CT Episode V Versus Lucas

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Neon Genesis, Nov 5, 2012.

Moderators: Darth_Nub, MOC Yak Face
  1. Neon Genesis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    One of the claims I've heard critics of Star Wars make is that the only reason The Empire Strikes Back movie was so good was because it was the only Star Wars movie Lucas wasn't heavily involved in. They say it was the other script writers and staff involved that made it such a great movie and that this is somehow proof Lucas is inherently a bad writer. How much truth is there to this claim that the majority of episode V wasn't the product of Lucas and how do you respond to it?
  2. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Lucas was very involved in Episode V, he merely didn't direct it. He wrote the story, approved designs, sets, props, cast, financed and produced the movie. I'd say the movie was so good because George was heavily involved, and not the other way around.
    WIERD_GREEN_MAN likes this.
  3. Jobertus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    I'd say George was heavily involved, but he also had other brilliant minds there to work with him and wasn't being a micro-managing megalomaniac.
  4. WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2010
    star 4
    Lucas is the one with the story. The prequels may have corny moments and bad acting but they are still enjoyable because of the story. While, if there is no story, unless you are into weird experimental film, the best lighting design isn't going to cut it.
    Frank T. likes this.
  5. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    There's a bit more to it than what's been mentioned. One of the reasons ESB stands out is the intense depth of its characterisations - something that was achieved through Kershner's work with the actors, reworking the script, improvising where need be and so on.

    So while the story was still GL's, a great deal of the detail was created on set, and it slowed things down considerably. The producer, Gary Kurtz, was more than happy to let Kershner carry on as he was, while GL had literally everything he owned on the line and just wanted the film finished on time.

    The film did go over budget and over schedule, so when the bank refused to lend him any more money, GL was forced to go, cap in hand, and renegotiate his deal with 20th Century Fox. SW/ANH had granted him independence no filmmaker could possibly have dreamed of before, now he had to go and beg a studio for more money. That would have hurt.

    The film was a huge success, of course, but back in 1979, it wasn't as certain that it would happen as it might today. Sequels had always made less money than their predecessors, and would be made for a fraction of the budget. ESB was made for nearly triple the budget of SW/ANH.

    George Lucas simply wanted to make a satisfactory sequel to Star Wars, not reinvent the wheel, and he was doing it with his own money. It's no wonder he was worried about a director spending so much time improvising and rewriting dialogue, and the producer - the person responsible for keeping the budget under control - letting him do it. We can all comfortably look back on ESB and say "It was worth it", but that's not how it would have looked to GL at the time.
  6. gezvader28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 4
    I'm a heavy critic of the prequels , but am astounded at the way so many (supposedly) well-informed people have tried to re-write hstory and now claim that Lucas was lucky/ that other people made the OT great / that he could never direct or write etc.

    its absolute bull . He directed SW , if that was the only movie he ever directed he'd be one of the greatest filmmakers of all time , but he also directed American Graffiti ! another classic . I recently heard a film critic claim that the only reason AG was good was because Francis Coppola wrote it .... (!!)

    he was heavily involved in Empire . And look at all the filmmakers that have tried to make a movie like SW and failed . It's just not that easy , there's no formula , there are just so many things that can go wrong in a movie .

    I remember in the mid-90's movie critics were talking about Lucas as some sort of God , listing all his achievements etc. but then after the prequels its all been re-arranged . Well Lucas's best work still exists , he was the main force behind it (altho his greatest crime was taking a sledgehammer to his best work , now for that he does deserve all the criticism he gets ) , but back to my point - back in the mid-90's all that over the top praise was just as ridiculous , they seem to have forgotten that he'd already made some stinkers - the ewok movies , Howard the Duck etc.

    No filmmaker has a continuous run , most have a golden period , look at Coppola , the 70's was his golden era , he hasn't really made anything great since .

    Ridley Scott's made plenty of duffers .

    I really feel sorry for Lucas in this regard , his great achevements should be recognised (so stop preventing the OOT on blu-ray George !)
  7. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    What sledgehammer to his best work? What are you talking about? Lucas acted as producer by financing "HOWARD THE DUCK" for a friend. I thought everyone knew this by now.
  8. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I believe he's referring to the SE's & the following tinkering, plus the PT. I wouldn't call it a 'sledgehammer', but all of it certainly took SW & presented it differently to the world - and it wasn't received in quite the same way, to put it mildly. The term 'rape' has been brought up frequently.

    Different warehouse full of huge vats of gigantic flesh-eating worms, though. Not entirely sure what the point of the post was, except that even the most lauded filmmakers of all time (Francis Coppola, Ridley Scott) have made a few blunders along the way, and rarely regain the magic of their best works. Martin Scorsese's about the only one out of the 1970s New Hollywood crew who fell from grace & came back (Lucas & Spielberg were on their way up at the time and, as the myth goes, destroyed New Hollywood - but that's another story, far more complicated than simply blaming Jaws and Star Wars for reducing the film industry to big budget blockbusters).
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Nov 9, 2012
  9. gezvader28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 4
    I'm talking about the SEs . And he was very involved in the production of HTD , credit where its due .
  10. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    As I understand it, being a Lucasfilm Production, GL's own involvement with HTD was somewhat overplayed, but he did give the green light to to the film. I don't really know exactly how much involvement he had with it, but it was directed by Willard Huyck and written by Willard Huyck and Gloia Katz - the writing team who gave the final polishes to American Graffiti and a very successful sci-fi film released in 1977. As I understand it, GL was, at least, a bit of a fan of the HTD comic books.

