If you got a job (on TPM) working with the creator of Star Wars would you speak up?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by hawk, Nov 3, 2002.

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  1. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    And that, Durwood, translates to "The movie didn't need to be that good."

    Movies go over budget all the time, and when it comes right down to it, if it ends up making the movie itself better, then in the long run it's not a bad thing at all. ESPECIALLY for a Star Wars movie that's obviously going to rake in a lot of money.

  2. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    That's awefully easy to say when it's not your money on the line. I doubt you'd be so cavalier if you were in Lucas' shoes.
  3. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    And that, Durwood, translates to "The movie didn't need to be that good."

    It could just as easily translate to: "We should strive to make a better movie for less money."

    Movies go over budget all the time, and when it comes right down to it, if it ends up making the movie itself better, then in the long run it's not a bad thing at all. ESPECIALLY for a Star Wars movie that's obviously going to rake in a lot of money.

    Lucas finances his own movies. It's understandable that he wouldn't want to go over budget if it could be avoided. And back when ESB was released, its success was not a sure thing. It was the first follow up to what was then the highest-grossing movie of all time -- expectations were enormous; it had a lot to live up to. Not to mention, it was a darker movie, with more graphic violence, and it didn't end happily; part of what made the original movie such a smash was that it was lighthearted and cheery and the good guys won. And then you factor in that movie audiences are notoriously fickle. So Lucas was justified in his concern; he didn't know if ESB would be a hit or a flop. And as Durwood said, it's easy for you to talk when it's not your money on the line.
  4. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    I think it's ironic that Dooku's Sith lightning, the new bashers pet, turns out to be an idea of his crew.
  5. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Shelley, plenty of folks have linked quotes which show that Lucas did say "It didn't need to be that good."

    Face it... the quality level of ESB was against Lucas' better judgement.
  6. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    The "It didn't need to be that good" line was in reference to the fact that Irvin Kershner "pushed" Lucas for some minor changes and spent a little more than GL wanted to to tell the story, if I remember correctly. So sue a guy for trying his best then, eh? [face_plain]
  7. Master Salty Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 1999
    star 6
    If I was working with Lucas, I would speak up if I didn't like something. I wouldn't be an ass about it though. I would make my thoughts known. I doubt many people have a whole lot of sway over what GL thinks but it doesn't mean they don't complain about it. I think GL should thank his lucky stars he has a movie series that people love so much. That fact alone gives him a lot of room to flex his muscle.
  8. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Shelley, plenty of folks have linked quotes which show that Lucas did say "It didn't need to be that good."

    Plenty of folks have linked quotes to online articles with an agenda to tear Lucas down, or to yellow journalism books such as "Empire Building."

    Face it... the quality level of ESB was against Lucas' better judgement.

    I will not "face" something that isn't a fact.

    I've seen many a poster continue to dredge up the "Lucas is surrounded by yes-men" stuff without offering a shred of hard proof, as well as continue to perpetuate the myth that Irvin Kershner and Lucas hate each other and Lucas "got rid" of Kershner because he hated what he did on ESB or something. They've yet to face the fact that Lucas and Kershner respect each other, and that Kershner was asked back to direct ROTJ.
  9. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    The "It didn't need to be that good" line was in reference to the fact that Irvin Kershner "pushed" Lucas for some minor changes and spent a little more than GL wanted to to tell the story, if I remember correctly. So sue a guy for trying his best then, eh?

    And in which yellow journalism book does that story appear?
  10. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    "...and that Kershner was asked back to direct ROTJ."


    I don't suppose you can provide proof to back this statement up. I mean seeing as how you cry for everyone else to provide evidence of what they post.
  11. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Certainly. It comes from Kershner himself, in the UK version of SW Insider, ESB 20th Anniversary Edition.

    Here's the quote:

    Irvin Kershner interview in Star Wars Magazine (UK) TESB 20th Anniversary Issue June/July 2000.

    About RotJ:
    "I don't even remember who asked me. I was asked if I wanted to do the next one, and it was in the middle of filming, and I said 'I don't think I'd be interested' ... But I wish I had done it, because I felt I could have done something wonderful with it ... I should have, you know, if he was serious, if George really wanted me, I think I should have done it."


    Here's some other quotes from him:

    About getting the gig:
    "I knew there was a reaction by some people at Fox against me - not me particularly, but they felt I was too old, because it's a young person's film. But George felt I was right for it. I appreciate so much the fact that George had confidence in me."

    About TESB and working for/with Lucas:
    "I did not expect it ... I turned it down at first. Star Wars was one of the greatest successes we ever had in film, and I felt to follow it would only be to make a film not as good ... Let me explain something here. Very, very important. When I talked to George about it before I took the movie, he explained something. He said 'Look, the second film of the Star Wars trilogy - if it isn't as good as or better than SW, it won't be a series. It'll die right there. It's got to stand up to the original and go beyond it, if possible'. George wanted me to make a better picture than Star Wars."

    "George said another thing which was really terrific, and I've never heard it from any other producer. I said to him, 'You know, I'm going to be learning the special effects'. He said, 'Don't worry about it. You dream up what you want to do, and no matter what they say on the set - they'll say you can't do that, it's impossible - you do it. We'll find a way to make it work'. Do you know how liberating that is?"

    "I once called George and said, 'George, it's taking a little longer than we thought. Do you want me to take some pages out of the script or, you know, what the hell do we do?'. And he said, 'Don't do anything, just keep on shooting'. Those were his words. And that's, of course, the one thing you want to hear."

