Sign In

“The Ride of a Lifetime" - book by Bob Iger. Lucas mention.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/ca.sports.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/george-lucas-couldnt-hide-his-disappointment-when-he-was-show-star-wars-the-force-awakens-103743963.html

“Early on, Kathy [Kennedy] brought J.J. [Abrams] and Michael Arndt up to Northern California to meet with George at his ranch and talk about their ideas for the film,” Iger writes in The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years As CEO Of The Walt Disney Company (via Slashfilm).

“George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations.

“The truth was, Kathy, J.J., Alan [Horn, Disney’s chairman], and I had discussed the direction in which the saga should go, and we all agreed that it wasn’t what George had outlined.

“George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded.”

Things didn’t get much better once he’d seen the movie either.

“Just prior to the global release, Kathy screened The Force Awakens for George,” Iger goes on to say.

“He didn’t hide his disappointment. ‘There’s nothing new,’ he said. In each of the films in the original trilogy, it was important to him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies. In this one, he said, ‘There weren’t enough visual or technical leaps forward.’

“He wasn’t wrong, but he also wasn’t appreciating the pressure we were under to give ardent fans a film that felt quintessentially Star Wars.

“We’d intentionally created a world that was visually and tonally connected to the earlier films, to not stray too far from what people loved and expected, and George was criticizing us for the very thing we were trying to do.”

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Yes, it was already known for a while that Lucas wasn’t fond of TFA, but now it is clearly confirmed by the Disney side.
And I’m really completely on Lucas’ side with this because I absolutely felt the same like him. TFA is clearly my least liked numbered Star Wars movie (I still wouldn’t say that I “hate” it) to date. I’m actually glad I saw Rogue One before it. I’m actually curious how Lucas thinks about TLJ, because in interviews he wasn’t very outspoken about that.

Author
Time

DrDre said:

‘There’s nothing new,’ he said. In each of the films in the original trilogy, it was important to him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies. In this one, he said, ‘There weren’t enough visual or technical leaps forward.’

That’s laughable - and typical Lucas. He shrunk the Galaxy Far Far Away into the Solar System Far Far Away by having everyone end up being related to each other. Not a new story, just more of the same one. New characters? He milked Bobba Fett. New technologies‽ He rolled out a second Death Star!

  1. In the interest of disclosure; I’m not familiar with the prequels beyond seeing Phantom once and screen-grabs of scenes from the other two. I just havent seen much beyond video game quality rehashes and spinning colors. I may be way off on the two prequels I’ve never seen.

  2. While there’s no denying The Force Awakens mirrors the same structure as Star Wars, it at least matches visually and has a bigger Death Star.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Anchorhead said:

DrDre said:

‘There’s nothing new,’ he said. In each of the films in the original trilogy, it was important to him to present new worlds, new stories, new characters, and new technologies. In this one, he said, ‘There weren’t enough visual or technical leaps forward.’

That’s laughable - and typical Lucas. He shrunk the Galaxy Far Far Away into the Solar System Far Far Away by having everyone end up being related to each other. Not a new story, just more of the same one. New characters? He milked Bobba Fett. New technologies‽ He rolled out a second Death Star!

  1. In the interest of disclosure; I’m not familiar with the prequels beyond seeing Phantom once and screen-grabs of scenes from the other two. I just havent seen much beyond video game quality rehashes and spinning colors. I may be way off on the two prequels I’ve never seen.

  2. While there’s no denying The Force Awakens mirrors the same structure as Star Wars, it at least matches visually and has a bigger Death Star.

One of the criticisms against the PT was, that it was visually too distinct from the OT, particulary after Lucas decided to go fully digital filmmaker with AOTC. You might argue Lucas cared more for the new technology than consistency with the previous movies, which to him were less than he had hoped for, due to technical limitations. So, I think Lucas for better or for worse was always interested in moving the envelope technically. Additionally I would argue Lucas introduced a whole host of new worlds, and environments in the PT, and certainly greatly expanded the visual language of the Star Wars universe through highly diverse designs, even if they didn’t always translate very well to the big screen.

Author
Time

While the ST certainly has it’s problems, GL trying to explain the Force again through the Whills is something that seems even more unwanted. Explaining everything is the problem in movie franchises these days.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

Author
Time

Ultimately the truth of the matter is that the Star Wars the fans came to love in 77 was not the Star Wars George had in his head. Obviously we can get into the weeds in regards to the specifics of what they did with TFA but at the end of the day a Star Wars movie made by a Star Wars fan was always going to look quite different than what George had in mind.

