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BTS Lucas Quotes and Interviews about the starwars saga.

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Keeper_of_Swords, May 22, 2004.

  1. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009

    No, it's merely a clumsy attempt at having the best of both worlds, with the best of intentions in mind - on GL's part, at least. It's Rinzler's integrity that was compromised in this case (being the one who put his name to a grandiose publication advertised as being in-depth and 'historically accurate'), and even then it's understandable, with LFL over his shoulder.

    Doesn't change the fact that information was deliberately presented in a false context. Just how crucial this particular falsehood was to the study of the development of the story is a matter of debate, but my point still stands - any other such convenient quotes (which, BTW, aren't even dated in the ESB & ROTJ books) simply can't be taken at face value, unfortunately. The well has been poisoned.
     
  2. ATMachine

    ATMachine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2007
    I agree with everything except "the best of intentions" on GL's part -- how can the falsification of the historical record (for the sake of preserving his own myth and the doublespeak surrounding the SEs) come from good intentions?
     
  3. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2013
    It is weird. In this instance I will differ to you - you clearly have a much better understanding of the BTS stuff than I do. However I just thought the post I quoted was a bit of an overreaction.

    Hopefully someday GL will shed some light on all this confusion.
     
    Darth_Nub likes this.
  4. Darth__Lobot

    Darth__Lobot Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 29, 2015

    Maybe that's the experiment :)
     
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  5. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009

    Well, just to play devil's advocate for a second, it could be argued that the myth/spin surrounding the SW Saga (that it was a massive, coherent vision from the start, with GL simply revealing each episode when the resources were available to do so) is more important than the actual facts - Star Wars was created for the purpose of entertainment and escapism, and the idea that it's all been there from the beginning just adds to the lustre and makes it feel more 'real' for those who love to escape the real world in favour of that galaxy far, far away. The 'historical record' is only about something fictional to begin with, after all.
    The dull, nitty-gritty details of going back and forth over multiple, often contadictory, ideas as to how to move forward could be seen to spoil the magic of this fantasy world - especially those details which could be seen to have come into being much later than the time that certain viewers believed that there was a certain amount of plotting already set down, i.e. the storyline of the PT that existed while the OT was being made.

    That's one point of view, and I believe that GL himself has always tried to maintain the spin for just that reason - but it just doesn't hold up, as there has always been far too much information out there to contradict it. He can try, but his myth falls apart in the light of publicly available facts (early drafts, old interviews etc). These discussions wouldn't exist if such facts weren't so freely available.
    That's why I called it 'clumsy' - but it's easy to see what he was trying to do, and I don't believe such motivations were exactly malicious, and were only deceptive for a perfectly justifiable reason. He just wasn't very good at it - but then again, many still buy it, to the tune of billions of dollars, so maybe we're the chumps.

    However, Rinzler's books were presented to the world as just such 'historical records' - detailing the actual facts about how these films were created, for those who were interested in such matters, not just for the crowds who'll move to the next superhero movie once a SW episode finishes its run.
    They're dense, they're detailed, they're expensive, and require a fair bit of effort to explore - aiming to be the equivalent of the in-depth History of Middle Earth series, published by JRR Tolkien's son. Throwing a cheap bit of chicanery in there to smooth over a particularly controversial PT issue was utterly inappropriate, cynical, sleazy and a bit insulting. As I've already said, it completely erodes the credibility of everything else in the series that can't be backed up by what we've already come across in other sources (so why bother with the Rinzler books at all?).

    It might come across as an overreaction, but the context of Rinzler's 'Making of' series is completely different to the usual press releases, articles and so on. There's plenty that's already been left out of them - don't add insult to injury by including material that simply isn't true.
     
  6. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011

    If the intention was really to obfuscate the fact that the story wasn't completely planned out all along, it seems to me there are plenty of other much more prominent parts of the book that contradict that narrative and which nevertheless were approved by Lucas. The midi-chlorian addition is just so weird and ultimately inconsequential to any larger narrative Lucas might have been trying to push that I wonder if maybe we have it all wrong, and it was just a simple case of crossed wires or something. Maybe Lucas simply added that note about midi-chlorians as a sort of commentary about the way his thoughts on the Force now coincided with his thoughts on the Force then, and didn't realize that Rinzler would simply publish it as if it were part of the original passage. And perhaps Rinzler himself didn't realize he'd made an oversight until the book was published and people started publishing online articles about how midi-chlorians were supposedly invented in 1977.

