Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by TheJediCharles, Jan 23, 2002.
Everyone ignored my post. Oh well...I suppose it was worded rather badly!
The spelling was alright though.
That's a plus, then.
"So, Lucas changed his mind? You know what? He's entitled to!"
The problem isn't George changing his mind. The problem is that he changes his mind, and then tells everyone he always meant to do it the new way.
Oaksteve, I didn't ignore it. I just agreed with it so completely that I had nothing to add. I bet you're completely right that there is an unstated conflict between George the big studio executive, entertainment mogul and George the director. Maybe you're a bit more optimistic about GL overall than I am, and about the direction of the series, but in the end I hope you're right and I'm wrong.
--And in recent years he has gone on record numerous times suggesting that Leigh?s entire script was tossed and re-written by Lucas and Kasdan?and that the screenplay credit was more a sympathetic gesture as a result of her death than an accurate measure of her contribution.--
I recall Kasdan saying that Lucas came to him and said, "Bless her, she did almost nothing I wanted," and asked Kasdan to rewrite the screenplay. Whether he gave her a credit out of sympathy or not is really irrelevant, and frankly, since her screenplay was almost completely rewritten, I consider that an act of kindness that Lucas should be praised, not slammed, for. But since you clearly dislike Lucas, you'll twist anything into a bash of him.
--I have a feeling this is mentioned in the annotated screenplays?but if you don?t believe me, ask around?I am right about this.--
No, I am asking YOU.
--Which is your OPINION, not fact. The fact is that some of the effects are dodgy,--
Wait...my opinion is my opinion, and yours is fact?
--particularly during the Gungan battle, and I?m 100% sure that there were a couple of articles released in which ILM staffer mentioned embarrassment at some of the rushed effects.--
You're a riot, Bud Frescoe. "I'm 100% sure...trust me even though I make stuff up off the top of my head."
--The chopped up score is an absolute fact; John Williams himself expressed displeasure with what was done to his score as a result of Lucas refusing to lock picture.--
Where and when?
--George did not wait for Williams to re-write the score to fit the picture, which would have worked better.--
--OK, forget TPM for a second. The SE?s, which were released before ILM had a chance to completely fix the films. Stick your tapes in and take a look?the hexagonal matte lines are still there in the ESB space battles ...--
"There is plenty of evidence to support the idea that GL skimps on Star Wars special effects, borrowing heavily from the really hard work ILM does for other movies. (interviews with ex ILM employees, Lucas 60 minutes interview, 1999, TPM DVD). "
SKIMPS on special Effects? TPM had more special effects shots than any movie in history - more than twice what Titanic had.
Once again Lucas can't win. Not only are his movies 'all special effects' but he also skimps on the special effects.
The evidence I saw on the TPM dvd was that when pre-production started, the script was written, the storyboard was made, and then the fx people had to figure out how to actually do it. No one said "Well it's lucky we have all that junk left over from Jurassic Park, Men in Black and Starship Troopers!"
TPM's special effects were NOT 'skimpy'. The pod race alone was more impressive than any other effexts sequence in any movie. Plus the expert way cgi, models. And other elements were seamlessly blended together.
ILM works and innovates all the time EVERYTHING they ever do, every technique they develop, is used in subsequent movies - that just how it works. I'd be willing to bet that there were many more advances made for TPM, and that these will be used on every other movie ILM works on. Is that such an implauisible possibility?
You're taking a few facts here and there and attempting to twist them to fit your perspective - ignoring evidence to the contrary.
"There is evidence to support the idea that Jar Jar was more a marketing decision than an artistic necessity (60 minutes profile, 1999). There is evidence to support the idea that GL has the most sophisticated marketing operation among all the big movie studios (New York Times article 1997 or 1998). "
I think you're confusing a desire to entertain kids with the behavior of marketing towards them. Everybody knows that Darth Maul had much more marketing potential than Jar Jar. We have Boba Fett and an example of this. A minor character that Star Wars FANS blew up into a cult hero.
