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ST What could George Lucas do legally if they changed his outlines?

Discussion in 'Sequel Trilogy' started by J.J.Abrams, May 25, 2014.

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  1. dolphin

    dolphin Chosen One star 5

    Nov 5, 1999

    At the end of the day, barring a revelation, we just don't know.
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  2. Count bad

    Count bad Jedi Youngling

    Jun 21, 2014
    I really doubt Disney is going to pay 4 billion dollar for the franchise and not have complete control over it. Lucas lost any input when he got paid.
  3. Winged_Jedi

    Winged_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 28, 2003
    This has echoes of the debate currently raging within the Song of Ice and Fire fandom, where the TV show is starting to outpace the books it's meant to be adapting. The problem is that when George RR Martin signed over the rights, he signed over his authority. The TV show can do what it likes, and though they started by consulting him closely, it looks like they're doing it less and less (judging by how seriously the show is now deviating from the books).

    Something similar is happening with George Lucas. They consulted him a lot at the start. They used his treatments as a launching pad. But the sandbox is now officially open for other kids to play in. It's sad, but by the end of George Lucas's life, the films are likely to be completely divorced from whatever original vision he had for them.
  4. appleseed

    appleseed Chosen One star 5

    Dec 5, 2002
    That's very possible, and if so then I will stop accepting the films just like I no longer accept what DC and Marvel do in their comics. SW was the last fantasy series I trusted, and if they take it completely away from GL's intentions and vision, then it will be just like what DC did to Superman, etc.

    At least much like DC with their Crisis On Infinite Earths, there will be a clear cut off point for me: 1-6 real SW, 7-on Post-Lucas SW. Marvel has no clean cut off, their books just got nasty and depressing by the late 80's.
    Immortiss likes this.
  5. appleseed

    appleseed Chosen One star 5

    Dec 5, 2002
    I also want to add that I really, really hope I am wrong about this and they do follow GL's outlines, adding their own input of course, but keeping the gist of his story arc. And I would have edited it in but my edit function keeps messing up.
    Immortiss and Baron_Papanerd like this.
  6. mratm23

    mratm23 Jedi Knight star 3

    May 13, 2014
    I'm confident that Episode VII has remained mostly unchanged since we've heard that JJ is always calling George to ask him stuff. I wouldn't imagine George would be giving feedback for something he didn't like or was radically different than what he had planned.
  7. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    No, it's 100% his creation. The others you mention were helpers in the realization but not at the percentage levels you ascribe. There are too many people over the years who contributed to it. The reason why people like Burtt and McQuarrie and Williams were able to do the things they did was because of Lucas.

    He didn't just say do whatever you want. Find out how things actually worked with those 3 and with all the other people. Like Joe Johnston said Lucas couldn't draw worth anything except that with a few crude scribbles on a page he made what he wanted so clear visually that he knew what Lucas wanted. He didn't think of it himself it was Lucas who initiated it.

    You could take Burtt, McQuarrie, Williams and the thousands of other people who worked on all six movies, put them in a room together and they wouldn't come up with Star Wars.

    No, he'd say make a great movie and the rest will follow.

    I don't know what that means as scripts aren't treatments.

    Here is the treatment for The Star Wars from 1973:

    Now what is the relation of that treatment to the film film we know?

    No what is ludicrous is the idea that a treatment tells you exactly what the script is and that the script tells you exactly how to make the movie. Doesn't work that way.

    You can give 10 writers the same treatment for ESB and get 10 scripts. All could have a similar shape but be very different. Everything from characters to the settings to the tone could all be very different yet you could still see the base story.

    Exactly. If he cared about the ST he would have done it himself or done it in partnership with FOX and let them front the cost while he produced it like Clone Wars or the way Underworld was developed.

    He gave them his story, he's talking to KK and JJ and LK and if they ask he'll help them out but in the end it's up to them. As I said elsewhere I think that what he personally would have done and what he used as a selling tool to Disney might not be the exact same thing.

