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View Full Version : George Lucas: "I made up Star Wars as I went along"



bigbarada
06-11-2010, 11:42 AM
In an open letter that Lucas wrote to the producers of the Lost TV series, Lucas confirms what many of us have suspected all along:

http://www.movieline.com/2010/05/george-lucas-to-lost-producers-i-made-up-star-wars-as-i-went-along.php


Congratulations on pulling off an amazing show. Donít tell anyone Ö but when ĎStar Warsí first came out, I didnít know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend youíve planned the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to other stories ó letís call them homages ó and youíve got a series.

Is it just me or just this seem like a subtle slap in the face to lifelong Star Wars fans?

DarkJedi5
06-11-2010, 12:06 PM
I'm not really sure if George is being entirely truthful here either. I mean, he did reserve the contract rights to any subsequent films despite the fact he was concerned about the first film flopping. He always said he did this cause he had more story to tell but if he was just making it up as he went along then he put a pretty neat bow on the end of the first movie (I guess killing Vader would have really wrapped things up, but still) why not just get a deal with Fox to make two more movies about whatever else he'd wanted?

I do think there are some aspects of the films that have always seemed rather slap dash but having read through the drafts, it seems like there was always a story longer than just the one movie. I think what he means is that he had a vague idea of where the story was going to go and then made up the details to flesh it out (I think the Luke and Leia as siblings was one of those).

In the end it doesn't take anything away from the stories that I love but the whole back story of a crafted epic from the outset was always appealing. I guess what I'm saying is that maybe he did make the whole thing up as he went along, from a certain point of view.

Darth Metalmute
06-11-2010, 12:13 PM
I think he was refering to the Prequals as it is quite obvious he doesn't remember the originals and how to make a decent film.;)

Bel-Cam Jos
06-11-2010, 01:20 PM
And he totally ripped off Indiana Jones' line from RotLA! :mad: :rolleyes:

Does any creative person really have every single detail of their work pre-planned, anyway?

RoonStones
06-11-2010, 02:28 PM
I think to an extent what GL apparently said is true. The original SW was, by and large, Lucas' homage to B-rate serials from the 1930s and 40s. There wasn't any father/son relationship between Luke and Vader, Luke was considered the primary love interest of Leia, and that was basically about it. Had the movie flopped, Lucas would have chalked it up to doing a one-shot film and moved on to other things. Once he seemingly realized it had a strong fan base by the time ESB was considered, we get the Vader-as-father story, which contradicts some of the backstory provided by Obi-Wan in SW (the whole "a certain point of view" retcon never really sat with me). But even in ESB, Luke and Leia still seem to be romantically involved (because if Lucas planned them being bro and sis by then, it's kind of sick). We get an idea that Leia is force sensitive in ESB, but the whole "there is another Skywalker" doesn't come until ROTJ. Again, if Leia had "always known" she was Luke's brother, what's up with planting a big one on him in ESB?

One thing to take away from the original trilogy however was that Lucas didn't have complete control over his ideas. Original conceptions of the main characters were vastly different from what they turned out to be. Knowing GL's penchant for controlling everything by the time of the prequels, we can at least be thankful that third-party editors were able to take his random ideas for the OT (at least SW) and make them into a coherent story. The prequels seemed to reflect Lucas' ideas in a single draft without any corrections or oversight. It's as if he wrote stream of conscious, gave it to Rick McCallum his "yes man", and said "make me a movie out of this".

Darth Duranium
06-11-2010, 02:59 PM
Considering the "Nuke The Fridge" aspects of the Prequels (midichlorians, Senate speeches, Jar-Jar etc.), I don't think anybody's really too surprised at George's revelations.

On the other hand, some major plotlines were established many years ago. The (Mustafar) lava duel (resulting in Vader's disfigurement) was mentioned in the ROTJ novelisation, I believe. We all knew it was coming in Ep III... shame that Christensen's acting wasn't up to snuff.

Robot Chicken nailed the Luke/Leia incest scenario best:
Leia (enjoying post-coital cigarette in bed with Luke): "That was soooo wrong".