    This is admittedly a charitable reading of the situation, but I don't think it's an altogether implausible one. After all, it seems Rinzler was very conscientious when it came to documenting came to other controversial parts of the saga's development. For example, nowhere is it definitively suggested in the book that Vader was always intended to be Luke's father. Rinzler publishes Lucas's own quoted claims on the matter, of course, but that's as far as he goes. He never fabricates quotes or otherwise modifies any other primary sources in order to buttress Lucas's claim. He just lets the evidence itself stand on its own, and then lets Lucas's claims stand on their own, which strikes me as the most fair way to handle the situation without injecting any undue bias into it. The idea that Rinzler would blatantly mislead his readers about important information for the sake of preserving a false Lucasian narrative just strikes me as contrary to the way every other controversial issue in the books is deal with.
     
  7. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009

    Nor do I - it's a very plausible explanation, and also explains the otherwise odd decision Rinzler made to correct the quote on his SW.com blog.

    I'm inclined to go with something of a "little from Column A, a little from Column B" stance - it could be that facts were fudged in order to make certain points clearer, it could also be the case that they simply underestimated how seriously and closely the readership would analyse the books (i.e. obsessive geeks like us;) ). There could have been the attitude that "no one will notice, the later quote just reinforces the fact that George was thinking along these lines back then, it ties it all together in a way people will understand, no harm done."

    It's frustrating - and probably the most frustrating aspect of the Rinzler publications isn't such inaccuracies (which, TBH, I don't think there's likely to be many of), or even the lack of proper notes/dates (allowing for further manipulation), but the deliberate omission of certain information known to exist. GL's original outline for ESB which he provided to Leigh Brackett, the story conferences he had with Brackett, and most importantly of all, the notorious ring binders in which he kept all his major notes for the SW Saga as a whole - OT, PT, ST and maybe even more. IIRC, Rinzler even claimed he saw them, but GL said he wasn't allowed to read them. A lot of the answers to so many questions are almost definitely right there in such sources - but they've been withheld.

    What you end up with, despite the tantalising facts which are revealed about early alternatives, is something that still feels incomplete - despite the mind-numbing and massive volume of text devoted to legal negotiations and the purchase of building materials. There's also that very unsatisfying epilogue to the ESB book addressing the plans (c.1979) for Eps VII-IX, which simply skims over their potential existence, basically towing the line that they were never really something intended to be made - a "media invention", as GL liked to put it about ten years ago - despite so much other evidence to the contrary.


    He's been considerably more forthcoming in recent years, but in terms of addressing specifics on the level many of us would like, I can't see it happening beyond a quote here and there. He's under no obligation whatsoever to do so, and it's all so convoluted that it would require a massive amount of time and effort simply to cater to a very small niche of SW fandom (and perhaps undermine both the spin, as well as his own integrity if it's clearly revealed that he fibbed here and there).
    I bring up the History of Middle Earth series now and then as a sort of ideal, but Tolkien's mythological universe was constructed from the start as a sort of academic exercise, and the specifics of its creation are just as relevant to its existence as the finished products themselves (some of which were never really finished anyway). Tolkien himself was more than forthcoming about the bits and pieces of Middle-Earth while he was alive - his letters to various colleagues and fans have even been published, and they reveal all manner of details, while preserving the magic of his creation. He mastered the technique of explaining how he created his fictional world, while still being able to speak of it 'in-universe'.

    The SW Saga, however, was never intended as such. It began as an updated 'Flash Gordon-type film' and evolved into something much deeper and epic - but at the end of the day, all GL was ever trying to do was make a series of space fantasy films to entertain cinema audiences, and he did.
    A lot of back and forth over the storylines occurred, and is thoroughly worthy of investigation in terms of how such a saga comes into being (perhaps to educate future such mythmakers), but all we're really entitled to when it comes to SW is the finished product.
    Done. Everything else is a bonus, so it's up to loonies like those who bother to contribute to threads such as this one to piece together the rest.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 18, 2012
    As with Tolkein, so with Herbert and the Dune universe. Herbert was quite forthcoming about the thinking behind the Dune universe...and there are hints that he stepped outside of the bounds of that universe in order to move the story along....but. I don't think he ever outright acknowledged that.

    The difference is, before Herbert wrote the story he had a fairly singular sense of what that story was (his own later additions, after Children of Dune, I think are weak - re-hashing old charaters etc.....and those by Brian Herbert and KJA are, frankly, unreadable; just pulp) - whereas we know that the backstory/universe that Lucas had was very fluid, was in the process of change as the story developed. I just don't see any good reason to hide that, except - maybe - to take ownership of those earlier movies artistically as well as legally....which seems to be a bit of a clarion call of his; that his singular vision is what created those movies.
     
  9. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009

    I'm not too familiar with the Dune Saga, having only experienced it via the David Lynch film and the first TV series, but combined with SW, it's all sounding like the mess surrounding George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, which the author is struggling not only to complete, but simply to proceed with. The explosion of interest surrounding Westeros since the TV show can't be anything but an overwhelming weight on top.

    GRRM has been copping a ridiculous amount of criticism for his writing pace over the last few years (even prior to the premiere of the HBO series) - some fair, some foul - but he's had his defenders, Neil Gaiman the most prominent. Our own George deserved a bit of support when the more obsessive end of fandom threw him into a pit for 'raping their childhoods'.

