Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by TheProtocol, Mar 27, 2013.
Lucas lies. Of course he's gonna say he had everything planned out from the beginning.
Lucas doesn't lie he simply tells things from his point of view. And please dont exaggerate and try to make it out like he is trying to fool someone or something. Nobody said he had EVERYTHING planned out perfectly from the beginning. But it is a fact that he always wanted a big story told in at least 6 parts that make up what he could call "The Star Wars Saga".
Like he tells Leonard Maltin on the interview before the 1995 vhs Box Set of the OT: I had a big story I wanted to tell in different parts and the backstory i wrought for SW was what will make up the Prequel Trilogy. Essentially thats how it basically all worked out to the way it is now.
"I have this backstory that I worked out for the OT that I want to tell to enrich and complete my SW Saga" is what defined the last 25 years of Star Wars lore in this country and in other country's. Thats the fact.
It can also easily be said that if anything should or even could be called out as "made up on the fly" about SW its the ST. The ST and the very idea of having 3 trilogy's for 3 different generations of people to watch unfold was what was always the roughest and least developed and most ignored and "kept on the shelf" as Lucas says. The ST is really the only trilogy that was never supposed to happen.
It is also a fact that all the Star Wars ideas that were created since the ideas inception were written down and noted and scribbled down in his red leather spiral binder that we can see in his 1994 video documenting the first day of starting the PT.
We should really just keep things simple and leave it at that rather than nit-pick and act paranoid that someone is somehow elaborately trying to fool anybody.
Sorry but accusing him of not being honest when you are basing your facts on something not done during the era of the movies but done around 1973-75 is being pretty darn picky. Again writers are always going to change their stories around a bit when they are first outlining a story. But in the link that darthnub put on there it is clear that by the time the movies started coming out he had a pretty clear picture of the story he wanted to tell. I didn't read through the link that you posted though as I have no interest in reading what that guys personal opinions were about Lucas's childhood and growing up years. You can pretty much find everything out in the Empire of Dreams documentary that you can in The Secret History of Star Wars and it is much more enjoyable to pay attention to.
We are not basing our facts on some notes done around 1973-75! I'd say that EVERY SINGLE DRAFT (the last one dated march 1977), the first drafts of Empire, the conversations between Lucas and his collaborators... are better sources of information than a documentary made in the 2000s.
And The Secret History... is not about Lucas' childhood years; if you haven't read it, please, don't critizise it.
But it's obvious that you're not interested in finding out whether your version of the truth is accurate, so let's not keep discussing this. But at least, don't pretend that you KNOW how SW was made if you refuse to read all the information available.
This is not paranoia and we are not accusing Lucas of conspiring to hide the truth! But the thing is, we, as human being, always tend to alter the past. We forget things. We embelish things to create a better story. We hide things that we're not proud of. Often unknowingly, only tell a part of the truth (the same event, told by different people, will often be totally different!).That's human nature. Therefore, it is logical, if you are interested in how SW was created (honest interest, not the burning desire to uncover the secret plot to hide the truth), you have to look at the information from the time the films were made, and not take what Lucas says today as the absolute truth (and it's the same for any other investigation process).
In Lucas' case, it's even logical that he should twist the truth: after all, he's making public statements, he's selling a product. So, of coruse, the truth will be simplified, altered to make a better story and sell the product. And if you are the author of an ongoing series, it's better if you pretend to have everything planned (as Lucas himself wrote to the producers of Lost!!): it reassures the audience that "everything is going as planned", that the new movies were always meant to be there.
And the fact that he always wanted to tell a big story in at least 6 part is most certainly NOT a fact! And that the story was abot Anakin Skywalker, the boy who turned to evil and was then redeemed is very far from the truth. And since "the backstory that made the PT" is essentially that ("Anakin Skywalker's tragedy"), you cannot said that the backstory was created in the 1970s.
Oierem again stop paying so much attention to who what was said in 1970 who knows what when the story was still being developed by him. Pay attention to what he has said since the franchise has started. If you pay attention to that you will find his statements have been pretty consistent to what we say today.
Mod edit: No personal attacks
And by the way yes I did scan over the Secret History of Star Wars (again I'm not going to read it thoroughly because it is quite simply a horrible read (and by the way if it wasn't supposed to be about Lucas's life he shouldn't have spent so much time talking about his life growing up and his dad and what his dad did growing up)) . And it is clear that much of the things that you all are talking about were stated in 1975 or before. Once they get into '77-.'79 his vision starts becoming pretty consistent with what we see today.
