Disney’s Star Wars

I’m kinda hesitant to write about this on Halloween, but holy shit, that’s crazy news that George Lucas sold off all his shit to Disney for $4 billion plus and that they’re gonna make STAR WARS 7, 8 and 9 and (if people are reading this right) 1o and 11 and 12 and 13 and more every two to three years until the superstorms swallow us up.

My initial thoughts:

1. I can’t help but see this as the Nerd Empire celebrating the expression of an individual artist making the official switch to a Franchise, a Property, a Trademark. I think I read something on the internet a while back about how some people only like the earlier Star Warses, but still. It was clearly the vision of one particular guy, who took independent film far beyond what anybody else ever did. There is something about even those prequels that you hate so much that is clearly him. Nobody else could or would make movies like that, both the good parts and the bad parts. And that’s why Star Wars is special. Not because of the pajamas that you remember you had. Although I’m sure they were great.

Of course, I’m the guy who enjoys those movies for the weird, ambitious, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes exhilarating messes that they are, so I’m gonna be easier on them. But I would’ve preferred they leave it at that and then other people can make the TV shows and everything, but as far as movies the Jedi returned and that’s the end of the story.

Which brings me to…

2. I don’t want there to be episodes 7, 8 and 9! You’re telling me the destruction of the Empire and the redemption (as much as possible) of Darth Vader is not the end? Then it turned out things were still shitty and they had to have more star wars? I don’t like it. If you must do more Star Warses why can’t they be a different story in that same world, a new beginning?

I mean I guess from what I’m reading in some places Lucas wrote the treatments for these, so maybe it’s part of his original plan, I don’t know. But continuing after RETURN OF THE JEDI seems pretty forced to me.

3. I am almost positive that Disney did this because they bought Marvel Comics only to make a Howard the Duck movie and then found out Lucasfilm still had the film rights and they didn’t want to sit around waiting so they just bought the fuckin thing. This is also why they bought Pixar, so Pixar would not make a competing duck movie. And also the Muppets. It will play on ABC and ESPN also. Disney’s Marvel’s Lucasfilm’s Howard the Duck. Think about it.

4. I cannot fucking believe that I have to hear you god damn people complain about more STAR WARS movies every three years for the rest of my life. I was perfectly happy to live with the residual prequel whining. I didn’t ever expect more. I might have to cancel my internet.

5. But of course I hope whichever poor fucker inherits the triple-edged sword of directing this thing does a great job and makes an awesome movie and I’ll be there with the rest of you probly wearing a cape and goggles or whatever and I hope they got chewbaccas and ewoks in it and if they don’t then Disney purchased the rape of my childhood.

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254 Responses to “Disney’s Star Wars”

  1. well I, for one, think this is awesome fucking news, I’m not the world’s biggest Star Wars fan, I don’t own any pajamas or anything, but nevertheless I really, really like Star Wars, it’s cool.

    but count me as a prequel hater, they were movies made up of 2 things, 1: boring dialogue acted out poorly and 2: an occasionally exciting, but usually also boring, action sequence

    yeah, maybe they were unique, but not in a good way

    so if you ask me, I think it’s fucking great that Lucas has allowed Star Wars to live on past him and allowed new filmmakers to “play in the sandbox”, I mean time will tell whether it will work, but good Lord guys, for the time being how you can not be excited about this?

  2. when all’s said and done though, I can’t really bring myself to “hate” George Lucas, I mean without him there would be no Star Wars in the first place obviously, but more than that he’s just a fascinating guy, like a real life Charles Foster Kane, his life story is such an interesting rise and fall it’s like a movie itself

    I mean the guy basically created modern nerd culture, only to become it’s worst enemy, how poetic is that?

  3. This is sad news. The prequels had flaws for sure, but they were still an impressive achivement; a dense political epic with a massmurdering, wife-beating protagonist. Would Disney ever even consider making a movie where the maincharacter ends up killing his pregnant wife?

    Some other vernites talked about how it`s exciting that Lucas is leaving his sandbox to give room to other storytellers, but I would rather have Lucas in charge of the sandbox than Disney. Lucas had a vision and a story he wanted to tell. Disney are all about selling a product and they are not gonna give other artists more freedom than Lucas did.

    I`m not a Disneyfan, so I don`t know why people think that Disney is better at being in charge of the Star Wars universe. Has Disney produced anything for the last decades that hints that they will lead the starwars franchise in the right direction?

    Starwars is pretty unique. No other blockbusters have the ambitions or tone that Lucas brought to it. Sure, he has made an awful lot of bad decisions during the years, but almost everything I enjoy about Starwars is from the heart and mind of Lucas.

    Also, I`m sure that Disney are gonna fuck up The Clone Wars now and that really sucks.

  4. On the optimistic side, Lucasfilm is still a company run by Kathleen Kennedy, it’s not like it will suddenly be Disney people doing everything. I think it’s reasonable to expect that Disney will treat Lucasfilm like they do Marvel or Pixar, and trust them to run things how they have been. It’s just that it won’t be the same without Lucas in charge.

    What I mean is why not THOR VS. RADIOLAND MURDERS?

  5. Exactly Vern that’s why I find this pretty damn fascinating despite not giving a damn about SW after 1999 and being a casual fan at most since I only really liked the OT. You have the woman who has overseen movies like E.T. and JURASSIC PARK now overseeing STAR WARS. STAR WARS was finally given to LUCASFILM not to DISNEY.

    Old George realized he’s had many employees that are truly passionate about the damn thing. Since he’s not doing anything with it he figured why not let those people steer the ship. Thank god cause it was kinda scary thinking his children with their whacked out ideas were going to take over as opposed to actual filmmakers. DISNEY is just putting up the distribution bucks. They will still be independent in the sense that they’re allowed to do their own thing as long as they profit just like what happened with MARVEL.

  6. Now what this does for INDIANA JONES I don’t know but I don’t really care to see another one of those. I didn’t even see part 4. A MONKEY ISLAND movie series however is a must.

  7. Right now, some Disney executive is wondering how they could shoehorn Johnny Depp into several movie adaptations of Disneyland’s Star Tours.

  8. I’m just frothing at the mouth in anticipation at the thought of DONALD VS. HOWARD: THE FINAL DIMENSION.

  9. Broddie – Jack Sparrow Meets Guybrush Threepwood?

  10. Captain Jack Solo, lovable scoundrel, tries to make Kassel run in less than ten parsecs, but gets into a space traffic accident with the Silver Surfer.

  11. Aye, a MONKEY ISLAND film/TV thing would be great. Well, it probably wouldn’t. It’s a nice idea, though.

    I’m still pretty apathetic about this news; as Vern mentioned, the idea of STAR WARS clogging up the interweb for the next few decades isn’t a pleasant one.

    But if someone like Brad Bird was on-board, I might take an interest.

  12. “Nobody else could or would make movies like that, both the good parts and the bad. And that’s why STAR WARS is special. Not because of the pajamas you remember you had.”

    Thank you, sir. You said it. The Force is with you.

  13. I jumped the gun on this topic yesterday, but I totally agree with Vern on not wanting to take part in Nerd Schadenfreude 2012 because I don’t feel comfortable celebrating a man selling off his life’s work to a faceless conglomerate because a guy said “NOOOOOOO!!!” that one time and that was the most traumatic thing that had ever happened to the grown men in the audience. I think this particular comment from the “Be safe” thread summed up everything I had to say:

    “Yesterday, the single largest and most successful creative endeavor ever devised by a single human mind was completely owned and controlled by the artist who created it. Like all things that don’t come off an assembly line, it was imperfect and full of charmingly human flaws. Today, it is owned and controlled by a corporation whose very name is synonymous with cultural homogenization. It will be everything you want, because customer service is their business.

    I don’t know how to see this as a good thing. To me, it’s just another mom-and-pop bought out by a chain.”

    In other news, it is simply not right that one entity should control Mickey Mouse, Captain America, Kermit the Frog, and Darth Vader. That’s too much power. They go out of business, it’ll be like the government nuked Imaginationland.

  14. One Guy From Andromeda

    October 31st, 2012 at 6:06 am

    It will just be the next step in streamlining merchandising production. Anything that was supposedly “magical” about Star Wars is nothing but a faint memory nowadays anyway. I don’t think it really matters if whatever they make out of their brand will be semi watchable or not, it is a dead horse. Those original movies were great entertainment and a brilliant achievement of their time, but i dont see how one would invest emotions in a business move from one toy company to another. Lucas is first and foremost a business man, so why wouldn’t he do this? It’s not like the quality of the stuff will suffer, no committee of corporate robots could churn out something more lifeless and toy market oriented than the prequels anyway. It will simply be even more and more of the same light sabers are awesome shit that children and people who are still children at heart (i wanted to avoid saying nerds, but whatever) spend their (parent’s) hard earned money on. My only hope is that the market saturation will get to a point where people finally get sick of that shit and find something new to obsess about. Like Transformers or Cabbage Patch Dolls.

  15. I hate to comment more than once on this story (there is a gaping void where the fuck I gave about this shit used to be), but unless my memory is tricking me, wasn’t the magic of the original trilogy the result of creative collaboration, be it other writers (Leigh Brackett, Laurence Kasdan) and other directors (Kershner, Marquand)? And interesting as it was to see one man with enormous power make dull space-drama to sell toys, wasn’t everyone clamouring for Lucas to let someone else take the reins?

  16. I mostly agree with OGFA, it’s not exactly like Lucasfilm was still a mom-and-pop business in the first place…

    Besides, Pixar still makes great movies even now that Disney owns them, so, who knows, maybe there will be good Star Wars movies again.

    But like Vern said, it’s not like you can really tell anything interesting about what happens after the end of Return of the Jedi (I read some of the comics they made about the Emperor’s mind being transferred into a younger clone and shit like that… ugh). So I hope they just use the Star Wars universe to tell entirely new stories about entirely new characters.

    That or maybe some kind of Step Up ripoff about Jabba’s dancers or something.

  17. John Carter and The Avengers are pretty cool. We don´t need another Star Wars movie, but I don´t think the Disney thing is bad news.

  18. Frank Darabount should have wrote the prequels. Joe Johnston could have directed the first one to appease the merchandise machine, Darabount the second for the ladies, and David “Lucas was my neighbor and gave me a chance” Fincher for the downer nerd third.

  19. My first reaction to this news was to wonder if it would help or hurt the chances of seeing Rich Evans dressed up in his Lucas gear again, sneaking around nerd conventions smashing stuff.

    My second reaction was to wonder if the new corporate overlords, in a gesture of goodwill to the nerds, would release the version of STAR WARS that everyone says Lucas stole from them.

    Then I wondered if those bounty hunters from the second film would abandon this franchise like Elmo Oxygen did in SCHIZOPOLIS and find a movie better suited to their talents.

  20. jam

    All movies are results of creative collaboration, but Lucas wrote and directed THX 1138, American Graffiti and Star Wars, so I really feel that the man deserves a better rep than being a brilliant buisnessman. And he has invited other creative minds to play in his sandbox since 1980, which (besides The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Arc) has resulted in an insane amount of movies, books, comics, games and televisionshows.

    I`m by no means a Starwars-fanboy, but even if people recognize Lucas as one of cinemas most influential creative forces, they forget that he started out as a brilliant filmmaker. (He even developed my favorite movie Apocalypse Now before handing the project to Coppola).

    I dunno, maybe I`m taking this too serious, but the man has given me so much and it seems like everybody hates him now.

    By the way, when I talk to kids, they usually love the prequels and thinks that the original trilogy is kinda weak, so maybe the real problem with Lucas is that all his former fans has turned into old bitter nerds.

  21. It was only a matter of time before Disney made a move for LucasFilm. It’s saddening, really, that another corner of the market is now owned by them. Business wise I totally get it, but it’s a worry because Disney are on the march and want everything. They pretty much ARE The Empire.

    The new films will probably turn out exactly as they would have under any other company, though: they’ll be flashy and sterile and we’ll all whine about how great the originals were and how our memories are retroactively being destroyed and waaaaaah.

    But hey, here’s hoping I’m wrong and they turn out awesome. I’ll keep an open mind, stay positive and all that. I’m sure many will find my lack of faith disturbing.

  22. dna: I wonder what these kids that you talk to would list as some of their other favorite films. I haven’t seen the new STAR WARS films, but if young people think they are as good as, say, LORD OF THE RINGS or THE MATRIX, and if they are comparing the original STAR WARS films unfavorably to MAD MAX and SOLARIS, you might have a point about “old bitter nerds.”

  23. Weeeeee! Meesa get trilogy now and own ride in Tomorrowland! Yipppeee!

  24. The Beautiful South

    October 31st, 2012 at 8:35 am

    A plastic world and we’re all plastic too
    The world is turning Disney and there’s nothing you can do
    You’re trying to walk like giants
    but you’re wearing Pluto’s shoes

    And the answers fall easier from the barrel of a gun
    Than it does from the lips of the beautiful and the dumb
    The world won’t end in darkness, it’ll end in family fun
    With Coca Cola clouds behind a Big Mac sun

  25. DNA,

    True, but he wrote all these when he was young, hungry and not sure if he was going to succeed. STAR WARS was destined to be a massive flop that most of his close friends (except Spielberg) were embarrassed about. I’m very fond of THX-1138 and STAR WARS, but he had to fight tooth and nail to get them made.

    Over time, a man’s priorities – and his responsibilities – change, and in Lucas’ case, quite radically. His $10million sci-fi western started a juggernaut rolling, a company with hundreds (thousands, if you count the subsidiaries) of jobs and a radical new connection between cinema and merchandise.

    I’m not belittling what the man did, but absolute control – in my opinion – robbed him of the conflict that made his other collaborations so successful. Hell, even Raymond Carver needed an editor*. That a script like THE PHANTOM MENACE made it before the camera after only – what was it? Two drafts?

    I don’t have much feelings on this, to be honest with you. The last time I was vaguely interested in STAR WARS was picking up a KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC game many years ago and thinking, “Hey, there’s a whole fantastic universal sandbox to play with here! Why can’t the prequel films be this much fun?”

    In summary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfYZwQ0bOCA


  26. I’m quite happy about this. Disney does a good job with the Marvel movies so far and they’ve taken some big risks in their history, like Tron, Dragonslayer, The Black Cauldron, John Carter or Tron: Legacy. Most of them are flawed films, but surely not because they’re made by a studio that only accepts mainstream ideas.

    If a SF universe needs a reboot it’s STAR WARS. Back to the core, back to what made it special, but with modern technology and modern storytelling. Maybe I can forget those awful prequels and start to care again.

  27. The prequels, the tie-in franchise crap, the cartoons, it all burned out my interest in Star Wars. It’s hard to get excited about something when it is constantly shoved down your throat in various forms across all media.

    Sure, I’ll probably go see Star Wars VII when it comes out, but it’s more because of maybe seeing a fresh voice directing it. I’m more excited about the film for its own potential merits (the director, the script, the cast etc.) rather than it being Star Wars. I hope it’s going to be good.

    But I do like this deal went through, as maybe now we’ll get the *original* original trilogy finally remastered on BluRay. Still have nostalgia value attached to those, not to mention them being cultural landmarks. None of the tinkerings George made to the trilogy were for the better. And it was arrogant for him to not release the versions that are the classics, not to mention made him a billionaire.

  28. One Guy From Andromeda

    October 31st, 2012 at 9:06 am

    is the narrative now really that the guy who makes 4 quadrillion dollars on happy meal plastic toy tie ins is the independent filmmaker sticking up for the little guy and that it’s sad this creative genius has no more control over the inclusion of the next jarjar? lucas’ position in pop culture is undisputed, he made some really great movies 30 years ago, but since then his company has put out the fucking star wars sequels while disney has put out lynch’s straight story, the incredibles and the avengers (hate superheroes, but just to make the point). whatever creativity and artfulness might have been in those 70s, early 80s magic movies has been replaced by cold commerciality and senile dementia. star wars is a product that is used to sell toys and no different than any movie franchise – at least now there’s at least a smitten of a chance that something will happen with those wacky aliens that you can watch with a child without wanting to kill yourself out of boredom.

  29. I guess that’s why Lucas put in all those scenes about backroom political maneuvering and backstabbing. Because if there’s one thing that moves toys, it’s parliamentary procedure. Ditto on moral ambiguity and heroes who slaughter children on multiple occasions. Kids eat that shit up.

    Snark aside, clearly there’s a lot of personal shit in those prequels that only Lucas would put in there because of the unique . Whether or not any of it works is up for interpretation, but if he really only wanted to sell lunch boxes he could have easily devised a much more streamlined delivery system. Sure, he also wanted to sell lunch boxes, but this story must have meant something to him or it wouldn’t have been so unwieldy and, dare I say, uncommercial.

    And whatever, we’ll see how it comes out. I just liked that, for better or worse, this one thing that I loved was owned by the guy who created it and not a faceless conglomerate. Disney will probably do just fine with it. They managed not to fuck up Marvel. They certainly did a better job than Warner Bros. did with DC. But it won’t be the same.

