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. Leto II Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2000
    star 6
    I feel GL is selfishly making these movies. He doesnt care what people think or say. He has even admitted it in interviews. "I'm making these movies for me" He has forgotten what made people fall in love with SW to begin with. He has forgotten that the fans are the ones who have made him wealthy. His attitude is "I dont care what you say, just give me your money."
    What serious filmmaker/auteur has ever produced a motion picture strictly upon the grounds of mass appeal and what the audience desires? Even Lucas is attempting to give us what we need, not what we necessarily want, based upon some distortedly-halfway remembered, fuzzy-warm feelings going all the way back to 1980. It isn't a necessarily a Good Thing, creatively-speaking, to have your ambitions working solely in the service of pleasing the us, the Great Wad.
  2. JohnWilliams00 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 4
    There are perhaps over a hundred names that were dropped in the SEs credits. I think that is a great disservice to the technicians and artists of the O-OT to not include them in some way. That is why an unaltered OT on DVD is more important now than ever.

    George Lucas was quoted as saying he only got to do 40% of what he wanted in ANH back in 1977 (this is why I don't buy everything he says). And for TPM he said he poured 110% of himself into it, and yet admits he isn't as devoted to these films as before due to a family and age. (His words). Furthermore why I don't buy everything he says.

    I personally would like more 40%-Lucas than 110%-Lucas if that's his definition of quality.
  3. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Yeah, the problem is people define quality in terms of Lucas's vision instead of whether or not it's good. Just because it's the director's vision doesn't mean it's good. I'd rather have a good movie that wasn't the director's "vision" than a bad one that was.
  4. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Personally, I am judging how great these movies are by how great these movies are. It's not that I am blindly loving everything he does regardless of it's quality, it's because I agree with what he is doing.
  5. hoth-nudist Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2000
    star 3
    "Nobody who worked for the flannel one will be forgotten" eh?
    Read your sig again gomer. Sounds mighty selfish to me. Its funny how he seems to 'borrow' ideas and 'incorporate' them into his vision. Lets see um, Dune, Joseph Campbell, E.E. DOc's lensmen series, various EU ideas from other creative personnell. For example, the jedi aayla secura was created by a comics writer for a story in one of the SW comics during or before the production of AOTC. GL liked aayla secura so much that he inserted the character into AOTC. Thats not being creative, thats 'borrowing' from another creator. And GL is really good at that. Nowadays, he's just a rich man that walks around pointing his finger around his companies.
  6. TheAnointedOne Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 2
    I'm sure that everyone's read this, but if you haven't, here's a quote from an Irvin Kershner interview:

    ============================================

    "Why, I thought that if it didn´t go well I was going to be held responsible. I was going to be blamed for ruining the saga. Lucas asked what I wanted to direct it and I said: "I want to do it alone". "Very well ?he said?, you shoot it, I stay here, and we talk on the phone". So George showed up just twice, to take care of bussiness stuff, to England and Norway. He´s a great producer.

    Now, George still calles Empire "your movie". In the Special Edition, just two seconds were added, for marketing purposes, Kershner says."

    ============================================

    Now, the point that I'm making is that obviously, if nothing else, TESB was not 100 percent GL's vision and TPM was. So, the question (that seems to be avoided for some reason) is "Are you happier with TPM than the OT because it was GL's vision?" Is GL's vision the best vision for Star Wars?


    EDIT: If you read the whole article that was posted, you'll see that GL admits that Kershner is a better director than himself. Here's the link:

    http://www.theforce.net/holonet/index.shtml#20166
  7. SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    >>>Its funny how he seems to 'borrow' ideas and 'incorporate' them into his vision.

    Who doesn't?
  8. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Everyone does that, Nerd, but most acknowledge that it is in fact a collaboration of ideas, not simply one man's vision.

    And Go-Mer, if I may ask, is there anything--aside from making Vader's identity clear--that you wouldn't agree with?
  9. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Yeah but at least in the case of SW, it was Lucas' vision that made it so great.
  10. TheAnointedOne Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 2
    Gomer, how can you say that when Lucas himself said that ESB was Kershner's movie and that he was a better director?
  11. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Well let's see, Lucas wrote it, he told Kershner what shots he needed, and Kershner got those shots.

