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. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Actually Kershner designed the storyboards for ESB himself, and was active in script meetings, and in meetings with the art department. He wasn't just shooting shots that Lucas designed, he was shooting shots he had planned, with some improvisation to boot. The scripts for ESB and ROTJ were not purely Kasdan writing down Lucas's ideas. Lucas, Kasdan, and the respective directors all brought their ideas to the table. It was Kasdan, for example, who said that Leia and Lando should both arrive at Jabba's Palace in disguise, and that Leia should strangle Jabba. Lucas's only contribution there was modeling the scene after The Godfather. For story meetings, everyone was an equal player.
  2. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    The point is they are striving towards Lucas' vision. In the end, Lucas could have decided to stick with his original idea to use a used car salesman voiceover on 3-PO and Mark was depressed because while trying to live up to Lucas' vision, they weren't quite reaching it.

    Actually the point is, Lucas' vision was NOT delivered in these two instances for the reason's I stated. Lucas had to accept Daniel's vision of 3P0. When we watch 3P0, we see more of Daniel's vision than Lucas. Lucas was depressed (not Hamill) because his vision was being conveyed in the Trash Compacter scene. Hence, what we see in Star Wars is not always Lucas' vision.
  3. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Not only do we not always see 100% Lucas's vision, but dare I suggest that (heresy), sometimes it's better that way? Lucas has said that the prequels are closer to his "vision" in large part because of the abilities of digital technology.

    The problem is that with nothing to stop him from putting what he wants on screen, Lucas never has to reflect on what he wants and ask if it is really what is best for the movie. I think, in some instances, the lack of technology on the originals made them better movies, simply because everyone involved had to be more analytical. For example, in Return of the Jedi, Coruscant (though that wasn't its name at the time) was to be the location of the duel between Luke and Vader. However, they didn't have the technology to create it, so the action was moved to the Death Star. I think that's much more economical, and makes more sense than a rebel going into the Empire's backyard.

    Another example. Lucas claims he always wanted Greedo to fire first. I personally don't believe that, but let's just say for argument's sake that it's true. That means Greedo shooting first is his vision, whereas Han shooting first was not. Yet most people agree it's better without Greedo shooting first. So the lack of technology to make the scene his vision ended up making it a better scene.

    In the C-3PO example, Lucas could easily have simply dubbed over Daniels' voice, but he realized he would then have an incongruous character. The body wouldn't match the voice. He understood that despite it not being his vision, Daniels' interpretation of the character worked better alongside the mannerisms than what Lucas had originally wanted.
  4. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    Yes, you are right. Lucas definately has a lot more control over the prequels. With the technology, it is as though he has a magic wand at his finger tips and can bring to life anything in his imagination. If he didn't have this great tool, characters like the Gungans, for instance, would not exist. He would have had to have found another alternative and awful scenes like the Gungan/Droid battle would not have been shot.

    Lucas can also think a lot bigger now. In ANH and TESB, we had one to two major action scenes running parallel. Now we are exausted with a four way battle in TPM so that eah individual battle loses resonance and gets lost in an array of images. Take the lightsaber duel which is chopped to bits! In TESB, we had Luke fight Vader with the occasional time out to see what Leia was up to and then right back to Luke again. In TPM, we have to wait for a huge cycle of personal battles to finish to see where we left off with one in particular. The scenes are often shorter and lack dynamic too.

    If I had to add a percentage of Lucas involvement in the SW films it would be: ANH - 75%; TESB - 45%; ROTJ - 85%; TPM - 95%; AOTC - 95%. It is also the reverse order of which films I like from 45% - 95%.
  5. Leto II Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2000
    star 6
    If he didn't have this great tool, characters like the Gungans, for instance, would not exist. He would have had to have found another alternative and awful scenes like the Gungan/Droid battle would not have been shot.
    We don't necessarily know this with any reasonable certitude, here, and he certainly would have had to rely upon rubber suits and animatronic robots. If we know anything about Lucas, it's that he would've found a way to shoot it.

