Sign In


User Group
Join date
Last activity

Post History

Fascinating article about Star Wars and George Lucas from 1997

I mentioned this briefly in another thread and thought it would be nice to post it here. I looked all over the web and couldn’t find it online, so I typed up the entire article by hand today. Hopefully there aren’t too many mistakes, but here is the article.

Remaking Star Wars
by Steve Daly
Entertainment Weekly
#361, January 10, 1997.

A long time ago in a cultural landscape far, far away, George Lucas rode a dinky space space fantasy to stratospheric success. Twenty years later, he’s raising the stakes with a risky reissue and plans for a whole new trilogy. But is the Force still with him?

In the firmament of cinematic second-guessers, there are plenty of leading lights. Consider James Cameron, who has noodled around with and expanded “special editions” or Aliens, The Abyss, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day for TV and video. Then there’s Francis Ford Coppola, who revisited The Godfather, not just in sequels, but in multiple TV-miniseries editions, VHS casettes, and laserdisc boxed sets. Even first-time auteur Kevin Costner retraced his steps for a four-hour Dances With Wolves.

But this month, George Lucas will outshine his fellow revisionists like a supernova blowing away so many dwarf stars. For the 20th anniversary theatrical rerelease of Star Wars on Jan.31, on approximately 1,800 screens - a far cry from the movie’s timid, 32-screen debut on May 25, 1977 - Lucas has dispatched his special-effects artists at Industrial Light & Magic to tinker with and even flat-out remake bits of the movie. Only 4 1/2 minutes of new visuals are involved (though the entire soundtrack has been tweaked), but the restoration and filmmaking techniques employed are so, they cost $10 million - about the size of the original film’s budget. And what a differnce the few added minutes make: They mark the dawn of a new era in filmic hocus-pocus, where directors (and maybe hostile studio bosses) will be able to conjure new scenes out of thin air long after the sets have been struck and the actors have moved on.

Besides, with a movie as well-known as Star Wars, every ripple of change sends a tidal wave through the film’s fanbase. ILM has souped up creaky, fake-looking creatures (debate rages on the Internet about whether this is good or bad), reinstated outtakes, and tricked out old scenes with new shots or added-in figures (a la Forrest GUmp’s fact-meets-fiction newsreel wizardry). Lucas has also orchestrated smaller emendations in the sequels The Empire STrikes Back (due for rerelease Feb. 21) and Return of the Jedi (March 7).

Is the world ready to fall in love with Star Wars as a communal experience all over again? At first, even Lucas’ faithful weren’t sure. “When I hear we were doing this, I had reservations,” says Ben Burtt, the sound designer who won a special Oscar for Star Wars and who is remixing the trilogy in digitally recorded, bass-boosted surround sound. “I didn’t want to deal with it afain. I said, Gee, shouldn’t we put our energy into something new?”

In a way, they have, since Lucas hasn’t tuned up these space operas in a vaccum; they’re the prelude to a new set of arias. Next fall, the 52-year-old filmmaker will end a 20-year directing sabbatical and begin filming the first of three Star Wars prequels from his screenplay. He’ll then hire others others to direct (and probably script, from his outline) chapters 2 and 3 of an intended nine-movie cycle (take that, Star Trek), in which Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi occupy the fourth, fifth and sixth slots. Release dates for the new trilogy are set for May 1999 (the prodigious effects will take that long to finish), 2001, and 2003.

The multitasking logistics involved might overload even R2-D2’s circuits. Lucas plans to finance the new movies entirely through his own company, Lucasfilm Ltd. Supposedly, they’ll be made on low-fat budgets of less than $60 million apiece, thanks to a cast of bargain-priced unknowns and radical methods of combining actors with digital characters and scenery. In all likelihood, revenues from the reissues and a new blitz of licensed merchandising (a nearly $4 billion gold mine since 1977) will go right back into the new films.

Of course, with the prequel on track, there’s not turning the ship around if the reissues vanish into the black hole of low grosses. As Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) once put it: “I’m taking an awful risk Vader. This had better work.”

