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  1. #1

    Lucas on "redemption"

    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.

  2. #2

    Re: Lucas on "redemption"

    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.....

  3. #3

    Re: Lucas on "redemption"

    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.
    GIGANTA: A robot that automatically produces fun!

  4. #4

    Re: Lucas on "redemption"

    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.....
    Anakin: "...we decided come to rescue you..."
    Obi-Wan, looking up at the chains: "Good job."

  5. #5

    Re: Lucas on "redemption"

    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

  6. #6

    Re: Lucas on "redemption"

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Rend
    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. . 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
    thanks Chux Turbo LBC Bobafrett Mtriv73 Rjarvis JF96 JT JMG FB Rogue2 Tycho Slicker Deoxy Caesar JontheJedi JJReason Brandon Solo JMS UK for great deals.
    SSG Pro Football Pick em and Bowl Pick em Champ 2006. 2007 NCAA Bracket Champ
    #24 - Gone but not forgotten

  7. #7

    Stillakid's response to Mr. Lucas

    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.

    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.)

  8. #8

    Re: Stillakid's response to Mr. Lucas

    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. 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.

  9. #9

    Re: Stillakid's response to Mr. Lucas

    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
    thanks Chux Turbo LBC Bobafrett Mtriv73 Rjarvis JF96 JT JMG FB Rogue2 Tycho Slicker Deoxy Caesar JontheJedi JJReason Brandon Solo JMS UK for great deals.
    SSG Pro Football Pick em and Bowl Pick em Champ 2006. 2007 NCAA Bracket Champ
    #24 - Gone but not forgotten

  10. #10

    Re: Stillakid's response to Mr. Lucas

    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.
    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 **** ) and like you said, we DIDN'T get a feeling for Han's past.

    So what are you disagreeing with ?

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