember, this was a time when "sequel" meant "hastily-produced follow-up designed to cash in", not "continuation of a larger story", so there was no certainty that ESB would even approach the success of "Star Wars".

When ESB actually succeeded, it did nothing so much as tell the budding marketing genius (and former visionary film director) George Lucas that he had a franchise, a license to print money, and his primary goal seemed to shift from producing great films to making sure that he maximised the marketing possibilities of his properties. Lucas hated the "Hollywood system" so much, he wanted nothing more than to gain independence from it. In an irony so obvious we should all have seen it coming, he then became exactly like the Hollywood he hated - risk-averse, self-referential, massively egotistical - while pointing the way to the future for the entire movie business (blockbuster franchise pictures directed at teenagers).

With the "new" Lucas' primary objective shifting to running and growing his new "empire", we were first offered the vaguely dissatisfying ROTJ, then (eventually) the massively disappointing PT. I think we really need to treat ROTJ and the prequels as a unit of sorts, as the shortcomings of the 1983 chapter pointed the way to the failures of the entire prequel trilogy. Lucas, unhappy with Kershner's independence, hired Marquand in large part because he knew he could control the production through him without having to sit in the director's chair himself. ROTJ was, in essence, the condensation of four chapters of the earlier 9-chapter saga into one two-hour movie, and it suffered for it, with loose ends tying themselves up at a frantic pace with no regard for logic, need or pacing. It was Lucas' insistence on going down this path that led to the split with Gary Kurtz, an event that has loomed ever-larger as time has passed - it was this condensation of story elements and characters that increasingly "boxed-in" the PT as Lucas was writing it, forcing him to invent new loopholes in order to stretch the PT story out over 3 movies.

So, the prequels then offered the inverse of ROTJ - a thin skeleton of a story, spun out and expanded to cover too much time, too many eventualities, too many themes. On top of this, they were saddled with a director/writer/storyteller who insisted on complete control (there's that word again) of all aspects of the movies, and who surrounded himself with yes-men and artists who had grown up on the original movies and were (understandably) ecstatic to be working on real, live "Star Wars" movies. These were hardly people who were going to point out flaws along the way. Nothing about the prequels, and their inherent storytelling weakness, is as instructive as reading "The Art of ROTS" and noticing that very little of the actual story was firm in Lucas' mind even deep into pre-production - he was literally developing the storyline based on preproduction artwork. Astonishingly, though, Lucas will still insist that the story in its current form "always existed", it was "THE story" and it "had to be told this way" or he would be somehow "disloyal" to his original ideas.

Deep down, there's a pretty strong case to be made that the prequels should never have been made - Lucas has actually told us exactly WHY they should never have been made himself, in interviews leading up the release of ROTS. While he insists that the "whole story" has always existed, the fact is that, by his own admission, the prequel story existed only insofar as it supported the OT with the bare skeleton of a background, a shadowy pre-history that the OT characters could refer back to, a set of events meant only to tell the audience that they had come in in the middle of a larger story, a serial that they hadn't seen the earlier episodes of. Part of the charm of the OT is that it leaves so much unexplained, and this lack of explanation allowed viewers to fill in the background themselves, to invest something of their own imagination, combine it with what was on screen, and have a fun fictional universe to play in. That's why we're all still here talking about these movies and trying to preserve them in their original state.

So, in a way, it's true that we would probably have been unhappy, in some way, with just about anything that Lucas had chosen to throw up on the screen and call "Star Wars" after all these years. However, that's a situation of his own making - that shadowy, sketchy pre-history was an essential element of the success of the OT, and explicity filling in the blanks was always going to be problematic. That's in no way meant to excuse that the choices Lucas did make once he decided to go ahead with the PT resulted in about 7 hours of absolutely joyless, charm-less, corporate moviemaking, inside which is buried a pretty impressive ILM demo reel.

In the end, I'm simply thankful that Lucas was once young and idealistic enough to make "Star Wars", and brave enough to follow it with ESB. Honestly, it's all I can do to not let the disasters that followed effect my love for those two masterpieces.
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It is scary how many of us think alike. I always thought maybe I was nuts, but many people see a change in Star Wars after ESB. It is such a quality drop, it bothers me to this day. I watched ROTJ the other, and though it is entertaining, and the Vader/Emperor/Luke scene is done very well, the movie overall is just not as good as Star Wars or ESB. Then you get to the prequels, and other than ROTS, they just don't feel like Star Wars.

To one thing I noticed is ROTS is making ROTJ worse! All the questions I waited for: Why did Vader turn? Did Luke & Leia's mom die? How does Leia know her mom and Luke doesn't? What is the whole story on the force ghost? All of the answers to these questions were underwhelming. We waited all these years to learn Vader was tricked, and he did everything for his wife? To me it brings down Vader alittle, but I think that is what Lucas intended to do.

