Will Lucas ever have a box office again?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Jedi knight Pozzi, Oct 11, 2002.

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  1. Jedi knight Pozzi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2000
    star 6
    After SW, do you think People will watch other films of his, just based on the fact it's him making them?
  2. AdamBertocci Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2002
    star 7
    I think so.
    You figure that anything he do will probably have a media frenzy attached anyway.




    Rick McCallum loves you!
  3. Maximillenium_Falcon Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2002
    star 1
    Not so sure.
    After the OT, which had a greather impact than the PT, Lucas was involved in many projects that weren't hits, despite their quality: Willow, Howard the Duck, Ewok movies, Tucker...

    For myself, I really think that Lucas, despite the fun he had making the Star Wars, will always feel bad in a way since people will always want Star Wars from him. Whatever he comes with, people will ask: "What about a new Star Wars?".

    I think only an Indy project could avoid that.
  4. StarDude Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2001
    star 5
    Rick McCallum doesn't love me ... :(
  5. DarthMaul13 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 1998
    star 4
    After Indy IV and Episode 3, time will tell if Lucas can pull off another BOX OFFICE Monster.
  6. eclipseSD Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 5
    Maybe he won't break anymore records, but after Indy/III I think he will make a few budget artsy flicks.

    This flicks may make a load of cash simply because the name Lucas is attached to them?

    $300 million? No

    $50-100 million? Maybe
  7. malducin Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    Maybe not artsy but just not the usual popcorn films. At one time I was excited to hear he would make Red Tails, a WWII film about the legendary black fighter pilots. SOme people say it was actually a code name for some other project but I've never gotten solid info on that.

    But yes small films, heck they could make just 50 million at the BO, but if it only cost 20, that's an extremely succesful film, Maybe he could with luck have something like My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
  8. Kitt327 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 4
    Apparently Lucas wants to go back to making some low-budget, experimental art films, in the vein of THX.
  9. WormieSaber Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    Good...I'm sick of the dribble that Hollywood is putting out. Maybe Lucas will come up with something really far-out and different...experimental is "ok" to me.
  10. UK Sullustian Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1998
    star 4

    Red Tails was the code name for "Prequel Preproduction", much like Blue Harvest was for ROTJ.

    This has been officially confirmed somewhere, I am sure of it. (But can't find!)

    UKS
  11. malducin Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    I would love to hear where any confirmation of what Red tail actually was. The thing about being a code name for another project I heard or read as a comment so it might have been bogus or not totally right, at least I couldn't find a way to verify it.

    Besides Red Tails was mentioned long before even the Special Editions came about. Maybe it was a code name for something else? Anyway if you remember the reference of where it is I would love to hear it.

    I did find some references, one apparently as early as 1992, though most aropund 94/95 when McCallum got associated with Lucas. Some of the references stated that Thomas Carter was going to be the director of Red Tails, Kevin Rodney Sullivan (director of How Stella Got Her Groove Back) was goinf to be the screenwriter and that even an actual Tuskegee airman (Col William Campbell) was a consultant for Lucas. Maybe it didn't pan out and he decided to use it as a codename later on.
  12. MikeyKnew Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    What makes everyone think that Georgie would be capable of doing an indie flick? Isn't he obsessed with big budget special effects? Also, not to blaspheme (sp?), but I'm not sure that Lucas could tell an effective story in a succint manner, within a two hour frame. He's so epic-oriented that he might be doomed to stick with SW or INDY films until he dies, when his kids will make Ep.7,8,&9, and they will be better than all preceeding episodes. :p
  13. malducin Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    HE has done independent films!!! He financed almost all Star Wars movies himself outside the regular studio system. That is the the definition of independt films. Granted, they aree probably most expensive independent films ever ;-).

    I'm sure he could have almost demanded that Fox pay him for the honor of distributing the prequels ;-).
  14. MikeyKnew Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    Then we should just give up and define Gerge Lucas/Lucasfilms as a major studio. I meant indie in the arthouse sense. He couldn't pull it off.
  15. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 10
    He could certainly make that type of film, that was is specialty in college at USC. Though his forte was storytelling through pacing and editing, dot through character development or dialogue.

    Unfortunately the weight of public expectation may be too great for him to make "successful"* indie style movies.

    The people who love Indy & Star Wars would think he'd lost the plot.


    * Of course this entirely depends what one considers a "success".

  16. MikeyKnew Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    hahaha. storytelling through pacing and editing, not through character development or dialogue.

    First of all, the editor does the editing and is responsible for pacing. This is even more true in film school than it is in Hollywood. Story is the most important aspect of filmmaking, and without sequences that move the story forward, or character development that makes the audience care about the story, the filmmaker has failed.

    Editing and pacing are important, but story is told through actions, not cuts. Characters need to be developed, otherwise the story is not interesting, as the audience does not care about it's players.


    I would actually agrue that Lucas spends too much time on character development, and not enough time on story. How does knowing all about Boba Fett's situation further the story? Why do we need to know about everything that happens to the droids (R2 and C3PO)?

    I beleive that Lucas is trying to tell a story of good vs. evil, through compassion (the love story and the friendship element) and politics (the trade federation, and later, the empire). The jedi and the sith are just an instrument to convey this message.

