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rbaumhauer
09-18-2004, 09:22 AM
From Entertainment Weekly:

GL: (speaking about Han Solo firing first) I don't see how you could redeem somebody who kills people in cold blood.

Now, he's talking about Han here, but does he have ANY idea what he's just said?

George, ever since ROTJ, you've maintained that the whole Saga was about the Fall and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader - a character who, it is well known, killed many, many, many people in cold blood, over a period of at least a couple decades. If it's impossible to "redeem" Han Solo for an act of self-defense, how can you justify making an entire 6-movie Saga about the redemption of Anakin/Vader?

This is a topic that has been raised, in pretty harsh terms, by David Brin in the past, and given the above quote, you really have to wonder if Lucas has any idea what he's doing or saying in these movies any more.

stillakid
09-18-2004, 09:27 AM
Uh, yeah, he seems to have lost it pretty clearly. It's no secret that he can be a great "broad strokes" visionary but is an awful writer on his own. But with that comment you provide above, it is clear that he has an inability to see the forest for the trees. Screenwriting is about seeing how every decision and word in the story impacts the next and everything that came before it. Each choice does not exist in a vaccuum. But based on George's words, we can see that he does not let details like that bother him. No doubt, the apologists will find it easier to simply ignore this thread and others like it lest they be forced to engage in actual discussion that has a logical dead-end for them. Rationalizations be damned! Ignorance is the weapon of the future..... :rolleyes:

Deoxyribonucleic
09-18-2004, 10:19 AM
He's a "gone-er" - been that way for a long time now, that's why I don't listen to anything he has to say these days...he constantly contradicts himself and is a hypocrite. :rolleyes:

Darth Rend
09-18-2004, 12:07 PM
Ok, I'll take a crack at this......

He's Bull S#&*ing us. Plain and simple.

He won't come out and say "I changed it because alot of little kids think han is cool, so I wanted to soften up the character and make the whole thing more kid-friendly."

Instead he's trying to come up with a BS excuse, and frankly it fell flat. Lucas has a history of that, rather than admit he's changed his mind, he offers a justification then adds "it was almays meant to be this way."

Hows THAT for an APOLOGIST!!!!!

and for the record, I do NOT think Lucas has lost it. I left AOTC screaming and cheering. I think it was GREAT. However, I don't think Lucas is fooling anyone..he should just admit that he changed his mind on some things. Of course, then people would rip him apart even more....



By the way, I'm curious, out of all the people who says he's lost it....I'm assuming all of you aren't buying tickets to go see Episode 3? I mean why would you, right? Not a single one of you owns a prequel on DVD, or have bought a single piece of prequel merchindise since Lucas ruined everything, right? Of course not, because then YOU would be a hypocrite too.....

rbaumhauer
09-18-2004, 08:50 PM
Nice try, and many have tried to make the same charge in the past.

First, I'm generally an optimistic person, so I have seen both prequels in the theater (4 times for TPM, but that includes twice, pre-paid, in the first 12 hours; twice for AOTC - once on film, once digital, both in the first week). Beyond that, I've purchased the "Art of" books for both, as I feel that's one of the few places that TPM and AOTC have any claim to greatness. Finally, all told I probably purchased 15 or so TPM action figures, and two figures from AOTC.

Do I own the DVDs? Yes. Do I (rather, can I bear to) watch them? No. If I'm going to criticize something, I don't think it's a crime to be informed about what I'm criticizing, so I don't think that owning the DVDs makes me a hypocrite. If I need to accurately recall a particularly cringe-worthy section of TPM or AOTC, it helps to have them around.

The fact remains, if TPM and AOTC had actually been good movies (IMHO, of course), I would have seen each one MANY more times in theaters, and I would have bought more merchandise (by far) than I did - I buy just about every OT figure that comes out (re-releases generally excepted, since I'm an opener), but completely ignore PT releases. Did Lucas get some money from me via the PT? Yes, but not anywhere NEAR what he could have.

Rick

Kidhuman
09-18-2004, 09:20 PM
By the way, I'm curious, out of all the people who says he's lost it....I'm assuming all of you aren't buying tickets to go see Episode 3? I mean why would you, right? Not a single one of you owns a prequel on DVD, or have bought a single piece of prequel merchindise since Lucas ruined everything, right? Of course not, because then YOU would be a hypocrite too.....