Now when I watch ROTJ I notice things that were written badly in the prequels and it is definitely hurting the movie, for instance, when Leia and Luke talk about their mom, their real mom, it is such a plot error. Many people who defend Lucas say she saw Padme through the force, but to me that is lame and really lazy writing. I really thought ROTS would fullfill my appetite of Star Wars and answer all my questions, but it has made things more confusing, and has left me very unsatisfied toward the rise, fall, and redemption of Vader. I liked it better when it was the story about Luke. Oh well, I guess I have to get over it.
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Originally posted by: CO
It is scary how many of us think alike. I always thought maybe I was nuts, but many people see a change in Star Wars after ESB. It is such a quality drop, it bothers me to this day. I watched ROTJ the other, and though it is entertaining, and the Vader/Emperor/Luke scene is done very well, the movie overall is just not as good as Star Wars or ESB. Then you get to the prequels, and other than ROTS, they just don't feel like Star Wars.

To one thing I noticed is ROTS is making ROTJ worse! All the questions I waited for: Why did Vader turn? Did Luke & Leia's mom die? How does Leia know her mom and Luke doesn't? What is the whole story on the force ghost? All of the answers to these questions were underwhelming. We waited all these years to learn Vader was tricked, and he did everything for his wife? To me it brings down Vader alittle, but I think that is what Lucas intended to do.

Now when I watch ROTJ I notice things that were written badly in the prequels and it is definitely hurting the movie, for instance, when Leia and Luke talk about their mom, their real mom, it is such a plot error. Many people who defend Lucas say she saw Padme through the force, but to me that is lame and really lazy writing. I really thought ROTS would fullfill my appetite of Star Wars and answer all my questions, but it has made things more confusing, and has left me very unsatisfied toward the rise, fall, and redemption of Vader. I liked it better when it was the story about Luke. Oh well, I guess I have to get over it.
sah

Yeah, ever since I was a little kid and watching the trilogy (because I'd never just watch one movie and quit!), my excitement always built through Star Wars and climaxed at The Empire Strikes Back. And then my excitement dropped by the time I got to Return. It just couldn't top Empire. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy it. And I love it too. But even though the space fight is cool, the Vader/Luke/Emperor duel is cool, and Leia's bikini is the hottest thing in the universe, it just doesn't grab me the same way as the other two. And it always surprised me that a lot of my friends say that Return is their favorite. In a lot of ways, it just seems like, "Let's get together again and have one more adventure!"

The problem with Vader in the prequels is that Lucas doesn't seem to understand is that you can't tell one story from the same perspective and have the same character be the main antagonist in one half of it, and the main protagonist in the other half. Well, you can, but he just didn't do it in a way that was good. We have three movies where Darth Vader is the epitome of evil. He is ruthless. He is badass to every degree. Then George made the prequels and decided, "Luke isn't the hero of my six-episode Star Wars story. Anakin is. Everything is about him. He's the protagonist." So they spent three movies with Anakin as the hero. The good guy. There are some problems being hinted at, but George cannot bring himself to make his new hero anything but sympathetic. So, rather than being motivated by power and greed to become evil, he is motivated by love. Yeah... right. What he should have done was to make Anakin an anti-hero where he is on the good guy side, but he doesn't have the good guy attitude. Make him like Tom Riddle in the Harry Potter books. Model student, prefect, head boy, but he gets his jollies by hurting other people, and he knows when to suck up to the powers that be. So he made a seamless transition into Lord Voldemort. Anakin makes a complete 180 to Darth Vader, and it makes little to no sense.

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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The OT is a complete story-- beginning, middle, end. And you don't *need* the prequel "backstory", because even though there may be some cheese amongst the OT dialogue, it nevertheless is a well-written story and is satisfying as is. The prequels provided new, mostly uninteresting (and mostly pointless) characters and a meandering, unfocused story that never picks up. And an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink Sith that still seemed largely like empty calories.

The PT is of course a different ballgame, but hindsight was unusually not 20/20 here. The CG stuff, the casting, the half-baked story... it's wasn't magic anymore, or even just "saturday morning serial adventure fun"-- it's strictly business. The biggest mistake was tailoring the original films after the fact to now fit the prequels, and not vice versa. Can you really watch Eps I-IV in order and have it make sense? It seems rather haphazard. Just too much time had passed between Jedi and Menace, and Lucas never bothered to hone his craft in the meantime.

Seems like Lucas has modified his directing mantra, which is now spoken on his way to collect the dough:

"To the bank, Jeeves... with speed and intensity!"
We don't have enough road to get up to 88.
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Originally posted by: Pakka
I think you're pretty close to the mark in most things.