JediTricks
06-11-2010, 03:42 PM
Looking at the foundational materials, and keep in mind, that stuff is pre-'80s and a lot is dated, it's clear he's not making it all up. There is a simple framework at play that spans the saga, ideas that are the genesis of the larger atmosphere of the PT, but the personal storylines of Obi-Wan and Anakin and Padme and Yoda are all stuff he pulled out of the ether probably 5 minutes before shooting. ;) Likewise with Luke & Leia being sibs, although there is enough evidence to suggest otherwise, but Lucas went back and forth on ideas all the time in the runup to the OT. In any event, this seems like either the letter is bogus or he's just BSing.

JimJamBonds
06-11-2010, 04:28 PM
Yeah I think he is bsing. Like JT said there was a framework but not all the details. No need for alarm people!

Mr. JabbaJohnL
06-11-2010, 06:35 PM
In the ROTJ commentary, he revealed that the Jabba scenes weren't in the original outline, but once Han became such a popular character, he wanted to spend more time rescuing him and so on. So basically everything on Tatooine in ROTJ was filler, fun but nonessential, which is also how he describes a lot of stuff in TPM and AOTC - the plot made up a lot of it, but he still had to later fill them out to make them into two hour films.

bigbarada
06-11-2010, 09:10 PM
I actually remember reading an interview with Alan Dean Foster in the Star Wars Insider (around 1999 or 2000), that Splinter of the Mind's Eye was originally supposed to be the low-budget sequel to Star Wars (ANH to you younglings) just in case the movie flopped at the box office.

It's also true that the basic plotline for the prequels originally appeared in the 1976 Star Wars novelization. However, if you actually read those paragraphs, there is nothing in there about Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan, Darth Sidious, etc. There is probably about 10 minutes of the entire prequel trilogy that directly corresponds to that 1976 prologue and all of that has to do with Palpatine's rise to power and the fall of the Republic.

Droid
06-11-2010, 09:46 PM
I can't link to it because of language, but there is a fantastic seven part (70 minute) review of the Phantom Menace on youtube. It is pretty easy to find. It has funny parts, but has some really great analysis, both of holes in the story and of the overall major problems.

JediTricks, I think you'd really enjoy it, particularly the part where the guy is complaining the OT lightsaber duels were more about the characters than the choreography.

JediTricks
06-12-2010, 03:35 PM
In the ROTJ commentary, he revealed that the Jabba scenes weren't in the original outline, but once Han became such a popular character, he wanted to spend more time rescuing him and so on. So basically everything on Tatooine in ROTJ was filler, fun but nonessential, which is also how he describes a lot of stuff in TPM and AOTC - the plot made up a lot of it, but he still had to later fill them out to make them into two hour films.All of ROTJ is filler, almost the whole movie is a rehash of ANH because Lucas was all frustrated having to take the end of his larger Star Wars saga and tack it onto ANH when he realized he had to break up that SW story into 3 smaller bites.

Lucas' comments about how TPM and AOTC are 20% each of the larger story helps explain why they're such hollow films, he had to pad minimal parts of the saga into full stories to set up the larger prequel story in ROTS. One more reason I think the prequels suck.


I actually remember reading an interview with Alan Dean Foster in the Star Wars Insider (around 1999 or 2000), that Splinter of the Mind's Eye was originally supposed to be the low-budget sequel to Star Wars (ANH to you younglings) just in case the movie flopped at the box office. Just to clarify, as I understand it, ADF was contracted to write "Splinter" either way, it's just that Lucas had him do it in a way that could be translated into a low-budget sequel if they needed to.


It's also true that the basic plotline for the prequels originally appeared in the 1976 Star Wars novelization. However, if you actually read those paragraphs, there is nothing in there about Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan, Darth Sidious, etc. There is probably about 10 minutes of the entire prequel trilogy that directly corresponds to that 1976 prologue and all of that has to do with Palpatine's rise to power and the fall of the Republic.There's more in earlier drafts, check out The Making of Star Wars and a lot more surprising stuff pops up. But a good portion of that stuff wasn't meant to be in the films, it was info Lucas created specifically to help guide the story he was making.


I can't link to it because of language, but there is a fantastic seven part (70 minute) review of the Phantom Menace on youtube. It is pretty easy to find. It has funny parts, but has some really great analysis, both of holes in the story and of the overall major problems.

JediTricks, I think you'd really enjoy it, particularly the part where the guy is complaining the OT lightsaber duels were more about the characters than the choreography.Yeah, we've already discussed the Harry Plinkett review, as well as the character's more recent review of AOTC.