Lucas has lost it. Been that way for some time now. (See DNA's post)

I do have TPM on DVD, but not AOTC. I borrowed my dad's copy and held on to it for 2 years. I watvch the OT way more than the PT, especially since I got my new boots. :D . I do happen to enjoy the PT, but no where near the same level as the OT. I do but the toys and such. I will see EP3 for one reason, it is Lucas' last chance to actually make a decent movie. If he ties it in with the OT in a half wya decent manner, it could be good, and there by redeem the PT to a newer level. If he doesnt, oh well, nothing lost but 7 ucks on a ticket.

I have bought just about all the prquel toys. I do give my money to him. I dont think I am a hypocrite in that sense. I feel if Lucas wanted to tie the movies together, he should do it through the PT, not by going and changing the OT. ANd then come out and say "Changing the 3 stooges is wrong" THat my friend is hypocritical

stillakid
09-18-2004, 10:26 PM
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What's the line between restoring a film and altering it? Obviously, the versions of the Star Wars Trilogy and THX 1138 on DVD go far beyond what we saw in theaters.

GEORGE LUCAS Film is so expensive, and it's run by corporations. They just take it away from you, and it's frozen in time at the point where it got yanked out of your hands. I've been lucky enough to be able to go back and say ''No, I'm going to finish this the way it was meant to be finished.'' When Star Wars came out, I said it didn't turn out the way I wanted -- it's 25 percent of what I wanted it to be. It was very painful for me. So the choice came down to, do I please myself and [finally] make the movie that I wanted, or do I allow the audience to see the half-finished version that they fell in love with?

Um, perhaps that argument flies with Episode IV, but as I recall, Lucas had full financial freedom to finish V and VI as he wished. So while he could potentially argue his way out of the ANH alterations, what’s his excuse for the story changes in ESB and ROTJ?


If you really look at it, there's hardly any changes at all.

It doesn’t take much. A single domino will destroy even the largest of domino setups.


The thing that really caused the trouble on Star Wars is the whole question of whether Han Solo or Greedo shoots first. The way it got cobbled together at the time, it came off that [Han] fired first. He didn't fire first.

Well, he did. However, even if he Greedo fired first, the audience has believed the opposite for over 25 years and loved the way the Solo character arc played out. You’re fixing something that wasn’t broken.


So you consider this a correction?
It's a correction. [When I made Star Wars] I said, ''Well, I don't have that shot, so I'll just, you know, fudge it editorially.'' In my mind [Greedo] shot first or at the same time. We like to think of [Han Solo] as a murderer because that's hip -- I don't think that's a good thing for people. I mean, I don't see how you could redeem somebody who kills people in cold blood. .

As mentioned by others, if that is your rational, Mr. Lucas, for altering the Han Solo character arc, then how do you explain Anakin’s redemption at the end of ROTJ? Afterall, you’ve said definitively that the entire saga is now about Anakin’s downfall into a terrible person (who we’ve seen kill in cold blood onscreen) and redemption after his son lays his own life on the line. You’re reasoning is inconsistent within itself. Can you explain any of this?


Every [other change] is, you know, I wanted to have a good matte painting here.
Understood. You should have left it there.

Nobody seems to mind the [idea of a] ''director's cut.'' But to go the next step and say, had they given me another week's shooting, or another $50,000 to finish these matte paintings, this is what the film would look like -- well, it's not a matter of changing your mind. Star Wars was not meant, in the end, to be seen more than once in a movie theater. It was designed to be a large theatrical experience that, if you saw it once on a giant screen, would blow you away.

Um, huh? Even in 1977, theaters had Star Wars playing for over a year! Do you honestly think that all of that business was from original viewers? DVD has nothing to do with it. Even so, people always revisited movies in the theater when they came out, so your claim that it was meant for just one viewing is ludicrous. Besides that, your argument still doesn’t hold beyond ANH because by 1980, VCRs and early Laserdisc players were making their way into the public households. You would have known that Star Wars and its successors would be viewed multiple times on a small screen, so given your financial freedom with ESB and ROTJ, by your own argument, those two should be perfect from the start. That being the case, why are you changing them?

But this was before there was such a thing as DVD. If you went down and sort of analyzed it and looked at it frame by frame, you can see the tricks that are going on. There's a lot of stuff that's very thin, as in any old movie.
Are you talking about the fx or the story? This is a little unclear. Of course if you analyze any special effects film, you’re going to eventually find the “tricks.” But those things aren’t what people are complaining about. We want to know why you feel the need to alter the storyline. Answer that if you can.


