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January 01 2007

George Lucas has seen Firefly. How cool is that?

I wonder what he thought of it.

Aye, thats the $64,000 question...
Or what he thought of the comparatively low-budget Serenity being boundlessly better than the monstrosities of his last Star Wars movies.
'Spose he felt a tad...threatened? Not financially of course, but perhaps terms of the writing? Did the script quality of Firefly and BSG make him just green with envy? Hope he had fun watching them, of course. What I'd give to note his reactions.
I wonder if maybe he sees a little of himself in Joss, only better writing or Nathan Fillion as a possible Han Solo
The TV shows will probably be great for Lucas. He's a man who has wonderfully fantastic ideas, but he just doesn't execute them (with dialouge etc) as well as, say, Joss does. But with other writers and such to work with on the TV show, it'll probably be a whole lot better than the prequels.

But still, nowhere near the brilliance that was Firefly. In my humble opinion, of course...
Perhaps watching Firefly will have encouraged him to put better written, more interesting and livelier dialogue in the Star Wars TV shows than we heard in the recent films - we can only hope.

[ edited by silvius on 2007-01-01 15:46 ]
Perhaps he'll learn from Firefly that you don't need an arsenal of special effects to tell a solid story.

Loved the original trilogy, but while the prequels were good, they suffered from Lucas' blinding obsession with the CGI and subsequential lack of attention to the script.

I swear if he redoes the original trilogy films one more time, I'm cutting him off from ILM. LOL
Is it too much to hope he'll learn that three-dimensional characters and good dialogue are not optional add-ons?

Is it just me or is this parade OTT even for him? How big is that float?
I hope he loved Firefly. The best thing I can wish for is for Joss to come back to TV. I love his comics and movies, but TV isn't TV without him. If Lucas could use his money (and he has lots) to lure Joss back to TV and co-create a Star-wars TV show with no immidiate threat of cancelation it could be great. The star-wars univers isn't realy Joss in nature but he could make it his own, and he could make it great.
Unfortunately, the TV industry doesn't seem to want to pull Joss into TV, so much as push him out.

The Star Wars TV show could be great. If. Here's the big if. They get experience TV producers and writers who have the power, balls and position to stand up to Lucas and say "This is lame, that's stupid" and not get fired. George has wonderful ideas, but suffers in execution. It's difficult because of the army thing with directing (you don't want people pissing all over you when you're working on something), but at the same time he needs people experienced in writing he can trust.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-01-01 15:31 ]
Question is, will his ego allow it to work with people who can stand up to him ?
Does anyone remember "Ewok Adventures", or whatever it was called? *shudders*

George can't write dialogue, and Star Wars on TV has at best a 50-50 shot of making it, JMHO.
Question is, will his ego allow it to work with people who can stand up to him ?

Well, the TV network will dispute things with him for one. 'cause that's what they do.

TDBrown, you're probably quite right, I figure this has a 50/50 chance. Either they're going to hire some great talent and it'll turn out a great show, or executives, Lucas and everybody else will come along, piss on it, and it'll be a disaster.
Think how often Joss can make a good episode great by adding his special touch.
This show might have great writers but if Lucas insists on "improving" their dialogue, then I don't hold out a lot of hope.
I love Lucas. What he went through to get those original films made is amazing. The vision that he had and saw through to the end in spite of the big studios and the director's guild should be a heroic tale that young independent film makers tell their children at bedtime.
I think the revelation at the end of "The Empire Strikes Back" is among the greatest cinematic story telling moments ever!
And he brought us Han Solo.
I can't wait to see what he does with a TV show where he can take his time to tell a story.
Think of all the good things we have just because of Lucasfilm.
Lousy dialogue, lousy actors, lousy story, OTT SFX. Still made millions. I'm starting to lose faith in the ability of well written dialogue to attract people. Maybe people are just stupid.
This isn't Lucas's first live action T.V. series.Anybody remember,The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles?Actually a couple of big screenwriters got there start as writers for this series.Probably the biggest who got there big break writing for Young Indy was Frank Darabont.
TV Star Wars has a lot of petential, but they need decent writers at the helm. I think they need a writing staff consisting of:

Joss (of course)
Jane Espenson
Timothy Zahn (best SW author ever)
Michael Stackpole (The X-Wing series)
Anna von Ovonov - I love your post. I am not the biggest Lucus fan but as I was reading the thread I was thinking that he deserves a lot of credit for his accomplishments. You expressed what I was thinking. Bur I do agree with the majority of posters here that dialog is not one of Lucas's strong points.