JimJamBonds
06-12-2010, 03:38 PM
All of ROTJ is filler, almost the whole movie is a rehash of ANH because Lucas was all frustrated having to take the end of his larger Star Wars saga and tack it onto ANH when he realized he had to break up that SW story into 3 smaller bites.

Lucas' comments about how TPM and AOTC are 20% each of the larger story helps explain why they're such hollow films, he had to pad minimal parts of the saga into full stories to set up the larger prequel story in ROTS. One more reason I think the prequels suck.

So then by that way of thinking ROTJ sucked as well right?

JediTricks
06-12-2010, 03:52 PM
Objectively speaking, ROTJ is pretty mediocre. The only truly original intended elements are the Endor fight and the business with Palps / Luke / Vader, and those have flaws of their own and take a long time to get there. ROTJ was great when I was a kid, but it's a bit of a mess, it has bad pacing, and some of it feels a bit cheap (like the recycled TIE Pilot shots). And it certainly didn't get better with the Special Edition garbage tacked onto it.

Droid
06-12-2010, 11:50 PM
Yeah, we've already discussed the Harry Plinkett review, as well as the character's more recent review of AOTC.

Can you link to the discussion?

Maerj2000
06-13-2010, 03:08 PM
I believe that Lucas was being facetious when he said he made Star Wars up as he went along. There was a structure that was there but whenever you write any big multi-part story, certain things will get changed or even completely made up as you go on. Thats how fiction works.

I was a huge fan of Lost, I was really loving the last episode...until the end. For a show that was presented as a mystery, to have no ending was really not right. And to make the entire last season's 'flash sideways' purgatory was a cop out. At least Star Wars had a definitive ending.

bigbarada
06-13-2010, 04:30 PM
So then by that way of thinking ROTJ sucked as well right?

Well, ROTJ is the worst of the three OT films, that's no doubt. However, it was my favorite as a kid, but that had more to do with the quality of the toys and the production design than the movie itself (especially since I never actually watched ROTJ until 1986). It wasn't until the Special Editions that I realized just how weak of a final chapter it actually was.

Most of my attachment to ROTJ is tied to great childhood memories. Not childhood memories of sitting in a theater, but childhood memories of being 10-13 years old in general. Either way, I don't have to delude myself into believing that ROTJ is the greatest film of all to in order for me to consider it one of my favorite films of all time.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-14-2010, 12:11 AM
When I read the annotated screenplays, which mentioned a lot of the stuff that was in the early drafts, I saw how much of the movies had changed before their final form. Reading some of those early drafts shows both of how much of both the OT and PT were there to begin with, but also how much work was done and how many changes were made before we got what we saw on screen. As a kid, after hearing that he had three trilogies planned, I assumed the story was always there pretty much in place. By the time I read those annotated screenplays, I realized that he just had a bunch of ideas, and then did a lot of "making it up as he went along" to get to the final movies.

bigbarada
06-14-2010, 07:54 AM
When I read the annotated screenplays, which mentioned a lot of the stuff that was in the early drafts, I saw how much of the movies had changed before their final form. Reading some of those early drafts shows both of how much of both the OT and PT were there to begin with, but also how much work was done and how many changes were made before we got what we saw on screen. As a kid, after hearing that he had three trilogies planned, I assumed the story was always there pretty much in place. By the time I read those annotated screenplays, I realized that he just had a bunch of ideas, and then did a lot of "making it up as he went along" to get to the final movies.

Yeah, those Annotated Screenplays are very revealing of Lucas' writing process. What I found funny was how many of the early ideas for ESB ended up in AOTC. In addition to an ice planet, a swamp planet and a cloud planet, the action was also supposed to take our heroes to a city planet (which eventually became Coruscant), a water planet (which would become Kamino), a grasslands planet and a garden planet (which would both be combined into Naboo).

I think that might have actually been one of the big failings of the PT. Lucas didn't really spend too much time coming up with new ideas, he just reshuffled his old ideas and tried to cram as many of them into the films as time would allow.

JimJamBonds
06-14-2010, 10:21 AM
Is using an unused idea rehashing? I don't think so. Now having a second Death Star was a rehash. He just took ideas he had from 'whenever' and expanded and fleshed them out.