  30. I’d be a little uncomfortable describing the Star Wars Money Machine as the result of one man’s singular vision. I don’t think there is any movie series in the history of cinema that trades so completely on its aesthetic appeal as the Star Wars saga. Star Wars was always about the production design, the sound design, the special effects and that kind of thing. All of which was the work of other people, many of whom I imagine will be working on these new movies. If the success of Star Wars is down to any one person’s singular vision then I think Ralph McQuarrie probably deserves the credit as much as Lucas does.

    I realise you could point to the Auteur theory but if Lucas has any respect for that particular theory then he wouldn’t have made the Special Editions – two of which were directed by people other than himself and one of which that is widely considered to be the best of the series. Lucas may have had a legal right to alter and deface the work of someone else but he sure as shit didn’t do so on artistic or moral grounds. So I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the Auteur theory doesn’t apply here since Lucas himself doesn’t subscribe to it.

    I will admit that it makes me a little uncomfortable to find myself happy at the prospect of The Disney Corporation absorbing an independent studio (albeit a huge one) and becoming that bit more powerful in the process. Disney doesn’t exactly have a record of using its clout for the forces of good – they are largely to blame for the sorry state of Intellectual Property laws as they currently exist in the US. But let’s not pretend that Disney (or anyone else) is capable of whoring out the Star Wars brand to any larger degree than Lucas did – the man more or less invented the entire concept of brand-whoring in the first place, if anything Disney learned a thing or two about that from Lucas over the years.

    All in all I have trouble seeing all this in a negative light, even though it feels as though I should do. I haven’t felt like this since Bin Laden took one in the brain – I know it’s for the best, I know the world is a better place for it, but somehow it doesn’t sit right knowing I’m happy about something that I’d usually disagree with on general principle.

  31. “…because of the unique journey he went on in evolving from an antisocial young upstart into the undisputed ruler of his own kingdom” is what I meant to say, in my opinion.

  32. Also, if Lucas sees Star Wars as his baby then why did he sell it? Why not just appoint someone else as CEO of Lucasfilm and retire if that’s what he wants to do? Either he did it for the money (because god knows George needs more of that), or he did it because he believes his legacy is safe in Disney’s hands.

  33. “Star Wars was always about the production design, the sound design, the special effects and that kind of thing. All of which was the work of other people, many of whom I imagine will be working on these new movies.”

    James Brown didn’t write music either, but not one note was played on any of his records that didn’t earn his stamp of approval. That was Lucas. He didn’t play the instruments, but he was the bandleader and the one who was responsible for the creative direction. (You might say that’s what EVERY director does, if you were in the mood to be correct.) Trying to give credit to the concept artist (who did thousands of rejected designs before landing on the one Lucas approved) is bullshit.

  34. – jam

    I agree with everything you wrote, but I`m also appearently the only guy in the universe who loves Attack Of The Clones, so for me George Lucas is not the guy who hasn`t made a good movie in 30 years.

    I even think that Revenge is kinda a decent and The Clone Wars – series also is pretty good (some of the episodes are even excellent imo)

    – Gareth

    I`m talking about 10-13 years old, they also like Pixar and Spiderman and stuff. When they hit puberty, they are too cool for starwars. I`m pretty sure than none of them know what Mad Max or Solaris is.

    Also, fuck reboots! Make up your own franchise, godammit!

  35. Majestyk, the Pope had to approve Michelangelo’s work on the Sistine Chapel, it doesn’t mean Michelangelo doesn’t deserve any credit for it, does it?

  36. Who said his collaborators didn’t deserve credit for their work? I’m just rejecting the notion that you are somehow allowed to like STAR WARS while rejecting Lucas’ contributions. He made the motherfucker. Fact. You like it, you have him to thank.

  37. I’m not at all rejecting Lucas’ contributions, I’m rejecting the notion of his “Singular Vision”. It makes it sound as though Lucas had the entire saga already completed in his head and all the artists and engineers he had working for him were merely taking dictation. I mean shit, look at the quality of some of the acting and writing in the prequels, this is what happens when Lucas doesn’t have (or allow) the talent of others to fill in the gaps and make him look good.

  38. I saw a few of the first CLONE WARS cartoons by that the dude who made SAMURAI JACK. I liked them. But none of the other stuff interested me. Sure, I like little bits and pieces of the prequels, but I can’t emote with them. They have no sense of fun, no sense of adventure. Having said that, I’d be curious to see that 85min edit of the trilogy that Topher Grace did… http://www.slashfilm.com/topher-grace-edited-star-wars-prequels-85minute-movie/

  39. Sorry, that last bit was a response to DNA.

  40. I wonder how many people changed their costume ideas at the last minute today in light of this news. I expect to see more Jedis and Darth Vaders than usual tonight.

  41. Broddie:

    or this:

  42. One Guy from Andromeda

    October 31st, 2012 at 11:27 am

    кровельные материалы, кровля крыши, монтаж кровли, натуральная черепица, облицовочная плитка, продажа плитки, черепица braas, черепица браас is absoluely right!!

  43. I love STAR WARS, me, even created a fan spoof comic on the Interwebs which ran for a few years.

    This is only my opinion of course, but the one thing I will say is I hope they don’t give us what we (SW fans) want. Because Lucasfilm worrying about what the fans want took us from what we thought we didn’t want (the flawed but occasionally inspired PHANTOM MENACE with the truly awesome and unrivalled Darth Maul, because we didn’t like Jar Jar and the politics were boring) to what we thought we did want (the insipid ATTACK OF THE CLONES – “we wanna see the Clone Wars an’ Boba Fett!” and the soulless REVENGE OF THE SITH – “we wanna see Darth Vader an’ the Emperor!”). There is so much amateurish fanservice in the latter two movies that the weirdness and the unexpected was lost. I’m not totally devoid of hope, however. While not universally popular, both TRON LEGACY and JOHN CARTER were two of the most offbeat and unusual fantasy movies of recent years and I for one enjoyed them both.

    Maybe we’ll even get a Spielberg episode.

    However, I can’t imagine John Williams will be doing the music…

  44. Also I’m surprised the Internet ain’t broke. This even made the breaking news over superstorm Sandy in the UK.


  45. Hey everyone, and Vern in particular, there’s an article over in The New Republic called “Has Hollywood Murdered The Movies?”


    It even talks about incoherent action as often discussed here (I’m sure many will enjoy his ravaging of the fight scene in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator as that one pops up here on occasion).

    The article will seem very apt with the Disney/Lucas headline even though it was written a few weeks prior. I will, however, reserve commentary.

  46. The Original... Paul

    October 31st, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Clubside – Good article. At first I thought it would be a general bemoaning of the state of modern cinema of the kind I know and hate (sorry Griff). But it actually had a lot to say about the state of financing of “mid-range” movies, the kind that aren’t big blockbusters or micro-budget indie flicks. It’s right, of course. It’s also totally irrelevant. Movies are a business, and the movies that will get made are the ones that keep their producers stocked with good-quality blow. Until somebody finds a new way to promote movies that are actually “good”, as opposed to those that said producers think will form a good franchise, things ain’t gonna change.

    As for the “Star Wars” thing, I got fooled THREE times already. Maybe if, after a couple of years, this seventh Star Wars film is still considered passable by people whose opinions I actually respect, I might spend my hard-earned money on it. Otherwise, no freaking way.

  47. I’m right there with you Paul, but the thing I hoped to discuss, that wasn’t in the article, was that “mid-range”. If some others do decide to read it (it is long lol) think about what he has to say about “$30M budgets”. I’m not saying you can always pull off something great on a micro-budget (I just added that Demon Dave movie to the Timeline where he bemoaned $1.5M) but one of the author’s examples involved the difficulties getting The Master finished. I’m sure all the period set design helped keep that one more expensive, but to tell the story, which seemed the crux of the article, was it necessary?

    There’s a lot to discuss from that article, particularly how he brings up TV yet doesn’t discuss how it, too, has dramatically less viewership than just 30 years ago, and how the chance for any kind of pop culture zeitgeist is nearly mpossible given fragmented access and taste so I hope others will find the time.

  48. In her sixth book, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars (going onsale October 16), best-selling author and culture critic Camille Paglia hails film director and digital pioneer George Lucas as the greatest living artist in any field in the world.

    Paglia says, “Only Bob Dylan has had anywhere near the global impact of George Lucas. But Dylan’s revolutionary work was done in the 1960s—40 years ago. As shown by Revenge of the Sith, which was released in 2005, Lucas is still doing major work of the highest artistic quality.”

    Paglia spent five years writing Glittering Images, which has 29 beautifully illustrated chapters crossing 3000 years and which concisely describes the most important styles in the history of art. It’s the first book ever to place George Lucas in the direct line of great artists such as Titian, Bernini, Monet, Picasso, and Jackson Pollock. Paglia’s chapter on Lucas, which surveys his career and analyzes Revenge of the Sith, is the final chapter and climax of the book.

    She says, “I was shocked to discover during my research how few serious books there are about Lucas in many university and college libraries, even the ones with collections of film studies. Lucas has been outrageously marginalized—he’s often dismissed as a creator of blockbuster entertainments for children. Also, he’s a very private person who avoids the Hollywood scene. Like any true artist, he doesn’t care about glitz and show—he just focuses on his work.”

    Paglia found evidence in many scattered and obscure sources about Lucas’ lifelong orientation as a visual artist. She says, “It’s absolutely scandalous that the art world and art critics have failed to recognize Lucas’ importance and influence as a visual master as well as the creator of a vast mythology that has entranced millions of people for several generations around the world.”

    In the introduction to Glittering Images, Paglia writes: “Nothing I saw in the visual arts of the past thirty years was as daring, beautiful, and emotionally compelling as the spectacular volcano-planet climax of Lucas’s Revenge of the Sith.” By permission of Lucasfilm, she reproduces three images from the film in her book: the mountainous lava landscape of Mustafar; the mineral-collection arms of the Mustafar factory; and the raft duel in the lava river between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.


    I don’t often agree with Camille Paglia, but I’m glad to have her on my side in the great “REVENGE OF THE SITH is actually a fantastic movie” debate.

    If Vern wants to post the Amazon link for her new book, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars, I’ll use it to buy the thing before Christmas. Sounds to me like the angry trekkie nerds should definitely check it out.

  49. That would be an interesting tea party.

  50. I do feel a twinge of sadness at the passing of the franchise from the hands of one flawed but legitimately visionary creator to a corporation. But if I may throw in a small voice of optimism, I have to say I think this is for the best right now. I simply don’t believe Lucas had any more interest in playing in the universe he created. I think it ultimately became too difficult for him to separate his artistic interest from the enormous public phenomenon that was STAR WARS. In recent years, he’s almost actively antagonistic with fans of the series. I think he honestly felt chained to it; unable to let it go but forced to pursue it only because of the insane pressure of being the head of one of the most lucrative franchises in history. No one can replace his unique insanity, but it’s almost a relief that the guy is free from it now.

    And here’s the thing: STAR WARS’s greatest strength is that it has to be among the most vividly and richly imagined universes ever created. That, more than anything, explains how the universe has been expanded by so much media. EVERYONE who encounters STAR WARS wants to tell their own story about it. I mean, people liked PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN too, but no one is devoting their life to making claymation webisodes based on the adventures of Jack Sparrow. For STAR WARS, there are literally hundreds of people doing that. Maybe thousands. It’s inviting for the simple reason that this whole incredibly detailed, rich, living universe spilled out of Lucas’s crazy head into our world simply *brimming* with stories to be told. Lucas has been caught in a weird purgatory of being uncomfortable with other people playing his sandbox (just watch the fascinating and funny THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS for more on that dynamic) but also conflicted about wasting his whole artistic life on this one project.

    Now, that conflict is resolved — George is free to do what he likes (and has a cool 4 billion dollars to do it), and other artists are finally invited to play in his amazing world. I’m not worried that Disney will turn it into a commodity, simply because people love the world too intensely to allow that to happen. There’s a line of a hundred fantastic, passionate artists who would love to tell their STAR WARS story. And unlike Lucas, these will be people who genuinely want to tell a story. I don’t expect we’ll ever get anything as crazy and wonderful and frustrating as the Prequels were, but it almost doesn’t matter at this point. Lucas gave the world an incredible gift: A fully realized, exquisitely detailed and fully *alive* alternate reality to play in. Now, he can finally let that reality really run free and take on a life of it’s own. And there’s as many stories to tell in that reality as there are in our own. When people who genuinely, intensely love spending time there get their chance to tell those stories, I fully expect the results to be remarkable.

    I mean, think about it. That kind of stunning, rich detail combined with a genuinely mythic, well-told story? Sounds like… well, the original STAR WARS.

  51. It’s creepy how everyone on the internets thinks they should have a precise, assured opinion on this. Even levelheaded, kindly talkbackers like Mr. Subtlety are quick to say Lucas is “flawed,” like that means something. Yeah, that’s a trait possessed by exactly 100% of human beings, excluding those conceived via immaculate insemination into a Palestinian chick’s holy hymen 2012 earth years ago I guess.

    Like, everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but the level of presumptuousness and intrusiveness, especially regarding what we’re supposed to think makes Lucas happy and *especially* what we think are our expert analyses of the business of movie production/distribution/sales, is just sickening.

    You’re not experts, people. I don’t pore over a first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus and nitpick why that classic should never be printed in a different font, or never be allowed to be adapted to films, or never entered into the public domain in mass produced copies with footnotes that I might disagree with, or never have CGI monsters added above the chapter headings. And even if I did perform such nerdery, I wouldn’t get online 16 hours a day for 8 years straight and repeatedly articulate my complaints.

    I recognize the purity & beauty of the original masterpiece, and I love it. Capitalism & western society’s miraculous arc toward 100% literacy & equality made it possible for its popularity to occur, which allowed me to read it several years ago, freely & leisurely and then in a classroom environment. I thank the wheels of capitalism for running this course, though I acknowledge that something of the original catharsis of the story has necessarily been tainted. If the work is strong enough, however, I can will myself to re-live the moment and suspend reality so that I can enjoy the original thing as though I’m around a campfire 200 years ago with Percy & Mary Shelley & Lord Byron.

    And you all can do the same when you pop in your STAR WARS vhs/dvd and clear some of the mountain dew cans & cheetohs dust from the rug & beanbag chair for a couple hours. What’s happened between lawyers & accountants, between George Lucas & Disney executives, the last few days is meaningless. Watch your old movies and quit lamenting the loss of purity of your Boba Fett costumes cuz now you’re scared little kids are going to see your get-up and think you’re pretending to be a movie character from a 2015 cartoon instead of pretending to be a movie character from a 1980 classic.

  52. Did anybody see Carrie Fisher’s video response to this news?


  53. All I have to say is I thank Crom for the fact that we can’t possibly listen to lines like “Hold me like you did on the lake in naboo” anymore. I don’t know I agree with Mr. S in that Lucas has seem disenchanted with the whole thing. Like he really just resents it. It was kinda funny because he kept trolling the hardcore SW nerds with stuff like dancing Han Solo and shit lol but really if things had stayed the same STAR WARS would’ve eventually died.

    Now for better or worse our kids and their kids get to witness a STAR WARS era too. He made that possible and thank you George for finally going “you know what it’s bigger than me at this point” and now he gets to fund all those real movies he’s been wanting to fund for forever and a day. Everybody wins. I think if they thread carefully which they probably will considering it’s a 4 billion dollar investment this could be Disney’s time when it comes to little boys buying their merch and seeing their movies.

    They’ve been trying to shed the “princess” image for ages. We saw the likes of TRON LEGACY and JOHN CARTER cause they’re really trying to go for that demo. Same with them buying MARVEL. Well this is possibly the greatest move in history for a company that desperate for IP’s that appeal to little boys around the world. Sure it makes them seem like a real monopoly in hollywood now but yeah I’m gonna wait and see on this one. There are good possibilities.

  54. I’ve been searching my feelings about this to figure out what my real beef is, and I guess where I seem to differ from you guys is that I don’t actually think STAR WARS is this amazing sandbox that’ll be so much better now that mean old George has let the other kids play in it. Hasn’t he been doing that for decades with thousands of novels, comic books, video games, and cartoons? And who cares about those? They’re just filler. Merchandise. All that really counted was that one story, the one about how this small circle of family and friends first plunged the galaxy into darkness and then brought it back into the light. The rest is, what? Laser swords? Funny-talking aliens? Who gives a shit about that? That’s just bells and whistles. Accoutrements. It’s not a story. It’s a fucking role-playing game.

    I guess the point is, I was really hoping that Lucas being sick of STAR WARS meant that STAR WARS would stop. Sometimes things need to just stop, you know? Only Lucas had the power to put the cap back on that genie bottle and say, “Enough. This is all you get. There’s no more. Savor it.” Now that’ll never happen. The genie’s out and no one can ever put it back in. It’ll just keep getting less and less special with every new franchise expansion, like STAR TREK, until there’s no choice but to remake it. You realize that’s the inevitable endgame here, don’t you?

    I mean, sure, STAR WARS is bigger than Lucas now. And bigger is always better, right?

  55. Yeah you’re right Mouth, the internet really isn’t the place to be sharing ill-informed opinions.

  56. Mr. Majestyk – When something becomes as big as STAR WARS did it still would be here forever even if it’s at a lesser capacity. Which it has been for quite some time now. I mean even when there were no movies there was still merchandise and tie-in’s of all sorts. So why not at least try to make some of that product actually watchable instead of just being resume showcases for CGI animators and execs?

