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This was a good rant/interview/skewering of ol’ Georgie-porgie…..I personally think Lucas got sucked into a giant ego-trip with the second Star Wars trilogy; he was surrounded by yes men in a giant blue foam warehouse in Australia instead of finding new interesting talent and shooting on location….possibly his work on video games in the 1990s convinced him that an all bluescreen movie could be the way to go. He was horribly mistaken.
A good parody of how they made “Episode 1″ has to be Damon Packard’s “The Untitled Star Wars Mocumentary”; it’s hilarious watching his actors interact with footage of George Lucas.
i love the prequels, but the originals are better. and even if I hated the prequels i would leave George alone. the reason people think Lucas hates us, is because, many of us hate him, and constantly bash him. So that made some tension between the fans and him, so why wouldn’t he hate us if we hate him?
The prequels were interesting in the same way that something excreted from my spastic colon might be mildly interesting…
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I like how they mentioned the artwork devolving with each successive release. That shit has bothered me for years.
And if George didn’t start Star Wars, Francis wouldn’t have made Apocalypse Now.
Considering he wrote the Patton screenplay, made the great Godfather prequel/sequel (“I knew it was you, Fredo”), The Gene Hackman classic The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now . . . no, just no. He is a little pretentious though.
I give Coppola his due, but there was no need for him to be an asshole over Abel Gance’s NAPOLEON.
I actually thought of the Mona Lisa example while watching the earlier part of this review. So gratified when they mentioned it themselves. Yep… it’s a lot like that.
What is RLM’s take on LucasFilm being sold to Disney + Episodes 7, 8, 9 being announced? Is this the final sellout? Or is it possible that this is long-awaited oft-doubted redemption of a fallen filmmaker?
Hey, you use the Island music from Resident Evil 4 during Rich Evans’ Lucas scene.
You should invite alexander phleepe again to discuss Star Wars Episode 7
I guess we know who he is leaving Star Wars to.
When Jay is moving the TV at around 12:27, the panning of the camera in the Cantina scene is moving at the same speed as Jay. Did you guys do this on purpose?
Is there any way to find that Scarf video.
Whats it called?
I think Lucas was counting on what happened with A New Hope to happen with the prequels. He needed to write and direct so that he could take full credit again, but he was banking on the enormously talented people around him to polish his turds. What he didn’t take into account was that now he was GEORGE FUCKING LUCAS and that no one was going to tell him that his turds were anything but perfect and shiny the instant he pinched them off. Maybe if the scripts and the directing were almost there with just a few flaws someone might have had the huevos to make some suggestions. But no one was going to say, “Sorry, George, but everything you’re doing is utter shit and you need to start completely over from scratch.”
And then Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney,
But the best version of original Star Wars, see the revisited version….unless Disney killed it.
I’m glad someone else noticed that.
I don’t hear about the true Phantom Menace in these delightful pieces – the hole where Gary Kurtz used to be. Read this INCYMI http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2010/08/12/star-wars-was-born-a-long-time-ago-but-not-all-that-far-far-away-in-1972-filmmakers-george-lucas-and-gary-kurtz-wer/
Honestly I think what happened is George grew too big for himself. He collapsed like a star going nova under his own weight. When he was directing star wars originally? He was a director and writer but he wasn’t some big shot that could make all the calls with out working with the community. There was everyone working with him to make a great movie and it showed. There were people working for an art they were passionate about and collaborating together. It showed in the Indiana Jones movies as well. But you can see as he gains influence he corrupts that process by taking away creative freedom. At least this is my hypothesis for what happened.
Star Wars sucks. Always has sucked, and always shall suck.
Frankly, I feel sorry for people who were raised with it
dont forget the added cgi effects for no reason
i always noticed this too! i always wondered if anyone else would say anything
The originals are excellent. This is irrefutable.
They’re just movies… there.
Han shot first: there’s one scene in Dr.No in which Bond shoots Professor Dent twice – the second time in the back – although Dent had emptied his whole magazine into a decoy in the bed in the room in which Bond’s waiting for an assassin unknown to him. Originally the scene had Bond unloading his whole magazine into Dent – one in his front and the other five in his back. The makers deemed this to be too violent so they cut the scene. But at least the scene still makes sense. (Actually to me the scene makes even more sense since I can’t imagine Bond to be wasteful with ammunition not even in an act of revenge.)