I don't understand how a film as well done as Serenity didn't take the world by storm.

Maybe people are just stupid.
Humble_Pie


Well...yeah. To semi quote the young Pete Townshend "The majority of the audience is kinda thick and don't appreciate quiality, no matter how hard you try to put it over on them"
I think this is pretty cool. I do hope that he enjoyed it and it would definitely be amazing if someone with the resources at his disposal could collaborate with Joss. I think I remember hearing that Alyson Hannigan was a friend of his, and on one of the Buffy commentaries someone mentioned that Lucas' daughter had visited the set because she was a big fan of the show. I think I watched the commentary fairly recently so I think it might have been season five or six. Does that sound familiar to anyone else?

As for Star Wars, I do think that the Original Trilogy is astounding. It's so iconic and takes all these strong archetypes and classical ideas and combines them into really entertaining, fun films. Unfortunately I agree that the prequels were nowhere near the same standard, but Revenge of the Sith in particular was still a decent film. But I think in a way Serenity really captured the same sort of energetic enthusiasm, and the mix of drama, action and humour, that the prequels failed to inherit.

As for the live action TV series, I think it has a lot of potential but I can see them being too much like the prequels. A lot of action and special effects but diastsrous performances and dialgoeu, incomprehensible plots and character motivations. But we shall see.
Did he weep openly when he realized that Joss is a far better writer? Or that Joss has, you know, had actual conversations with people therefore his dialogue doesn't sound like a four year old talking to a coffee table?
Did he weep openly when he realized that Joss is a far better writer?


Seeing as George Lucas created the most iconic and influential sci-fi characters ever and made a fortune from them as well, I don't think he would be that bothered really.
I gotta agree with Simon here!
I would hope that he'd think three things:

1. Dang! So that's what good dialogue sounds like!
2. Dang! Why didn't I hire that Whedon guy to write (and direct) my last three?
3. Danged if I don't beg him to write and direct my next one.
I would hope that he'd think of one more thing:

4. Dang! Why don't I also hire that Fillion guy to star in Indiana Jones 4?
Seeing as George Lucas created the most iconic and influential sci-fi characters ever and made a fortune from them as well, I don't think he would be that bothered really.


While that's all well and good and true, it doesn't change the fact that he can't write worth a damn. The dialogue in his films sounds like a kindergarten play about butterflies and toast.
I think what Simon's trying to tell you, jason.cinema, that we like to focus on the positive around here. I think you made your point about Lucas's skills the first time.
"it doesn't involve the Skywalkers." "the stories are, "a little bit more adult."

Sounds great to me, I can't wait.
Even though I'm unimpressed with Lucas' scriptwriting skills, I would happily check out a TV show based on his work. Like several have mentioned, the potential is there for a great product. Hopefully Lucas will be too busy to get involved in the writing and he'll be forced to hire better writers. I don't think anyone with a pulse believes he lacks talent -- just writing skills -- but it's easy to forget that he's an amazing creator because of that. IV, V, and VI remain on my all time top ten list. They were revolutionary at the time and that shouldn't be forgotten.
I will say, however, that I did quite enjoy Young Indiana Jones, which was mentioned above somewhere as Lucas' other TV foray.
Maybe we should get him a "Joss Whedon is my master now" T-shirt.
"You want to kill me, don't you?"

(stiffly) "I would certainly like to."

