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View Full Version : George Lucas called Spider-Man 3 silly! And two more Star Wars movies?!?!



Droid
05-09-2007, 10:06 AM
From this site:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,270874,00.html

It states the following:

But of course, we were most interested in talking with George Lucas, the affable genius film director who occasionally graces us in New York with an appearance. Lucas is absolutely one of my favorite people, a lovely guy who seems unaffected by his enormous success.

Lucas is currently preparing "Indiana Jones 4" with Harrison Ford, Blanchett and Shia LaBoeuf. The latter plays Ford's son, which means his mother was possibly the character Karen Allen played in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

"I can't say," Lucas said when I brought up Allen.

Lucas says that Sean Connery still hasn't signed on, but his character, Indy's dad, is in the script. Other than that, his lips are sealed.

"Steven thinks we can keep the whole thing a secret," Lucas told me. "I explained to him that it's impossible nowadays. We can't live like that."

So then, tell me more about "Indy 4," I suggested.

"Oh no," replied Lucas with a smile.

Lucas told me he has seen all the summer movies since his company, Industrial Light and Magic, does most of the special effects. The only one they didn't work on was "Spider-Man 3." What did he think of it?

"It's silly. It's a silly movie," he said. "There just isn't much there. Once you take it all apart, there's not much story, is there?"

Well, it's not "Star Wars."

"People thought 'Star Wars' was silly, too," he added, with a wink. "But it wasn't."

Lucas, by the way, says he is readying "Clone Wars," an animated series for TV that's derived from "Star Wars." Many "Star Wars" characters appear in "Clone Wars," but voiced by other actors.

And here's a little news: Lucas tells me he will make two more live-action films based in the "Star Wars" era.

"But they won't have members of the Skywalker family as characters," he said. "They will be other people of that milieu."

The two extra films will also be made for TV and probably be an hour long each. But, like "Clone Wars," Lucas doesn't know where on TV they will land.

Hello, HBO and Showtime. It may be time to pony up.

1. So if Connery is in the script will they recast him if he won't sign? That
would be reason number 20 I probably won't see this movie.
2. So he doesn't think there is much story in Spider-Man 3? I haven't seen
it yet, but has Lucas seen what he did with the prequels?
3. And so now there are going to be two more movies, but made for
television? Is he abandoning the TV show idea to do that? Or in
addition? And he claims he wants to do something other than Star Wars,
but just keeps doing Star Wars over and over and over and over. I
wonder if they'll be as great as the two Ewok movies. :rolleyes:

decadentdave
05-09-2007, 11:05 AM
So I take it he means that plans for the 100-episodic series have been scrapped in lieu of 2 1-hour TV specials? God I hope this isn't like the 2 awful Ewok TV movies.

General_Grievous
05-09-2007, 11:48 AM
What the hell, George? You have no right to call any movie silly after making "Phantom Menace" and those nauseating love scenes in "Attack of the Clones".

Droid
05-09-2007, 11:56 AM
I just think it seems rude for a major film maker to go around saying he didn't like someone else's current movie. I could see if years later a director looked back at the movies of the past decade and said what he liked and didn't like, but think of all the directors that probably could have come out and said the prequels were terrible and didn't.

I think the Spider-Man 3 folks should come out and bring up what Lucas said in the 60 Minutes interview, something like "maybe people think you should have painted your house green, but it is your house and you paint it the color you want." Lucas basically said he didn't care if people criticized the prequels because he did what HE wanted, well I'm sure the Spider-Man 3 people did too.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
05-09-2007, 12:55 PM
It's been said if Connery doesn't sign on, they'll just rewrite his part out of the script. It's a small part, from what i've seen/read.

decadentdave
05-09-2007, 01:29 PM
Well he's right. I have never thought the Spider-man films to be anything more than hyperkinetic self-indulgent juvenile junk food anyway. There's no chemistry between the characters. MJ and Peter come off almost as bad as Anakin and Padme. I still don't get the appeal of a kid running around in blue and red spandex who shoots webs from his hands. I thought the Spidey films were all effects and no story. Phantom Menace wasn't silly, just stupid, but Lucas did get it right when he said they weren't silly. At least amidst the wooden acting, stale dialogue and cgi effects there was an ominous story about the corruption of power, politics and the soul. Spider-Man was just a pathetic excuse to cram Gwen Stacy, Sandman, Snake-Eyes... er Goblin and Venom into one video game they called a movie. 15 minutes of Venom is roughly the equivalent of what we got with Maul in TPM. If they had done the real alien costume saga (omitting the Secret Wars aspect) they could have made a very cool movie but it was dull and trite like Brett Ratner's X3 which was a colossal insult after the exceptional X2.

2-1B
05-09-2007, 08:44 PM
the Green Goblin is more silly than Jar Jar.

sith_killer_99
05-09-2007, 08:45 PM
Well, devil's advocate here, but Lucas didn't say he hated the film, or even that he disliked it.

I've heard Lucas describe films before "It was kind of fun and silly..." blah blah blah. Now if he had said "It was horrible and the characters were really bad" it would be a different story. I would have to see how he said it to really put his comment in to context before jumping to any conclusions.

So he thought the movie was "silly" big deal. There are a lots of worse things for a movie to be.

He didn't criticize the acting, the directing, the production team or the people who worked hard on the film. All he said was there wasn't much "story" and that it was silly. It's not like we're talking about an epic drama here.

Let's face it, he used the word silly to describe a film based on a comic book character. Wow, imagine that, the horror.:rolleyes:

Phantom-like Menace
05-10-2007, 10:51 PM
I didn't think Spider-Man 3 lived up to what it could have been, but it wasn't nearly X-Men 3 caliber crap.

