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January 17, 2012

George Lucas: I'm Done Making Star Wars Movies Because All You Ingrates Do Is Yell At Me

I guess I can understand how he feels. I hate criticism too! You may have noticed. I do not exactly deal with it in a dispassionate, mature fashion.

That said, if he listened to the intense criticism of the first prequel, he might have resigned from duties as writer and director and taken the role he'd had the most success with -- producer, overseer, "story by" guy.

He did, if I remember this right, bring in bright guys to polish the dialogue in the later two films (I think British playwright great Tom Stoppard was mentioned as a ghost re-writer), but... someone giving your dialogue a polish probably isn't going to tell you: None of this works. You have a confused storyline altogether. You do not have any clear heroes or villains. You do not have a main character. There are zero stakes here. You cannot just write sequences, like Annikin and Padme on the conveyor belt robot-maker, just because it's been in all of your videogames and will make an easy transfer to the next one.

The whole thing was just misconceived from its earliest stages, and it was all downhill from there. When you've written dreck, even if you've spent a lot of hours on it (but seriously how long could these scripts have taken?), you kind of have to always be ready to just toss it all in the trash can if it's not working.

Because if it's not working, and no minor changes (dialogue polish) are fixing it, that means the problem is in the very basics of the thing, main idea, structure, main character.

Sometimes a re-write isn't enough. You need a re-think, and then a writing from zero.

Anyway, it's the audience's fault for not liking dreck.

On the Internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made a change are completely changing the movie,” Lucas tells the New York Times in a new profile, referring to YouTube fans who have re-cut his films in retaliation for the small changes he has made. “I’m saying: ‘Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.’”

Combine that experience with the cool reception the three “Star Wars” prequel films received in the late 90s and early 2000s, and Lucas says he’s done making new films in the canon.

“Why would I make any more,” Lucas says, “when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?

Lucas' loss is our gain, though. I have to tell you that I have enjoyed Harry Plinkett's critiques of these movies not even more than those movies themselves -- that goes without saying -- but more than most movies.

I've watched each of those gems like three times. I actually think it might be four.

I might watch them again next month. They're that good. They have replay value. Every time I watch them I find a new favorite part. My latest favorite is Plinkett's attack on the implausibility that the Emperor, who now looks like a Scary Monster Man and wears an Evil Black Cloak, telling the Senate that the Jedi, the guardians of justice and peace in the galaxy for 1000 years, are now the bad guys, and so he's had them all executed -- including the children -- on his own authority and with no evidence, but seriously, listen to Monster Man, would this face lie to you?

"Please, stop applauding."

I gotta say, if three awful movies were the cost of getting the Plinkett reviews of them, it's an exchange I'd make every time.

One of these days I have to copy those, before Lucas gets them yanked off the internet forever.

Speaking of all this, James Taranto composed a bye-ku for Huntsman:

Call me crazy, but
I think insulting voters
Will warm them to me

Kind of Lucas-like.



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posted by Ace at 05:37 PM

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