To hear George Lucas tell it, mere commerce was never the guiding Force in the decision to touch up his original trilogy. In a video-recorded message that’s part of a new CD-ROM set of Star Wars games - the short of electronic decree he prefers these days to press interviews - he says he’s a hostage to his perfectionism. “Whenever you do something that’s creative,” says the flannel-shirted auteur in this click-on communique, “and you end up having to rush through and finish it before it’s really completed the way you’d hope [would be], it bothers you. There were a lot of things in Star Wars that bothered me a great deal.

So, when 20th Century Fox and Lucas began working together in the early ‘90’s on a 20th-anniversary Star Wars push - Fox still owns the first film but merely distributes Empire and JEdi - Lucas suggested he might at last put his disco-era demons to rest. With a total of $15 million, provided mostly by Fox to tweak all three films, he set out to engineer a digital face-lift.

Michael Jackson will be envious of the results. Deploying 90’s computer graphics to pull off effects his technicians couldn’t accomplish with models or puppets in 1977, Lucas has given mobility to the dewback beasties in scenes on the desert planet Tatooine, where we meet Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Instead of running into a handful of Stormtroopers on the Death Star, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) now faces a whole squadron played by ILM employees digitally multiplied into a horde. In the dogfight finale, rebel ships swoop and swerve in a more turbulent, post-videogame style. A computer generated Jabba the Hutt, who wasn’t in the original film, has even been superimposed into a sequence with Ford that Lucas had to drop in 1977, when the technology needed to finish the scene proved out of reach. None of the actors were called on to alter or redub any dialogue, though, and for better or worse, Carrie Fisher’s cinnamon-Danish Princess Leia hairdo remains unmorphed.

Although Lucas has had years to map out these changes, he has not hesitated, by his own staffers’ account, to up the ante as the final deadline nears. The ILM artists and technicians based in San Rafael, Calif., nestled netween San Francisco to the south and Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch facility to the northm are racing to finish their work just a few weeks before the debut. Is their leader stuck in a past he can’t blast out of?

“George would look at a scene and approve one fix,” says ILM effects supervisor Dave Carson. “Then there’d be another shot that was now the new worst shot in the sequence. So, we’d fix that.”

To be fair, the perfectionism isn’t all coming from Lucas. Fox “has actually pushed us as hard as we’ve pushed them,” says producer Rick McCallum, who’s overseeing the logistics of both the reissue work and the new movies. The suits in LA insisted, for instance, that the incredible opening shot of that humongous ship passing overhead in Star Wars be put back together again from its originial pieces, the better to remove some fine bits of dirt and grain from the scene. “I’ve never argued with a studio about them spending more money than we have. They’ve been unbelievable supportive.”

Back in 1977, when he was struggling to complete Star Wars’ breakthrough “motion control” shots of spaceship models, effects supervisor John Dykstra wasn’t so lucky. He and Lucas found themselves at odds when the director returned from his England shoot to find $1 million of the initial $2 million effects budget gone and, by Lucas’ account, virtually nothing in the can. (That was a trifle, of course, compared to the hard feelings when Dykstra signed on to ABC’s 1978-1980 Battlestar Galactica series and Fox filed a suit for copyright infringement; it was settled out of court.)

“I hope the new work comes out great,” says Dykstra from the production offices of Batman & Robin, where he is visual effects supervisor. “I don’t know how the [computer-graphics material] will integrate with the film techniques applied at the time. But I’ll definetely see it. The curiosity would kill me, not knowing what got changed and whether it improved it.

Now that Lucas has rebuilt the star field of his dreams, will audiences come? Industry sources estimate that Fox must be spending at least $30 million on prints and promotion, yet nobody’s sure viewers will line up for three movies that have been on video and TV for a decade. Fans have certainly been buying Star Wars books bric-a-brac, and toys is rising quantities lately, after a major slump in licensing revenues in the mid-to-late 1980’s. But one of the hottest recent items could hurt grosses: In 1995, FoxVideo released a heavily promoted “remastered” video edition of the Star Wars trilogy that sold 30 million cassettes worldwide.