As far as it being silly, I can accept that it's just an opinion--and Raimi does bring a certain intentional silliness to these movies--but for Lucas to describe the prequels as not being silly seems more attributed to his inability to distance himself far enough from his movies to see the inherent Jar-Jar.

As long as these TV movies have Jedi and they act--I don't know--like Jedi, I'm definitely on board, but it could always be The Gungans Movie and Gungans: Battle for Naboo, both touching stories about a human family crash landing on Naboo before large-scale human settlement.

pbarnard
05-10-2007, 11:04 PM
All's that was missing was Wilford Brimley and a good bowl of Quaker Instant Oatmeal. He's probably bitter that he won't get a cut of the box office because it's the only non-ILM "blockbuster" out this year.

bigbarada
05-10-2007, 11:28 PM
So is Lucas the pot or the kettle?:rolleyes:

OC47150
05-11-2007, 08:54 AM
Sorry, but the Flannel One is right: Spider-Man 3 is a silly movie. It didn't live up to the hype, the storyline was confusing.

It was like Raimi had an inkling #3 would be the last movie, until a week or two ago, and tried to cram as much story/plot into one movie. And it didn't work.

I like to compare SP3 to the later Batman movies. When there was one villian, like the Joker, it was great. It worked well in #2 with the Penguin and Catwoman; each got equal screen trime.

But by the time the third one rolled around, with the Riddler and Two-Face, it was kind of a mishmash. Why even bother with Two-Face? He didn't even qualify as a secondary character. It was like, oh, Two-Face hasn't been seen in the last half-hour, let's bring him in!

And it was like that with the Sandman. There were better villians to choose from.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
05-12-2007, 02:13 PM
For the two hour-long "movies," I'm inclined to say that those will likely be testing the waters, so to speak, to continue the live-action show. But I could be wrong.

General_Grievous
05-12-2007, 02:39 PM
the Green Goblin is more silly than Jar Jar.

Dude, it's Willem friggin' Dafoe. His Goblin shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence as Jar Jar.

maatu
05-12-2007, 05:48 PM
no offense to you guys. george lucas is a good director when it came to doing starwars.But steven spielberg has been directing indiana jones.also i think reading the book about e.t. the extra terrestrial. george lucas didn't create indiana jones.It was steven spielbergs assistant.this is a guy who besides starwars made the movie howard the duck. so alot can be debate in calling someone a great director. when you use special effects. francis ford copoloa is a greater director.

Jargo
05-12-2007, 10:08 PM
George is just clumsy when it comes to interviews. he's not good at the talking thing.

General_Grievous
05-13-2007, 01:19 AM
So has Sony/Marvel responded to this yet? If they do, I'm sure the words "Howard", "the" and "Duck" will pop up.

stillakid
05-13-2007, 04:43 AM
George is just clumsy when it comes to interviews. he's not good at the talking thing.


...or the writing thing

...or the directing thing

...or the diet thing

sith_killer_99
05-13-2007, 06:11 AM
Yeah, he's much better at Executive Producing/Producing/Co-writing oh and BUSINESS!:yes:

So far the only films he has written are:

A New Hope
Willow
The Phantom Menace
Revenge of the Sith

jjreason
05-13-2007, 07:07 AM
So has Sony/Marvel responded to this yet? If they do, I'm sure the words "Howard", "the" and "Duck" will pop up.

It might not - Howard the Duck is a Marvel character.

I wasn't impressed by Spider-Man 3 either, but I don't know if I'd go with silly..... but Dark Peter - he was very silly.

2-1B
05-13-2007, 10:28 AM
Dude, it's Willem friggin' Dafoe. His Goblin shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence as Jar Jar.

Exactly, he's Billy Dafoe who is capable of so much more, thus making his role as a Power Ranger that much more embarrassing...

Droid
05-13-2007, 10:58 AM
Why is it in the third installment of a superhero series you have a good guy turn evil? You have Jean in X-Men 3, Superman 3, and Spider-Man in Spider-Man 3!

Jargo
05-13-2007, 11:02 AM
...or the writing thing

...or the directing thing

...or the diet thing

:whip: so cruel. so true.

stillakid
05-13-2007, 11:43 AM
Why is it in the third installment of a superhero series you have a good guy turn evil? You have Jean in X-Men 3, Superman 3, and Spider-Man in Spider-Man 3!


It didn't happen in Evil Dead 3!

Or Batman 3.

Droid
05-13-2007, 02:16 PM
Well actually in Army of Darkness there was an evil Ash and in Batman 3 (Batman Forever) Harvey Dent became Two Face, so from a certain point of view...

maatu
05-13-2007, 03:06 PM
for me, i didn't think it was a great movie.It had some scenes where it jjust dragged.I think maybe sam raimi didn't know if he was going to come back or not and this movie got screwed up.But i think raimi and dunst and tobey should ride the money train.If the studio is going to keep making them . do it..so we don't have like jake gyllenhal and mandy moore taking over the roles.there both 2 tall for the roles. he is over 6 foot and she is like 5 ft 11. clearly the current cast is not...

JON9000
05-14-2007, 09:47 PM
Or Batman 3.

But they do seem to start sucking pretty bad at 3

I think this whole thing has been taken out of context. Lucas doesn't strike me as particularly vain or catty (it takes a certain type of fellow to drop movie making and concentrate on child-rearing for 10 years). I expect he was poking fun at Spidey 3 to poke fun at the media and then at himself and Star Wars.

I'll say this, in a straight comparison of Spidey 3, Matrix: Revulsions, and ROTS, I'll take Episode III any day. I have a feeling the same will be true for Pirates of the Carribbean 3, because take away Johnny Depp and that entire series has sucked like an Electrolux from the get-go.


mandy moore ... she is like 5 ft 11.