Droid
06-14-2010, 11:05 AM
Is using an unused idea rehashing? I don't think so. Now having a second Death Star was a rehash. He just took ideas he had from 'whenever' and expanded and fleshed them out.

I've heard people complain about the second Death Star and I grant that it isn't original, but it makes logical sense. The Empire would totally want a weapon that could blow up a planet. Build it, cover the exhaust port and you're good to go. I guess the only question I have is why not build ten of them?

Darth Metalmute
06-14-2010, 12:22 PM
I've heard people complain about the second Death Star and I grant that it isn't original, but it makes logical sense. The Empire would totally want a weapon that could blow up a planet. Build it, cover the exhaust port and you're good to go.

Plus, they wouldn't have to spend the money on paying people to design the thing. Just update the specs to the current year and send the previous plans out with a revision note that about the exhaust port.


I guess the only question I have is why not build ten of them?

I don't know how realistic it is, but in the game Rebellion, you could only build one Death Star per star system. Something about gravitational pull.

Tycho
06-14-2010, 01:07 PM
In the EU they were making a few more of them.

Death Star History as I understand it: they were building more than 1 at the same time as they built the one destroyed at Yavin.

Palpatine planned ahead that in case one was discovered, the Rebels would center their attack on that one and another could be completed in secret in the meanwhile. The second one was the Endor Project - and there were others in The Maw (near Kessel) going on at the same time.

Just like Iran or North Korea's alledged nuclear arms attempts, locations might be multiple and kept secretive. Intelligence could be leaked so as to sacrafice one while others became operational.

El Chuxter
06-14-2010, 01:27 PM
Multiple Death Stars was always a bad idea. I'll admit the Darksaber sort of fizzling out was amusing, but the others were just dumb. You've got to imagine that, even for something like the Empire, building giant metal planets with the ability to utterly destroy other planets with a single blast of a superlaser has to be too cost prohibitive to do on a large scale.

As much as I liked the storyline of The Force Unleashed, I found it downright stupid that the final battle takes place on the Death Star. And that the Organas are still functioning senators at the time of ANH, if they'd been sentenced to death personally by Palpatine a couple of years earlier.

JediTricks
06-14-2010, 01:48 PM
Can you link to the discussion?Hmm, I dunno, it wasn't its own thread, it came up in another thread's conversation and we just discussed it there.

Darth Metalmute
06-14-2010, 01:59 PM
As much as I liked the storyline of The Force Unleashed, I found it downright stupid that the final battle takes place on the Death Star. And that the Organas are still functioning senators at the time of ANH, if they'd been sentenced to death personally by Palpatine a couple of years earlier.

I thought the hole in the story was the fact that they all got out alive.

2-1B
06-15-2010, 12:50 AM
I've heard people complain about the second Death Star and I grant that it isn't original, but it makes logical sense. The Empire would totally want a weapon that could blow up a planet. Build it, cover the exhaust port and you're good to go. I guess the only question I have is why not build ten of them?

Because IG-88 didn't have 10 brains.

El Chuxter
06-15-2010, 12:56 AM
Because IG-88 didn't have 10 brains.

Oh, snap!

He got you there, D.

Droid
06-15-2010, 10:27 AM
Because IG-88 didn't have 10 brains.

HA! Now that's humor!

JEDIpartner
06-15-2010, 01:22 PM
All of ROTJ is filler, almost the whole movie is a rehash of ANH because Lucas was all frustrated having to take the end of his larger Star Wars saga and tack it onto ANH when he realized he had to break up that SW story into 3 smaller bites.

...which is exactly why it is my least favourite of all the films. The only part that rings true for me is the redemption of Vader at the end of the film. The rest of it is noise.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-15-2010, 05:43 PM
The rest of it is noise.Even Admiral Ackbar's lines?!? And the rockwart's belch?

JEDIpartner
06-21-2010, 09:53 AM
All right... Ackbar is fine for what he is, but the rest of the story is stinkeroo.

RoonStones
06-21-2010, 11:03 AM
Still, I have to say (knowing the faults and occasional cringe scenes/moments in ROTJ where Lucas wastes a good character too quickly), the worst scenes in ROTJ are still better than the best scenes of Revenge of the Sith. And I say this primarily because I grew up with Jedi so there's a certain nostalgic feeling I have for it in the same way I can have a nostalgic feeling for Short Round or Mola Ram and keep a straight face.