“This [reissue] raises visability,” says Hollywood Reporer box office analyst AD Murphy. “But even with the whizbang Dolby Digital Sterio and SDDS and DTS and all this other alphanumeric gobbledygook, people may say, “You know, I’ve seen this four times and I’ve got the video.”

Fox Filmed Entertainment’s senior exec VP and official Lucas booster Tom Sherak disagrees. He insists that Lucas’ new editions are light-years ahead of the home video versions.” Hopefully, parents will bring kids to see Luke Skywalker on a big screen with sound you can’t get at home,” he asserts. If they do, it’s well past gravy time: The domestic gross for all three flicks is already $810 million. But regardless of the results, Sherak claims, “we’ve restored our Star Wars negative, which is 10 times more important than what it winds up grossing.”

Hollywood Observers say Fox will in fact be watching the grosses very carefully as a yardstick for bidding on the prequels. The Lucas says he will talk to Fox first about distributing them, there’s been no real negotiation yet. Fox reps insist they’re not pushing the reissues as a vanity-project to sop to Lucas, but certainly the cachet of the future franchise will increase if they do well.

And what happens to Fox’s brand-enhancement plan if audiences don’t like Lucas’ postgame quarterbacking? Lucas says he’ll be happy it the new versions supplant the originals. But tampering with classics is risky, and according to some sci-fi buffs who’ve seen an early print, the unquestionable thrill of seeing the new Star Wars severely compromised by Lucas’ fiddling. “The insertions are incredibly distracting,” says Mark Altman, editor in chief of Sci-Fi Universe Magazine. “Every new creature they’ve put in never stops moving or making noises. It’s ludicrous. Why do this? It sets a very dangerous precedent for the future. If I go see Casablanca in a theatre, I want to see a great print. I don’t want to see a new computer generated plane in the airport scene.”

Mark Hamill, who hasn’t yet seen the new edition, has editorial ideas of his own. He wishes Lucas would reinstate a deleted opening sequence, which pictured Luke in a Tatooine hangout with his pilot pal Biggs Darklighter. (It’s described in Lucas’ 1976 novelization but was cut and hasn’t been resurrected for the reissue; another Biggs scene later in the movie has been reinstated.) “Biggs eventually gives up his life to enable Luke to enter the Death Star,” says the 44-year-old actor, who now appears in CD-ROM games such as Wing Comander 3. “The heroism of that act would be accentuated if that introduction was still in.”

Of course, such spirited talk of what should or shouldn’t be altered may help make the new flick a must-see. But the real question is whether Lucas’ primary goal is really to re-write history by replacing his rough draft with this polish job. It may well be that the special editions are in fact more a Fox-financed lab experiment than a final word. “Some of this work was added specifically by George as a test,” says effects supervisor Carson. “It’s to see what kinds of shots ILM can and can’t do well as we go into the [prequels].”

As an example, Carson points to a new shot at the climax of Jedi. Part of an expanded montage showing rebel celebrations on several planets instead of just in the fuzzy-wuzzy Ewok’s home forest, it reveals an Imperial city called Coruscant. The burg, rendered entirely in computer-graphic animationk figures in the prequels, as such CGI landscapes will dominate the new movies. “The end of Jedi doesn’t really belong to the middle trilogy any more,” says Carson. “What you’re seeing is the first shot of the new trilogy.”

At Leavesden Studios in England, a vast facility northwest of London, producer McCallum is gearing up for the prequels even as he supervisers the last daubs of digital paint on the revised originals. Lucas’ chapter 1 script, which focuses on the young Anakin Skywalker (who becomes Darth Vader) and a chracter McCallum calls the Young Queen, Luke and Leia’s mother, is now complete, as are outlines for episodes 2 and 3, which may be shot back-to-back like the Back to the Future series.

Lengthy casting calls are nothing new for Lucas, who tested multiple triost for the Luke-Han-Leia triangele back in the 70’s. (the rejects, says one Lucas bio, included CHristopher Walken and Nick Nolte as Han; Amy Irving and Jodie Foster as Leia; and Will Seltzer, who landed Lucas’s More American Grafitti instead, as Luke). But a decade from now, there may not be a thespian on earth who won’t be able to say, “I read for the prequels.” In the past two years, Lucas and the casting director have considered 3,6000 child performers just for the roles of Anakin (they’re looking for an 8 to 9 year old Caucasian boy) and the Young Queen (an “exotic 13-14 year old girl).