Is she really? I think I'm in love...

JediTricks
05-16-2007, 04:53 AM
I got the impression Lucas meant that SM3 was hollow, vacuous. And unfortunately, he'd be right, the movie is too thin and doesn't follow the first 2 very well. Granted, the prequels are fairly sloppy and eps 1 and 2 are mostly just padded backstory for ep 3 (which itself is a padded backstory for the OT), but he did have some real ideas in there - SM3 didn't seem to have any ideas at all, just more of the same but done twice as sloppy.

Droid
05-23-2007, 10:38 AM
Sansweet denies there are two Star Wars TV movies coming:

http://www.movieweb.com/news/23/19923.php

I love how Sansweet acts like Lucas apparently has no idea what he is talking about since LUCAS said there were going to be two TV movies! I guess it could just be inaccurate reporting on FOX News' part, but I can't believe FOX News would be inaccurate about ANYTHING.

El Chuxter
05-23-2007, 10:52 AM
Sansweet also last year at Comic-Con told a guy who asked about possible Wii Star Wars games that they'd be a cool idea, but there'd been no thought about it.

This despite a quote from LucasArts several weeks earlier that the programmers couldn't wait to develop a lightsaber game for the Wii.

He also told a kid who asked about future PS2, XBox, and GameCube games that he should get a next generation console, as there'd be no more current generation games. So he's a douchebag in addition to being either a liar or hopelessly uninformed.

We won't get into his defense of the OT DVDs by showing footage that was less than spectacular.

boshar kussc
06-04-2007, 12:17 PM
I think Gearoge Lucas is right. Spider-man 3 was pretty silly. If Georage had made it, it would've been a lot better. New Goblin's swoard was totally a copy of a lightsaber, and his pumpking bombs looked like thermal detonators.

JediTricks
06-04-2007, 09:12 PM
Someone posted this on the forums earlier today, and it's TOTALLY on target about SM3:
http://www.cracked.com/index.php?name=News&sid=1999

Beast
06-04-2007, 09:20 PM
I got the impression Lucas meant that SM3 was hollow, vacuous. And unfortunately, he'd be right, the movie is too thin and doesn't follow the first 2 very well. Granted, the prequels are fairly sloppy and eps 1 and 2 are mostly just padded backstory for ep 3 (which itself is a padded backstory for the OT), but he did have some real ideas in there - SM3 didn't seem to have any ideas at all, just more of the same but done twice as sloppy.
Pretty much agreed. I thought SM3 was horribly silly compared to the really good first two installments. They tried to cram too much stuff into the story, including Venom and Gwen Stacy... who were pretty much forced on Sam Raimi by Marvel.

JediTricks
06-05-2007, 03:31 PM
I didn't realize those characters were forced on Raimi by Marvel, I had heard about Venom being strongly suggested but not by who.

darko666
06-05-2007, 05:13 PM
I had heard about Venom being strongly suggested but not by who.

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/images/news/comic-news/avi-arad.jpg

about Lucas calling the film silly, i guess he doesn't remember Jar Jar, all the mindless banter young Anakin said in TPM, and his attempt to tell a love story. i'm not defending spiderman 3 either, it failed to live up to the hype and in no way compares to the previous spiderman films.

Beast
06-05-2007, 05:27 PM
I didn't realize those characters were forced on Raimi by Marvel, I had heard about Venom being strongly suggested but not by who.
Yeah. As I understand it... I can't find the original info right now. But Sam Raimi was trying to decide between The Vulture and Kraven the Hunter for the third villain. I'm thinking he would have probably gone with Vulture, so that there could be a cool mid-air battle between him and New Goblin. Plus Kraven would be a better fit with Lizard anyway. But Avi Arad and Marvel twisted his arm to include Venom and Gwen into the film instead. I think that's why you can tell there's a massive stepdown on how both those characters are presented, at least in relation to Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, and New Goblin.

JON9000
06-05-2007, 06:33 PM
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/images/news/comic-news/avi-arad.jpg

about Lucas calling the film silly, i guess he doesn't remember Jar Jar, all the mindless banter young Anakin said in TPM, and his attempt to tell a love story. i'm not defending spiderman 3 either, it failed to live up to the hype and in no way compares to the previous spiderman films.

I really think Lucas was just having a bit of fun, pointing out that his movie received soooooo much bad press while nobody was really coming down hard on Spidey 3 for royally sucking so badly. I am pretty sure he realizes that Jar Jar was a bit of a mis-step, as his role was so significantly diminished in the next films.

darko666
06-05-2007, 06:40 PM
Yeah. As I understand it... I can't find the original info right now. But Sam Raimi was trying to decide between The Vulture and Kraven the Hunter for the third villain.

i came across that article/interview. Raimi was describing how The Vulture and Sandman were going to escape jail together or something along those lines and be the main villains along with Harry. should have kept that way.

quote from Sam Raimi:
“[Producer] Avi Arad said you've had two Spider-Man pictures and there are so many kids who want to see Venom”, director Sam Raimi says in relation to one of the film’s new villains. “So he said ‘Why don't you give the kids what they've been waiting for, since you've got a villain you love in Sandman?’.

in the one rarities where the fans get what they want, it was poorly done.
time to leave the symbiote storyline and go back to the classic villains.

