Have some fans come down too hard on Lucas about TPM?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by TheJediCharles, Jan 23, 2002.

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  1. Bud Frescoe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2000
    star 3
    "Name one director/producer that isn't "subordinate" to their wish to make money."

    Stanley Kubrick.
    David Lynch.
    Martin Scorsese (George suggested that he give Taxi Driver a happier ending, which would increase its box office by $10 million--Marty rightly rejected George's suggestion).
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    For those of you too lazy to read the entire NYT article from 97, here is a key excerpt. Since my writing style is subordinate to my limited vocabulary, I think this offers a nice alternative to my own writing:

    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.''


    I wish I could show you the chart they describe. It's impressive as hell. The reason I loved this article is that I had a friend in licensing who showed me the real thing in her office. Unbelievable. If you doubted the power of the Lucas empire, that would have made you a convert.
  3. TheJediCharles Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2001
    star 3
    Oh. They did it for free then huh?

    "Marty rightly rejected George's suggestion"

    Is it perhaps because he personally wouldn't be making the extra money or did he refuse to make he change becase his wallet itself stood to gain nothing by the change?

    Edit: besides, who cares. If this buisness/art issue is any real reason to attack Lucas then the more you prove your case the more you look like goofs coming here everyday to promote the very thing you are trying to prove you hate.

    Durrrrrrr!
  4. Bud Frescoe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2000
    star 3
    "Surely a more astute business man not have limited the run - t's not like the [OT] shows up on the big screen every other year or something"

    Maybe not on the big screen, but those films were released numerous times on video--at least two releases of ANH (one with Beru's original voice, one without?), followed by the THX version, followed by the THX widescreen version, followed by the Special Edition version, followed by the most recent release (SE + Episode II "footage").

    So yes, that seems more like a recycling than a re-release.
  5. Oakessteve Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 9, 1999
    star 6
    "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."

    MountainMan: What I said about George Lucas as an artist and George Lucas as a business man were just my own opinions. Sorry for not making that clearer in my post.



  6. Bud Frescoe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2000
    star 3
    Is it perhaps because [Scorsese] personally wouldn't be making the extra money or did he refuse to make the change becase his wallet itself stood to gain nothing by the change?

    Neither (or just plan no, depending on what you meant). Scorsese refused to make the change because it was the wrong thing to do artistically. Scorsese acknowledged that George's idea would have made the movie more money, but Scorsese is an artist first and a foremost ... (and for Shelley, this is all well documented in the Taxi Driver section of Scorsese on Scorsese)
  7. TheJediCharles Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2001
    star 3
    Then why do you waste your time coming to a 'Lucas' site? Why do you invest your time attacking him? Why don't you visit those guys' sites?

    Are we supposed to feel sorry for your unmanagable urge to come here to complain about Lucas?

    Like I said, this is why I made this poll.
  8. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    --The "erasing the past" accusation stems from his recent claims that Greedo was always meant to shoot first--
    Where are these claims?

    --(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),--
    Where? And by the way...perhaps he did always mean for Greedo to shoot first, but didn't script it that way originally because he thought it worked better for Han to shoot first. He changes his mind a lot, as has been established, but whereas you and Jabba seem to think it's a character flaw, I think it shows he's human.

    --his assertion that the original trilogy was always about Vader's redemption,--
    Maybe it was.

    --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).--
    When has he claimed that Skywalking is completely false? I think he's discredited "Empire Building," which hasn't stopped bashers from treating it as gospel. As for "researched" and "documented," those are subjective words. One might argue that Baxter's book, which slanders not only Lucas but some of the actors, is "researched" and "documented"--that is, it the author researched tabloid sources and hearsay reports and then documented them.

    --Hmm. So you're saying that they can create a digital Jabba, but can't erase matte lines or color in Vader's saber ...--
    Pardon me, I thought you were referring to the original release of ESB.

    I imagine that the matte lines could have been erased. Where's your evidence that the FX people wanted them erased and Lucas ignored them?

    --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 ...--
    What?!? You are a piece of work, Bud Frescoe. You can't show me any quote where he says Leigh Brackett didn't work on the script, so you ask me to provide a quote where he says he did? For pete's sake, HE GAVE THE WOMAN A SCREENPLAY CREDIT. It would stand to reason that he used at least some of her dialogue, and he's never said, "Oh, we didn't use any dialogue from her script, we just credited her to be nice."
  9. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    --Maybe not on the big screen, but those films were released numerous times on video--at least two releases of ANH (one with Beru's original voice, one without?), followed by the THX version, followed by the THX widescreen version, followed by the Special Edition version, followed by the most recent release (SE + Episode II "footage").

    So yes, that seems more like a recycling than a re-release.--
    No, that's your opinion, because you like to believe the worst about Lucas. They have been re-released when there's some sort of improvement on technology that increased the ability to enjoy the films. Besides which, no one is forcing anyone to buy them. Some of the "newer" editions sold like crazy, some didn't.
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    TheJediCharles, as usual, the poll is the least interesting part of this thread. The debate is what draws people in.

    The thing is, if you want to paint GL as a greedy, unscrupulous businessman out to maximize his profit in every conceivable way, then there's plenty of evidence.

