Does Lucas' vision make TPM the best Star Wars movie?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by TheAnointedOne, Dec 11, 2002.

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  1. TheAnointedOne Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 2
    Let me preface this by saying that I don't hate TPM, but I think it wasted a lot of potential to be much better. Because it was such a big disappointment to me, I'm surprised when I hear people who loved it. Movies are a matter of taste and everyone's taste is different, but what gets me is when people justify their like of the movie by saying, "It's George Lucas' vision", like that automatically makes it a great movie.
    In some people's opinion, GL's vision may make for a great movie, but a movie isn't great BECAUSE it's GL's vision.

    I'm not sure if this has been covered, but supposing GL's vision is what's best for Star Wars and TPM is closer to Lucas' true vision than the movies in the OT, is TPM better than ANH, ESB, and ROTJ?

    What I mean is, do you think that GL's vision is what's best for Star Wars and do you think TPM is a superior Star Wars movie to the originals? Why?
  2. Mogook Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 4
    I don't think TPM is superior to the originals. I like the originals more.

    I guess your other question about vision depends on how someone is "grading" the movie. If it's just being graded as a movie, it doesn't matter what GL's vision was.
  3. Wise-Master Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2002
    star 2
    I wouldn't say TPM is superior to the original trilogy, but it is a good vision, a good movie that George Lucas thought of and made.

    TPM is now part of the saga.
  4. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    It´s a great vision and it´s six great films(soon).
  5. Moriarte Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2001
    star 5
    I'm not too sure I understand what you are saying, but you're saying that you don't like it when somebody argues against a person's bad criticisms of the movie by saying, "but it's GL's vision", right?

    If they just say that without explanation, it can't really be valid as their opinion isn't based on their own thoughts, but if they offer an explanation, since as you said everyones tastes are different, than it is valid. Though, it is true that the movies are GL's vision, so he can do what he wills with them. He can create any kind of dialogue he wants, which SW is 'famous' for, technology, scenery, etc. And if you look, the movies do run together, and the transition of the fine-craftmanship to industrial look is explained visually and will be in EPIII as the entire galaxy goes to war and function is desired over form.

    So you see, in actuallity, saying, "but it's GL's vision", CAN be valid to say. If the person likes how GL made SW-the OT and the PT-and since TPM IS a part of SW, that would mean they like how GL as made it thus far, that they like GL's 'vision'. So don't assume they don't have an explanation if they are to say that. Many times people like movies in a way they can't exactly explain.

    Ciou-See the Sig
  6. Jedi_Waster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 2
    "It´s a great vision and it´s six great films"

    I wish I could see it that way, all I see is two great films, followed by decreased quality with increased involvement on GL's part.

    Makes me wonder how ANH and ESB turned out so good...
  7. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    ****I wish I could see it that way, all I see is two great films, followed by decreased quality with increased involvement on GL's part. Makes me wonder how ANH and ESB turned out so good...****

    I'm assuming the two great films are ANH and ESB; which means that your post makes no sense. GL's increased involvement would have to indicate that starting with ROTJ, he was beginning to take the helms of this series, which is the farthest thing from the truth. Lucas directed ANH (as if you didn't already know that), but did not direct ROTJ. But, again, YOU see it a certain way, making sure that evryone here knows the FACT (???) that there were only two great films in the series and all good has been void in the title "Star Wars" since 1980. Shut down the message board! The man has spoken, we shall listen.
  8. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    I wish I could see it that way, all I see is two great films, followed by decreased quality with increased involvement on GL's part.

    Uh...increased involvement on GL's part? GL wrote and directed ANH. He was heavily involved in both ESB and ROTJ, being the one who, you know, CREATED them and all, although he didn't direct them and didn't personally write out the scripts.
  9. TK_Four_Two_One Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2002
    star 5
    There's alotta 'vision' in TAO's post!

    :p
  10. Jedi_Waster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 2
    LOL I'm talking about the writing! There were alot of people who contributed to ANH, it's incredibly unfair to dismiss their involvement and give sole credit to GL. Yeah, he was the driving force but is it a coincidence that the more control he gets over the films the worse they get in terms of quality writing, originality etc.

    I don't think so.

    If what I said isn't true then how can you explain the fact that ANH and ESB are ranked higher than ROTJ, TPM and AOTC. The presence of bashers on this council is evidence enough. The bi-polarisation of SW fandom over the PT as well as the Special Editions. We're fans for godsakes, I am a certified SW geek, and I KNOW GL CAN GIVE US BETTER. The difference between us is that my loyalty and devotion is to SW, yours is to GL...