Jus' sayin'.
He wrote American Graffiti too, with help admittedly, but I think if he lets the story take precedence over the F/X, he could still surprise us -- as long as he has a good writing room.
It doesn't matter if his dialogue isn't good. George Lucas is a creative genius, and his influence is obvious in not only Joss's work but in nearly every other writer/filmmaker these days who deals with fantasy elements. Would Firefly even exist, at least as we know it, without Lucas? Doubtful. The amazing modern Battlestar Galactica wouldn't exist, because there would be no Star Wars for the original BSG to rip off. There are countless writers/directors who name Star Wars as one of the main reasons they wanted to do what they do, because seeing it was such an impactful thing for them. 30 years after it was released, it continues to be constantly referenced in pop culture to an incredible extent, in a way I'd bet no modern movie series, no matter how popular, will be able to emulate. The terms "Jedi" and "The Force" alone are so much a part of our public consciousness that even those who don't follow TV or films much are familiar with the connotation. Personally, I can look at my career and there's a direct path back to seeing Star Wars as a kid that influenced so many of my interests that led me where I am, and I know the same goes for countless others.

And filops, to be sure, there are plenty of parody and mock worthy moments in the series, but you actually quoted one I like quite a bit!
I agree that the majority of his dialouge is clunky, but I've got to give him his props for this line from the last clunker:

"So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause."

It was such a painfully astute observation on the reaction of most Americans to the Bush administration's post-9/11 power grab.
Eric G, no one is disputing Lucas' cultural influence. Having been 7 when Star Wars came out, the entire thing tracks the entire arc of my life. But being a one-time major cultural influence does not make him, automatically, a genius for the rest of his career. Heh.
Eric G, I think the metaphor you're looking for is "Standing on the shoulders of giants."

Only in this case, I think we have giants standing on the shoulders of other giants, and making the first giants look not-so-tall by comparison. One of the biggest challenges when coming after someone is to not judge them by current standards. I co-run a MUD, and end up constantly reminding the other admin not to judge code that was done in the mid 90's by volunteer undergrads by the standards of professional object-oriented coding.

Likewise, I don't doubt that Lucas' work isn't as good as it could have been, but Citizen Kane, Battleship Potemkin, and Rashomon all look pretty hinky by modern cinema standards, don't they? To fully appreciate them, one has to consider that each was, in a very real way, the progenitor of all the films to which they now look weak in comparison.
Never got the whole Star Wars mania. Was living in Germany when it came out, but saw it first run in the states in December 77, and wasn't overwhelmed. The third (real time) episode was, for my money, enormously hokey, and I've never seen the others. But from what I've read and heard, the writing is highly suspect, and, as I've mentioned more than once, that's where it all begins for me.

Actually, jclemens, I've seen Citien Kane recenlty, and, yeah, it still holds up, especially by modern standards, yes, indeed. I'd rather watch the original Metropolis than pretty much any modern sci-fi/fantasy/whatever it's called these days, too.
While that's all well and good and true, it doesn't change the fact that he can't write worth a damn. The dialogue in his films sounds like a kindergarten play about butterflies and toast.


Some would argue that Joss' problem is many of his characters have the same voice, broken up into whichever character needs a line. Nobody's perfect. Lucas' talent is in coming up with the big picture and making it thrilling. Joss' talent is in filling in the small details and making you care for the characters.

Just different ways to write.
"Some would argue that Joss' problem is many of his characters have the same voice, broken up into whichever character needs a line. "

Huh?!? I've never heard that be a criticism of Joss! I've said it about Sorkin, whose work I love anyway, but Joss? I cannot think of any characters within a particular show who could have dialog exchanged without major problems.