    If you want to paint GL as a great director with a zealot's mission to pioneer cinema technology for all filmmakers, well, there's plenty of evidence for that too.

    I paint one side, because too many people refuse to see it at all.
  11. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    --Neither (or just plan no, depending on what you meant). Scorsese refused to make the change because it was the wrong thing to do artistically. Scorsese acknowledged that George's idea would have made the movie more money, but Scorsese is an artist first and a foremost ... (and for Shelley, this is all well documented in the Taxi Driver section of Scorsese on Scorsese)--
    OK, fine. Lucas is a greedy, money-grubbing tycoon who cares nothing about art. Scorsese is an artist who cares nothing about money.

    (I don't agree; I believe Scorsese cares more about money than you'd like to admit, and Lucas cares more about art than you'd like to admit.)

    So why are you hanging out on a site devoted to Lucas and SW instead of a Scorsese site singing his praises?
  12. TheJediCharles Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2001
    star 3
    "TheJediCharles, as usual, the poll is the least interesting part of this thread. The debate is what draws people in."

    Okay, since you're going to minimize me, I'll single you out.

    Why do you continue to volunteerily partake in this villianous PR machine you claim to hate so much?

    Why don't you just leave this site, drop Star Wars as an interest, sell everything Star Wars you ever bought and just leg it?

    Why?

    Edit: GO SHELLEY!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    Edit #2: DANG SHELLEY!!! GIVE 'EM HELLEY!!!!! BAM!!!!!!

    Edit #3: Shelley, I tire of making explaination points so I'll just say, good job.
  13. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    --I paint one side, because too many people refuse to see it at all.--
    BULLCRAP. I am so tired of bashers saying that only they can see Lucas' flaws or his money-oriented side. NOWHERE has anyone denied that he's a businessman, nor has anyone said that he cares nothing about money. He does. I myself said he's a balance of artist and businessman.

    Please, don't try and justify your relentless attacks on Lucas by saying "you people refuse to see his more money-oriented side." That isn't true and I think you know it. It's something akin to bashers continuously claiming that gushers think TPM is perfect or Lucas is God.
  14. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Jabba, your NYT quote, which you think proves your point, is another biased opinion, probably put out by another person who wants to blame Lucas for ruining movies and so sees the marketing of SW-related products as more "proof" of how moviemaking has been destroyed by him and his greed.
  15. TravCon12 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 3
    While you have provided evidence that Lucas is a marketing genius, you have yet to show how he is a compromised artist, and an out and out liar. (Side note: Liar as a word when used to call someone to me has such a strong connonation of evil. In my experience everyone I know has lied, and I am willing to bet everyone I do not know as probably lied as well. To me we are all liars in the strictest sense and I do not believe that makes all of us evil people. To me the intent of the lie, and the amount of your life you lie has a lot more to do with whether I would deem you a bad person.)

    Maybe this is part of the overall view of things that when an independant or otherwise "alternative" art band or group become commercially popular they have somehow compromised their artistic values to do so. While I can see that point to a degree I do not agree that is an absolute and a fait d'acompli (SP), and I really don't see how that can be said about Lucas. Also if I might use another parrellel it is much like the glass half-empty vs half full stuff. Depending on a persons atitude towards Lucas is how they interpret the "evidence" which has been presented by both sides.

    Jabba as well as others see the "evidence" and conclude 1 thing as they have a prejudice of sorts against Lucas, whereas someone like myself sees it, who has a prejudice to be far more positive towards Lucas and I see something totally different.

    I think 1 of the primary reason I really dislike Jabba's whole line of assertions is that in other threads he has taken what I consider low blows about Lucas and his family's personal appearance and character which only adds to the insult of him calling him a liar. Now Jabba has backed away from calling him a liar, and has soften a bit on the evil greedy businees man end of it, but I cannot help but be struck on how with everything he has seen about Lucas he can come to almost unanmiously negative conclusions.
  16. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The businessman is a bit sleazy. The businessman is a huckster, a classic billionaire entrepreneur, and a teller of tall tales. But, hell, I love his movies, or three of them anyway.

    Shelly, the New York Times article's author is a business writer, without an axe to grand. True, the author seems bemused by Lucas's claims that it's not about the money, when the marketing chart so plainly proved exactly how much about the money it really is.

    Travcon, I think you have to add up all the information to paint a reasonable whole of GL as a person, as a businessman, and as an artist. The A&E biography was such a one-sided yes-man endeavor you'd think Rick McCallum produced it.

    I'm interested in the whole truth. But I admit the truth as I see it is filtered through my opinion, an underlying belief that nice people do not become billionaires. If GL truly cared more about movies than anything else, he never would have found the time or had the inclination to become one of the richest people on the planet.
  17. TravCon12 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 3
    Well I can assure you Jabbadabbado, I have seen everything you have presented before and I have seen it painted and repainted.

    I see the "side" or "evidence" which you have presented, I just do not agree with your conclusion. Not agreeing with your conclusion does not mean I do not SEE your side.
  18. TheJediCharles Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2001
    star 3
    "But, hell, I love his movies, or three of them anyway."

