CT George Lucas' disappointment in OT special effects: warranted or not?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Darth Eddie, Dec 3, 2013.

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  1. JediKnightOB1 Force Ghost

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    Jan 26, 2003
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    Considering the technology that was available before his movies were made he is / was light years ahead of anyone. I wish he would see just how cool it is and stop tinkering with stuff. The only thing I would want to change is George Lucas mind.

    You did an amazing job Mr. Lucas.
    Sith-Mullet likes this.
  2. Samuel Vimes Force Ghost

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    Many artists and creative people have said that are thrives on limitations because it forces the artist to be creative. To really think about what they are making and look for alternatives if the first idea isn't practical.

    To make another example, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Initially the idea was that the knights were supposed to ride real horses. But since they couldn't afford that, they had to be creative and came up with the coconuts instead. So they saved money and created a funny gag at the same time.
    The Co-director, Terry G, said that if they had gotten an unlimited budget, they would have made a mediocre epic. But due to the limitations, they were forced to be creative and the end result was better.

    Limitations forces the writer/director to really look at the demanding scenes, are they really needed? Can this be done in any other way? And sometimes you might find an alternative that is better than the first choice. But you might never have thought about this other choice if you could have anything you wanted.

    However there are most certainly benefits to modern effects and what it enables creative people to do. CGI can and have been used to great effect but it has also been overused in some films.

    In regards to the thread subject.
    To a certain extent I can understand Lucas feelings and frustration. But I think he should also try to see how the film has been received by others and see the work he and others did was actually very good, great even.
    Spielberg said that he used to feel bothered by some things in his older films and wanted to tweak them. But he has now been able to let that go and let the films stand as they are, as a testament of their time and the person he used to be when he made them.
    Star Wars (1977) was made in the late 70's and no amount of updated effects is going to change that. There are things other than the effects that date that film. Hairstyles, pacing and other things.
    Trying to make it look like it was made last year is not only futile but also a disservice to film history.

    And that is the one thing that slightly bother me about this. Some argue that the effects looked old and had to be updated. But once you start with that, where does it end?
    If old films should be "updated" then colorizing black and white films is perfectly ok, they need to look new right? All effects from "old" films should be redone and made "better".
    And this is something that you need to do almost constantly as the effects gets better and better.
    So you will never stop altering the films.

    In closing, films that have nothing to offer except great effects might be popular for a while but will eventually fade. What makes a film last is story and character. And a great film can survive some dodgy effect but great effects won't save a poor one.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
  3. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    I've long thought that the OT's, and particularly the original film's greatness, was in part attributable to its limitations. The starved, minimal atmosphere and the intimacy of the interactions are as much a result of necessity as intention. With unlimited special effects it would've been a very different looking and feeling experience.
  4. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 10
    To be fair, Spielberg only recanted his decision because so many people complained and he caved. He's not used to the kind of bile that Lucas has had to deal with for sixteen years.

    No, Lucas said that because the Vader suit was so awkward and difficult to move around in, that he had to go with what was possible. He couldn't have Vader do the kinds of things that Luke could do. So he said that for the OT, he had to acknowledge the limitations of the actors with that of the characters. It is different in the PT because they're not limited by the same set of issues. But if Lucas was really bothered, he would have had Hayden and Ewan's stunt doubles redo the ANH duels back in 03. He might have considered it, but opted against it.

    It worked in terms of suspense. That's quite different from making Mos Eisley look like it was supposed to and have it blend in with Mos Espa.

    He knows that they're good films. He just wanted them to look better than they are.

    Black and white colorization was an issue because the directors, producers and studios had no say in them. If they had, then it wouldn't be an issue. In terms of more modern movies, some could stand a bit of a tweak here and there. The stuff that Lucas changed wasn't done to make it look like 1997 or 2004 effects. It was about taking advantage of what he couldn't do before, that can be done now because he had ILM push themselves to get to where they are today. And in turn affected the entire effects industry. He didn't replace all model shots with CGI ones. He upgraded certain ones, but others remain the same. The Millennium Falcon still moves slowly in ANH and not once has he changed that. He didn't add shots of the Falcon doing some of the stuff that was done in TESB and ROTJ, when it was chased by the Star Destroyers in orbit around Tatooine. The AT-AT's, the AT-ST's and the Taun Tauns still have the stop motion movements. These are things he's still content with. He had sixteen years to make those changes and didn't.
  5. Mr. K Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    He and GL shared quite a bit of bile tasting after Temple of Doom. Then there's the 1941 debacle. But, yes, clearly Spielberg is very much part of the Hollywood 'let me please you' mentality. GL never went that path. People accuse him of Hollywood elitism, but he's far removed from those circles. Spielberg does seem quite a bit more affected by audience dissatisfaction.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  6. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    You have NO idea how much I'd love to see certain B&W epics (Captain Blood comes to mind) in glorious color!
    Having seen "Tarzan the Ape Man" and "Sergent York" in color during the time when Turner was doing that, it just made me want it more.I'm very sad that one can't get those colorations on DVD :_|

    Having them in B&W does not make them bad movies, but having them in color does make them better movies!