    "Shut down the message board! The man has spoken, we shall listen."

    You would do well to mark these words for I am the King!

    Just kidding, seriously, I apologise if I come across as a bit of an ******* sometimes, as you can tell, I'm quite passionate about star wars, and thus it can be difficult to accept the views of others where they differ from mine own. I'm only human after all.
  11. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "Uh...increased involvement on GL's part? GL wrote and directed ANH. He was heavily involved in both ESB and ROTJ, being the one who, you know, CREATED them and all, although he didn't direct them and didn't personally write out the scripts."

    his exact involvement is all up for debate no matter how many times you try and insist you know how much he was involved in any of these films, and what ideas he was responsible for. if you read early drafts of star wars it would seem there is an awful lot missing that came along after these drafts were written. the leap from the early drafts to what we got with ANH and ESB and ROTJ raises some SERIOUS questions about just how much lucas was responsible for in the final product.

    looking at the PT it seems now we are getting what lucas had in mind, what with his newfound stronghold on the star wars reigns. again if you look at the early drafts we start to see alot of those early ideas in the PT. similar style of dialogue and story elements, pacing etc.

    food for thought.
  12. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    LOL I'm talking about the writing! There were alot of people who contributed to ANH, it's incredibly unfair to dismiss their involvement and give sole credit to GL.

    I wasn't. But Lucas created and wrote the script for ANH. He also directed it. You were trying to show that the more involvement he had, the worse the movies were. I showed that he had a lot of involvement in ANH.

    Yeah, he was the driving force but is it a coincidence that the more control he gets over the films the worse they get in terms of quality writing, originality etc.

    Then how do you explain ANH?

    If what I said isn't true then how can you explain the fact that ANH and ESB are ranked higher than ROTJ, TPM and AOTC.

    Ranked higher where?

    The presence of bashers on this council is evidence enough.

    The presence of people who continue to devote time and money to movies they hate and a man they don't respect is proof of...what, exactly?

    The bi-polarisation of SW fandom over the PT as well as the Special Editions.

    What polarization?

    We're fans for godsakes, I am a certified SW geek, and I KNOW GL CAN GIVE US BETTER. The difference between us is that my loyalty and devotion is to SW, yours is to GL...

    Don't tell me where my loyalty is.

    Just kidding, seriously, I apologise if I come across as a bit of an ******* sometimes, as you can tell, I'm quite passionate about star wars, and thus it can be difficult to accept the views of others where they differ from mine own. I'm only human after all.

    Hmm. I'd sit here and wait for the bashers to jump on you the way they regularly do on me and others for "not being able to accept differing opinions," but I know it'd be a very long wait, so I won't bother.

    his exact involvement is all up for debate no matter how many times you try and insist you know how much he was involved in any of these films, and what ideas he was responsible for.

    And where have I insisted that?

    if you read early drafts of star wars it would seem there is an awful lot missing that came along after these drafts were written. the leap from the early drafts to what we got with ANH and ESB and ROTJ raises some SERIOUS questions about just how much lucas was responsible for in the final product.

    How does it do that? To me it shows that Lucas, like many creators, changed his mind when writing out his various drafts, for whatever reason -- i.e., something didn't work as well on film as he thought, or such and such thing was redundant.
  13. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "his exact involvement is all up for debate no matter how many times you try and insist you know how much he was involved in any of these films, and what ideas he was responsible for."

    Shelley replied: And where have I insisted that?

    right here:
    "He was heavily involved in both ESB and ROTJ, being the one who, you know, CREATED them and all, although he didn't direct them and didn't personally write out the scripts."

    just how much and what sort of involvment does "heavily" mean?

    "To me it shows that Lucas, like many creators, changed his mind when writing out his various drafts, for whatever reason -- i.e., something didn't work as well on film as he thought, or such and such thing was redundant."

    "whatever reason" could also be someone had a better idea, someone helped with the writing and came up with characters and situations, like Han Solo for example...

    dont forget the novelization, "star wars: from the adventures of luke skywalker" has GEORGE LUCAS on the cover in big fat letters, even though it was written by Alan Dean Foster.

    btw here is a little snippet of an interview with Foster

    "Q) You helped to "ghost write" the original Star Wars novelization. Did you work very closely with George Lucas on this book? Do you remain in contact with him ? Also, what did you think of George Lucas's newest movie "The Phantom Menace" ?