    Now that you've confessed that much, can you be honest with yourself enough to ask yourself if you've been too critical to a man that has created something you LOVE?!?!??!?!?!? I mean you said LOVE, didn't you? That's a really big glob of CARING, so why would you feel such contempt towards the creator of this thing you LOVE?!?!?!?!??

    WHY?!?!?!?!
  19. TravCon12 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 3
    You know in a wierd way I think the bashers constant refrain that the gushers think Lucas is God, might reflect a bit more on their own perception of Lucas than they would like to think.

    It is almost as though with TPM not living up to their expectations somehow a great power in their life has let them down, and they resent that feeling of being let down by someone the admire and idolize so much. They resent it so much so that the over compensate for it and become anti-Lucas, even to an irrational end.

    Hey you know, analyzing someone psyche from behind a keyboard, much like they do to Lucas, is very fun, I am beginning to see the fixation with doing it.
  20. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    TheJedi, I dislike what he has become. I love what he used to be and what he was up to and including the time he made the first Star Wars movie. I have a deep appreciation for his collaboration with Spielberg in making Raiders of the Lost Ark, but its sequels, ROTJ, and TPM are disappointing commercial crap, in my opinion.

    I respect what GL has done as a businessman. However, another tragedy is that so much of the success of his business depends on him making quality movies. TPM devalued the Star Wars brand name. Ironically, the more time and attention he devotes to the business side of Star Wars, the worse the Star Wars movies will become, and the less valuable his business will become too. It's a terrible trap for him to be in, not that I think he will ever be ruined financially or anything like that.

    GL is solely repsonsible for the success of his business empire. For that reason he has to make Star Wars films. He has to milk the franchise for every cent, because without Star Wars, much of his business empire collapses.

    I feel sorry for him too. He may be so out of touch running his business empire that he really no longer understands how to make a good movie. Anyway, maybe I'm wrong. We'll find out in May.
  21. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    It's funny how some people try to draw this line between "artist" and "businessman". For one thing; just a very few of us here would ever have heard about SW in the first place had not a lot of money been invested in it. Furthermore; none of us would ever have seen TESB if the first SW hadn't made buckets of money. Thirdly; the budget of TESB was many times the size of ANH's budget, yet I don't hear anyone complaining about money being more important than art with TESB.

    I don't know if you catch my drift, I just think it's impossible to have one without the other in the case of SW. It just would never have gotten where it is if Lucas hadn't been a good businnesman.

    Btw; George takes 11 bleedin' years out of his life to give me another Star Wars Trilogy, for Heaven's sake! I just refuse to complain if he wants to make a shitload of money in the process, because I don't think George owes me anything. And I've yet to receive a visit from the Lucasfilm Police because I haven't bought the latest reissue of the OT. I mean; use your brains. You're allowed not to take it.

    EDIT;

    Jabbadabbado; "TPM devalued the SW brand name."
    Yes. If you didn't like it. But that's your point of view, not a fact. Please explain to me how TPM can devalue SW for someone who loved the movie, like I did. There are no truths here, only points of view.
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I'm also thinking about the huge losses that Lego suffered, and the gigantic drop in Hasbro's stock prices since TPM, Pepsico's disappointing results from the TPM tie-ins. The value of the license, not just people's interest in the film frnachise.

    Lucas shot himself in the foot with TPM. That's a fact. He oversold the license by a gigantic margin. There's an epic tragedy. The infallible filmmaker done in by his own greed.
  23. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    "What?!? You are a piece of work, Bud Frescoe. You can't show me any quote where he says Leigh Brackett didn't work on the script, so you ask me to provide a quote where he says he did? For pete's sake, HE GAVE THE WOMAN A SCREENPLAY CREDIT. It would stand to reason that he used at least some of her dialogue, and he's never said, "Oh, we didn't use any dialogue from her script, we just credited her to be nice."


    Gotta come out of lurker mode in this discussion and address this. No, Shelley... Lucas in fact did not use any of Brackett's script for ESB. He didn't feel that what she did before she passed away fit in at all with where he wanted to go with ESB, and so he got Larry Kasdan in to write instead. He did give her a screenwriting credit, yes. He has said flat out that it was given as a tribute to her, and not because her material was used in the film.

    So yes, in effect he HAS said "We didn't use any dialogue from her script, we just credited her to be nice.

    Carry on...
  24. TravCon12 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 3
    I can see there is no changing your mind on this Jabba, and it is senseless to try to discuss this with you.

    By the way you apologize for using certain inflammatory remarks about Lucas, then go right back to using them, reeks of a bit of dishonesty to me.

    Hmmm pot calling kettle black anyone?



  25. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    --I feel sorry for him too. He may be so out of touch running his business empire that he really no longer understands how to make a good movie. Anyway, maybe I'm wrong. We'll find out in May.--
    I doubt it, Jabba. You've made up your mind about him already. You hated TPM and think it's commercialized crap and slant all evidence (much of which is already heavily slanted) toward the conclusion you want to produce. I would imagine you'll hate AOTC too, thinking it's "more of the same," because Lucas didn't make the movie YOU wanted him to make.
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