As far as Lucas. I think him saying that he has seen BSG and Firefly and that he is looking to put something on TV that has never been done before is intriguing. I may not have cared for many of his sequels but he had great initial ideas. It would be wonderful if he kick started that part of his creativity for one of these projects.
I feel like I'm stepping in a mindfield here. Okay, lets step back to the beginning. "Lucas watched 'Firefly'." Really don't see the problem here. So? What's the harm in that? Only a guess on my part, but I'm thinking he enjoyed it as much as we did.
Wow, lots of Lucas bashing. I didn't like the last three STAR WARSes, but I think it's pretty cool Lucas has watched FIREFLY.
...but I think it's pretty cool Lucas has watched FIREFLY.

Sure, but the criticisms and comparisons were inevitable once this was posted. I mean, I cared more about the computer-generated characters in Toy Story than I did about the live actors surrounded by CGI in the last Star Wars movies.

That kind of says something. Heh.
I think Lucas is a legend, whether you enjoy his work or not. He did a lot for scifi and people listen to what he has to say. It's as if for B5 fans J. Michael Straczynski were to give an opinion on Firefly. To them, his opinion matters.
I thought the first Star Wars was fantastic when it came out. There was nothing else like it. I liked the second, as well, although I didn't like the third nearly as much. Nevertheless, he did change our popular culture, and I don't think we would even be assembled here at Whedonesque if Lucas hadn't made his mark.

While I did not like the first two prequels, and I haven't seen the last, that doesn't take away my enjoyment of the first trilogy on whole, the original theatrical releases of which I can still watch over and over.

I think it's great that Lucas likes BSG and Firefly, and I can only hope that he learned something from them. If he puts out a good product on TV, I'll be there watching. I'd certainly give it a chance. And if, with his name associated with it, we got more respect for the sci-fi genre on "regular" non-cable TV, so that we might get some more Jossverse offerings on same, then I would be even more grateful to Lucas. We have everything to gain from Lucas's having a success on TV.
I think it's great that Lucas likes BSG and Firefly...

Well, we don't know he liked them. Only that he's seen them. Heh. I mean, in the article, that fact is placed right next to him saying "Ours will be very different" and "it will be something most people have never seen on television before". It's unclear whether that means he liked BSG/Firefly or not.
I think it's funny people here hold Serenity as a completely better film than Episode III -- like it's fact, not opinion -- when the two films received nearly identical reviews and fan notices. Just look at IMDb: 8.0 for Serenity, 7.9 for Star Wars. (Of course, this may not be the best example. IMDb is full of fanboys who only vote 10s and haters who only know how to enter 1).

I dunno, I liked the prequels. I liked the characters. Qui-Gon was great and I got caught up in Anakin's journey. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with the original trilogy so my expectations weren't massive.
I think it's funny people here hold Serenity as a completely better film than Episode III -- like it's fact, not opinion...

Informed opinion. ;)

But, no, I think it's more a matter of the fact that it's extraordinarily tiresome if one has to preface every single thing one says about something with "in my opinion" or "as I see it" or "your mileage may vary" etc, etc.

Ultimately, it depends upon what one's criteria are. If you're after complex characters, Star Wars doesn't do it, because they aren't written with much character complexity. Even the original films were that way, but I will always adore them because they were an entirely new experience in the world of movies and I grew up with them. They're still staggeringly simplistic in terms of charactization, but that worked just fine for me then.

I don't even have any sort of inherent opposition to a nearly-all-CGI film. I enjoy, for example, Sky Captain and next to nothing in that movie is a material object. But almost all of it seemed to be there for a reason, whereas some of us feel that the SW prequels were just sort of "hey look what I can do, and please don't notice how little attention I'm giving to depth of character or plot".

(Not that Sky Captain had depth of characterization either, by any stretch of the imagination. But the difference, I think, is that it understood that, and understood what it was. I never got the sense that even Lucas knew what in the world he wanted the prequels to be, exactly.)

In my opinion. As I see it. Your mileage may vary. ;)
filops said:

I would hope that he'd think three things:

1. Dang! So that's what good dialogue sounds like!
2. Dang! Why didn't I hire that Whedon guy to write (and direct) my last three?
3. Danged if I don't beg him to write and direct my next one.