    The point is his story, the one he wanted to tell is done. It's there and nothing they do can change that. It's like ACD and Holmes. There are a zillion imitators but the creator did his thing and with George that is really the movies and on TV TCW.
    FRAGWAGON and mratm23 like this.
  8. KevinM1

    KevinM1 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 15, 2012


    That was the deal - any and all material relating to Star Wars. It's naive and ridiculous to think that the sale predicated on Disney agreeing to use what he wrote. No one buys the rights to a product, but then hamstrings themselves by agreeing in a contract to follow the whims or desires of the previous rights holder. That's simply not how reality works.

    GL, for better or worse, is no longer a part of Star Wars. That doesn't mean future installments won't be respectful to his intentions or the franchise as a whole, but his input is no longer sacrosanct.
  9. Baron_Papanerd

    Baron_Papanerd Jedi Master star 4

    May 1, 2014

    Unless the contract, that Disney signed, stipulates that they use George Lucas's Treatments for the ST. ;)
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  10. Claire1976

    Claire1976 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 20, 2013

    I sincerely hope that was part of the deal.
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  11. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    Like he said though he's seems to have a handle on it and he's been pretty successful so to not take heed of what he thinks will work would just be plain stupid.

    Yeah George we know we just paid you 4B for this thing but I think we know better than you how to do it.

    There aren't making a lot of money by being that dumb.
  12. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Chosen One star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    Legally Lucas could always take the themes he was thinking about and tackle them in a new project that could be seen as a non-Disney spiritual successor to Star Wars. Or he could just call Abrams a big poopie head.
  13. KevinM1

    KevinM1 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 15, 2012

    There's a huge difference between listening to him because of his experiences in creating the first six films and being contractually obligated to adhere to his opinions/decisions. Of course Disney is going to take his input under consideration, and JJ and the rest will implement whatever ideas GL has that work. But they're not beholden to GL.

    It seems like a lot of people are either confusing the two (looking to Lucas for advice vs. being forced to carry out his ultimate vision), or they simply don't get how agreements like this work. Lucasfilm is no longer GL's company. Star Wars is no longer his movie franchise. He literally signed his rights away. Out of respect for him and the franchise Disney and the filmmakers are looking to him as an adviser, but they don't have to implement anything he suggests.

    It's the same treatment as the EU is getting, which is the right way for Disney to approach it. They very clearly want to turn it into a franchise that mimics what they're doing with Marvel. In order to do that, they need to operate under a long-term vision (which is what Kennedy is ultimately responsible for, now), and be inspired by previous works with this setting and these characters, without being restricted by it. Given the latest Rian Johnson news, it seems like they have the basic framework of the trilogy in place. It might be based on GL's work, it might not. But the point is that there's nothing saying it has to be.

    So, again, these ideas of GL taking legal action against Disney for not using his notes are naive and ridiculous. GL, from an ownership POV, is no longer involved. At the end of the day, the rights holder has the final say in the development of their product. Full stop. If GL wanted to retain creative control, he wouldn't have sold his intellectual property. It's as simple as that.
    Artoo-Dion , TKT and Yanksfan like this.
  14. KevinM1

    KevinM1 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 15, 2012

    Of course he could. Themes aren't something one can sue over. The 1980's had several wannabe Star Wars clones.
  15. Dra---

    Dra--- Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 30, 2012
    I think Lucas is quite happy retired. He still sounds a bit disgruntled, but that's understandable (if not surprising for one so successful).

    It's the end of George Lucas as we know it. And I feel fine. :D

    The franchise is in many great hands.
  16. Beezer

    Beezer Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 5, 2013
    I doubt that. These types of deals usually have non-compete clauses to prevent a guy from doing precisely what you suggest.
  17. run_luke_run

    run_luke_run Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 18, 2004
    Episodes 7 - 9 represent Luke, Leia, and Han passing the torch, per se, to a new generation.

    It's fitting that it also represents George passing the torch to others.

