GL had no defined vision in SW: he just created it as the movies passed

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by -Emperor_Palpatine-, Mar 14, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. -Emperor_Palpatine- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    In ANH we had vader killing lukes father. Then in TESB GL changes his mind and makes vader luke´s father. Then in ROTJ GL changes his mind, packing ep6-9 in ep6. In all this where was the profecy, which is (recently it seems) the crucial factor in the saga as a whole???

    Has the PT story being totally created since GL decided to make the PT?? It seems so to me
  2. Zaphod Beeblebrox Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 1999
    star 4
    I say he has a defined vision, and makes things up as he goes along within this vision.
  3. Jack-D-Ripper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2002
    star 2
    To understand Lucas's "plan" for Star Wars, you need to consider how screenplays come into being. Lucas would have written a very broad series of storylines for his space epic, picking and choosing concepts and characters to expand on. Lucas had in mind a gigantic space epic, and it soon became clear to him that he could not make it in one film: it was too big and complex. So, armed with the knowledge of what would likely be filmable, he created Star Wars Episode IV as we know it, with the concept that it would be as if the audience had come in during the middle of a serial. That's why Episode IV works so well as a perfect standalone. For Lucas to make Episode IV work, though, he would have written notes on the characters and the plot to help him keep it all consistant, and to help it all make sense. Any author will make reams of notes to help him write a book, a reference library of information to make the story as realistic and true to itself as possible.

    After Episode IV was such a giant success, sequels immediately made sense, and Lucas would firstly have drawn on his existing notes for ideas, and then created new ones to help flesh out the story of The Empire Strikes Back. And that is how these things develop. The storyline for the prequels was definitely in mind right from the start, but would have existed only as part of the notes Lucas would have been writing since he first began to think about his space epic. Lucas probably continued to write story treatments and come up with ideas throughout the 1980's and 90's, so by the time he came to write Episode I, he would have had a lot of material to draw on.

    Some people have this idea that Lucas wrote all the screenplays at once and simply filed them away for all these years until he decided to make them. That is not the case. The Prequels are most likely constructed from many different story treatments, as was the OT.

    -JDR.
  4. Grizham1 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2001
    star 2
    He started out with a vision, but it probably changed over time, the arguments between the former producer of the first two star wars films and lucas over the storyline attest to this. As for this whole idea of Lucas having starwars mapped out from the get green, that's probably not true.
  5. Darth_Banal Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 6
    I was watching the AOTC DVD deleted scenes with intro's a week or so ago, and I was disappointed with what GL said when prefacing the Dooku/Padme scene.

    I don't have it word for word, but GL said he hadn't shown what happened to Obi-Wan for a while, so he decided to change the scene from Dooku trying to persuade Padme/Naboo to enter the CIS to Dooku trying to persuade Obi-Wan to join the Sith.

    I was disappointed because I thought that scene with Obi-Wan wonderfully mirrored the Vader/Luke scene in ESB, and gave us some more insight into the ways of the Sith, always seeking a poweful ally. But as it turns out, it was more a consideration of screen time than a consideration of the story. :(
  6. Jack-D-Ripper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2002
    star 2
    I was disappointed because I thought that scene with Obi-Wan wonderfully mirrored the Vader/Luke scene in ESB, and gave us some more insight into the ways of the Sith, always seeking a poweful ally. But as it turns out, it was more a consideration of screen time than a consideration of the story.

    I think you misunderstand. It WAS a story consideration. They couldn't have had both scenes in the film: the one scene replaced the other. Most of EP II's DELETED scenes should really be called ALTERNATIVE scenes because most of them were replaced by other scenes, and weren't just cut like TPM's deleted scenes were.

    -JDR.
  7. Pfft Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2003
    star 1
    Jack-D-Ripper,

    GL did not outline SW until after ANH. ANH was original just Star Wars; which was later changed to EpIV: A New Hope.

    Before shooting ESB, GL worked out general plot points: creation of a clone army etc. It is not until the film shoots that GL pans out the points into a story: the assasination of Amidala, the Kamino plot, etc.