    Here's a link to a Salon.com article about Kershner, which contains this choice bit:

    Kershner's respect for Lucas has never wavered; (emphasis mine) it dates back to his boy wonder days. When Kershner was giving seminars at USC, what impressed him was a short picture Lucas made called "6.18.67," about the filming of an expensive Hollywood western, "MacKenna's Gold." "George's film was different from what anybody else had done," Kershner says. "First of all, he shot these extreme long shots of the little tiny group of filmmakers with their umbrellas way in the distance against the mountains -- nobody does that. He really shot a picture that was his vision.
  12. Delance Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2002
    star 3
    This thread has some interesting insights.

    It may be true that, because he is paying people around, they would have to go "Yes Sire" to Lucas, even when they disagree.

    It doesn't change that he didn't have people who could say "this sucks" to him with the necessary emphasis. They were either "yes" men, or they couldn't really say no. It doesn't matter at all.

    Some parts of TPM really suffer from this. This movie would have benefited from someone who could point out the "not so good" parts of the script and stick with the point.

    The best SW movie, in most people's opinions, is TESB. The story there was made by 3 people, not just 1.

    But when you think about it, TPM had cool things going for it, but it was spoiled by details.

    The space combat scene? The ships were cool, the space station was cool, what went wrong?

    Think about a child Luke with on ANH, landing on an hangar on the Death Star by accident.

    Tarkin "But nothing can penetrate our shileds!"

    You get the picture.

    When Anakin is firing weapons on the hangar bay, it looks like a kid on a GameWorks ride more then an actual combat scene. It breaks the moment created by the arrival of Darth Maul.
  13. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    This thread has some interesting insights.

    It may be true that, because he is paying people around, they would have to go "Yes Sire" to Lucas, even when they disagree.


    Even though there is no proof of this?

    It doesn't change that he didn't have people who could say "this sucks" to him with the necessary emphasis. They were either "yes" men, or they couldn't really say no. It doesn't matter at all.

    And your proof of this is...?

    Some parts of TPM really suffer from this. This movie would have benefited from someone who could point out the "not so good" parts of the script and stick with the point.

    Is that why Lucas asked for help on the script (he was turned down and/or people were too busy), and why he passed it by Lawrence "ESB" Kasdan, who told him it was fine?

    Is that why Lucas showed rough cuts of the film to several directors, and added a couple of things at their suggestions -- i.e., Palpatine patting Anakin on the shoulder and saying he'd be watching his career with great interest?

    The best SW movie, in most people's opinions, is TESB. The story there was made by 3 people, not just 1.

    ESB and TPM are, like all the SW movies, a collaborative effort of hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

    But when you think about it, TPM had cool things going for it, but it was spoiled by details.

    The space combat scene? The ships were cool, the space station was cool, what went wrong?

    Think about a child Luke with on ANH, landing on an hangar on the Death Star by accident.

    Tarkin "But nothing can penetrate our shileds!"

    You get the picture.


    No, I'm afraid I don't.

    When Anakin is firing weapons on the hangar bay, it looks like a kid on a GameWorks ride more then an actual combat scene. It breaks the moment created by the arrival of Darth Maul.

    That's funny. People said pretty much the same thing about the Death Star battle in ANH. A couple of choice quotes: "It looks like a video game; I thought I should stick a quarter in a slot before it began." (Gene Siskel) "This battle makes war look like fun." (Danny Peary)
  14. yodaschum Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2002
    star 4
    When Anakin is firing weapons on the hangar bay, it looks like a kid on a GameWorks ride more then an actual combat scene

    [face_laugh], I love it. It's quote's like this that make me come back here, day after day.
  15. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    What Yodaschum, are you a changling or did you suddenly realize that the Wat-Tambor icon might not be considered "cool"? 8-}

    I still can't keep a straight face at the cascade of plotdevices it takes to get Anakin into the spacebattle.

    oh well.
  16. Delance Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2002
    star 3
    One could ask who did program the autopilot on that ship to go attack the battlestation in the first place.

    "Of course" one pilot made the coordenates and transmited it to all ships. Sure.
  17. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    Marcia Lucas actually suggested to George that OW be killed at the end of Star Wars because it "needed" something. Does Lucas have anyone around him who would suggest such a major change today? And, if so, would he listen to them today?
  18. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    I thought this was suggested by Guinness???

    Those old SW legends are just like Woodstock, 10 million people claim to have been there.

    My suggestion would have been to kill Vader at the end of SW, good thing I wasn't there.
  19. Ultimate Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2000
    star 3
    hawk, can you prove that statement?
  20. Master Salty Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 1999
    star 6
    I'm sure people give their opinions but I doubt ANYBODY has that much sway over George Lucas.
  21. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    I read it. My mate has the book and I'll get it back from him this week if I can. I basically said while during filming, Marcia suggested OW die because after escaping the DS, he just hung out in the background during the battle of Yavin. Lucas, I think, sat down and told Guiness that his character would be killed off and Guiness agreed. I will get the book. It was really interesting! :)
  22. Master Salty Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 1999
    star 6
    I always thought Obi-Wan was killed off because they didn't think his character would really be that popular.

    ?[face_plain]
  23. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    According to Guiness it was his idea because he hated playing obi-wan, he suggested it to Lucas, but said it would add drama, and GL agreed, GL didn't know the real reason at the time.
  24. yodaschum Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2002
    star 4
    Hawk is right. I have an excerpt from "George Lucas: A Biography":

    Marcia suggested disposing of C-3p0, but Lucas demurred - to him, the 'droids were the film's true heroes. Then she and the Huycks proposed killing off Kenobi. After he'd introduced Luke to the Force and explained recent history of the galaxy, the old man was redundant...Kurtz broke the news to Guiness.
  25. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Guinness said that he begged Lucas to kill off Obi Wan because he couldn't stand to say any more of "those bloody awful lines."

    Even if the version of events in that biography is true, what, exactly, does it prove?
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