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The Fundamental Weakness Of Director George Lucas

southwest1

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Since the NFL season is low key right now & entrenched in rookie player minicamps around the league, I figured why not write a non-related football blog just for pure entertainment value alone.

Recently, I just watched a film called "The People Vs. George Lucas" released in 2010 by Exhibit A Pictures.

The central thesis of the film is this: Billionaire George Lucas who vehemently fought motion picture studios to get Star Wars made according to his initial vision in the late 1970's has now become the very corporate and merchandising overlord he railed against in his young directing career. Fans who fell in love with this trilogy in their early adolescence are furious over the inability to gain access to the original film debuts they saw in the theater as a youth, the annoying introduction of Jar Jar Binks & the cry baby persona of Anakin Skywalker who evolves into a non menacing galactic villain Dark Vader in the prequels, and who has the real ownership of the Star Wars film saga and international cultural phenomenon? Director George Lucas alone or the National Film Archives and society at large.

George Lucas soon after from graduating from film school in CA wanted the freedom & independence to make the films he saw fit without corporate studio control & restrictions. Fox 20th Century Pictures gave Lucas that opportunity after the box office success of "American Graffiti." In 1977, Star Wars was a profitable smash worldwide. As part of the initial deal with Fox, Lucas retained all commercial merchandising rights for less directorial money outright. Those merchandising rights built Skywalker Ranch where all Lucas's films are now produced, made, and distributed. Lucas first preserved the original negative master reels and transferred them over digitally via his company Industrial Light and Magic [iLM]. To pay for the preservation process, Lucas re-released the original trilogy in theaters with updated scenes not seen before. Most fans who grew up watching the original films as a kid despised them with a passion. To them, the films were now ruined and forever tarnished. Most of the upgrades failed to move the story forward or significantly diluted or watered down a character's clever wit, charm, or menacing capabilities overall. Lucas felt the upgrades were his landmark vision alone and he refused to release any DVD set with the original film sequence debut. The irony here is that George Lucas joined a campaign to stop the colorization of classic black and white academy award winning films & yet he refuses to release the original trilogy as most fans fell in love with the story as they first saw it.

When I was a kid C3PO & R2D2 were the comedy relief of the original trilogy, they were designed to appeal to little kids. Jar Jar Binks, the giraffe like creature with Dumbo ears & a speech impediment, was created for the same purpose. Since when is clumsiness, incompetence, & a speaking disability funny? Lucas undoubtedly took screen writing classes & story boarding classes in film school why is he so horrible at it? Lucas cannot write dialog, create suspension & pacing, or effectively transition into foreshadowing. He is exceptional at special effects though.

Darth Vader as youth comes across as a naive, control freak, and colossal wuss. Yes, "absolute power corrupts absolutely" I know, but come on. Any control freak drunk with power is going to embrace his gifts & the dark side & not run away from it. The best villains are always psychotic, demented, & see the world slightly askew & off center. They don't scream "NO!!!" when they hear that their girlfriend dies IMO. So pathetic & childish... They go on a murderous binge of mayhem & destruction.

Since Star Wars is so engrained in our contemporary culture with phrases like "May The Force Be With You" "Luke I'm Your Father" or "It is Your Destiny," wouldn't you think that George Lucas would abide by the wishes of the fanbase that made him a wealthy man & release the original, unaltered trilogy? The 1977 release won academy awards for special effects do you want to dishonor the memory of the men & women who won that trophy too & made Star Wars a household name around the globe? Lucas claims to have cut the original negative & destroyed it once the digital restoration was completed. Are you bleeping kidding me George?!!! As an archivist myself, you preserve the original medium & format at all costs. You never discard it ever. For a man who spoke eloquently about preserving black & white films in their original format, I find it disturbing that Lucas would joke about the destruction of any film, especially one placed in the National Film Archives. It makes me sick to my stomach...What do you think?



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I'm a little confused about it, because new digital technology helped a little to improve trilogy, but this improvement doesn't worth it. I'm thinking of a scene, that was missing in original part IV, when Solo and Jabba has a personal negotiation, Lucas digitally remastered this scene, and edited into the film, but Han Solo's hand is sometimes WITHIN Jabba, when pointing toward him.

I would be glad to see the original Part IV-V-VI, without any digital remaster. I think, original movies should be released untouched.

South Park also dealt with this question, abstracting Lucas and Spielberg are raping their characters.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s06e09-free-hat

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I am clearly not a student of star wars as you are. I own the original trilogy and admit I am completely unaware as to whether is is digitally remastered.

Saw the first of the new star wars series and loathed it. So, I didn't see the rest of them.

As far as why he won't release an un remastered version of the original, I have no clue. If it would make money, why wouldn't he?

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That South Park "Free Hat" episode was actually right on point, funny, & clever HCF. Thanks for posting it.

You are right though. When a person creates an iconic film, why mess with it? It's like plagiarism by obstruction or deletion. You wouldn't remove original stanzas from a Mozart masterpiece or William Shakespeare play & call it a new, enhanced version would you? Of course not.