Personally, I think the success of ESB was more critical that "Raiders", as ESB was the movie that funded Lucas' break from Hollywood and allowed him to move the whole operation up to Marin County. He was absolutely obsessed with the budget on ESB, and hated that it ran over budget and forced him to go to a bank to get the money he needed to get it finished (and thereby diminished his profits). Remember, this was a time when "sequel" meant "hastily-produced follow-up designed to cash in", not "continuation of a larger story", so there was no certainty that ESB would even approach the success of "Star Wars".

When ESB actually succeeded, it did nothing so much as tell the budding marketing genius (and former visionary film director) George Lucas that he had a franchise, a license to print money, and his primary goal seemed to shift from producing great films to making sure that he maximised the marketing possibilities of his properties. Lucas hated the "Hollywood system" so much, he wanted nothing more than to gain independence from it. In an irony so obvious we should all have seen it coming, he then became exactly like the Hollywood he hated - risk-averse, self-referential, massively egotistical - while pointing the way to the future for the entire movie business (blockbuster franchise pictures directed at teenagers).

With the "new" Lucas' primary objective shifting to running and growing his new "empire", we were first offered the vaguely dissatisfying ROTJ, then (eventually) the massively disappointing PT. I think we really need to treat ROTJ and the prequels as a unit of sorts, as the shortcomings of the 1983 chapter pointed the way to the failures of the entire prequel trilogy. Lucas, unhappy with Kershner's independence, hired Marquand in large part because he knew he could control the production through him without having to sit in the director's chair himself. ROTJ was, in essence, the condensation of four chapters of the earlier 9-chapter saga into one two-hour movie, and it suffered for it, with loose ends tying themselves up at a frantic pace with no regard for logic, need or pacing. It was Lucas' insistence on going down this path that led to the split with Gary Kurtz, an event that has loomed ever-larger as time has passed - it was this condensation of story elements and characters that increasingly "boxed-in" the PT as Lucas was writing it, forcing him to invent new loopholes in order to stretch the PT story out over 3 movies.

So, the prequels then offered the inverse of ROTJ - a thin skeleton of a story, spun out and expanded to cover too much time, too many eventualities, too many themes. On top of this, they were saddled with a director/writer/storyteller who insisted on complete control (there's that word again) of all aspects of the movies, and who surrounded himself with yes-men and artists who had grown up on the original movies and were (understandably) ecstatic to be working on real, live "Star Wars" movies. These were hardly people who were going to point out flaws along the way. Nothing about the prequels, and their inherent storytelling weakness, is as instructive as reading "The Art of ROTS" and noticing that very little of the actual story was firm in Lucas' mind even deep into pre-production - he was literally developing the storyline based on preproduction artwork. Astonishingly, though, Lucas will still insist that the story in its current form "always existed", it was "THE story" and it "had to be told this way" or he would be somehow "disloyal" to his original ideas.

Deep down, there's a pretty strong case to be made that the prequels should never have been made - Lucas has actually told us exactly WHY they should never have been made himself, in interviews leading up the release of ROTS. While he insists that the "whole story" has always existed, the fact is that, by his own admission, the prequel story existed only insofar as it supported the OT with the bare skeleton of a background, a shadowy pre-history that the OT characters could refer back to, a set of events meant only to tell the audience that they had come in in the middle of a larger story, a serial that they hadn't seen the earlier episodes of. Part of the charm of the OT is that it leaves so much unexplained, and this lack of explanation allowed viewers to fill in the background themselves, to invest something of their own imagination, combine it with what was on screen, and have a fun fictional universe to play in. That's why we're all still here talking about these movies and trying to preserve them in their original state.

So, in a way, it's true that we would probably have been unhappy, in some way, with just about anything that Lucas had chosen to throw up on the screen and call "Star Wars" after all these years. However, that's a situation of his own making - that shadowy, sketchy pre-history was an essential element of the success of the OT, and explicity filling in the blanks was always going to be problematic. That's in no way meant to excuse that the choices Lucas did make once he decided to go ahead with the PT resulted in about 7 hours of absolutely joyless, charm-less, corporate moviemaking, inside which is buried a pretty impressive ILM demo reel.

In the end, I'm simply thankful that Lucas was once young and idealistic enough to make "Star Wars", and brave enough to follow it with ESB. Honestly, it's all I can do to not let the disasters that followed effect my love for those two masterpieces.



Haha...GL's life seems to mirror that of Anakin Skywalker.