If that scene from Dr. No would be digitally changed the way the Han vs. Greedo scene was changed I imagine that Professor Dent’s gun would be loaded – the bullet going magically through Bond without harming him or Bond’s upper body flipping to the side – so that Bond would have the chance to kill Dent in self-defense. Fuck that! (Or as Bill Hicks put it: “‘Hi, we’re the New Kids, we’re so good and clean.’ *growls satanically while blowing his microphone* ‘We’re so clean cut.’ SIEG HEIL! HEIL! HEIL! A good clean country. HEIL! HEIL! HEIL! *growls satanically while blowing his microphone again* FUCK THAT! I WANT MY ROCK STARS DEAD!” <- from Bill Hicks – Play From Your Fucking Heart http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRkA6zugNMQ )
George Lucas has suffered a lot of criticism
over his decision to sell his company to the Disney corporation,
especially after Disney promptly dissolved the LucasArt’s wing after two
decades of frontier challenging development from the devout and
talented staff. But on the other hand, George Lucas has donated several
lifetime’s worth of money to deserving causes and cannot find my
think it’s about time that the media and the public (this means you!)
gave George Lucas the credit for which he is due. Not only has he formed
the imaginations of countless people for generations, and further, been
generous enough to allow his almost inconceivably popular and richly
textured legacy to live on through such luminaries as J.J. Abrams, he
has done so without so much as locating my telephone charger.
So I put it to anyone who’s ever tried anything, anyone that’s ever
risked anything, anyone who has had the courage to follow a dream dared
in the mind of their own inner child to lift up the couch of their own
embittered egos and mark the words of the wisest Jedi knight of them
all, “Where is my telephone charger?”
No, Han did not shoot first. You can’t shoot first if the other guy doesn’t shoot at all. Han was the ONLY one who shot. Period.
This is another clear example of Lucas making changes without understanding the characters.
Greedo’s mission was to deliver Han to Jabba because Han owed money. If Han had missed and Greedo had shot him in the head (that is where he was aiming at), who exactly did Lucas think would’ve paid his debt? From Greedo’s point of view, it would have been better to let Han go, instead of executing someone who owed money to a galactic mafia boss like Jabba – even if it was self defense.
This scene is so important, because it sets up the character of Han Solo as someone who does not care for the rules and is only looking out for himself. Han is the epitome of the rogue with the capital “R.” He had total control of the situation. Greedo had to die because he got in his way.
When Obi and Luke start dealing with him, the viewer is meant to be distressed and constantly aware that Han is a shady character. This guy just executed someone because he didn’t want to pay his debt, and he just might turn on Obi or Luke, when he can benefit from it the most.
After Han has brought back Leia to the Rebels, he takes his payment and leaves. This is exactly how you would expect him to behave. From the very first scene, where he executes Greedo, everything he has done to that point has been consistent to his character. He is only looking out for himself and he doesn’t give a s#it about the Rebels.
So, when we see him return at the crucial moment, during the trench-run, when Luke needs him the most – THIS is when the image of the egoistical rogue is shattered for the viewer. THIS is where the viewer is meant to say, “Oh, he does care! He is a good guy after all.”
Greedo shooting at Han makes it look as if Han was acting in self defense. The whole rogue with the capital “R” goes out of the window. Now Han has become just an average smuggler, who just happened to aim better than his opponent. If someone better had taken Greedo’s place, Han would be dead. Add to this that his ship is a total junk, which breaks down every time when it’s meant to jump to hyperspace, and Han begins to look like some wussy loser about to lose control of the situation at any moment.
Of course you don’t expect a hack like Lucas to understand this. The man has gone over to the Dark Side a long time ago. Any shred of talent, which was left in his body when Star Wars (or as assholes like to call it – A New Hope) came out, is long gone.
Handing over Star Wars to someone else was about the smartest thing he has done in his life (filming the prequels was the most idiotic).
George Lucas and his staff.
Yeah, they are just movies, the same way that the Mona Lisa is just a painting, Romeo and Juliet is just a play, The Great Gatsby is just a book. The White House is just a building and you are just a human being. Good job at being Cynical. Throughout time we have assigned personal value to things, it is natural to have an emotional response to something. If you don’t I find that really sad.
A great example of a movie enhancement that went good was Apocalypse Now Redux. Thank god Disney is now guarding this chicken coop.