    I care about the concepts in that universe cause a lot of it seems interesting and I’m not even much of a fan outside the OT and some of the video games. Never read the expanded universe stuff. But there are so many possibilities that there is no reason not to explore them in terms of film. It’s not like people can’t just ignore them like I’m sure they’ve done with some Bond movies and STAR TREK as you mentioned.

    However it allows for some new creative takes on the material and maybe in light of new STAR TREK and all that shit this is what is needed. Everything wants to be STAR WARS anyway might as well make STAR WARS creatively relevant again. You could have mercenaries who are strong in the force and eventually become jedi. You have jedis being able to get married now in this post-ROTJ world.

    It allows for them to have inner peace with the universe and their kind. Warriors should not be lonely. It’s what led to Vader having to hide his life and cracking in the end. It also lead to a lot of the council growing cold and disconnected with the universe (hence they couldn’t even detect the sith lord under their nose). There should be more clarity and inner focus post ROTJ. They’re samurai and samurai had wives.

    The Jedi have returned and their philosophy stand but the methods have evolved. Could be interesting. Seems like writers have ran with it in lucas sanctioned media cause I didn’t even know Luke had a son till I read it on a forum earlier today when I brought up the jedi being allowed to have life partners thing (again I avoided EU stuff outside of video games). I think just like many religions or military establishment they should have a right to have a partner in their life because it would both add verisimilitude to the concept now & has great precedent in terms of narrative.

    I mean it’s not like Luke can’t be big bad ass jedi master. So you still have someone from the originals. Personally though I don’t want to see Old Man Han with toothless Leia. I didn’t see INDIANA JONES 4 because seeing old man Indy in the trailer was depressing. Maybe just maybe have a Lando cameo but only if Billy Dee is gaming up some foxy ladies in cloud city like an old school mack. But really I wouldn’t want to see anyone outside of Luke. No force ghost Hayden C. Anakin or any of that shit.

  57. “2. I don’t want there to be episodes 7, 8 and 9! You’re telling me the destruction of the Empire and the redemption (as much as possible) of Darth Vader is not the end? Then it turned out things were still shitty and they had to have more star wars? I don’t like it. If you must do more Star Warses why can’t they be a different story in that same world, a new beginning?”
    To be fair Vern, the thing about The Empire is…it’s an EMPIRE. Spanning countless planets, that all have to be governed by this overarching establishment. You think ONE battle, and the death of the leader is going to put an end to it? You think they took all there resources and piled them into that one battle, which was won by a much smaller fleet? So no, more likely, there’d probably be the next person dowin the heirarchy taking over, or Dozens of Grand Moff Tarkin’s fighting for control with each other. The Expanded Universe stuff did actually have the war go on a few years after the events of Jedi, and actually my favourite stories of that whole tie-in stuff is the Rebellion, particularly the X-Wing Book. Good luck on having that be the focus of the sequels though, as since the prequels it’s been all-Jedi, all the time in terms of what stuff gets spinoffs.

  58. Yeah, I guess I’m just being naive. Last week Mouth said I was an idealist. I guess most cynics are.

  59. I dunno, do you guys get depressed at geting new James Bond movies? Or that a level now I would include a certain You Know Who (scream Majestyk, scream at his mention!) comic book superhero, who’ll come back to theatres again before the end of this decade for sure. (Hell DC seem more interested and involved in that instead of branching out new properties like I don’t know, Wonder Woman.) Spider-Man is threatening to join such a roster, but not yet.

    I’m refering to immortal movie characters, properties I suppose like Dracula and Sherlock Holmes which audiences never get tired of. I think 35 years later, I can safely add Star Wars as well.

    In the end I’ve said this before countless times, but I can’t give a shit and pine off about the origins of the big toy movies. They could be based off a cereal box* for all I care, I just want a good movie. Or a good time. And really, we’re gonna get more Spider-Man and Sherlock Holmes and so forth (yes including You Know Who) and really in the end if they’re not good, well shit. IF they’re good, goodie. They’re getting produced regardless.

    I mean hell Disney is making a fifth PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie. The last one grossed a billion, despite the fact that I haven’t met one fucking person who liked #4.


  60. @Stu “To be fair Vern, the thing about The Empire is…it’s an EMPIRE. Spanning countless planets, that all have to be governed by this overarching establishment. You think ONE battle, and the death of the leader is going to put an end to it?”
    I don’t think he thinks that. I think he meant that telling the story of how Captain Whatshisdick and the Red Squadron had to defeat some Admiral who just would not surrender to the new Republic is not going to be more exciting, or even as exciting as telling the story of how Luke defeated Vader and the Emperor.

  61. I’m not enough of a Star Wars geek to have really strong feelings about this until it actually shapes up. I believe there’s the potential for them to do something great, something mediocre, or something horrible. I’m not optimistic, but I wish them luck and will watch it if the reviews are decent.

    I generally agree with Vern that Return of the Jedi pretty much tied up everything, so anything that picks up from there would seem to be anticlimactic and tends to undercut the significance of Jedi’s resolution.

    Here’s the thing, though: I don’t really buy the argument that great films are somehow tarnished-by-association when they spawn lesser sequels, prequels, remakes, and spinoffs. Psycho II was okay, III and IV and remake and Bates Motel show were crap. None of this diminishes the genius or satisfaction of Psycho. Same with Godfather III. And occasionally there are good sequels or remakes, so, nothing ventured nothing gained.

  62. Well, that’s the point, RRA. STAR WARS wasn’t James Bond. You couldn’t just plug in a new stud once a decade and get a new product. Now you can.

  63. Skani – man PSYCHO III rocks.

    Majestyk – Oh no, but as a property in general. I mean dear lord if you asked me last week about Episode 7 you know what I would say? I don’t care about it, and I doubt the Internet seriously still had any interest in it. Then that news drops and HOLY SHIT! everybody is now hyped up or pissed off, but they care and show interest. Its not like say DICK TRACY 2 or something.

    Toxic – I doubt the sequels would be immediately set after ROTJ. Why would they? I mean there was a span of what, 17 years-ish inbetween ROTS and ANH? I guess the same. I mean I suppose it could even be set far into the future with the Republic restored, the Jedi back, and something bad rears its ugly head. Maybe even….dare I say it……alien invasion? I’m sorry, Evil alien invasion! How original.

    (Didn’t the EU books at one point involve a war against bad aliens? Hell there was even an idea thrown out there that Palpatine planned and orchestrated his takeover of the Republic so he could utilize and centralize the resources needed to repel this invasion?)

  64. RRA: even then, the fact that the new movies are going to be sequels to the original trilogy, not just “Chronicles of Star Wars” or something, implies that something even more important than defeating Vader is going to happen in the new movies. The problem is, Vader is possibly the most iconic villain in movie history, so how are they going to top that? How are they going to make that continuation of the original story seem like it was actually worth telling?

  65. Toxic – Beats me, but we’ll see. You never know.

    Hell there was a time when Jack Nicholson couldn’t be beat as Bad Clown. Until Mark Hamill. Until Heath Ledger.

    Right now potential fans in town will want to make these new movies, I’m almost reminded of DOCTOR WHO in that the last two showrunners (including current boss Moffat) grew up on WHO and are massive WHO nerds, who got to add their own spin to this institution.

  66. I’m not saying they won’t be able to make good Star Wars movies, I’m just saying the new movies shouldn’t be Episodes 7-8-9, they should be their own thing.
    The more I think of it the more I believe that Johnny Depp as Captain Jak Solow, pilot of the Star Tours ship, in a series of loosely connected adventures called SPACE PIRATES OF THE STAR WARS, is really the best case scenario.

  67. @Toxic: Indeed, sir. Without a compelling villain, any future SW sequel is gonna seem incomplete. I recall something that Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Unbreakable said, to the effect that a superhero in and of himself serves no purpose, has no clear definition unless there was an opposing evil force for him to battle (that was the gist of it, anyway). One can only assume the Jedi Knights will figure into Episode 7 and beyond, and while not exactly superheroes… they WILL need an adversary/adversaries.

    Scouring the detritus of my memories of AICN talkbacks (I no longer go there, even to glance. It’s a pitiful shadow of its former self), I did some digging for an article about a potential Episode 2 villain who came to naught. It seemed like a damn good idea at the time, and the description of it made it seem less like a BS rumor, and more like a legit idea that just didn’t pan out: http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=5712

    I don’t know if the guy they had earmarked for this is still an option, but I’ll bet Scott Adkins would make a great alternate. Yeah, it’s a secondary villain, but they’ll need those too.

  68. You might be right, but who knows?

    Larry – link is dead. Can you give a gist about this proposed villain?

  69. @RRA: He was a ninja-type (in both appearance and tactical fighting style) henchman for the Sith, an assassin who wielded twin light sabres that resembled katana swords (too bad they couldn’t have worked in ninja light stars as well). He was proposed to have these intricate sigils tattooed on his face, as well as embroidered in his clothing. His eyes were to be entirely black (including the scleras), and he was gonna have a narrow black streak that ran horizontal across his face (similar to the Pris character from Blade Runner). The guy who was gonna play him was this Japanese guy in his late 20’s, a top-notch Shorinji Kempo expert.

    Seemed like a cool idea at the time. Surely it could be reworked to suit Mr. Adkins.

  70. Mr. Majestyk has explained my feelings about this better than I have. Lucas can do what he wants, obviously he decided this was for the best, but it was unique that he built up his companies by challenging studio thinking and still owned it all. Spielberg never owned JAWS, but Lucas owned STAR WARS and I like that, despite what everyone thinks, he did protect it and run it the way he wanted to. If he really was just about selling dolls like the cliche goes then he would’ve made the prequels in the ’80s and continued through the 90s until now. Instead he kept it close to his vest, developed technology, made only 3 movies. Yes it was a collaboration but it was Lucas’s baby. Now it’s just a copyright like Mickey Mouse.

    I actually like Disney and if it had to be someone they’re probly the best for it. Hopefully it will turn out good. But I think if anybody’s gonna be making bad or mediocre Star Wars movies it should only be Lucas, not somebody else.

    Or they should start a new story. After sleeping on it I think that’s the worst part. Return of the Jedi is the end of that story.

  71. On top of all that, it’s quite admirable for George to have given the money he was paid away as reported. I personally don’t have the stake in the franchise so many do (I’ve yet to see all the movies in their entirety, same with a lot of the BOND and INDIANA JONES movies mind you), but it does appear Disney will try in earnest to do right by it with fresh minds at the helm. That can’t be too bad.

  72. @Vern: Fair enough. But you seem a bit pessimistic with that remark about “…if anybody’s gonna be making bad or mediocre Star Wars movies, it should only be Lucas, not somebody else”. It sounds like you’ve abandoned hope that another, ANY other future SW movie might reach the summit that The Empire Strikes Back marked out.

    The template for the first six movies has been The Republic Vs. The Empire, The Jedi Vs. The Sith, Jar Jar Vs. The Ewoks, Boss Nass Vs. Greedo (OK, maybe not those last two). My point being…

  73. My point being… they could take the basic conflict as it stands and span it across several generations, similar to The Three Punic Wars. The adversaries essentially remain the same, but the players and the landscape of the struggle can alter and evolve over time.

    Or they can disard that and start from scratch, which would be a lot trickier.

  74. Vern – You know as nuts as it sounds, I’m reminded now of a reverse situation with Prince back in the 1990s and his feud with WB over owning his master records, leaving the corporate mothership to go independent.

    Even though the way he handled that saga (I’m sorry, mishandled*) and not got his master records in favor of the quickest divorce possible, that episode did bring up a point he understood and is even more relevant these days: When you’re a multi-decade global superstar/legend like Prince or Madonna or Jay-Z or whoever, why the fuck do you need to be on a record label contract save for distribution of your product? Why not own your masters anymore? Why get pennies on the dollar? It really makes no sense, especially in this chaotic musical marketplace when downloading has murdered music sales. (It’s why Prince has quit releasing new albums, and his last one he only “released” as a giveaway in European newspapers who gave him a hefty advance.) Hell when was Prince’s last real big hit song? “Most Beautiful Girl in the World”? Yet he was on Jimmy Kimmel last week hawking his newest single. He’s doing fine.

    But regardless of quabbles I or other fans might argue about how he’s handled his independence, overall he’s basically done more or less whatever the fuck he wants. I didn’t care for RAINBOW CHILDREN (too estoteric, coffee shop jazzy for me), but that was an uncompromised, religiously-fueled sincere concept album that WB never would’ve allowed. I respect that.

    Of course the contrast (asides industries and generations) between him and Lucas is that Prince is cagey about all his produced music in that infamous Vault that he recently said will never fully be released officially in his lifetime. I certainly think a major part of this Disney deal was just letting go of STAR WARS.

    (Then again I see Coppola being independent again and doing his own thing, and happy that he’s not giving a fuck about whether people will like or get his new movies since his wine and hotels refill the coffers. I think Lucas really envies that freedom.)

    *=Yet forgotten, he was the first major artist to release an album thru the Internet in the stone age year of 1996.

  75. Interesting, Mark Hamill told EW that Lucas told him and Fisher this past summer about the new SW movies that Lucas wouldn’t be involved with but the Disney sale took him by surprise along with everybody else.

  76. @RRA: Sorry, hoss; my bad. Here are the updated AICN links to what I was referring to earlier: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/5708, http://www.aintitcool.com/node/5712

    Regrettably, the guy’s pic is no longer there.

  77. Just to clarify, I don’t have any opinion on whether Lucas as a person is flawed. The films he made are *clearly* flawed, but also quite wonderful, even the prequels. NOBODY on Earth could have made the prequels that Lucas did, just like nobody could have made the original series the way he did. They’re both really the work of a guy who simply cannot do things the easy way. And I’ll forever be glad it was him. I would never want anyone else to touch the insane glory of the prequels. I just feel like, now he’s done it, he’s told the whole story. I don’t think he wants to go back and tell more stories about Luke. I don’t know the man, but that certainly is the way he comes off in public.

    You know, I suppose I actually like this news because it does feel like the close off a chapter. Lucas definatively ending the story he started and pursued in defiance of reason, narrative logic, and the opinion of everyone else on Earth. I might have been equally happy had he just taken the keys and thrown them away, writing in his will that no one could ever make another STAR WARS film. He didn’t, so now we’ll have other STAR WARS films — but I guess I can see them as something different entirely. Actually surprisingly like the James Bond films. Sean Connery will always be Bond, but then, so can Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnon. Even though they’re the same, they have their own unique character and their own unique place in my heart. I think I can do that with STAR WARS, too. There will always be LUCAS’S STAR WARS. And now there will be other STAR WARS too, which, in reality, there’s always been a universe of anyway. Heck, there was even another theatrical STAR WARS, that silly clone wars cartoon from a few years ago. It seems like everyone, myself included, cottoned to the notion that it could exist as its own separate thing.

    One thing that does worry me, though, is the idea that they stay too focused on the franchise characters. Let Han, Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewie and so on retire with Lucas. Tell your own stories. I think that’s the best chance to have a legacy which can grow instead of merely oversaturate.

  78. I rushed out and bought the original theatrical versions yesterday. I don`t think that I`ve seen the theatrical version of Star Wars since the eighties.

    Damn, it`s good, and a whole lot better than the following versions. The cgi-less enviroments heightens the sense of a real world, the dated effects are mindblowing when seen in it`s right context with grainy 70`style cinematography, the mono-mix and editing are awesome, creating a much better pace without the added cgi, music-cues and added sound effects.

    I tried to figure out how much has been changed, and according to the internet is hasn`t been re-edited a lot, but the atsmophere and the pace are still so much better without all the buisy elements that has been added since the nineties.

    When compared to other movies from the mid-seventies, it still seems like an staggering artistic achivement.

    (I know I`m not really adding to the discission, just pointing out the genius of Lucas as an actual film-maker)

    During my research I found several desciptions of the original producers influence on Lucas. He appearently challenged a lot of Lucas creative descisions, which might have been the reason that the first 2 Starwars movies are so excellent. When he protested about Ewoks and a second Death Star in Revenge of the Jedi, Lucas replaced him.

    And a final shout-out to Marcia Lucas, the editor of the 2 first starwars movies. It`s truly some of the best paced movies of the seventies, if not all time.

    In conclusion, I highly recommend the theatrical versions of Star Wars, they are really good movies.

  79. I don’t know if you remember this or not Vern, but in the 70’s Lucas said Star Wars was going to be a twelve part saga; much like the old time Saturday matinee serials that inspired it. Whether or not he actually has a game plan for two more trilogies or they’re just something he quickly jotted down on a cocktail napkin, no one knows.