Can you envision a future in which a filmmaker who didn't get the actor he wanted the first time can drop in a new performance to ''perfect'' the movie?
It has to do with the creative predilections of the director -- what he wants and how strongly he feels about it. But you could do that. The real issue is, who has the right to do that? I fall 100 percent on the side of the right of the artist to alter it.
Who’s the artist? By last count, there are 300 to 500 people working on any one motion picture in a variety of artistic disciplines. Do they have the right to change their own work because they were the ones who created it in the first place? And if you’re going to deny that and suggest that the guy who has the checkbook has the right to final change, then by that logic 20th Century Fox was well within its right to “take” the movie from you and release it. So which is it?


You've said that in Star Wars, you were trying to capture something for young viewers that would connect with the fun that you had at Saturday-afternoon serials. But the saga is actually pretty sad. If you take it as the story of the guy who became Darth Vader, isn't it a six-movie series about someone losing his humanity? But being resurrected by his children. We all have to make up for our fathers, you know. Believe me, our kids are really going to have a job making up for the sins that are going on right now. That's a classic theme, you know -- if one generation succumbs, it's up to the next generation to redeem that generation.
You. Just. Said. Redeem. But a while ago, you said it was impossible to redeem a cold blooded killer. Isn’t that what Darth Vader is?


Say that it's 2010, and I'm a 10-year-old coming to Star Wars movies for the first time. Should I start with Episode IV (Star Wars) or Episode I (Phantom Menace)? [Your order should be] I, II, III, IV, V, VI. Part of the fun for me is that one generation will have seen it backwards. For the next generation that sees it from I to VI, there are a lot of things in IV [Star Wars] that were just fantastic [in 1977] -- you know, the cantina -- which aren't going to work. In those days, you didn't put monsters in a bar. A monster was a thing that came from a spaceship and ate everybody. Now every [sci-fi] bar you walk into has got aliens.
[But] what's really important is the story, and the development of the characters. Now, once you get to IV, you know Darth Vader's the main character because you saw him [in previous movies]. So when Darth Vader walks in, you say, oh, my God. Now, when you come across Princess Leia, you know that's his daughter right away, and you think, does he know? No, he doesn't know. Or does he know? And when you cut down to the planet and see Luke, you go, oh, my God, that's Darth Vader's son, and Ben Kenobi has been waiting all this time to send him on his adventure. You're waiting for them to realize who everybody is. So it is a completely different movie.

Well, the versions you’ve got coming are completely different movies anyway, so the whole question is academic at this point. :rolleyes:

But ya know, Lucas, you could have hired a competent writer (remember, you hate to write) to whip up the Prequels for you so that watching the saga from 1-6 or in release order wouldn’t be different experiences. You’re an effin’ moron for not caring enough about your own story to screw it up this badly that you have to try to talk your way out of it in an interview like this.


You tend not to be very optimistic about whether your movies will be hits. You had grave doubts about both American Graffiti and Star Wars. Has that persisted with the second trilogy?
I said, well, [Phantom Menace] is not going to work because I'm making it about a 10-year-old boy, and nobody is going to want to go see this. It's like one of these Disney movies or Benji movies. People don't want that -- they want to see Darth Vader, and I'm not giving them Darth Vader, so don't expect this thing to be a hit.
No, George. We didn’t not like TPM because it had a 10-year old boy in it. That would have been fine. But you wrote a dumb story that was boring on its own and contradicted the original trilogy on many levels. Even my own 6 year old son figured that out.


And then [Attack of the Clones] is a love story. It's old-fashioned like in the '40s, you know, it's not a modern, hip, happening romantic comedy with the Olsen twins. It's kind of corny and it's using an aesthetic that is out of use now. I'm not sure whether young people are going to take to it.

Again, you have this weird idea of what people expect in their entertainment. We weren’t looking for “hip” or “happening,” whatever the hell that means. We wanted something semi-realistic that fits with the established genre and environment of Star Wars. Forcing bad parallels of Shakespeare into your movie doesn’t automatically make it “old fashioned like in the ‘40s.” It just makes it stupid and nonsensical.


So at least Darth Vader is in [Episode III]. Only for two minutes, but he's in it. If you take them all together it's a fascinating saga.

Yeah, okay. When’s the last time you even saw the original trilogy? Obviously you didn’t bother to write the Prequels with them in mind.