    Kershner himself said there was no mistaking the fact that it was Lucas' movie.
  12. SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    >>>Everyone does that, Nerd, but most acknowledge that it is in fact a collaboration of ideas, not simply one man's vision.

    :confused:

    Who is Lucas not acknowledging? Campbell? Kurosawa? Ben Burtt? Irvin Kershner?
  13. TheAnointedOne Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 2
    "Kershner himself said there was no mistaking the fact that it was Lucas' movie."

    Give me a quote, Gomer. Also, Lucas said that ESB was Kershner's movie. You're not calling Lucas a liar are you? ;)
  14. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    You will have to wait until I get home.
  15. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Who is Lucas not acknowledging? Campbell? Kurosawa? Ben Burtt? Irvin Kershner?

    Anyone whose work he discards for future Special Editions. And just about everyone he has worked with when he uses the auteurist theory of a film being "his vision."

    Yoda's instruction has a Zen undercurrent that Kershner brought. It was Kershner, not Lucas, who cast Billy Dee Williams as Lando. It was Kershner who allowed the improvisation that Lucas had to be convinced to include.
  16. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    In the end, all of that was approved by Lucas.

    He approved Billy Dee, he approaved of the zen approach to Yoda (which I find hard to believe wasn't Lucas' intention from the get go) and he approved of the ad libbing that made it into the final cut.
  17. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Giving it a rubber stamp doesn't automatically make it fall under "his vision," it doesn't make them his ideas. Veto power is not the same as creativity. The basic idea of Star Wars began with Lucas, but it never would have grown to become what it is today with those collaborators, who deserve at least as much credit as he does.
  18. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    ****The basic idea of Star Wars began with Lucas, but it never would have grown to become what it is today with those collaborators, who deserve at least as much credit as he does.****

    To say that collaborators deserve at least as much credit as Lucas for Star Wars is going a bit far. They deserve their due credit, no doubt, but Lucas deserves the highest echelon of credit, not only for conceiving the universe, but fighting the biggest battles financially and creatively to even get the series to completion. That he had a hand in writing all of them and directed four of them puts him at a higher level than, say, Ben Burtt, Gary Kurtz or even Irving Kershner. Those people are all important collaborators, and Lucas has recognized them all. Still, he not only has veto power, but he has conceptual creativity going for him, too. Each Episode was/is his concept, even if the details that are fleshed out in collaboration were not completely his own... it's still his story.

    Lucas deserves all the credit he gets for Star Wars, just as he reaps all of the disdain and criticism heaped on it, too. It's his world and his vision, let's not act otherwise. I don't think he is taking credit for something that is not his. Kershner has more than gotten his due.
  19. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    Giving it a rubber stamp doesn't automatically make it fall under "his vision," it doesn't make them his ideas.

    Exactly! As I said before, hanging another artist's paintings on my wall doesn't mean the painting are my vision.

    And what I meant before was that some people on these BOARDS forget about the huge team that was involved in all the SW movies. In the case of TESB, Lucas gave a lot of creative control in the writing department and handed over his director's reigns. Yet still some persist in saying it is all Lucas' vision. Saying this is a great diservice to the other "visions" from artists who came up with their own ideas for SW. Saying their work is Lucas' vision is like saying a guy signalling a plane in is responsible for the flight too.

    In the end, it is a philosophical question really. What makes a "vision"? Is it the work of one man or a team. I have always credited the team effort of SW and it also explains why things took a turn for the worse when the team players changed.
  20. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    It's funny how Lucas is always held to much higher standards than other filmmakers who will go unnamed here. Lucas gives due appreciation to his collaborators, but it's still not enough. It's more like he's not supposed to give appreciation, he's supposed to say, "SW isn't mine. I didn't do jack. So-and-so did it all for me while I wandered around the set with a dumb look on my face."

    Lucas says Kurosawa is his idol and influenced SW on various interviews and DVD commentaries. That'd be enough if he was any other filmmaker, but it's not enough for the anti-prequel crowd. "He hasn't thanked Kurosawa in any real visible way." What, is he supposed to go around wearing a sandwich sign with "I Thank Kurosawa for Influencing Star Wars" printed on it?

