JW Rinzler's blog (now removed): General Discussion

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Lawrence Futol, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. Jester J Binks

    Jester J Binks Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 19, 2016
    I get the feeling that part of the finale was the difference between being "laid off" by Lucasfilm under Lucas and being "laid off" by Lucasfilm under Kathleen 'Disney' Kennedy. The Lucas era stuff talked about the seasonal growth and then lay offs as the projects ramped up and down. JW always pointed out that people were given six months pay and help in finding work at a new place (or just had money before being rehired by Lucas for the next project).

    Maybe even a regret that he wasn't laid off right before the Disney sale because he was probably just let go and cut off. Why else would he keep talking about who generous George was for something as dramatic as lay offs if not to be a contrast to Disney's approach. Somebody at Disney probably saw it coming (amongst other things). But that seemed to be foreshadowed big time.
  2. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 7, 2009
    I'd say the revelation on how they laid off people is not what they feared the most.
    {Quantum/MIDI} and G-FETT like this.
  3. Jester J Binks

    Jester J Binks Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 19, 2016
  4. Bendu Bogan

    Bendu Bogan Jedi Youngling

    Jul 28, 2017
    It's been suggested that it was something JWR wrote in his last entry that triggered the higher-ups at LF or Disney to silence him. Usually, the comments in the entry regarding the principal leads are pointed to as him having probably crossed a line. This seems unlikely, as much of what JWR wrote was disclosed in prior reporting:

    Regardless, a good legal team can put the chill on a private citizen with or without a contractual stipulation being in violation.

    The transition from a private company to one owned by a corporation was probably very painful, leaving a lot of aggrieved individuals. I agree that the layoffs aren't the sole issue; regardless, it's plain to see that there was a rather public falling out between GL and Disney during the production of TFA. If you recall, when the sale was announced, retaining GL as "creative consultant" was a feather in Disney's cap as far at the sequel trilogy was concerned. Prior to the sale, GL and KK had hired Michael Ardnt to write the treatment for the ST (with Lawrence Kasdan as a consultant), so we know KK was onboard with GL's vision, at least initially. Whether it's a reasonable expectation or not, GL did as much prep work as possible to ensure that the ST would conform to his vision after the sale. Unfortunately for GL, it looks like the import of the Ardnt treatment was reduced to that of an outline, a planned Ardnt-penned script for Ep.VII never materialized and the end result was instead penned by Abrams and Kasdan (how close Ardnt came to a completed draft for Ep. VII is unclear). By January 2015, GL was telling the press that Disney "didn't want to do" the ST he envisioned and before the film's release, KK was downplaying GL's lack of involvement. After a certain point, it would have became extremely difficult for any credible Making of... book about TFA to discuss what had transpired in a way that wouldn't highlight the rift between Disney's and GL's divergent visions. Nevertheless, JWR was allowed to finish work on The Making of the Force Awakens and turn it in. Like his prior Making of books, JWR's work began under the aegis of a supportive Lucas but by its completion was the property of a very different LF. Keep in mind too, JWR has a favorable opinion of the PT and was privy to a lot of the pre-production work on the ST, some of which spanned decades. JWR probably managed to write an even-handed account of the making of TFA, which was unfortunately the last thing Disney or LF wanted in the hands of detractors.

    Without any knowledge of how JWR was or would have been compensated for his work, having your account of the making of one of the most anticipated and highest grossing films of all time get shelved indefinitely is a pretty bitter pill to swallow. Also, this comes on the heels of having been made redundant (and let go) in favor of Disney's own executive editor (with less experience). So it's probably inevitable that, with his new-found freedom, JWR's blog would have drawn a sharp contrast between LF as a patronly, creative enterprise and LF as a shrewd, investor-oriented vehicle with which to administrate over the SW franchise. And yes, lay offs might have very likely played a part in the blog moving forward. Michelin Chau, already spoken of positively in JWR's blog, was
    CFO of Lucasfilm from 1991 to 2003, when she stepped up to President and COO of Lucasfilm, a capacity she served in until her "retirement" was announced in September of 2012. This announcement didn't raise any eyebrows at the time because the behind-the-scenes mechanizations to prep the company for sale to Disney hadn't been made public yet. However, just three months prior to Chau's "retirement," KK had been brought in from outside the company and named as co-chair of LF beside GL, who that same month starts calling Bob Iger at Disney to discuss the sale. So who assumed Chau's place when she "retired?" None other than KK. This all makes you feel a little bad for Chau, who never actually retired, of course (she was elected to Dolby's Board of Directors in February, 2013). Like I've said before, this is all previously reported but never in the context of what came after.

    For the record I loved TFA. Pointing out that a corporation's main goal is producing financial returns should be viewed as stating the obvious and is no way meant imply Disney is making movies in bad faith.
  5. Gobi-1

    Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 22, 2002
    It must be incredibly difficult to let go of something you spent 40 years creating, even under ideal circumstances.