It's obvious that Jar Jar is a 'child iudentificatory character' much the way Threepio and R2 were in ANH. Everything in every Star Wars movie gets marketed. EVERYTHING. To claim that onyl characters you don't like are there for marketing purposes is to ignore 22 years of Star Wars merchandising.
--I think the trouble with George Lucas is that he's got two personalities, one which is George the business man, an the other is George the artist,--
I don't consider that something "troubling." I think he has a good mix of artist and business man; the two sides keep each other in check for the most part.
--and those are two very conflicting personalities. There are some areas in The Phantom Menace, and in the Classic trilogy, and, to a lesser extent, Indiana Jones, where George Lucas the business man stepped in and made the decisions, but there are some areas in The Phantom Menace, the Classic tirlogy, and the Indiana Jones, where George Lucas the artist stepped in and made the decisions, and to the most part, it's my view that George has managed to keep most of his artistic integrity (I can't spell!) while making The Phantom Menace, and most of the other films he's worked on.--
--However, it's hard, without seeing Attack of the Clones and Episode III, whether some of the decisions he made in The Phantom Menace where for the business side of things or the artistic, but, probably on the whole, it was on the artistic side.--
I agree here too.
--This post probably doesn't make much sense, but that's what I think about George Lucas, and even though I think he could have made The Phantom Menace a whole lot better,--
Just about every movie that's released could have been made a whole lot better. IMO, if Lucas didn't set strict deadlines for himself, he'd never get the movies released at all; he'd just keep going back and editing and reworking stuff (though not necessarily making it better) until the cows come home. And then the same bashers who say he puts out hasty, shoddy work would slam him for being too much of perfectionist, or for being "stingy" and making the fans wait.
--I respect him greatly as a director, and do think that some people have come down too hard on him,--
--and I hope with Attack of the Clones, which from what I've seen seems to be a far more ambitious film than The Phantom Menace, will redress the balance on people's opinion as him as a director.--
This I doubt. The same people who continue to rip him a new lower body orifice because of TPM, even pulling stuff out of their own lower body orifices to do so, are already lining up to slam AOTC.
--I hope that all made sense!--
It did. I agree with some of your points and don't agree with some others, but it did make sense and was quite thoughtful.
I think the trouble with George Lucas is that he's got two personalities, one which is George the business man, an the other is George the artist, and those are two very conflicting personalities.
You guys keep saying this like it's a forgone conclussion, but you have yet to provide any actual evidence apart from misremembered interviews and rampant speculation. It's an interesting theory, no doubt, but it is entirely devoid of supporting evidence.
There is plenty of evidence to support the idea that GL skimps on Star Wars special effects...
There is evidence to support the idea that whenever GL changes his mind about the series he tries to cover his tracks and coopt the historical record...
There is evidence to support the idea that Jar Jar was more a marketing decision than an artistic necessity...
Well, with the mountains of evidence you claim exist, it should be no trouble for you to, you know, actually present this evidence. And stop giving vague credit to interview done at various media outlets without providing actual quotes.
To say that Lucas has marketing in mind when making his movies is a factual and defensible statement. To say that he is more than willing and eager to bastardize his artistic vision in order to make a buck is baseless and slanderous.
Regarding John Williams, he asked that an isolated score not be included on the DVD because he wasn't happy with the last minute editing of the film which, in fact, did chop up his score. Lucas had finalized the film, Williams completed the score, then after screening the film for some of his close friends and hearing their reactions, Lucas decided to re-edit the last 20 minutes of the film. In doing so, he more or less rearranged Williams score, and since the release deadline was getting very close (like, less than 2 weeks away) there wasn't time for Williams to record a new score.
Needless to say, Williams was unhappy, but this is not to imply that he is in any way bitter or resentful. In fact, Williams was more than happy to continue his fruitful collaboration with Lucas on the next two Star Wars films. Those are the facts. Trying to spin this into a grudge is for the bashers.
