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Proof of Lucas’ revisionism in Rinzler’s making-of book?

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I haven’t read it (yet), but I know there’s a passage in Rinzler’s Making of Star Wars book that claims Lucas had “midichlorians” in his notes as far back as 1977. I also know that people on this board have repeatedly stated that this is inaccurate and is historical revisionism forced upon the author by Lucas. I feel like I remember a citation proving this claim but I can’t find it. Does anyone have evidence that shows the book’s statement about midichlorians dating back to the original trilogy are patently false? Thanks in advance.

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Rinzler himself makes a note on that quote in this article about midichlorians.

[Please note: While we were preparing the text for The Making of Star Wars, Lucas added a note to this passage about midi-chlorians, bringing his original words in line with his later thoughts and the events of the prequel trilogy.]

https://www.starwars.com/news/so-what-the-heck-are-midi-chlorians

So, the original quote was apparently from an archive recording of an interview he had with Carol Titelman in 1977, who was the author of the first Art of Star Wars book, but she also was apparently a member of his staff who was asking him a series of questions that could be used to guide future Star Wars novel/EU material writers.

The quote, as it is in Rinzler’s The Making of Star Wars goes:

”It is said certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different; they have more midi-chlorians in their cells.”

But, based off what Rinzler said in that article, it probably was:

”It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different.”

This info is taken from this Q&A site.
https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/7510/when-did-george-lucas-make-up-the-stuff-about-the-sith-and-midichlorians/7527#7527

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^ Nice find RogueLeader 😃
 

The General Star Wars Discussion Index Thread (in the ‘Archival / Historical discussions’ section) has a few threads featured on Lucas’ revisionism / re-writing of history / some of the contradictions or maybe mis-remembering events… depending on your point of view 😉

I’m not sure if midichlorians are mentioned specifically in there - though seems likely they would be (somewhere)…
 

There are a few OT•com threads on some of Rinzler’s books (and also zombie84’s ‘Secret History of Star Wars’ book) which may feature the topic too?:-

The Secret History of Star Wars : ‘Now Available In Print’ thread : AudioBook thread

Making of Star Wars (New Book) Discussion

Making of Empire Strikes Back (the book) thread : Heilemann’s thread on the MoESB book

Making of Return of the Jedi (the book) Thread

Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy (the book)

 

Anyone know of a site or blog, book or detailed article (or thread or post), cataloging the various point-by-point details on the subject of Lucas’ revisionism / re-writing of history / some of the contradictions or maybe mis-remembering events?

It’d make for an intriguing read - and a welcome addition on here given many of the changes to the history of Star Wars films over the years - given the somewhat contradictory reasons as to why from George Lucas himself…
 

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And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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Awesome, thanks guys that’s exactly what I needed!

JEDIT:

In the first link RogueLeader provided they actually include the full quotation from Lucas:

“The Force is really a way of seeing; it’s a way of being with life. It really has nothing to do with weapons. The Force gives you the power to have extra-sensory perception and to be able to see things and hear things, read minds and levitate things. It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different. The Force is a perception of the reality that exists around us. You have to come to learn it. It’s not something you just get. It takes many, many years…Anyone who studied and worked hard could learn it. But you would have to do it on your own.”

Man I have such a love-hate relationship with George. I love so much of the art and entertainment he’s spurred into creation but I HATE his subversive historical revisionism!

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I remember it was once planned to have C-3PO sound like a used car salesman. If they made an even newer version of the special editions and dubbed in Danny DeVito as the voice of C-3PO, I wouldn’t care if it more closely matched what was originally planned.

So even if they find some sort of note where Lucas once pondered midichlorians, I wouldn’t care. It no more legitimizes the concept than an early drawing of Yoda or Jabba should prompt additional revisions. Lucas had some bad ideas around the time of the prequels and special editions. I will always appreciate and admire what he accomplished and everything he has done for cinema and the greatest franchise of all time, but I am also glad he sold Lucasfilm.