Among the teeming hopefulls, as EW has reported (#357, Dec 13) was Jingle All the Way’s Jake Lloyd. His agent now reports that he got a single audition, “like every other kid in LA.”

“You have to track kids,” McCallum says in defense of the enormous net Lucas has cast. “They can be brilliant at 7, then awkward at 9…We have 10 or so what have semifinalist status.”

While Lucas pursues juvenile leads, at least one grown-up actor has openied hailing frequencies unasked. One Dec 6, Samuel L. Jackson told the host of a British TV Show, TFI Friday, that hw wants to “just…sit in a room with George Lucas and let him know that, hey…I’d be Lando Calrissian’s father…I’d be Luke Skywalker’s slave.” Says Billy Dee Williams who was Calrissian in Empire and Jedi, “I guess [that’s] fine. He’s a pretty good actor. I don’t spend much time thinking about [the new movies], to tell you the truth.” With good reasons, since the original actors aren’t likely to show up in them.

Whoever lands the coveted slots-there’ll be no annoucements until shooting starts-will work in a virtual-reality environment where bisty sets are complimented later with digitally rendered extensions in ILM’s computers. “They’re going to have to learn a whole new set of skills, “says McCallim. “It’s like when sound came in. It’s going to be a very basic part of the vocabulary, working against a bluescreen. It’s slow and laborous. You’re idle a lot.”

The point of such “digital matting,” says McCallum, isn’t just to enhance the film’s complement of 1,7000 special-effects shots, or to keep the budget down. It’s to give Lucas flexibilty to make and remake finished scenes while still in principal photography.

“George’s loves are the story development and the editing,” says director-producer Ron Howard, who made Willow for Lucas back in 1988. Howard says he’d been “bugging” his former associate for a whole year to return to his directing roots, as had Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Zemeckis. “The filming for him is a terrible chorse,” Howard explains. “It’s not exhilarating for him the way it is for me. I love filimg. George has more of an animator’s sensibility.”

Now that he’s gone back to the drawing board with such sophisticated, infinitely malleable rendering tools at his command, Lucas may prove more prone than ever to changing his mind after the cameras stop rolling. “It’s not for everyone,” McCallum says of what he terms Lucas’ “evolutionary” method. “But it’s the way we love to work. And it’s the way George absolutely needs to work. His vision’s strong going in. But the fun is to be able to chip away at it and change it, just like a sculptor.” Well, maybe not just like a sculptor, since George Lucas clearly dreams of a creative medium where absolutely nothing is set in stone.


Mod Edit: a working link to the above article can be found here:-

Lucas' real reasons for changing the OT
I was recently re-reading an Entertainment Weekly article about the "remaking of Star Wars" that came out prior to the 1977 Special Editions and a couple of people implied that there were two major reasons for the SE and neither had to do with George's "original vision." It was suggested that Lucas was testing the waters to see if there was still major interest in Star Wars. With the SW Trilogy SE's bringing in about $250 million domestically (that number would be a lot bigger now if you adjusted for inflation), it really wet people's appetites for the prequels. I think that had there not been a Special Edition release, Phantom Menace would have had the giant buildup that it did and probably would have made less money.

The other theory proposed in the article was that Lucas wanted his team to test out some of the cgi they were going to use in the prequel trilogy. Adding cgi Jabba into a 20 year old scene with Han Solo was a test-run of techniques Lucas would later use in the entire prequels. Hence, we had a zillion scenes were human actors were reacting to cgi characters added in later.