Indeed, I saw the 60 Minutes interview which you site as your source for the Jar Jar as a pure marketing tool evidence, and I saw no such statement or hint.
I suggest either you are not remembering correctly or .....well, I just hope it is you aren't remembering correctly and leave it at that.
"I think the trouble with George Lucas is that he's got two personalities, one which is George the business man, an the other is George the artist, and those are two very conflicting personalities."
You guys keep saying this like it's a forgone conclussion, but you have yet to provide any actual evidence...
Reasonable Assumation of Proof:
GL the business man - GL owns LFL, a business which makes millions and millions of dollars (doesn't he own ILM, too?). To have made LFL successful, he'd need to be a good business man.
GL the artists - He's a writer and a director. What more need I say on that?
Boy, you guys are really grasping at straws, and mighty thin ones at that! George Lucas is not two people with one subservient to the other. George Lucas is who he is and that is a successful filmmaker and head of Hollywood's largest private studio. This is not a case of either/or. Lucas is one and the other.
Shelley, the matte lines in the ESB space battles are still there, proving my point about George releasing something before it was done.
My point regarding Leigh Brackett is that George has gotten everyone to believe that he didn't use any of her work on the ESB script. While this MIGHT be true, it is UNLIKELY. And the reason I say it is so unlikely is that the dialogue in ESB sounds remarkably like the dialogue in many of Leigh Brackett's earlier scripts (for example, The Big Sleep), and the ESB dialogue sounds doesn't sound like George and Kasdan's work. Given that, it seems quite likely that Kasdan and Lucas at least kept some dialogue from Brackett's version of ESB.
John Williams evidence: http://cgi.theforce.net/theforce/tfn.cgi?storyID=8449
Here are a few quotes from throughout the years, which show that George is changing his mind as he goes along with regards to the story, the number of films in the saga, the tone of the prequels.
Rolling Stone- August 25, 1977 Lucas "One of the sequels we are thinking of is the young days of Obi-Wan. It would probably be all different actors."
Time- March 6, 1978 "Lucas has set up four corporations: Star Wars Corp. will make STAR WARS II, and then, count them, ten others planned sequels."
Bantha Tracks #8 (early 1980). Lucas "I cut that number [12 films] down to nine because the other three were tangential to the saga. Star Wars was the fourth story in the saga and was to have been called ''Star Wars, Episode Four: A New Hope.'' ... After the third film in this trilogy we'll go back and make the first trilogy, which details with the young Ben Kenobi and the young Darth Vader."
RASSM Star Wars FAQ (2/15/95) ?Lucas has said that the [prequels] will focus on Obi-Wan Kenobi, as the original trilogy focused on Luke Skywalker.?
Leonard Maltin interview (1997) "How much has the prequel story changed since you wrote the original treatment in the 1970's?"--Todd--San Rafael, CA
Lucas: "Back when I was writing Star Wars in 1974. I didn't really flesh out the storyline of the first three episodes. I had a rough of idea of what happened and who the major characters were, but I didn't include a scene-by-scene scenario of what happened in my treatment. That is what made writing the script in 1995 and 1996 more difficult because I had to go back to my sparse treatment of the prequel and greatly flesh it out. Some old ideas that really didn't work anymore were thrown out. And I added a great deal of ideas that have developed in my mind over the years to the script. Over the past 15 years since the release of Jedi, I have been jotting down neat ideas I've come up with in one of my spiral notebooks. I took all the new ideas and the old ones from my original treatment and came up with a character-driven adventure."
"Does Anakin really fall into a molten, lava pit like the novelization of Jedi claims?"--Ned--Mankato, MI
Lucas: "Anakin's transformation into Vader does not occur until the second prequel so I haven't even thought about that yet."
Time Magazine, Feb. 10, 1997 [Lucas, referring to the Prequels] "They're much more down,"
Daily Illini 2/7/97 article: ?Lucas has kept [the Prequel trilogy] top-secret information, saying only that the story is about the fall from grace of Anakin Skywalker and will be darker in tone.?