    Most of EP II's DELETED scenes should really be called ALTERNATIVE scenes because most of them were replaced by other scenes, and weren't just cut like TPM's deleted scenes were.

    This is totally false. They were cut because GL has no idea about story and characterisation. It was quite plausible to have both the Dooku/Obi and Dooku/Padme scene in AotC. However, GL's love of CGI meant that important scenes, like the Naberrie family scenes, were cut.
  8. YouAgain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    star 5
    I think george has allways had the basic outline of the Saga and has just fleshed it out a bit along the way.....
  9. Pfft Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2003
    star 1
    No. It was only after the success of ANH that the SW saga was fleshed out from beginning to end.
  10. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    Meh.

    I have a '97 doco on VHS where Lucas has lunch with Francis Ford Coppola and they discuss the development of Star Wars from initial idea to its final structure. I'm surprised more people don't know about it.

    It began with an idea for a single movie.

    Lucas then realised that it was too big for a single movie, so he cut it, creating a separate movie from each act of the original movie.

    And to put it in perspective, he wrote a dozen or so pages of backstory, explaining what happened before ANH, and where everyone came from - which he is now using as the basis for the prequels.

    Despite what some people think, Lucas had everything, including the whole Skywalker family tree, worked out well before ANH was finished. Coppola mentions reading an early version of the story where Luke & Leia are siblings and Vader is the father. But Lucas said that he didn't like the way it would play on screen, so he decided to keep it a secret in ANH.


    Lucas did have a vision. He's added parts here, taken parts out there ... but the original vision is still there.
  11. Pfft Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2003
    star 1
    OZ, he only did that AFTER the first release of Star Wars.

  12. ROGUE-EL Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Do you really think Lucas would have had Luke and Leia kiss if he knew they were brother and sister at the time? Everybody knows he just threw that into Return of the Jedi to wrap it up.
  13. OldieVonMoldie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2001
    star 3
    To Jack-D-Ripper you listen.

    Scripts change. Characters evolve. The plots change accordingly. New characters are added.
    I highly doubt George entertained any thoughts of Qui-Gon during filming of the OT.

    But to think that EVERYTHING after ANH is being thought up on the fly would be just wrong. I'll give an example.

    The Prologue to the original Star Wars novel (the only movie novelization written by George Lucas), published in 1976. I won't write the whole thing as it is long, but a passage that applies to a MAJOR PT character:

    "Aided and abetted by restless, power hungry individuals within the government & the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected president of the republic. He promised to reunite the dissaffected among the people & to restore the remembered glory to the republic.

    Once secure in office, he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very boot lickers & assistants he had appointed to high office, & the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears."

    Now, reading this you can definitely see where a major portion of the plot for TPM evolved from. You can also see, just how the original concept of "The Emperor" has evolved. I feel in the beginning it was never intended that Palpatine was a force user, just a corrupt politician. At some point between ANH & TESB he became Vader's master.

    I can also see the discarded qualities of Palpy's personality as being a pretty good model for Supreme Chancelor Valorum. He was the one being "controlled by the bureaucrats".

  14. Jack-D-Ripper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2002
    star 2
    Most of EP II's DELETED scenes should really be called ALTERNATIVE scenes because most of them were replaced by other scenes, and weren't just cut like TPM's deleted scenes were.

    This is totally false. They were cut because GL has no idea about story and characterisation. It was quite plausible to have both the Dooku/Obi and Dooku/Padme scene in AotC. However, GL's love of CGI meant that important scenes, like the Naberrie family scenes, were cut.


    It's not TOTALLY false. I said MOST of the scenes are alternates. Not ALL. Take your head out of the I HATE GL sand and just take a look around for a while. Many of those scenes contain information and concepts that are either redundant, or could be better integrated into other parts of the plot at other times, thus making the film work better, which is generally how films get made: a scene that works on paper might not work on screen when the film begins to be edited, and I'm glad all of the deleted scenes were axed from Episode II. I don't see how GL's appreciation for CGI's applications has much to do with this discussion. Anyway, all those deleted scenes were just as jam-packed with effects as the rest of the film was. You say it's because GL has no idea about Stroy and characterization. You obviously have even less of an idea if you can't see that cutting those scenes and placing the information given in them in other parts of the film improved the story and the characterizations.

