Discussion George Lucas confirms (almost) Big Three return!

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII - Spoilers Allowed' started by Kuestmaster, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Immortiss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2013
    star 4
    Yes, the entire visual has always been a huge part of the SW experience. Undeniable. I always viewed story to be most important. I think the OT demonstrates this incredibly well. The technology was incredible, but didn't have the ability to suffocate the story.

    In some respects the visual became the story in the PT. Look, we can create a CGI character. The first in history. Look, can you see how this can become the next video game? Maybe I'm getting old, but being inundated with all the CG images can be distracting. The acting suffers, the directing suffers, the story suffers, because everything can be *fixed* with the technology. That was my honest impression, anyway.

    I'm not a PT basher, because I still like the themes and the storytelling, it's just not as focused in my opinion.

    And what does it mean if we say the visuals are more important than the story? A lot of splendid images connected to nothing meaningful, related, or affirming for the viewer? This doesn't welcome the viewer to the film. The viewer has no participatory role. They have no imagination. No sense of wonder. I liked the Wampa because I couldn't see him. The director invited me to use my imagination. That's great storytelling...invite the audience into the fantasy.
  2. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    All I was saying is, everything old is new again. Those critical of Star Wars, ESB, and ROTJ said the exact thing. I didn't agree then, or now.
  3. Immortiss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2013
    star 4
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  4. maychild Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2013
    star 1
    Sure it did. At least, it did in the opinions of the people who said the OT was all flash and no substance, and that SW "ruined movies" by making filmmakers care more about technology and FX than about characters and story.

    No more than in the OT. SW always was, and always was intended to be, primarily visual.

    Not mine. And you'd be surprised to learn how many sets and models were used. There were more sets and models used in each PT movie than in the entire OT combined.

    I didn't find the visuals distracting. I see it as there being more to look at with repeated viewings of each movie. Now that I am familiar with the goings-on of each movie, I notice the stuff on the side.

    It tells a bigger and more diffuse story.

    The director did no such thing. The director had no choice but to not show the Wampa much because the Wampa attack would have looked comical if filmed more extensively. And why did we have to see Yoda? His hut on Dagobah? Darth Vader's hyperbaric chamber? Why did we have to see Luke's hand being cut off? Why couldn't they have done that offscreen and let the audience use their imagination as to how he lost his hand? Forgive me for being snide, but I'm just a little weary of anti-CGI sentiment. Also, I must say it irritates me a bit to see people go on and on about what a genius Irvin Kershner was because of shrewd choices that either weren't his to make, or which were made for reasons that have nothing to do with being subtle.

    Example: the way we first see Leia in Luke's medbay room: we see/hear the droids come in, then Han and Chewie, and after a little good-natured ribbing between Han and Luke, the camera swings to show Leia, who we didn't know was in the room until then. I've seen people rave about how that was a shrewd. subtle storytelling choice on Kersh's part. Actually, the reason it's that way is because there was a preceding scene that was cut: Leia comes in to Luke's medbay room first, they talk, Luke says he's never had feelings for a woman that he has for her, and they go to kiss, only to be interrupted by C3PO coming in.
    Last edited by maychild, Jul 22, 2013
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  5. Immortiss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2013
    star 4
    I don't agree with these opinions, because I think the story is fantastic and the effects help to tell that story. "New Hollywood" directors are as much to blame for any such criticism as Lucas and Star Wars. On the other hand, I don't think the opinion is completely unfounded either. There is some truth. I see big budget blockbusters that are terrible, but I also see very good low-budget films being made, too.

    Of course. Film is a visual medium. But Star Wars was *first* and foremost a story.

    I'm aware of the number of sets and models used in the PT. I'm glad that you like to watch all that stuff. I like the themes and the stories. They take precedent in my mind. The stuff may or may not be necessary, depending on your point of view.

    True. Yet, it is also a personal story.

    The director had an absolute choice on if, what, and how we, the audience, would see the Wampa. Just because there was no physical effect to demonstrate the entirety of the Wampa, does not mean the direction of that part of the film ends. This is the biggest problem I have with that argument. He has no decisions and creative presence, because they couldn't create the effect? No, some decisions may be dictated by those considerations, but to say that's the end of the process is false. Other effects were created and perhaps the decision to abandon the notion was because we can invite the audience in...it was simply better. Whichever, the way it was done was great.

