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'Merge' Article- Lucas in his own words

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From MergeDigital.com

From Merge

Creating The Galaxy: Myth Maker And Jedi Master George Lucas In His Own Words
Amy Longsdorf
Special to Merge

He sees himself as a hard-working independent filmmaker constantly at odds with the powers-that-be, a man who's not above sinking his own money into his films.

Others, of course, see George Lucas a tad differently. The mastermind behind the $3.5 billion-and-counting Star Wars series almost single-handedly gave birth to the modern blockbuster. He's rich beyond belief and sure to get even richer with the release of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Lucas insists that the final chapter in his Star Wars prequel came into being for a single reason: so he could finally finish the story he's been telling since 1977 when the groundbreaking space opera first touched down in multiplexes.

Here, the filmmaking icon, who turned 61 last Saturday, talks about Darth Vader, evil empires and life after Star Wars.

Can this really be the end of the Star Wars saga?

GEORGE LUCAS: Yes. The series starts with Darth Vader as a young lad and ends with him dying. So I don't know where else I can take it.

Wasn't there talk at one time of three trilogies?

LUCAS: That was created by the media, not by me.

But can you just walk away from it all?

LUCAS: I walked away from it before, for 15 years. I thought long and hard about coming back and doing the backstory. The only reason that I did do it was because I was interested in the story, and the fact that would sort of shift the way that you look at Episodes IV, V and VI.

Can you explain that a bit more?

LUCAS: It's really a story about Darth Vader. Luke and Leia became central figures and had a strong impact. But I knew if I gave Darth Vader his due, you would understand what a tragic story the whole thing was and it would change the way you look at the other movies. So that's why I did it.

But you must be sad that it's all over?

LUCAS: Not sad, relieved. It was a 10-year commitment. That's a very long period of time. You just hope that you can get through it without anything happening and I've done that. I'm glad about the way things turned out. It's what I wanted it to be.

It sounds like you've already let it go.

LUCAS: I'm letting go of the very thing that I fear to lose the most (laughs). Not really. But I am letting go. You sort of reach a point where you have to plan your life out. I'm sort of at that point. I love Star Wars but I'm not going to spend the rest of my life doing it. There are other things that I want to accomplish before I leave.

Are they in the sci-fi genre?

LUCAS: No. They're more independent in nature. They're not like any other kinds of movies. I want to go back to the kind of movies that I made at the beginning of my career. With Star Wars, I took a path of opportunity, thinking that it would end at any moment. I thought it was a little sidetrack and it ended up being my life.

You don't consider yourself part of the Hollywood establishment. Why is that?

LUCAS: I've never been based in Hollywood. I live in San Francisco. I make movies in San Francisco. I had to go down there and beg them to pay for my first three films. Even with Raiders of the Lost Ark, the studio didn't want Steven to direct it because he had made some extremely expensive movies.

No one gives you a hard time anymore, do they?

LUCAS: When I said I was going to do The Phantom Menace, everyone was saying, 'It's a Disney film. You're going to destroy the franchise. You can't do it. The fans will revolt.' I said, 'But this is the story. I'm telling the story and this is what I want to do.'

But I know that if I'd been at a studio, they would've just said, 'Nope, we're not doing this movie. You can have Darth Vader going around killing everyone but you can't do a film about a little boy.'

You asked for the sequel rights to Star Wars rather than take a fee up front. Did you know the movie would be a huge hit?

LUCAS: Just the opposite. I wanted the sequel rights so I could make the movie myself. I thought, 'I can finance this second movie if I get my company together, if I do this right.' They never thought that in a million years I'd be stupid enough to finance the film myself. The first rule of movie-making is that you never invest in movies, especially your own. That's what I did and by doing it, I got everything.

When you first wrote Star Wars, what inspired you to take a look at the rise and fall of governments?

LUCAS: It came out of the period of the Vietnam War and then Richard Nixon wanting to run for a third term. I'm a history buff, and I was reading that democracies basically end because the senate or the people bring in a dictator. And why do they bring in the dictator? It's usually because there's some kind of outside threat. Star Wars is more about Cesar and Napoleon and Hitler than it is about anything here in the U.S.

Did anything that's happened in the world since 9/11 inform the prequels?

LUCAS: No. A lot of it I'd written already. The only weird part about it is that it's so relevant. I didn't expect it to be this relevant, with Palpatine and his growth, and the corporate guilds and all of that stuff.

Can you give us a preview of the Sith DVD? Any deleted scenes?

LUCAS: I'm not actually doing the DVD. I'm helping to set that up but other people are going to do it. I'm not going to be involved in that.