Much as I like te idea, we all know that Joss writing or directing Star Wars would just be...disturbing. Han would become completely obsessed with Leia and start stalking her, Luke would fall to the Dark Side (and Leia would become the new Jedi champion), and Chewbacca and the Ewoks would all die horrible deaths. No happy endings in the Jossverse.
OK...sorry but it just HAS to be said...

Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with the original trilogy so my expectations weren't massive.


"You are so blind! You so do not understand! You weren't there at the beginning. You don't know how good it was! How important! This is it for you! This jumped-up firework display of a toy advert! People like you make me sick! What's wrong with you? Now, I don't care if you've saved up all your fifty 'p's, take your pocket money and get out!"

Now...I'll take my Spaced quotes and get the hell out!


p.s Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like f***ing Shaft!

OK...I'm leaving!
Much as I like te idea, we all know that Joss writing or directing Star Wars would just be...disturbing.

So you're saying that Chancellor Palpatine knows Darth Sidious?
Last I heard, Lucas would be producing the series but Kevin Smith would be heavily involved in writing it.
Now...I'll take my Spaced quotes and get the hell out!

No, STAY! Spaced quotes protect us all! How else will we survive the mice-spider invasion?

HIDE YOUR CHEESE.
I'm not that big a Star Wars fan, the idea of a TV show frankly frightens the cheese out of me.

So Lucas saw Firefly. I hope he took something away from it and I hope he takes Nathan Fillion.

Kevin Smith? Is this a dream? YES PLEASE.

Oh my God. Did I just say that George Lucas, Kevin Smith, and Nathan Fillion should all make a TV show together? HIDE YOUR BABIES AND YOUR BEADWORK.
Ummmm. Nathan is a little busy at the moment. Let's not be saying anything that may jinx television's next big hit, Drive.
So you're saying that Chancellor Palpatine knows Darth Sidious?


Wait a second... are you saying that Anakin and Vader are somehow connected?
I'm over the whole Star Wars franchise. Lucas is going to be too busy shooting Indiana Jones: 4 (The Geritol Years KIDDING) this year so who knows if he can collaborate on anything. Me, I would, yes indeed I would, rather see a new Trek series, the one I kept reading about involving Starfleet Cadets going through training and featuring a young James T. Kirk.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-01-02 03:51 ]
rather see a new Trek series,

I always wanted to see someone take the premise of Andromeda and actually do in the Trek universe. Prominent ship's captain stuck for hundreds of years, escapes to discover a great threat destroyed the Federation while he was gone. Captain tries to single-handedly bring back the philosophy and the reality of the Federation. Etc.

Andromeda always seemed to me like a fairly radical Trek idea, but done outside the Trek franchise, and so in some sense a little less radical, and a little less interesting than it could have been.
Thats one of the great things about loving something that is not mainstream, there's always room to love more. As I read so many of these posts I have to say I am really surprised that people feel the need to choose Serenity or Star Wars. I love both worlds. I probably love Serenity because I fell in love with Star Wars nearly 30 years earlier.
b!x, they did the academy novels as a series. Pretty cool, but lacking the emotional impact of TOS. Seeing young Kirk recast (and recast WELL, thank you very much) would kick all kinds of ass!

and alexreager, I agree with you ("I love both worlds") wholeheartedly.
I love both worlds too, but I think I love Star Wars very conditionally.

I do hate the prequels, and I think like many people I feel betrayed by them. I know, fan ownership is weird. Mostly though I'm just disappointed because I feel that the storytelling was way off. I didn't care for Episode III because Anakin's transformation was totally meaningless - he went from a whiny, creepy kid with virtually no redeeming qualities to a bad guy with no redeeming qualities. Even his romance with Padme, which could have been transformative, made him come off as a creepy stalker. Episode I and II failed to set Anakin up as a hero, or even a normal guy I could identify with, so Episode III didn't work for me.

