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Your thoughts on George Lucas

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SAVORY100
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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby SAVORY100 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:56 pm

I'd suggest as an artist, storyteller, imagineer and conceptualist he is/was a genius and more than that, he embraced and created a field of equally talented creatives that many filmmakers, fashion designers etc. use as a model today.

As a Director though he is without doubt flawed at every step and cannot therefore be considered one of the greats. To do so is to hugely misunderstand his skills, ability and input to the field of filmmaking.

Star Wars was (from all accounts I've read or heard) a nightmare to work on and mainly because of George, his demands and his Directorial style. There is no doubt though that the idea and final outcome is a treasure, but even that is flawed, hence why he was so desperate to rework the OT in the 1990s both due to the creation and development of new technology (in many ways under his own hand) and to unpick his frustrations from the initial shoots. I temper this comment of course by acknowledging that many (including myself) don't see these later 'enhancements' as actual improvements...

The Phantom Menace was IMO a fantastic conceptual piece by George and his team, it broadly makes sense, the characters should've been wonderful and exciting (and in many cases they really were) some of course found them silly and annoying, the worlds were realised as fantastical and in some cases, beautiful places 'before the dark times' but under George's directorial hand and in light of him having spent years re-polishing what he saw as his previous misgivings, his directorial frailties shone through again, he took too much time in the cut explaining every plot detail and explaining multiple backstories and forgot the simplicity of storytelling that actually he is THE master of.

Sadly the fan-base couldn't grasp the lack of lived in feel or come to terms with (what was an evolving art form) in CGI... something that along with most special effect techniques we see at the cinema to this day are only in existence because of George and his team of visionaries... it wasn't the film style we remembered, it is though most likely the film style George would've made in 1977 if the technology existed, which in itself is an interesting dichotomy.

So, George appears at this point to flip flop between the story he wanted to tell and the fan criticism/wants list and we ended up with the two worst Star Wars films in AOTC and ROTS, one a meaningless love story with a hint of Star Wars and the latter a fan letter to those that craved the dark side, but that left kids and fantasy/fun followers of the franchise behind.

More recently, and i'm sure after a great deal of soul searching he realised that the baby he had dreamt up and in turn delivered to the world was no longer something he could take any further. The fans had taken control in many ways and the franchise itself was at a point that only someone or something bigger and more imaginative could grow it further... step forward the greatest kids story delivery system... Disney Studios.

For all his directorial flaws and for all the issues, questions and problems that he brought upon himself with the special editions and later prequels, there is no doubting that George Lucas is a master dreamer, a storyteller extraordinaire and of course a ground breaker in the film industry when it comes to technique, technology and artistry... sadly what he lacked in later years were people around him to say no.

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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby Bonsai_Tree_Ent » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:06 pm

^^well summarised Mr Savory! I pretty much agree with every word.

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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby poncho » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:13 pm

great summary steve :D

side note imagine a ridley scott/george lucas production back in the day. that would be visually epic

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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby Bonsai_Tree_Ent » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:29 pm

A Ridley Scott Star Wars movie would have looked the absolute business. However having Lucas hovering over his shoulder wouldn't have gone down well. Scott seems quite a formidable no-nonsense leader on set and he probably would have ended up breaking George's kneecaps if he tried to be a backseat director.

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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby subzero » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:23 pm

I'm a man of simple taste, I like his beard.
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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby Richard_H » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:38 pm

George Lucas only wants surrounded by Yes men - hence Rick McCallum. You stand up to George and you're gone.

George is an incredible visionary. He is incredible at telling stories, borrowing ideas and adapting them, world building, character names etc...

But he is not a good director or producer. I never understand the term 'Lucas purist' because I don't think it exists.

Look at ANH. Rinzler's book is heavily edited and I believe to be incorrect often, yet reading those it is clear that at times the whole team pulled together to make the movie. I think Marcia was incredibly important to the success of ANH.

His dialogue is terrible. There are terrible lines in all of the movies.
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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby stratpack » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:16 pm

I agree with many views on here about George, but I do hold the view that he wasn't actually a 'great' director. Fantastic storyteller, but to be a top director you have to be a people person, you have to know how to help the actors perform, how to get a performance out of them. For many years I've heard interviews and quotes with lots of people involved in all his films saying when they would ask for help he would just say "faster, more intense" or the classic prequel quote "its ok, we'll fix it in post". I realise he was only credited as director on a few films but he co-directed many other films on secondary units that mostly went uncredited.

