Is Lucas a better/worse DIRECTOR today than when he made ANH?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by hawk, Dec 10, 2002.

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  1. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    I need to bring this up because a lot of people seem to think that Lucas is a talentless hack who can't write or direct. I don't think this at all but I do think that he has changed. Everybody changes!

    Anyway, the TPM bashers may be forgetting a little film that they love: "Star Wars" or ANH. George Lucas directed this baby and wrote the story. He also directed the successful American Grafitti and the cult fav THX1138. So, we already can agree the man has a lot of imagination and talent. However, I agree that the PT is flat if not contradictory and often terrible compared to Lucas' earlier efforts.

    A lot of people also claim he can't direct actors. But Anthony Daniels claims that Lucas never gave much direction to the actors on the original Star Wars film. So, perhaps this has not changed much today either?

    So, for all of you who think Lucas is a poor director, has lost it etc, what allowed him to succeed with the other films he directed? HOW has he changed and, more importantly, HAS he changed at all? Or have the fans simply changed? (note: please let's not turn this into personal attacks)

    I'll post my own opinion later.
  2. Oakessteve Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 9, 1999
    star 6
    Well, I think the twenty years he went without directing did him no favours at all. I really think that a lot of The Phantom Menace is very unimaginatively shot, and it seems to me that George had very little enthusiasm for what he was doing. However, I think that's changed with Attack of the Clones, has a lot of the scenes had a certain flair and excitement to them, and also, it seems as if he, and the actors, are more in to what he's doing, so he has improved as a director since 1999, but whether he has since 1977, I'm afraid I don't know!
  3. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I would say he has never been more on his game than he is right now.
  4. Anakin_Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 1
    It might be a mix of things. I'm sure the fans have changed; now they've experienced "life", and have grown up to be a different person. No matter how TPM was, the fans who grew up with it wouldn't get to feel that new "magic" that the children who saw it did. I remember in the theatres about 3 days after it opened; all of the kids were mesmerized by what they saw, and they all LOVED Jar Jar. My sister's the same way; TPM and AOTC are the only SW films that she'll watch; she refuses to watch the others after I showed them to her. She laughs at everything he does, whatever it may be. Let's face it; back in '99, it was the kid's turn to experience the magic, the newness, the sense of wonder that comes from these movies. TPM is to the kids now what ANH was to you guys then. I remember being 3 years old and watching ANH for the first time on VHS at my house. I was so captivated, that when they went into the trench, I grabbed my remote and pretended I was flying in to destroy the Death Star. Same for my sister; she always grabs her hairbrushes and makes believe she's racing in a Pod, and she's 5 years old. So I don't think it was Lucas who changed, it was US.
  5. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Well, some of us. I may be different in a lot of ways, having a job, mortgage and car payments, but I still get that "new" feeling from the prequels.
  6. Anakin_Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 1
    No, I'm not talking about that, I mean that "new" feeling of seeing a SW movie for the first time. You know, your first trip to that galaxy far,far away. Trust me, we ALL changed over the years. It's unavoidable.
  7. Hell_Sith666 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2002
    star 1
    Lucas was a great director in the 70's when he made AG and ANH. Today he's a great business man and movie producer. He should take over McCallum's job and give directing duties to someone more compitant.
  8. Anakin_Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 1
    Well, McCallum took George's old bloated neck, so maybe it's only fair for GL to take his job.

    I kid, I kid.
  9. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Nobody could have done as good a job as Lucas did.
  10. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "I would say he has never been more on his game than he is right now."

    "Nobody could have done as good a job as Lucas did. "

    care to back up either of those blanket generalizations with something meaningful, such as examples of why nobody could have done as good a job or why you think he is more on his game than ever?
  11. Jedi_Waster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 2
    This sounds like it could be a good thread.

    I think he's a worse director now. (as predictable as Gomer aren't I?)

    My reasons are of course my own. Of course, he was never that good to start with so...

    I'm under no illusion here, ANH is great because it has a timeless story. It's not very well made, but the way the plot moves along and the editing is quite good.

    American Grafitti - who has actually seen it? Its just Lucas pointing a few cameras at some young talented actors and just letting it loose. Its done in a docu-style, if the story had been rubbish and the actors bad, would it have been as successful?

    THX 1138, please? This is a truly awful movie that no-one liked. I seriously doubt many people have seen it on these boards.

    And personally I think his ego got a bit of a battering after ESB...
  12. WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Lucas is a medocre director at best. Jedi Waster has pointed out some serious thoughts on George the "director".

    When Lucas was "directing" ANH, he was busy arguing with the studio, the producer (the real talent and genius behind the SW saga) the crew and actors, as he was in over his head with something overwhelming and new to him. While the man was disctracted, the actors were sneaking in bits of warmth and humanity into the cardboard characters.

    Now that Lucas is on his own, with no one to distract him from misdirection of actors, its painfuly obvious he is a genuine hack.
  13. Binary_Sunset Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 5
    Lucas, as was proven with the 1977 Star Wars film, can be an excellent director. What did he have then that he doesn't have now?

    Poverty.