Watching THX -- which deals with a totalitarian culture and the consequences of rampant consumerism -- alongside the Star Wars movies suggests that you're a surprisingly political filmmaker. I'm very interested in politics, and I try to deal with political themes. The thing is, I make my movies my way, and they have sort of been taken as light entertainment. But I put in a lot of my own feelings and views.

Yet oddly enough, even though his movies revolve around the “little guy” beating the “big guy,” Lucas maintains a rather egotistical anti-unionism stance wherein he would rather put the American worker out of business rather than hire him for an honest wage. How’s that for political?


Would the Empire have referred to the Rebel Alliance as terrorists, rhetorically?
That's a very politically charged word. I'm not sure terrorists have defined themselves as terrorists -- they have defined themselves as rebels. And that's what we were, you know, we're the rebels. We are a nation of terror, we came out of terrorism -- well, I mean, for God's sake, we are rebels, but the British wouldn't have described us that way. If you were to look at [Star Wars] for what it actually is -- get rid of all that cool stuff -- one of its major issues is how you get from a democracy into a dictatorship without a coup. How did the Senate turn it over to Caesar? How did France turn over their republic to Napoléon? And how did Germany hand their country over to Hitler?
That's embedded in the three films that are coming out now. When the third one is put in, you'll say, ''Oh, I see how that all works.'' The controversy is going to be that people expect some horrible, horrific thing to happen to [Anakin] that caused him to [become Darth Vader]. It's much subtler. It's something that everybody faces -- when you're looking at yourself, you can see your good and your bad, and say, ''Is this a selfish choice or is this a compassionate choice? And once I get something, what would I do to keep from losing it? Would I make a pact with the devil to keep it?''

Well, Anakin’s change from Opie Cunningham to bad boy Hayd-akin has been anything but “subtle.” His change has been about as subtle as a train driving through your living room.


You're pretty definitive about not making the once-rumored third Star Wars trilogy -- episodes VII, VIII, and IX.
I'm not going to do it. I'm too old. I've got other movies I want to do. And I don't want anybody else to do it, so I've locked it up so nobody can ever do it. There may be TV offshoots from people, but the saga itself, the story of the Skywalker family, is over.

Ha. There are ways around that, Mr. Lucas. Given the time, inclination, and resources, somebody will redo your Prequels properly and maybe even finish what you started. You had your time. Now retire to the Ranch with a Playmate and forget about it.

(This is an online-only excerpt from Entertainment Weekly's Sept. 24, 2004, issue.)

2-1B
09-19-2004, 12:03 AM
Maybe Lucas meant that he can't redeem a character who kills in cold blood when we are first introduced to the character at that point in time.

Concerning the Anakin comparison, Lucas set out to show the audience how pure and good Ani once was. So when you talk about the Fall and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker, you need to consider the Rise of Anakin before the Fall.

With Solo, he just comes in to the story and (*allegedly*) blows a guy away immediately.

Call me an apologist, I don't really care. :rolleyes: I don't know this to be true (just as nobdoy here really knows what is rattling around inside Lucas' head ;) ) but it's just a theory and I think it makes some sense.

Kidhuman
09-19-2004, 12:27 AM
SO when we are introduced to Anakin he is a simple boy. But ten years later he is a cold blooded murderer. I dont see a difference. in the comparison to Han, Caesar. Han murdered, but we dont know his background. Maybe if Lucas did a 3.5 we might find there is more to Han than we know

2-1B
09-19-2004, 12:48 AM
Anakin is not a cold blooded murderer.

kidhuman, you seem like a devoted family man. If you came home God forbid to find your family dead with the perps outside and you went berserk, yeah I would say that you went far but I wouldn't call you cold blooded. Anakin's was a crime of overdoing it, of going too far.

ANYWAY, that's not the point because in your post you basically repeated what I was saying, even though you are disagreeing. :rolleyes:
Exactly, we saw lil squeaky Ani before he gets to the evil part (whether it's in AOTC or ROTS, I honestly don't give a **** :rolleyes: ) and like you said, we DIDN'T get a feeling for Han's past.

So what are you disagreeing with ? :confused:

stillakid
09-19-2004, 09:46 AM
Anakin is not a cold blooded murderer.