As far as the 'yes men' surrounding him, that too is true. If he had allowed other people to direct the Prequel Trilogy and bring in their own style and ideas it would have been so refreshing, Like he did with Empire and Jedi, he controlled the story but others put it together.

I'm glad to see his mate Steven Spielberg has now ditched the idea of tweaking old movies and regrets the changes he did for ET in 2002. The only release on bluray of ET from here on in will be the theatrical cut. He probably saw the criticism that George was getting and realised, you know what? The fans are actually right. I wish George could have reached that point too, realising that when a piece if art is finished, leave it. Its representative of the time it was released.

It was a slow realisation, especially after the PT and Indiana Jones & The Crystal Skull but the last straw for me was Red Tails. He wrote the story, produced it and directed reshoots. I was really looking forward to this movie but it was ultimately very disappointing.

He was the creator and protector of the greatest saga ever but also he must be remembered for setting up ILM which revolutionised visual effects for the whole industry.
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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby Woolyniner » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:32 pm

Hi vision for Star Wars IMO was huge and so many of today's fantasy TV and film settings would not have happened without him.

I think the overall plot for episodes 1-6 is brilliant. The attention to detail and world building, particularly the prequels, is fantastic. Many of the characters he has created have left a huge emotional coonection with so many people, and of course the special effects he pushed forward and introduced have wowed us and pushed the industry forward.

Yes his directing is dodgy, and some of the lines are wooden, but I can forgive all that because of all the above.

A genius, whose stature and appreciation will grow as the decades fly by.

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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby Dantooine » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:56 pm

I think he was a cool filmmaker from the 70's, who had a big hit with American Graffitti then stumbled onto something amazing in Star Wars. I think he had such a hard time making it, having to prove himself over and over again that when it became a massive hit it must have gone to his head.

If you look at the rough cut of Star Wars, clips of which are in various documentaries you can see that it's pace is the same as the prequels. It's flat. The editing and visual effects a long with so many other departments all contributed to making that great first film, but I think George Lucas thinks it's what was in his head that made it great, not what was on screen.

The guy got old, became surround by yes men, and didn't have to prove anything to anybody. No test screenings, no studio heads to please. He did exactly what he wanted with the prequels but they're dreadful films - and I think he thinks they're better than the OT.

He started the whole thing but thank the maker (George!?!) that other filmmakers directed Empire and Jedi. As someone who is a prequel denier (!) I certainly don't care for most of his ideas post 1983. He had his time, it was great, I'm greatful but I'm also greatful to Joe Johnson, McQuarrie, Williams, Ford, Fisher, Kenner etc. as I am to Lucas.

He seems a bitter these days and he hasn't let go. All the tweaks he has made over the years to the OT are awful. He obviously still give a shit otherwise he would have stopped and let them be a product of their time.

So yes, not as huge a fan as I used to be. Still, it was his baby, which is amazing enough. Met him once, he was nice enough. We talked about Metropolis.

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Re: Your thoughts on George Lucas

Postby Mr. Tie » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:01 am

Well, a lot of 'blah, blah' about the 'good' things Lucas did to cinematic, but I am glad there are also folks who think he is an old fossil. I admire the OT because I watched it from a child's perspective. It was new for the time and great. But after waiting so long the prequels were fine, hoping that after TPM it would become bigger and greater. But it didn't. After all they are watchable, no more, no less. Different worlds, yes, all fine. Classic? No, not at all. A man or director at that time with more zero's on his bank account than we can dream of wasn't able to keep the true dream alive. He wanted to become independent from Hollywood, but instead he became a capitalist with an urge to perfect his trilogy. Why? Let go, Obi Wan told Luke, but George couldn't. And at certain point he got tired of it and sold the whole damn thing to Disney. Just letting the wicked witch of the West rule it and sell the soul of it to a dodgy franchise. Now we know what this means: a heavily shielded resistance cruiser, but they manage to blow up the bridge (and there goes Mary Poppins... I mean Leia), a borderline Luke who's pissed of because after all this Lucas shit no one leaves him alone (and he is right about that), a Mary Sue Rey, mistress perfect who watched some OT episodes and knows how to handle a lightsaber (yeah, right...) and Ben Solo, the fruitcake with no attitude at all who thinks he can be Vader. My God, it is worser than a mental hospital. Well, thank you Georgie, they all float...
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