Author
Time

I think anything that minimizes, neutralizes, and de-romanticizes the making of these movies is a good thing, ultimately. The mythmaking should stay in the movies, and not be equally applied to the making of them.

Author
Time

The irony is that digital movie cameras improved by leaps and bounds in the decade following AotC’s release. We forget that the 3D rigs James Cameron used to shoot the live-action sections of Avatar were still using essentially the same 2/3” Sony cameras as George used on AotC and RotS, just with a few improvements. It was right around that time (2007) that the Red camera made its debut and started the competition between the various companies that got us to where we are now, where you shoot something digitally and emulate grain in post and no one but the most experienced cinematographers would be able to tell it wasn’t actually shot on film.

George always wanted to move beyond the photochemical realm and I suspect that had he directed Episode VII he wouldn’t have even bothered using the only then recently-available Arri Alexa 4:3 to match the Anamorphic look of the OT/TPM and just shot it in 3D using spherical optics. So we would’ve been back to the bokeh of AotC/RotS but with 35mm-or-larger-sized sensors this time, thus giving The ST its own distinct look from the OT or the PT. Back in early 2012 that’s basically how I thought it was going to go. We’d get the 3D conversions of I-VI one movie per year like Rick McCallum was saying, and then in like 2019 or 2020 we’d get George’s shot-in-3D Episode VII, kind of like ‘97/‘99 all over again but on a much longer timeline.

Then George sold the company.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I mean yeah it’s ironic SW went back to film once digital reached filmic quality, but it’s all a matter of approach. George always tried to push technical limits and go for the next big thing. He didn’t shoot digital on AOTC and ROTS because he preferred how it looked, he did it because it was new and made the effects easier. Filmmakers like JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson always shoot on film, just because that’s the look they prefer. When it came to making new worlds and environments, for Lucas that was his first priority - on ROTS before he even wrote a word of his script he’d assigned his art department to draft up as many new planets as possible. It’s just a different approach, naturally when you finally have a different filmmaker on the series they’ll have their own way of approaching it that won’t necessarily prioritize what Lucas prioritized. On the one hand it’s weird to me that that’s all he cared about in regards to his opinion of TFA, but on the other hand to an extent it seems like that was what he cared about most when working on the PT too.

Author
Time

DominicCobb said:

it’s ironic SW went back to film once digital reached filmic quality

Perhaps digital has matched film in terms of perceived resolution, but this is not the same as quality. Whether you’re referring to quality as merit or quality as characteristic, IMO, digital lags behind film in the former, and is completely different in the latter.

TV’s Frink said:

I would put this in my sig if I weren’t so lazy.

Author
Time

CHEWBAKAspelledwrong said:

DominicCobb said:

it’s ironic SW went back to film once digital reached filmic quality

Perhaps digital has matched film in terms of perceived resolution, but this is not the same as quality. Whether you’re referring to quality as merit or quality as characteristic, IMO, digital lags behind film in the former, and is completely different in the latter.

Maybe “film-esque” quality would have been the better word for what I was trying to say.

Author
Time

Because Luke really isn’t in the film, TFA really seems more like a prologue to the real story than part of the story. It really just introduces us to the new characters and shows us what the old trio is now up to. I would disagree with George because I thought it gave us some very different settings that we hadn’t seen before - in a very OT way. Yes, it starts on a desert planet, but not the same one. That was a friend’s biggest gripe about the PT - Tatooine again (it is in 5 out of the first 6 films). Here we get Jakku, site of an epic battle between the Rebels and the Empire. Then Takodana with Maz’s castle (and a cantina… not like GL didn’t give us one in AOTC). And sure the Resistance base feels a lot like the base on Yavin, but the planet is totally different (no jungle outside). And except for a couple of familiar characters, there isn’t a single familiar alien in the film. So GL was very wrong, because TFA did introduce a lot of new things to the Star Wars universe. But the story leaves a lot to be desired. It is all about the search for Luke - artificially prolonged for the entire film. Sure, Luke was going to steal the spotlight, but not being able to craft a story that can keep the new trio in the forefront really shows the lack of writing skill in the TFA writing team. The movie is a beautiful series of awesome scenes, but it lacks anything other than the search for Luke to hold it together. I think TLJ got in trouble for trying to take that poor start and get the story back on track.