I don't know, but let's try looking at it this way. For the sake of argument, let's say that Han is a "cold blooded murderer" when we first meet him in ANH. In comparison, when we first meet Jake-akin in TPM he is decidedly not a cold blooded murderer. HOWEVER, in his later incarnation of Darth Vader, Hayd-akin will become a cold blooded murderer. So isn't it plausible that Solo wasn't always a cold blooded murderer in the same way that Opie Cunningham-akin wasn't? Point being, the events of Solo's earlier life led him to become the wry independent wild west coyboy that he was in the Cantina, but he didn't start that way. Events in Jake-akin's life led him to become a bipolar-blueballed-moody-low-self-esteemed-with-a-sense-of-entitlement SOB Hayd-akin version of the same character. And as I believe we'll see, events in Hayd-akin's life will plod along to turn him into Vader-akin.

So I guess the conclusion is that we see Solo going through a slow process of redemption while Anakin's is rather sudden and dramatic, yet they both travel roughly the same path of goodboy to badboy and back to goodboy.

2-1B
09-19-2004, 10:24 AM
So isn't it plausible that Solo wasn't always a cold blooded murderer in the same way that Opie Cunningham-akin wasn't?

OF COURSE ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! All I said was that we come into the saga at THAT particular time when Han gets ready to smoke Greedo. Of course Han was probably a good guy at some point earlier in his life. Hell, we come in on Vader as he's about to kill guys but in ESB and ROTJ they spend time referring to Vader's backstory so there is a setup for the redemption. Regardless, Vader is obviously shown as a bad guy while Han is a good guy.

Personally, I think Han IS a good guy in ANH. Yeah, he's jaded but in the business he is in, I imagine it can make you rough around the edges. He needs that to survive. But as we see by the end of ANH through the next 2 films, Han is really a good friend.

UGH, WHY DID I EVEN BOTHER TO POST IN THIS THREAD ? ? ?

Like I said, I DON'T agree with Lucas that Han was a cold blooded killer, I just had to offer the point that I have seen people in these forums paint Han as having this grand arc which begins in part with the Greedo thing which is then ruined by the changes. Oh, he's got an arc alright, but I just believe that it's there whether he "shoots first" or not.

Anyway, my point was not to defend Lucas' POV because I don't even agree with the changes - I just wanted to offer what I believe is a possible explanation for what Lucas was trying to say.

:Ogre:

Darth Rend
09-19-2004, 12:15 PM
Bottom Line is, if you say you hate something, and yet give the creator money to own it, then you are voting with your money that you like the product. You payed money for Episode 1 on DVD? You've told Lucas. "I'd like to own this" and put money in his pocket. To scream endlessly about how Lucas "sucks" and has "lost it" but then to give the man your money to see his next move, IS the very textbook definition of hypocritcal. Or it says that you like to complain endlessly but not back up your convictions.

As far as the three stooges thing goes, its a poor comparison. If the guy who CREATED the 3 stooges wanted to put it in color, thats within thier right. Someone is altering ANOTHER PERSONS work. Lucas, as many seem to forget, CREATED Star Wars. It's his to alter.

If you don't like his stuff, fine. Your entitled to your opinion. If you b!t*h endlessly about it but continue to spend money on it, Your b!*hing is meaningless, empty...because you've already voted with your money.

Kidhuman
09-19-2004, 05:14 PM
As far as the three stooges thing goes, its a poor comparison. If the guy who CREATED the 3 stooges wanted to put it in color, thats within thier right. Someone is altering ANOTHER PERSONS work. Lucas, as many seem to forget, CREATED Star Wars. It's his to alter.



While it might be his to alter, why oh why didnt he finish it in the first place? Back in 3rd grade, did you hand in a half finished science fair project, only to tell the teacher, wait 20 years and it will be finished, so give me the A on it now? Of course you didnt. You handed in a complete finished project. That is what Lucas did with the movies. Whether or not they were finished in his eyes is now a moot point. He released them as a finished product. I sa it that way, Stillakid saw it that way, heck 80% of us saw it in that manner. We loved it. What he is doing now is horrible. CHanging character profiles, removing and changing characters around to fit his needs. What he should have done is make the prequels to fit the OT. It would have been alot simpler that way. Hayden and Portman both have dark colored hair, how did Luke get blonde hair? In the next release will he change Luke to a dark haired character?

While he might be the man behind the movie, he could not have done it without his staff that worled to his command. If he wanted it a certain way, he should have made it that way to begin with. Not wait 20 years and basically scrap the originals and remake the film. These people put their hard work into the movie as much, if not more than Lucas did. They are artists too that should have a say so in the changes.