    I would leave Yoda, his hut, Vader's chamber and the rest of the list to the director's discretion, but I prefer what I've seen of, say Yoda, as a puppet, rather than a CGI creation.

    I don't know if Kershner's a genius, but I believe one of the best scenes in the film is Chewie picking up Threepio's head and looking at it as a nod to 'Hamlet', the gravediggers and Yorick's skull to be both subtle and ingenious. A fantastic piece of storytelling. And remember Kershner was invited by Lucas to direct TESB precisely because of his ability to further the development of the characters, in other words, to tell a character driven story on film.

    I like CGI. For example, when we see the the X-Wings approach the Death Star. That was a fantastic use of the effects. There are many others as well. However, I admit there are times when I think it has been over used. These are just my opinions and I'm just a fan. Thank you for your thoughts.:)
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  6. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Many of the early SW critics (especially re: ESB) really ended up with egg on their face in retrospect (history has obviously been kind to those movies). They were no different than a lot of critics when ground-breaking, revolutionary stuff came out- critics often don't have the vision to see artistic greatness in something really innovative and different; the tendency is to call anything that isn't great in terms of the status quo "garbage," to find some criticism of it that makes them sound knowledgeable because they are missing the picture.

    I know a lot of people like to get up on their self-righteous high horse and say SW is all visual and non-substantive (people who like to hear themselves talk a little too much, trying a little too hard to sound intelligent and cultured), but that is absolutely a pile of horse manure.

    Yes, SW special effects not only changed special effects, but also changed movies in general. Nonetheless, there is a reason for the iconic, culturally phenomenal status of the characters and stories of SW movies.
  7. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    May 25, 2000
    star 6
  8. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    That was the funniest worst denial of being involved in a film project I've ever watched. [face_laugh]
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  9. maychild Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2013
    star 1
    And I see big budget blockbusters that are good, and low-budget films that are terrible. I certainly see big budget blockbusters that use CGI extensively, to the point where it, in your estimation, "suffocates the story," but are excused for it while the PT is excoriated for it.

    And that includes the PT. It is a story that is told in the visual medium of film, and the visuals help tell the story, or tell the story in some cases, the way the music helps tell the story, or tells the story in some cases.

    I like the themes and the stories too, and they take precedence in my mind as well. The visuals don't distract from them for me, they just add something extra to watch if I am so inclined to do so during a viewing.

    A personal story that is inextricably linked to and woven through the larger and more diffuse story.

    Personally, I don't think it was particularly great, not at the time I first saw it, nor later when I watched it again. The Wampa was just another critter; I didn't "let my imagination take over" with regards to the Wampa because it wasn't important enough to think about. I've seen many people attribute huge significance to scenes in ESB, in particular, by way of putting it up even further on its pedestal. I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but it "felt" like it, for lack of a better term, which is why I was snide. You've made some good points and I appreciate your civil tone.

    I recall Lucas catching flack for not showing the Tusken massacre in AOTC, or the slaughter of the Younglings in ROTS. He "wussed out," according to various people, and further showed that he was trying to turn SW into a little-kiddie series. These people, by the way, were often the same ones who berated Lucas for "showing too much with CGI" and "leaving too little to the imagination."

    I admit that It took me a while to adapt to Yoda being CGI. If I didn't know that Lucas had brought Frank Oz in and told the FX team that they were to listen to everything Frank said, because Frank Oz WAS Yoda, and Frank later sent a letter to the FX team thanking them for doing such a great job, it would have taken me much longer to adapt, or I might not have adapted at all. I do like the mobility that Yoda enjoys because of the CGI, whereas in ESB and ROTJ he's more sedate, as befits the character at that point in the story.

    I think one of the best scenes in AOTC is Boba Fett picking up Jango's helmet and holding it to his forehead, but all I saw was people making fun of it and saying, "How can he hold up the helmet with his dad's head still in it?" Never mind that a shadow placed in the film indicates that Jango's head fell out of the helmet before it landed.