  80. I don’t mean to honk your hooter, Mr. Subtlety… BUT, whether it was actually true or not, the word (back in 2005, upon completion of the Prequel Trilogy) was that Lucas DID, in fact, have a codicil in his will forbidding his inheritors from pursuing/creating any further SW movies. One can only guess that (before common sense & basic greed won out) this decision was the ultimate “Fuck You ALL” to the many, many SW geeks (new & old) who gave him an enormous, collective online bitchslapping for what they interpreted as the numerous missteps Lucas made with the PT. It might have amounted to nothing, but the fact was a great deal of their indignation was well-thought out and not just immature grumbling. This was especially true with the reaction of many to The Phantom Menace. I first took part in the AICN talkback melee just prior to the release of TPM, and since then I’ve read nothing to match the vitriol, frustration, and rabid reaction to TPM’s failure to measure up to the OT. One voice in particular, in a review that was a clarion call for all those livid fanboys, was written by a guy who was all of 18 years old at the time, and went by the user ID Joe Hallenbeck: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/3643

    I agreed with “Mighty Joe” at the time, whereas now it seems like no big whoop. Still, I also agree with (in a different thread here) Broddie likening Lucas selling the farm to Disney as (in effect) tapping out, and Mr. M’s observation that the sale was the SW Geek equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down. The SW Faithful may have notched up a victory on Tuesday, but it may well have been a Pyrrhic one.

  81. Jack, Lucas said a lot of things about how many chapters he had in mind for the saga, but one of the things he did say is that he originally intended to make 9 movies, but that in the end he managed to tell the last 6 parts of the full story in 3 movies instead of 6. So, in one of the many versions of his own “MY ORIGINAL VISION THAT I’VE ALWAYS HAD SINCE DAY ONE” bullshit, Return of the Jedi does conclude the story for real.

  82. Majestyk and other revisionists:

    “He made the motherfucker. Fact.”

    I haven’t read the whole thread and maybe others have mentioned this, but I think it’s important to point out that Lucas DIDN’T make the Star Wars film that is conventionally considered the best one!

    More nerd rage after class…

  83. You’re right, he didn’t direct it. Doesn’t mean he didn’t make it. Irvin Kirshner just dealt with the actors, basically directing a little play in the middle of this massive production that he didn’t concern himself with. Kirshner said as much himself on the Special Edition DVDs. The story, the design, the visual style, that was all Lucas. It’s weird that you have some kind of hang-up about assigning authorship to the guy who, you know, created the thing and was the undisputed lord and master of it for 35 years. I guess everybody else had all the good ideas.


    – renfield

    I`m pretty sure that Lucas had total creative control over Empire, but left the directing of the actors to Kershner. Conceptual art, storyboarding, sfx-shots, music, editing etc was all controlled and approved by Lucas. I read a quote by Lucas where he descripes himself as a filmmaker, not a director, which he percieves as a small part of the filmmakers job. I agree. Directing the actors is pretty important, but a very small part of the overall production of the movie.

    I guess that making the most popular movie in the world freaked him out, hence the dropping quality of the rest of his output. I do think that he got his mojo back after the disaster aka Phantom Menace and except for a couple of lame romantic lines, I think that Attack of the Clones is a brilliant starwars movie.

    Btw, it was Lawrence Kasdan who thought up the whole deal with Vader being the father of Luke, so I don`t believe a word of Lucas having thought up the entire saga from the beginning.

  85. I dunno, seems to me that the quality of the films is more or less exactly inverse to the amount of control he exercised over them. You could make the argument that the only reason the prequels improved is because the critical bashing of TPM forced Lucas to check his ego and actually listen to the people around him (although nowhere near enough, in my opinion).

  86. RRA – what the fuck, we can post pictures in the comments now?

    lemme try this

    anyway I admit that’s a bit frightening how powerful an empire Disney is now, but it’s also kind of glorious, if only Walt could see it now…

  87. shit, it didn’t work, how the fuck did you do that RRA?

  88. There’s no way Irvin Kershner was just a gun-for-hire hack serving Lucas’s vision, because then he never would’ve been able to make so many other great movies, like ROBOCOP 2 for example and all the other movies everybody knows and loves that he made.

    Just kidding, Irvin Kershner is in ON DEADLY GROUND and therefore above my criticism. I apologize.

  89. I like ROBOCOP 2. I think it’s underrated. And I think that whatever Kirshner’s role was on EMPIRE, it added a lot. The performances were looser and funnier and more human than in any of the other movies. He was a top-notch craftsman just like everyone else who worked on EMPIRE. But he’s still not the author of that particular motion picture, and he never claimed to be.

  90. One Guy from Andromeda

    November 1st, 2012 at 11:40 am

    By now the only thing that really bugs me is that no fucking illustrator or caricaturist can come up with anything better than putting mickey mouse ears on anything star wars. the amount of uncreativity this has already caused is staggering.

  91. I have no problem with ROBOCOP 2 that is of course when I forget it’s a sequel to ROBOCOP. It’s a terrible sequel because it completely diminishes the strength of it’s predecessors ending (Murphy is alive once more). But as a stand alone movie it’s so fucking bonkers I can’t help but love it. Sure to some the little drug kinpin seems very mean spirited but I knew 12 year old drug dealers growing up in the ghetto so it wasn’t too unbelievable to me. Also Robocain is the shit.

  92. Broddie – I have the same opinion on RoboCop 2. If it wasn´t a sequel, I might have liked it more, but since I feel Verhoevens other flicks TOTAL RECALL and STARHIP TROOPERS has more in common with ROBOCOP than its actual sequel,that IS a problem.

  93. ShootMcKay – The fact that Kershner made one of the greatest movie sequels of all time and also one of the worst is to me one of the greatest paradoxes in history.

  94. Ah pressed enter too early.

    Mean to say I do feel the Verheoeven call backs in RC2 completely missed the point of the satire from Paul’s movie. But the car security commercial with John Glover does still get a chuckle. Also I can’t stress enough how warped and hilarious the concept of a drug addicted robot is.

  95. I think its John Glovers performance that makes the scene funny. When he says “and it doesnt even run out your battery”, thats when I start to chuckle.

  96. The Original... Paul

    November 1st, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    “I don’t often agree with Camille Paglia, but I’m glad to have her on my side in the great “REVENGE OF THE SITH is actually a fantastic movie” debate.”

    Wow, I’ve been agreeing with Mouth so often lately, I thought the earth had gone out of alignment. Good that that one’s set straight.

    I find it hilarious that people are saying “Movies 7, 8 and 9 shouldn’t be direct sequels”, since I said the exact same thing about the “prequels”. Heck, that point regarding the prequels seems pretty much self-evident to me, yet nobody seems to agree. So put it this way: who the heck wanted to see a story told that we already knew the ending to? Especially told that badly? The prequels told a story that could only ever have appealed to the hardcore fans, yet they tried to make them appeal to a mass-market. That’s a good part of the reason why they failed so badly in my opinion.

    Although Patton Oswalt puts it so much eloquently than I could: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-Zmuoze65U (I think it was one of you guys who linked that video on the first place. Thanks for that.)

    And while I’m on the subject of Mouth:

    “Like, everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but the level of presumptuousness and intrusiveness, especially regarding what we’re supposed to think makes Lucas happy and *especially* what we think are our expert analyses of the business of movie production/distribution/sales, is just sickening.”

    Mouth, if there’s one subject where you can be as entitled and self-indulgent as you want on the Internet, it’s Star Wars. Would you take that pleasure away from us?

  97. Paul, the difference is that we had been warned that the prequels would one day exist, since the first STAR WARSes had been known as Episodes 4, 5 and 6 for a long time. So, obviously, Episodes 1, 2 and 3, as useless as they were, were inevitable, unlike Episodes 7, 8 and 9.

  98. Alright, fine, I didn’t mean to come off like *the* authoritative voice of who’s allowed to express an opinion or something. None of this business & nerd banter bothers me; I just don’t want it to interfere with people’s actual enjoyment of the actual films. I don’t bring money talk & nerd rage into the theatre with me.

    And I think that tabula rasa, open-minded attitude & penchant to spot worthy colors amid the noise is the one that allows someone like respected culture critic Camille Paglia to see that REVENGE OF THE SITH is a bizarrely beautiful piece. She’s on Mouth’s side in this argument, and she’s against the side of the STAR WARS 6: STAR WARS CHAPTER 3 haters.

    That is all.

    Also I tried to come up with a clever Irvin Kershner-ON DEADLY GROUND zinger earlier in this thread, but for some reason I couldn’t do it. Either I’m getting stupider with age or I’m getting softer on the issue of making funnies at the expense of the recently deceased.

  99. Don’t worry, Mouth. Now is the time if for expressing my doubt and sadness, but if the movies look good, I’ll see them and give them every chance. If they turn out great, I’ll have no trouble admitting I was wrong.

  100. On a lighter note, how the fuck am I supposed to go see THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS this weekend with no subway? Looks like I’m walking.

  101. It was not until the mention of THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS inspired me to join this conversation that I realized how truly numb and indifferent I have become to STAR WARS at this point. I would much rather discuss TMWTIF than STAR WARS. If I were to weigh in on the argument I would probably lean toward Mr. M & Vern’s stance. I enjoy all of the SW films to varying degrees, but the magic is gone. I am sure I will see the new films when they are released, but I can’t say that I am excited about them. Maybe passing the franchise off to new artists will help breathe new life into it. I will keep an open mind and my fingers crossed that they have a story worth telling that justifies the continuation of the series and isn’t just a cash grab. The prequels might not have lived up to the standers of the original trilogy, but they were still Lucas baby and something that he nurtured and protected. Now SW films will be just another franchise property like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE that releases a solid and profitable installment every few years without every delivering anything truly special or meaningful. For better or worse depending on your opinion Lucas was the auteur behind the SW saga and without him I am not sure the franchise will ever recapture the same magic it used to have. Only time will tell.

    So, back to THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS. I am really excited to see what RZA deliver’s in his directorially debut. His passion for Kung Fu cinema is almost unparalleled, and the cast and his collaborators only increase my excitement for the film. I am going to try to get away to see it tomorrow if possible.

  102. I have the utmost belief in that RZA can pull of an amazing kung fu/hiphop-opera. I´m looking forward to it as hell.

  103. Paul — I think the single most amazing thing about the prequels is that they actually DON’T tell a story you already know. They tell a story everyone THOUGHT they knew. Turns out it’s much, much more complicated and morally ambiguous than Obi and Yoda led Luke to believe. In fact, it turns out their version of events was enormously self-serving and willfully dogmatic. Which it turns out was a big part of the problem all along. Lucas’s genius/insanity is that he could have just made the film everyone already knew they wanted, but he chose to shake the very foundations of the world he’d created with something completely different.

    Larry — Well, he should probably have stuck with that, and I’d have respected him for it if he had. Be he didn’t, so we’re getting more STAR WARS films, and I have no regrets about that either. Besides, it seems that he’s actually giving most of the money to charity? Wow.

    On Kershner — I think the guy was an integral part of EMPIRE, and helped craft some of it’s best moments. But he was an expert workman, just like everyone on that project from the designers to the animators to the actors. They all contributed to George’s whole, and it seems indisputable that it was his overarching vision that drove every part of the film.

  104. I haven’t really read any of these responses but there is what I want and let me know if I’m alone. I wanna know what happened between Episode 3 and Episode 4. How did we get from the shiny spaceships of the first three to the dark and non-shiny version of the badass vehicles like the X-Wing? What was that whole world like when Vader was starting out and taking over shit? HOw did the rebellion really start? What were some of those early missions like? That would make an awesome TV show more than Clone War period and stuff.

  105. I think the next SW film should be a space road trip/odyssey picture all about an elderly Han Solo & his good buddy Chewy traveling the galaxy in search of space pussy as Han struggles with is mortality and place in the world after Princess Leia has died of space cancer (or star cancer if you prefer) and with the fall of the empire there is no more battles left to be fought.

  106. I agree with Mr. Subtlety. The prequels, especially 3, unearthed some real surprise about Vader’s birth. I started to feel for him and his quest for control. If I had to end a few thousand people to save my girl, I think I probably would.
    I also see some of the appeal of fascism, but now I’m sounding weird.

  107. Griff – Don’t use [IMG] tags. Apparently you can just post links.

  108. Or not. I give up.

  109. I’m pretty sure all you guys were around when I explained the image thing before. WordPress supports a limited number of HTML elements and strips the rest. The ones I can say for sure work are bold which means putting <b> and </b> and italic which is the same but with “i” instead of “b” (or use “strong” and “em”). For images you use <img src=”your url in the quotes”>. Note: you use regular quotes, WordPress coverts quotes to “smart” or “curly” quotes on the fly.

  110. it aint working for me

  111. I just did exactly what I explained using your URL and the above is what came up. Let me try this again:

    Less than sign, i, m, g, space, s, r, c, equals sign, quote, your url, quote, greater than sign

  112. Why, clubside, that’s simple enough for a lobotomy victim to be able to do it:

  113. The Original... Paul

    November 1st, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Subtlety – I will take your word on that, because honestly I can’t remember too much about them now. Haven’t seen any of them except “Clones” since they were in the cinemas, and that probably won’t change. I remember them being soulless, plastic, annoyingly scored, and with pretty much zero “human” characters, let alone characters who aren’t senators or Jedi or princesses or something. The only one I’ve ever revisited was “AoTC”, and only that for the lightsaber fights at the end (which is the one scene, the ONLY scene in any of the prequels, that I actually thought “worked” on the most basic levels of character interaction or narrative drive.)

    Will Disney improve on them? Well, IMO they could hardly do any worse. They could start by coming up with a new and great story that doesn’t treat its characters like pieces on a chessboard that all have to be moved into a specific place before the film ends. New and likeable characters. And not having them do the entire film in way-too-shiny CGI that makes the whole thing look like some kind of videogame (let alone copy-pasting scenes directly from videogames to the actual movies, like they did with the factory chase in “Clones”.)

    Note that if Disney does ALL of this, and a helluva lot more, it might end up making at least a halfway decent film; but there’s no way in hell I’m seeing it in the cinema, no matter how good it’s supposed to be. Hell, when the “Phantom Menace” came out, every single review I read said it was a damn masterpiece. I’m not falling for this shit a fourth time. I’m gonna wait at least six months, see what people I respect say about the film, and THEN if it’s still well-regarded I’ll go ahead and watch it on DVD.

    On a similar thought: what’s the betting the new “Star Wars” film only gets released in 3D in most places, like “Dredd” was?

  114. Okay, found a convenient “feature” in WordPress: loggin-in admins can do whatever HTML they want, but no users including registered admins who just don’t happen to be logged in can only use a tiny subset that requires code to redefine. Simple bullshit. Anyway I tracked down how to make the change and just tested it so we should be good to go. I added a display of the acceptable tags below the comment box.

    Sorry for those of you who followed the directions but still got diddly, see how things go now.

  115. The Original... Paul

    November 1st, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    And re-reading that last post, this is the power of the hype machine… even after all these years, I still can’t talk about the damn prequels without feeling angry at 1) all the fans who posted everywhere that prequels 2 and 3 were actually better than their predecessors, and 2) myself, for falling for this bullshit THREE times in a row. I wouldn’t even say I was a fan of the series – I did like the first two movies but they were definitely “before my time”, and #3 I thought had a great climax but was pretty lackluster in everything leading up to that confrontation.

    Also, Mouth, I wasn’t having a go at you. Honest. I definitely meant my dig at you to be taken in jest. There’s some truth in it but it isn’t directed at you – the plain fact is, whenever you mention the series, it seems like everybody feels like they’ve got some kind of personal stake in whatever their point of view is. I’d go as far as to say I mildly agree with you, although I wouldn’t put it as strongly as you do. This is one movie series that the fans feel they’ve “co-opted”. And plainly the people who made it don’t agree with them, so… this is the result.

  116. So clubside did some brain surgery on the websight, and maybe *now* it’s so simple even a lobotomy victim can understand? :

    I’ll try to be judicious with my picposting. I sense Vern being annoyed with this “feature” in his opinion in my opinion.

    We cool, Paul. The only burning interest I have in STAR WARS is based on seeing more spinning lightsabres & lightsabre fu. Remember this guy? :

    I want that. Maybe the next Darth Whoever can have a 3-pronged lightsabre! In 3D!

  117. 1. I’m pretty optimistic. Does anyone remember, way back when the prequel trilogy was announced, rumors that Lucas would be handling scripts and effects but turning direction over to certain popular but hand-picked directors? A lot of us were excited about a Tarantino STAR WARS, or David Fincher or somebody. Of course I’d be happy to even have somebody like Brad Bird. Some new blood in the franchise would do it good.

    2. This goes back to the beginning of this thread, but seriously, MONKEY ISLAND? There’s a pretty good reason those kinds of games died out… and the humor is so dated it’d get groaned off the screen.

    3. Now it’s been a long, long time since I’ve played the game, but how about LOOM?

  118. Why do I have a feeling this experiment with being able to post pics will be short-lived? :)

  119. Previously, on Skywalker Family Reunion:

  120. Moreso than anything else, I’m just bewildered by this. I mean I’m guessin the house is paid for at this point. Can’t imagine Lucas is wanting for a thing. Can only guess that it was moreso about having a desire for the franchise to live on, but perhaps not desiring to shoulder that heavy lifting himself anymore. Annnnd of coarse there’d be more to the story friendo. Winning the war is always the cakewalk next to winning the peace. Fractured Republic to rebuild/reunite, Nefarious elements attempting to take advantage of transitional vulnerablilties, Jedi order to revive…

  121. You know looking up online those old Lucas quotes back in the 80s, 90s of what Episodes 7-8 would’ve allegedly detailed…

    *Ep.7 set 30-40 years after ROTJ.
    *Luke/Leia/Han would be 60-70 years old.
    *C-3PO and R2-D2 would be the only characters to appear in all then-planned 9 movies.
    *Trilogy be about rebuilding the Republic.
    *Luke would have a love interest.

