George Lucas has been making the rounds promoting his upcoming animated movie, ‘Strange Magic’ and he let it known that although he did present his ideas for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ to Disney, they decided to pass on them.
The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those. So they made up their own. So it’s not the ones that I originally wrote [on screen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens]
After hearing what he said, it reminded me of a few months ago, after the first trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ was released, Lucas was asked what he thought of the trailer. His response was:
“I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet because it’s not in the movie theater. I like going to the movies and watching the whole thing there. I plan to see it when it’s released.”
I had the feeling that Lucas was not happy with the direction that Disney and JJ Abrams were going and that maybe they haven’t been using his as a consultant. That Disney passed on all of his ideas makes me think that what I thought is true.
Lucas recently revealed that he did see the new trailer and this was his response:
“I saw the trailer. I saw it in a theater because I don’t watch movies online.” When asked if he liked it, he smiled. “Yeah, it was intriguing.”
To me this is not a positive response and that was his best way to not really say anything positive or negative.
Editorial: The problem that I have with George Lucas now is that he really has lost his way and he has been surrounded by yes men for so many years that he thinks he can do no wrong. I am very grateful for George Lucas in that he created the stories and characters for ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ but ever since the ‘Star Wars Prequels’, I have come to the conclusion that he is not a very good director or story teller.
I was ecstatic when it was announced that Disney was purchasing Lucasfilm and they had announced that there would be an ‘Episode VII.’ Some fans were upset fearing that Disney would make an awful kid friendly movie but seriously, could any movie be worse than any of ‘The Prequels?’ ‘The Prequels’ were horribly written, horribly directed, horribly acted and relied to much on green screen and CGI rather than real locations and practical effects. And lets face it, the blame squarely goes on George Lucas who wrote and directed them. I have seen Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Samuel L Jackson and Christopher Lee in movies where their acting was really well done. If all of your normally good actors are horrible in a movie, it’s because of direction. According to many that have acted with Lucas, he doesn’t like second takes, doesn’t really give direction and the most popular words of direction that he gives his actors are, “Faster and more intense.”
After Lucas finished ‘The Prequels’, he was asked out of the 6 ‘Star Wars’ movies, which was his least favorite? Lucas shocked ‘Star Wars’ fans and said, ‘The Empire Strikes Back!’ That is when I knew Lucas had lost his mind but also read into some jealousy there too. To me, and most Star Wars fans, ‘Empire’ is by far the best of the ‘Star Wars’ movies. Lucas’ complaint was that there was “to much drama.” What Lucas calls drama, most movie lovers would refer to that as “character development.’ ‘Empire’ was the movie that Lucas had the least control over. Irving Kershner directed ‘Empire’ and it had a different tone and feel from any of the other Star Wars movies. Back when I was a kid, this was the first sequel that I had ever seen that was drastically different from the first movie and that made it special.
‘Return Of The Jedi’ was directed by Richard Marquand, but I have read that Lucas had much more control and essentially directed the movie himself. The first thing that I thought of when I first saw ‘Jedi’ was ‘Do they really have to destroy another Death Star?’ Even a a kid, I thought that was weak writing. Why not have an all out war against the Rebel Alliance and The Empire.? And the Death Star was basically destroyed the same way, poor design. It did have a powerful ending, that was eventually ruined due to Lucas’ constant altering of the film (see below).
Yes, I do agree that this is his world and he has a right to create whatever story he wants with it but I am very much against it when anything from ‘The Prequels’ leak into ‘The Original Trilogy.’ Even though I did not like ‘The Prequels,’ I understood that millions did. So the way I looked at it was that ‘The Prequels’ just didn’t exist to me, just like ‘The Godfather Part III’. Now with Lucas’ obsession to have every aspect from ‘The Prequels’ tie to ‘The Original Trilogy,’ he has ruined parts of ‘The Original Trilogy’ for me and for a lot of Star Wars fans. ‘The Star Wars Special Editions’ had improved some parts of ‘The Original Trilogy’ but ultimately did more harm than good. The worst additions that he made were to ‘Return Of The Jedi’ where he added Hayden Christensen, the young version of Anakin Skywalker, to the end of Return Of The Jedi, replacing Sebastian Shaw, who portrayed the older version of Anakin Skywalker.
I used to watch the original scene over and over and each time I saw that scene I really got the chills knowing that Anakin was redeemed and was now a part of the living spirit of the Light Side Of The Force. Now I see that scene with Hayden Christensen as the young Anakin Skywalker and each time I see it I think Luke must be thinking, “Who is that guy, who is younger than me, hanging out with Ben and Yoda?” First off, Hayden Christensen was God awful in ‘The Star Wars Prequels.’ Make that, his character was God awful. Before ‘The Prequels,’ I never imagined that the person inside the Darth Vader costume was an annoying, conceited, perverted, jealous, whiny, arrogant jerk. The original Darth Vader worked because fans loved to hate him. “The Prequel” Darth Vader doesn’t work because he is just a jerk. Then to make matters worse, Lucas decided to add probably the worst scene from ‘Revenge Of The Sith’ to ‘Return Of The Jedi.’ The dreaded “Nooooooooo!” yell from Darth Vader.
‘Return Of The Jedi: Special Edition’ “Nooooo!”:
‘Revenge Of The Sith’ “Nooooo!’ (Is he saying No or calling cattle?):
The other change in the ‘Return Of The Jedi Special Edition’ that is not as offensive as the other two is seeing Jar Jar Binks on Naboo at the end jumping up and down screaming “Weesa Free!” I really think that is George’s way of saying to all of the Jar Jar haters that, ‘Yep, you forced me to minimize his part in the sequels, but this guy is still alive and there is nothing you can do about it.’ And when Lucas is asked if we can have ‘The Original Trilogy’ on Blu-ray he basically says, “but these are far superior, besides I used the original negatives from ‘The Original Trilogy’ to create ‘The Special Editions’ so basically those negatives have been altered or destroyed and they no longer exist.” What he is saying is, “it’s either my way or the highway.” Why would you destroy the original negatives unless you wanted everyone to be forced to enjoy your new version? I still find ‘The Special Editions’ of ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ as watchable and enjoyable. I can’t say the same about ‘Return Of The Jedi’ because they are tainted with ‘The Prequels’ horrible storyline and characters.
I have no doubt that Lucas presented Disney with his version of a storyline for ‘Episode VII’ and it was rejected by them. Let’s not forget that the last thing Lucas wrote was ‘Indian Jones And The Chrystal Skull’ and that was another mess. He can’t write anymore but I think the basic problem is back when he was making ‘The Original Trilogy,’ he had people that would actually step up and say, “That doesn’t sound right. George.” Lucas used to listen to people. Now those people are afraid to stand up to Lucas out of fear of losing their jobs. Or he just doesn’t listen to them.
Mark Hamill recently said during an interview:
“The most interesting aspect from my point of view is that [Star Wars] is now in the hands of the generation who were fans,” Hamill said. “…It’s the next generation of filmmakers who were sort of weened on these pictures.”
And I couldn’t be happier now.