Beast
06-05-2007, 06:48 PM
Thanks, that's what I read also. With rumors that they'll do Carnage, Lizard, and Black Cat for Spider-Man 4... I hope they don't pan out. I'm all for Lizard, he's been set up since Spider-Man 1 to show up at some point. I say go with Lizard, and then include Kraven the Hunter trying to hunt him. That way Peter's stuck between a rock and a hard place. He needs to stop the Lizard, but since it's Dr. Conners, he also has to protect him from Kraven.

darko666
06-05-2007, 06:54 PM
I really think Lucas was just having a bit of fun, pointing out that his movie received soooooo much bad press while nobody was really coming down hard on Spidey 3 for royally sucking so badly. I am pretty sure he realizes that Jar Jar was a bit of a mis-step, as his role was so significantly diminished in the next films.

i read plenty of bad reviews for spidey 3. but it will never compare to the bashing the PT got. the way i read that interview, he was being harsh towards the film and probably did his ususal chuckle while saying it. if he learned how to take criticism(as all great artists are supposed to), Jar Jar would have never even been in the PT. i'm sure there were a lot of employees that wanted to tell Lucas that Jar Jar was a bad character, but didn't for the fear of being fired. but spidey 3 was more sad(and not in the way it was intended) than silly.

General_Grievous
06-05-2007, 06:54 PM
If Georage had made it, it would've been a lot better.

No. Maybe the George Lucas of the '70s, but not the George Lucas of the '00s. Not after "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones".

JON9000
06-05-2007, 08:41 PM
if he learned how to take criticism(as all great artists are supposed to), Jar Jar would have never even been in the PT. i'm sure there were a lot of employees that wanted to tell Lucas that Jar Jar was a bad character, but didn't for the fear of being fired.

1. I think he takes criticism very well... he doesn't seem to get mad or defensive. He just states that he is making the story he wants to make, on his terms. If people like it, great. If not, well, that's the story he wants to tell. I find this to be a wonderful attitude towards life and the backbone of artistic expression. If I were capable of truly great artistic expression myself, I might be able to articulate that better.

2. I think, quite frankly, that George Lucas has discarded ideas of his own that were likely better than any we have come up with. I don't think his employees fear him, he seems like too easy-going fellow (although also an extremely shrewd businessman) for that. I suspect it lies more in the following: this is George Freaking Lucas, and his films have grossed well over a billion dollars. If he puts an idea on the table, I am very likely to think he knows better than I do how to make a movie. It's easy to poo-poo him on a message board, but trust me, when you are in the presence of real talent and genius, you defer mighty quickly. Even Alan Ladd knew he was out of his depth in 1976.

Frankly, I have heard a number of ideas bandied about on this board for how the prequels "should" have been. Usually, it's just Vader killing a bunch of Jedi. It is my opinion that all of these ideas have sucked major arse. If you let the fans have their way, you get "Snakes on a Plane".

darko666
06-05-2007, 11:02 PM
when you are in the presence of real talent and genius, you defer mighty quickly. how can you be so sure? i know i will never meet Lucas(closest i got was CIII), but i feel if i did, i would at least tell him my thoughts on the saga instead of kissing his butt. i would love to hear his thoughts on certain aspects of the films. not waste a chance like that by telling him how much i love Star Wars and then him just saying thank you and leaving. but i agree with you on the point about bad mouthing something on message board, it's easier to talk big when you don't have to worry about facing the consequence face to face.

Frankly, I have heard a number of ideas bandied about on this board for how the prequels "should" have been. Usually, it's just Vader killing a bunch of Jedi. It is my opinion that all of these ideas have sucked major arse. If you let the fans have their way, you get "Snakes on a Plane".agreed.

and by no means am i a Lucas hater. i happen to enjoy TPM more than the other 2 prequel films. it grew on me and out of all of them, feels more like a Star Wars movie then the other 2. i enjoy the PT for what it is, but i do wish it took a different path.

JON9000
06-06-2007, 10:40 AM
Well, you are right, I cannot be sure, but I just recall Kenny Baker relating that on the set of ANH, everybody was a bit mystified about the film, and thought everything was a bit "odd". People did talk back to GL, but it was often about technicalities such as labor issues. That was before he was GL, the bazillionaire.

I just wouldn't presume to tell Donald Trump where to buy his real estate, is what I am saying. Now, in hindsight, it seems fairly safe to say the Donald should have avoided Atlantic City. You would not have have found me questioning it beforehand, however! While I do not have a lot of love for Jar Jar, I am willing to concede that had he not been in TPM, we would have been left with a stoic queen, two stoic jedi, a stoic head of security, and the film would have been a *crashing* bore. So, I recognize the need for some comic relief within the film.

JediTricks
06-06-2007, 10:33 PM
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/images/news/comic-news/avi-arad.jpg
Avi Arad is a bad man. He pushed Mutant X into existence to cash in on X-men without Fox having to get a cut, then got caught and had to dial back his plans to take out code names and costumes and other stuff, show was crap too.


Yeah. As I understand it... I can't find the original info right now. But Sam Raimi was trying to decide between The Vulture and Kraven the Hunter for the third villain. I'm thinking he would have probably gone with Vulture, so that there could be a cool mid-air battle between him and New Goblin. Plus Kraven would be a better fit with Lizard anyway. But Avi Arad and Marvel twisted his arm to include Venom and Gwen into the film instead. I think that's why you can tell there's a massive stepdown on how both those characters are presented, at least in relation to Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, and New Goblin.Vulture is such a bleh villain for the movies, I can't see that working at all.


i came across that article/interview. Raimi was describing how The Vulture and Sandman were going to escape jail together or something along those lines and be the main villains along with Harry. should have kept that way.

quote from Sam Raimi:
“[Producer] Avi Arad said you've had two Spider-Man pictures and there are so many kids who want to see Venom”, director Sam Raimi says in relation to one of the film’s new villains. “So he said ‘Why don't you give the kids what they've been waiting for, since you've got a villain you love in Sandman?’.

in the one rarities where the fans get what they want, it was poorly done.
time to leave the symbiote storyline and go back to the classic villains.That's pretty common actually, Alien vs Predator, Robin in the Batman movies, anything where you give the fans what they want rather than doing something they don't KNOW they want is likely to come up short.