Mod edit: Again, no personal attacks. And don't go telling other posters what to. Everyone on these boards is entitled to his or her opinion.
Lucas is NOT lying to anyone and he is not trying to hid the truth about anything. He will sit there (as he has on many, MANY recent documentary's since 99) and tell you right out that the story went through drastic changes and took many forms before he settled on what he basically wanted to do. He will sit there and talk about how "everyone on the farm and luke were originally supposed to be little people" like hobbits/willow type of people. He will and has actually used the words "were originally supposed to be". I remember him going on many, many talkshows around the time TPM came out telling everyone that "no! I never had it all planned out and the story took many forms until I settled on what it is today".
This whole paranoia (that only some newer and more hardcore fans hold btw) that he is somehow embellishing something is simply not true and if anything the only ones embellishing anything are these particular fans.
I read all of "The secret history of SW" and I even used to talk to the person who wrought it (username Zombie) that used to post here and HE is the one who is embellishing. Hes embellishing anything that makes Lucas look like hes trying to fool people when in reality its simply the storytelling process Lucas went through trying to wright his Star Wars Saga. The fan who wrought that book might be passionate but he IS very bias in the way he crafted that book. He gos waaay out of his way to make the SW prequels look like some kind of fraud and travesty. He has even admitted that he is one of those bias fans who is militantly and stubbornly opposed to anything SW that was made after TESB.
You simply cant just pick one young persons bias account of "how it happened" and cling to it as if its gospel because of the clever way he wrought it all out in his carefully crafted manifesto.
Since that guy released that book numerous things he says have been proven to be very exaggerated or even flat out lies. Like how he makes a BIIIIG DEAL about what an awful travesty it supposedly is that when Lucas was ready to shoot the shot of obi-wan picking up anakins lightsaber (to give to luke) he did it in pick ups. He is so clever in making it look sooo bad and lazy in the language he uses and the way he describes it when in reality Lucas has always (all his life) been very fond of using pick ups to get shots weather the shots are major or minor. He has always said that he directs in the editing room and that to him and artists like him the process of actually getting the shots is only like gathering lumber to build the house. The part he likes is building the house he wants to build not gathering the lumber. Films are shot out of order in general. But now take someone with an agenda and let him wright a big book that in the very title itself promises the reader that it is "uncovering a big secret history that someone was trying to hide from the world" and let him tell the WHOLE entire story totally from his point of view and then get to the end of the book when its time for HIM to tell you the account of how the stupid shot of the lightsaber was taken in pick ups and SURE its going to sound however that writer WANTS it to sound. And what a surprise! He made it sound like what his bias needs it to sound like, bad. Because god knows George is a big bad liar and half his entire story (the PT) is bad and unholy and "the enemy" to the wonderful, oh so magical beloved first two perfect SW movies ever made. rolleyes
This kind of attitude is what gives SW fans a very bad name. Because it makes the rest of the world think of us as trekkies, -another words the kind of fan that is too hard core and too militantly obsessed with petty chronology to the point where they treat the very sole person who created the story like some kind of dangerous enemy when all the man ever even did was maintain basic creative control and artistic intent over his own intellectual property consistently throughout the years. All nit-picking does is complicate everything and badly confuse newcomers and casual fans.
So for the sake of SW and all the casual fans who dont even care about any of this can we just keep it simple? It is a fact that all the Star Wars ideas that were created since the ideas very inception were written down and noted and scribbled down in his red leather spiral binder that we can see in his 1994 video documenting the first day of starting the PT. Thats all.
Its just nice that this thing we all love that seems so complicated really is not because the bottom line is that it was ONE MANS singular vision for 30 years that he followed through with and finished despite everyone in the world trying to tell him what they want to see, trying to take collective ownership over his baby, his art. The same cant be said about the ST because others are going to be taking what George Lucas started and trying to finish it. Thats the difference.
Well if that Secret History of Star Wars book was written from some guy in this forum that makes it even less significant. It makes since that it would be some fanboy who wrote it considering how poorly it was written.
From what I heard he did the OT first because he felt the technology at the time wasn't up to the standards needed for the PT. I mean yes SW was revolutionary in the tech used but even that wasn't enough for the PT. I can kinda see why. The PT needed a lot of CGI for the same effect wanted.
Yes! This is true.
He wanted to be able to see visually stunning planets like the capital world of coruscant and he wanted to be able to have a very large scope that he couldn't get in ANH. In ANH (and many fans knows this) there was always supposed to be a big race sequence where we see Luke racing his friends in there skyhoppers and he "threads the needle" in beggars canyon. Well obviously this was what became the podrace and we even finally get to see beggars canyon in it with some nice visual mirrors to Luke in the death star trench. And thats just one example.