Coppola made The Godfather, The Godfather 2, Apocalypse Now and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
These are movies that are not only great, but are constantly brought up by film experts and directors as being among the best DIRECTED movies of all time, Francis Ford Coppola being the director.
The comment about George Lucas being a lucky hack was in the context that the rumour goes that George Lucas is a bad director who was saved by great editors. No one is saying that about Francis Ford Coppola.
i like it when mike says lucas’s autobiography would be lies and the other guy stares at his face for ages, good that.
I agree with Mike. George Lucas has to be the biggest hack. I imagine that he hit a jackpot and took credit for the hard work of the team he had making the first Star Wars Trilogy. He hasn’t really done anything noteworthy after that. No, and the Indiana Jones doesn’t count because one can argue that that series was great because of Steven Speilberg not George. We will never ever see another good movie from George Lucas in any form.
I agree with Mike. George Lucas has to be the biggest hack. I imagine that he hit a jackpot and took credit for the hard work of the team he had making the first Star Wars Trilogy.
I pretty sure he keeps going back and tinkering with the movies because he knows, deep down in his heart, that he can’t come up with anything good anymore.
Mike has pretty eyes and a wonderful brain.
In the Special Edition DVD version, Greedo actually shoots twice. Does NO ONE else notice this!?
Put that in a letter and mail it to Lucas immediately. Here, I’ll pay for the postage, just go.
Oh… (slowly backs out)
That Jabba is the worst looking piece of crap ever. The special editions of ET are the same; he looks like another jar-jar instead of the character we grew up loving.
…And don’t even get me started on that fucking singing alien.
I’d like to propose that George Lucas fucked up on Episode 1 by not delegating the work. I mean if you look at the behind the scenes shit he seems stressed out about the script (and who wouldn’t be? I mean FUCK). At that point he should have realized that he really wasn’t up for this shit and just had someone else make the script.
The fact is he wasn’t the young rebel anymore, but he was going back and trying to recapture that glory. He was a businessman, and should have acted like one, simply Producing the film and overseeing the OVERALL trilogy storyline (keeping the writers focused on making it a character story about Vader while unfolding Palpatine’s plot).
Next up I also feel he should have handed off directing duties. You see the behind the scenes shit and he’s laying slumped in his chair most of the time looking like a man who genuinely isn’t having fun (beyond everyone around him kissing his ass). This is not how you want your fun filled action-adventure director to look while filming. Again: not the same young rebel who fought his ass off to make Star Wars. He should have gotten someone younger and hip with a flair to do it. I’m thinking Finicher, given Fight Club was resonating with the very same audience Star Wars should be aimed at: teens up through adults. For the record: kids always tag along with the older groups, so making a movie for kids is just dooming it to obsolescence with a few exceptions.
The best part about all this was that had the movies still been a flop the fans wouldn’t blame George, they’d blame the new people.
George would just get to sit in his office, make money, walk down to the set from time to time to be worshiped, and he’d still have the love of his fans.
He fucked up by not playing to his strengths, or more to the point realizing that our strengths change over time. A lesson we could all learn from.
Why the fuck are you still reading this?
thumbs up for chad vader
I was still reading it because it was a well written and thought through comment.
And because the video is buffering.
I agree with Mike’s comment that Lucas was right, and he never was a very good director – although I really like “American Graffiti.” “THX-1138″ is not terribly engaging, but for “Graffiti,” there are behind-the-scenes stuff that talks about how Lucas really didn’t know how to direct the actors (a problem he had which is painfully obvious in “Star Wars” – and I mean the first one, too), and they just all ended up sort of working out with Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith all sort of worked out between each other and with the other actors what they were going to do in the scene.
That said, Mike is wrong on one point: I would put “Graffiti” as Lucas’ third major contribution to pop culture, still to this day, because it did something only a VERY small handful of movies, including “It Happened One Night” and “8 1/2,” have ever done: It invented a genre. And yes, it is a genre that is still VERY much alive and well today. “Graffiti” is history’s first nostalgia flick.
Stop and think about it. From, like, World War I until the early ’70s, not just movies, but ALL FICTION that was a period piece came in one of three categories: 1.) Biographies of actual people who lived, who were mostly adults (so no “coming-of-age” which is the trope for the nostalgia flick) and mostly lived through horrible things like wars and depressions and influenza outbreaks. 2.) Romanticizations of a distant past nobody could remember, either because it never actually happened (all Westerns) or because they weren’t alive for it. I mean, I GUESS there might have been some centenarians in the audience of “Gone with the Wind” with clear, fond memories of the antebellum South, but I don’t think they represented the majority of its box office. Or 3.) movies like “All Quiet on the Western Front” or “The Roaring Twenties” whose message could be summed up as, “Hey… remember how much things fucking sucked 10, 15, 20 years ago?”