Thanks, that's what I read also. With rumors that they'll do Carnage, Lizard, and Black Cat for Spider-Man 4... I hope they don't pan out. I'm all for Lizard, he's been set up since Spider-Man 1 to show up at some point. I say go with Lizard, and then include Kraven the Hunter trying to hunt him. That way Peter's stuck between a rock and a hard place. He needs to stop the Lizard, but since it's Dr. Conners, he also has to protect him from Kraven.Carnage?!? That'd be embarrassingly bad. And Black Cat in SM4 would be too much relationship problems again, she's a great character when used right but it's too soon after the MJ vs Gwen thing.


1. I think he takes criticism very well... he doesn't seem to get mad or defensive. He just states that he is making the story he wants to make, on his terms. If people like it, great. If not, well, that's the story he wants to tell. I find this to be a wonderful attitude towards life and the backbone of artistic expression. If I were capable of truly great artistic expression myself, I might be able to articulate that better.Except that's not how it was at all on ESB, there he handed over the reins, they shot the movie and were in the process of cutting it, Lucas saw an early cut and freaked out, said they were ruining his movie, took it back to his loft at Skywalker Ranch where he has an editing bay and recut ESB over the course of several days. That version was apparently unwatchably poor, and after a while he realized he was wrong and gave them back the film to continue the editing they were already doing.


2. I think, quite frankly, that George Lucas has discarded ideas of his own that were likely better than any we have come up with. I don't think his employees fear him, he seems like too easy-going fellow (although also an extremely shrewd businessman) for that. I suspect it lies more in the following: this is George Freaking Lucas, and his films have grossed well over a billion dollars. If he puts an idea on the table, I am very likely to think he knows better than I do how to make a movie. It's easy to poo-poo him on a message board, but trust me, when you are in the presence of real talent and genius, you defer mighty quickly. Even Alan Ladd knew he was out of his depth in 1976.That's a bad answer. Lucas after making SW became very withdrawn and miserable, the film was under HEAVY challenges to get made plus he let ILM run wild without enough oversight and it made him bitter. But part of that was just him taking on too much burden by himself and getting emotionally invested in every challenge possible. Challenge is a large part of what makes greatness, one who is not challenged just sits and does nothing, challenges drive creativity to think of new and better ways to solve things. Lucas became so polarized after the heavy number of challenges on his first 3 films (THX, Graffiti, and SW) that he shut down for years and became essentially a recluse, and when he finally came back to filmmaking he ensure that he surrounded himself with producers that ensure every single challenge is taken out of his path, every single employee gives him only positive feedback, in short everything is as close to Lucas' utopia as can be. But without some challenges, Lucas mired himself in lazy moviemaking taking no constructive criticism to prop up sagging parts of his scripts, and went exactly to the place he said no good movie should go, he relied on special effects rather than plot.

JON9000
06-07-2007, 10:17 AM
Lucas after making SW became very withdrawn and miserable, the film was under HEAVY challenges to get made plus he let ILM run wild without enough oversight and it made him bitter. But part of that was just him taking on too much burden by himself and getting emotionally invested in every challenge possible. Challenge is a large part of what makes greatness, one who is not challenged just sits and does nothing, challenges drive creativity to think of new and better ways to solve things. Lucas became so polarized after the heavy number of challenges on his first 3 films (THX, Graffiti, and SW) that he shut down for years and became essentially a recluse, and when he finally came back to filmmaking he ensure that he surrounded himself with producers that ensure every single challenge is taken out of his path, every single employee gives him only positive feedback, in short everything is as close to Lucas' utopia as can be. But without some challenges, Lucas mired himself in lazy moviemaking taking no constructive criticism to prop up sagging parts of his scripts, and went exactly to the place he said no good movie should go, he relied on special effects rather than plot.

Here's the gist I keep getting from the old school fans:

1. The OT is generally awesome.

2. The PT is generally crappy.

3. GL had absolute creative control over the PT

4. GL had somewhat less control over the OT

Therefore, due to the intervention of creative geniuses like Marquand and Kirschner or through some other intervention or push back, the OT succeeded in spite of George Lucas.

Quite frankly, I find this line of logic tenuous at best.

So, do people believe Lucas essentially pulled an Achilles and sulked in his tent for ten years because he had obstacles in his path? Do we completely discount his own reasoning, that he wanted to raise some kids, and that he was waiting for technology to catch-up to what he wanted to put on the screen in the PT?

2-1B
06-07-2007, 10:21 AM
yes Jon...The Fans know everything about the man's personal life. His private views, his hiring strategies, even his mental frame of mind.

Look no further than the Interwebs for a complete psychological dossier on G. Walton Lucas. lol

Droid
06-07-2007, 10:39 AM
I wouldn't say the OT succeeded in spite of George Lucas, but it did succeed because of a lot of luck. Alan Ladd at Fox helping him. ILM pulling through on effects Lucas himself couldn't have done. Good actors. John Williams. The script got tweaked by script doctors. The movie got tweaked by Lucas' friends. If any number of factors had been off the movie could have just been good, or a disaster.

Star Wars DID respond well to limitations the prequels didn't have. As JediTricks pointed out elsewhere, they weren't going to have Leia prisoner on the death star. Budget limitations required putting her there and turning the Death Star from the place the Imperial briefing happened to the place where ALL the action went down.