I think this makes a lot of sense. GL has since gotten so caught up in this "original vision" stuff that he can't go back and release restored versions of the OOT. That would contradict all the stuff he's said for the last 10+ years.
Lucas Announces Plans for Prequel Special Editions
Lucas Announces Plans for Prequel Special Editions
by Hugh Ken Knott B. Seriuz

After years of frustration, George Lucas will finally get the Star Wars prequels exactly the way he wanted them to be. The 62-year-old filmmaker plans to have the Special Editions released in 2009, for the 10th Anniversary of Phantom Menace. This time, Lucas feels he will finally have the films that he first invisioned back in 1975.

"The prequels just didn't turn out the way I originially intended them to be. The voiceover performances in all three prequels was terrible and the acting left too much to be desired. I just didn't have the technology to achieve the quality writing and acting that I needed back in the late 90's and in the first half of the 00's."

According to Lucas, Phantom Menace will no longer feature Jar Jar Binks. Thanks to the magic of cgi, Binks will be deleted and replaced by a new character to be voiced by Chris Tucker. Lucas has also decided to digitally remove Jake Lloyd to replace him with Ryan Gosling. Gosling will then be digitally inserted into the other two prequels.

Among the other changes are the following:
-Several dialogue passages will be removed and be replaced by new dialogue written by Lawrence Kasdan.
-Several scenes with Natalie Portman will be reshot to include Ryan Gosling.
-The character Qui-Gon Jinn will be digitally removed and Obiwan will be the one who discovers Anakin and takes him under his wing. Jinn will also be deleted from the lightsaber duel and Obiwan will just defeat Maul.
-The words "midichlorians" and "padawan" will be deleted.
-Padme will no longer die in childbirth. Instead, she will go into hiding with the Organa's and she would eventually die 6 years later.
-Prequel Yoda would be replaced by ESB Yoda, except for action scenes.

Other changes will be determined.

"Finally, I will get the prequels I originally envisioned back in the 70's."
If George did release a high quality OOT DVD, what is the worst that would happen?
That's something I want to know. If Lucas decided to release the OOT restored and in anamorphic widescreen on DVD (WITHOUT packaging them with the 2004 versions), what would be so terrible for George? The way he's releasing it now, the only people who will buy it will be diehard OOT fans. So what exactly could happen if he gave the films a proper release and millions of people bought them? Perhaps....

1. The fans would like the original versions better. Oh, the horror!
2. The OOT would expose a ton of flaws of the PT and upset the kids who grew up with the prequels.
3. Millions of people would demand their money back for the 2004 DVD's
4. Milions of people would discover that the OOT didn't need any tinkering and all the changes he made, only made things worse.
5. People will discover that Lucas had no original vision.
6. Hearing Vader say "bring my shuttle" will scare children and send them into fits of rage.
7. Young fans will prefer the puppets, actors in costumes, man made sets and realistic look of the OT and demand Lucas do a non cgi PT.
8. Fans will be angry that 23-29 year old films don't look like they were made in 2006.

Seriously, what terrible act could come of a proper OOT release?
An exact quote from Lucas on Greedo shooting first.
Originally posted by: Darth Chaltab
Slapping a Rodian would probably be painful, but that is besides the point. Greedo was pointing a gun at him and clearly WANTED to pull the trigger. He was probably GOING to do it, just gloating beforehand like a Bond villain. So Solo shoots him. Self defense.

Lucas' assertion that it's cold blooded murder reflects, I think, his increasingly liberal world view.

Plus, Han was already getting the gun ready under the table. Why would he do that and then wait for Greedo to shoot? And his reflexes are unbelievable.

Thank goodness Lucas doesn't produce or write for "24." Jack Bauer would always have to wait for the terrorists to shoot first! And speaking of that wonderful show, the writers and producers actually admit they only plan a few episodes at a time and make stuff up. They never claim to have an "original vision."
first viewing of the 2006 OOT dvds
I think it's the principles that drive me nuts more than anything else. They aren't some cult films like "Ferris Bueler's Day Off" "A Christmas Story," or "Dirty Dancing." The original Star Wars is one of the most important, influencial, popular and acclaimed movies of all-time and is treated like just some silly sci-fi film. Citizen Kane, Snow White, Gone With the Wind and the Wizard of Oz are among the few films that are in the same league as Star Wars. And then you have The Empire Strikes Back, considered by many to be the best SW film ever (and very few fans would rank it lower than #2) which was the first blockbuster sequel, had the most famous plot twist in film history AND ensured that all future SW films would be Blockbusters.