I mean, the closest you come to misty-eyed memories of yesteryear is maybe “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which A.) wasn’t a hit, and B.) you’re still talking about a guy who’s deaf in one ear, he’s physically abused by his boss whose son just died, minutes before he’s about to lose his virginity his father dies, he never gets what he wants out of life, he’s driven to suicide. I mean, it’s really kind of a bummer, George Bailey’s life story. The title is intentionally somewhat ironic. It’s not, “It’s a wonderful life… yay!” but rather, “You know, despite all this shit, life is worth living.”
Then comes “Graffiti,” and it’s a hit, and suddenly, Hollywood discovers audiences had a blast when they were teenagers. Oh, and by the way, the largest generation EVER were teenagers during the 1950s and ’60s. So now, you’ve got everything from “Happy Days” to “Animal House” in the ’70s. And then as time wears on, and the Baby Boomers have kids who are old enough to pay for movies, you’ve got nostalgia flicks about the ’70s, ’80s and the ’90s – “That ’70s Show,” “Dazed and Confused.” In fact, you could make a strong argument that all these reboots of ’80s and ’90s cartoons and movies – “Transformers,” “GI Joe,” “My Little Pony” – they’re all cashing in on that same thing. Ironically, your own Plinkett reviews and “People vs. George Lucas” are cashing on it, too. “Remember how great ‘Star Wars’ was when we were kids? What happened?”
And I think you have to give Lucas credit for that very simple discovery, and that makes three things he discovered which seem patently obvious now but were NOT at the time, and had a HUGE impact on our pop culture. In a way, I’d say Lucas pretty much is to movies what Steve Jobs was to the computer revolution: He didn’t INVENT anything groundbreaking – not really; and he didn’t even really come up with ideas that were rocket science. But he does have a genius for finding those things that seem so simple once they’ve worked, but they seem like crazy talk until they work, even though they seem very obvious.
Glad to be of assistance.
I Fucked Up
– George Lucas
The weight on his shoulders argument is such bullshit. Continuously making changes that no one wants and making more and more fans hate him for it theoretically puts even more weight on his shoulders. My theory that I just thought of while typing that last sentence makes me think maybe Lucas is just a masochistic weirdo.
I just finished watching all 6 movies in a row, and i must say, the prequels are waaaay better then the fucked up originals and everyone including RLM who thinks otherwise is just a bunch of idiots … i mean every single person is a bunch of idiots, so stupid is their opinion.
Hey, take you brain medicine Tommy O its time to watch your baby films
FYI *Their opinions are so stupid*
I love how most of the people cant see irony it you use it to stab their eyes out with it …. hmm, that was ironic….
btw. just found this
It’s so dense, every single image has so many things going on…
My dad had an axiom…”A good artist knows when to quit.” He was detail oriented and a bit obsessive about his art, and had the tendency to constantly tinker with whatever he was working on in the hope of finding that unobtainable state of perfection. This lesson was a reminder that sometimes you just have to let go and be happy with what you’ve created, flaws and all. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up destroying your creation. I wish Lucas had learned a similar lesson as a child.
On another note, I always thought it a shame that Timothy Zahn wasn’t brought in for the prequel scripts. I don’t know if he had any film experience at the time, but he was a great story teller and seemed to understand Star Wars better than Lucas. He could have been the Nicholas Meyer of the Star Wars franchise. Oh well, maybe in a parallel universe.
too long, didnt read.
I’ve always thought of George Lucas as having a very
I think Lucas had an incredible gift at capturing the masculine “coming of age.” It’s an
incredibly brief – usually no more than a few months – and magic time in a man’s life when he’s just leaving parents/guardians (though still able to rely on their resources somewhat) but not yet bogged down with heavy responsibilities. It’s an incredibly
exciting and intoxicating time where it’s plausible for a young man to be swept
up into a great adventure. Lucas used to be able capture the visceral aspect of this life stage.
The boys in American Graffiti and Luke Skywalker were all in
this stage of life and it’s a big part of those movies’ magic.