And I think the the things they did change from GL’s original treatment (from what little we’ve heard that is reliable) was for the better. I fear he was revisiting his old scripts again and pulled things in that he had long ago abandoned and that is not a good thing to do for the big finale. I do hope that his concept for whatever force conflict IX was supposed to end with is close to what they are doing for TROS. But I think ultimately that this trilogy is the better for not following his treatment slavishly. They did admit that they treated it like any project and took the treatment and developed it from there. And if you look at GL’s own original treatment for Star Wars, the final film is much much different while still having a lot of similarities. The treatment to film process takes a good idea and makes it great. I just feel that TFA was derailed by the feelings of Luke coming on screen and taking over the story and their attempts to fix that. GL wasn’t in on that process so of course he was upset at the changes. I bet if he had been given the chance to go through their various drafts and see the story development that he would have been more accepting of the changes. But, he sold it outright and put Kennedy in charge so he clearly didn’t want any part of the development process. So it really is his own fault.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

yotsuya said:
But, he sold it outright and put Kennedy in charge so he clearly didn’t want any part of the development process. So it really is his own fault.

That is not true. Iger’s book makes it clear, that Lucas wanted to keep creative control after the sale, but Disney would not give it to him for understandable reasons. The fact that Disney chose to buy his treatments gave him some peace of mind, as he clearly believed, that at least the saga would be continued on the basis of his ideas, but when that didn’t happen, he was obviously very disappointed to the point, that he initially didn’t want to come to the premiere of TFA, and only showed up after Bob Iger convinced him to do so.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I"m a little curious to what their metrics are for using or not using his story. I’m guessing them not following his treatment beat-for-beat translates as “not using his treatment”. But, there does seem be some elements and story ideas that did carry over from his treatments to the films so far. Not everything, like the Darth Talon-inspired character, Felucia as a location, possibly multiple Skywalker grandchildren. On the other hand, Luke in exile, one of the grandchildren turning to the dark side, the Uber character, exploring the nature of the Force, all seem to be things that may have origins in George’s treatments.

I think a big example of this is Luke in exile. Luke did seem to be in exile in George’s Episode VII, but he apparently came out of hiding when the Kira character came looking for him, but Ardnt kept running into the issue of Luke taking the spotlight before we have time to relate with the new characters, so that was shifted.

Another thing seems to be a Skywalker grandchild falling to the dark side. That did seem like a story point, but potentially something that happened in the first movie (or in flashbacks?). I think George has issues with killing his darlings, but at the same time Iger seems to describe it as not using his treatments at all, when there clearly seems to be some elements that were carried over. But like I said, maybe since they decided not to use the general plot, but kept some ideas, was enough to considered it as “not using his treatments”.

It is nice that we got insight from Iger, and a little surprising that he admits that he could’ve handled it better with George. If anything, this just makes me really want a Making of The Force Awakens book!

Author
Time
 (Edited)

It’s hilariously ironic that George Lucas originally conceived of Star Wars as a throwback to the old movie adventure serials, and then criticizes TFA for being a throwback to the Original Trilogy (a throwback of a throwback).

Yes, visually TFA is extremely similar to the Original Trilogy (maybe too similar), but visual distinctiveness by itself does not make a good movie, which George always seems to be implying. For all the visual distinctiveness and new digital technologies used to make the Prequels, they’re not even close to being as engaging as TFA.

Author
Time

DrDre said:

yotsuya said:
But, he sold it outright and put Kennedy in charge so he clearly didn’t want any part of the development process. So it really is his own fault.

That is not true. Iger’s book makes it clear, that Lucas wanted to keep creative control after the sale, but Disney would not give it to him for understandable reasons. The fact that Disney chose to buy his treatments gave him some peace of mind, as he clearly believed, that at least the saga would be continued on the basis of his ideas, but when that didn’t happen, he was obviously very disappointed to the point, that he initially didn’t want to come to the premiere of TFA, and only showed up after Bob Iger convinced him to do so.

Probably the smartest thing Disney did. Better that GL is on the same side as some fans with the ST. And they did use his treatment, but just kept developing until they liked the story. But in one way it really is his own fault. He didn’t have to sell his company.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

RogueLeader said:

I"m a little curious to what their metrics are for using or not using his story. I’m guessing them not following his treatment beat-for-beat translates as “not using his treatment”. But, there does seem be some elements and story ideas that did carry over from his treatments to the films so far. Not everything, like the Darth Talon-inspired character, Felucia as a location, possibly multiple Skywalker grandchildren. On the other hand, Luke in exile, one of the grandchildren turning to the dark side, the Uber character, exploring the nature of the Force, all seem to be things that may have origins in George’s treatments.

I think a big example of this is Luke in exile. Luke did seem to be in exile in George’s Episode VII, but he apparently came out of hiding when the Kira character came looking for him, but Ardnt kept running into the issue of Luke taking the spotlight before we have time to relate with the new characters, so that was shifted.