    Now I write this because if the 2015 release date is realized, it would be 32 years since ROTJ came out. Hamill is in his early 60s, Fisher late 50s. C-3PO and R2-D2 did show up in the prequels. Its almost like things are going to plan to neatly….

    IT’S A TRAP!!!!!!!!!!!

  122. @


    ***Well luckily, this REVENGE OF THE SITHS is the last puzzle piece for star warses so give it a 7 or 8 year cool down period and maybe the nightmare will be over, and these ponytailed assholes will fixate on some other god damn thing, like the lord of the rings prequels or something.***

    And Vern was wrong! 7-8 years later, this happens. The cool down gets set back to “boil,” the fixation is roughly as strong & nerdy as ever, and the nightmare continues.

  123. @Mouth: That was wishful thinking on the part of The Vernmeister. He holds no great love for SW movies (more so martial arts movies— both A & B list, all things Bruce Willis, and [natch] going the distance with obscure slasher movies so that we all may become more enlightened [BTW, bangup job on that, Vern]).

    He’s not full-on major studio bottom bitch like one H. Knowles, who will remain (in his own parlance) “giddy” about future SW films until such time as they end/he ends. Yes, he’ll give it due diligence as it goes along, but he’s not shackled to it. Which is a very good thing.

    @RRA: Disney’s not gonna go for an Episode 7 with the OT Geezer Trinity of Actors (Hamill, Ford, and Fisher). There’s just no way in Hell. C3PO and R2D2?… yeah, they’ll fit. But I’d just assume they weren’t there at all, and the new movies start fresh in terms of characters.

    @M. Casey: I’m guessing Vern already signed off on the new “post pics” thing (thanks for that one, clubside). As long as no one goes too heavy on the midget porn, I’d guess it’s gonna endure.

  124. I did not sign off on the pics, so nobody (Griff) over do it and we’ll let it go. (Griff.)

    Actually the truth is I like Star Wars, I just really, really, really fuckin hate hearing people complain about it. The same old shit for so many years, on the internet and in person. Everywhere I go. I guess maybe if they give them the stupid bullshit they want with these new ones then maybe they’ll shut their god damn mouths about for one god damn second and I can finally have some peace.

    I am actually a bigger Star Wars fan than the official Star Wars fans, because I like all 6 movies. Clean sweep, motherfuckers. Paul said the prequels were a story that would only appeal to the hardcore fans, but can’t we all see it’s the opposite? The people that like those movies are 1) kids 2) the generation who were kids when they came out 3) their parents who hadn’t thought much about Star Wars since the last one came out 4) me 5) Mr. Subtlety. The “hardcore fans” are the ones who the story did not appeal to, so they still wear the prequels like a war wound.

  125. don’t worry Vern, I wont over-do it, I was just having some fun with it for now, that’s all

  126. @Vern: Griff’s a good lad, but a tad bit unrestrained (like renfield, he’s wallowing in his youth, as to be expected). He’ll cool it (Note To Griff: COOL IT, son!).

    As far as your indignation about SW fans cooling it… they will. It’s no longer a matter of hanging their hopes on but 3 prequels, praying that the next one (or the one after that) will fulfill them, because after that it’s DONE… but now it seems it’s not gonna be done for a very long time. There are many possibilities of a movie that will please them, that they can safely tuck into their Boba Fett pajamas, with their Yoda nightlight, and the last thing they see before going beddy-bye and dreaming of Princess Leia in black leather with a riding crop is their Official Greedo Shot First poster.

    IMO, the essential thing to understand about the demographic who went apeshit thumbs down about the prequels were the unfortunates who were born between 1967 and 1970, and who also went nuts over the OT. So, they were:
    Between age 10 & 13 when Star Wars opened.
    Between age 13 & 16 when The Empire Strikes Back opened.
    Between age 16 & 19 when Return Of The Jedi opened, and (worst of all)
    Between age 32 & 35 when The Phantom Menace opened…
    by which time they were their OWN Adult Children Of StarWarsholics.
    Added to which this was 1999, when the Internet was just becoming a driving force among movie geeks, when AICN was at its peak in terms of its peripheral yet briefly significant influence on the movie industry.

    The movie industry survived that particular confluence. The Star Wars industry didn’t buckle under that influence, but I truly believed it recently shifted gears as a result of it. Yes, it took a LONG time to settle that issue, but now it’s done. If the suits at Disney have any sense at all, they will now Give The (SW) People What They Want. Like as not, they’re $4 billion in the hole. They need to be VERY shrewd about how they dig their way out.

  127. Sorry; got the ages mixed up:
    7-10 SW
    10-13 ESB
    13-16 ROTJ
    29-32 TPM.

    Obviously, I didn’t score an 800 on the Math Portion of the SAT Test.

  128. I heard that Lucas is apparently giving most of his $4 billion to charity, so it obviously isn’t about the money. The more I think about the decision, the more I’m okay with it. I’m no fan of the prequels, but I also got over hating them a long time ago. There’s this feeling that a lot of us have (myself included) that a movie series needs to be perfect. We want a great trilogy with a great sendoff. This would be nice, but in today’s world it just isn’t going to happen. We are going to get our Indy and Die Hard sequels as well as our Star Wars and Lord of the Rings prequels. The world is a messy place and Hollywood is a messy business. I’ve just learned to enjoy what I do have, and to largely ignore the rest.

    Lucas really earned my respect when he decided to donate a bunch of his land in wealthy Marin County, CA for low income housing, which apparently pissed off his millionaire neighbors. For me, this completely makes up for those prequels and whatever else he decides to do with the Star Wars franchise. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/us/george-lucas-retreats-from-battle-with-neighbors.html

  129. Amazing Larry: “Obviously, I didn’t score an 800 on the Math Portion of the SAT Test.”

    I did. When I was 15.

    Sorry, I just like bringing that up whenever I can.

  130. I was 16 when I saw THE PHANTOM MENACE and was disappointed because it was boring as fuck. Had nothing to do with what I expected the movie to be but nothing topped THE MATRIX that year in my eyes in terms of an exciting new big budget sci-fi picture.

    I skipped CLONES at the cinema because of my dislike of TPM but once I did see it on video there were some things that I liked (like the sequence with the Jedi and that female bounty hunter during the beginning and the final duel) but there were also a lot of things in between like a bunch of shitty dialogue and a clumsily developed love story that didn’t really grab my attention enough for me to ever really revisit the movie.

    SITH was alright. Easily the best of the 3 to me and the only one I’ve seen more than once. But it still falls victim to the shortcomings of it’s predecessors unfortunately. Still it did have the multi lightsaber wielding robot that Mouth posted with rotating lightsaber action and it also has my favorite music of that particular trilogy.

    I don’t even own any of the STAR WARS movies. It’s been years since I last saw JEDI but if I see the original or EMPIRE on TV I do sit down and watch them. Can’t really say that about any of the prequels except for SITH but I will say that people definitely do exaggerate when they act like there were NO redeeming qualities in those movies either as poorly constructed as they may have been. So I can see why people get pissed off with the “Lucas raped my childhood” bunch.

  131. I was 9 when I saw The Phantom Menace and while I admit to enjoying it at the time when I saw it in theaters, it didn’t leave much of an overall impression on me afterwards, I only saw it one other time on VHS and I was bored by it then

    on the other hand, I used to watch my VHS boxset of the special edition versions of the original trilogy relatively often

    by the time Attack of The Clones came out I was 12 and I hated it, while it had some flashy special effects (Coruscant was cool looking), even I groaned at the atrocious “romance” scenes between Anakin and Padme (I don’t like the sand, etc etc)

    by the time Revenge of the Sith came out I honestly no longer gave a shit and only saw it out of a sense of “let’s just gets this over with”, I was bored by it and laughed at the infamous Darth Vader “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, after 6 years (which felt like forever to me back then) this is what it was all leading to? a fucking joke of an ending?

    so sorry guys, I got to side with the haters on this one, they’re just not good movies….

    however I think all 3 of the original trilogy are good movies, including Return of The Jedi, Ewoks and all (which in my opinion are tolerable because at least they don’t talk)

  132. I’d like to empathize how little I cared about Revenge of the Sith, by 2005 I had heavily gotten into anime and I had mostly forgotten about the Star Wars prequels, I was actually surprised when I heard it was coming out, I was like “oh yeah, that….thing”

  133. Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate JEDI but the last time I owned the OT was on VHS. I never bought the countless DVD’s partially cause like many I prefer the movies I grew up watching to the special editions. Even when they air on TV it’s the special editions. The only way I get to watch STAR WARS (meaning Episode IV) as I remember it still is whenever I visit my pops and pop in the old SW laserdisc he still has.

    I did see SITH at the cinema cause I thought it would be the end of it all I won’t lie. But I can’t see how people could find it more boring than TPM or CLONES. It really wasn’t all that bad. Matter of fact there were moments where you could actually see the George is trying despite the movies shortcomings (which it does have it’s fair share of don’t get me wrong). I just can’t see why people want to make Lucas spit blood at the mention of the movie or anything like that. Be happy that he even bothered at all I say.

  134. You probably noticed that I didn’t say anything about the topic yet. That’s because I don’t think that there is anything to discuss. I look forward to a bunch of new movies, although at the moment mostly because I got no fucking idea what they will be about and who will direct them. So that’s kinda exciting.

    But although I belong to th few people who enjoyed all 6 movies* and I’m one of the more nerdy nerds on this websight, my life doesn’t seem affected by this news. I will definitely watch the new trilogy, but until the first trailer is out (or at least a director is announces or we got some more story details), I have nothing to say about this topic.

    *But I have to say EMPIRE is my least favourite one and I enjoyed the prequels on my last viewing a few months ago maybe more than ever, because all the political stuff suddenly really clicked with me.

  135. I wouldn’t say it was more boring, just equally as boring as the other two, but maybe part of the reason why I was so bored in particular by Revenge of The Sith was because, like I said, my enthusiasm for the prequel trilogy had evaporated by 2005, I went into Attack of the Clones still hopeful

    anyway on a side note I’m not sure whether I’ve ever had the chance to see the “original” versions of the original trilogy, I’m sorry to say, I have vague memories of maybe renting them around 95 or so, but I was so little that by the time the special editions came out I had forgotten almost everything about them so seeing the special editions was like seeing the for the first time, so I certainly don’t remember anything about them now

    it’s for that reason though that I don’t hate the special editions like everyone else does, I’m just happy that I got the chance to see them in theaters as a little kid (and still remember doing so), it really did introduce Star Wars to a whole new generation

    however, I would LOVE the chance to be able to see the original versions on blu ray one day, I think that would be really cool, hopefully it’ll happen one day

  136. Prequels work better for me when I avoid paying any attention to the political shit actually. Because Palpatine’s political manipulations make no real fucking sense at all if you try to decipher them. It just comes across as more filler to make it seem like something is actually happening in these movies beneath the “lightsaber battles and spaceships” surface.

  137. Griff – however, I would LOVE the chance to be able to see the original versions on blu ray one day, I think that would be really cool, hopefully it’ll happen one day

    I think that would finally happen in light of the Disney thing. If it does then I will finally have a reason to buy them. I just don’t need to see Han walking over Jabba the Hutt’s tail ever again. Really.

  138. I got the widescreen laserdisc rips of the OT (EMPIRE and JEDI in bootleg form, NEW HOPE as a “special feature” on that one re-re-re-release DVD) and they suit me just fine. Little grain here, little scratch and pop there, no plastic digital sheen anywhere to be found. Analog like a mixtape, the way they’re supposed to be.

  139. I’ll throw in with the non-haters of the prequels. They have a lot of aspects that just don’t work but overall I think they’re unique, entertaining, and even thought-provoking. The story as a whole is intriguingly ambiguous, it’s beautiful to look at, and the action set-pieces are thrilling and inventive. Plus, despite their lapses in drama, they did do their job: Now when I watch the OT, I have a lot of sympathy for Darth Vader that I never had before. I see him trapped in that robot monster and think of the cocky young man in love he used to be and I can feel how disappointed he is in how his life turned out. He used to be a prince of the universe, but now he’s just a slave again. It makes his redemption in JEDI all the more powerful. I finally know what Luke is talking about when he says he still sees good in him.

  140. As someone that basically fits into Larry’s timeline (born in 1966) and saw all of the original trilogy in the theaters, I had little reaction, positive or negative, to the prequels since I waited to watch them on DVD. As much as I loved Star Wars and Empire, I didn’t think much of Return and in the intervening years grew to love the more complex science fiction that was afforded television in the mid-’90s. Since I love comedy above all else I sort of “dropped out” of the sci-fi scene for quite a while, always enjoying the movies be they spectacle (The Fifth Element) or more intimate (Star Trek II). However it took DVD and the availability of full television seasons to really draw me back so thye prequels had the unenviable task of going up against running shows and those I could kick back and absorb for days at a time. And really, compared to Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5 and particularly Farscape, the prequels were like a fancy desert that might have tasted good but didn’t look all that appetizing and was over quickly.

    It didn’t help that it was a kid character starring in Phantom Menace. And from a story level it seemed so small compared to the ambitions of Babylon 5 and DS9. By the time Clones was released Farscape had crushed any Star Wars ambitions in terms or character, scope, and even creature design. Without any spoilers, the ingenious twist of Farscape’s third season just makes all six Star Wars movies seem so small and conventional. Which is cool. I understand approaching the series from a “each new generation of kids” perspective. But rewatching Empire shows you could cover all bases with a little tweaking (I’m gonna guess that despite the consensus that it’s the best of the six, Lucas finds it too dark which is why he swung so far in the other direction with Return), I just find it far less compelling than Firefly and other more “adult” science fiction like Alien and Star Trek VI.

    Lucas should be commended for many things, even if they didn’t “work” out of the gate. The achievements of ILM and Skywalker sound pushed movie technology forward in a way that has helped everybody. Lucasfilm may be hit-or-miss for a lot of people but with Star Wars, Indy, Willow and others it was a generally reliable independent studio that was “entertainment first”. As a big believer in film preservation Lucas’ big mistake of holding back original versions of his films is despicable, and it taints so much of his work. But of the “triumvirate”, Lucas, Spielberg and Coppola, he’s the one that held down an independent front and brought technical advancements to entertainment that have and will remain important steps in the evolution of film and television. He’s to be celebrated, and respected for his choices.

    The only real problem with this transaction is Disney. Their failure at breaking into the console videogame business means it’s even less likely we’ll see a fresh Star Wars Battlefront. Their basic indifference to Indiana Jones is sad. And the fact that technology companies like ILM will supposedly be business-as-usual, all I can think of is when Electronic Arts bought Criterion and a commonly used if not that great middleware product called Renderware went from powering dozens of games a year to no longer being available to third parties. Lucas’ independence allowed those companies to flourish and bring advancements to all, and while plenty of other effects houses have risen over the years, it’ll suck if Lucas’ companies stop serving the industry as a whole.

    But I am glad that others will have a chance to tell stories set in the Star Wars universe. As others have already brought up, many of the most interesting stories for me appear in videogames set in the universe at very different positions of his “timeline”. There are basic beats that could reverberate across many different kinds of stories rather than being committed to children-first. And there are the existing works which will go on entertaining us and the next generation of filmgoers or moviewatchers or however else we want to characterize people lucky enough to see his imagination on screens big and small.

  141. The Original... Paul

    November 2nd, 2012 at 11:35 am

    “Paul said the prequels were a story that would only appeal to the hardcore fans, but can’t we all see it’s the opposite? The people that like those movies are 1) kids 2) the generation who were kids when they came out 3) their parents who hadn’t thought much about Star Wars since the last one came out 4) me 5) Mr. Subtlety. The “hardcore fans” are the ones who the story did not appeal to, so they still wear the prequels like a war wound.”

    Vern, you got me totally wrong on this one. My point was that the STORY that they told was one that everybody already knows the basics of – even non-fans – and therefore, the only people who’d really be interested in seeing it filmed would be the people who were diehard fans of the original trilogy who wanted to see how things played out. But the FILMS that told that story were clearly designed, in my opinion cynically so, to appeal to the kids and the “‘splosions are cool!” bridgade.

    Story vs filmatism is the point I’m making. Or maybe story vs marketing. The whole “hardcore fans” thing can be traced right back to that IMO. They wanted this story to be told in the same vein as the original trilogy, and instead they got the crappy soulless CGI kid-friendly version of same. I’m not saying there wouldn’t still be a backlash for a bad “Star Wars” movie that’s set in a completely different time period, like “Knights of the Old Republic” or something; but there sure as hell wouldn’t be people making jokes about Darth Vader as a little kid. They wouldn’t feel as though their favorite characters hadn’t been done justice, or anything like that.