So how did Lucas lose this ability? I think:
1. He got old and rich – time has dulled the visceral edge of his youthful memories and the security of great wealth has anesthetized him to what the raw thrill felt like.
2. He’s been brainwashed by our culture’s attempt to redefine (IMO demonize) natural masculinity. The cultural “powers that be” hate the rambunctiousness and horniness of the youthful man. The cultural “powers that be” are absolute puritans about this and won’t tolerate depictions of natural masculinity. Hence the whiny, petulant, insecure, and thoroughly uninteresting Anakin Skywalker. Hence the lack of anything fun in the prequels. Because puritans aren’t fun. Going to the dark side was an improvement for that dork.
At this point, I’m just glad my pre special edition VHS tapes work.
what happen george?
It’s so poetic, every shot has so much rhyming going on.
It’s so dense, every single page has so many things going on !
Horseshit comes in mountains? What…?! O_o
Or it could be about money why George Lucas does not want to release the original films on any type of media. Because if he released the original films in the best audio quality and picture quality, without alterations, no one in their right mind would pay for the new updated trilogy he has released since. George Lucas butchered the original films and everyone knows this. Even George knows this, thats prolly why he dont release those films. Because one copy is all you need…
Those are not the only copies of the SW originals. I’ve seen them on eBay, really cheap, too–probably because hardly anyone has VCRs to play them on anymore.
Every scene is so dense.
It’s like poetry, they rhyme
maybe Disney will release the originals
I just saw a commercial for Disney that shamelessly whored out Star Wars as if it was just another one of their kid series. I think the gritty Star Wars is dead.
The Despecialized HD version of the Original Trilogy is surprisingly great. I think it’s the closest we’ll get to an unaltered HD cut of the films. Worth checking out, at least until Disney gives us an official version on Blu Ray.
The People vs George Lucas is a masterpiece. Other than Dr. Plinkett’s reviews it’s the second most significant account of how completely out of touch George Lucas is with the franchise he helped to create.
Can’t believe I never knew about this film but I’m so glad I finally got a chance to see it.
Supposedly they we’re going to tell him after his training. But I think it depends on how you see it. Maybe manipulating Luke was bad but it was for a greater good. Also they were trying to protect Luke. Look at what happened after he went against Yoda and Ben advice, he lost his arm. Anyway, that’s my point of view.
So glad Netflix put People v. George Lucas back up for streaming. Such a great film.
I think it’s all dependent on how restricted Abrams is when it comes to the rating. If he is allowed at PG-PG13 levels, there’s some room for grit. If he’s jammed into a G, well…
Now, while Disney is known for making children’s movies, they aren’t exactly shy about the PG13 rating, like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so that’s why I think that Abrams is not as restricted as you would think.
Your car broke down? It was probably vapor lock.
You guys are the best.
Darth Vader gettin’ jiggy
“Young George”, http://abstrusegoose.com/92
It’s so painful to watch that dancing vader clip.
It’s gonna be great.
George Lucas may not have been a great director from the get go but he has always been an incredible visual stylist. And his ability to create worlds and populate them with varieties of creatures, ships, etc. is its own kind of genius. I think on some level it’s always been where his passion lies and now he’s an FX mogul.
Also, Ringo Star is a fantastic drummer but his brilliance is in how he serves the song and the pocket. Every musician with taste that I know understand’s the depth of Ringo’s talent. Watch early footage of the Beatles live. They are groove machines but it’s a tricky pocket they’re pulling off and it’s all because of Ringo. Minimalist elegance is hard to come by.
People really seem to get upset about Lucus’s arbitrary changes, but looking at the sort of people who are really getting upset, you know, the fat neckbeards, I can only assume that it is the aspergers talking.
I’ve never cared that much about Star Wars, I have never even seen the prequels. Now, that Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls movie? That was uncalled for.
Indiana Jones was just fine as a trilogy, now we have 1 classic, 2 pretty good movies and retardation. That fourth bluray disc went straight to the trashcan outside of Best Buy as soon as I opened the box. Too bad the box continues to have artwork to remind me that the 4th movie was part of the set. Lucas is to be blamed, Spielberg didn’t even want to make another Indy, and boy, it showed, it really showed. Laziest Spielberg movie ever, and he has done his share of lazy flicks.
That kind of commentary belongs on Youtube…
Look at what they are doing with their lives! They are upset that someone made small stupid changes to a low budget sci-fi movie made with a simplistic adventure story. Just download the original trilogy, put them on CD’s, and stop wasting your time.