    I guess that's in keeping with the philosophy that if someone praises Lucas and/or the prequels, they are only saying it because they're afraid of losing their job, or "just being nice," but if someone trashes Lucas and/or the prequels, their words are to be immediately taken as gospel.

    Lucas deserves all the credit he gets for Star Wars, just as he reaps all of the disdain and criticism heaped on it, too.

    It's odd how some people think that he deserves none of the credit for what's good about SW and all of the blame for what's bad.
  21. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    I don't hold Lucas to a different standard. I completely reject auteurist thinking, which holds that a film represents the director's "vision" (a pretentious word to begin with) more than anyone else's. They are collaborative. The credit I expect Lucas to give other is to let their work be preserved instead of replacing it every few years because his "vision" is more important than preserving anyone else's contribution.

    Personally, I dislike it when people seem to hold Lucas to a lower standard. "It's his first film in 20 years, of COURSE he's rusty." Kubrick and Malick weren't rusty when they released their first respective films in over a decade. "I can't be expected to manage actors, I'm too busy directing, so I have to cut and paste takes." Nothing wrong with cutting and pasting takes, but other directors are very good at managing actors, even young ones. Look at Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner.
  22. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    I hate the auteur theory too. It cuts out a lot of really important people in the process, the biggest being the director of photography and the screenwriter. The director gets the credit and takes the praise of a collaborative effort where, in many instances, he didn't devise the shot to look that way... the DP did. Some directors are very hands-on with the camera and some write their own scripts. However, the auteur theory credits even the magical mistakes and the veto/approval parts of the process to the director as "vision."

    I never once said that Lucas was rusty or that he didn't work well with actors or anything like that. He has a different style of directing. He likes to put the camera in the corner, away from the actors, and let them live with eachother. Sometimes that style of directing works and other times it doesn't. If he doesn't work well with actors, or if he didn't get the best performance out of an actor in a specific situation (hate the overgeneralizing of the former), then I blame him for it.

    The director's veto/approval powers is what keeps the production going forward... he's gotta have the picture in his head, and when he doesn't, he has to know when he sees it set up that that is what he wants/wanted or will fit with the overall flow of what he DID have in his head/vision.

    However, I think Shelley is right to say that Lucas is held to a higher standard. People love him or hate him, but he draws an opinion, especially from the 40 and under generations. I get tired of people calling Star Wars Lucas's vision, anyway. It's his series. He may have handed certain parts of it over to certain people during the process of making all six films (even novels, comics, games, etc.), but ultimately -- and I think they ALL understood/understand this -- he can do what he wants with the series, in order to bring it to a coherent completion that is satisfying to him, the creator. That's not to say it's ALL Lucas, but just to say that Kershner wasn't under the dubious impression that he was somehow directing a new series or a stand-alone film... he was adding to an already existing idea or, yes, a vision.
  23. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    I think that the various people who worked on the SW movies (everyone from the actors to the DP to the screenwriters to the directors to the costume designers, and so on) do deserve credit for the work they've done. Which they get. That's why they call that list of names at the end of a movie "the credits."
  24. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    If I hang a Picasso on my wall, the picture itself is Picasso's "vision". The way the painting compliments the decor of the room is my "vision".

    Let's say for the sake of argument that Picasso was still alive and I employed him to make a painting in his style, but then I told him what should be in the painting and how it all should be laid out. In that case, the finished painting would be my vision as interpereted by Picasso.

    It's the same with Star Wars, which is Lucas' vision as interpereted by the people he employed.
  25. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Actually, Lucas gives them only vague instruction--not a vision--and then lets them and their immaginations run wild. The details are more the vision of the artsts than they are of Lucas.

    With actors, even Lucas will make this concession. C-3PO, as we know him, is not what Lucas originally intended. His current personality is the result of how Anthony Daniels played him, with little input from Lucas, who wanted to dub the voice but realized that the physical aspects of the character had defined him so well, that it couldn't be changed. So the C-3PO we see is more Daniels' creation than Lucas's.
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