    In TPM, we have to wait for a huge cycle of personal battles to finish to see where we left off with one in particular. The scenes are often shorter and lack dynamic too.
    Again, there's no hard-and-fast universal standard which states that this is necessarily wrong. It was cinematically distinct from the previous three films, insofar that we had a greater amount of intercutting between the stories going on, but had to be tried, in the end. And it's a technique that's worked for both Coppola and Lean, so it's certainly not without pedigree. Not to mention having been used on a smaller level in Return of the Jedi. With this expansion of his technique, he enhanced the scope and magnitude of the narrative; it was probably due to the specific needs of the Episode II narrative that a more linear, point-to-point storytelling style was utilized at the film's conclusion.
  6. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    ****If I had to add a percentage of Lucas involvement in the SW films it would be: ANH - 75%; TESB - 45%; ROTJ - 85%; TPM - 95%; AOTC - 95%. It is also the reverse order of which films I like from 45% - 95%.****

    Where are you getting 75% for ANH? Are you referring to the Hyuck's last-minute rewrites? C'mon! ANH was like a freakin' independant film.

    I will say this, I agree with whoever said that Lucas has had a more apparent visionary approach to the PT, while OT seemed more collaborative. I would still say that ANH was as much Lucas's vision as TPM and AOTC. That said, I like the PT a lot and I fail to see that because I do, that means I love Lucas's unhindered vision. The reason I say this is, the person who begged this questioned assumed that is you like the OT, but not the PT, then you must not like Lucas's vision or think it successful. If you like the PT, then you must think Lucas's vision is the best thing for Star Wars. And if you like both, then you have to try and make his vision fit all instances of creativity, even when it was not his.

    I'd like to offer a fourth alternative: those who like the PT and the OT who don't care if it was Lucas's vision or Josef Stalin's vision, so long as the movies are good. Of course, the general assumption is that if you think the PT has been made up of two quality movies thus far, you don't know good movies (which I find insulting). But hey, I'm used to that. Argue all day about there not being enough mystery or about wooden acting or too much CGI. Those who like the films and found things to be rewarding about the directing, writing and on-screen story are entitled to their opinions, and they ARE valid.

    Lucas be damned... if the movies are good, the vision is the story of the Skywalkers. Trust me, this is coming from Lucas's biggest fan, as a directorial genius (no need to argue that point... I'm not interested in hearing anyone's opinion... that happens to be mine).
  7. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    It's all the same approach. Lucas' vision steering the other artists he employs. It's just now there are different people helping him.
  8. SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    >>>If I had to add a percentage of Lucas involvement in the SW films it would be: ANH - 75%; TESB - 45%; ROTJ - 85%; TPM - 95%; AOTC - 95%. It is also the reverse order of which films I like from 45% - 95%.

    [face_shocked]
    Oooh! Statistics! Must be true!!

    [face_plain]

    I'm curious how you figured that ROTJ was nearly double the amount of Lucas' "vision" than ESB, and even more so than ANH, considering how much was chopped and changed for the sake of finishing the saga in one film and getting a life again, and that he directed ANH.

    (Twin sister my ass...)
  9. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    In ROTJ, Lucas watched over the film and director Marquand very closely unlike TESB where he left the film to be made by Kershner and Kurtz. Lucas even directed a few scenes. Also, Kurtz and Marcia Lucas were no longer involved.
  10. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    That's fine, Hawk. Lucas may have co-written ROTJ, directed a few scenes, produced and watched over Marquand. But, he wrote and directed the whole freakin' thing of ANH. So how did you get your 75% for ANH and 85% for ROTJ?
  11. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    It's more to do with Lucas' comments. He has always said that ANH was the one he was least happiest with as it did not fit his vision. Also, don't kid yourself, Lucas had a lot of help bringing the first baby to thew screen and had to limit himself immensely due to budget and time constraints. 75% is still pretty high in the face of all of this.
  12. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    I don't kid myself... I think he had a lot of help on all of them. But, I'd say he had a lot more help on ROTJ than ANH. Plus, every quote I've ever read about ANH not being his original vision had to do with the restraints of money and technology, not story. He seemed satisfied with the SE... more than satisfied, which to me shows that when he updated his technology for the film, he was happy and called it his "original vision for the film."
  13. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    Ah, but I was talking about the original not the crappy update that I am sure is more Lucas' vision. It fits with TheAnointedOne's premise that more of Lucas' vision = poorer quality SW films.