    A) I didn't "help" with the ghost-writing...I did it all. George had this little movie he was busy with at the time. That's why a ghost-writer was hired in the first place. Nobody writes and directs a movie and novel simultaneously. I've had no contact with George since then...but if we bumped into each other in the street (or Wendy's, or wherever), I think we could pick up conversation where it was left. That's how it is with people you get along with. I enjoyed SWTPM. I thought the writing needed work."
  14. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    just how much and what sort of involvment does "heavily" mean?

    Let's see...he wrote the story, Kasdan wrote the scripts for ESB and ROTJ under his supervision, he visited the sets, and when he wasn't on the set for ESB he talked to Kershner every night on the phone, and he took over direction of two scenes in ROTJ (Vader/Luke duel, and Vader's unmasking, if memory serves).

    "whatever reason" could also be someone had a better idea, someone helped with the writing and came up with characters and situations, like Han Solo for example...

    Yes, it could mean that, and it could also mean that Lucas changed his mind of his own accord. Pointing to early drafts of SW and saying that since they don't resemble the finished saga much, it means that Lucas had little involvement in the movies, is specious logic, IMO.

    dont forget the novelization, "star wars: from the adventures of luke skywalker" has GEORGE LUCAS on the cover in big fat letters, even though it was written by Alan Dean Foster.

    And...?

    A) I didn't "help" with the ghost-writing...I did it all. George had this little movie he was busy with at the time. That's why a ghost-writer was hired in the first place. Nobody writes and directs a movie and novel simultaneously. I've had no contact with George since then...but if we bumped into each other in the street (or Wendy's, or wherever), I think we could pick up conversation where it was left. That's how it is with people you get along with. I enjoyed SWTPM. I thought the writing needed work."

    Interesting...Foster says that Lucas was busy with ANH and no one writes and directs a movie and novel simultaneously. (Emphasis mine.) So isn't that just more evidence that Lucas wrote ANH and had a lot of involvement with it?
  15. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "Interesting...Foster says that Lucas was busy with ANH and no one writes and directs a movie and novel simultaneously. (Emphasis mine.) So isn't that just more evidence that Lucas wrote ANH and had a lot of involvement with it?"

    it also shows that Lucas from the beginning has had no problem with taking credit for the work of others. when the novelization came out, the Lucas name was not yet a selling point... why the need to put Lucas' name on the cover instead of Foster's?

    IMO its a combination of ego and a desire to be seen as an "auteur".
  16. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "isn't that just more evidence that Lucas wrote ANH and had a lot of involvement with it?"

    no, its just evidence he was either busy or overwhelmed by the task of making star wars. it has nothing to do with his writing of the film or which ideas were his and which came from other contributors.
  17. George15 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2002
    star 4
    Why is it that bashers try to prove that GL isn't responsible for the "greatness" of the OT?It's always others contributed to the OT and that's why it is great.It seems you try to distance GL from SW, when in actuality they are one.I'm sorry you don't like the PT(and some of you rotj)but please don't try to discredit GL,because of your displeasure with the PT.
  18. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "It seems you try to distance GL from SW, when in actuality they are one."

    thats your opinion, others differ. there is much evidence that points to the notion that much of what made star wars successful did not come from Lucas but rather came about through participation of other creative contributors. here i have pointed to the fact that there are vast differences in style, tone, and substance between early drafts of star wars and the final product. they differ so much in fact, that its hard to imagine they were written by the same person.

    the early drafts of star wars however, do bear much resemblance to the films of the PT, in style, execution, and apparent writing (dis)abilities.

    since i think TPM was garbage, then i would have to say that no, Lucas' vision does not make TPM the best star wars movie. but then again if you ask me, Lucas' vision does not make the best movie, period. either he has forgotten how to write/direct snappy, coherent dialouge and engaging characters, or he never knew how in the first place.
  19. George15 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2002
    star 4
    "the early drafts of star wars however, do bear much resemblance to the films of the PT, in style, execution, and apparent writing (dis)abilities."

    Do you have a link to the early drafts?
  20. JediMasterEllic_Kier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 3
    "it also shows that Lucas from the beginning has had no problem with taking credit for the work of others. when the novelization came out, the Lucas name was not yet a selling point... why the need to put Lucas' name on the cover instead of Foster's?"

    This is just ignorance of how the industry works. The importance was to sell GL as the driving force behind SW. ADF was a nobody, and nobody would buy the novel of SW written by someone else. To say that GL had nothing to do with the novel is complete ignorance as well. I don't care what ADF says. The story would not be possible without GL.

