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My take (long)

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The people that weren’t around 28 years ago, only have what Lucas says now to go by. Some of them just blindly follow him anywhere and hang on his every word as though his almighty Star Wars Saga – the greatest story ever told - is the be all, end all.
Lucas isn’t some sort of literary god or film savant. He’s just a guy that wrote a screenplay back in the 1970s and turned it into a film.

Those of us that loved that film when it was first in the theaters, watched and read every interview we could get our hands on. We listened to what the director and actors said about the film and it’s story. It was an outer space adventure along the lines of a fairy tale – hero rescuing princess - good guy vs bad guy with a damsel in distress waiting to be saved. All set against the backdrop of a futuristic (to us) military struggle as opposed to something like medieval England.

It was a single story. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. It had the main characters with a few sidekicks thrown in for depth. That’s all, no grand, 30 year unfolding space saga of the rise and fall of a boy as he becomes a man and has to ultimately be saved by his children.
NONE of that story was there. It wasn’t hinted at. It wasn’t planned for. It hadn’t been considered, and there was no need or place for it in the movie The Star Wars.
All because - it didn’t exist. The early script was a story surrounding Annikin Starkiller, Luke Skywalker, and General Vader. Separate characters, unrelated to each other. Minor tweaks would later eliminate Starkiller and Luke Skywalker would be a teenager instead of a 60 year old man.

With what ultimately became the movie Star Wars, we could let our imaginations run wild thinking about what might happen next or wonder about all the far away worlds the characters may have come from. When I was sitting in the theater every week in 1977, I was a billion miles from home, on a wondrous adventure. My imagination made the story gigantic.

After the success of the movie, Lucas saw the opportunity to make more, to try and capitalize on his success. That would prove much harder than he realized. Having a completed story already, he had to go about the task of adding a second installment. That wasn’t too hard since you can imagine more things for the characters to do. All you have to do is come up with a reason for them to have to do them. That’s where Lucas failed as a writer. He had no more story in him and his struggle to invent one was weak. He ended up just shrinking the previous story and trying to conjure up all sorts of history that ended up being almost too thin to span another film – let alone 5 more. The movies continued to get larger while the story continued to get smaller.

To cover his tracks and try to explain away the discrepancies and plot holes, he’s lied about what he said and did back in the 70s and he’s removed and digitally altered the previous films to try to revise history. That doesn’t work when all the people involved in making them and the fans following the films are still around to call him on it.

A great many of us were there in the 1970s George – we saw the film, we watched the interviews, we read the script, we heard what you said about the story.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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I agree with several things you said. However, I don't agree that the story was complete, even though Star Wars could have been a stand alone movie. Luke left Tatooine to become a Jedi Knight and he wasn't even close to being a Jedi at the end of the first movie. He was a war hero no doubt, but a Jedi he was not. IMO Empire Strikes Back worked so well because it continued Luke's journey, etc.

I agree though that Lucas is full of it when he claims he had the whole saga mapped out. It's so obvious since there are way too many discrepancies. If he had originally intended to have Leia be Luke's sister, they wouldn't have Leia give him that big ole smooch on Hoth. If he had originally intended to have the words "midichlorians" and "padawan" in the films, then they would have been used right away. I think George had ideas of the way things might have been prior to and after Star Wars, but there's no way he had the whole darn story figured out. Had that been the case, the Emperor probably would have had a much bigger role in the OT, Padme would have either not died in childbirth or Leia wouldn't have remembered her mother. I'm guessing Vader wasn't originally intended to be Luke's father. That's fine and I think Obiwan's explaination in Jedi was good enough. It doesn't matter to me if George came up with the idea AFTER he made the first movie.

The fact that George makes so many contradictory statements and has created so many plotholes makes it obvious his original vision stuff is crap. How can an original vision change so much?
George Lucas was seduced by the dark side. The OOT ceased to exist in his mind and became the Special Editions...." "They're more maching now than movies. Twisted and evil."
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Originally posted by: JennyS1138

I don't agree that the story was complete, even though Star Wars could have been a stand alone movie.

I think that's exactly what it was intended to be. That's what I meant by complete. It was a finished story in the form it was released in. I didn't need to know what happened after the princess gave the medals to the heros. The fairy tale was over...and it was a wonderful adventure in the process.