You do sound like you're ready to move on.

LUCAS: I'll never be able to cut my ties completely from Star Wars, unfortunately or fortunately. I love Star Wars and I don't mind being intertwined with it. I just don't want to spend all the rest of my days doing it. I don't want to be on the treadmill of having to deal with it every single day. So the TV shows and the books will be done by other people. They're different from the saga, which is these six films.

You didn't direct Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi but you wrote and directed the latest three films. how come?

LUCAS: I've tried to get out of writing over and over and over again. It's the one thing that I don't want to do. It's strange: I don't think that I'm very good at it but I can do it better than most people. When I have an idea, I know how to express it. I know what needs to be done. I work with tons of writers on a lot of projects. I've turned things over to people, and I realize that I can pretty much do it as well as anyone can.

Can you keep all of the minutiae of the Star Wars world straight? does this stuff ever confuse you?

LUCAS: I haven't read any of the novels. That's a different world than my world. I do try to keep it consistent. I have a Star Wars encyclopedia on my shelf and when I come up with a name or something, I have to look it up to make sure it hasn't already been used.

http://www.mergedigital.com/custom/archive/me-lucas0518,0,2920316.story?coll=me-archive-hed
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i like that lucas can give hollywood and the fans the finger just wish he wouldnt. does he realise all this hate would go away if he just released the oot? this is really where all this stems, although i doubt people would hate the prequels any less they would probably lighten up about them
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Originally posted by: greencapt

LUCAS: I've tried to get out of writing over and over and over again. It's the one thing that I don't want to do. It's strange: I don't think that I'm very good at it but I can do it better than most people. When I have an idea, I know how to express it. I know what needs to be done. I work with tons of writers on a lot of projects. I've turned things over to people, and I realize that I can pretty much do it as well as anyone can.


http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a12/Adamwankenobi/toofunny.gif
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"There is no third trilogy. I never gave interviews where I said I had written treatments for nine films during the Making of Empire. It was never called The Adventures of Luke Skywalker. Move along..."
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I don't think that I'm very good at it but I can do it better than most people. haha. he's such a joke now. so pompous. what happened george?
thank the maker
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Originally posted by: SilverWook
"There is no third trilogy. I never gave interviews where I said I had written treatments for nine films during the Making of Empire. It was never called The Adventures of Luke Skywalker. Move along..."


hahahahah. He was most definately gonna finish Lukes Story buit then lied and siad he would never make it
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LUCAS: I haven't read any of the novels. That's a different world than my world. I do try to keep it consistent. I have a Star Wars encyclopedia on my shelf and when I come up with a name or something, I have to look it up to make sure it hasn't already been used.


So, I guess anything can happen in the novels. Like this scenario I just thought of:

Bail gets word of the Death star a day after Leia. So he goes to Tatooine(presumably to tell Ben that it's time to get Luke into training) finds Obiwan's hut abanded and, Owen and, Beru dead. So, he goes back to Alderaan only to see it distroyed. The tie fighter goes to investigate his ship. He uses the last of his hyperspace fuel to get someplace else. He ends up on Endor and, because he's wearing some gold coat the ewoks think of him as a god. After the celebration at the end of Jedi Luke and, Leia got an infection from somewhere along thier journey. So, they go to an Ewok medical center Bail comes in to get something he left there; see's Leia and, has a happy reunion. She asks the obvious "Why didn't you tell me I had a brother?" He replies "You don't. Why are you asking me this?" To which Luke replies "Ben Kenobi told me that Leia was my sister. Well, I sensed it but, he didn't deny it." Bail replies "Luke you had a sister but, she contracted a disease a month after being brought to our house. That's when I found out [insert name of Bail's wife here] was pregnant with Leia. I was hoping I wouldn't have to tell you two this. I never told Kenobi becuase, it would be too risky."


http://twister111.tumblr.com
Previous Signature preservation link

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Originally posted by: SilverWook
"I never gave interviews where I said I had written treatments for nine films during the Making of Empire. It was never called The Adventures of Luke Skywalker. Move along..."

That's what's so irritating about the guy. It's all that damn lying. Truthfully, I don't give a crap about all his re-edits, story changing on the fly, character castration, the romance novel dialogue, etc, etc. I don't watch or listen to any of it. I've got the original version of the original film, so it doesn't concern me. All that damn lying, though - man, there's young people that believe it - young people that weren't around in the seventies when he was giving interviews and saying the very thing he now claims never took place.