All throughout his career he talked about how badly he wanted to pull off a good enough "immaculate reality" like Akira Kurosawa (lucas's hero) always used to say. Well thanks to ILM's breakthroughs in visual effects he was finally able to do it. He realized this when he saw the ILM test shots for Jurassic Park.
He made the SW trilogy, he took some time off building up his company's selling Pixar to steve jobs, making the whole Indiana Jones Trilogy, labrinth, Willow and the young indy TV series, then when technology caught up he finished his SW Saga by making the SW Prequel Trilogy. Very simple.
It really seems to be a simple pattern: He makes a SW trilogy, takes time off, gets some other projects out of his system and then makes another SW trilogy .
He Finished the PT and then took some time off, did Indiana Jones 4, did Red Tails, did the Clone Wars tv series and now he Allowed Disney to do the ST that he is "Getting too old for this sort of thing" to direct himself but at least he sent it off very nicely by working out a basic story outline from whatever notes he had on the ST (his notes from his red binder) and handing that off to Disney and J.J. to make a movie out of with his longtime #1 collaborator Kathleen Kennedy to produce.
The PT was always going to happen, the ST (which was always an idea but really always kept on the side) was what was always uncertain and vague.
Mark Hammil even Says it virtually all throughout history:
(Skip to 3:10)
Sorry to burst in here and disrupt the flow of the conversation, but I wanted to reply to this point about the GL and Hayden Q & A. In addition to what was already said (serial story and what not), Lucas also said in that Q & A that he didn't really like beginnings. He wanted to jump in at the middle of the action, and he felt that everything pre-ANH was the beginning. According to Lucas, he said that he decided to make the prequels, after initially not wanting to do them, because he felt that there was too much emphasis on Darth Vader as the quintessential villain. By the time of Return of the Jedi Vader had obviously become more of a tragic hero, with his seduction to the dark side and his ultimate redemption by his son, so Lucas wanted to tell the story of Anakin's fall to try and have him be remembered as the tragic hero. Vader is still viewed as like the ultimate villain so it didn't really work out that way, especially given the reaction to the prequel trilogy, but that was part of Lucas' reasoning for ultimately going back and doing the prequels.
Absolutely. The author is biased. His interpretation may not be entirely accurate. Agreed. Is it a reason to disregard everything from that book? Becase it is a serious effort to reconstruct the creation of the Star Wars story, and analyzes the actual drafts and quotes (which are objective facts), and there aren't that many books/documentaries that do it. You may not agree with his conclussions of course, and you can disagree with his opinion about the quality of the movies (as I do), but that doesn't make the book a total rubbish. Ultimately, that's how you research about something. You read everything available, INCLUDING biased accounts, and contrast them, and form your own conclussions (not cling to it blindly). Similarly, you cannot cling to what Lucas says since 1999 as if it was the absolute truth.
(and the whole issue about the "picking up the lightsaber" pick-up, it's just a passing comment he makes, is not the main thesis of the book,you know? again, try to ignore HIS opinion and analyze the actual facts to form your own opinion. I'm not saying anyone should blindly believe his account of the story!).
Treat Lucas as a dangerous enemy? What are you talking about? Who said anything about that? For the record, (although I don't like justifying my opinions saying how much I like SW) I do admire Lucas greately. Really, I do. And I find his way of making movies, his incredible ability to work around the material and change it fascinating (as you said, he likes to make movies in the editing room). I also think that he is a really good director (he gets exactly what he wants) and I even like him as a writer (again, he gets what he wants). And finally, I LOVE all six SW movies equally, I really love them above any other movie and I find that the final story (The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker) is fascinating. Oh, and I don't care about the ST at all precisely because it is no longer part of the Lucas-saga.
That being said, the process of how the 6-part Saga was made is really interesting for me, and since the original poster of this topic asked about it, I think some people DO care about it. Why can't we be interested on how the Saga was made?
So, that spiral binder contains the treatments of all the films of the Saga written back in the 70s? Does it contain the treatments of the ST? Is it just a collection of notes about the backstory?
You think it's fascinating that Lucas followed his singular vision for 30 years until it was finished. I find it even more fascinating if Lucas didn't have a single vision and his vision kept changing (as a good editor does) over the years, and ended up with something very different but equally good.