    He's not losing any sleep over it.
    mratm23 likes this.
  18. mratm23

    mratm23 Jedi Knight star 3

    May 13, 2014
    Yeah... No. Lucas would never do that. You're trying to find a loophole to this and thinking too much into it. The dude is retired and doesn't care anymore.
  19. SgtTimBob

    SgtTimBob Manager Emeritus star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 5, 2014
    I sometimes think GL gets too much credit within certain parts of the community, who like to see him as the supreme space opera messiah who alone envisioned the entire SW universe. He had a great idea, came up with some interesting characters and a good story, but ultimately the original trilogy was a hugely collaborative thing, and would have turned out vastly different if not for the contributions of McQuarrie, Kasdan, Kershner, Freeborn and so on. For me, that was part of what went wrong with the prequels (I don't like or recognise those at all really). GL had too much say over everything and no one questioned his writing.

    One of the ideas that excites me about the new films, is the thought of a bunch of talented people collaborating together to bring George's basic outlines to the screen again. For me that was what was great about ESB. George put his trust in other writers and directors, while still having the main story points and themes laid out as a road map, and it paid off brilliantly, delivering (in my opinion) the best of the OT episodes. It's a shame he couldn't have left Marquand alone more on Jedi.
    Dewback, Ryus, vinsanity and 3 others like this.
  20. Immortiss

    Immortiss Force Ghost star 5

    Mar 10, 2013
    Lucas cares about Star Wars. He has stated his gravestone will read "The Creator of Star Wars".

    Disney will want to credit George Lucas as 'Story by'. They want his seal of approval as much as anything else. They want to tell his story as much as possible.

    He did research. He signed Hamill, Fisher and Ford (before the deal). That alone suggests this is his story. He lined it up and was going forward with or without Disney.

    He gave Kennedy, Arndt, Abrams and Kasdan the broad outlines for the ST. Each of these individuals have a greater respect for George Lucas than those here rooting for a sidelined
    Lucas, perhaps because they don't understand or like the story to date.

    Kennedy is a forty year colleague of Lucas who was given the incredible opportunity to manage Lucasfilm in a critical and much anticipated era in SW. There is huge mutual respect there.

    Lucas gave Kasdan his first major break in the film industry. Trusted him implicitly. Hired him to write TESB even before he read the Raiders script. A recent interview has Kasdan praising Lucas profusely. Kasdan is back at Lucasfilm. When JJ wanted to make changes of focus, perhaps Lucas agreed on the condition that Kasdan co-write. We simply don't know. There is great respect there.

    JJ was hand picked by Lucas. What an honor. Spielberg and Lucas are JJ's mentors. Huge respect.

    Lucas has an established culture at Lucasfilm.

    Disney has a track record of allowing its subsidiaries to operate independently, with oversight. I'm sure this was a major consideration when Lucas sold. Barring any super crazy ideas Lucas may have had in a 15 page treatment I see little reason for Disney to abandon the Lucas story.
  21. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    Sorry that is just plain wrong.

    If anything the exact opposite has been happening for years where some people are doing everything they can to take credit away from Lucas and make it seem like he was really a very small part of the whole thing and was very lucky to be the owner. There are people who want to give credit to everyone BUT George Lucas. None of this would have happened if it were not for him. You might as well credit the idiot in the car that almost killed him because without that crash he doesn't go to film school and there is no Star Wars. That is of course an extreme example but the point is that no George=No Star Wars.

    Of course it's a collaborative process but at the end the question always was "Is this right George?" It's his vision and they helped in the realization of it but if it wasn't RM then it would have been another artist, if it wasn't John Williams then it would have been another composer, if it wasn't Burtt it would have been another sound designer and so on. People value their contribution after the fact when it's done. It's like saying Ford was perfect for Solo. Well he was after he did it. If it was Walken then no one would care about Ford and marvel that that nothing failed actor turned carpenter was ever considered at all.

    Nothing went wrong with the PT at all. It's just that you didn't like them. Then got on just fine without you and were major hits which people loved and bought the DVD's and the merchandise etc etc.