This sort of thing does make me less interested in any sort of newer making-of documentaries or books being made now. If I want to check out Star Wars being made, I’ll watch Empire of Dreams or SP FX: The Empire Strikes Back.

Lucas deserves a lot of credit for all he has done, but he certainly didn’t create it all alone. People like John Williams, Ralph McQuarrie, Dennis Muren, John Dykstra, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, Ben Burtt, Marcia Lucas, Alan Ladd Jr. and others also had a lot to do with creating this franchise. They aren’t just laborers to the vision of Lucas. They each put something of themselves into Star Wars and it wouldn’t be the same without them. I think they deserve more credit than they usually receive.

In my opinion, the Original Trilogy appears to be the product of a group of people led by George Lucas working together to make something special, while the prequels and special editions were the product of employees following orders. Just my $0.02

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I see Star Wars in its prime as being like a rock band. Take Keith out of the Stones, Joe Perry out of Aerosmith, Bruce Dickinson out of Iron Maiden, Bon Scott out of ACDC etc etc and it’s easy to see that a band (or film) is so much more than one person - regardless of whether they’re the main founder or creative nucleus. ROTJ is, to me, like the third album of band where the lead guitarist and drummer have quit (or been fired) and the record company has demanded more hits and insisted on a pop-producer and more synthesisers.

The ST is a reunion tour with a couple of the original members and all-new songs co-written by Mark Ronson to make sure they sound like the hits of yesteryear.

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I made a thread about the “George Lucas Explains his Universe” interview from 1977 included in Rinzler’s book a few years back.

https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Lucas-EU-in-1977-midi-chlorians-space-gypsies-and-crystal-currency/id/51354

It’s really frustrating that such a popular book has an edited section in it. I personally don’t have any problems with midichlorians (I get why Lucas felt the need to add them to the lore), but it annoys me that Lucas is trying to retcon film history. A lot of SW fans still insist that Lucas had the whole thing planned from the beginning because of Rinzler’s book. It even says so on the Wookieepedia article for midichlorians.

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It’s a darn good thing George doesn’t have access to a time machine. 😉

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I know Lucas’ own revisionism has been discussed ad nauseam here on this site, and it definitely deserves the debate because despite it feeling like most Star Wars fans know Lucas is a little guilty of this, I also believe that Lucas has sort of “won” in some regard to that. It’s hard to explain, but if you were to develop some kind of test that was able to determine how “aware” someone was of Lucas’ revisionism, I believe most fans would score lower than you might think.

And for me, I guess that leads to the question of how it affects the fanbase’s everyday perception of the franchise, overall? I don’t know if this exactly fits, but one think I have noticed is how on a lot of sites it feels like the discussion regarding the prequels has really changed in the past ten years. I am a Prequel kid myself, but I seem to recall a lot of talk about George ruining the franchise, but nowadays you often hear defenses of the Prequels as George’s “vision”, and how it was all planned out by him (fans nowadays seem to have an obsession with the idea “overarching” plans), but if you read The Secret History of Star Wars, it paints a very different picture. Usually George Lucas and his vision become weapons to use against the Sequel Trilogy.

While I am a fan of the new movies, I actually think Disney/Lucasfilm have a closet full of skeletons very similar to George’s. While George is guilty of his own revisionism, we really don’t have the same level of “behind the scenes” looks at the new films like we did under George. It’s that transparency that has partially allowed fans to discover that revisionism in the first place.

But since the Disney acquisition, there have been a lot of questions about what the development process has been like for the new films. What were George’s treatments like that he gave to Kathleen Kennedy? How much was kept/thrown away from those as Episode VII was evolving? To what extent does the new trilogy have an overall plan, and what does that mean exactly?