    Somehow, I think Lucas has lost his way along the road somewhere. While I find it terribly interesting to learn about Boba Fett, and to see epic battle/escape scenes at every turn, I am not getting an effective telling of this political/compassionate conflict.

    This post is a lot of babble, but I hope you'll get my point :p/>
  17. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 10
    > hahaha. storytelling through pacing and editing, not through character development or dialogue.

    Equipped with a natural sense of film composition, Lucas's strength was in making the little he had to work with in hsi student films look like a lot on screen "He understood very wll the use of the camera and sound because he had a sense of structure and visual continuity," Dave Johnson recalls. But for all his apparent skills, there were drawbacks to George's approach to directing, according to Johnson. "His forte was designing and constructing film stories, but his attitude was 'Let someone else work with the people' Look at his student films - they're all about things and facts. People are just objects."

    Realising his weakness when it came to characters, Lucas used pacing to disguise it. "Don't dwell on a shot that becomes boring. Keep things defined and interesting, with the emphasis on action and dialogue. Keep it moving, keep the pace going." is how Lucas's editing assistant Duwayne Dunham describes George's philosophy. Movement, action, simple dialogue, and relentless pace are qualities found in comic books and movie serials...


    -"Skywalking: The Life & Films of George Lucas", Dale Pollock

  18. malducin Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah I know what you meant, just messing with ya ;-).

    Yeah Lucas is an independent, though he is making big blockbuster movies. I think he is capable of doing smaller, artsy or experimental films, though I don't know if he would want to. A whole lota people would be complaining. Maybe something in between like an historical drama, kinda in the vein of the stories in Young Indy or Radioland Murders?
  19. MikeyKnew Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    So, your quote states that Lucas has a weakness in characterization, and disguises it through pacing. While this is a valid argument, it's not true. Do you think that Dale Pollack, when writing Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas, was interested in pointing out Lucas' faults, or shortcomings as a director? Is it possible that he sought out Dave Johnson (the interviewed ex-professor), because he would give a positive outlook on Lucas' skills?

    I'm sticking to what I said. If you'd like to show me how the SW movies (especially the new ones) succintly convey their story, I'm all ears.
  20. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 10
    > If you'd like to show me how the SW movies (especially the new ones) succintly convey their story, I'm all ears.


    Tell you what. You tell me how they don't, and I'll consider debating that with you. [face_mischief]

  21. MikeyKnew Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    I thought I'd already done that two posts ago, but I'll try to be more clear :p

    The story in Star Wars is apparetly supposed to be about the politics of greed and control, and the effects of said politics on the lives of the common people. The Skywlkers, Padme, and even Jar Jar represent the common people. The empire represents a socialist/communist state, where the rebels represent a rising middle class (see also: Adam Smith, John Locke, John Stuart Mille). Lucas tries to convey the message of greed corrupting people, and power doing the same.

    All of these themes, while interesting, and poignant, are not illustrated cleary or smoothly in the movies. Lucas bogs down the audience with extensive battles, and extranious characters that do nothing to further the plot. See my above post re: Boba Fett as a child
  22. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 10
    So you're saying that every character in every movie must be integral to moving the plot forward, or else the movie has failed?

  23. MikeyKnew Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    I am saying that there is a point at which the director (see also: storyteller) has lost track of the story, and become bogged down in particulars of character.

    To answer your question more directly, yes. What purpose does a character serve, if not moving the plot forward, or pulling the audience emotionally into the plot?


    Tell you what. You tell me how they don't, and I'll consider debating that with you.

    How about this? Since it is impossible to prove a negative, how about you anwer my original question?/>
  24. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 10
    > To answer your question more directly, yes. What purpose does a character serve, if not moving the plot forward, or pulling the audience emotionally into the plot? <

    It could be there for a number of reasons, such as comic relief.

    Anyway, before I try and argue a case for Lucas, I need to get my head around some of your definitions, because if we are on a different page, it will all be a collosal waste of time.

    I think you're trying to pigeonhole an entire art form, movie making, into succeeding if it has X,Y, Z components, and failing if it does not.

    It's not that simple. Even a movie that has only characters that move the story forward can absolutely fail.

    Also, I'll need to know your definition of "failure". Because as you know the Star Wars films are amongst the most viewed and loved movies of all time.


    May I also invite others to share their opinions in this thread, it's shaping up to be a great debate. :)
  25. MikeyKnew Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    I agree with your comment about the great debate. Other people, come join in the fun!

    To address your question as to the definition of failure in cinema-
    In this particular agruement, I would define failure as the storyteller failing to convey his/her message or story. I am not talking about financial success or popularity (although these would both work in SW favor, as you said). I am actually talking about effective storytelling, and good filmaking. I know that this is another term that begs for definition, but if you see my previous posts, you should be able to understand my idea of a good film:
    A compelling (see also gripping, interesting, culturally rellevant etc) story, told in a succint, exciting, innovative manner.

    I LOVE the Star Wars films (otherwise, why would I be on this message board), but I can see past my nose, to the flaws in Lucas' filmmaking. I love the characters. I love the sidetracks in the movies that give fans new tidbits of information about extranious aliens and droids. All of these things that I love however, have more to do with nostalgia and dorkiness than real cinematic critique. When I step back and look at the movies with a critical eye to the story, I find rampant flaws which I have already discussed.

    OK, please answer my questions now. . .
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