Aside from being maddening to listen to, it's very weird. Certainly he must realize that there's a really large part of the population that knows it's all bullshit.
Still, he just looks right at the interviewer and states very calmly - "I never said that" or "It's always been about Darth Vader" or "This is the story I was always working on", etc, etc.

In that 15 year gap when there wasn't going to be any more films, what did he think hardcore fans were doing? - having their memories erased? Man, they were saving everything they could get their hands on - including magazine articles, copies of the movies in their original state, copies of the original script drafts when it was Adventures Of Luke Skywalker with Vader and Annikin as separate characters, and so on.

He's a liar.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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Originally posted by: Anchorhead
All that damn lying, though - man, there's young people that believe it - young people that weren't around in the seventies when he was giving interviews and saying the very thing he now claims never took place.
Well, to him the OOT doesn't exist - so go figure. Putting to consideration what you just said about Lucas delusional state of mind made me think if he may actually be SuperShadow.
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Originally posted by: Darth Richard
Originally posted by: SilverWook
"There is no third trilogy. I never gave interviews where I said I had written treatments for nine films during the Making of Empire. It was never called The Adventures of Luke Skywalker. Move along..."


hahahahah. He was most definately gonna finish Lukes Story buit then lied and siad he would never make it


Lol, Mark himself said so time ago that George asked him to be Luke again in his new trilogy, but GL dinies everything.
.: Revenge of the Jedi 0.83 MS Edition :.
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Whenever I see someone post one of these articles about Lucas, I brace myself cause I know I will probably get mad, and just say, "I have a bad feeling about this article I'm gonna read."

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Wasn't there talk at one time of three trilogies?

LUCAS: That was created by the media, not by me.
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Lucas was asked by Leonard Maltin in 1997, about the third trilogy 7,8,9 right before shooting Episode I, Lucas said, "Whooa, let me get through this trilogy first!" Funny he didn't deny 9 episodes then, maybe cause of the backlash of the PT, and he was not god anymore?





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But can you just walk away from it all?

LUCAS: I walked away from it before, for 15 years. I thought long and hard about coming back and doing the backstory. The only reason that I did do it was because I was interested in the story, and the fact that would sort of shift the way that you look at Episodes IV, V and VI.
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Yeah, now you have newcomer to the series who watches them 1-6 in order thinks the original SW is average, and probably the worst of the six, because the are looking for Anakins struggle, a better lightsaber duel, better effects, and Yoda & The Emperor, and none of this was written in the story in 1977, they don't even know it was a standalone movie where nobody was related yet! That answer is dead on, they will look at the movies differently, but not for the better.





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Can you explain that a bit more?

LUCAS: It's really a story about Darth Vader. Luke and Leia became central figures and had a strong impact. But I knew if I gave Darth Vader his due, you would understand what a tragic story the whole thing was and it would change the way you look at the other movies. So that's why I did it.
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That is such a bunch of B.S. In the may 2005 Vanity Fair Issue, Lucas admits to not seeing the OT movies as the redemption of Darth Vader til many years after filming ROTJ. So when he was filming 4,5,6, Luke & Leia, Han were always the central figures, and Darth Vader who was just a bad guy in the original, became a secondary story to connect with Lukes in ROTJ, but even George knows it was always about Luke, but the PT propaganda wouldn't make sense if the two trilogies weren't about Anakin.




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No one gives you a hard time anymore, do they?

LUCAS: When I said I was going to do The Phantom Menace, everyone was saying, 'It's a Disney film. You're going to destroy the franchise. You can't do it. The fans will revolt.' I said, 'But this is the story. I'm telling the story and this is what I want to do.'

But I know that if I'd been at a studio, they would've just said, 'Nope, we're not doing this movie. You can have Darth Vader going around killing everyone but you can't do a film about a little boy.'
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Now I agree with Lucas, that the studios are not the ones to listen to because they are all about money, but TPM was specifically targeted to little kids, hence the only SW movie with such a kiddie tone to it, because of money & merchandising. Lucas didn't realize that the OT generation would still come in droves to the PT, if they were done well, and even though they still sucked, we still came out in droves because cause we were curious.

That is what is great about the original SW compared to TPM, it didn't cater to kids, it was made for probably teenagers, cause they were the biggest scifi fans, but kids latched on and adults, and it became a hit. But there was nothing in the original that said, "OK, here is some humor that werel sure the 5 year olds love it, but in TPM, Jar Jar.........................