Some info has been gleamed from interviews, but oftentimes those interviews can appear contradictory. Ironically, one of the best sources of behind the scenes information for the new trilogy that we have gotten so far are from the Art of series of books, since story development has often gone hand-in-hand with the Art Department for Star Wars films. Fortunately, you can find some great posts on sites like Reddit and theforce.net that gather various sources, but even with collected sources, you’ll often see heated debates regarding the sequel trilogy regarding the validity of this information.

I think a major difference is obviously that now that Lucas is gone, you can really look back at his tenure in a historical sense, but the Sequel Trilogy development is still an ongoing thing. Eventually I hope that they will release a book that gives us more information about the making of process. Interestingly enough, J.W. Rinzler was still with Lucasfilm when the acquisition happened up until TFA was released, and was actually documenting it for another eventual book, but it seemed like Lucasfilm wasn’t ready for that, since they halted the development. Rinzler was even going to start a blog on his own called “The Rise and Fall of Star Wars”, but it appeared he may have been asked to not continue that.

On one hand, I sorted of don’t blame Lucasfilm for not wanting to reveal too much of the behind the scenes information before the Sequel Trilogy is complete, to avoid spoiling anything for subsequent films. On the other hand, I will be a little disappointed if we never get anything like that. And even if we did, it kind of makes you wonder how much will be “redacted”, per se. While Rinzler himself seems a little salty about the changing of the guard, we also know we was himself responsible for helping George’s revisionism. Eventually, I would like to see a spiritual sequel to The Secret History of Star Wars that covers the development of the Sequel Trilogy following the Disney acquisition, written by a third party, such as unaffiliated fans.

EDIT: I actually found an interview Star Wars News Net did with Rinzler at the end of January. They ask him a question regarding the TFA book around the 58 min mark. I have that timestamp in this link https://youtu.be/B9p6naiDwzQ?t=3469

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RogueLeader said:

I know Lucas’ own revisionism has been discussed ad nauseam here on this site, and it definitely deserves the debate because despite it feeling like most Star Wars fans know Lucas is a little guilty of this, I also believe that Lucas has sort of “won” in some regard to that. It’s hard to explain, but if you were to develop some kind of test that was able to determine how “aware” someone was of Lucas’ revisionism, I believe most fans would score lower than you might think.

And for me, I guess that leads to the question of how it affects the fanbase’s everyday perception of the franchise, overall? I don’t know if this exactly fits, but one think I have noticed is how on a lot of sites it feels like the discussion regarding the prequels has really changed in the past ten years. I am a Prequel kid myself, but I seem to recall a lot of talk about George ruining the franchise, but nowadays you often hear defenses of the Prequels as George’s “vision”, and how it was all planned out by him (fans nowadays seem to have an obsession with the idea “overarching” plans), but if you read The Secret History of Star Wars, it paints a very different picture. Usually George Lucas and his vision become weapons to use against the Sequel Trilogy.

Ironically the fact that Lucas was making it all up as he went along is actually something that comes across very clearly in Rinzler’s books (which do not feel scrubbed by Lucas at all, in fact I don’t remember any mention of midichlorians - something in a later edition?).

One thing that I think helped Lucas stoke confusion and make his revisionist claims so plausible is how frequently he would reuse old concepts of his that never made it through (i.e. the Ewoks battling stormtroopers is an evolution of an idea he had for the climax of his first Star Wars draft, which aids his claim that he wrote the whole OT in one go and then split it up into three parts). But these days, all the info is there for you to see where he’s lying and where he’s not. Rinzler has no qualms breaking down what was added when and in which draft.

Anyway your point about the fanbase’s misconceptions here are painfully spot on.

I think a major difference is obviously that now that Lucas is gone, you can really look back at his tenure in a historical sense, but the Sequel Trilogy development is still an ongoing thing. Eventually I hope that they will release a book that gives us more information about the making of process. Interestingly enough, J.W. Rinzler was still with Lucasfilm when the acquisition happened up until TFA was released, and was actually documenting it for another eventual book, but it seemed like Lucasfilm wasn’t ready for that, since they halted the development. Rinzler was even going to start a blog on his own called “The Rise and Fall of Star Wars”, but it appeared he may have been asked to not continue that.