Montreal's Movies, April, 1997 Lucas "The next movies are prequels. It's the story of Darth Vader.?
Cinescape (June 16, 1999) ?One has to wonder what sort of impact this decision [including Jar Jar] will have on the tone of Episode Two, which used to be described as "dark", but is now being called ?romantic?.?
Premiere Magazine April 29 2000 Lucas "[Episode II] is the romantic one, which is probably a rather dramatic departure-which some people may not like. There will be some action in it, but it's basically more romantic ... [Episode II] isn't so bad. The third one's pretty bad."
This is not a case of either/or. Lucas is one and the other.
I'm not grasping for straws. You wanted to know why people thought of him as a business man and as an artist, that's what I did. I'm not accusing him of having a personality disorder or anything.
By the way, long time no see, Mountainman. I thought you'd disappeared.
January 30, 1997, Thursday
The Return Of the Merchandiser
By JAMES STERNGOLD (NYT) 1851 words
HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 29 -- To hear the film makers and marketers talk, it is the ultimate example of technology in the service of pure art: George Lucas's Star Wars trilogy, which began a special effects revolution 20 years ago, has been refurbished using even more advanced computer wizardry and will be rereleased in thousands of theaters on Friday. Mr. Lucas has described the project as a loving gesture to a new generation of fans who had never before witnessed Luke Skywalker's quest on the big screen.
Commerce? Don't be silly. There has, perhaps, been a bit of marketing surrounding this unusual event -- heavy advertising during the Super Bowl, for example, and licensing deals involving everything from tacos to Christmas ornaments -- but don't think for a moment that hype has been on the minds of Mr. Lucas's company, Lucasfilm, or 20th Century Fox, the studio unit of the News Corporation, which is distributing the blockbusters.
''This isn't about marketing,'' insisted Jeffrey Godsick, the spokesman for Fox. ''It's something for the fans, and we don't want to lose sight of that.''
But for all the professions of innocence on the part of the spin meisters, the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, as the new films are known, is being described by experts as one of the most impressive and tautly engineered pieces of marketing prowess ever conceived, as well as an example of what the movie industry has become: art in the service of a huge commercial superstructure that needs constant feeding.
Indeed, Mr. Lucas's staff has produced a poster-sized, color-coded chart circulated among the hundreds of Star Wars licensees that details, month by month, every merchandising and marketing event related to Star Wars from early last year until the millennium. Marketing experts describe the plan, in its depth and breadth, as the most ambitious attempt to date to exploit a film franchise.
''I've never seen anything like it,'' said Michael Schau, executive editor of the Entertainment Marketing Letter. ''It's so well delineated. This is more than well thought out. It goes till the next century.''
That perception rubs the film makers the wrong way, since their whole sales pitch depends in large measure on the appearance that the marketing just sort of happens and that the real work is in creating art. ''This really doesn't have anything to do with the film coming out. All of this is independent of the film release,'' Lynn Hale, the Lucasfilm spokeswoman, said of the tsunami of merchandising.
But, as analysts point out, this is no amateur production. Since the first Star Wars movie opened in 1977, Mr. Lucas's parable about good and evil, clunky robots and rebels hatching plots in places like the fourth moon of Yavin has become the most lucrative movie franchise of all, generating an estimated $4 billion in revenues, from box-office receipts to T-shirt sales. The new marketing plan could well double that as Mr. Lucas prepares audiences for his next trilogy in the Star Wars series, to hit theaters beginning in 1999.
The meticulously scripted product rollouts fall into 35 categories, from a new Star Wars Monopoly set to books, action-figure toys, home furnishings and potato chips. Pepsico Inc., which won the license to use Star Wars to sell its soft drinks as well as its salty snacks and fast foods, plans to spend the equivalent of about $2 billion between now and 1999 in promoting Star Wars.