But we are going in circles, so I don't think we should keep discussing this, unless we leave the general statements and start discussing the actual scripts.Then, perhaps, you can show us when and how did Lucas write all the ideas of the Saga by the time the first movie was made, and how every script is consistent with that .
That's true, but that vision was created gradually over the decades. Vader WAS the quintessential villain in 1977, and Lucas had no problems with it. As the OT progressed, he found new and more interesting ways to continue the story and it ultimately lead to a redeemed Vader. At that point, Lucas felt that there was too much emphasis on Vader as a villain, indeed, and that lead to the prequels. The distortion of the truth comes when you believe that all was already in place when he wrote the first draft (that massive draft that was cut in two halves (as he used to said, not anymore) and then cut in thirds that no-one has ever seen)
Oh, I'm not denying that Vader was the villain in 1977. That's why I said "By the time of Return of the Jedi," as in once the full trilogy was written and that idea of Vader being the tragic, fallen Anakin Skywalker was solidified. To dive a little deeper into what Lucas' likely thinking on that was, I'm sure he wanted Vader remembered as the old man whose helmet was removed just before he died, and as the proud, smiling ghost on Endor. That's opposed to what audiences remembered him as, which was more along the lines of when he burst into the rebel spaceship in A New Hope and started torturing people.
And even if all of that is true it still doesn't really mean he is somehow embellishing. It just means he thought up all his ideas (stacked all his lumber) and kept them in the same red leather binder for a few years and that dedication led to the completed Star Wars Saga that we have today.
This is actually a very good thread so far because so far most everyone is telling actual sides of the same truth. I think the main thing that should be taken away from this topic is that he always wanted SW to be a big story in order to achieve an impressive immaculate reality and it is really unique and special that most of those story ideas worked out in that book ended up getting made into movies.
Hell we are even getting the ST which no one EVER thought would see the light of day. And the story was drafted/started by George Lucas himself and handed off to Disney to make into some kind of reality. Thats nice.
It was necessary to make Vader appear like the main enemy in ANH because if the movie was a flop and it was known that Vader was just one of the Emperor's henchmen than it would have taken a lot more out of the victory if they weren't able to go back and make more movies. By him making it appear Vader was the main enemy makes the battle with Vader seem a lot more climatic.
However the Emperor is mentioned in A New Hope and known to be the leader of the Empire (though they didn't give any indications that he was anykind of force user). Chances are extremely slim that Lucas never intended on using the Emperor as a future enemy to fight back in '77. He was more than likely just playing the Emperor down to make Vader look that much more powerful to make Star Wars look like more of a standalone movie (which it needed to be at that time).
Agreed. Let's keep this open-minded approach to the discussion.
Since this thread started with the question of why Lucas started with ep IV, those early drafts are relevant as are what Lucas said in public and in private during the time when he was writing them. NONE of those drafts and scripts have ep IV on them, either they have no number of they have ep I or saga one.
As late as 1976, when the film had begun filming, there still was ep I or saga one as a subtitle. FOX have said that they never demanded to have ep IV removed, something Lucas claimed, and the ony thing they asked to be removed was "THE for "The Star Wars."
Second, the first draft of ESB in 1978, which was called chapter II, has Luke meet the ghost of his father and Vader is very clearly still just a villain.
So from this we can conclude that ANH was made with Vader NOT being Luke's father and Luke's father was really very dead. So that means that SW was NOT always intended to be about Anakin Skywalker. It was also NOT made with the intent to have ep IV as a subtitle.
What Lucas said after ANH was a huge hit has also changed alot over time. Early on he spoke of twelve films, set in the same universe but with different characters. He later said he thought of a wookie film or a droid film. At one point ANH was actually ep VI. Later he got rid of those "odd films" and we were down to nine films, a trilogy of trilogies. That plan was in effect for a while, Lucas spoke of the ST and he had short outlines for each film and Vader was dead at this time. So those films would NOT be about Anakin Skywalker.
Then many years later Lucas would deny that he ever had any plans of doing the ST, he said that it was a joke that he made that the media took seriously.
This is clearly not true as Lucas did speak of the ST on more than one occasion and he said he had short 12-pages outlines of each of them.
About what Lucas says, he has said contradicting things on more then one occasion and some of what he says does not match with the early scripts and drafts. "The story was ALWAYS "The tragedy of Darth Vader." Not true as Vader doesn't even exist in the first draft, is a human general later, is a Sith Lord but dies at the end even later. The Vader character grew and evolved over time, from minor villain, to bigger villain that dies, to bigger villain that survives and then to villain that actually is the father of the hero. This is a fascinating evolution of a character and I don't think it is any insult to Lucas that he didn't create the Vader we know from the get go but that the character evolved gradually.