    Another scene that I think is unexpectedly good is done almost entirely with CGI: Anakin on the conveyer belt in the droid factory, avoiding the cutting mechanisms while his hand is inside the whatever-it-is. Then a cutting blade slams down and he pulls his hand out, and finds his lightsaber has been cut in half (you can see the cut-off half flying off to the side when the blade comes down). Many people complained that the scene is inconsistent: "first his hand is stuck, then it isn't stuck anymore." It wasn't his hand that was stuck, it was his lightsaber. Obi Wan had told him not to lose it: "This weapon is your life." That's why he was hanging on to it. It might take a little thought to figure that out, but is that a bad thing?

    Similarly, I've seen people complain about the lack of "psychological depth" in Palpatine or Darth Maul: "Why don't we know their motivation?" Uh...maybe because their motivation isn't that important -- what's important is that they're Sith and they want to take over the galaxy? I'm not sure what "psychological depth" these people wanted to see anyway, but I think it's wise that Lucas didn't go there. He left it to the imagination, in other words, and I personally think it was ill-advised to resurrect Darth Maul for the Clone Wars series. "Less is more" seems to apply when extolling the virtues of ESB, but not when it comes to "really cool characters like Darth Maul" in the PT.

    When filming ANH, Mark Hamill felt that, when Luke approaches the burned wreckage of the Lars homestead and sees the charred skeletons of his aunt and uncle, that he should fall to his knees, sobbing. Lucas disagreed, and instead Luke turns away and then looks back, his jaw set. In the next scene, speaking to Obi Wan: he's more grave and determined than he was before. I think Lucas made the right decision there: the audience doesn't need to see Luke fall to his knees, sobbing, in order to get that this is devastating for him.

    Fast forward a couple decades and change, and Hayden Christensen feels that, in the scene where Anakin confesses to the Tusken slaughter, he should start out emotional, and then get more so as the scene progresses, then break down at the end. Lucas felt that Anakin should be totally unemotional until the end, then break down. The official word is that they "compromised," but it's obvious that Hayden's version won out. I think his version works better. Point being, Lucas does care about what his actors have to say and takes their feedback into account: sometimes he agrees with it and sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes his version works better and sometimes theirs does.

    You're welcome, and thank you for yours. :) I think some of the CGI could have been done better, but many times, I didn't know what was CGI and what was a practical effect. I don't think the acting suffers any more than it did during the filming of the OT, when an actor was emoting toward something that was added in later: for example, Carrie Fisher emoting toward a box with an X on it during the scene where Alderaan is destroyed in ANH. Just because an effect is practical doesn't mean it and the actor occupied the same space at the same time. And as I've said elsewhere, I don't have much sympathy for actors who complain about blue/green-screen. I think they should do what they're being paid very handsomely to do: act. And if they don't have elaborate sets or props, they can use something that five-year-olds use with regularity: their imagination.
    Last edited by maychild, Jul 23, 2013
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  10. Echo-07 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 4
    Yeah, saw that this past weekend. Harrison is clearly having a lot of fun with this as he should. IMO I'd much rather have him happy and cheerful about it rather than wanting to kill Han off. Sure, maybe Han dies, but for Ford to be upbeat about reprising the role for even one Episode is just bonus for all us fans.
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  11. Frank_TJ_Mackey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2000
    star 3
    Harrison Ford is making me hopeful about a new Star Wars movie and that's something I never thought I would write/say.

    The story must really be good for him to be that "openly"enthusiastic about the whole situation.

    Or the money really good......
  12. jaqen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2004
    star 3
    You mean the same prequel trilogy that featured every single possible original trilogy character that George could think of to squeeze in and wink to the first set of films? Unless you really believe the PT really needed to feature a Jabba cameo, Chewbacca, and an expanded role for Boba Fett and sons? You are seriously complaining about the three biggest Star Wars characters of all time being featured in a sequel to THEIR last film, while heralding the PT as an example of how not to fall into nostalgia?

    So you've been told what the new story is to know for a fact that all three aren't necessary?
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  13. TtheForceHurts Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2010
    star 3
    In preparation for CEII I have just watched all 6 movies on BluRay over two days with my best friends. We were all born in the late 70's... Sure the OT still echoes with Nostalgia and, like others, I do like the PT for the themes and the politics (especially after reading Darth Plagueis), but I truly HATE the humor and a lot of the dialogue in the PT. We all had to cringe not only because of the gungans, but even more because of the ridiculousness of C-3PO... Another thing that was noticeable on BluRay on a big screen was, how artificial all the CG backgrounds looked, most of the matte-paintings of the OT looked way more natural. Same can be said about the creatures (though the added SE creatures of the OT look just as bad).