By the time ROTS came around, I was too jaded to care and dropped my expectations to the point I considered the movie not a complete bomb if a musical scene didn't spontaneously break out.

NB: The *new* scenes in Jedi however are anathema. I can accept to a degree the Sarlaac has a beak, but the redone "Jedi Rocks" scene is skippable, and replacing Sebastian Shaw with emo Anakin is just wrong.

JediTricks
06-21-2010, 02:53 PM
I have to concede that ROTJ plays much more honestly than ROTS. The big emotional fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan carries no weight at all, partly because it reeks of CGI and choreography, but partly because the setup feels incredibly forced. The counter to that is Luke/Vader/Emperor which flows, even the emotions of the situation seem tangible. The big battle in ROTJ may have a bunch of teddy bears, but you actually give a crap about them and your heroes. Same with the space battle. ROTJ is sloppy, but it's got something to it where ROTS feels like eating a lot of convoluted whipped marshmallows - it quickly turns foul.

And yes, the SE additions to ROTJ are all crap in my book. Even the beak on the "feed me Seymour" Sarlacc.

El Chuxter
06-21-2010, 03:44 PM
Ewoks > Wookiees.

Ewoks are characters who happen to look like teddy bears. Their appearance is important, as they're underestimated by the Empire and lead to its downfall.

Aside from Chewbacca, every Wookiee is clearly just there so someone can say, "Look! Wookiees!"

JediTricks
06-21-2010, 04:22 PM
Ewoks > Wookiees.

Ewoks are characters who happen to look like teddy bears. Their appearance is important, as they're underestimated by the Empire and lead to its downfall.

Aside from Chewbacca, every Wookiee is clearly just there so someone can say, "Look! Wookiees!"
Until ROTS, I would have disagreed with you on that until blue in the face, but they really added nothing of merit to the movie.

RoonStones
06-21-2010, 09:57 PM
Until ROTS, I would have disagreed with you on that until blue in the face, but they really added nothing of merit to the movie.

And a real shame at that. The marketing of ROTS made it seem like we were finally going to get to see the pre-Ewok Battle of Endor. But aside from a few screen shots of Wookies doing little else than standing in front of the camera and roaring, you're right; there was hardly anything to take away from Kashyyyk. I get more out of Kashyyyk from the Holiday Special :D

JimJamBonds
06-21-2010, 10:23 PM
Until ROTS, I would have disagreed with you on that until blue in the face, but they really added nothing of merit to the movie.

Sure there was, they (Wookies) helped Yoda escape.

JediTricks
06-22-2010, 04:24 PM
Sure there was, they (Wookies) helped Yoda escape.
Shame shame, know your name! That is easily the worst example of all time. Without using hyperbole, that is the Hitler of examples. ;)

JimJamBonds
06-22-2010, 04:55 PM
Shame shame, know your name! That is easily the worst example of all time. Without using hyperbole, that is the Hitler of examples. ;)

Be that as it may, but its an example non the less. :D

Devo
06-22-2010, 09:33 PM
made them up as he went along....meh. I will always love the originals, I will sometimes find the prequels entertaining but ultimately have much to criticise about them. Thats it, that is all.

El Chuxter
06-23-2010, 03:21 PM
ROTS also made Chewie and Yoda best buds, which, combined with Artoo being Anakin's droid and not getting a memory wipe, makes you wonder how dense Luke had to be for the OT to go down as it did.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
06-23-2010, 04:53 PM
Considering the "Nuke The Fridge" aspects of the Prequels (midichlorians, Senate speeches, Jar-Jar etc.), I don't think anybody's really too surprised at George's revelations.
I don't know why I didn't catch this earlier, but I've mentioned on these boards before that Lucas actually had midi-chlorians in mind since at least 1977. An interview from that summer was recounted in 2007's The Making of Star Wars (and copied by me somewhere on this site - go find it yerselves :p ). You can debate on whether or not they're valid or important, but you actually can't deny that they've been in his mind since the beginning (or at least very close to it).

I just saw this page (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/05/harrison-ford-and-mark-hamill-on-today-show-in-1980.html) with videos of Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford on the Today show back in May 1980. I thought it was interesting as it includes Hamill talking about George's plan to make the prequels. He doesn't give specifics beyond saying it'll involve young Obi-Wan and that, if Luke and Han were included, they'd be just "little nippers," but I think it's interesting in light of the whole "Lucas never planned to make the prequels" sort of talk here and in other threads.