    Before any clueless GL cultists jump in and call "HATERS!!!", Howard the Duck was an utterly rotten movie. It's not just something that didn't get the great reviews straight away or the box office it was expecting, it's just plain bad. Pizza and six-pack for a giggle on a Friday night, then utter shock and experimentation with heroin at how something like that could be made sort of bad. Random attacks on ducks at the local park sort of bad. Stabbing a dish in a Chinese banquet with chopsticks and demanding a larger weapon sort of b- well, you get the picture.

    Before Jar-Jar, there was Howard. At least Jar-Jar had a schtick - he was a stupid, irritating frog-bunny with cerebral palsy and flatulence.
    Howard, on the other hand, was a duck. He appeared, someone made a duck joke, and that was it. We got it before we went in, IT WAS THE TITLE OF THE MOVIE!!!

    And at the end, he gets to play a guitar. Trey & Matt over at South Park couldn't have come up with a more obnoxious way to wind this turd of a movie down in such a brutal fashion, and I imagine they would recoil in horror at even parodying it.

    Don't touch, don't look. Don't even mention it. Despite his biological limitations, GL did produce a child, one that few remember, and all would rather forget. It was a dud, a dog, a disaster - but above all, it was a duck. A duck, called Howard.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Nov 9, 2012
    TOSCHESTATION likes this.
  11. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    Don't you think you're overdoing it a bit with the "sledgehammer" remark?

    Not a single one of the Special Edition changes altered the storyline or the characters in any meaningful way. The movies all begin and end the same way and follow the same journey in between. As I see it, the changes are essentially cosmetic.
    Last edited by Mnhay27, Nov 9, 2012
  12. MagicSpork Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2004
    star 2
    I liked Howard the Duck...
  13. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    [face_laugh][face_rofl]
  14. Samnz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    He didn't just write the story, he wrote at least one draft of the script after Leigh Brackett's unexpected death (until he discovered Kasdan for the movie).
    Last edited by Samnz, Nov 10, 2012
  15. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Which only corroborates my point.
  16. gezvader28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 4

    not really , it seems appropriate because the changes he made were so dumb at times , just really really boneheaded , I mean c'mon - some of the stuff he pulled in the SEs is truly idiotic , so sledgehammer being a blunt instrument seems right .

    the thing about George Lucas is - he is brilliant , has had so many brilliant ideas , but its almost as if some sort of weird karma demands that he have some equally terrible ones to balance them out !

    I'm not one of those that try and pretend that the good stuff was down to everyone else , that was my point - I'm annoyed at how a lot of critics are doing that lately .
  17. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    I find no problem with the changes to empire strikes back.

    [IMG]

    makes far more sense to see the wrinkly old Ian Mcdarmid emperor, than.......


    Some random person. I know his/her name, but it doesn't matter. I prefer the remastered version better.

    I actually like that George Lucas made changes to ESB and the originals. Victory celebration was far better than Yub Nub, i liked how they added Coruscant (where anakin became vader, got the robot suit reborn and rebuilt into a cyborg samurai, and where he lived with his wife padme), at the ending of Return of the Jedi. I also like the better quality graphics in the remastered originals. Fits more with the prequels, I guess....
  18. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    That's a subjective opinion though and describing something as "dumb" really isn't saying anything anyway. I personally don't see the changes as "dumb", just largely unnecessary. But I guess George felt otherwise.
  19. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    I don't dislike the changes, either..
  20. gezvader28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 4
    what would you consider an objective opinion then ?
  21. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    Well, to me that's something of an oxymoron. Facts are objective, opinions are not.
  22. gezvader28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 4
    so what's the point in teling me my opinion is subjective ?
    it's redundant .
  23. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    I never said I didn't dislike some of the changes.

    I don't like the changes to the Han/Greedo scene. Not because I care who shot first, but because IMHO the CGI looks absolutely terrible; like somebody inserted a few frames from a completely different movie.

    I don't like the added Jabba scene in ANH because, again, I hate the CGI and because to me it looks nothing like Jabba in ROTJ.

    I don't like the switching of Lapti Nek for Jedi Rocks in ROTJ. It's very kiddy, the CGI is dated, and the change was completely unnecessary IMO

    And I prefer Yub Nub to Celebration.
  24. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    LOL fair point.
  25. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    Let's not get into the whole Yub Nub vs victory celebrtaion debate again. Yub nub is a horrible song, let's keep it at that.

    I like Jabba in ANH. It reminds us that we will meet him later on, and that those slug aliens called Hutts live on Tattoine......
Moderators: Darth_Nub, MOC Yak Face