To me, that's a huge and unrecoverable flaw in character that affects the entire plot. I don't think Joss would have made the same choices - I'm not saying that Joss is infallible, just that I prefer his style.
Well, I never got emotionally involved in the Star Wars franchise though I enjoyed Return of the Jedi. (I mean is Harrison Ford cute or what?) I did watch the first prequel and then didn't bother with the others.

I have always been more of a Star Trek fan and believe that Gene Roddenberry's influence is undervalued in that it was his "wagon train to the stars" that facilitated the Star Wars and other science fiction phenomena on screen. For me the main draw of Star Trek always was the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. I loved the characters and it was just incidental that they were riding around in space.

I also believe that Firefly and Serenity are wonderful and do not rely so much on books to enhance their characters as Star Trek does. But in the end I don't really need to compare the three universes with each other to enjoy them in different ways.

If George Lucas can come up with an interesting TV series I'll be happy because there certainly is room for that. If he lets himself be influenced by watching shows like Firefly or BSG all the better.

Nevertheless I'd be even happier with a new Whedon show. I believe Joss is at his best telling a story through episode television.

Okay, will stop the rambling now.
deepgirl187 -- Han would become completely obsessed with Leia and start stalking her, Luke would fall to the Dark Side (and Leia would become the new Jedi champion), and Chewbacca and the Ewoks would all die horrible deaths. No happy endings in the Jossverse.

Very funny, very clever, good point.

But the DIALOGUE would be GREAT!
Thanks cabri for mentioning American Graffiti, which is too often overlooked amongst all the "Geroge Lucas can do no good" talk of late. And the original Star Wars is pretty bleeping iconic, not to mention Empire, which, yes, was directed by someone else, but was still part of Lucas' vision.

When watching Anakin go dark in Episode III, I just kept thinking of how Angel told essentially the same story with Connor, except better. It's not a story about a hero changing into a villain, but a whiny, messed up kid who had the potential to go either way, having his hormones and his loneliness guide him to the dark side. If you look at his relationship with Padme (i.e. Cordelia) as her practically cradle-robbing (she did meet him when he was a child, after all) and watch how Obi-Wan (i.e. Angel) continuously fails to give Anakin constructive rather than destructive criticism, then the comparisons become even clearer; the fact that I had thought I picked up on some attraction between Obi-Wan and Padme in Episode I, although that might have been my imagination. I don't think Lucas could really commit to this level of darkness, though, which is why we get a lot of scenes that are neither here nor there--for example, lots of romance scenes that are sort of creepy, but probably unintentionally so.

As far as the notion (about halfway through the posts ;) )that Joss writes all the characters the same: I remember an interview with Petrie on one of the DVDs on Buffyspeak, where he mentions that he wrote a Willow line and then switched it up to give Xander something to say (or something like that). Joss noticed it immediately and called him on it--because Xander and Willow's voices are so totally different. Joss has a certain way of talking that seeps into his characters, yes, but I think there are enough differences that it's not a big problem.
I agree that the prequels suffer from weak writing and dialogue, but I don't think the Original Trilogy does. There is of course a lot of nonsensical technobabble, but not anymore so than you would find in any sci-fi film or show, like Firefly or Battlestar.

I think Star Wars also operates on the same level as the Whedonverse, where everything is so heightened and almost operatic. Of course very few people in real life could exchange the quick fire witticisms and pop culture references the Scooby Gang or Team Angel use, so it's not entirely realistic in that sense. I think the stories which combine mythology and metaphors are similar. It's questionable as to whether Star Wars has ever matched the Whedonverse's quality (and here I admit there is of course something deeper and more profound underpinning the Whedonverse which Star Wars lacks) but I think they are alike in many ways.

In my opinion, the prequels matched the same epic operatic style of the OT, but could not capture the same energy and charm of the originals. The dialogue was horrendous, and was so unusual and ridiculous that it went way above the stylised conversations that we saw in the OT or the Whedonverse, because it was just so trite and unweildy for the actors to speak. That, and the huge amount of CGI, generated completely soulless, disconnected performances from most of the actors.

