BTS The Secret History of Star Wars

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by zombie, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. YodaDooDahDay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2010
    star 3
    I'm sure that's true in your case, but for some that's obviously the whole point: the "official story" has holes so George is probably a big fat liar. For those upset about the prequels, the SEs or Lucas refusing to re-release the OT, it's critical ammunition. He lied about this, what else is he lying about?

    I'm glad you posted all the evidence. Again, it shows an evolution which is normal. As for George's original intent vs. what he later claimed, who is really to say? He could've shot the scene hoping to keep his options open -- shoot it so it could be used as is while at the same time hoping technology could save the day. That certainly was true of much of ANH's production: shoot it and hope to figure out a way to make it work either through FX or editing later.
  2. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I don't think he shot anything with the intention of redoing it later - GL was pretty much convinced his career as a filmmaker was over before the film was finished anyway. He had vague ideas of continuing the stories in books, or maybe, just maybe, in really low-budget sequel films (which is where Splinter Of The Mind's Eye came from), but Star Wars was done as best he could. He wasn't completely happy with it - that's not an attitude that came about in the 1990s revival, quotes from just after the film was released & ESB was on the way indicate that he wasn't happy with it then - but his entire focus was making it work one way or another, not leaving any options open for later touch-ups. Not that he had the time or money to do so anyway, it was difficult enough getting a coherent movie together, let alone some sort of half-done epic to be revisited when he had the fortune to do it - something he never could have imagined in 1976/1977.

    With realistic CGI a decade and a half away, if he'd shot anything with the idea of fixing it later, it would have been fixed for the 1981 re-release, not the 1997 Special Editions. The Docking Bay 94 Jabba scene is the prime example - it was shot as intended, but later brainstorming & spin conjured up the myth that it wasn't included because of budget & technological restrictions, as opposed to it simply not being very good. Whatever 'options' he left open related to potential books or low-budget sequels, not any sort of Special Edition of the first film.

    FX and editing did save the film somewhat, but what was done then was largely the extent of what was intended to be left to such processes. There was never any intention for the Jabba scene to be saved by anything, other than its removal from the film altogether.
  3. YodaDooDahDay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2010
    star 3
    I agree, that's the most likely scenario. However, since nearly every aspect of the production involved taking huge risks with the technology, or inventing the technology outright, we can't rule out entirely the possibility that Lucas considered at the time that they might be able to do something in post (I'm not talking for future re-releases). That consideration likely never got farther than a vague idea before more pressing problems took precedence. None of us were in George's head at the time to know for certain. Even while shooting it he could've thought, "Ugh. This isn't anything like I'd hoped it would be. Maybe we can matte in a better monster back in Van Nuys. Wait, Jesus, I've got enough to @?%$ing worry about, just shoot it and move on. No one is going to see this movie anyhow."

    Again, I agree its unlikely he thought about fixing it using existing technology in the late 70s. We do know, however, that various techniques were tried and experimented with during the making of the OT-- rear-projection for the landspeeder shots, for example, or trying a man-in-costume for the Rancor. Again, we can't rule out the idea that Lucas at least thought to himself, "maybe I could matte in a stop-motion puppet" during this period, but quickly decided it wouldn't work. The only thing we know for sure is that by at least 1983 he'd considered the idea enough to draw up storyboards.


    So is this really the rub, Nub? Spin and myth? If so, I just don't see the big hairy deal here. If Lucas says the scene was cut for budget and technology reasons, that could be true. Marcia Lucas wanted the scene in the movie (which is strange since some fans are adamant she and Gary Kurtz are the real authors of the movie) and he had neither the budget, time or resources to make Jabba more interesting. He used what he had and it fell short. If he later says things like "I wanted it to be better" or "I wished we'd had the budget to do it right" or "we didn't have the technology to make a cool alien" that's something that could be true because it applies to almost every aspect of the original production.

    But I guess the bigger issue for me is not that Lucas spun the truth a little (he probably did -- most people DO spin their past actions to be more positive -- it's human nature), but why fans are so concerned that he did.