Lucas was not always right and luck made things the way they needed to be. Empire and Jedi weren't even directed by Lucas and as JediTricks pointed out Lucas was VERY unhappy with what Kirchner was doing on Empire. Lucas wanted Han to tell Leia I love you. Kirchner and Ford decided to film, "I know."

Lucas is to this day upset with Indiana Jones shooting the man with the sword in Raiders. Too Greedo fires first for him.

If you read the Making of Star Wars book it is clear that once it was finished the man thought the film was a disaster and left him terribly depressed, even when it was so successful. I really feel sorry for eveyone who worked so hard on the film when he went around bashing it afterwards as "not what he wanted".

He turned Empire and Jedi over to others because he just couldn't endure the Star Wars experience again.

Lucas has three amazing qualities: he can surround himself with really good and talented people (but has since turned to yes men), he has an amazing imagination and can come up great story ideas and set pieces (he is not so good with fine tuning the story or writing dialogue and has admitted it), and he is a shrewd businesman (sequel rights, licensing and merchandising rights, seeing that becoming THE special effects house for all of Hollywood would make him powerful beyond his individual films).

I like him, and I am grateful for Star Wars, but Star Wars is not just George Lucas. The collaboration and limitations of the OT made them great. All Lucas' way with no limitations made the prequels fair.

JON9000
06-07-2007, 12:53 PM
I wouldn't say the OT succeeded in spite of George Lucas, but it did succeed because of a lot of luck.

This sentence, indeed, most of this post, comes across as a non-sequiter. You begin by conceding it worked not in spite of him (which isn't really going out on a limb and giving him much credit either), but due to....Luck?

It sounds as though you believe the OT would have been much worse had Lucas not been constrained by the compromises he had to make due to budget problems and other practical matters. Everything taken out of his control just happened to break right to make for a good movie. As if, had Lucas been able to bring a more original version of his vision to life, it obviously would have been inferior to what we got due to him being reigned in (because he did that in the prequels, the prequels are inferior...)

Even in the last paragraph, where you praise him, he basically gets props for being a "shrewd businessman", able to surround himself with talented people... and capable of sketching the outline of a dynamic story. In other words, a great producer. You have just praised Lucas by calling him
Jerry Bruckheimer.

It may not be what you mean or belive, but it sounds like a pretty good "in spite of" argument to me. And that's fine. I just do not buy it, is all.

Look folks, I prefer Greedo shooting first, too, but I'm not to the point where I feel the need to castigate his every move because I am still smarting from that millisecond in a movie, however.

2-1B
06-07-2007, 01:04 PM
In Obi-Wan's experience, "there's no such thing as luck."

JediTricks
06-07-2007, 06:42 PM
1. The OT is generally awesome.This is true.


2. The PT is generally crappy.This is more true than the last one.


3. GL had absolute creative control over the PTThis is completely true, straight from the flannel's mouth.


4. GL had somewhat less control over the OTThis is not an exact representation of what it was. He always had control of ANH, the studio never took control away, but they were the ones with the money which meant he was always under pressure to make a movie based on what they were willing to afford. That meant he would either have to make cuts and rewrite scenes to take place in settings he was already budgeted for, or simply make the movie he had written originally for a cheaper rate - he was confident making it any cheaper would sacrifice quality, and likely was right, but it was still his choice to decide.

With ESB, he actively gave control away, he essentially announced his retirement from active moviemaking and handed the project over someone else, he visited the set for only a couple days and did not have any direct involvement with the project until post-production - this was his choice to give away that level of control.

With ROTJ, as it's been documented from several different sources, he basically started doing the same thing as ESB, again he got a new director but this time he also told producer Gary Kurtz to hit the bricks when Kurtz argued that ROTJ's story wasn't up to quality. However, Lucas realized that his pick for director, Richard Marquand, wasn't really up to the challenge of making the movie, the AD was doing a lot of the actual directing, so Lucas stepped back in during the making of the film, only now he had more power.


Therefore, due to the intervention of creative geniuses like Marquand and Kirschner or through some other intervention or push back, the OT succeeded in spite of George Lucas. I doubt anybody would say Marquand was a positive influence on SW. But Lucas picked Kershner because he felt Kershner was capable of telling the story better than he could. And Lucas didn't make the OT in a vacuum, there was the help of Gary Kurtz, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, writing assistance from the Huycks, editors Richard Chew, Paul Hirsch, and George's wife Marcia, even considerable input from Coppola, Scorsese, and their gang. It wasn't in spite of him, but that's not what I was saying in the first place. What I said was that challenges made his films better and the more challenges taken out of his way, the worse his films got, and I stand by that.



So, do people believe Lucas essentially pulled an Achilles and sulked in his tent for ten years because he had obstacles in his path? Do we completely discount his own reasoning, that he wanted to raise some kids, and that he was waiting for technology to catch-up to what he wanted to put on the screen in the PT?Yeah, I discount that to a degree, I think he's full of it, he'd often put a caveat on the "raising kids" thing in interviews from that time about the frustrations of filmmaking pushing him into retirement, often pointing to that claim of him nearly having a heart attack making ANH (Making of SW says that claim was overblown and he was released the next day, sounded to me like an anxiety attack). The more I read about him during what went down from the making of ANH through the release of ROTJ and then coupled with what he and McCallum have consistently said about making the PT, the more I see a man who walked away from hands-on moviemaking for a decade because he had been traumatized heavily early in his commercial career.