    Lucas had just as much say over the OT. Even more actually as the OT were small scale productions in comparison to the PT. The prequels had so many people working on all the models, miniatures, sets, mattes, costumes, props, CG and everything else involved it'd be impossible to overlook everything. What he could do is over his overseers.

    Sorry I don't mean to be mean and this isn't directed solely at you but I really have to laugh when people talk about how no one questioned Lucas' writing on the PT. I have looked extensively into the making of the movies and some people have this absurd idea that on the OT people were questioning Lucas' writing while on the PT they never did. That again is just plain wrong. The process of how the films were made differed but to say that Lucas didn't value the opinion of others is totally wrong. He always listened to others from his peers like Spielberg and Coppola to his employees like Kersher and Kasdan. A lot of there "questioning" was just that questions which he answered and in his answering he used them as a proofreader and then reshaped his ideas as he saw fit.

    The best example of this ever is in III. He wrote and shot the whole crux of the saga in the turn. He put it together showed it to his people and they didn't get it and suggested different ideas. He took it to Spielberg and Coppola and probably Ron Howard and others and got an OK from them but in the end he decided that it wasn't enough and totally restructured the turn and all the reasons and reworked it to simply be about Padme and wanting to save her. So much for no one questioning his writing.

    You seem to think that George didn't do much on ESB. Again completely untrue. he worked on it every day just like Kershner did. He wrote the script several times handed it off to Kasdan then reworked what Kasdan did, he edited the film along with Kershner, he was the vision behind everything in the movie.

    I amaze at the people who keep saying Kasdan wrote Empire. He didn't. He was a rewriter like a script editor on a TV series. He was the co in co-writer. Not the main guy. He did leave Kershner on his own in ESB to a large degree and it really didn't pay off in production terms. Kurtz really failed in his duties and Lucas realized he needed to be there for support because trying to get something to learn to do what he already knew how to do just slowed done the whole process. Kersher was brought in mainly for the actors because Lucas wanted a certain tone that he could bring to it.
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  22. Thomas Solo

    Thomas Solo Jedi Padawan star 1

    Nov 28, 2012
    I hope you are wrong as well, but not in a bad way. I think the ones in charge, JJ/KK and the rest, have a certain reverence for the source material to make it line up with what we have seen before. I mean it is 30+ years after ROTJ, so things should and I think will be different, but that is a good thing!

    I think JJ was like 10 or 11 years old when ANH came out so he's of the 'wheelhouse group' that were quite aware of the special-ness of Star Wars. I'm hoping Ep 7 will politely tread on somewhat familiar territory and then 8 and 9 (and the spinoffs) rip it up from there. Not like a complete revamping or anything, but just taking the audience to a new place and making the GFFA seem like a real place with real problems that need real fixing.

    Some have wondered it it may be too much Star Wars all in a short period of time. There is a school of thought that says that giving too much of a thing makes it too familiar and eventually boring. I don't subscribe to that. I realize that most here think that Disney is an evil money grubbing machine. I just don't. What they have done with the Marvel property has been nothing short of amazing mostly. I was not a Marvel fan before....just never got into comic books mostly, but now I'm at the theater any time a new one comes around (complete disclosure: give me Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and I'll vote for you...just saying). And I DON'T go to a theater unless it is something I really want to see. I also think Disney has really remained true to the Muppets overall feel. In fact, maybe more than they have with Marvel. If you haven't seen Frozen, I would totally recommend you give it a whirl. Disney is in the entertainment business. They make boatloads of cheddar because they do it well. I'm pretty sure Ep 7 and the rest will be done pretty well.
  23. EviL_eLF

    EviL_eLF Force Ghost star 5

    Mar 16, 2003
    Exactly...his only protection is the fact that Kathleen Kennedy has creative control, which is why he put her in place prior to the sale.
  24. TX-20

    TX-20 Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 21, 2013
    Outlines usually don't contain dialogue so I think we're good.
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  25. jedijax

    jedijax Force Ghost star 6

    May 2, 2013
    KK will have quite a bit of loyalty to Lucas' vision. I'm confident that she won't allow the stories to stray too far from his outlines.
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