Kidhuman
09-19-2004, 09:49 PM
SOrry Caesar, misunderstood what you posted. ALl is good hear now that I see your point through the clouds

JediTricks
09-19-2004, 10:30 PM
Yeesh, more history rewriting from Uncle George. This one is especially pathetic IMO, rewriting a motivation from 30 years ago to explain a much-later change often considered extremely poor seems quite miserable on his behalf.



By the way, I'm curious, out of all the people who says he's lost it....I'm assuming all of you aren't buying tickets to go see Episode 3? I mean why would you, right? Not a single one of you owns a prequel on DVD, or have bought a single piece of prequel merchindise since Lucas ruined everything, right? Of course not, because then YOU would be a hypocrite too.....I didn't like TPM but I saw AOTC in the theater because I wanted to give it a chance, when I didn't like what I saw there, I avoided seeing the film again except during special circumstances. With Ep 3, again, I will give it a chance because I am trying to be open-minded about it.

And as for buying DVDs and merchandising, it's not the Jango Fett figure's fault that his character wasn't that great, if I like the toy I will buy the toy; likewise, there are some interesting things on the DVD about moviemaking, so that is why I bought it. However, on the AOTC soundtrack, I didn't like what I heard and it contained nothing else, so I didn't buy that.


Beyond that, I've purchased the "Art of" books for both, as I feel that's one of the few places that TPM and AOTC have any claim to greatness. I bought Art of TPM, but never picked up AOTC simply because I never got around to it. However, going through Art of TPM, I was not anywhere near as dazzled with the conceptual art work as I was with the OT "Art of" books.





ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What's the line between restoring a film and altering it? Obviously, the versions of the Star Wars Trilogy and THX 1138 on DVD go far beyond what we saw in theaters.

GEORGE LUCAS Film is so expensive, and it's run by corporations. They just take it away from you, and it's frozen in time at the point where it got yanked out of your hands. I've been lucky enough to be able to go back and say ''No, I'm going to finish this the way it was meant to be finished.'' When Star Wars came out, I said it didn't turn out the way I wanted -- it's 25 percent of what I wanted it to be. It was very painful for me. So the choice came down to, do I please myself and [finally] make the movie that I wanted, or do I allow the audience to see the half-finished version that they fell in love with?Um, perhaps that argument flies with Episode IV, but as I recall, Lucas had full financial freedom to finish V and VI as he wished. So while he could potentially argue his way out of the ANH alterations, what’s his excuse for the story changes in ESB and ROTJ? I've been making that argument for years, often pointing out that Lucas never originally intended to alter ESB or ROTJ for the Special Edition release, never originally considered rereleasing them at all until the fan desire started building for the 20th anniversary of SW.

Also, here's where I don't think Lucas' argument flies even with ANH, just last month he strongly criticized Columbia/TriStar for releasing a few Three Stooges DVDs with colorization as merely an OPTION on the discs because doing so would take the content out of the contemporarial context from which they were originally released, yet at the era those shorts were made, color was the big thing and every studio wanted to use it while only a select few films could because of the cost. So which is it Lucas, is it ok to change a film out of its cinematic and social historical context or not? Would it be ok for MGM to go back and add new special effects to The Wizard of Oz because the tornado doesn't look realistic anymore and they had always intended for it to look more real?



Now, once you get to IV, you know Darth Vader's the main character because you saw him [in previous movies]. Wow, and all this time, I thought that guy in black with the ominous music who breaks down the door of the Princess' ship at the beginning of Star Wars was just another random extra. :rolleyes: GIVE ME A BREAK! When you first wrote Star Wars as a shooting script, it was with the ANH story as the first 3rd, and Vader was only one of several main characters. Talk about rewriting history!


You tend not to be very optimistic about whether your movies will be hits. You had grave doubts about both American Graffiti and Star Wars. Has that persisted with the second trilogy?
I said, well, [Phantom Menace] is not going to work because I'm making it about a 10-year-old boy, and nobody is going to want to go see this. It's like one of these Disney movies or Benji movies. People don't want that -- they want to see Darth Vader, and I'm not giving them Darth Vader, so don't expect this thing to be a hit.
No, George. We didn’t not like TPM because it had a 10-year old boy in it. That would have been fine. But you wrote a dumb story that was boring on its own and contradicted the original trilogy on many levels. Even my own 6 year old son figured that out. I did have an issue with TPM being about a 10-year-old boy. I still think that Lucas had the Anakin character as a 13-year-old, the artwork drawn for the character represented this age a lot closer than the Jake Lloyd character. Still, that is hardly the ONLY issue that plagues the film.