  142. Sigh. Once more for the cheap seats:

    Kid-friendly, lowest-common-denominator explodoramas generally have plots like “That guy is evil and he’s kidnapped the girl I’ve sort of got a crush on! Let’s stop him!” They do not have plots like “An obscure senator with a secret agenda foments civil war in order to undermine the populace’s faith in its government and seize control, while a reckless young warrior finds that the code of honor he has pledged allegiance to is not sufficient in dealing with the moral challenges he faces.” If all you got out of the prequels was “Splosions are cool, Jar Jar is gay,” that’s your fault, not Lucas’.

  143. I apologize for the condescending sigh, but Paul’s argument is such a tire, facile, and unconsidered reading of the prequels that it’s getting right up there with “Tarantino just rips off old movies” for reactionary theories I wish would just go away. Feel free to hate the movies all you want. I don’t blame you. They’re often horrible. But if Lucas just wanted to sell toys and separate mouth-breathers from their disposable income, he could have found a much simpler way to do it. The irony is, if the prequels really had been all “Save the princess again! Lightsabers are awesome! Evil is bad!” he probably wouldn’t have pissed off so many of his fans. He gave them MORE than they wanted, not less.

  144. I agree that there is a lot of interesting stuff in there but the problem is that the story Lucas obviously had in mind couldn’t be sold to children – so he compromised. I don’t think anyone’s saying that the movies exist solely to sell toys – just that if Lucas honestly didn’t give a shit about selling merchandise the flims would have been a hell of a lot better. There is no other reason such a densely and confusingly plotted movie would have so much kid friendly stuff in there – Lucas was serving two masters: his artistic vision and his wallet.

  145. Mr M — in fact, I suspect fans were so primed to see what they were expecting that they completely missed what was right in front of them. I can’t tell you how many fans I’ve heard complaining that the Jedi are too ineffective — as if this was some kind of embarrassing mistake on Lucas’s part that he overlooked. They’re so mired in the mythology of the original that the fact that Lucas is intentionally calling into question everything you thought you knew simply can’t cross their minds, and they just feel like the movie isn’t doing what it’s supposed to.

    And the critics were no different, really — even Ebert complained that Obi’s “Only a Sith deals in absolutes” is a preposterously hypocritical statement, as if Lucas didn’t realize that. When you don’t spoon-feed the point to people, you risk them thinking that the problem is you.

    I don’t fault people for not thinking too deeply about the prequels, because of their obvious and numerous weaknesses in narrative, scripting, and acting. But me, I watch so many movies that I have to give credit to something that unique. There never was, never will be again, anything like the prequels, both in terms of their practical construction and their unique deconstruction of another trilogy’s inner myths. I, for one, would much rather have that in the world then yet another workmanlike but pedestrian fairy-tale. I sometimes get tired of being that one guy who always sticks up for the prequels, but its worth it every once in awhile when I get to see someone genuinely realize the audacity of what Lucas was trying to accomplish all of the sudden. They just don’t make em like that. Only Lucas would try.

  146. By the way, I don’t necessarily have a beef with Lucas serving his wallet – the technological advances facilitated by Lucas’ wallet are impressive and important, It’s just a shame he didn’t go about it with a little more finesse. ILM is in my mind a far more impressive legacy for Lucas than Star Wars.

  147. I’m sorry Mr. Subtlety, I’d give Lucas the benefit of the doubt with regards to that line but I’m forced to take the rest of the script into account. Unless you’re saying that every ridiculous line was intentional, in which case the prequels were some kind of satire that nobody got.

    I really think some of you guys are just defending the prequels because you hate the thought of agreeing with the nerd consensus at this point.

  148. He just mentioned “their obvious and numerous weaknesses in narrative, scripting, and acting.” He didn’t try to sell anybody on the idea that these are flawless masterpieces, just that there’s more going on beneath the surface than most people have bothered to think about. Which is exactly how I feel about them. They’re interesting movies, and they also suck sometimes. These two things can coexist.

  149. I fit into the timeline above and can’t claim to be an apologist for the prequels, although they are weak beer to me, despite my love of SW. Strangely, I suspect my dislike stems from the oddest aspect, that is Episodes 2 and 3 were filmed digitally and for their time they were just so visually overwhelming (in terms of detail and activity presented on screen) for me, and that coupled with the lack of practical sets meant that to my eyes they looked incredibly fake (in a different way than the others at any rate) and not part of the world. One of the original STAR WARS revolutionary aspects was treating the spectacular and outlandish as a real world, and looking like it. Crikey it was this verisimilitude that inspired Ridley Scott, James Cameron and Peter Jackson.

  150. Mr. Majestyk-

    It doesn’t matter what’s going on below the surface if they don’t work AS MOVIES, which they don’t. In fact I’m not even sure I agree that they had all that much going on below the surface, just because they were (unnecessarily) complicated doesn’t make them deep or interesting. They had about as much to say as Avatar, and at least Avatar had characters to care about and (more importantly) got to the point in the span of one movie.

    By the way I didn’t think for one second that Mr. Subtlety was implying that the films were flawless masterpieces and I’m not sure how I gave you the impression that I did.

  151. No, I get that. As Mr. S said, it’s completely understandable that people don’t take the time to look under the surface if they find the surface completely retarded. (I happen to think there’s a lot of surface-level fun in the prequels, from the great lightsaber duels to cool character designs and intricate CGI environments. I find them entertaining except for some really shitty dialogue scenes, which I still manage to laugh at.) All Mr. S and I were taking umbrage to was the idea that ALL Lucas was trying to do was throw some splosions and action figures together and call it a day. I see a lot of thought and craft put into the structure of the story and the mythology and what that has to say about how systems of power work, but it is too bad that the same thought wasn’t put into crafting the individual dramatic beats, which are hit and miss but, I admit, mostly miss.

  152. My ranking of SW favorites & bests:



    #4a. the first one

    I would like to be included in the [small?] cadre of folks who likes all of them.

    I unapologetically & unironically like the Ewoks. They were some mean, ritualistic motherfuckers.

    The operatic tone of the best sequences of these movies is what I love most —

    Ewan McGregor in his buddhist pose waiting for the forcefield to rise so he can go kick Darth Maul’s ass;

    Darth Maul’s intrinsically mean mug somehow becoming more mean & more smug when he’s winning & spinning his awesome lightsabre;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUBWxiu5cOo ;

    “No! *I* am your father. . .” ;

    that awesome sand pit with teeth;

    the awesome Darth Vader apparel, voice, breathing, and redemption via wizard-lightning-punishment;

    shit, I even like the post-climactic “Noooooo!”

    No inferior sequel or exogenous force (like internet talkbackers or knowledge of the financial business of George Lucas) is going to diminish the immersive fun of these moments for me.

  153. Mode7 — I don’t blame you at all for not being interested in the subtext of the prequels when their surface is so obviously flawed. I completely get that, and do not judge anyone for being so off-put by the acting and so on that they have no interest in looking deeper. But I do think it’s there, and much more so than something like AVATAR with its fairly simplistic environmental/anti-colonial messages. I’m not gonna clog up yet another post with my interpretation (although at least this one actually is about star wars) but if you’re interested I’d be happy to email you. If you ever get the chance to watch them again (or are forced against your will) it might help you tolerate them a little more and see some of the more interesting aspects which offset some of the iffy plotting (at least to me).

  154. I should say, too, that although there are tons of potential toys and action figures and so on in the prequels, I honestly don’t think they’re there in service of the money. I think Lucas genuinely loves the production process, genuinely loves monsters and ships and weirdness. As evidence I offer the “Art of STAR WARS” books on the prequels, where you can see how intimately involved Lucas was in meticulously crafting the visual details of the universe, even though he himself wasn’t in front of a drawing board. This, as he was gradually writing the script haphazardly over many months. Someone once told me they thought Lucas had become “a sad old man obsessed with playing with his toys.” While not entirely fair, I do think Lucas is a guy who really loves to play with his toys. Its just that his toys are not made of plastic; they’re made of gorgeous design work, groundbreaking effects, and sci-fi fantasy flights of fancy. The proof is in the stunning –i would say unprecedented– detail of the production and the listlessness of the drama. A bad thing for a movie as a whole, but just one more thing that makes them completely unique.

  155. Paul – I don’t see the distinction. You say the story would only appeal to hardcore Star Wars fans, but also that hardcore Star Wars fans are upset to see Darth Vader as a kid (the story). Anyway, not worth arguing.

  156. I didn’t mean to give the impression that I don’t find any value at all in the prequels, they’re required viewing in my opinion but more for their historical significance than for their entertainment value. I watched all three of them a couple of months ago and I think they’re worth having if only for the dvd extras.

    I think part of what puts me of about them these days is exactly what I liked about them when they came out – they seemed at the time a pretty perfect allegory for the machinations of the Bush administration (you may have noticed). I realise this is not what Lucas intended since all of this stuff was probably written (if only loosely) before Bush became President and that any similarity’s were (mostly, probably) coincidental. But that’s the reason it clicked with me and I know I wasn’t the only one. I was in my early twenties at the time and watching the movies now I can’t help but feel vaguely embarrassed for my younger self since they only work as a perfect allegory if, you know, Bush was in on the whole thing. I was a 9/11 truther is what I’m saying.

    So either I wised the fuck up or drifted slightly to the right (probably both) and maybe I’m a little harder on Lucas than I should be, It’s not his fault after all (unless it was intentional, in which case Lucas is a 9/11 truther, which I doubt).

    Anyway, It’s been a pleasure to debate The Star Wars on the internet with you fine people. I don’t think I’ve ever really bothered before but I suppose it’s a right of passage. I finally won the right to live in my mothers basement.

    One final thought though; if crazy uniqueness is to be applauded wouldn’t Bay’s Transformer movies also qualify?

  157. 3 years ago, Marketsaw blog reported that Episodes 7-9 were in development. Now they’ve reported supposed new details. (kudos to BleedingCool for making this bullet list.)

    •The films are reworked versions of what Lucas was planning as far back as when he was making the original trilogy.

    •This next trilogy may conflate plot points originally intended to span two trilogies – the second featuring the Skywalker offspring, including a female protagonist named Skywalker.

    •Luke Skywalker is a primary focus, as are many of the original trilogy cast.

    •Hamill is already locked-in.

    •The Empire was not completely destroyed at the end of Return of the Jedi.

    •Disney intend “on playing to the cultural significance of that original trilogy” and follow their tone and method.

    •The scripts that have already been written for the live-action TV show “will be absorbed in some way into a TV format.”

    •The movies from what I understand will adopt the Harry Potter model, and will be aggressively brought to the forefront of popular entertainment once again with consistent installments. This is just for starters though, especially for those who hold the original trilogy in high regard, they should be happy. You can expect lovingly restored prints of the original trilogy to surface in the near future.

    Several names already “bandied” about to direct include Spielberg, Neil Blomkamp, Alfonso Cuaron, Matthew Vaughn, Darren Arnofsky, and Joss Whedon. Arnofsky is allegedly a “very popular” candidate.

    Or so they claim.


  158. Well…they did want Lynch to direct RotJ. So I don’t think Aronofsky is out of the question. And given his fixation of self-destructive obsession and the search for meaning in the universe, I could see him handling a fallen Empire storyline quite well.

  159. Clubside: Nice to hear a Farscape shout-out. As ridiculous as that show could be sometimes, it had a heart of gold and might’ve been the most fun sci-fi TV since the original Trek.

    Say, it’s kind of weird, isn’t it? Seems like there hasn’t been much in the way of space opera on TV these last few years.

  160. Oh god, RRA. Give me an Alfonso Cuaron installment and you will never hear me complain about anything STAR WARS ever again, not even their horrible MMORPG from a decade ago…

  161. Spielberg directing a SW movie seems pretty far-fetched and maybe a bit beneath him. Plus I’ve heard the last Indiana Jones movie may have caused a bit of a professional rift between the two.

  162. Personally I don’t believe that directors list, its like the sort of BS list you would read for any new project or dream director picks the Internet would usually suggest. Hell the list just needs Nolan, Abrams, Jackson, and Del Toro to make this perfect.

    I think this is the sort of movie that has sailed for Spielberg.

    BTW, anybody read that report the other day about Del Toro’s rumored movie teaming up the DC/Vertigo magical beings? Man I would like to see that.

    M. Casey – The only current program I would consider to be space operaish is maybe DOCTOR WHO, and that’s more STAR TREK than STAR WARS. But every other sci-fi program these days are paranoia porn.

  163. What would happen to the geek community if STAR WARS was handed over to Brannon/Braga? How about Kurtzman/Orci?

  164. Jareth – mass suicide that would make Jonestown look like Sesame Street.

  165. Mass suicide? No way, Jose. Bullshit of that magnitude would be DEALT with, swiftly and unmercifully:

  166. Mr Subtlety

    I agree, Lucas isn’t about the merchandising, it just happened to be insanely popular. What he loves is the goofy stuff, the car chases, and amazing imagery that’s treated as if it’s the stuff that happens every day for these characters. I do thing he’s the greatest film ‘general’ ever, one that assembles an army of dedicated and talented folk and he stamps all of it with his choices and tastes. I have high hopes for the future, I really do, because I grew up with this and it was a huge, fun, maybe even meaningful part of my life (to prove it, http://3do.jediknight.net/dcm/archive.htm).

    Also, more Lego SW video games cannot be a bad thing.

  167. I feel like I’m living in opposite day, how can so many of you guys defend the prequels? are you really so desperate to escape cookie cutter movie that you’re willing to forgive the prequels for at least not being generic?

    you say they’re unique, sure, but you know what else is a 100% unique movie the likes of which will never happen and could have only been made by one man? Tommy Wiseau’s THE ROOM, are you mother fuckers gonna say that’s a good movie?

    and I have another question for you guys, if the prequels resonate with kids more because they’re more forgiving or whatever, how come it didn’t work on me? I saw The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones when I was a kid and yet I still saw them for what they were, crappy and I was a pretty smart kid with good taste in movies as far as kids go if I do say so myself

    but all that said, I just want to say that I am fucking excited for the next trilogy, the more I think about it the more excited I get

    oh, and lastly…

  168. Griff: I didn’t see the prequels so I can’t really comment on them except to say that I’m glad they exist if only because it gave Plinkett something to talk about. Why didn’t I see the prequels? Because I don’t like the original trilogy very much. Yad etisoppo yppah!

    RRA: Best. Similie. Ever.

  169. I saw THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, and I am sad to report that despite being jam packed with some cool ides, characters and bad ass moments the film is crippled by the unfortunate and surprisingly rhythmles post action handling of the fight scenes. None of the fight scenes are ever presented in a clear and cohesive manner, and are predominately presented in a series of jarring quick cuts highlighting various action beats all shot very tight. TMWTIF is a film I wanted to love, but struggled to enjoy.

  170. The Original... Paul

    November 3rd, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Boy, I’m putting myself badly here. Majestyk – we are so far from disagreeing that I think you put my point in a nutshell. The story is NOT a kid-friendly story – you’ve got the rise to power of a mass-murderer as the main plotline. Yet the presentation is nothing but kid-friendly – the CGI backdrops deliberately have every ounce of grittiness taken out so that even the sand looks over-shiny, and there are entire five-minute sequences devoted to Mario-style platforming. (If anybody thinks I’m exaggerating here, watch the lava surfing again. Or the factory scene from “Clones”.) Heck, even that’s probably giving the prequels too much credit. Good kids’ movies have characters you can care about. Watching the prequels for me was like watching somebody else play a videogame, with about as much emotional involvement.

    If they’d committed fully to the story that you describe, filmed it in such a way that anything in it had “weight”, I don’t think anybody would be complaining that the prequels were bad films. Instead they kept the dark story but filmed it like a toy commercial. So the most evil figure in the empire turns into a veiny albino Buffy vampire when he shows his “true face”, while the mass-murdering psycho teenager gets an emo makeup job and ends up striking dumbass poses while surfing on chunks of metal in lava…?! It’s like they were actively trying to take this epic story, and then film it in such a way that it was dumbed-down to the point where there’s barely an ounce of sense to be had from any of it. And they succeeded.

    It’s telling that the one scene I felt absolutely worked, from “Attack of the Clones”, is two men, fighting an intense light-saber battle, in near-darkness. It’s hardly subtle, but as a metaphor for two men consumed by violence and darkness, it’s perfect. It’s also refreshingly free of too-pretty CGI, stupid pomposities of dialogue (“Well-struck, my young Padawan!” indeed), and all the other stuff I’d complained about. If Disney can pull off a film that can keep up the kind of impact that one scene had, but make it endure through most of the movie, they’ll have a good film on their hands.

  171. The Original... Paul

    November 3rd, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Also, sorry to harp on about this point Vern. I responded to Majestyk’s post before I’d read yours. I’m gonna shut up now anyway, if I haven’t made myself clear by now then it’s not, as you put it, worth it. I don’t think we (you and I / Majesty and I) are actually disagreeing that much anyway, although obviously I don’t share any of the fondness you have of the prequels.

  172. Well, as Franchise Fred I suppose I should be thrilled that the biggest franchise ever will continue. I think it’s monumental news for the industry, but I actually don’t care what the next Luke skywalker story is. There are many other obscure franchises I’d be much more excited about, as I still am about FURIOUS SIX and beyond.