Star Wars DID respond well to limitations the prequels didn't have. As JediTricks pointed out elsewhere, they weren't going to have Leia prisoner on the death star. Budget limitations required putting her there and turning the Death Star from the place the Imperial briefing happened to the place where ALL the action went down.Yeah, Leia was still to be on the Imperial fortress until they couldn't find the money for it, then they just moved her to the Death Star, and when they did, that took out the need for Obi-Wan and the boys to leave the Death Star and track down the fortress which would have slowed down the pacing considerably, and by getting rid of the fortress it also convinced Lucas to finally take out Obi-Wan's hunt for the Kyber Crystal which had become a relic plot device that seemed to only weaken the impact of Obi-Wan's powers and the Force in general.



It sounds as though you believe the OT would have been much worse had Lucas not been constrained by the compromises he had to make due to budget problems and other practical matters.On this part of your statement, I can absolutely say yes, unequivocally, just look in my paragraph above for a couple prime examples.


Everything taken out of his control just happened to break right to make for a good movie. As if, had Lucas been able to bring a more original version of his vision to life, it obviously would have been inferior to what we got due to him being reigned in (because he did that in the prequels, the prequels are inferior...)I can't speak for Droid, but I never said anything was taken out of his control, so read the part of this post above for the response on that issue. But no question, if Lucas had been able to bring a more original version of his vision for Star Wars to life, it would have been inferior to what we got due to the challenges he had to overcome - undoubtedly. He even says basically that a few times regarding the switch from the first to second and second to third drafts of ANH, though he doesn't put such a rosy twist on it, a few of his comments do suggest he recognizes that the challenges of making it into a real movie forced him to make a better tale.


Even in the last paragraph, where you praise him, he basically gets props for being a "shrewd businessman", able to surround himself with talented people... and capable of sketching the outline of a dynamic story. In other words, a great producer. You have just praised Lucas by calling him Jerry Bruckheimer.Again, can't speak for Droid, but that is one of Lucas' best talents when he uses it: the ability to surround himself with smart, talented people who can help hone and even challenge his works to be better. His other big talent is dreaming up the big ideas, though this again always seems to work best when he solicits assistance from his friends (the Huycks on American Graffiti, SW, Raiders; Kasdan on ESB and Raiders). Lucas produced Raiders of the Lost Ark and he was incredibly effective there. And you have to give Bruckheimer massive credit as a producer on the business side, he's got more hit projects in the last 10 years than probably any producer:
CSI
CSI Miami (the most watched TV show in the world)
Cold Case
Without a Trace
Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy
National Treasure (made big bank, that's something)
Black Hawk Down
all the awful Michael Bay movies that made money (he didn't produce The Island and it tanked)
Remember the Titans
Gone in 60 Seconds



It may not be what you mean or belive, but it sounds like a pretty good "in spite of" argument to me. And that's fine. I just do not buy it, is all.The success of SW is because of Lucas the dreamer and Lucas the executive producer, but not so much because of Lucas the filmmaker - I wouldn't call that "in spite of Lucas", hell he's even said he's not a good storyteller and can't write well.

Droid
06-07-2007, 07:27 PM
I can't speak for Droid.

Go ahead, I think we're on the same page.

I actually am surprised Lucas allowed the Making of book to come out. He might not see it, but to me it reads to me as a very telling reveal of his limitaitons.

However, I will say that he seems like a pretty humble person and often is willing to reveal his limitations. He admits he can't write dialogue, doesn't like writing scripts, and that the prequel story was thin. He doesn't always seem willing to let people help him with his limitations...

JediTricks
06-07-2007, 07:57 PM
Go ahead, I think we're on the same page.

I actually am surprised Lucas allowed the Making of book to come out. He might not see it, but to me it reads to me as a very telling reveal of his limitaitons.

However, I will say that he seems like a pretty humble person and often is willing to reveal his limitations. He admits he can't write dialogue, doesn't like writing scripts, and that the prequel story was thin. He doesn't always seem willing to let people help him with his limitations...
That's the weird thing about Lucas, he's a man of 2 faces, the quiet-yet-confident "I'm always right, let nothing stand in my way" moviemaker of the prequels, yet at the same time he makes a lot of statements recognizing his issues and limitations and even failures. On the OT DVD commentary track he says the prequels have been "fun" for him but they're not supposed to exist at all, they're tales he felt shouldn't be told because they're part of what makes the OT have its "foreign film" feel.

JON9000
06-08-2007, 09:36 AM
I dig everything you are saying, it just seemed to smack of Lucas bashing before your later, more supportable posts. Examples always help. A couple of observations: yes, the Kyber Crystal sounds like a terrible Macguffin compared to the Stolen Data Tapes, and I am glad the switch was made. GL is a big fan of the MacGuffin, as all three Indy movies have one (by definition).

As for what else was left out, it seems impossible for me to know. Assume money was even tighter, for a moment, and that the Cantina sequence had been left out of ANH, Luke and Obi-wan meet Solo on the street, there's a gun battle, and bang... in space. Then we would only have heard about some bizarre 10 minute sequence in a Bar with a bunch of weird looking aliens and a couple of old west-style showdowns. All things being equal, we might be looking back saying: "Hells bells, Martha, I sure am glad THAT wasn't in there! Lucas is nuts!"

As for Lucas the writer, I am not an expert, but I don't dismiss all of it out of hand. The dialogue is snappy sometimes (Han and Luke discussing rescuing the Princess), but falls flat at others (namely, any interaction between Anakin and Padme). Of course, I believe sometimes we don't even question ANH dialogue because we have heard it so many times and at such young ages that it simply is what it is, something akin to a mother having a regional accent, but the child being tone deaf to it. And with your advanced knowledge, I am prepared for you to now tell me that the aforementioned Han Luke dialogue was written by Dashiell Hammett while Anakin/Padme was Lucas all by himself!