On one hand, I sorted of don’t blame Lucasfilm for not wanting to reveal too much of the behind the scenes information before the Sequel Trilogy is complete, to avoid spoiling anything for subsequent films. On the other hand, I will be a little disappointed if we never get anything like that. And even if we did, it kind of makes you wonder how much will be “redacted”, per se. While Rinzler himself seems a little salty about the changing of the guard, we also know we was himself responsible for helping George’s revisionism. Eventually, I would like to see a spiritual sequel to The Secret History of Star Wars that covers the development of the Sequel Trilogy following the Disney acquisition, written by a third party, such as unaffiliated fans.

As disappointed as I am that we haven’t gotten “Making of” books for each Disney film, I realize that even if we did, they wouldn’t be anything like the ones we have for the OT. Even putting aside all the things they wouldn’t want to talk about for fear of spoiling, and also putting aside some things like discussing Harrison’s injury which could potentially run up against the legal department, there is a level of frankness to Rinzler’s OT books that you simply would never get from a book discussing a recent production - not from LFL, not from Disney, not from literally anyone. It’s only when you have decades in between that you can be privileged to hear official accounts of such things with that level of honesty. So it’s a give and take. I’d prefer something rather than nothing, but ultimately I do understand that even if we got something it wouldn’t be everything we’d want.

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Maybe I am a bit too harsh on the “George” revisionism claim regarding Rinzler, but apparently that modified “midichlorian” quote is around page 398 of the Making of Star Wars book.

Yeah, actually I think what you said is exactly on point. Rinzler mentions in that interview that he had actually finished the manuscript, and that there really wasn’t anything “juicy” in it per se. He said he felt if it was ever released, fans would probably be disappointed. But he thinks the reason it was cancelled was because Lucasfilm didn’t want to bring back up certain things from production, things that the public already knows, like Lucas saying they didn’t use his treatments, Brad Bird being in talks to direct early on, Harrison Ford’s injury (which Rinzler describes as “Harrison almost dying”). Like you said, it might be a long time before we get any official Behind the Scenes book outside of the Art of books, I would say at the earliest 10 years from now, if not longer.

That’s why I think it would be really interesting for a fan-made book were to be made that would compile as much known information regarding the development as possible. Sources like books, interviews, blogs, behind the scenes videos, etc. But something in the vein of Secret History might be the only “making of” book we might get for a very long time.

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RogueLeader said:

Maybe I am a bit too harsh on the “George” revisionism claim regarding Rinzler, but apparently that modified “midichlorian” quote is around page 398 of the Making of Star Wars book.

I’ll have to check my copy.

Yeah, actually I think what you said is exactly on point. Rinzler mentions in that interview that he had actually finished the manuscript, and that there really wasn’t anything “juicy” in it per se. He said he felt if it was ever released, fans would probably be disappointed. But he thinks the reason it was cancelled was because Lucasfilm didn’t want to bring back up certain things from production, things that the public already knows, like Lucas saying they didn’t use his treatments, Brad Bird being in talks to direct early on, Harrison Ford’s injury (which Rinzler describes as “Harrison almost dying”). Like you said, it might be a long time before we get any official Behind the Scenes book outside of the Art of books, I would say at the earliest 10 years from now, if not longer.

I imagine yeah that the main reason it was canned is that right now LFL and Disney seem to try to be very tight lipped about a lot of behind the scenes things, even ones that aren’t necessarily negative. I feel like if we did get a making of after TFA, it probably wouldn’t have been much more in depth than the doc we got on the blu-ray.