Look at you, racking your brain and going off about people who like a particular movie. Stop wasting your time and watch The People vs. George Lucas.
There’s something so disingenuous about The People vs. George Lucas. The filmmakers keep saying stuff as if they expect a response from George Lucas. Like “We made a movie, the collective voice of Star Wars fans, and George understands the language of movie and he will understand the ways of his errors bla bla bla…”. And calling him “George” like they know him personally. These people are just as confused and contradictory as the man. Realize already that George Lucas doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone thinks, much less about what “the fans” think.
I would only be wasting my time IF I watched the movie. Don’t even try and tell me that commenting on a website is wasting more time than these autists who go to conventions and rack their brain up on a movie made 40 years ago.
“I’m still holding.” Get off that shit, Jay
How do you know what they’re doing with their lives? The only information you have is that they like and have an opinion on Star Wars. You have no idea about their personal lives or their hobbies, talents, professions. Being a fan of a film franchise has no bearing on weather you are a successful human being or have a mental disability.
Oh good, this full-length version is a far more interesting and satisfying episode than the abridged one on Youtube. I was also (pleasantly) surprised to see Jay actually took part in the discussion in this edit. Anyway, thanks much for this longer conversation. It’s been a couple years since I last saw “The People vs. George Lucas”, but I remember liking it a lot at the time (both in content and composition). It was also a far more temperate in tone than I had expected, so I always found the accusations of a vitriolic approach to be a bit befuddling.
I wouldn’t say “disingenuous” but I agree that he doesn’t (have to) care what others thinks.
I’m so expecting the sequel to these.
I liked People vs George Lucas, and I think the recently announced sequel to it will be great. Still, these guys discussed this in a very smart and rational way, I’m looking forward to them doing it again.
At the end of the day by commenting you’ve helped these guys. So I guess they’d say thanks!
Alright then, I still believe in what I said though. There are bigger fish to fry.
Watching The People vs George Lucas now and it’s kinda cringeworthy. It takes the material way too seriously.
I guess that’s what I like about RLM’s reviews. Mike critiques the material but also makes fun of himself in the process.
That clip ruins Metallica and Star Wars
There’s plenty of people who wear football jerseys and go scream their lungs out at football games, and have football team themed wedding cakes, but no one says how pathetic they are.
“I was asked once by a reporter if I thought Ringo Starr was best drummer in the world, so I replied Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles!”
Some people listen to Kind of Blue and say that Miles Davis wasn’t that good. There is more to music than showmanship and this is especially true of drumming, which is subtle when done right. Ringo had amazing tone and pocket and always served the song. The masters make it look easy. If John Lennon said that he was probably joking.
What a ridiculous comment. First of all did you even watch the Plinkett reviews? Or did you just put them on while you were doing other things and not pay attention to what he was saying. Mike/Plinkett makes several references to how enamored of Empire. And it’s hilarious that you make that last stupid ass comment considering what Plinkett says about the Empire Strikes Back and The Falcon. You sir are an idiot. Please go back to watching football, sucking down hot wings, and saying boob and pussy every five seconds like a good little stereotypical male clone.
Bravo! I’ve been making this point for decades. It’s nice to see that there is another human being on the planet that sees the irony of “the manly men” talking smack about people “dressing up,” while sitting around in their Cinco Ocho jersey’s and face painted the colors of their team.
So I have a theory on the changes based on absolutely nothing but my own suspicions. My theory is that the changes Lucas made were to bring the movie back towards his original vision of the film. I would bet that he wanted to do many of these things back when the movie was made, but had people telling him that he shouldn’t. Now that those people are dead/gone and he has all the money, he’s doing all the things he originally wanted to do with the movie.
But if that’s the case, why did he keep doing these changes? Did he just randomly remember things every few years from his original creative vision?
I originally wrote this post in present tense, until I remembered that George Lucas finally doesn’t own Star Wars anymore.
I think Jay is right in the point he kept trying to get across, that George Lucas got steadily worse seems about right to me. The trajectory of his movies rises until it peaks with Empire, then it starts to fall with the less good Jedi and finally hits more or less rock bottom with Phantom, with a slight rise for Sith but I think that just shows that Lucas was, to an extent, relearning how to be a filmmaker and actually learnt a bit from his experience with the previous two prequels.
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