    For consistency’s sake, I still believe every franchise should continue indefinitely like James Bond, so it applies to STAR WARS. I’ll just be the contrarian who’s like oh we’ll, whatever. But I’ll see them of course. I’m Franchise Fred!

  173. My basic premise is this: It’s weird for you guys to be claiming Auteur Theory on Star Wars of all things. The notion that this is some individualist’s project getting sold to a faceless corporation rubs me the wrong way when Star Wars is, as the post above mine reads, the “biggest franchise ever”.

    I’m fond of comparing George Lucas with Mel Gibson. They seem to be unique instances in Hollywood in that they’re essentially indie filmmakers who get to make megabudget films. However, Mel Gibson’s films ooze with his [psychotic] personality and are vastly more interesting for it. Once Lucas got to the point where he was answering to no-one, well, let’s just say I have nothing positive to say about the prequels. I certainly couldn’t name you three films more lacking in anything resembling a strong artistic voice.

    (Or I mean, let’s say we like things about the prequels for a second… would you really say they are as artistically cohesive as Brad Bird’s Disney films?)

    A couple other things that have been bugging me:

    -Let’s suppose for a second that ALL directors do is work with actors, as has been claimed w/r/t Star Wars V. It still just proves that Spielberg is NOT necessarily the essential contributor in the Star Wars universe, because the acting fucking MATTERS a lot, and is PRECISELY the reason EMPIRE kicks the shit out of the five other ones (give or take a Jones voice over or an Alec Guiness). I would unhesitantly pinpoint the Leia/Solo dynamic in that movie as the best thing in any of those films.

    -Any child attempting to get an
    “A” in creative writing can take a simple, archetypal story and make it complicated, or incomprehensible. Having complicated stuff is not evidence of interesting or effective storytelling, nor is it mutually exclusive with having developed a childish sense of humor or wanting to appeal to same.

  174. The Original... Paul

    November 4th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Renfield – I agree with you about “Empire” but for a different reason. Comparing all three prequels’ main storyline to “Empire” itself for a moment, it can be argued that both stories end with the “villains” in a state of near-triumph, their enemies all scattered, dead or jailed, their opposition routed. Yet look at how differently “Empire” treats its story to the way the prequels do it. Doesn’t it strike anybody that in “Empire”, EVERYTHING I said was “dumbed-down” about the prequels is completely reversed?

    I mean, “Empire” starts off simple. You’ve got the evil empire, its horrifying leader and his mouth-breathing general, the plucky band of heroes opposing them, the wise sensei who has to train the young apprentice to fight the Sith, etc. But see how quickly all of this is turned on its head. Empire ends up with two gigantic betrayals – Han is betrayed by his friend Lando, while Luke learns that basically everybody in his life has been keeping a massive life-changing truth from him – and the mother of all “who’s your Daddy” moments. When you think about it, it’s impressive that “Empire” did all of this and still managed to maintain an ending that is fairly upbeat and optimistic.

    Luke isn’t a hugely complex character, but the reason he works as a protagonist across three movies is that each finds a different “place” for him. The first movie teaches him that he has a greater place and purpose in the world he lives in. The second movie teaches him that that world is a far more complex place than he appreciates, and in the third movie he learns what kind of a person he has to be to fit into that world. He must face dilemmas that are common to children, then young adolescents, then prospective adults, in each film respectively. We, the audience, literally see him grow into manhood.

  175. Renfield – I would say that it’s weird that you’re claiming there’s NOT an auteur voice in the Star Wars movies. Are you telling me that there is someone who else who could or would make movies ANYTHING like the prequels? No, not at all. They are Lucas in visual style, in technology, in design, in politics, in pacing, in detail, in world, in character, and yes, in corny dialogue and stilted acting. For better or worse, OF COURSE they come from the mind of Lucas, with many, many talented collaborators. All of those things you hate about the prequels, you will not see them in other people’s movies, so rest assured. They are unique.

    And what is there to debate here, anyway? It’s a fact that Lucas created Star Wars and through amazing business foresight maintained ownership of it for all these years. Now he sold it, that’s kinda sad to some of us. That’s all.

  176. I’m just not seeing anything across the six Star Wars movies that I could identify as “visual style” or “pacing” or anything like that. I don’t think he really possesses discernible characteristics as a filmmaker.

    I mean you hear people saying that something is “Python-esque” or “Lynchian” or whatnot because those guys had identifiable properties, their body of work has characteristics. I’ve never heard the term “Lucasian” applied to anything and I can frankly see why.

    I don’t really associate Star Wars with being a Lucas pet project, in large part because the films make up %.001 of the material that constitutes Star Wars at this point. So if you’re saying it’s sad that Lucas was tolerant of Fan Art and the Expanded Universe and it’s probable that Disney won’t be so tolerant, I can see where you’re coming from. But if it’s about one billionaire selling his billion-dollar property to another billionaire and this has like some sort of sentimental aspect for you I just don’t get it!

  177. One last thing. As far all that “filler” that constitutes the Expanded Universe, some of it’s really good. I think any sane human being would appreciate Zahn’s contribution as being superior to the Lucas prequels…

  178. Even though he’s shit on the character many times in recent years, Harrison Ford is apparently up for Episode 7.

    (I bet he demands a death scene finally.)


  179. I got a prediction: I think they’ll give part 7 to Edgar Wright. I haven’t seen any rumors about this or anything, and I’m not saying he would be the best (or worst) choice. But he’s got a Kathleen Kennedy connection from writing TINTIN, he’s got a Disney connection from working with Marvel on ANT-MAN, and let’s face it, Disney will not give a shit if ANT-MAN has to be postponed or ditched in favor of STAR WARS. Lucas talked about giving it to “the next generation of filmmakers,” Kennedy talked about somebody with enthusiasm for Star Wars, so he fits those.

    I still don’t know who I would want. I don’t really like the idea of seeing somebody else’s version of Star Wars. I hate the common internet idea that Joe Johnston should do it just because he worked on the original movies. You really want STAR WARS 7 from the director of JURASSIC PARK III? I don’t.

    Best I could come up with is Soderbergh. He wants to retire because he’s bored of movies and doesn’t know how to do it in a new way. This would challenge him, in my opinion.

    Alot of people have been saying Brad Bird, that’s probly the best one I’ve heard, but he’s doing this “1952” movie for Disney and I don’t think that’s a code name so I don’t think he’ll be available.

  180. I don’t know, man. I’m sure Edgar Wright would love to do a Star Wars movie and despite SCOTT PILGRIM’s status as notorious box office bomb, he is still a hot property in Hollywood, but he is preparing ANT-MAN for years and now it even has an official start date (admittedly after AVENGERS 2, which might make it easier to postpone). He would be definitely up for episode 8 or 9.

    They will probably go the MARVEL route and hand it to either a prolific TV guy or indie director, who none of us had expected. They mentioned the guy who made SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED a few days ago, and that seems very likely to me.

  181. but nobody fucking saw SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (way to ripoff YTMND asshole*), why in the actual fuck would THAT guy be a good pick for Star Wars?

    personally, I think Edgar Wright is a GREAT idea

    yeesh, I sure don’t

    *the asshole comment is aimed at the guy that made the movie

  182. well I fucked that quote up

    “You really want STAR WARS 7 from the director of JURASSIC PARK III? I don’t.”

    yeesh, I sure don’t

  183. Griff, because he is cheap and made a movie that apparently got some critical acclaim (as far as I remember.). I can imagine that they still try to get someone more experienced, but the recent blockbuster landscape is full of TV, indie and arthouse directors these days.

    Also what’s YTMND? (Young Turtle Mutants Never Die? Your Tits Make Noises, Dude?)

  184. behold, the one that started it all http://yourethemannowdog.ytmnd.com/

    the site today http://ytmnd.com/

    and the site the guy got the title and plot from http://timetraveler.ytmnd.com/

    it was a comedy site that used to be huge from about 2004 to 2007, nowadays it’s all but forgotten, but I was a big fan of it back in the day, there’s some hilarious there if you’re willing to look

  185. I’m scared that AsimovLives might have exploded into a million tiny pieces a few minutes ago.

  186. Where is asimovlives, by the way? Kinda miss him

  187. I talked to him (in a surprisingly calm and reasonable way that didn’t involve Abrams or his Trek movie) in an AICN talkback just 1 or 2 weeks ago.

  188. I actually think Abrams is a decent DIRECTOR. His action sequences aren’t bad, he keeps things moving along, I don’t think I’ve actually been bored during his movies. The beginning of Star Trek is powerful stuff, and the Vatican heist/kidnapping in MI:III is a great sequence – if he can keep that up for a whole movie, it’ll be a classic.

    But he just works from some incredibly brain-dead scripts that seem to value flash over substance and trailer money shots over logic and story. And yes, they’re so bad that he has to take some of the blame for not putting his foot down and letting this shit slide. As long as Episode 7 has a decent script (and Lindelof isn’t brought on for a rewrite) I think we’re in capable hands.

  189. Oh man, not Abrams. I’m not as fired up about him as asimov (is anyone?) but I still don’t get what everybody sees in the guy.

  190. Hmmm. I think I like it. Not the top of my list, but he has an upbeat tone and is big on the type of storytelling gimmicks that I like and that would work for Star Wars. The acting is good in his movies, he must be good with actors. I think I’ve enjoyed all his movies as a director. And I figure Lucasfilm has already developed most of the aliens and shit so we should get something better than the Rock Jar Jar that was Simon Pegg’s sidekick in STAR TREK.

    My one concern is that STAR TREK has all the shaky action in it. M:I:3 also but those worked better. Say what you will about Lucas’s prequels (actually, please don’t say what you will, the internet has already provided enough for 250 liftimes, and that’s just the stuff I’ve skimmed) but they’re full of great, propulsive action sequences: the podraces, the Maul vs. Kenobi and Jinn light saber trio, the chase through Coruscant, various clone battles, Kenobi vs. Skywalker vs. lava, and especially the epic space battle at the beginning of episode 3, a movie I still love, so fuck all y’all. I think Abrams needs to match that but he won’t be able to unless he accepts help from the storyboard artists and tripod experts.

  191. I think JJ is a good choice. I always felt either he or John Favreau would get the gig. I would have preferred Fav, but JJ will do a good Job. However, I don’t think SW is a director’s franchise like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE where the director gets to put his own spin on the material and the next SW films will be sequels not a reboot like JJ’s Trek film, so JJ (or whoever got the gig) will be forced to work within an already established atheistic and style of visual story telling.

  192. I don´t want a calm asimov. I want him to be passionate,not lobotomized

  193. Oh man, can you imagine how many lens flares there’s going to be during one of those epic space battles? CRAZY lens flares. Honestly I don’t think Abrams will do a bad job, especially since the Disney execs will have him on one of those toddler leashes. I think he’s a competent director, like a Joe Johnston or somebody.

  194. Man, I’m sort of surprised how OK you guys are with this. To me, Abrams is the epitome of lightweight, disposable pap that is workmanlike but almost instantly forgettable. There’s not a moment in his filmography that feels like the work of someone with a passion for telling stories or making movies. I’m sorry, but this is the slightly hipper equal of hiring Brett Ratner. “OK Mr. Director, we need a straightforward normal movie that won’t rock the boat and will come in under budget and on time.” The prefect way to come out with a STAR WARS film which is underimagined and completely neutered, but will make a bag full of money for a few weeks until people move on to the next thing and forget about it.

    And now, to add insult to injury, I find out they were thinking of hiring Ben Affleck. Now THAT would have been a Star Wars film with some balls.

  195. After JOHN CARTER NOT FROM MARS, MARS IS FOR NERDS I doubt Disney has any interest in letting a passionate director go hogwild on their brand new multi-billion dollar acquisition. They want a guy who will make a safe, predictable movie that will give nerds backrubs and whisper in their ears that they were right to be bitter about the time mean old George kicked over their sandcastles.

  196. I again totally agree with Mr. Subtlety. I often go months totally forgetting that that okay STAR TREK reboot movie exists. Was CHOPPER in that movie somewhere?

    If it weren’t for Elle Fanning’s strikingly excellent performance, the existence of SUPER 8 would never register in my mind again. Wasn’t there a monster or something at the end?

    MI:3 had some cool parts, no big flaws in my opinion, but was kinda weightless & forgettable.

    Twas a foolish dream, that a daring directational choice would be made by Disney’s execs. But whatever, I like me some space shit, and I’ll settle for kewl 3D lightsabre action rather than hope for an audacious, memorable film.

    I’m also assuming/hoping that MAN OF STEEL will be great, so I’m hereby starting the nerd campaign for Zack Snyder to direct STAR WARS, oh let’s say, #IX.

    If people hate MAN OF STEEL, then I’m hereby starting the anti-nerd campaign for Zack Snyder to direct STAR WARS IX.

  197. I’ve gone through the denial, anger, bargaining, etc. stages of grief and come to acceptance. Whether I like it or not, STAR WARS will live on long after its creator is dead, like mankind post-existentialism. So if it absolutely must be, then fine, Abrams, whatever. Could be worse. If he can lay off the gimmicky plotting, he’ll probably deliver a perfectly respectable middle-of-the-road pilot episode for the rebooted franchise. I like his STAR TREK picture for the colorfully dumb fun it is, which is a good sign, because STAR WARS should have it share of colorful dumb fun, too. And who knows, maybe the series will go the HARRY POTTER route and get assigned to more interesting personnel as it goes along. Imagine a del Toro episode, what he could do with all those aliens. I’m trying to stay positive.

    I don’t really know how I feel about the two archnemesis franchises having the same flavor, though. Seems wrong. Like the guy from GARFIELD drawing HEATHCLIFF.

  198. I still can’t believe how people are apparently more outraged over Abrams in the director’s chair than Zack Snyder, when he was rumored a few weeks ago. I’m glad that we dodged that bullet.

  199. I am a huge nerd deeply embedded in the nerd community, and I’ve never come across this supposed STAR WARS vs STAR TREK rivalry. If anything the discussion is dominated by subculture civil war (Kirk vs Picard, whether the prequels were the worst thing to ever happen to mankind or simply terrible). And also sci-fi nerds who bristle when you call STAR WARS “science fiction”.

    But yeah, I don’t like that So-So Abrams (you can have that one on me, asimov) has the keys to both franchises. I’m predicting an AMAZING SPIDER-MAN type film, one that just limps over the bar of quality enough for most people to give it a pass and forget that it seems more like an accounting exercise than a movie.

  200. Don’t look at me, I’m not the guy who wanted to let somebody besides George Lucas ever do a Star Wars movie. That was everybody else.

    I think Abrams is a better and more imaginative director than you guys give him credit for. I was probly a little more on board (to my surprise) when a headline made me think Zack Snyder was doing it. I think Snyder is filmatistically more talented but dumber than Abrams. Both are probly better than Irvin Kershner or Richard Marquand. Although they wouldn’t have Lucas calling the shots, just his treatment.

    The most exciting rumor was when it was claimed that Fincher was interested. Usually nerds want Fincher to do Green Lantern or Harry Potter or whatever and I think “well, he probly isn’t interested,” but the rumor here was “he’s interested.” If that was true I would say FUCKING GIVE IT TO HIM. But I knew that was too good to be true.

    If somebody has to do it Abrams is better than most, that’s my perspective. I would’ve been open to Affleck too, though.

  201. Hmm, Abrams has dealt with some cool ideas in his works, and he’s flashed signs of cleverness that make his solid but altogether forgettable stuff better than a lot of filmatists’ (and I heard rumors he helmed a pretty good tv show or 2 back in the day), but Snyder has actually attempted to achieve transcendence, to hit a few home runs with his ideas & visions.

    Snyder’s oeuvre is infinitely more interesting & daring (and way more successful for my tastes) than Abrams’s, but yeah JJ knows a little better how to grasp the buzz of the moment and play ball with the big money ballers who control the schedules & budgets & Cumberbatches of PG-13 summer blockbusters.

    I feel compelled to remind Vern that I, too, am in the small club of likers of all the STAR WARSes and that I, too, would prefer Lucas exclusively kept doing whatever he wanted with SW for forever. I always liked how he digitally “enhanced” the old movies.

    In conclusion, I want to see Zack Snyder do something with that green chick in STAR TREK, have her fight Vanessa Hudgens for some reason. Er, I hope Abrams makes Elle Fanning discover some junior jedi youngling corpses so she can cry on cue, er, wait, were we talking about the other STAR [SOMETHING]?

    Whatever, can’t wait to read some FELICITY references here in summer 2015.

  202. Abrams is a fine choice. Safe, yes. But fine. He’s good with actors, good with character (the most memorable bit of SUPER 8 was the acting, which tells you something). Coming to STAR WARS, he’s got three (okay, six) films with a specific look and tone, which should see him pulling back on the ol’ lens flare/dutch angles and shaky-action.

    Oh, and correct me if I’m wrong, but is this deal for all three new STAR WARS movies or just the first one? Could we yet see episodes 8 and 9 from David Fincher and Brad Bird?

  203. I’m surprised by the bunching of panties in this discussion.

    But until asimov shows up, let’s throw some ideas around:

    Shit Wars?
    Star Bores?