And then [Attack of the Clones] is a love story. It's old-fashioned like in the '40s, you know, it's not a modern, hip, happening romantic comedy with the Olsen twins. It's kind of corny and it's using an aesthetic that is out of use now. I'm not sure whether young people are going to take to it.

Again, you have this weird idea of what people expect in their entertainment. We weren’t looking for “hip” or “happening,” whatever the hell that means. We wanted something semi-realistic that fits with the established genre and environment of Star Wars. Forcing bad parallels of Shakespeare into your movie doesn’t automatically make it “old fashioned like in the ‘40s.” It just makes it stupid and nonsensical. Yeah, I don't get what Lucas is getting at there either, not only with the "hip & happening" comment, but also with the claim that AOTC is somehow at all like an old-fashioned '40s romance because it's not. In fact, I'd say that the forced romance scenes of AOTC are a lot more like the boring movies of the late '60s and early '70s which Lucas was rebelling against when he first made Star Wars, those melodrama films were taking characters and stopping their whole world so they could go on and on about how they felt rather than expressed those feelings through action in any way during the course of their actual lives.


Watching THX -- which deals with a totalitarian culture and the consequences of rampant consumerism -- alongside the Star Wars movies suggests that you're a surprisingly political filmmaker. I'm very interested in politics, and I try to deal with political themes. The thing is, I make my movies my way, and they have sort of been taken as light entertainment. But I put in a lot of my own feelings and views. I find this ironic as Lucas has become very Orwellian in his thinking, he already knows he has become the corporation he loathed as a youth, but he also acts like this Big Brother society where he rewrites history to fit the newfacts.




Maybe Lucas meant that he can't redeem a character who kills in cold blood when we are first introduced to the character at that point in time. Concerning the Anakin comparison, Lucas set out to show the audience how pure and good Ani once was. So when you talk about the Fall and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker, you need to consider the Rise of Anakin before the Fall. With Solo, he just comes in to the story and (*allegedly*) blows a guy away immediately. Call me an apologist, I don't really care. :rolleyes: I don't know this to be true (just as nobdoy here really knows what is rattling around inside Lucas' head ;) ) but it's just a theory and I think it makes some sense. Damned apologist! ;) J/k, but I have a real problem with this line of thinking, it's a very dangerous, 2-dimensional line of thinking that is also represented in having the bad guy troops of the prequels be sub-human (whether droid or clone). By this line of thinking, a character has no past experiences, no internal struggles, and only the bare-bones motivation we the audience are given on-screen, leading to impossibly-simple ideals of "pure evil" and "pure good" without any notion of internal humanity. Luke doesn't kill dozens of human beings who have joined the Imperial cause, he's just killing empty cannon-fodder sub-beings who have no families or personal thoughts of any kind, therefore his actions are 100% noble and have no ill consequences. The problem though is that realistically, there is no "pure good" and "pure evil", even Hitler was nice to his dogs and his girlfriend, SOMEONE will feel loss when he's dead from the personal point of view even though he was a monster on a global scale.

Plus, the first time we are introduced to Vader, he's a cold-blooded killer, it is only in the first film's sequels (that take place in the past) where we meet this cherubic little future-hate-monger.

What amazes me is that Lucas even tries to show that everything has a past, that the Empire used to be a benevolent republic and Vader used to be nice young boy while the heroic Jedi weren't as flawless as we were led to believe, yet simultaneously whitewashes the Stormtrooper characters so that these normal, everyday young men could actually CHOOSE to side with the evil Empire and do its bidding freely. Hell, originally Luke himself was going off to the Imperial Academy to become an officer even after Biggs had JUST told him it was uncool and was planning to jump ship and join the Rebellion.

BTW Caes, I'm not bagging on you, rather on the mindset presented in what seems to be Lucas' current M.O..