"A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine before he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights..."
MTFBWY. Always.

http://www.myspace.com/red_ajax
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I just caught up on some of this thread and as I was reading Gaffer's latest post about Anakin being the hero and the villian I started thinking that a Tom Riddle type character would have worked better and then he went and mentioned that same point.

so yeah, basically I agree with Gaffer on that. If Lucas had gone that route it would have made Anakin\Vader's character much better and his fall to the Dark Side more convincing. hmmm, but now im thinking that then he wouldnt have had any good in him at all, so then Luke's comment about there still being good in him wouldnt make sense. So he would have to be somewhat good, but has he gained power and learned the force he took on Riddle type characteristics.

-Darth Simon
Why Anakin really turned to the dark side:
"Anakin, You're father I am" - Yoda
"No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!" - Anakin

0100111001101001011011100110101001100001

*touchy people disclaimer*
some or all of the above comments are partially exaggerated to convey a point, none of the comments are meant as personal attacks on anyone mentioned or reference in the above post
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Exactly. Obviously, he couldn't be exactly like Riddle, but like him in the respect that he always carried around this affinity for the dark side, and he always longed for power to satisfy his own greed, not to help other people. But it should struggle with his desire to do the right thing. But his greed ultimately wins out in the end. One of the most irritating elements of the Phantom Menace was that there was not a single moment where it hinted through his character that Anakin could possibly have any evil intentions. He was this perfect happy child who was all too eager to do the right thing and never hurt anybody in his entire life. The best we get was Yoda's cryptic message that something could go wrong. Ohhh, yeah, storytelling at its greatest, let me tell you. That's probably why I clung to Attack of the Clones so much when it came out three years later, because at the very least it showed some darkness in Anakin. It still suffered from the elements I said in my last post, but at least they were going somewhere with it rather than just having Yoda continue to say, "I think he'll be evil," even though they did continue to do that as well because there wasn't enough evil to sustain the idea on itself...

But I'm rambling. Hehe, I think it's so awesome that you had the same idea, too, Darth Simon. I wonder how many other people would agree.

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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I think Star Wars dosn't work anymore because America's not as inoccent as it once was. I think America has lost it's innocence, and so has Lucas. One of the great things about fantasy is it's strong moral foundations. The genra of Fantasy stems from folk tales, mythology, and fables, all of which were told to preserve a culture and keep it as it was. Star Wars had these same traits. That is why it is timeless, that is why all ages can enjoy it. Now, our culture is in a state of continuous change, a downward spiral into moral depravity. I'm not saying this was not happening during the 70's and 80's as well, but at that time Lucas was not susceptable too it. Now he is. I fear our friend has fallen to the dark side: moral relatavism, worshiping the all powerful dollar, and the matrix culture. His films are no longer innocent, but filled with needles violence, sexual perversion, and overall moral depravity. It was so depressing to hear that Episode III had been rated PG 13. Why couldn't Lucas tell his story in a way that everyone could see? He did it in Empire and Return of the Jedi. Yes, both movies had scenes of suffering and danger, but these issues were handled in a tastefull, don't show everything manner. Lucas has officially trodden all over and broke into tiny little peices his once formidable filmmaking carreer, so what do we do now? Make films young man! Look at Peter Jackson! His LOTR Trilogy was amazing, almost dwarfing Star Wars. It's secret was a firm grasp of right and wrong. Make films! Take a camera into your basement and film models on a blue screen! Make the next star Wars yourself!
Sean
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I think Star Wars dosn't work anymore because America's not as inoccent as it once was. I think America has lost it's innocence, and so has Lucas. One of the great things about fantasy is it's strong moral foundations. The genra of Fantasy stems from folk tales, mythology, and fables, all of which were told to preserve a culture and keep it as it was. Star Wars had these same traits. That is why it is timeless, that is why all ages can enjoy it. Now, our culture is in a state of continuous change, a downward spiral into moral depravity. I'm not saying this was not happening during the 70's and 80's as well, but at that time Lucas was not susceptable too it. Now he is. I fear our friend has fallen to the dark side: moral relatavism, worshiping the all powerful dollar, and the matrix culture. His films are no longer innocent, but filled with needles violence, sexual perversion, and overall moral depravity. It was so depressing to hear that Episode III had been rated PG 13. Why couldn't Lucas tell his story in a way that everyone could see? He did it in Empire and Return of the Jedi. Yes, both movies had scenes of suffering and danger, but these issues were handled in a tastefull, don't show everything manner. Lucas has officially trodden all over and broke into tiny little peices his once formidable filmmaking carreer, so what do we do now? Make films young man! Look at Peter Jackson! His LOTR Trilogy was amazing, almost dwarfing Star Wars. It's secret was a firm grasp of right and wrong. Make films! Take a camera into your basement and film models on a blue screen! Make the next star Wars yourself!
Sean