And Vader running around killing people for 3 movies is insulting the OT fans, cause were smarter than that. That is Lucas's out, so he can always say he made the movies he wanted. Thats fine, but I know I didn't want suited Vader for 3 movies. But I wanted to know more about: The Clone Wars, The birth of the Rebellion, The force ghost, 3 solid movies of Anakin/Kenobi friendship, Palpatine trying to turn Anakin in AOTC, so you see a gradual turn to the darkside in which is understandable, not this 2 second, BAM, he is a bad guy! I would ask Lucas, "Was your vision for 28 years for the PT, to show Jar Jar stumbling & bumbling around for 2 hours in the first movie, and take any sense of drama out of what could have been the best of the 3 prequels?"








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You didn't direct Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi but you wrote and directed the latest three films. how come?

LUCAS: I've tried to get out of writing over and over and over again. It's the one thing that I don't want to do. It's strange: I don't think that I'm very good at it but I can do it better than most people. When I have an idea, I know how to express it. I know what needs to be done. I work with tons of writers on a lot of projects. I've turned things over to people, and I realize that I can pretty much do it as well as anyone can.
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Let see I wrote 3 new movies, and the biggest criticisms of each one is the dialogue, and acting, but he still chose to do both! Lucas is a great storyteller, the stuff he comes up with in this universe is great, and he could probably make 12 more SW movies, and I will be interested, because the PT books were really good to read.

But the execution is what killed the PT for me. The writing is not funny, it is just badly written compared to the OT. Now the OT isn't Shakespeare, but it has a seriousness that is needed, but is funny in the right places to keep it enjoyable. The PT was the opposite where the humor was written just to make the scene funny, and in every place in the prequels, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Just watch the Geonesis scene with C-3PO, every line tries to be funny, but it sticks out, cause it is the damn Clone Wars! It would be like having C-3PO cracking jokes on the trench run in the original SW as Luke tries to blow it up, and C-3PO, "Oh, my nerves!" "The suspense is killing me!"
In the original trench run, there is zero humor, becauese it didn't need it, it was a serious time, that needed tension and drama, and when you have Jar Jar & C-3PO cracking one liners that don't fit, you lose that in the first two movies.

Atleast you guys understand that Lucas has changed him mind of 28 years, because alot of newer fans think this was always his vision. Now I dont' have a problem if Lucas only wants to do 6 episodes now, I even don't blame him, I mean who wants to do SW for the rest of their life? But don't keep lying and saying everyone is lying, except himself. Just say, "you know what it was always about Luke, and in 1980, I had the hunger to do maybe 12, 9 episodes, cause I saw this huge galaxy out there, but I had to raise my kids, and I got older, and to be honest I just have the hunger to do SW for the next 20 years, so I paired it down to six movies, and just gave a backstory to the OT, focusing around Vader/Kenobi and Luke & Leis Mom, and if you want to watch it 1-6, it may work, but since it was filmed 4-6,1-3, it will probably work better that way. People change, I may have said alot of things that contradict now, but I have changed too."

I would be fine with that, cause it is atleast honest, now gives us the damn O-OT on DVD, so we don't have to read any of this crap about you hoping in one sentence you're gonna say you're releasing the originals!

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Its ridiculous when you have Gary Kurtz tell everyone that he's seen the 9 episode workup and describes the basic outline of it all.

But I guess he's lying too, right George?
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Perhaps George is just trying to become the Howard Hughes of his generation. There are similarities really. Early love of film, great technical accomplishments, distrust of the very industries they worked in, the denials and mis-truths as they get older....

Maybe GL will soon be running around the Ranch naked with mayonaisse jars full of his own urine. I hope not.
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Originally posted by: greencapt

Maybe GL will soon be running around the Ranch naked with mayonaisse jars full of his own urine. I hope not.


That gives me BAD BAAAAAAD images!
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Originally posted by: maddog00
Its ridiculous when you have Gary Kurtz tell everyone that he's seen the 9 episode workup and describes the basic outline of it all.

But I guess he's lying too, right George?


And why isn't GL confronted with this information? Why dosen't anyone point out his hypocrisy? Does he specify before every interview he won't answer anything realted to that? Or perhaps the media dosen't know or care? Because it does not make sense to me.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Goering
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People probably do confront him with these types of questions, but he then has them secretly killed and buried out at Skywalker Ranch.

But the whole GL statment that "episodes 7, 8, 9 thing is totaly BS. I never said that. Ever. You are all lying. It was the media! The media I SAY!!" pisses me off. Not to mention the fact that he is pushing this "Star Wars is Anakin's story" bullshit that none of us is buying. "It was my original vision from the beginning." Buuuuuuuuuuulshit!