Just like there are early drafts of the Declaration of Independence prior to the final 1776 adopted version. You don't discard all previous versions in favor of 1 super updated version. The provenance of an original movement, movie, or milestone must be preserved, protected, & cataloged for the posterity of subsequent generations to come.

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Very interesting SW1.. you know your Stars Wars . I am not qualified to give any opinion here. I only know I have wonderful memories of watching the movies at the theater as a kid and it was very exciting. My brother filled his room with stuff. I tried watching a few of the newer movies and did not care for them at all.

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Very interesting SW1.. you know your Stars Wars . I am not qualified to give any opinion here. I only know I have wonderful memories of watching the movies at the theater as a kid and it was very exciting. My brother filled his room with stuff. I tried watching a few of the newer movies and did not care for them at all.

Another irony here: If you look at the other global science fiction franchise known as Star Trek beginning with William Shatner & Lenard Nimoy [Captain Kirk & Spock], this film juggernaut respects tradition, characters, & plot lines without 2nd guessing the intelligence of its audience.

To George Lucas, the Star Wars saga & his initial vision may seem like his baby, but eventually all baby's grow up & evolve & that can only happen if you cut the umbilical cord, listen to outside fan feedback, & adjust the storyline accordingly. Total jurisdiction & control over anything from entertaining films to landmark governments are seldom embraced or beloved by the masses.

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you know, I loved the Star Trek redo.. it was hilarious to see a young Kirk and Spock and they did such a great job keeping the characters idiosyncrasies, it was just fun. That was missing in the newer Star Wars film, no charm what so ever.

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I like this blog a lot. I am not a Star Wars guru like you my friend, but I did grow up loving and watching the trilogy. I won't forget watching it for the first time. Shoot, this series is (IMO) what made Harrison Ford...of course other would say Indiana Jones...to which I would probably admit it was a combo of the two series. Anyways, I digress.

Lucas seems to be a typical once what an idealist who fought for what was right and against 'the man' but once he achieved success and became wealthy he sold out all his ideals for things that only benefit him and make him money. I think perfect evidence of this is the prequels released not so long ago. I too agree these movies where horrible and could not even make it through the first one let alone watching all of them. They sickened me because they (to me) where not anywhere near what Star Wars is or should be. Poorly written (IMO).

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I like this blog a lot. I am not a Star Wars guru like you my friend, but I did grow up loving and watching the trilogy. I won't forget watching it for the first time. Shoot, this series is (IMO) what made Harrison Ford...of course other would say Indiana Jones...to which I would probably admit it was a combo of the two series. Anyways, I digress.

Lucas seems to be a typical once what an idealist who fought for what was right and against 'the man' but once he achieved success and became wealthy he sold out all his ideals for things that only benefit him and make him money. I think perfect evidence of this is the prequels released not so long ago. I too agree these movies where horrible and could not even make it through the first one let alone watching all of them. They sickened me because they (to me) where not anywhere near what Star Wars is or should be. Poorly written (IMO).

No one will ever forget seeing Darth Vader for the first time on screen in the original Star Wars trilogy or the confident, illegal contraband, space smuggler Han Solo who shoot Gweedo, the green sea horse mercenary in the bar on Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tattooine. They were an integral part of my early adolescent upbringing. You don't make unnecessary film additions that drag down the plot or radically alter the entire movie IMO.

Your George Lucas connection of a transformation from an idealist to a corporate overseer corrupted by money & complete control fetish is a good point actually. During the course of this film other film makers & friends of George Lucas like Francis Ford Coppala claimed to feel sorry for George because the Star Wars saga was so successful for him that he became beholden to a Star Wars pigeon hole type casting & was so identified with this film sequence that he can't really direct anything else in his lifetime. According to Francis, the world was deprived of other Lucas films he can now no longer make.

What a minute...Excuse me, while I burst out laughing okay. #1 Lucas cannot write, direct, or story board effectively at all so no real loss on future film making there, #2 Even, if by some miracle he created another box office film trilogy again, he'd mess up the masterpiece 10 years later with awful new scene additions again, & #3 The Star Wars trilogy & brand name made him a billionaire. Let's see who would a rather be a person struggling to get by or a wealthy man many times over...Hmmm...Not a tough decision there in my book George...Stop belly aching Lucas. Cry me a river buddy. You live a pampered life now okay. Enjoy it. I sure would if I were in your shoes.

Thanks for your reply CP11.

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George Lucas has never won an Oscar. And he is a wealthy man otherwise. But has not explored other areas like his friend Steven Speilberg hence "Schinder's List."

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George Lucas has never won an Oscar. And he is a wealthy man otherwise. But has not explored other areas like his friend Steven Speilberg hence "Schinder's List."

I think Lucas has been honored by a number of international film academies abroad for his influence of film making courtesy of his special effects company Industrial Light & Magic [iLM]. Thank you for your feedback JPPT1974. I appreciate it.

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No problem and hopefully he will get over the Oscar hump. Like Speilberg, Ron Howard, and Martin Scorsese has.

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