    Lucas had to fight for every frame of Star Wars. He about drove himself crazy writing four major versions of the script. He never knew if the money he needed was going to be there, he never knew if the special effects shots he needed would come through, he never knew when his actors/camera crew/special effects guys/whomever would give him a lot of flack. He was only about 30 years old with only one major film to his credit (which, many thought, he merely lucked-out on). Nobody looked at him with awe. He was just the scrawny kid-director busily throwing 10 million dollars of someone else's money down a hole.

    All these considerations and more literally put Lucas in the hospital.

    Through that crucible of sweat, blood, and tears, the diamond-like movie, Star Wars, was born.

    Now, Lucas is the benign demi-god worth 3 billion dollars who gets what he wants every day starting with breakfast. If his films utterly fail, he's still a multi-billionaire. <<shrugs>>

    His back isn't to the wall anymore. Now he's just having fun toying with his digital cameras and CGI and all the rest. There's no urgency about making his new films. Back in the 1970s, it was do or die. Now, no matter what, he's a multi-billionaire. How could that not take the edge off?
  14. SWfan2002 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2002
    star 4
    I think GL found a sense of urgency after TPM-- that if he wasn't careful he'd ruin the series of movies he's most known for.
  15. Lurking_Around Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2002
    star 6
    Through that crucible of sweat, blood, and tears, the diamond-like movie, Star Wars, was born.

    Hear hear!

    Though honestly, I was never fond of Lucas as a director. Probably why ESB is my fave

    :D
  16. AdamBertocci Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2002
    star 7
    Lucas isn't that good a writer or director. But he is still a great "ideas guy" -- even better so than in '77 -- and he's probably the world's best executive producer (whatever that could mean) :D .

    And maybe American Graffiti was shot "documentary style", but they said the same thing about the SW movies...




    Rick McCallum loves you!
  17. JediMasterEllic_Kier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 3
    Apparently some of you need to stop watching the movies. You obviously don't like GL's directing style.

    Does it occur to any of you that GL is directing things a certain way ON PURPOSE!
    He has always said that the SW films are an homage to the serials of the 30's and 40's. From the dialogue to the camera angles.

    You are looking for the same thing in the PT that you got in the OT. It's not set in the same time period. Characters are going to talk and act differently than they did in the OT. GL remembers this, and you should too.

    Has GL made mistake? YES (I don't like Ewoks or Jar Jar either) Find me a perfect movie! You can't.

    1138 was an interesting movie that had unique look to it. I liked it, not for everybody though.

    American Graffiti was a fantastic movie. Even if it was done in "Documentary Style", GL still had to set the shots up correctly, or it wouldn't have worked. He had to get the correct performance from the actors. Do you really think he just set the camera up and told them to act, and got the perfect result on the first take???!!!

    EDITI: deleted my last comment. Grow up!
  18. Lurking_Around Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2002
    star 6
    Excellent, comment deleted. I knew sarcasm was a great tool.

    [face_laugh]
  19. weezyslob Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2002
    star 3
    He's the same now as he was then, except he has different material to work with and he relies too much on GCI. By different material I mean Jedi, Senators, important people who talk and act different than the people in the OT who are just regular people.
  20. WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    JediMasterEllic_Kier:

    Regarding the possiblity of Lucas immitating the 30s/40s style of "directing": Those films had over pronouced characters with the acting style. Everything in those films comes to vivid life. In the Prequels, Lucas sits on an "A" list cast of actors with his huge ass that even Liam Neson cannot fully show his screen presence. Not once, in either PT film, do I sense any genuine humanity in ANY character... ok, maybe Watto.

    Go back and watch: The Gay Divorcee or The Big Sleep! Both have oversimplifed characterizations and simple dialouge, however, the actors exhude warmth, humanity and depth through their preformances. Preformances the director allows them to bring forth in front of the camrea. Breakneck speed deliverd dialouge that just boggles the mind how many takes some of those scenes must have taken.

    Watch ep I again to see if you can point out a whole scene where there is any of th
  21. Dynasty_Knight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 30, 2002
    I pretty much agree with everything Binary_Sunset said.
  22. scruffy-lookin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2001
    star 3
    Poverty might be extreme but from the interviews I've read he certainly thought that his directing career was on the line. Had Star Wars been a huge flop and cost the studio money he wouldn't have been in the poor house but he would have probably become like most other directors, a hired gun working for a studio or struggling to get his films funded.

    I think GL has become more interested in what he can do than he is in telling the Star Wars story. He seems to have a "fix it later mentality" that isn't conducive to actors performances (particularly the less experienced actors) which leaves me feeling uninvolved.
  23. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I could see that if the prequels were in some way sub par for SW films. But it would seem he does just fine with complete control.

    I am not sure why some of you wouldn't feel any warmth in the characters. I related to them just fine.
  24. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 4
    Gomie is right, as always. Lucas is just as talented now as he was then. Only the audience's expecations have changied.
  25. Binary_Sunset Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 5
    Cbjedi, I agree with what scruffy-lookin wrote: Poverty might be extreme but from the interviews I've read he certainly thought that his directing career was on the line. Had Star Wars been a huge flop and cost the studio money he wouldn't have been in the poor house but he would have probably become like most other directors, a hired gun working for a studio or struggling to get his films funded.

    Also, I have read that (assuming SW tanked) Lucas would have felt honor-bound to repay every cent that was invested in SW, even if it took him the rest of his life. He certainly had everything on the line. In any case, there's no comparison between then and the multi-billionaire he has become.
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