In building up to this year's re-release of the movies, sales of Star Wars toys by Hasbro Inc, and Lewis Galoob Toys Inc. have already shot up from $21 million in 1994 to $70 million in 1995 and more than $200 million last year, according to NPD Research, which tracks the industry.
Even the Federal Government is playing a role. The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington is obligingly running a Star Wars exhibition later this year, which should further whip up interest -- and r
Here are a few quotes from throughout the years, which show that George is changing his mind as he goes along...
Nobody is disputing this. However, I see no evidence that Lucas is trying to erase the past nor does he ever give the impression that he had the whole thing figured out from day one.
Well, the charge was made that Lucas has sold out the artist in him to the greedy businessman--the claims made by Jabbadabbdo all but paint Lucas as having a multiple personality disorder--and I was only asking if anybody had proof beyond vague assumptions and guess work founded on little more than a personal dislike for Lucas. You just happened to get caught in the crossfire.
No, I haven't disappeared, I just got spooked by how spoilerish the forums were becoming (not these, the AOTC forums). Anyway, none of the gusher vs. basher debates seem to have advanced much in my absence, so I may not stick around for long.
On a side note, all of you proudly wearing a "Boycott AOTC on opening weekend!" badge will be in line after opening weekend to see the film? Admit it, you'll just find it too hard to resist.
I don't see that this whole "buinessman/artist" thing really justifies attacking Lucas' character. Moviemaking is inheritly the blend of money and art. You can't separate them and Lucas has always harbored both elements from the start and is no different now than was in the beginnng, so this is not any reason to think that fans have not come down on him too hard, as the poll is asking.
Those of you that DO think it's a good enough reason to attack Lucas, could you please name one director/producer that DOESN'T care about the money aspects of his film? Is it right to single Lucas out in an unachievable standard? Of course he markets his films for profit.
If a person doesn't wish to make a lot of money off his story then he doesn't make a movie AT ALL!!
That's like getting mad at Ford for painting their cars a bunch of different colors "just to make more money instead of the love of making a fine car"... OF COURSE THEY'RE IN IT FOR MAKING MORE MONEY!
What a limp reason to get mad at Lucas.
That's why I made this poll. Too many fans getting all mad for funky goofy no-good reasons.
I attacked his character by saying he's lied in the past. But maybe it's more fair to say that he subordinates his artistic interests to the exigencies of his business empire. All the things he says are part of his pr machine, so why should he care whether they're accurate or not. He's just trying to sell his product, and everything he says seems to serve that goal.
--Shelley, the matte lines in the ESB space battles are still there, proving my point about George releasing something before it was done.--
No, it just proves the matte lines were still there. Maybe there was not a way to erase them yet.
--My point regarding Leigh Brackett is that George has gotten everyone to believe that he didn't use any of her work on the ESB script.--
He has done no such thing. The Lawrence Kasdan quote says that Lucas came to him and said she did nothing the way he wanted it, and asked Kasdan to rewrite the script. Nowhere has Lucas said that Leigh Brackett didn't work on the script. She did. It just so happens that he used very little of what she wrote, and he was still nice enough to give her a screenplay credit.
--While this MIGHT be true, it is UNLIKELY.--
Why? Because you wish it so?
--And the reason I say it is so unlikely is that the dialogue in ESB sounds remarkably like the dialogue in many of Leigh Brackett's earlier scripts (for example, The Big Sleep),--
Assuming this is true (although considering how twisted and misrepresented your other evidence has been, I won't take your word for it), so what? Maybe Kasdan retained the flavor of her dialogue while altering just about everything else (i.e., the subplot with Han's stepdad, the relationship between Han and Leia which had him making a pass at her every two seconds and her slapping him as often).
--and the ESB dialogue sounds doesn't sound like George and Kasdan's work.--
Actually, it does. I wouldn't say it's similar to Kasdan's script for, say, "The Big Chill," but "The Big Chill" isn't a Lucas-produced movie. Kasdan wrote the ESB script with Lucas' direction and added a little of his trademark wit, and probably kept in some dialogue from Brackett's script.