    No. It was only after the success of ANH that the SW saga was fleshed out from beginning to end.

    You're not entirely right. I don't suggest that Lucas had every detail of every film written down when he made ANH, but I'll bet he had lots of different scripts and lots of notes on things he wanted to put in his movie, and when he realized it was all too big to make into one movie, using 1970's technology, he probably distilled his notes and sripts into a practical movie that could stand on its own. Yes, Lucas developed a plot from scratch each time he started on a new Star Wars film, but he would have had a library of notes to draw on, filled with concepts he had to shelve in the 70's, and this is what makes it all so rich, and what gives it a certain consistency, because in the end, it's all inspired by his early scripts and notes. Authors like Tolkien also had reams of notes to draw on, and that is what makes LOTR so rich. Tolkien didn;t exactly plan the whole story before hand, but I'm sure the reams of notes he kept would have helped him to formulate a logical plot.

    -JDR.
  15. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5
    Premiere Magazine, May 1999.

    INT: Why did you start the Star Wars saga with Episodes IV, V, and VI?
    LUCAS: You're getting thrown in the middle of something, which is a style I like. It's the same thing I used on Raiders of the Lost Ark - you come in at the end of one movie and then you start another after that. But in order to start in the middle, I had to actually write a whole backstory.
    INT: That initial story was a thirteen-page backstory?
    LUCAS: Basically it was an outline.


    A Long Time Ago ... The Story of SW
    Omnibus Productions, 1997.

    LUCAS: Originally, I wanted to do a Saturday morning serial space adventure, and I started working on a script and discovered when I finished it that it was 180 pages long, and it just couldn't be made It was way too long, too much. The next draft I took it and cut 2/3 of it off and just dealt with the first act. And I said, what I'll do is I'll break it into three movies and I'll put the other two movies on the shelf and just concentrate on the first act. And that screenplay turned into Star Wars.

    COPPOLA: You finished the script and you gave it to me and I thought it was terrific. And then you totally changed it. And I kept saying, why are you changing it? What was it? How did that script differ? I know you added the two robots at the beginning...
    LUCAS: Yeah.
    COPPOLA: But what was it, the script I read, how did that differ other than that opening? Was that the main difference?
    LUCAS: Well, there was a lot of character differences. There were other differences. I had Luke and Leia both in it. And um, there were a lot of ... Darth Vader was actually there, he was the father.
    COPPOLA: Really? He was -
    LUCAS: He was there. He was their father. And they were both there. And it was like ... you know, it just didn't seem to play out like I wanted it to play. So I did, I sat down and I did a whole new treatment, a whole new outline.
    COPPOLA: Yeah, you had the whole script and -
    LUCAS: Did it all over again.

    SPIELBERG: George always wanted to make nine. He wanted to make the first three, then he wanted to make the prequels, and then he wanted to make the last three. That was something that was part of his concept.

    McCALLUM: Whether George only completes the six of the nine part series, or if he ever really ultimately completes the nine, it's really nine parts of the one film, one big saga, about a family, that happens to take place in a galaxy far far away.



    Lucas made it up as he went?

    OBI-WAN: I don't think so./>/>
  16. Pfft Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2003
    star 1
    It's not TOTALLY false.

    It IS totally false.

    Many of those scenes contain information and concepts that are either redundant, or could be better integrated into other parts of the plot at other times, thus making the film work better, which is generally how films get made...

    It appears you have never read the original script for AotC or you are solely relying on what GL said on the DVD.

    I don't see how GL's appreciation for CGI's applications has much to do with this discussion.

    Re: Droid factory

    Anyway, all those deleted scenes were just as jam-packed with effects as the rest of the film was.

    Um, no. Most of the cut scenes dealt with:

    1) Some part of Padme's characterisation

    2) Dooku

    3) The Republic and its problems

    4) The Jedi problem

    All major things that were 'skimmed' over in the film and most containing hardly ANY CGI.