On the other hand some of that secrecy is probably coming from JJ/Bad Robot, as that’s their MO. Rian seems to be a lot more open with the process, especially with hiring a documentary filmmaker to be on set 24/7. Ultimately what we got on the TLJ blu-ray is a lot more honest about the process of making that film, though in fairness LFL was probably okay with that because TLJ is easily the smoothest production there has ever been for a SW film, and really the only person who might not like what’s in the doc is Rian himself (what with the discussions of people disagreeing with his approach), but I think he figured fans would be mature enough to understand what was going on (little did he know…).

That’s why I think it would be really interesting for a fan-made book were to be made that would compile as much known information regarding the development as possible. Sources like books, interviews, blogs, behind the scenes videos, etc. But something in the vein of Secret History might be the only “making of” book we might get for a very long time.

I’d be leery of a fan made book right now just because there’s so little information out there that a lot of it is misinformation. Secret History, just like Rinzler’s books, had the benefit of years of hindsight and also a lot of different sources to pull from, including the original scripts and treatments (none of which have been made available for the Disney films).

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Yeah, Rian’s doc was pretty transparent when it came to Rian and Mark’s disagreements. JJ’s doc does feel a lot more censored in that way.

Another thing I would worry about in a fan-made “exposé”, would be the writer’s own bias. Even now, a lot of interviews and information are being used by certain detractors as being evidence of “Disney/Lucasfilm’s SJW agenda”. So I could easily see a hypothetical book being used as way to frame “Disney” Star Wars in the most negative way possible.

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I think Lucas confuses himself. I think he had something in mind with the Force back before 1977. But just because he had a father/son relationship, just because he had twins and siblings, and just because he was thinking of something biological behind the force does not mean that the solutions that appear in the films have any relation to his original ideas. They may have been born out of his original ideas, but it is obvious he pulled them out of his ass when he actually needed them. I believe that Vader was going to be someone’s father just from his name (a Germanic version of father), but we have no concrete idea who that was going to be. There are no clues in the drafts of the original screenplay. We have no idea who the other was that Yoda spoke of. And there is no way the idea of a symbiotic micro-organism had entered Lucas’s mind back then. And Lucas saying these things does not make them true. But I think there is a germ of truth in that when he went to write later installments, he was guided by his original thoughts and they led to the final storyline. I have lots of ideas as to what other possibilities might have resulted from the chain of events, but Lucas is remember ‘a father’ as ‘Luke’s father’, ‘the other’ as ‘Leia is Luke’s sister’ and ‘biological tie to the force’ as ‘midi-chlorians’. He had an early idea that he developed and the result really has no relation to the original idea.

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yotsuya said:

I believe that Vader was going to be someone’s father just from his name (a Germanic version of father), but we have no concrete idea who that was going to be. There are no clues in the drafts of the original screenplay.

Darth Vader comes from “Dark Invader/ Death Invader”. It shows Lucas’ original notes in the making of ESB book and states that “Lucas’s notes that led up to the name of his villain: “Dark” and “Death” became “Darth,” and “Invader” was shortened to “Vader”—Darth Vader.” It’s just pure coincidence that Vader became the Father and the German “Vater” meaning father, are similar.

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Lucas would be happy if everyone believed there never was a version where Han just blasted Greedo.

I guess it’s the perfectionist in him. I just don’t see him ever acknowledging multiple versions the way Ridley Scott did with Blade Runner and Terry Gilliam with Brazil. I actually wish he would be sort of a Star Wars ambassador, kind of like Stan Lee was with Marvel. I think some of the fan backlash from the prequels and special editions really got to him. Imagine if he got the level of social media blitz that Rian Johnson received.

I have the Harmy discs, and I’m very happy with them, so my need to see the unaltered Original Trilogy is satisfied. But I am somewhat of an idealist myself, and I would like the original versions preserved for posterity. I don’t want someone in the future to look up Star Wars and view the special editions any more than I would want to see a special edition of Citizen Kane. I want to see what they saw back then, and I want people years from now to be able to see what all the hype was about in 1977.

I suppose all this is extremely redundant on a site like this, but somehow I never get tired of talking about it.