--Given that, it seems quite likely that Kasdan and Lucas at least kept some dialogue from Brackett's version of ESB.--
Which is why Lucas gave her a screenplay credit and has never said anywhere that she didn't work on the script.
You just happened to get caught in the crossfire.
No damage done.
Well, the charge was made that Lucas has sold out the artist in him to the greedy businessman
For me -- I'm not sure if that's true or not, but if it is true (a) it's impossible to prove or disprove beyond a shadow of a doubt, and (b) I don't think that is the source of the problem with TPM -- and before you say it, yes, I am aware you do not have any problems with TPM.
On a side note, all of you proudly wearing a "Boycott AOTC on opening weekend!" badge will be in line after opening weekend to see the film? Admit it, you'll just find it too hard to resist.
You mean see it May 20th (the Monday after)? Of course. I'm planning on just moving my vacation day back to the 20th. I fully expect my boycott to have no noticable effect, it's really just a point of princible.
Anyway, none of the gusher vs. basher debates seem to have advanced much in my absence.
And this surprises you?
"However, I see no evidence that Lucas is trying to erase the past nor does he ever give the impression that he had the whole thing figured out from day one."
The "erasing the past" accusation stems from his recent claims that Greedo was always meant to shoot first (which is completely untrue--that doesn't appear in the script, in any interview before the SE's, and is contradicted by Kurtz and the editing team), his assertion that the original trilogy was always about Vader's redemption, and his claims that Skywalking is completely false (even though the whole book was well researched and documented and no one has ever been able to prove that any of the major claims in the book are incorrect).
Shelley said "No, it just proves the matte lines were still there. Maybe there was not a way to erase them yet."
Hmm. So you're saying that they can create a digital Jabba, but can't erase matte lines or color in Vader's saber ...
Here's your big chance to prove me wrong: Prove to me that George said in a recent interview (post 1996) that he used some of Brackett's dialogue in ESB. Because I have never once read a George quote in which he says he used her dialogue ...
jesh. Shall I ask you in terms you like to use and can probably understand.
Name one director/producer that isn't "subordinate" to their wish to make money.
Man you love the word subordinate.
Man you love the word subordinate.
It's the TF.N Word of the Day. Didn't you get the memo?
My subordinate forgot to give me the memo.
What the heck does a 6 or 9 part saga, or whether or not Owen is Ben's brother have to do with business interests?
Wouldn't it make more sense, business wise to finish a 9 part saga?
That article is of course WONDERFULLY unbiases.
Gone with the Wind, Spartacus, Lawrence of Arabia, Holy Grail, Apocalypse Now and ET get rereleased.
Star Wars gets 'recycled'.
Even though at least as much effort went in to restoring the OT as the other movies.
What always frustrated me about the OT's return was that it was a limited run - that they didn't just let the movies play until they were done. ANH-SE made 138 million bucks in 1997! That's on par with many brand new hit movies. Suely a more astute business man not have limited the run - t's not like the movies show up on the big screen every other year or something.
It didn't make that much because 'ad-men' pitched the SE release to an uncaring public. It made that much because there are a lot of Star Wars fans out there who enjoy seeing the movies on the big screen. We know it, Lucasfilm and Fox knew it - apparently th writer of the article didn't realize it.
The first commercial film Lucas made didn't make any money, and the studio tok it away and cut 5 minutes from it. The universal exec didn't want to release American Grafitti and the cut minutes out of that movie also. When Lucas started out working as an Editor on some documentary, he bristled when the director told him to cut the film a different way (that why he decided to become a director) so OF COURSE he's glad he owns Star Wars, and that he's the only one who can decide what it looks like.
(Am I the only one who saw the A&E Biography special on George Lucas?)
Anyway when THX flopped, he realized that he'd have to make movies that made money, if he wanted to continue to make movies in Hollywood. Luckily for him (excuse me, careful and crafty business planning) Star Wars was a big enough hit that he could get out of Hollywood.