So basically George Lucas is rewriting film history and erasing the original versions from public consciousness. I would guess that the millions of people who purchased the SE VHS and/or the 2004 DVD versions, probably haven't watched the O-OT since before 1997! That's very unfortunate.
Lucas: I can make just as much money with less effort
And this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"IGNFF: You're the person to ask about this – when you're talking about these kind of special editions and changes and are they due to an original vision or changing sensibilities – I have to ask you about your thoughts regarding the infamous redo of the scene with Greedo in the cantina.... the whole shooting first thing.

KURTZ: Yeah, I really was livid about that one. I think it was a total – it ruins the scene, basically. The scene was never intended that way. Han Solo realized that Greedo was out to get him and he had to blast him first or he would lose his life. It shows you how much of a mercenary he is. That's what the point of the scene was. And so the way they've changed it around, it loses the whole impact of that whole aspect of it."
Lucas: I can make just as much money with less effort
Great interview. I also love this quote:

"A movie is what it is because that's what happened at the time – that is one of the reasons why I rail against this idea about changing movies all the time. This is a very common practice now, which I really don't like – on any movie. I don't like the Special Editions of Star Wars and all these other movies that have come out with a super-duper director's cut like the special edition of Close Encounters. You name it. Practically every movie now does it, because they can do it for DVD."

20 years ago, would anyone believe...
some more....

-Luke and Leia's mother would age about 13 years during the prequels, but would be played by the same actress in all three films.
-Lucas would re-release the OT every few years, each time with supposed improvements
-The reason that Anakin became a Jedi was because his slave owner lost a bet on a podrace
-John Williams would come up with just one notable piece for the prequels (Duel of the Fates)
-Lucas would complain about not having time to make non Star Wars films, but would continue revamping the OT.
-George Lucas would paint his face blue and appear onscreen in one of the prequels
-Ian McDiarmid would someday play a much younger Palpatine 16-22 years after Jedi
-Jedi can breath under water simply by putting a little piece of plastic in their mouths
-the romance between Anakin and his wife was chock fun of nausiating dialogue
-there would be a Jedi named Count Dooku
-Anakin mostly resented Obiwan even when he was a Jedi
-Lucas's cough would be used for a character (Grevious)
20 years ago, would anyone believe...
Originally posted by: Gaffer Tape
Originally posted by: JennyS1138

-Leia's mother was allowed to wear underwear in space.

Whoah, wait. When do you get to see Padme in her underwear? This I have to see!

They didn't show her in her underwear, but Carrie Fisher said she bet Padme got to wear a bra even though George said she couldn't because there was no underwear in space

20 years ago, would anyone believe...
This keeps getting better and better. How about....

-C3PO's head would be screwed onto another droid's body in an attempt at humor
-Cloud City was actually a shopping mall (when Lando makes the announcement to evacuate in the SE, it looks like the people listening were shopping there!)
-Leia's mother was allowed to wear underwear in space.
-Anakin was once a slave on Tatooine and his owner was an ugly flying slug with a strange accent
-there were once double sided lightsabers, which went out of style
-Yoda would utter the line, "not if anything to say about it I have."
-When Obiwan said "your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough" actually meant, "I took this lightsaber from your father as I left him to catch on fire by a flaming lake of lava."
-Uncle Owen barely knew Anakin and met him AFTER Anakin had gotten "involved"
-A Jedi named Qui-gon Ginn was the one who took it upon himself to train Anakin as a Jedi.
20 years ago, would anyone believe...
Originally posted by: andy_k_250
All of these things are good points and they all point to the one inherent flaw in the Prequel Trilogy that is responsible for all other flaws -

If you had seen the Original Trilogy and knew even a smattering of the back story not mentioned in the movie (such as the intro from the original SW novelization regarding Palpatine), nothing could have prepared you for what would eventually be put into the prequels.