Look, I have an ORIGINAL copy of the 1976 book that he wrote titled "Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker." Sorry, buddy, but I don't see nuthin' that will make me believe that Star Wars is about Anakin.

The PT, yes, I can buy that. But to say that the original trilogy is Anakin as the central figure? Pfftt. Show the Original Trilogy to someone who has never see a single Star Wars movie and then quickly ask them at the end "Who was the story about?" What do you think they are gonna say?

*said in Carlos Mencia voice* "Dur, they're gonna thay Luke Thkywalker! Der de-der!"
"I am altering the movies. Pray I don't alter them any further." -Darth Lucas
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I think he means that Anakin's story is the central theme, and that Luke is part of that story. Lucas sees Luke as merely a step in redeeming his father. I really don't think he thinks the OT is about Luke, that would be silly to pretend, as it's not.
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here we go again btw reporters dont ask tough questions for george dubya why would they ask them of george?
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Originally posted by: Adamwankenobi
I think he means that Anakin's story is the central theme, and that Luke is part of that story. Lucas sees Luke as merely a step in redeeming his father. I really don't think he thinks the OT is about Luke, that would be silly to pretend, as it's not.


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As I said, read the May 2005 Vanity Fair Article, for one time, Lucas was very forthcoming. He finally admitted that he didn't see the OT as the redemption of Vader til years after ROTJ. (Hint: Sounds like right around the time he thought he was going to make the PT)

It is a great selling point, the story of Anakin, and many younger fans eat it up. Go on theforce.net boards, every fan who loves the prequels, says it is one saga now, and it has always been about the story of Anakin. They even say they see so much of his struggles in ANH! He wasn't even Luke dad when it was made in 1977, in that movie he is just a really cool bad guy.

Lucas had to sell the PT as Anakins story because he knew he had to tie the OT to everything. Check out the SE VHS cases from 1997, it doesn't say Episode IV: A New Hope, it just says Star Wars as the original movie. He didn't start putting Epsiode #'s to sell the movie until the PT, before it was Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Now everything is Star Wars this, Star Wars that, except they forgot the original movie was called Star Wars. Look how he marketed ROTS, Vader here, Chewbacca here, Vader there, they both got about 5 minutes of screentime between them out of 2 hour 15 minute movie.

Lucas knows the OT was about Luke. Just look at every ending of the OT, Luke receives a medal in the ceremony with Han, in ESB, Luke & Leia watch as Lando pulls away, and ROTJ, Luke looks out at the force ghosts of his father, Kenobi, and Yoda. Every ending he was the central figure, not Vader.

Lucas can get away with his lies to the new fans, cause there is a simple fact, they're new. But older people know the history of SW and how it has changed and evolved. The typical Lucas answer is the media is the problem, he didn't seem to have a problem with the media when they did a countdown for TPM in 1999 as the most anticipated movie of the century? But you sure had a problem when the media and fans started burying it for being a mediocre movie. Who is the hypocrite?

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Originally posted by: CO
Originally posted by: Adamwankenobi
I think he means that Anakin's story is the central theme, and that Luke is part of that story. Lucas sees Luke as merely a step in redeeming his father. I really don't think he thinks the OT is about Luke, that would be silly to pretend, as it's not.


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Check out the SE VHS cases from 1997, it doesn't say Episode IV: A New Hope, it just says Star Wars as the original movie. He didn't start putting Epsiode #'s to sell the movie until the PT, before it was Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Now everything is Star Wars this, Star Wars that, except they forgot the original movie was called Star Wars.


Hold on a second. The film's title was officially changed on the opening crawl in 1981. PLUS, ESB and ROTJ were only advertised with their subtitles, they ALWAYS had their episode number in the opening crawl.
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Despite the crawls, despite whatever copyright name revisions LFL did, prior to the PT NO ONE (seriosuly NO ONE) referred to the movies by anything other than their given names. Sorry AWK, its just tue.

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/6304539258.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg http://images.amazon.com/images/P/6304539266.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpghttp://images.amazon.com/images/P/6304539274.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
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Yeah, but that's not what they were officially called. No trailer referred to The Empire Strikes Back, as Star Wars: Episode V. No release until The Phantom Menace referred to the movies by their episode numbers. The crawl is just that, the crawl. And the numbers are just that: the numbers. And the titles are just that: the titles.

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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Why were they called that, anyway? Didn't people ever reallize that they were episodes of a series, even if they were 4, 5, and 6? I mean, why in the hell did people once refer to Episode IV as simply "Star Wars?" And then people called the next two by their subtitles. Huh?