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. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    Very interesting discussion, here are some thoughts.

    As far as R2D2 and C3PO, they are the characters through which you see the story. He took this from Hidden Fortress by Kurosawa and it's a storytelling device. A good example is Amadeus which you see the story through Salieri's eyes.

    As far as the SW movies in general, to me they are actually about the story and not much the characters with the exception of the main hero. Looks did take a lot from Campbell's theories and I see it as in essenece a mythic story of good vs evil and following the hero on the key quests. The OT was great at that, and the prequels still preserve it but probably not as effectively. I'm guessing that Lucas has lost some of his edge, after all there is that whole Greedo shoots first sanitizing for our protection, much like the gun removal from ET.

    One thing I disagree is that SW is about politics of greed and control. It's much more about humanity and individuality against oppression, indiference and machinery which is the same basic premise of THX-1138 (didn't Lucas explain this in the in a documenatry or interview?). The greed stuff (say the Trade Federation) is much more of the decoration for the main ideas so there is some stuff that can be interpreted that way.

    As far as Boba Fett I do agree. It seems to me more of a reaction to fan expectation and the Jar Jar backlash than anything else. It was interesting to see, but in the big picture of the OT he was a very minor character. And then you have a lot of fans here and critics saying that say the political stuff in the Senate was boring and wanted more action, and then they get more action and complain there is not story and overuse of CG. But I digress.

    I do agree with jp-30 that not all characters in a movie should advance the plot. Some just serve to add "flavor" to the movie or sidenotes to the story. I also agree that not all characters should pull in the audience emotionally, at least not in the traditional senese of regular movie goers who need to like the good guy and damsel in distress, etc. There should always be connections but not all have to be goody goody or positive. See Seven or Fight Club or Alien 3 (hmmm, geez all Fincher movies ;-). Heck most characters (at least the 2 main ones) in Insomnia were not that likeable.

    Cinematic failure, very interesting point MikeyKnew. It's certainly a bit ambiguos and everyone will have a different benchmark. I do agree apartially that Lucas filmaking now with the prequels have a bit more flaws storywise. They are some of the best pieces of entertainment though and you can see many good points and a potentially greater story underneath. But the OT I certainly qualify it as great filmaking, along with many other classics out there. It was really somethnig that wasn't accomplished before and it took classic themes and retold them in a very interesting manner

    Enough ranting!!!
  2. MikeyKnew Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    Good Job!!

    OK, characters don't have to be likeable, but they do need to be "gripping." Has anyone seen Requiem For a Dream?

    To use one of your examples, in Fight Club, all the scenes serve either to:
    A. Move the story/plot forward.
    or
    B. Develop important character traits in the main characters.
    When we learn about Meatloaf's character, it's not because we need to get to know him, it's to set up the narrator's (Ed Norton) reaction to him. That way, later in the film (I won't spoil), events are more emotionally charged, and we feel the "hero's" pain or trials more intensely.

    *sidenote* Chuck Palanhuik's characters are dichodemous in nature, and therefore push the limits of antagonist and protagonist when transferred to the screen.

    Also, if you see my earlier posts, I never said that the SW films are/were cinematic failures. I stated that Lucas is failing as a storyteller. I know that these terms are all relative, but I think you can understand the difference between them. I will try to explain further if you'd like.

    As far as seeing the stroy through the droids' eyes, why is this necssary, and how does it better the story? Kurisowa did it for a reason- to seperate the audience from the horrific acts being acted out by the "main characters." Lucas was just copying (or to use a more flattering term: presenting an homage to) Kirasowa. Unfortunately, he doesn't develop a need for this device (don't tell me it's due to the long time period that the story takes place over, because the audience does not need to see the story through the eyes of any of the characters). Also, the droids are not present in enough of the story to truly be the audience's eye-piece, and thankfully so.

    To the theme argument:
    You and I are arguing the same theme. Communism/socialism in it's truest form would actually be machines, providing for the human element. Marx (remeber, he lived through the golden age of industrialism) speculated that man would eventually achieve such a command over the elements and machinery, that manual labor would be all but unnecessary. He also wrote that inherent within every economical system are the seeds of it's own destruction, this speaks to the greed aspect of Lucas' tale. The oppresed man, and his truimph over adverse governmental control: The Prolatariat!

    Lucas is trying to show two things:
    1. The hero's journey (a story that has worked since before Homer).
    2. The pros and cons of absolute governemntal control (see also: Dictatorship, Socialist state, Communism, and even the 'right:' fascism), be it by the 'people,' or not.

    *looking forward to rebuttal*
  3. MikeyKnew Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    Oh! I almost forgot: Yes, I think that people will continue to see his post Star Wars films. He's made a name for himself and people hope for greatness or embarasment from him. Either way, they'll have something to talk about.
  4. MikeyKnew Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
  5. dexters Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2001
    star 2
    Just a point of clarification, the original trilogy was told through the eyes of the droids, and it does serve a purpose, just like that of the Hidden Fortress, and that is to tell a conflict through the lowest pecking order in the hierarchy.

    The PT isn't told through the eyes of the droids, and that may have been its chief differences, and the 'loss of spirit' that some fans complain about. Lucas hasn't made clear whose eyes he is telling it through, but I believe he did say somewhere it is through Anakin's.
  6. MikeyKnew Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    Dex- Good point about the droids in the OT. I think that the device works in that trilogy to an extent. The NT (or PT as you referred to it) has too much nonsense droid lines/scenes in it. I feel like he is puting them in the trilogy, because that's what he's used to doing. . .
  7. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    We should try and keep this discussion on Lucas' film-making as a whole. This has the potential to go downhill quickly should too much focus be given on, say, alleged plot deficiences of the Star Wars prequels.

    Sure, use any films you wish to illustrate your arguments, but try and keep the "big picture" so to speak, as the focus. :)

  8. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    Well certainly C3PO's presence in Ep. 2 seems way too forced. Seems R2 is much better as the observer of the saga. Then again the PT has a different focus and feel but I'll discuss that later.
  9. MikeyKnew Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2002
    star 1
    How about some of 3PO's lines in AOTC? And I quote: "I'm beside myself!!!" :D :D
  10. Forja-Bingbey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 3
    Lucas' film-making as a whole. Is certainly questionable given the scope of great directors in the world. In my opinion he is mild at best, maybe raking just below Michael Apted. So please don?t concern yourself with the possibility of a thread about a toy peddler goin? south. It started out that way.

    The film director was invented because of the actor, not the other way around. Lucas is killing the art of acting with every digital frame of film he shoots.

    ?And you can quote me.?

    ;)
  11. ksid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 4
    I think in the OT the droids were always acting as a foil against someone else's wit, sarcasm or anger.

    E.g. Chewie in the falcon during the chess board game :)

    That is lacking in the PT. Star Wars always needed and anti-hero that someone could relate to. That is lacking too.

    I guess Ewan could have easily filled that role as he has played such roles endearingly in other movies, but in this movie specially Phantom, he feels as if he has a stick up his behind.
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