It would be like if you heard all about a movie that was coming out soon, heard little bits and pieces and connected some dots in your head, and then when the movie came out, all the movie was was video of a person in a bathroom, pooping. You heard stuff about Clone Wars, Mandalorian battle armor, the Old Republic, Anakin being a great pilot, etc. and then you go watch video of pooping.

Okay, it wasn't quite that dramatic of a difference, but the PT was definitely not what people expected to see given all of the "canonical" information provided in the OT and sundry early sources.

I'll add some items to this growing list:

- That the clones in the Clone Wars were all clones of Boba Fett's father.
- That there weren't several genetic fathers/mothers for clones.
- That there wasn't at least one cloned Jedi/Sith warrior.
- That Boba Fett's armor was not Mandalorian battle armor, as used by many soldiers in the Clone Wars (didn't everyone think that to begin prior to the PT?) but instead a dirty looking version of his father's shiny suit.
- That Palpatine dreamed up an overly elaborate scheme to pit an expensive robotic army (paid for by him?) against an expensive clone army (paid for by him?), all to destabilize society enough for him to sneakily snatch power over the course of several years, rather than staging a military coup with his combined forces.

OMG- do you know how much I HATED the droid army? They were horrible and they were pathetic looking. Plus they made the Stormtroopers look coordinated.

20 years ago, would anyone believe...
LOL, it does seem like George has never seen Star Wars. Or hasn't seen it in a very very long time (I wonder if he's watched the OOT since making the SE).

Here are some more....

-one of the prequels would be called Phantom Menace
-one of the prequels would be called Attack of the Clones
-fans would create higher quality versions of the OOT than Lucas himself
-Lapti Nek and Yub Yub would be replaced by even cheesier and less entertaining music
-a clip of Vader arriving aboard the second Death Star would find it's way into Empire
-there would be Star Wars characters named Jar Jar Binks, Nute Gunray, Boss Nass, Sleaze Bagano and Watto
-Luke and Leia's mom's name was Padme Amidala
-George Lucas would write and direct all three prequels
-George Lucas would claim he never said there would be a third trilogy
-Leia's mother was a Queen on a planet other then Alderaan and later became a Senator. Her adopted father was a Senator, but she still wound up a Princess anyway
-Seeing Tantive IV in the final prequel would be the highlight of the prequels for many fans
-Yoda would be a cartoon character
20 years ago, would anyone believe...
Could you imagine if someone had told Star Wars fans this info, 20 years ago? Who would believe that:

1. George Lucas would eventually treat the OOT like Howard the Duck.
2. Battlestar Galactica would be getting better reviews than Star Wars.
3. Ian McDiarmid would appear in The Empire Strikes Back.
4. Darth Vader had no father. His mother carried him, she gave birth to him, but coudn't explain what happened.
5. A Star Wars character would be created that made the Ewoks look good
6. Yoda and the Emperor would have a lightsaber duel.
7. Despite the fact that Leia remembered her, Luke and Leia's mother would die seconds after giving birth.
8. Chewie and Yoda were pals back in the day.
9. Darth Vader was C3PO's father.
10. R2D2 flew (he had a hover coversion but the flying circuits were destroyed)
11. Darth Vader turned to the Dark Side to prevent his pregnant wife from dying.

any other ideas?
SW: R.I.P. - 9/12/06
A filmmaker named George Lucas, who was a pupil of mine before he turned to evil, helped his special effects crew hunt down and destroy the original trilogy. He betrayed and murdered the movies. Now the original prints are all but extinct. Lucas was seduced by cgi....

Why didn't you tell me? You told me Lucas betrayed and murdered the movies?

George Lucas was seduced by the dark side of the force. The official Star Wars films ceased to be the originals and became the special editions. When that happened, the good films that were Star Wars were destroyed. So what I told you was true. From a certain point-of-view.
Originally posted by: TheCassidy
I'm telling you right now - there better be some credit given to because this site played a huge role in making this happen, through the petition and through the countless fan preservation projects.

So, if you will all join me for a second.

THANK YOU JAY. You did it. We did it. You beautiful bastards.

I totally agree. YESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!