    Do you have any idea how many Ghost Writers are used for hundreds of books each year. You aren't going to buy "Bill Clintons Life" by Joe Schmoe, but you will if Bill Clinton is listed as the author.
    Behind EVERY artist of all sorts there are always people who contribute in many ways that won't ever get credit. It's the nature of the beast. Do you think your favorite bands CD is totally done by the band? Did PJ write LOTR? He sure gets a lot of credit now. There are a generation of kids that are going to attach PJ's name to the LOTR, and not JRRT. Bashing GL for this is just lame.
  21. Rimkar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 1999
    star 4
    Early Drafts
    I think I'd answer this question by saying that Lucas' vision doesn't necessarily make TPM the best Star Wars movie, but anyone else's wouldn't have been Star Wars. When you say vision I think of the overriding creative force behind the movie's execution. Everyone else's contribution to the movies was valuable and in many ways changed SW for the better. Still, they weren't the guiding mind behind it all.
  22. JohnWilliams00 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 4
    I read the early drafts of Star Wars before and I agree they are very similar to the way the PT is written. At times quite interesting, but sometimes getting too esoteric and convoluted. There's a reason why George had so many rewrites for ANH. The earlier the draft, the rougher around the edges they were. Some of the names of planets and characters were just plain silly/weird.

    And I love the contributions of Lawrence Kasdan in ESB and ROTJ. His humor is energetic and buoyant. There's more vitality flowing through his dialogue. A lot of famous Indiana Jones quotes that we all quote, to this day, have been written by him. Silverado and The Big Chill were also notable efforts, to name a couple. Had Kasdan been working in the 1930s and 1940s, he'd probably be writing for Howard Hawks (Rio Bravo, Bringing Up Baby). George, who's been using the 1930s/1940s serial excuse so much lately, could learn a lesson or two from Kasdan's style, which is far closer to the serial flavor than George has ever gotten to in the past two films.
  23. Jedi_Waster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 2
    "Then how do you explain ANH?"

    Well, Lucas went round with a notepad and pen and spent a very long time formulating ideas and story elements, with help from lots of friends and families. He co-wrote the screenplay and due to the lack of money and sfx technology, shortcuts had to be taken and innovations had to be made. There was an OMNIBUS documentary on GL and some of his friends relate how upsetting it was for Lucas to tone down elements of the star wars universe because of these restraints.

    Result, what we got as the finished product varied significantly from the original 'vision'. Besides, the moment in which a person collaborates their vision with a hundred or so others to work on a motion picture it no longer becomes the same.

    "Ranked higher where?"

    ANH and ESB are for the most part, minus a few weirdos (j/k), ranked higher on posters' list, also in film guides.

    "What polarization?"

    The polarisation of SW fandom... basher and gusher wars?

    "Don't tell me where my loyalty is."

    I will if you and others keep insisting that because his name is on the PT, it cannot be anything other than great.

    "It seems you try to distance GL from SW, when in actuality they are one"

    That's grossly unfair to the hundreds of people who have worked on these films. The fact that GL is not a fan seems to escape you...

    "Did PJ write LOTR? He sure gets a lot of credit now."

    He didn't of course write the book, but he's so far made a movie where before all thought it was impossible. The difference in my mind is that whereas GL assumes the credit for all the ideas and designs in the PT, Peter Jackson actively promotes the efforts of others. And whilst it would be tempting, as the face of the 'writers' to the media, for PJ to tell everyone how great he is, he always mentions his partner Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. This guy praises his actors, art designers, editors and WETA prop-makers. When was the last time you heard George Lucas doing the same?

    BTW Shelley- I'm well aware of your intense dislike of LOTR, let's not go down that road here. Contrary to what you might think, PJ isn't exactly a god in the eyes of many LOTR fans. I'd be the first in line to criticise FOTR and TTT, heck I really don't like several aspects of both films.
  24. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    Alan Dean Foster is no great talent, that's for sure, and just becuse Stanley Kubrick didn't write ANY of his films does not mean that they were not COMPLETELY his own vision. Though I think you are right to say that Lucas should render more credit to guys like Ben Burtt, Larry Kasdan and the ILM team, in terms of creative ideas. Having Ben and the ILM'ers on the AOTC DVD commentary was a nice touch, though. Ben was on the TPM commentary too.
  25. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "just becuse Stanley Kubrick didn't write ANY of his films does not mean that they were not COMPLETELY his own vision."

    Stanley Kubrick is my favorite director. that being said, i dont think it lessens his amazing talent any to say that his films are NOT completely his own vision. they are incredible, amazing, perfect ADAPTATIONS of the work of others. i think Kubricks ability to translate the written word of others perfectly, his ability to translate the author's visions to film is what made him such a skilled and agile director.
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