[ edited by Razor on 2007-01-02 17:10 ]
I think the dialogue in the original trilogy is simple, but not particularly bad. It also helps the original trilogy's characters are played by people who can actually act.
You know, I'm not really a Star Wars fan but I loved Episode III, just because it was darker and it wasn't as mockable. The story was there and the actors did well with what they had. Plus, I think because it set things up for the original trilogy, I think I felt anticipation because it was so close to being associated with the original trilogy. I mean, Episode III was the only Star Wars of the prequel trilogy (sorry, I'm a child of the 80's) I went to see at midnight. I loved it and a lot of it had to do with the comparisons I made to the first two -- the first two were awful -- this one was significantly better.

[ edited by Browncoat on 2007-01-02 17:49 ]
The actors in the Star Wars prequels can act. Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, and Samuel L. Jackson have all been very good and very charismatic--elsewhere. I haven't seen Hayden Christinsen in anything else but I've heard that he was pretty good in other movies.

I think the difference is that Star Wars wasn't such a phenomenon that the people working in the original trilogy could suggest changes and not be worried about how epic the whole process is. Harrison Ford did change some of Han's dialogue, for example, and of course Lucas got in other directors for his other films. Lucas, when he allows input from others, can actually be pretty terrific, and I am very fond of American Graffiti and the original trilogy--well, the Ewoks excepted.
I'd argue Ewan McGregor is quite good in the prequels, as was Liam Neeson. Hayden Christensen was off-on-and, but there are scenes he frickin' nailed, like his confession to Padmé in Episode II.

I agree that the prequels suffer from weak writing and dialogue, but I don't think the Original Trilogy does.


VADER: When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.

OBI-WAN: Only a master of evil, Darth!
And how is making Luke and Leia brother in sister just so that you can resolve a love triangle without hurting anybody's feelings anything but weak writing?
but there are scenes he frickin' nailed, like his confession to Padmé in Episode II

Ack, really?

Man, opinions really do split off into parallel universes on this stuff. Heh.
Funny. As one of the millions who saw the original just after it first hit the theaters, one of the things I loved about it was the unabashed cheesiness and sense of fun. I remember discussing it with a friend at the time and us both agreeing that the terrible dialogue and less than spectacular acting was a big part of its charm. It was a space opera done in spades and it made you leave the theater with a big stupid grin on your face.

Unlike almost everyone else, I was not as thrilled with where the sequels went. I always felt the whole sister/father thing was an after thought to a story that was originally meant to be self-contained. I just did not believe Lucas's protestations that that was always the plan. I mean it's fine, it just never resonated with me...and I hated the cliffhanger with a year or two wait for the ending.

I saw the prequels, but they were no fun at all. Somehow wonderful actors gave not so great performances and it all seemed flat. I sat through the third one unwillingly having a mental check list pop up in my head as each point that had to be tied into the original trudged by.

In the last few years I read a few times that early on Geoge Lucas became disallusioned about what the public wanted. That is what I sometimes worry about with Joss when he says something about how he maybe he should write something that would be easier to market. I don't think Joss could bring himself to dump quality to try to get a really big commercial success. I hope not, but I worry sometimes that marketing problems will get to him. (Maybe not packing the irony into the title would be enough. I am one of the few people who have always loved Joss's titles, but I would give them up to keep the content while making the work commercially successful.)

I think George Lucas has so much to offer, I hope he lets himself do something really interesting rather than just giving people what he thinks they want.

[ edited by newcj on 2007-01-02 23:02 ]
I saw the prequels, but they were no fun at all.


See, I can understand this view point. If you recognize the cheesy dialogue and acting in the first three, but love how unabashadly fun they are, that makes sense. The prequels have to be political by their very nature, so the fun isn't as present. That makes perfect sense as an opinion, even if I personally disagree with it.
Whatever you may think of George Lucas and his film work, one thing is sure. He did bring the technology to the film industry and the consumers. Who knows where we would be if he didn't push the boundaries.
It's cool that Lucas has seen Firefly, but not at all surprising (to me, at least). Given the frequency with which Mal and Han Solo are compared, I'd be more surprised to learn that he hadn't watched Firefly.
"The prequels have to be political by their very nature, so the fun isn't as present."

