You know, it wasn't the "Han (not Hans) shot first" controversy, it wasn't the travesties that passed for story lines in the prequels, it wasn't the flying R2D2, it wasn't the egregious liberties that were taken with consistency, it wasn't even Jar Jar that ruined Star Wars for me. it was those damed midi-chlorians that reduced The Force from an awesome mystical element to mere biology.
It was a worse let-down than when the Easter Bunny was unmasked. [ August 27, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
author and iconoclast
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill: I don't think it was George Lucas' fault.
I place the blame, and what little honor is left, on Lucas.
The reality is he lucked out. Star Wars was a little space horse opera, no big deal. It hit a nerve, and made him a zillionaire. He then forgot the little he knew about telling a story.
The first time I saw Star Wars, after standing in line for hours, I was bored to tears. The first scenes, through meeting with Obi Wan, are boring. The cantata scene was the first scene that I was awake enough to watch. And the dogfights are what made is sing. Plus Carrie Fisher in the garbage pit was very cool.
I wonder what type of retcon happened to make the final trilogy go away. Thank the heavens he didn't keep that idiotic plan.
I think that despite all his success, Lucas is still the insecure, introverted geek he was in the late 60's, when he considered himself an avant-garde filmmaker with aspirations of producing cinema-verit�. THX was to be the flagship feature of American Zoetrope, which he founded with Coppola and Korty in '69. But THX bombed for Warner, all but sinking the hopes of these young filmmakers (notably at the dawn of American new wave cinema). Lucas took that very personally, and I think it's remained a thorn in his side -- especially when Coppola hit big with The Godfather.
The eventual success of Star Wars was unprecedented. Indeed, it ushered in the "blockbuster" phenomenon (which ironically led to the demise of American new wave). But these were special effects movies, always pushing the boundaries of what could be done with existing technology and budgets. So Lucas was likely hindered at the time, and the "enhanced" versions might well represent what he originally intended. But he had nothing to prove with the new Star Wars versions, and the original versions were released alongside the new versions on DVD.
But THX was different. It was an abstract, avant-garde film, never intended as a special effects movie. The new CGI version aimed for entirely different standards, and was produced for no reason other than a decades-festering grasp at vindication: "See? I did know what I was doing, and you will like this film!" It was his attempt to rewrite history and cover his perceived blemish, which is why the original version was never released on DVD (not even in the 2-disc deluxe package).
It's sad that Lucas doesn't seem to understand he was right the first time. Insecurity has prevailed over artistic vision.
Originally posted by marc weber: THX was to be the flagship feature of American Zoetrope,
I saw it in 71, first run in Washington DC. It was in a tiny "art theater" that was mostly empty. I remembered that it was weird and not all that interesting. So uninteresting that I haven't watched it any of the zillions of times its been on cable TV.
Lucas stumbled into a hit with American Graffiti mostly by accident. It cost nothing, and made a fair amount, so the idiot backers in Hollywood were willing to give him a chance for StarWars. If you watch it, there isn't much there. Its a trifle.
Han Solo shot first. Its a fact. Only God or Yoda know why he (Lucas, not God) tried to change history.
BTW, most strange that you can't enter the three characters of the movie name in the forum. I was wondering why Marc wrote it as T=H=&=#=8=8=;