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At this point, I have to adopt the opinion that Lucas had been overwhelmingly successful in rewriting history. The vast majority of the public have no idea multiple versions of Star Wars even exist. Most believe Lucas wrote every single word and designed every ship and costume, personally developed new technology to create the special effects, and had the entire intact vision all in his head in advance. I’m wondering how long before Lucas gets credit for humming the theme to John Williams for him to write.

The sad part is, Lucas does deserve so much admiration for creating this universe and not giving up as he fought to get it made. Star Wars is an amazing piece of imagination. Sharing the creative process with those under his leadership in no way diminishes his achievement. There is more than enough to go around. I just hate that some have had their work erased by the special editions.

So in my opinion, Lucas has won. Only Disney/Lucasfilm can do anything about it now. They could release the unaltered Original Trilogy in a new definitive set and produce their own new documentary. I’d go to the theater just to watch a new Star War documentary. Sadly, I do not think anyone is interested.

Maybe what we really need is a fan made documentary to go along with the fan made despecialized versions. I’d donate to a crowd funding for such a documentary.

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rodneyfaile said:

At this point, I have to adopt the opinion that Lucas had been overwhelmingly successful in rewriting history. The vast majority of the public have no idea multiple versions of Star Wars even exist. Most believe Lucas wrote every single word and designed every ship and costume, personally developed new technology to create the special effects, and had the entire intact vision all in his head in advance. I’m wondering how long before Lucas gets credit for humming the theme to John Williams for him to write.

The sad part is, Lucas does deserve so much admiration for creating this universe and not giving up as he fought to get it made. Star Wars is an amazing piece of imagination. Sharing the creative process with those under his leadership in no way diminishes his achievement. There is more than enough to go around. I just hate that some have had their work erased by the special editions.

So in my opinion, Lucas has won. Only Disney/Lucasfilm can do anything about it now. They could release the unaltered Original Trilogy in a new definitive set and produce their own new documentary. I’d go to the theater just to watch a new Star War documentary. Sadly, I do not think anyone is interested.

Maybe what we really need is a fan made documentary to go along with the fan made despecialized versions. I’d donate to a crowd funding for such a documentary.

You’re right - it seems Lucas has succeeded in rewriting history. I work with a lot of people in their 20s and early 30s, and they enjoy Star Wars to varying degrees. When I mention the ‘unaltered versions’ and bring them up to speed on how the SE came about, they’re either unaware of this notion or don’t really care anyway.

Of course as an OT fan from back in the day I’m less than thrilled about this (hence my being on this site) - but I didn’t realise just how angry I was about it until I saw the 40th anniversary celebrations on Youtube and watched Lucas banging on about mythological motifs and the usual hoo-haa to Warwick Davis - while no-one pulled him up on the fact that the very film they were celebrating no longer f##king exists! It’s absurd. Celebrate in 2037 or whatever year the SE technically reaches 40 if that’s how it is to be.

I’ve mentioned this in other posts but as I watched this clip, the next Youtube suggestion was a small 40th anniversary podcast with Gary Kurtz that actually celebrated and discussed the film in question. In fact I believe one of my first posts here was in response to that interview, and I semi-seriously suggested that a Gary Kurtz commentary track for Despecialized would be awesome. I stand by that assertion. RIP Gary.

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I think an unauthorized Star Wars documentary is exactly what is needed. As I said above, I’d gladly donate to a crowdfunding source if it was an ambitious undertaking.

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A documentary would be interesting. At the moment though, I kind of picture a book that tries to collect as many sources as possible and try to put them in a relevant order, either when the information was spoken/written chronologically, and then relevant by subject. Kind of picture multiple quotes and quotations put in an order as if it was telling a story about a certain subject, with minimal interruptions by the editors of the book in order to avoid as much subjective framing as possible.