Droid
06-08-2007, 10:03 AM
I dig everything you are saying, it just seemed to smack of Lucas bashing before your later, more supportable posts.

Of course, I believe sometimes we don't even question ANH dialogue because we have heard it so many times and at such young ages that it simply is what it is, something akin to a mother having a regional accent, but the child being tone deaf to it.

I am not a Lucas basher. I adore the man and really appreciate what he has given all of us. I also like the prequels. But I don't have to defend something endlessly to like it or be a fan. When I see a flaw I call it a flaw.

Also, I have often said that I wish I would have seen the prequels as a child because I am sure that I would have adored them. On that level, they really succeeded. They nailed their target audience. I also have wondered if it is fair to say a movie doesn't hold up on its 150th viewing.

I defend ALMOST everything about the original trilogy. Ewoks. Luke's training on Dagobah seeming to take much longer than Han and Leia's running in Empire. Return of the Jedi is my favorite; many people insist it is only that way because I saw it at age 7, the perfect age for what Jedi was trying to do. I wish I could have watched the prequels as a child and I used to defend The Phantom Menace on those grounds.

My biggest beef with the prequels is that it doesn't tell the story the original trilogy set up. Almost all prequel trilogy comments in the original trilogy have to be viewed through the spectrum of a "certain point of view" to match up.

JediTricks
06-09-2007, 03:07 AM
I dig everything you are saying, it just seemed to smack of Lucas bashing before your later, more supportable posts. Examples always help. I think my previous post is no different in tone or content, it just didn't bother to deliver examples I figured everybody would be at least somewhat familiar with.


A couple of observations: yes, the Kyber Crystal sounds like a terrible Macguffin compared to the Stolen Data Tapes, and I am glad the switch was made. GL is a big fan of the MacGuffin, as all three Indy movies have one (by definition).The crystal actually is a big McGuffin too, it essentially recharges Obi-Wan who up until then is a tired, run-down old geezer and when he gets it he becomes a powerful enemy to Vader. The crystal is a fairly big deal originally but every time he came back to it it got less and less important. He had some very different ideas regarding the Force of Others.


As for what else was left out, it seems impossible for me to know. Assume money was even tighter, for a moment, and that the Cantina sequence had been left out of ANH, Luke and Obi-wan meet Solo on the street, there's a gun battle, and bang... in space. Then we would only have heard about some bizarre 10 minute sequence in a Bar with a bunch of weird looking aliens and a couple of old west-style showdowns. All things being equal, we might be looking back saying: "Hells bells, Martha, I sure am glad THAT wasn't in there! Lucas is nuts!"No, sorry, not buying this. That's a classic scene because it resonates so firmly with the established cinematic statements of a recent era, the whole point of the Cantina scene is that it harkens back to the westerns - it's done intentionally to be familiar but just a little bit off, as is most of the stuff in the film.

Plus, having read the Making of SW, there's sections of the script and synopses from it that sound interesting: Deak in space facing off in a saber battle on the surface of a space station, a mentor hero character pulling off a bionic piece of himself to keep important characters in their hibernation tubes, etc.. I can look at that objectively and say "those are interesting, I think they might have made some good scenes" (and my examples are from versions 1 and 2 of the script which are in many ways unbelievably off-note).


As for Lucas the writer, I am not an expert, but I don't dismiss all of it out of hand.Nor do I, but being 30% brilliant still means you're risking being 70% crap the rest of the time.


The dialogue is snappy sometimes (Han and Luke discussing rescuing the Princess)A significant portion of the dialogue in ANH was punched up by the Huycks, both by suggestion of friends and by request of Lucas himself.


but falls flat at others (namely, any interaction between Anakin and Padme).Mainly Lucas, in AOTC with help from Jonathan Hales. Supposedly Carrie Fisher took a quick pass through the dialogue as well, but she has a very bold voice which I don't recognize anywhere.


Of course, I believe sometimes we don't even question ANH dialogue because we have heard it so many times and at such young ages that it simply is what it is, something akin to a mother having a regional accent, but the child being tone deaf to it.Some of it is wooden, but some of it is supposed to be like that, supposed to be stilted and formal and reminding the audience of Flash Gordon serials that were trying desperately to be something more than they were. A lot of the dialogue was also meant to be short and to the point, saying only what needs to be said or even just hint at it or not say everything specifically by design of the "dropped in the middle of a foreign film" feeling that Lucas finds so fascinating - everything's familiar, yet everything's different and they're driving on the wrong side of the roads and speaking another language so you have to pick it up as you go.


And with your advanced knowledge, I am prepared for you to now tell me that the aforementioned Han Luke dialogue was written by Dashiell Hammett while Anakin/Padme was Lucas all by himself!You're not too far off, kid. ;) The ESB credits for Leigh Brackett are also somewhat tenuous since she died before completing her first draft, and Kasdan just wrote over most of it.



I am not a Lucas basher. I adore the man and really appreciate what he has given all of us. I also like the prequels. But I don't have to defend something endlessly to like it or be a fan. When I see a flaw I call it a flaw.Yeah, ditto. Hell, I've even said nice things about the prequels... from time to time. :p


Also, I have often said that I wish I would have seen the prequels as a child because I am sure that I would have adored them. On that level, they really succeeded. They nailed their target audience. I also have wondered if it is fair to say a movie doesn't hold up on its 150th viewing.1) It is fair to say a movie doesn't hold up under scrutiny when they are major flaws and the movie is intended to be well-made even if it's light-hearted.
2) That's how I felt about ROTJ, I saw it as a kid and loved it, watched it constantly even when I recognized its flaws, but after a couple years it lost its luster as I started to notice why its flaws were damning it.