    Guess I’m not cut out for the pun game.

  204. If we look at the internet comments back in ’79, when Kershner was announced as the director of EMPIRE, we’ll see that the choice was heavily criticized, both from SW fans and fans of THE RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE. But he did an excellent job.

  205. pegsman: there’s an excellent transcript (out on the internet, somewhere) from behind-the-scenes of the carbon-freezing scene which shows how good a director Kershner was at working with actors and in-camera effects, not to mention (most importantly) how fast he was at thinking on his feet when problems kept arising.

    I’d like to think that Abrams has a similar way of working; I remember reading how he wanted to rewrite dialogue on-set of STAR TREK, but couldn’t, on account of the writer’s strike.

    That still turned out pretty good, in my opinion,

  206. Jam: According to Drew McWeeny, one director who was in talks, booted himself out of the race, by pushing for the director’s chair of all three new movies, so I guess they hire a new guy for every movie. (Which, if you think about it, might be the reason why Abrams signed up in the first place.)

    And once the beginning of the new trilogy is established, I can see them going for less safe names too.

  207. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS looks kinda cool, doesn’t it?

  208. Actually if Abrams hadn’t assured in an interview a few weeks ago, that INTO DARKNESS will still be fun, I would skip the theatrical release window. Just because I’m sick and bored of terrorism and 9/11 as plot device in SciFi and fantasy movies.

  209. actually, I kinda like that they have a 9/11 metaphor in INTO DARKNESS, it’s about time those Utopian jackasses in the Star Trek future got a taste of what life was like for the rest of us

  210. I tried to think of an example of what Vern described as Abrams being “imaginative” but all I came up with was those big inflatable hands that they made Kirk wear at one point in STAR TREK: ASIMOV’S DELIGHT. But there must be other examples that aren’t coming to mind.

  211. Griff, you mean like in at least 5 seasons of DS9?

  212. Okay Jareth, maybe he’s more “clever” than “imaginative,” but I think that’s worth something, especially for this job. Several examples come to mind from M:I:PART 3: the big building infiltration that we only see from across the street, the “Rabbit’s Foot” mcmuffin that is never explained, P.S. Hoffman’s great villainy accomplished in a very small amount of screen time. Also, from SUPER 8: the kids using real life mayhem as background for their home movie, Elle Fanning’s acting-within-acting, the dead-on fake-bad-acting in the finished movie-within-the-movie. From STAR TREK: the entire conceit of time traveling back so they can have the same characters but with a new timeline, without which the Star Trek movies would be dead. He excels at stuff like that.

  213. Am I the only one seriously concerned by how asimov hasn’t gone on a maniacal rampage yet? No, really, it’s when guys like him get all quiet and calm that I truly start to worry. Think he’s planning something.

    Also, am I the only one who’s disappointed that Michael Haneke didn’t get the job?

  214. I dunno, Abrams has his strengths, for sure. I mean, all his movies are watchable, some of them have pretty good performances in them, which would be nice for a change in the STAR WARS universe. But I think he often confuses convoluted gimmicks for cleverness. Yes, STAR TREK has a unique time-travel reboot structure, but does anything really memorable come of it? It just ends up being a whole lot of exposition so they can muscle in a cameo. But really, my problem isn’t that they got a director who doesn’t have a lot of unique vision; I’m OK with that. As Vern correctly points out, Kersh and Marquand were stalwart workaday guys, too. Lucas will provide the vision, that’s what he’s best at. I’m more worried that Abrams actually sort of has a recognizable style, and he also has way more clout than Kersh or Marquand did. He probably has the sway to actually make a STAR WARS film the way he wants it, but in my opinion the things he seems to like (cluttered, gimmicky plots, slick, sterile production design, lens flares, show-offy camerawork and editing, tributes to other movies, Kurtzman/Orci) are all things I don’t really want in my STAR WARS movie. If they were just going to hire a guy to get the job done on budget, I’d rather they got someone who would just to what Kersh did: work with the actors, make the practical stuff happen and stay out of the way of the vision.

    Eh, but what do I know. I liked the Prequels, after all.

  215. Why would we be worried about asimovlives? He finally got what he wanted, what he predicted, uniting his beloved “Jar Jar” Abrams with the source material of the actual Jar Jar.

    He must be really busy gloating & celebrating somewhere in my opinion.

  216. I don’t really give a shit about the news, because I’m pretty much over STAR WARS at this point in my life, but it does strike me as an especially uninspired choice of director. I mean, the dude already pretty much turned STAR TREK into a goofy, STAR WARS-esque space opera.

    Anyways, I’m also hoping that Asimov shows up to opine on his feelings on Jar Jar Abrams’ FRAUD WARS and FRAUD TREK INTO SHIT

  217. Dan: Twist: Abrams turns STAR WARS into a cerebral, utopian hard sci-fi real-world metaphor.

  218. Okay, now THAT I would go see.

  219. Griff-“actually, I kinda like that they have a 9/11 metaphor in INTO DARKNESS, it’s about time those Utopian jackasses in the Star Trek future got a taste of what life was like for the rest of us”
    Well they already had a 9/11 type thing in Enterprise when aliens launched a big massive laser cannon attack on the earth at the end of one season, setting up the 3rd one with them going investigating.
    But yeah, conflict in Star Trek is a good thing. Gene Roddenberry was apparently so set on the Federation not being at all a flawed society and for everyone in it to get along that I have to wonder how he ever expected any real conflict to drive the story between the regulars. That’s why Deep Space Nine was such an interesting Trek series. You had Avery Brooks as the most badass Captain of the lot, overseeing a spacestation where he had to keep the peace between one recently liberated race and their former oppressors, then later, was heavily involved in a war that forced him to manipulate matters so another race would join them as allies, which is against all the principles of Starfleet.
    Then there’s this interesting view of the Federation:

  220. I have not actually seen many episodes of any Star Trek tv show, fyi

  221. They put out a press release officially announcing Abrams as the director. Everybody is grousing about why they would release it on a Friday night. BECAUSE THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHO READS IT. They’re making a new Star Wars movie. Why fuck around?

    Funniest paragraph of the press release:

    “Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

  222. So basically Kinberg is there to get coffee and cigs for Kasdan?

  223. AsimovLives seems to be fine with this announcement. Here’s what he said over at the Ain’t It Cool:

    “i’m loving ths choice because i hated JarJar’s take on Star Trek. That he might abandon ST for Sw couldn’t had been better and appier news for the future of Star Trek. Finally ST have a chance to be ST instead of that lam copy of SW that Abram made. So, i’m mor ethn happy with Abrams choice as director for the new SW movie.
    And if Abrams fucks up…. whatever!”

  224. That makes sense. I don’t recall As ever displaying any particular fondness for STAR WARS. And why should he? Adventure? Excitement? A hard sci-fi fan craves not these things.

    But he’s insane if he thinks Paramount is going to abandon the new TREK direction just because Abrams jumped ship. He set the tone that the studio will insist on following no matter who they hire next, because it was extremely successful. Does he really think they’re going to go back to the stodgy old TREK that never made a dollar outside of its ever-shrinking target audience when there’s all that shiny four-quadrant lucre to be made? The days of syndicated TV shows and mid-budget franchise entries concerning ethical dilemmas and alien politics are done. TREK is like a chick who lost a bunch of weight and got her braces off over summer vacation: She’s not gonna go back to hanging out in the basement with her pimply old nerd friends now that the cool kids think she’s hot.

  225. Well Paramounts VC said Abrams will still be involved in future Trek movies, possibly even still as a director.

  226. Then this development is disarming for some Trekkies and troubling for everyone who cares about movies for those same reasons. That chubby chick with the braces was interesting, so full of potential for so many reasons, and now she’s lost her character, homogenized herself into a more acceptable social stratum.

    But we can deal with that, even as it makes us sad. (I like most of the old ST movies; they were always original & weird & thoughtful, as nerdy as they were cool, and never disposable, never devolving to simple “stuff happens and then Hero has to save the world etc.” templates like most of their bigger budget ‘splodorama counterparts.)

    Meanwhile, to mix metaphors and to deepen the sadness of this Abrams announcement & the acknowledgement that STARs TREK & WARS are closer to being just another coupla Big Dumb Franchises now, this is a bit like ordering a Whopper and getting a burger with Big Mac sauce on it. Interchangeable corporate foodstuffs.
    Overlapping mega-franchises.
    I’m against it. I won’t yet scream about the death of creativity or lowest common denominator shit, but I am guarding against that possibility, so I won’t celebrate this move. Fuck the cool, rich kids. I miss the girl with braces.

  227. I like the new TREK. It’s shiny and funny and I think they got the characters mostly right, which was really the most important thing about the old TREK for me anyway. Klingons and the First Directive and the various bric-a-brac of 24th century technology are all fun and all, but mostly I just enjoyed seeing how Kirk, Spock, and McCoy (the Id, Ego, and Super-ego of the collective nerd psyche) would debate through their way through any given dilemma using their differing but complementary points of view. That’s an aspect I would like to see explored more in the new reboot, especially since Bones is far and away my favorite TREK character, in both of his iterations. I like the old movies, too, but with the cast dying off and none of the junior varsity squads showing enough raw talent to move up to the majors, I’m okay with the characters I like being passed on to a handsome new generation. I think the reboot is a little silly and superficial now, but it has real potential. The girl with braces might be gone, but the shallow hot girl who replaced her still has time to develop some depth of her own now that’s she out there in the world, experiencing new things.

  228. I don’t think it makes the two franchises too similar. For all the action adventure trappings both have now, ones still a Science Fiction series about where Humanity is going to end up, while the other is a Science FANTASY Series taking place in a completely made up setting that’s about good guys vs. bad guys and a mystical energy that drives two sets of those people.

  229. Brakus would hire a different director for the different STAR THINGSes.

  230. I don’t get this at all. I thought STAR TREK was for the nerds and STAR WARS for the hip people who live by the first three and and hate the three last ones. Now there are people who love both franchises?!!

  231. Yeah, I can’t imagine why a nerd would like STAR WARS…

  232. You guys they finally revealed the full cast for the new STAR WARS and I can’t stop talking about how Abrams can make a fin movie from time to time but he’s really just a copycat with no ideas of his own and a pretty terrible storyteller in most ways and how it’s super depressing that nobody cares and is just glad that Lucas retired.

    I’m turning into AsimovLives! Somebody talk me down from the ledge!

  233. I mean, I still like some of Abrams’ work but I think SUPER 8 (which starts well and ends awfully) and the last TREK movie (which is just some colorful bullshit that makes me laugh) and to a lesser extent his production M:I4 (I know you guys like it but seriously this is the plot we’re going with here? There’s an old guy with a missile and a cartoon sheik has the launch codes or whatever and Ethan Hunt ruined everybody’s lives but they all love him anyway?) revealed that he really has no fucking idea what he’s doing. He couldn’t tell a believable story about a guy going to the store to buy a pot roast without a twist where the pot roast was behind it the whole time but don’t worry about it, we got take-backsies on that whole thing, it’s cool dude, enjoy your pot roast dinner it’s delicious see you next time when you can forget everything you thought you knew about pot roast based on what I have already told you about pot roast it’s gritty you’ll like it.


  234. I like that Moses from ATTACK THE BLOCK is in the new Star Wars. I was scared for a few years that he would fall off the radar. Might still happen, but now he can at least sign autographs at conventions. Plus: Max von Sydow!

  235. The Original Paul

    April 29th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    CJ – if you want Moses to be a breakout star, the absolute last thing you want to see him in is a “Star Wars” movie. Seen anything of Ray Park, Jake Lloyd or Mark Hamill recently? (Ok, Joker-related stuff excepted.)

    Established actors can do Star Wars and come out of it just fine – look at Liam Neeson or Sam L Jackson, for example. (Not sure how “established” Harrison Ford was at the time, mind you. He might be an exception, I’d have to check the timeline.) That possible exception aside, new people have a much harder time of it. Seems like the best you can hope for after Star Wars is to get a role like Hayden Christiansen got in “Shattered Glass”, which was really good.

  236. Well, Ray Park is pretty busy and Jake Lloyd quit acting on his own. But yeah, I know what you mean. Still, at least it will make his face and name more well known than it is now.

  237. I had convinced myself that I genuinely was not excited about this, that Abrams is just too much of a depressingly corporate hack to make a STAR WARS film I could possibly enjoy. And when they said the new one was going to focus on all the old characters who already had complete and perfect character arcs which had been perfectly resolved, I was even more sure. I had accepted this, I had moved on with my life.

    And now they tell me they cast Max Von Sydow, Oscaar Isaacs and Moses from ATTACK THE BLOCK.

    God. Damn. it. Now I’m curious again.


  238. Why do people care about Von Sydow? People keep acting like now they’re excited because he’s in it. Nothing against the guy, he’s a great actor and all, but isn’t that exactly the kind of inside-the-box casting you’d expect for something like this? Gee, I wonder if he’ll be a mentor character you find out is evil in the third act. Maybe for the next one, they’ll cast Hugo Weaving as a villain and Morgan Freeman as the guy who delivers exposition in soothing, avuncular tones.


  240. Yes, yes… let the hate flow through you…

    I feel like you’re being pretty negative, Majestyk. If people are talking about Von Sydow it’s only because he is one of the few cast members that wasn’t already known in advance. Plus he’s a great actor! Does every casting choice have to be a mind-blowing game-changer? You’ve already got Oscar Isaacs, John Boyega and Adam Driver in there. Sure, STAR WARS is an unstoppable pop culture juggernaut that will probably destroy their careers and lives, but I’m happy for them.

  241. I don’t mind that he’s in it at all. I just don’t get what people are so excited about. If it had been Anthony Hopkins or Christopher Plummer or Jeremy Irons, I’d have felt the same way: “Yeah, I figured somebody like him would be in it.” It’s not a pro or a con. It’s just neutral.

    It’s cool that Oscar Isaacs is in it, I guess. He’s always good. I’ve never heard of those other guys. And the original cast coming back is not really a selling point. Those characters had their time. They told their story. This is just pandering. And putting Harrison Ford in anything nowadays is basically a red flag. The guy’s absolutely no fun to watch anymore. He doesn’t have even a smidgeon of the spark required to animate Han Solo. Speaking of which, you know Abrams is gonna kill him off, because that’s the kind of thing Abrams thinks is super edgy. So we’re gonna get a goodbye to one of the coolest characters of all time that consists of an overpaid old pothead who doesn’t want to be there getting ignominiously killed for cheap drama. Awesome. That was totally worth $4 billion.

    So yeah, I’m being negative. I see no reason not to be. I never wanted any of this. I’d just really rather this whole post-Lucas era not exist at all, is my basic point. People just seem to get this selective amnesia where they forget that nobody ever actually likes it when franchises get extended well beyond their natural sell-by date. Yet they keep coming back for more. I don’t get it. It’s like they enjoy being disappointed.

    I wish I could say I’m just not gonna see it. But I’m not that strong. So I’m just gonna bitch about it until my expectations are so low that I’ll be pleasantly surprised no matter how stupid it is.

  242. Mr. Majestyk – dude, Ming the Merciless is now in STAR WARS. What exactly is wrong with that? I mean consider alot of the old-but-still-badass-great-actors that franchise has used. Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and now Sydow.

    As for your complaints about Abrams…I’ve said this before but the guy has good action filmmaking/humor chops, also good with his casts, but yeah he just lacks that imagination (if you will) to actually be on the next level of a Nolan or Fincher or whoever. Doesn’t mean his films are bad, it just means he’s the modern Peter Hyams: Talented if openly derivative, but leaves no unique memorable style what so ever. OK that comparison might be too mean since Abrams has made more good movies than Hyams ever did, but that comparison sticks with me for some reason.

    I think Episode 7 will be good, but I did like that Devin Faraci tweet:

    *Han takes blaster fire to the chest*
    Dying Han Solo: I love you.
    Princess Leia: I know.
    JJ Abrams: I’m so good at this!

  243. The 21st James Bond movie was the best one, so there’s a precedent for franchises langouring in mediocrity before suddenly becoming awesome again.

    Also, Adam Driver is a really interesting actor, Brendan Gleeson’s kid seemed pretty charismatic in that movie About Time, and they got Andy Serkis in there to do something, plus the guys everyone else said, so the new cast has a lot of potential.

  244. I remain cautiously optimistic about the new STAR WARS, I hope it’s good but if it disappoints I’m not gonna get too upset about it because while I like STAR WARS a lot, I don’t have any strong personal connection to it as someone who was there was it debuted in ’77 might, all that matters is the original trilogy, which we’ll always have no matter what

    but there is one thing I want to say, why is RETURN OF THE JEDI so underrated? it just might be my personal favorite of the original trilogy yet it seems to be considered the worst by fans

    I’ll tell you why it’s my favorite, because it’s the most 80’s of the original trilogy (and I mean that in a good way), it reminds me of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK with it’s excellent set design and special effects, it’s just of that era of the early 80’s when blockbuster film-making was at a very high point

    and also, what’s the big deal about the Ewoks? yeah, they’re cute, but they don’t talk, which makes them 1000 times less annoying than Jar Jar, so why do fans consider them as bad?

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