    Having less tech & CGI in Star Wars doesn't make them bad movies, but having more does make them wildly better movies!
    Andy Wylde and Count Yubnub like this.
  7. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

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  8. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    Jarren, I say this with all due respect because I enjoy your posts, but words cannot explain how strongly I disagree with that last statement.
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  9. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Jan 3, 2013
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    ...and he shall appear.
  10. Samuel Vimes Force Ghost

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    The Black and White colorization issue was more than just about artists rights, Film history and cultural legacy also mattered.
    Also my comment wasn't really about what Lucas did but the logic that some here seemed to argue, that the effects looked old so they should be replaced.
    So IF the goal is that the films should look brand new, with up to date effects, then all effects should be changed and this should be done over and over again.
    And IF the goal is that old films should look new then old B/W films should be colorized as well. Regardless what the creators of those films want.

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor
  11. Samuel Vimes Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    I agree with you fully. I would not want to see Dr Strangelove in color, or Frankenstein, or Chaplins films, the list can be made very long.
    More CGI doesn't make a film better or worse by itself. As with most things, it is how WELL the effect is used.
    A film with less than 100 effects can be better than one with 10 000, if those effects are better made and serve the story better.
    What makes a film timless are story and characters, not effects.
    As I've said, a great film can survive dodgy effects but great effects won't save a poor one.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  12. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    It depends on the type of film.
    A comedy or character drama doesn't need CGI or coloration. (Examples: Chaplain films don't need coloration, The Godfather doesn't need CGI)
    But a high end action or epic films can be greatly improved with it. (Examples: Captain Blood would be great with coloration, Star Wars is greatly improved with more CGI)

    It all depends on the films.
  13. Heero_Yuy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    0/10. Stop trying so hard.
  14. Darkslayer Force Ghost

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    He's right though

    [IMG]
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  15. Heero_Yuy Chosen One

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    [IMG]
  16. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    I think there are two separate issues here.

    One, the tinkering issue. Really, it's just a matter of taste.

    Two, the notion that as technology advances, movies will become better. That's the one I strongly disagree with. Imagine if TESB had been made last year. Imagine what the Yoda / Luke, Dagobah training scenes would've been like. Yoda would've probably have been bouncing around all over the place demonstrating lightsabre techniques and there would've been every kind of creature known to the SW universe popping in and out of the swamp making it 'more exciting'. Imagine Vader in the cave! In short, the intense, murky, intimacy of that passage would've been completely lost in an ocean of effects, just because those effects were available.
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  17. Zinnzade Jedi Master

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    Dec 6, 2013
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    I agree with the general idea of not adding things, just because you can. At the same time, there is a Dagobah scene that was made for ROTS in the special features, and I don't remember them adding a bunch of random creatures popping up, etc..

    Technology doesn't automatically make movies better, but it certainly raises expectations of the audience. As an analogy, I'm sure some people are nostalgic about Superman 2, but Man of Steel couldn't have come out with 1980s special effects and expect audiences to feel like they got their money's worth, after they had just seen Avengers.

    Probably when TESB first came out, the older crowd at that time felt there WAS too much jumping around, and the younger people thought it was cool, hehe :p .. Lack of technology doesn't automatically make movies better either. I think it's usually good when directors try to push things forward and innovate.. else film would never advance.
  18. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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  19. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Yes, but it was about Ted Turner doing it because he had the rights issues to release the films, but not the right to change it at will. Lucas having ownership over his films is a different matter, since he has the right to change his own films and not 20th Century FOX.

    Except that the argument made by Lucas and the others was more of creator rights than ownership rights from someone not involved in the production.
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  20. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
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    Nobody's "trying" anything. Stop trolling. It just makes this place a nasty environment. Get a grip!

    That would have been AWESOME. Also, it would explain how Luke is suddenly able to hold his own in a Lightsaber battle against Vader.
    Andy Wylde and Sith-Mullet like this.
  21. Blur Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
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    Not to get too off-topic here, but I have to respectfully disagree with those who want to see b&w films colorized. The instances when I've seen colorized films (It's a Wonderful life is one example), the effect was execrable. As a big fan of older b&w films, part of the charm & ambience of these films are that they are in b&w. Seeing an old, classic film like The Third Man in color would, IMHO, be the filmic equivalent of blasphemy.

    Though color definitely has it's place in films (I can't imagine seeing any of the SW films, the LOTR films, etc. in anything but color), b&w has it's place as well. One of my favorite Coen Bros. films is The Man who wasn't there (2001); this film was an homage to those old noir movies and as such was filmed in b&w - and, IMHO it looked fantastic.
  22. Heero_Yuy Chosen One

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    Nov 28, 2000
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    To be honest, no one here is SERIOUSLY saying they want films colorized. I mean, unless we have ten year olds posting here. Even then, such views shouldn't be taken with any sense of seriousness or validity.
  23. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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    The thought of Bride of Frankenstein being colorized makes me cry. Literally, my eye began watering. Possibly from the onset of an aneurysm, but the point still stands...
  24. Heero_Yuy Chosen One

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    The simple fact is that colorization never looks good. Black and white films were filmed and lit a certain way and adding color to them retroactively really robs them of much of the tone and mood that was intended by the filmmakers.

    Much like how adding CG to a film made in the 70s will never make the movie look modern. It'll only serve to date the film more.
  25. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    But Lucas wasn't changing his stuff to look modern. He was changing stuff that he just didn't like how it came out, or because he couldn't do what he wanted to do because of time and in some cases, limitations. Only a few were done for modern purposes and that's even less that than it is to sync up to the PT.
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