Another thing seems to be a Skywalker grandchild falling to the dark side. That did seem like a story point, but potentially something that happened in the first movie (or in flashbacks?). I think George has issues with killing his darlings, but at the same time Iger seems to describe it as not using his treatments at all, when there clearly seems to be some elements that were carried over. But like I said, maybe since they decided not to use the general plot, but kept some ideas, was enough to considered it as “not using his treatments”.

It is nice that we got insight from Iger, and a little surprising that he admits that he could’ve handled it better with George. If anything, this just makes me really want a Making of The Force Awakens book!

I mean, Iger probably isn’t involved enough remember the minutia of the treatments too well. The fact that JJ and co.'s creative process grew out of George’s outlines and included some elements probably doesn’t register for him. The bottom line was they let them do what they wanted with TFA, and it was different enough for George to end up without any sort of story credit.

pleasehello said:

It’s hilariously ironic that George Lucas originally conceived of Star Wars as a throwback to the old movie adventure serials, and then criticizes TFA for being a throwback to the Original Trilogy (a throwback of a throwback).

The irony is especially palpable in his quote from when the film came out: “They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that.” Right, because George fucking Lucas has never done what you might call a “retro movie” in his life.

Author
Time

Exactly. He’s always ripped off older stuff. Now I guess he believes his own legend and thinks SW and Raiders are ideas he imagined from nothing. What a guy.

Yub Nub for life

Author
Time

Mocata said:

Exactly. He’s always ripped off older stuff. Now I guess he believes his own legend and thinks SW and Raiders are ideas he imagined from nothing. What a guy.

Wasn’t his story line for the ST going to surround Whills or some shit? I cannot imagine how a trilogy about microscopic creatures who use midichlorians to create the force would be exciting to anyone but microbiologists. I find his responses on here to be not much more than sellers remorse.

Author
Time

I think the idea was for the ST to get rather meta. Something of an exploration of the relationship between authors & their characters.

“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport.”

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

Author
Time

Mocata said:

Exactly. He’s always ripped off older stuff. Now I guess he believes his own legend and thinks SW and Raiders are ideas he imagined from nothing. What a guy.

What else comes to it, when you are surrounded by yes-men for years and years, you might become somewhat inexperienced to accept a simple answer like NO.

Rogue One is redundant. Just play the first mission of DARK FORCES.
‘Star Wars is a buffet, enjoy the stuff you want, and leave the rest.’ - SilverWook

Author
Time

Indeed he should have stipulated in the deal. It seems to be a matter of wanting to keep a controlling hand while not having to do the work akin to not directing yet trying to influence ESB and ROTJ.
The best time this worked was the EU where George was consulted but as long as things were in parameters and had context most was fair game. Over time with the films the problem became that all of the filtering voices of dissent dropped off or were abandoned so that by the time of the prequels everyone had to work with what was given and there were no revisions done-largely AT ALL. That’s where the problem lies.

He should be saying Disney does nothing new story wise. The bigger problem is a complete lack of story context with anything SW related. The new films really have nothing to do with the original series as conceived outside of brand iconography. I don’t blame George for anything and never have. I think he got focused on building up the company instead of telling great stories and this is where everybody’s paths diverged.
The only thing I truly regret is him selling out to the very thing that represented what LFL was founded to rebel against.

And the whole going back to film is a misnomer generally used for marketing. Everything is done digitally in effects and post anyway outside of a few exceptions and the film shoots will do a immediate scan back to digital where everything is manipulated to within an inch of its life thus making the original capture methodology null and void.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

Author
Time
 (Edited)

captainsolo said:

The only thing I truly regret is him selling out to the very thing that represented what LFL was founded to rebel against.

This.

But I think a certain part of Lucas always admired Disney. Remember that kids across America in the 50s grew up watching “Uncle Walt” promote his movies and then his theme park every Sunday on ABC. Something of that showman’s magic must have left a lingering impression, and made it easier even decades later to ignore what the company has basically always stood for in corporate terms.

And Lucas evidently admired Disney’s total commitment to maintaining the illusion of reality for a child audience. So much so that he initially tried to emulate the old Disney practice of not revealing voice-actor credits with the droids in SW, pretending they were actual robots rather than performers in suits.

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

Author
Time

Mocata said:

I guess he believes his own legend and thinks SW and Raiders are ideas he imagined from nothing. What a guy.

What’s even more laughable to me, as well as embarrassing for Lucas, is that he thought Disney would give him 4 billion and still let him make the decisions.

He was wildly deluded as to his importance.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”