As far as the three stooges thing goes, its a poor comparison. If the guy who CREATED the 3 stooges wanted to put it in color, thats within thier right. Someone is altering ANOTHER PERSONS work. Lucas, as many seem to forget, CREATED Star Wars. It's his to alter. Every film from that era wanted to be made in color, it was a prohibitive cost which held them back from doing so with the Stooges shorts. And Lucas' argument is also that colorizing it takes it out of context from its time of release, so how does this not apply exactly the same to changing the much more historically-impacting Star Wars? Anyway, that's an argument for the Lucas-Stooges thread (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=24919), so if you want to get deeper into that on its own, that's where it'd go (and I invite you to do so, that thread was created before you even signed up).

2-1B
09-20-2004, 02:25 AM
SOrry Caesar, misunderstood what you posted. ALl is good hear now that I see your point through the clouds

Cool, now our avatars can live together again in harmony. :Ogre:



BTW Caes, I'm not bagging on you, rather on the mindset presented in what seems to be Lucas' current M.O..

I know. :) I found that quote from GL a bit odd myself but I thought I would try to figure out maybe what he meant or where he was coming from. All I know for sure is how *I* feel about it. :D

JediTricks
09-20-2004, 07:48 PM
Gotcha. I just get frustrated when Lucas waters down something that had previously worked so well without further interference. Lucas used the concept of the Nazi stormtroopers for his Imperial stormtroopers and it worked fine, then he changes them from willing young men to mindless clones and it feels so wrong and frustrating.

BTW, interesting reasoning for your edit. ;) What's the dealio?

rbaumhauer
09-20-2004, 11:48 PM
I don't think the Stormtroopers being clones is a change, honestly - an issue of the "Star Wars Poster Monthly" from '78 or '79 discussed them as such. It wasn't "official", of course, but something gave them the idea to write the story.

2-1B
09-21-2004, 12:52 PM
Just a spelling error, JT, just a spelling error. :D

Well, I always thought the Stormies were clones, too, for whatever that is worth. :Ogre:

El Chuxter
09-21-2004, 02:22 PM
When I was a kid, I thought they were robots. Then I learned they were people and learned in the EU about the severe boot camps young conscripts had to suffer through on Carida before they emerged, essentially brainwashed, as Stormtroopers.

And then Lucas said they were all clones, so I was confused. I thought "Okay, they must have been recruits later, because it's more cost-effective to simply train rather than create and then train." Not to mention that clones with no personalities would have no reason to exchange small talk and pleasantries, as they do a few times in ANH.

But Tim Zahn made a comment in Survivors Quest that there were no more Stormtroopers because the cloning vats had been destroyed.

And then I was really damn confused, especially given that LFL's official stance has always been "everything is correct." If everything's correct, why do so many stories have Stormtroopers as recruits and conscripts?

And then finally a comic book came out about an Imperial officer leading a last stand against Amanin warriors. When a Stormtrooper fell beside him, he thought, "I don't even know if he was a clone or a recruit." Ha! Both are right!!

Anyway, my point is when Lucas changes things, he doesn't keep in mind the shockwaves that sends through the rest of the SW universe. I'm not only talking about EU here (although I maintain that Lucas directly or indirectly approves everything). George didn't want to explain to his kids why the hero of his movie killed the green alien, so he decided as a much older person to change it. And so we now have a movie with weaker character development.

He decides that a clone of a bounty hunter from New Zealand can't grow up around the scum of the galaxy and lose his accent over time, as often happens in the real world. So now when Boba's original voice's grandkids (I'm sorry, but I can't remember his name to save my life) sit around to watch their granddad's shining moment on DVD, the whole family will get a little surprise. "That doesn't sound like you, Grandpop! I thought you said you played Boba Fett. Grandpop, I think you're a filthy liar and I'll never believe anything you say again."

Lucas has lost it. Does that mean he's no longer a great filmmaker? Yes. Does that mean he's no longer a good filmmaker? I'd say no. I enjoyed TPM and AOTC, but was underwhelmed by them given the expectations set by the OT. They could've been better, and, his baby or not, Lucas owed us better. Art may be made by one person, but when you're producing pop art, you need to think of the audience. George lost that ability somewhere. AOTC is an awesome movie, but groundbreaking? Not by a long shot.

And the argument about redemption of a character based on how he acts when you first see him isn't a good one. Regardless of how we're now supposed to watch the movies, Lucas cannot change the fact that the first time we all saw Anakin Skywalker he was choking Captain Antilles.

2-1B
09-22-2004, 10:47 PM
His name is Jason Wingreen and considering that he turns 85 next month, I'm pretty sure any grandkids are already aware of his (uncredited) contribution to the OT marks 1 and 2. :D