El Chuxter
06-23-2010, 05:15 PM
Until recently, I never noticed any "Lucas never intended to make prequels" thing. I've heard that he was burnt out after ROTJ and wanted an extended break, but not completely uninterested.

The real debate is whether he ever intended to make VII-IX (or, according to some accounts, VII-XVI).

Mr. JabbaJohnL
06-23-2010, 06:44 PM
I'm pretty sure it's in JT's "It's okay to not like the prequels" thread from a while ago, which posited that the prequels weren't actually part of George's plan until sometime much later, given the fact that he took Luke's story and cut it into three acts. The Mark Hamill interview confirms that the idea for prequels was at least there as of 1980. And it does make it seem like he only planned on six, given Hamill's talk of making three films to tell Luke's complete story and then later having the three prequels. I know it's not definitive on anything, but it's at least an interesting artifact from that period regarding sequels and prequels (not to mention that Jane Pauley was pretty hot back in the day :p ).

Bel-Cam Jos
06-23-2010, 08:57 PM
I don't know why I didn't catch this earlier, but I've mentioned on these boards before that Lucas actually had midi-chlorians in mind since at least 1977. An interview from that summer was recounted in 2007's The Making of Star Wars (and copied by me somewhere on this site - go find it yerselves :p ). You can debate on whether or not they're valid or important, but you actually can't deny that they've been in his mind since the beginning (or at least very close to it).We addressed this issue before, because JW Rinzler, the compiler of the MoSW book interviewed Lucas himself, so it's uncertain whether Lucas' comments about midi-c's were for the book or from earlier interviews. I lean towards the post-1997 era for their "existence."

Mr. JabbaJohnL
06-23-2010, 11:33 PM
We addressed this issue before, because JW Rinzler, the compiler of the MoSW book interviewed Lucas himself, so it's uncertain whether Lucas' comments about midi-c's were for the book or from earlier interviews. I lean towards the post-1997 era for their "existence."
No, as I said before, it's in a spread where it clearly states that everything on those pages was taken from interviews in 1977. So, unless there was a huge error in the creation of the book, midi-chlorians have been in Lucas' brain since then. Even when the evidence is right there, people can't accept it . . .

Darth Metalmute
06-24-2010, 07:46 AM
No, as I said before, it's in a spread where it clearly states that everything on those pages was taken from interviews in 1977. So, unless there was a huge error in the creation of the book, midi-chlorians have been in Lucas' brain since then. Even when the evidence is right there, people can't accept it . . .

That's solves it! It's common knowledge that too many midi-chlorians on the brain makes you clinically insane. (See Anakin Skywalker)

Side effects of Midi-Chlorians on the brain or MCOB include the following;
High self-opinion of oneself,
My way or the highway attitude,
Bipolarism,
The ability to single-handedly create turmoil throughout the Star Wars universe.

JEDIpartner
06-24-2010, 09:56 AM
That's solves it! It's common knowledge that too many midi-chlorians on the brain makes you clinically insane. (See Anakin Skywalker)

Side effects of Midi-Chlorians on the brain or MCOB include the following;
High self-opinion of oneself,
My way or the highway attitude,
Bipolarism,
The ability to single-handedly create turmoil throughout the Star Wars universe.

Hmmmm... my boss and the GM have all of those symptoms except for the last one-- unless, of course, you substitute Star Wars with the name of the place I work.
:tired:

Darth Metalmute
06-24-2010, 12:08 PM
Hmmmm... my boss and the GM have all of those symptoms except for the last one-- unless, of course, you substitute Star Wars with the name of the place I work.
:tired:


Or, maybe they are Jedi.....

questorminator
06-29-2010, 10:13 PM
I'd like to think that most writers did the same thing. They have a basic plot-line to work through and they just expanded stuff as they went along.

I love Return of the Jedi. It still is my favorite Star Wars movie. But the reason why it became the weakest film in the original trilogy is because Lucas forced (no pun intended) to expand the story thereby making it weaker and more hurried. Sure, he had the best intentions, but I guess he was already too burned out by the end of ESB to make a film with a similar pacing.

All in all, my favorite film seems more like an epilogue than a true ending to the saga. It still is my favorite Star Wars film though.