Nothing at all wrong with a second installment, by the way. Star Trek, James Bond, Batman, etc have all been fun series but each one doesn't depend on the one before it to even make sense. That's Lucas' biggest weakness - he had one story that he tried to stretch across 6 films. That would be possible if he actually started from the beginning and planned them all out, but he didn't. He finished the story after the first movie and then changed his mind - several times over, trying to reinvent the original in the process. What a tangled web he's woven.

On an unrelated note - Jenny, I believe you may have the best signature on the board.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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I don't really think there ever was an original vision either. When you're creating a story, things are always very fluid. As you continue to map out the story, an earlier decision can turn out to be the wrong one, so you go back and change it. I'm no expert, but I'm a novice writer at best....so I can speak with some experience. I have a few stories that have changed so drastically from their original conception that they are barely recognizable anymore.

So whatever Lucas came up with that involved the green fishy Han Solo, or Annikin Starkiller and Luke being a 60 year old general is probably just an early draft of his story which kept changing.

I imagine that since it was turned into a movie, even more changes had to occur to accomodate budgets, etc.

But the point is that what became Star Wars was complimented by Empire and was then complimented by Jedi. I know we all have problems with Jedi, but it does fit in with Star Wars and Empire quite well. Nothing is really contradicted, if I recall correctly.

And that's where the problem is....Lucas didn't follow the story as it was originally shown in theaters. Instead he decided to change the OT so he could do whatever with the prequels.

Makes no sense......the prequels should have been the easiest 3 movies to make. The events of the OT dictate what has to happen in them.

Lucas is just plain crazy.
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I agree with everyone here that Lucas never had this grand vision of all these movies. Star Wars is definitely a stand alone movie, and I wish the younger generation would understand that, because unfortunately they see it as Episode IV of six episodes.

Did you Lucas have more ideas outside the original movie, I believe he did. Was anything written in stone, that is where I believe that not to be true. I'm sure when he was writing out the original Star Wars, I actually do believe he had other notes on what happened to everyone and how they got there. But I believe they were just rough draft notes of basic ideas.

Lucas probably had a million ideas of maybe Vader was Lukes father, or maybe he killed Lukes father? Who is the emperor, and will we ever see him if I make a sequel, nah, maybe just let people imagine this great ruler of the galaxy. In the end he probably had a million different ideas jotted down in his binder, some he used and some he threw away.

The one big lie George says presently is that the saga was always about these two twins and their father (This was said on the documentary on the OT DVD release) That is a bunch of B.S. I don't believe he ever had intended when he made the original SW for Luke & Leia to be siblings, hence the whole family affair idea doesn't work for me. I think he went with Leia being Lukes sister, after Vader being Lukes father went over so well with the public, that this would be the 'twist' for Jedi, but it had the opposite effect.

As for 12 episodes or 9 episodes or 6 episodes, I believe at one time when Lucas was still hungry and creative he may had a grand design of say 3 trilogies of SW films of 3 generation of Skywalkers, but then realized he didn't want to spend the rest of his life with this project anymore. That is why when Lucas says it was always 6 movies, the birth, life, fall, and redemption of Darth Vader, that is a bold face lie too.

Did Star Wars need any sequels, not really, but the OT works for me well. The original is still my favorite movie of all-time, but ESB is #2 right behind it, and though I feel it is a better movie than the original, the magic and charm of the first one always wins me over in the end. Jedi, though it is a good movie, is where Lucas began to lose his creativity, and if hindsight was 20/20, after analyzing what is wrong with Jedi, I would have never gotten hyped about the prequels, cause I feel SW hit the pinnacle in 1980, and I don't think Lucas had the hunger to make another classic movie, he just wanted something good enough, and in the end, whether we like it or not, he has made a boatload of money off of a whole trilogy of inferior films compared to the OT. But as I said, I still like Jedi alot because it does give closure to the saga, which is like closure to our childhood, and the end with Vader/Luke/Emperor is as good as Star Wars can get.

