George Lucas Strikes Back

Alex Knapp

Alex Knapp writes about pretty much everything under the sun, including politics, art, religion, philosophy, sports, music, culture, and science.

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22 Responses

  1. Brett says:

    It’s his creation. He could always argue that he’s changing it to more accurately fit his view of how it should have been.Report

    • Pat Cahalan in reply to Brett says:

      That totally does not jibe with the first words out of his own mouth:

      “American works of art belong to the American public; they are part of our cultural history.”

      In other words, it may be his creation. Once he’s put it out there, it becomes ours. He doesn’t get to change it anymore, because he know longer owns it.

      (You can argue with the premise, of course. I’m just repeating what the guy hisself said).Report

      • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

        Well-observed, PatC. And we’re in a deconstructionist mash-up stage of culture anyway, if we haven’t always been.

        I’m always surprised when I learn where one of my favorite pieces of pop culture was copped from. Well, not surprised much anymore. But it is the nature of “culture.’ Some guy doesn’t come down from a mountain or out of the Brazilian forest with the next big thing in Art. It’s a continuum.

        Except for Yoko Ono, of course. Civilization just hasn’t caught up with her yet.

        [And hopefully never will.]Report

  2. Kim says:

    … anyone seen star whores?
    how about that christmas special?Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    The first two and a half movies felt like shameless rip-offs of Joseph Campbell’s theories.

    The next three (and the re-writing of the first three) felt like George Lucas telling us what our archetypes *SHOULD* be like.

    I’ve got no problem with the former. Oh, my goodness do I have a problem with the latter…Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      This is another one I just don’t get. The first film was fun, in a turn-your-brain-off kind of way. The rest were somewhere between superfluous and bloody awful. And, now that they’ve had a chance to age, they’re all cheesy as hell.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Dude, when they opened the door for dinner and Darth Vader was right there and Han started shooting and Darth just held up his hand and took the gun?

        That was sweet.Report

        • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jaybird says:

          I liked the fact that Artoo found creative uses for his fire extinguisher. Smokescreen!

          In the prequels, he can fly. First, that makes no sense… and second, it’s a lot less dramatic when your droid’s abilities are as fungible as the bat-utility-belt in the campy TV version of Batman.Report

  4. Kyle Cupp says:

    There were early signs of his impending fall from grace, but George Lucas gave himself completely to the dark side when, after envisioning Jar Jar Binks, he said to himself, “Yes!” I wager in less than a decade, Lucas will give the passionate voices of Han, Luke, and Leia a monotone makeover.Report

  5. Rufus F. says:

    A question: when did directors start tweaking their films and re-releasing them like this? The first one I can think of is Spielberg shooting and adding footage to Close Encounters after the first release. Kubrick removed the original ending to The Shining after a week of release, but I’m not sure he added anything aside from maybe that last shot. Anybody think of an earlier example?Report

    • I’m not sure if this counts, but some TV versions of movies have added scenes, probably to compensate for the deleted scenes. Such is true of “Caddyshack” and, if I’m not mistaken, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” (I mention the latter because I just netflixed it–had only seen the TV version–and there were scenes missing from what I remembered on TV.)Report

      • In other words, if what I cited does count, it began at least as early as the mid 1980s.Report

        • Well, I think that was at the insistence of the television channels. I know they had to shoot a few extra scenes for Halloween for basically that reason: to pad out the running time for the station. What I’m thinking of is more what Spielberg did where he said he wanted to go shoot a bunch of additional footage and make a “better” version of Close Encounters after it had been released once and the studio let him do it. I think that must have been the prototype for Lucas anyway, but there must have been someone who did it before they did.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Well, everyone likes to point to “Blade Runner”.Report

  6. J.L. Wall says:

    Anyone else notice the (non-Spock) Star Trek reference hidden in there? (“Shoot him!” “No, he’s the imposter!”)Report

  7. DensityDuck says:

    On the one hand, it’s his movie, not ours, so if he wants to mess with it that’s his decision.

    On the other hand, I’m reminded of an essay that quoted some author–Elizabeth Moon, maybe? Anyway, she said that it was really hard, when transcribing her backlist into e-book format, to resist the temptation to “fix” the older books. Fix the plot so that the things that would be important were highlighted and the things that disappeared were downlpayed, fix the characters to match what they became later, fix the clumsy flailings of her early writing ability.

    On the gripping hand, we aren’t going to get the original un-altered versions on Blu-ray? Welp.Report

  8. Robert Neville says:

    Because, you know, George Lucas invented every single thing in his movies from whole cloth. No, he didn’t borrow anything from anywhere else. It’s his cow to milk and he’s going to milk every last drop he can out of it!Report