    Give these guys a break, FFS, and if your own life breaks down because the fantasy worlds they're in charge of isn't working quite right - get a job, or a life.
     
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  10. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 18, 2012


    While I agree with the points you are making - they're just works of fiction - I'm not sure how you moved from what I was saying to where you got to. I was only pointing out that these writers haven't generally been involved in covering up the evolution of their stories.
     
  11. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009

    Sorry, that last comment wasn't directed at you, rather the more hysterical fans who take their criticism way too far.
     
  12. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Darth_Nub wrote

    Nevertheless, you're quite right to be skeptical about any such details, thanks to that brazen act of chicanery regarding the midichlorians. Really unprofessional and a bit sleazy (although I think Rinzler himself probably realised as such, hence the retraction). Was that quote from the same publication about C-3PO having originally been built by a little boy in a junkyard from 1977 or 2007? Are the ESB and ROTJ tomes full of other such little, well, lies?

    We're not talking about actual history being fabricated, but given the way these books were presented to the world - as definitive, authoritative texts regarding the development of these films - citing a quote from c. 2007 concerning an extremely controversial issue as having come from 1977 is just a flat-out lie, and brings everything else in the text (plus its sequels) into question. Omission is one thing - there's probably loads of material GL has kept to himself - but fabrication is another.

    I still remember that the 1977 "Lucas Notes" only came with the hardcover edition of the Making of Star Wars (I gave my softcover edition to a friend) so maybe the "damage" only applies to the Lucas Notes. Discrepancies I noted:
    • "Midichlorians" supposedly in these 1977 notes
    • "Tantive IV" supposedly already the name for Princess Leia's ship (IIRC, it was Brian Daley's radio drama that gave her ship a name)
    • Claim that Emperor had already seized bureaucracy and control, while Taggi wonders vocally in the film, how the Emperor was to maintain control without the bureaucracy (suggesting it was the Imperial Senate providing that for the Emperor, and not the other way round)
    For what purpose where these Lucas Notes originally created? Don't we have access to the raw and unaltered originals?

    I seem to remember that bits and pieces were published in Bantha Tracks and the Skywalking biography.
     
  13. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 30, 2012
    "[...] One of the Chancellors began subverting the Senate and buying off Senators with the help of some of the large intergalactic trade companies and mining companies and intergalactic power companies. Through their power and money, he bought off enough of the Senate to get himself elected to a second term, because of a crisis. By the time the third term came along, he had corrupted so much of the Senate that they made him Emperor for the rest of his life.
    "Giving the Emperor that title for life and doing away with the elective process was all done with a lot of rationalizing. Many in the Senate felt that having elections and changing leaders in the time of an emergency disrupted the bureaucratic system. And the bureaucracy was getting to be so big that changing leaders made it impossible to have any effect on the system and make it work - moreover the bureaucracy was running amok and not paying attention to the rulers. So they reasoned that the Emperor could bring the bureaucracy back in line. So the Emperor took control of the bureaucracy. The Galactic Senate would meet for a period that was similar to a year, but after it became the Imperial Senate, the meetings were less and less frequent until finally the meetings were only once a year, and they were very short.
    "With the bureaucracy behind the Emperor, it was impossible and too late for the Senate to do anything. He had slowly manipulated things; in fact, it was he who had let the bureaucracy run amok and therefore had blackmailed the Senate into doing things because he was the only one who really had any power over the bureaucracy. It was so large there was no way to get things done, but he knew the right people; the key people in the bureaucracy were working for him and were paid by the companies."

    "Darth Vader is really attached to the Emperor himself, and he was not really part of the Death Star personnel or any of that system. Lord Vader worked directly for the Emperor and was the Emperor's emissary.
    [...]
    When the Jedi tried to restore order, Darth Vader was still one of the Jedi. What he would do is catch the Jedi off guard and, using his knowledge of the Force, he would kill the Jedi without them realizing what was happening. They trusted him and they didn't realize he was the murderer who was decimating their ranks. At the height of the Jedi, there were sever hundred thousand. At the time of the Rebellion, most of them were killed. The Emperor had some strong forces rally behind him, as well, in terms of the army the Imperial forces that he'd been building up secretly. The Jedi were so outnumbered that they fled and were tracked down. They tried to regroup, but they were eventually massacred by one of the special elite forces led by Darth Vader. Eventually only a few, including Ben and Luke's father, were left. Luke's father is named Annikin." - Lucas, summer 1977