    But: We all have our hopes up that Arndt and JJ will give us a great script and and an awesome movie...
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  14. TigerCraneFist Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 4
    One of the reasons why some of the effects in the PT have aged badly is the fact that both AOTC and ROTS were shot on experimental, early generation digital HD-cameras.
    I hardly ever hear this as a reason why the effects look bad, even though I'd say it's the biggest one (look at the first prequel - shot on 35mm, it has aged the best in terms of look). That's why people can't tell the difference between models and CGI in those movies - everything looks like plastic, including the actors.
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  15. Big Bad Yoda Daddy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2000
    star 4

    The gungans don't bother me, and overall, I don't feel the dialogue in the PT was any worse than the dialogue in the OT.

    That said, I'm 100% with you on the point of C-3P0. I actually really like AotC, but if I could delete Threepio, or at least the line "Oh, this is such a drag," I would be so much happier.
  16. JediKnightOB1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2003
    star 5
    He made us hopeful with regards to that awful piece of bantha turd called... The Kingdom of the Crystal Meth. I am hoping that this little nugget will not stink like his last effort... I've got a bad feeling about this... [face_sick]
    However, As long as there is money to be made, he'll be there.
  17. Big Bad Yoda Daddy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2000
    star 4
    Crystal Skull was great fun. I thought it was a great addition to the Indy series (certainly better than Temple,) and while not as good as Crusade, it was certainly on par with Raider. If Episode VII does as good a job of becoming part of the saga as Skull did with Indy, I'll be a happy camper.
  18. JainaSoloYJK Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    Lucas said himself it was going to be based on a 50's B-movie. It wasn't supposed to make sense, just be fun! :cool:
  19. maychild Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2013
    star 1
    Right. One reviewer said that the movie's principal players -- Spielberg, Ford and Lucas -- seemed to regard the movie as equivalent of putting on a comfortable pair of slippers. Said reviewer was being derogatory, but I wondered if "putting on a comfortable pair of slippers" was really such a bad thing, especially considering that Indy's portrayer was 65. A very fit 65, to be sure, but still 65. I don't think the movie was as good as "Raiders," but then the other two sequels weren't either. It struck me as being a coda to the series, one in which Indy settles down and semi-retires, but isn't quite willing to pass the torch, or fedora in his case, as evidenced by how he reclaims it from Mutt at the end. I enjoyed it, and the two audiences I watched it with in the theaters seemed to as well.

    Maybe that's what Episode VII will be for the Big Three: a coda to their participation in the SW saga. I certainly hope it treats the characters better than the EU has.
  20. Frank_TJ_Mackey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2000
    star 3
    I disagree.....Ford rarely made negative comments about Indiana before Indy 4.

    He was always excited to talk about the character.

    But between ROTJ and 2012, he had a field day in interviews bashing Han Solo.

    So what's interesting here is why he changed is mind.

    I guess it's money, but I'm a positive fella.....so I tend to think that's also because he's genuinely excited....
    Last edited by Frank_TJ_Mackey, Jul 24, 2013
  21. JediKnightOB1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2003
    star 5
    For a reported $10 Million, I would be excited too.
  22. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5
    This conversation has taken on a rather cynical, only-in-it-for-the-money kind of tone. Almost as if we were talking about Han Solo, here!

    Oh, wait.....:p
  23. Frank_TJ_Mackey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2000
    star 3
    who knows, that's in no way gospel at the moment.

    Maybe it's the money, maybe it's JJ, the story, the nostalgia......
  24. JediKnightOB1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2003
    star 5
  25. maychild Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2013
    star 1
    Ford may not be the flop- and critic-proof, $20-mil-per-movie, King of the Box Office he once was, but I somehow doubt he's hurting for money. Maybe playing Indy again made him a bit sentimental for his other Lucas-created role, the one that (no matter how much he tried to deny/ignore it for so many years) put him on the map. And he's shown he's willing to downshift back into supporting roles, or at least, roles that aren't THE lead.