Mod lock: Personal insults aren't appropriate, threads solely to make personal insults even less so. People have wondered for years what’s wrong with George Lucas. His creative failures. His artistic garbage. The terrible, detestable Prequels. Is he simply a greedy businessman? Is it because he works in a creative vaccum (all alone)? Has he become too corporate for his own good? These are theories I have seen from many Star Wars fans. They are also discussed in the wonderful show, “The People VS George Lucas.” Perhaps there is some merit to them. But personally and professionally, I suspect there might be something else going on. Something slightly more fundamental. I see very little difference between Lucas today and Lucas in 1977. He was highly intelligent then, and he’s highly intelligent now. He was highly creative then, and he’s highly creative now. The one and only significant difference today is that none of Lucas’s creative ideas are very interesting anymore. They’re not “cool.” They’re not intriguing. They certainly aren’t magical. The tastefulness and stylishness has gone out of them. They seem very drab and ordinary (boring) by comparison. I am reminded of a line from a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, where the little kid Calvin complains about his parents: “It seems like once people grow up, they have no idea what’s cool.” http://patrifriedman.com/quotes/calvin.html Is it possible for people to become disordered in their sense of “coolness?” To have a non-functioning sense of what’s interesting and what’s not? I think it’s perfectly possible. Don’t we all know someone who doesn’t like interesting things? Who just doesn’t seem to “get it?” Who has interests that nobody else in their right mind would find interesting at all? (For example, people who enjoy reading about Victorian Cycling Literature, but who hate Star Wars? – I actually know someone like this.) Such people may in fact suffer from a lack of stimulation in whatever area(s) of the brain are responsible for their sense of taste and style. They literally cannot recognize what’s cool and what’s not. This is not as outlandish as it may sound. There are many types of common disorders of this sort that affect brain functioning. People with a disorder called Dysrationalia, for example, have a genuine inability to think rationally, despite having adequate intelligence. George Bush is a good example of this: a man with a rather high IQ, but who sounds foolish and stupid whenever he speaks. Psychologist Keith Stanovich has written a very interesting book about George Bush and Dysrationalia, which can be read about here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysrationalia and here: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/excerpts/stanovich_what.pdf And people with Borderline Personality Disorder cannot stop being angry if they hear something they don’t like. I have seen marriages disintegrate because of this disorder. Such people literally cannot calm down. People with Schizoid Personality Disorder lack interest in social relations and tend toward extreme seclusion. And people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder become abusive and mean if they are not the center of attention at all times. Such conditions do not go away by themselves. They often require very precise, specific treatment in order to be corrected. Otherwise, they tend to become chronic, and hang around for the whole of a person’s life. Disorders are like that. Psychologists define a disorder this way: If a mental phenomenon is disrupting your life and causing you stress (and you can’t get it to go away), then it’s a disorder. In the case of George Lucas, his seeming inability to create interesting ideas has massively disrupted his life. It has had an enormous impact on his career as an artist. Many people no longer look to him with respect. Most Star Wars fans wonder what exactly is wrong with him. I believe we may now have the answer. He has literally lost the ability to tell when an idea is interesting or not. What also makes me think that this is a disorder is how PERVASIVE it is. It’s not just one of Lucas’s ideas that’s bad, or even two or three. It’s EVERY LAST ONE. Every single idea that seems to emerge from his head these days is dull and uninteresting. His changes to the Original Trilogy are bad. His Prequels are bad. His Clone Wars series is bad. His forth Indiana Jones movie is bad. Even when he’s not working on Star Wars, his ideas are boring and dull. Such astonishing consistency across time suggests a disorder: an intrinsic, fundamental, systematic difference in the functioning of his internal machine. And it’s not likely to go away. There is no name for such a disorder. There is no classification for it in the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by psychologists identify various mental ailments). But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Psychologists are discovering new disorders all the time. It is VERY possible to be disordered in your sense of “coolness,” just as in any other part of brain functioning. The brain is fantastically complicated machine. Nobody understands it fully. And any machine can malfunction at any time. If George Lucas does indeed have a disordered sense of what is interesting and what is not (and I think the evidence is good), then the question arises: how did he get like this? Here’s what I believe MAY have happened: When I was young, I watched the original Star Wars trilogy a lot. Every week. Practically every day. I watched it so much that by the time I was sixteen years old, I was starting to forget why I found it so fascinating in the first place. The magic was starting to fade. The interest was beginning to wane. And I desperately didn’t want that to happen. I was finding out the hard way that even the most interesting show in the world could become dull and uninvolving, if you watched it enough times. Even interesting ideas become boring with enough repetition. And I wanted to preserve the magic of my childhood from disappearing. So I quit watching Star Wars for many years. I promised myself that I’d only watch it again when I was thirty or forty years old. I figured that was how long it would take me to forget what had been so tightly engrained in my head. And it worked. Fourteen years later, I finally watched Star Wars once more. And I became fascinated all over again, but for different reasons. I saw the show very differently than before. It was like an entirely new movie. But I get the impression that George Lucas has been watching Star Wars for most of his adult life. He created it, after all. He’s probably seen it more times than anyone else alive. He edited it. He wrote it. And I’m guess that he’s probably so used to it by now that nothing about it seems very special to him anymore. No wonder he wants to change it so much. He probably finds it all rather routine. So it needs to be “fixed” and “altered” somehow. This is just speculation on my part. I don’t know this for sure. All I know is what happened to me. I watched Star Wars so many times, I became desensitized to it. And when the most interesting show with the most interesting ideas in the world (I think) starts to seem boring to you, I think it might become very difficult to separate boring ideas from interesting ones anymore. They would all seem to blend together and be sort of the same. That’s what was happening inside my head until I finally stopped watching Star Wars after 16 years. I couldn’t really see what was special about it at all. I believe this is what has happened to George Lucas. Years and years of watching and being associating with Star Wars has finally shut down his sense of why people found it fantastic at all. It has dulled his understanding of its ideas. It has blunted his sense of the fantastic. And he is a much poorer creator as a result of this. For years, I found George Lucas’s bad creativity irritating. Now I just find it sad. A great imagination, reduced to this. A former genius, walking around with a disorder in his head. A malfunctioning human being. As a highly creative person myself, I could not live without my sense of the fantastic. My ability to divide fascinating ideas from dull ideas is absolutely essential to my creative process. I couldn’t go on without it. To be deprived of this amazing (and powerful) ability would be like being deprived of my life. It would be like being condemned to a form of living death. And it would be intensely boring. I am allergic to boring ideas. Intelligence is not enough. Brains are not enough. CREATIVITY ITSELF is not enough. I have to have ideas that I KNOW are interesting, and that other people find interesting. And I need to be able to tell the difference. I would not want to be George Lucas. A man who once had fascinating ideas, but who can’t seem to figure out why he doesn't now. It must be intensely confusing for him. How indescribably sad.