    During the writing of ROTJ:
    Lucas: "Anakin Skywalker starting hanging out with the Emperor, who at this point nobody knew was that bad, because he was an elected official."
    Kasdan: "Was he a Jedi?"
    Lucas: "No, he was a politician. Richard M. Nixon was his name. He subverted the senate and finally took over and became an imperial guy and he was really evil. But he pretended to be a really nice guy. He sucked Luke's father into the dark side."
    Kasdan: "The Force was available to anyone who could hook into it?"
    Lucas: "Yes, everybody can do it."
    Kasdan: "Not just the Jedi?"
    Lucas: "It's just the Jedi who take the time to do it."
    Marquand: "They use it as a technique."
    Lucas: "Like yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing."
    [...]
    Lucas: "Well, anyway, Luke's father gets subverted by the Emperor. He gets a little weird at home and his wife begins to figure out that things are going wrong and she confides in Ben, who is his mentor. On his missions through the galaxies, Anakin has been going off doing his Jedi thing and a lot of Jedi have been getting killed — and it's because they turn their back on him and he cuts them down. The president is turning into an Emperor and Luke's mother suspects that something has happened to her husband. She is pregnant. Anakin gets worse and worse, and finally Ben has to fight him and he throws him down into a volcano and Vader is all beat up. Now, when he falls into the pit, his other arm goes and his leg and there is hardly anything left of him by the time the Emperor's troops fish him out of the drink. Then when Ben finds out that Vader has been fished out and is in the hands of the Empire, he is worried about it. He goes back to Vader's wife and explains that Anakin is the bad guy, the one killing all the Jedi. When he goes back his wife, Mrs. Skywalker has had the kids, the twins, so she has these two little babies who are six months old or so. So everybody has to go into hiding. The Skywalker line is very strong with the Force, so Ben says, 'I think we should protect the kids, because they may be able to help us right the wrong that your husband has created in the universe'. And so Ben takes one and gives him to a couple out there on Tatooine and he gets his little hideout in the hills and he watches him grow. Ben can't raise Luke himself, because he's a wanted man. Leia and Luke's mother go to Alderaan and are taken in by the king there, who is a friend of Ben's. She dies shortly thereafter and Leia is brought up by her foster parents. She knows that her real mother died."
    Kasdan: "She does know that?"
    Lucas: "Yes, so we can bring that out when Luke is talking to her, she can say that her mother died when 'I was two years old'."

    Interesting that Lucas stuck to the concept of Vader starting out as a secret Jedi killer.
     
  14. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    darklordoftech wrote

    "[...] One of the Chancellors began subverting the Senate and buying off Senators with the help of some of the large intergalactic trade companies and mining companies and intergalactic power companies. Through their power and money, he bought off enough of the Senate to get himself elected to a second term, because of a crisis. By the time the third term came along, he had corrupted so much of the Senate that they made him Emperor for the rest of his life.
    "Giving the Emperor that title for life and doing away with the elective process was all done with a lot of rationalizing. Many in the Senate felt that having elections and changing leaders in the time of an emergency disrupted the bureaucratic system. And the bureaucracy was getting to be so big that changing leaders made it impossible to have any effect on the system and make it work - moreover the bureaucracy was running amok and not paying attention to the rulers. So they reasoned that the Emperor could bring the bureaucracy back in line. So the Emperor took control of the bureaucracy. The Galactic Senate would meet for a period that was similar to a year, but after it became the Imperial Senate, the meetings were less and less frequent until finally the meetings were only once a year, and they were very short.
    "With the bureaucracy behind the Emperor, it was impossible and too late for the Senate to do anything. He had slowly manipulated things; in fact, it was he who had let the bureaucracy run amok and therefore had blackmailed the Senate into doing things because he was the only one who really had any power over the bureaucracy. It was so large there was no way to get things done, but he knew the right people; the key people in the bureaucracy were working for him and were paid by the companies."

    Thanks, that's exactly what appears to be a revised quote from these Lucas Notes because it simply does not match with General Taggi's vocal concerns in ANH, clearly suggesting that the Emperor had no control over the bureaucracy.
     
  15. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 8

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    "How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?" is what Tagge said.

    So - the Senate is the bureaucracy (or part of it at least) - Palpatine controls them, and through them controls the galaxy - but he's decided to eliminate them entirely, and instead rely on "regional governors" instead.
     
  16. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 2, 2004
    [​IMG]
     
  17. MeBeJedi

    MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 30, 2002
    The novelization touches on this as well:

    Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.
    Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.
     
  18. J7Luke

    J7Luke Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 30, 2017
    I'm sure someone said this already, but I was flipping back through here and I thought this quote was interesting.
     
  19. DarthTalonx

    DarthTalonx Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 12, 2014

    To be fair though, George Lucas wrote Episode 7, 8 and 9. Sadly this is not his story we are seeing. Whatever is said and done, he created Star Wars. Gave us all these stories and characters and one coherent, cohesive, and brilliant saga.

    At the moment, the flow isn't there and I do feel that his visionary story telling, arc and linking the entire thing together is sorely missed.