Then, at the end of each section or chapter, each editor could write their own summary of the information where they interpret it as they see it. But, let each editor share their own interpretation in order to keep primary sources, like interviews, tweets, book passages, somewhat separate from the editors’ subjective influence. That way reader’s can come to their own conclusions rather than the whole book being framed in a pro or anti-Disney/Lucasfilm light.

Sure, journalists are expected to be somewhat unbiased, but even professional journalists can be biased. Almost every article or news headline has been framed in some shape or form. And for something like this hypothetical Star Wars book, if it was being written/edited by amateurs, then showing some extra effort to keep the objective and subjective separate might lend a little credibility to the whole thing, rather than it being perceived as a project with ulterior motive to paint the new movies in a certain light.

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This is an excellent idea and it would be a great way to encourage new members to become more engaged in our cause.

I can answer almost all questions anyone might have about the Sith from Star Wars Legends, and please do PM me for the bd25 DEED(Despecalised Editions), as I have this version, though I can’t answer technical questions about them. Auntie Derry/Rumpelstiltskin.
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Do not go gentle into that good night. “Star Wars is a buffet, enjoy the stuff you want, and leave the rest.” - SilverWook Feel the love.

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Is there a bullet point post or thread on here with all the inconsistencies or myths from George Lucas or Lucasfilm revisionism?

Tighten Up and then turn it all the way up to 11!

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This is an excellent question. Oojason or SilverWook might know if something like that has been written up on here before. Some of the links in oojason’s first post might have more information on that.

theforce.net might have a thread about that as well.

It definitely would be interesting to see all the contradictions laid out though. I know WaywardJedi had a good post on reddit that compiled very George Lucas quotes regarding a potential Sequel Trilogy over the years going back and forth on how many there were and how developed (or undeveloped) the stories for them were. I’ll try to see if I can find it.

EDIT: https://www.reddit.com/r/starwarsspeculation/comments/5qmv0e/george_lucas_quotes_relevant_to_st_buckle_up_its/

As you read this, you can see he jumps around a bit on what he says, but WayardJedi/Colton tries to unravel it all. You might be able to deduce that he had some very loose ideas, but on the other hand you could argue he changed his mind a lot too.

These quotes sort of make me think about how he has talked about how his story treatments for the new films were “thrown away”. But if you follow the development process as it was laid out in the Art of books, yes the final film is drastically different from the supposed ideas from the early treatments, but the “bullet points” of a lot of his ideas were carried over into the films. Story development is a normal part of any pre-production process. The early drafts of the OT films vary differently from the final films.

While some major changes were made for story reasons, like how Michael Ardnt had to delay Luke’s return because how his character sidelined the newer one, other changes were made just for aesthetic reasons (falling back on familiar ships/environments).

Lucas isn’t lying, but I also feel he is exaggerating just a little because they didn’t stick to his treatments to a T. I’m sure Lucas doesn’t care too much, but when he says they “threw away his ideas”, it puts the storytellers in an awkward position of having to deal with fans using his words to denounce their work, work that is directly influenced by Lucas’ original treatments. Maybe Lucas isn’t upset about it and is just trying to make light of it, but to others it comes off as petty, like he resents then for not following his ideas close enough and he is mad that they changed so much.

They definitely changed a lot, but it certainly wasn’t thrown away. But I think George made a point of this because TFA became aesthetically retro after he left story development, and he is big on visuals so he wasn’t happy with them relying on the old designs. Lucas’ emphasizes this in his interview with James Cameron, I believe, and interestingly enough this was also Cameron’s big critique of TFA after its release. Maybe they talked about it.

Wayward goes more into it in this post: https://www.reddit.com/r/starwarsspeculation/comments/6u44xu/clearing_up_some_misconceptions_about_the_art_of/

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And yet he was happy to utilize unused concept designs from the OT in the prequels. That giant wheeled tank in ROTS was originally conceived for ESB.

Not sure if we’ve had a specific thread on Lucas’ inconsistent statements before.

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