Lucas has said that he made Luke and Leia siblings in 1975, before the first film but he has also said that Leia being Luke's sister was a late change.
So his statements are not always consistent.
One question to obi-rob;
Where did you get that info? I don't recall that being in any of the older drafts.
Bye for now.
The skyhopper race was in the radio drama - basically a sort of EU addition to SW/ANH (it was broadcast in 1980).
The scene wasn't in the early drafts, although the use of skyhoppers was. Plus, Luke mentions a skyhopper race to Biggs in the deleted scene, and the back of the skyhopper can be glimpsed in the Lars garage. It was never actually a part of the story, though.
However, it's a bit of a no-brainer that GL would have loved to have had some sort of drag-race/car-race/chariot-race somewhere in there. Hence the pod-race in Episode I. There's still no earlier version of it, the pod-race was a new addition.
Sorry but there is ample evidence saying that he had firm ideas about what he wanted to do early on in these films history's. Making big deals of the fact that first drafts or whatever did not have the proper title on it just isn't going to cut it. And by the way it is widely known that Lucas was still up in the air about combining Vader and Luke's father until the making of Empire. He had it in his mind that but he was unsure rather he really wanted to do it because of how the audience may react. In the end he said that was the original plan so he was just going to go with it.
What ample evidence? Some examples from what Lucas said in the late 70's would be good.
In 1975 Lucas spoke of one PT film "The whole battle where Luke’s father gets killed. That would be impossible to do, but it’s great to dream
Or The sequel will be based directly on the second of twelve stories George Lucas wrote in the Adventures of Luke Skywalker."
From Bantha Tracks in 1978.
Or "RS: Well, then, theoretically there could be a sequel about The
Force, there could be a sequel about the Wookies, about Han,
about Luke. . .
GL: Yes, it was one of the original ideas of doing a sequel that if
I put enough people in it and it was designed carefully enough I
could make a sequel about anything. Or if any of the actors gave
me lot of trouble or didn't want to do it, or didn't want to be in the
sequel, I could always make a sequel without one.
- Rolling Stone, August 25, 1977
Lucas had ideas about more films certainly but I think it is a stretch to call them firm.
Second, again this thread deals with the origins of SW and why Lucas started where he did so those drafts and scripts are relevant.
And NONE have an ep IV in the title. The revised fourth draft, which was the shooting draft, had Saga One as a subtitle.
So we aren't talking about several year old drafts, we are dealing with drafts that formed the basis of the actual film, ie the shooting draft.
About Vader, NO draft have him as the father of the hero. In several of them he can't be the father because the father actually appears.
In others he can't be the father because he dies at the end. And the first draft of ESB had the ghost of Luke's father appearing to Luke on Dagobah.
So all avalible script evidence have Vader NOT being Luke's father. Lucas might have toyed with the idea but if so he never made it a part of any script until 1978 and the later drafts of ESB.
So to sum up, Lucas didn't start with ep IV, he started with Star Wars, a film that had the subtitle ep I or saga one. ESB was at first called chaper II.
That first film had a backstory of the universe and the characters, but that is nothing unusal in a film or book.
The Hidden Fortress, a clear inspiration for Lucas, started right in the middle of things. There was a backstory of the characters and previous events but the audience was dropped right in the action and had to pick things up as the film went along. But does this prove that Kurosawa intended to film prequel films to the Hidden Fortress? Not to me, he had made a backstory for the characters to be in but that is not the same as saying that that backstory was intended to be a film.
Bye for now.
The Guarding Dark
Read your silly Secret History of Star Wars deal. There are numerous different quotes from there making it obvious he had a firm idea of what he was doing. Plus go look at those videos linked to in this thread. They all say stuff about Prequels and Sequels in them as well. Plus go watch Empire of Dreams documentary. It is a thousand times better than Secret History of Star Wars and it has just as much in it.
Exactly. He started it with Episode IV because... he didn't.
He decided it was Episode IV later, but of course it was "meant to be all along" lol.
Best posts in the thread. They're brief and to the point, but they say all that needs to be said.
And I love how SHOSW is crap just because it doesn't fit with certain people's vision of what they desperately want Lucas to be seen as. Seriously, attitudes like that are embarrassing.
Interesting that you claim that people who are saying Secret History of Star Wars is crap because it goes against what they want to believe. Yet that is exactly what the people who want to believe that Lucas has changed the story are doing. They are ignoring anything that makes it sound like Lucas has known what he wanted to do for a long time.