Even though I appreciate that you appreciate my opinion, (thanks ;-) ) I still have to disagree. I don't think political or even serious, dark and heart-breaking has to also be no fun. I think if we try really hard we can even come up with some examples. ;-)

" Whatever you may think of George Lucas and his film work, one thing is sure. He did bring the technology to the film industry and the consumers. Who knows where we would be if he didn't push the boundaries. "

Absolutely! The first movie in its original form might not look impressive to 2007 eyes, but it was spectacular in 1977. That was one of the many things that helped make it so much fun to watch and helped Star Wars put science fiction movies into a category they had never been before. Now if only we could get a balance back between the special effects and the story/characters, we would be golden.
For me whatever the weaknesses in the prequels, the fight scene between Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace was stellar. I could rewatch that over and over again. Quite possibly the fight scene of the last 100 years of cinematic history. Ok hyperbole much? But it was very good indeed. And the rise of the Emperor was watched by great glee by me.

Anyone look at the deleted scenes in the Revenge of the Sith? I loved the formation of the Alliance group in the Senate. I wish he'd kept that in.
Choreography wise, i'd agree Maul/Kenobi/Jinn is probably the best in the prequels but come on, Yoda with a lightsabre finally ? Near as dammnit twenty years i'd waited for that. Fantastic.

(and those who thought it was daft because he's so small or didn't like the 'Hiyah !' sounds, well, *fingers in ears* la la la, I can't hear you, la la la ;)

Lucas has achieved a lot and he has great ideas ('THX1138' for example) and vision (though let's not forget just how much of 'Star Wars' was lifted almost bodily from Kurasawa etc.) but he struggles with the implementation IMO. With one badly framed and dialogued scene - "Nooooo!" - he turns Darth Vader from one of the baddest motherfuckers in the galaxy into a slightly camp, sulky helmet fetishist and the love stuff in AoTC was so unbelievably bad I just don't see how any adult could watch it and think "Yep, that hits the nail on the head. Check the gate and print it !" (or whatever the digital equivalent is).

That said, he's mentioned a few times that he's overseeing the TV show but stepping back from the day to day stuff which hopefully, as with 'Empire', is pretty much the perfect combination of money, vision and actual technical and creative skill so i'm still hopeful (and there's no doubting his - presumably indirect but still important - contributions to cinema sound, special effects, digital photography etc.).
Now if we could only get George to fund another Firefly movie!!!!!!!
For those who are worried about Joss becoming Lucas - as I understand it Lucas financed the prequels himself, and didn't have to listen to anyone. Joss is still working within the system, and seems to appreciate both its great flaws and its value. Just a thought, but I'm not currently worried about that particular problem.
I have nothing to add to this discussion. So I won't. :)
Choreography wise, i'd agree Maul/Kenobi/Jinn is probably the best in the prequels but come on, Yoda with a lightsabre finally ? Near as dammnit twenty years i'd waited for that. Fantastic.


I agree, saje. I loved that scene. (BTW, I hope you don't mind, but I sort of borrowed your name for a story I wrote the other day.)

I saw the original trilogy as they came out and loved all three of them. My favourite was Return of the Jedi. What can I say? I'm a sucker for cute furry animals, the triumph of good over evil, and happy endings! ;-).

I waited years to see how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, which made the prequels - especially RotS - all the more disappointing. I was so glad that I saw RotS the day before I saw the preview of Serenity because it would have been much worse the other way around. Even so, I sat through Sith thinking, "Joss would have done that", "Joss would never have done that", and "Just because you can do all that CGI doesn't mean you have to.".
(BTW, I hope you don't mind, but I sort of borrowed your name for a story I wrote the other day.)

Cool, fame at last !

(don't mind at all, i'll even wave my usual 20% off the top ;-)

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