    You say it's because GL has no idea about Stroy and characterization. You obviously have even less of an idea if you can't see that cutting those scenes and placing the information given in them in other parts of the film improved the story and the characterizations.

    Can you please point me to the moment in the movie where Amidala indicates that her attacks came from within the Senate? Can you also please tell where Palpatine requests that Representatives from the Techno Union be questione? Or how about the parts where Amidala realises she is a cold bitch?

    I guess you can't since they were all edited out to replaced by a badly paced comedic act from threepio.

    It is clear you have never read the shooting script.

    You're not entirely right.

    You're not entirely right.

    I don't suggest that Lucas had every detail of every film written down when he made ANH, but I'll bet he had lots of different scripts and lots of notes on things he wanted to put in his movie, and when he realized it was all too big to make into one movie, using 1970's technology, he probably distilled his notes and sripts into a practical movie that could stand on its own.

    I wish you used your own thinking rather than taking conversation completely out of text...

    ...and what gives it a certain consistency, because in the end, it's all inspired by his early scripts and notes.

    Do you realise that the 'notes' you refer to were written AFTER a ANH?

    I think you need to do some better research.

    Pfft.
  17. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    Don't take this the wrong way, Pffft, but if Lucas says he wrote his outline before ANH, and you say he wrote it after ...

    Can you guess who I'm going to believe ?
  18. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Well, however he wrote it, NOBODY can deny that Lucas has created one hell of a story! [face_laugh]
  19. Jack-D-Ripper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2002
    star 2
    Do you realise that the 'notes' you refer to were written AFTER a ANH?

    Are you suggesting that Lucas sat down and just wrote the script for the original Star Wars from beginning to end without writing different story treatments and keeping notes, a practice that most writers can't function without? Please. How do you know that Lucas didn't throw out many ideas while writing Episode IV, only to come back to many of them later on? I agree whole heartedly that it is true that Lucas only started seriously coming up with the plot for the other films after ANH was a success, but, the FACT is that ANH probably went through many iterations before it arrived at the final script, and how does anyone know for sure that some of the ideas in the various versions of ANH haven't been added into the mix since then? And another thing, is it really necessary for you to be so impolite to me? Surely this is an interesting discussion that is worth conducting pleasantly? Or do you think I'm a stupid gusher because I happen to disagree with you?

    ANYWAY, does it matter if he came up with the story before, or after he wrote the original Star Wars? I like all the films. I'm happy with them. I don't really care that stuff was cut out, since I like the film (AOTC) as it is.

    -JDR.
  20. JediHunterCommand Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2003
    star 1
    I think SOME of the saga was laid out in advance, and the rest was changed/added later.

    For example:
    Darth Vader means "Dark Father" in Dutch (or so I'm told; the Vader part means father for sure, I know that much).

    But I'm not so sure about Luke and Leia being sibs from way back.



    Also, remember this. Lucas had a huge story. He wasn't sure if he could make all of it, so he made a darn good stand-alone, with room for sequels if the demand was there (Vader escaping the Death Star being a key point that allowed the story to proceed). As the demand WAS there... the story emerged.

    As for the deleted/alternate scenes in AotC, the discussion seems to be drifting into basher/gusher territory. Speaking as neither, it makes no sense to me.
  21. SLR Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2002
    star 5
    Does it really matter whether Lucas had a defined vision or if he just makes the whole thing up on the fly? I know I personally don't care. How does that make the movies any more or less good? WHy is this important? For almost all writers, stories are always works in progress. They are constantly being changed and influenced by the writer till the time of final release.
  22. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Pfft: Have a cold shower.

    I agree with Zaphod; GL does have a defined vision of Star Wars, but he also creates it as he goes along. Within the limits of his vision.
  23. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Making things up as he goes: No.
    Refining his vision as he goes: Yes.
  24. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    It was only after the success of ANH that the SW saga was fleshed out from beginning to end.

    I strongly advise you to read Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays unless you don't want to know just how wrong you are.
  25. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "Making things up as he goes: No.
    Refining his vision as he goes: Yes."

    Classic examples of "Lucasspeak": Yes

    reminds me of when one of our former presidents lied and explained it by saying he "misspoke"
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.