Overall, I really don't listen to Lucas much anymore about his grand vision, because you can google some old interview from 15-20 years that will contradict something he said. It is a shame because he wants the saga to be about Anakin Skywalker and it just doesn't sell to me, I grew up with the story of Luke, and that is how I will always see it. It is a shame because the younger generation who love the PT now are missing out on a great experience of just watching the original Star Wars for what it originally was, a fun space adventure with lovable characters and really cool bad guy. Now they look it at as some inferior special effects movie, that is totally out of place with the first three prequels they just watched. I guess it's their loss.
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Originally posted by: CO

I grew up with the story of Luke, and that is how I will always see it. It is a shame because the younger generation who love the PT now are missing out on a great experience of just watching the original Star Wars for what it originally was, a fun space adventure with lovable characters and really cool bad guy. Now they look it at as some inferior special effects movie, that is totally out of place with the first three prequels they just watched. I guess it's their loss.

very well put, CO.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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so what exactly made Lucas "lose his hunger" as you put it? This is the only thing that interests me at this point.
"Who's scruffy-lookin'?" - Han Solo
"I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself." -sybeman
"You know, putting animals in the microwave is not a good idea. I had to learn that one the hard way." -seanwookie
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Originally posted by: Switch Radic
so what exactly made Lucas "lose his hunger" as you put it? This is the only thing that interests me at this point.


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Success. It happens to alot of great people in their field who succeed to a greater rode then they thought. I don't think Lucas thought Star Wars would ever be the success it was, and probably no one else did either.

Sometimes when you reach the pinnacle, unfortuanately the only way is down. Now Lucas is not the only this has ever happened to. Look at many great actors who win a best oscar award, and then 10 years later then never make a good movie again, it is because they were content with the oscar and felt where do I go from here? Many athletes or coaches win a championship and never have that same drive again. Look at Jimmy Johnson who coached the Cowboys to two superbowls in the 90's, he then took over the Dolphins and never had that hunger to be the best, now he lives the good life in Florida on his boat and works once a week on Fox Sunday with Bradshaw and Howie Long.

I am not degrading Lucas, but it does happen to the best of them. When he made ESB, he said to Kershner, "This movie has to be better than Star Wars, if it isn't than there are no more movies." Lucas knew he HAD to succeed with Empire, it had to be great, hell he financed it with his own money, if it didn't, he would be bankrupt, that takes a lot of guts. After ESB, he became the head of his own company, and he had made it, and deserves kudos from many fans that hate him so much now, but finally making it to the top to become independent turned out to be his worst enemy. By doing everything on the prequels: Writing, Directing, etc. the movies showed his directorial flaws, and that is why alot of people on this site have problems with those movies. Even Lucas admits he hates writing, so go out and get a damn screenwriter!

Look at many directors who are past their prime, when was the last time Coppola did a good movie, or Brian Depalma, or when was the last time James Cameron made a movie? Not since he won an oscar. It happens to the best of them, unfortunately Lucas didn't know when to stop.
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so he just lost hiss edge once ESB was done? hmm.... that's sad. I can think of ways he could have gone beyond what he had done. Well, that's not really true, at least not off the top of my head. But there is always something. There is always something out there that nobody has ever done before and whatnot. If I were him, I'd have turned to more experimental stuff to just try new things and expand, but i guess he never did. It's funny, since hitchcock, films haven't been the same in a way. the inventive spirit is almost nill right now. Sad...sad...sad...
"Who's scruffy-lookin'?" - Han Solo
"I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself." -sybeman
"You know, putting animals in the microwave is not a good idea. I had to learn that one the hard way." -seanwookie
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Originally posted by: Switch Radic
so he just lost hiss edge once ESB was done? hmm.... that's sad. I can think of ways he could have gone beyond what he had done. Well, that's not really true, at least not off the top of my head. But there is always something. There is always something out there that nobody has ever done before and whatnot. If I were him, I'd have turned to more experimental stuff to just try new things and expand, but i guess he never did. It's funny, since hitchcock, films haven't been the same in a way. the inventive spirit is almost nill right now. Sad...sad...sad...


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Actually, this is where I'll give Lucas credit, he made Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, a year after ESB, but he didn't direct, he didn't write the screenplay, he just produced and wrote out the basic story, and let Spielberg direct it to be a classic, just like ESB. Hey I think Lucas is a great storyteller, and also with a director like Spielberg, Lucas is a perfect Executive Producer, but on the prequels he did everything, and that is where he failed.
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Come on Bizzle....they're talking about Lucas losing his edge.....time for you to swoop down here and tell all of us we don't know what we're talking about.

So many of the same opinions have to be wrong cuz we don't know Lucas at all, right?
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hes admitted he didnt have a burning desire to do the prequels and it shows. he was just interested in the cg