    EDIT: Also what makes you think he had more help with ROTJ? ANH and TESB and Raiders made him tonnes of cash. He now had the money to sit back and do what he wanted and he cut ties with Kurtz and his wife who influenced his vision. Did you know it was Marcia Lucas' idea to kill of Kenobi in Star Wars to give the film a dramatic edge? The first two films were filled with these kinds of changes and team effort. Ever since ROTJ, Lucas has had more control and the films have gotten worse.
  14. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    ****Ah, but I was talking about the original not the crappy update that I am sure is more Lucas' vision. It fits with TheAnointedOne's premise that more of Lucas' vision = poorer quality SW films.****

    Ah, but I was talking about the original version too. If you want to look at what the SE added, though, it was two little scenes that added nothing to the story, the changing of who shot first (which changed things a little) and improved special effects. So, if that is what Lucas's vision is all about, then are you saying that the original ANH was 75% Lucas's vision, but the SE of ANH was, say, 85%? That's almost stupid, pardon my saying so.

    I think it comes down to the fact that you didn't like TPM or AOTC. You feel disgruntled about your childhood being stolen or about the commitment that filmmkaers owe to their audience or whatever crap, and so now you want to distance Lucas from the very story that was his blood -- the original "Star Wars." Sorry, but Marcia Lucas's addition to ANH would not be unlike Carrie Fisher's additions to TPM. The only difference is, you didn't like TPM, so let's put that all on Lucas. Had you liked AOTC, I guarantee you would have credited it's greatness to Jonathan Hales. That's just how you people are. I'm done with this... it's not worth the headache, and after three years, it's boring.
  15. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    i bet he ^ wont really leave :p
  16. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    I think it comes down to the fact that you didn't like TPM or AOTC. You feel disgruntled about your childhood being stolen or about the commitment that filmmkaers owe to their audience or whatever crap, and so now you want to distance Lucas from the very story that was his blood -- the original "Star Wars." Sorry, but Marcia Lucas's addition to ANH would not be unlike Carrie Fisher's additions to TPM. The only difference is, you didn't like TPM, so let's put that all on Lucas. Had you liked AOTC, I guarantee you would have credited it's greatness to Jonathan Hales. That's just how you people are. I'm done with this... it's not worth the headache, and after three years, it's boring.

    And once again a member resorts to making assumptions and discussing the fans and NOT the film. This isn't personal. I am just offering my opinion. No need to get so carried away.
  17. TheAnointedOne Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 2
    Can't we all just get along? :D
  18. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    Here is a quote from Go-Mer (from another thread) that spells out what I was saying:

    Lucas then took his TPM script to none other than Lawrence Kasdan, the man who helped Lucas polish up ESB and ROTJ. He told Lucas not to change a thing. In a public statement, he went on to say that he felt these prequels should be Lucas' unfiltered vision.

    In other words, if Kasdan changed TPM script, Lucas' "vision" would be filtered. In other words again, "not entirely his vision" - filtered meaning "changing/removing parts". So, what do we say about the OT, that had other people working on all the scripts? This would be filtered even more so. Hence, his vision was "filtered" in the OT.
  19. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Yes, Lawrence said he always felt that his polishing work had dilluted Lucas' vision to a degree.

    Still, it was Lucas vision he was polishing.

    Imagine the script as a pair of shoes.

    Lucas made them, then handed it over to Kasdan who buffed them with some shoe polish.

    It's not like that made them a whole new kind of shoe. It just shined them up a little nicer.
  20. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    which makes TPM about as exciting as an old dull pair of shoes.
  21. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    To people who don't dig on shoes, sure.

    Why some people who don't dig on shoes would expect to is something I will never understand.
  22. Son_Of_Kurtzman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 2
    ****which makes TPM about as exciting as an old dull pair of shoes.****

    Good one. I don't agree with you, but Go-Mer set himself up good for that one.
  23. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    haha thanks, i couldnt resist :p
  24. JohnWilliams00 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 4
    Yes, Lawrence said he always felt that his polishing work had dilluted Lucas' vision to a degree.

    ppor

    Also, he did not "polish" ESB. Much of it came from his own brain. To Lucas' credit, he may have came up with much of the basic plot (and it's a good one), but to say that Kasdan who took the time and effort to write 120 pages as a simple "polish" is insulting.

    Much of the dialogue in ESB does not resemble Lucas anyways (thank goodness).
  25. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    Good point.

    Also, what is the difference between "filtered" vision and "unfiltered" vision? Isn't this just another way of saying "more Lucas' vision" and "less Lucas vision"? I prefer the latter as this is what gave us the first two great SW films!
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