OT: How George Lucas ruined Star Wars

Submitted by GreyJello on August 18th, 2010 at 2:28 PM

We may as well get all the bad news over at once.  Although most of you probably know George Lucas ruined Star Wars, you may not realize how early it began.  Damn you, Lucas.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/08/star-wars-was-born-a-long-time-ago-but-not-all-that-far-far-away-in-1972-filmmakers-george-lucas-and-gary-kurtz-wer.html

Comments

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

August 18th, 2010 at 2:36 PM ^

Yeah, whatever.  Star Wars so-called "purists" think every film should have been like Empire Strikes Back.  Star Wars is what it is - frankly, it's Empire that ruined the whole rest of the series; it set the bar at a point where the slappies won't allow the five other films to reach it and they spend their time bitching about how Lucas ruined the series that he himself created instead of actually enjoying it.

strafe

August 18th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

Kinda hard to enjoy the garbage that was the new trilogy.

The point is that the original trilogy was what it was because there were a lot of people that kept telling Lucas that he had awful ideas and they needed to be change. As a result, we got one of the best sci-fi series ever.

Impossible to enjoy the new trilogy sorry.

MGoAlumnus

August 18th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

I agree, the new trilogy is horrible.  John Scalzi says it best:

This is especially evident in the prequel trilogy, which is designed for the specific purpose of consecrating the mythology of the Skywalker family; in essence, putting flesh on the bones of the myth, so that the flesh could then turn to dust and the bones could be chopped up for reliquaries. Because they’re not designed as entertainment, it’s not surprising they’re not really all that entertaining; strip out the yeoman work of Industrial Light and Magic and what you have left is a grim Calvinistic stomp toward the creation of Darth Vader. Lucas was so intent to get there that he didn’t bother to slow down to write a decent script or to give his cast (riddled though it was with acclaimed actors) an opportunity to do more than solemnly intone its lines. Lucas simply couldn’t be bothered to do more; entertainment gave way to scriptual sufficiency.

My favorite part of the post:

Star Wars is not entertainment. Star Wars is George Lucas masturbating to a picture of Joseph Campbell and conning billions of people into watching the money shot.

Scalzi makes a lot of interesting points - not all of which I agree with - but it's definitely worth reading.

CRex

August 18th, 2010 at 4:53 PM ^

Scalzi talks a lot of shit for someone whose main plot device is "We can bioengineer anything."  He has a valid point about SW being all special effects, but if you go take pretty much any of Scalzi's books and rip out the bioengineering stuff you just have 20 pages of John Perry making one line jokes.   

Basically Scalzi rips on Lucas for forcing people to have to "get" his vision, but if you don't "get" Scalzi's humor his books pretty much suck.  I personally got Scalzi's humor and enjoyed his books, but Scalzi talks way too much shit for the caliber of writer he is.   

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

August 18th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

So what you're saying is people didn't really want the "bittersweet and poignant" ending that Kurtz says was originally conceived for Return of the Jedi; they want a fun movie, not an artsy one.  I don't think there's any doubt that these days Empire is considered the "best" of the six, so what's the complaint: that George Lucas sacrificed artistic value for a movie more people would like?

M-Wolverine

August 18th, 2010 at 6:41 PM ^

The unhappy ending. I mean, it seems to show a lack of understanding of what the whole arc of the movie is supposed to be.

There was also a lot of rumors Kurtz was let go because he was overbudget and overschedule as a producer. Sounds like he's trying to take the director and screenwriter credit while rewriting history.

MGoBender

August 18th, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

Meh - it sounds like a lot of sour grapes and hearsay to me.

Were Lucas' intentions solely money from toys?  I doubt it, but that's this guys argument.  Is there some weight to it?  Probably, but not as much as he contends I'm sure.

Chuck Harbaugh

August 18th, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

by making material revisions to the originals - non-sensical/repetitive added scenes (Jabba repeating what Greedo already said), changing events (Han shot first goddammit), adding superfluous CGI bullshit, changing the ending of 3/VI from the ridiculkous and stupid yub nub song to the CGI ding dong the emperor is dead CGI fireworks sequence and switching ghost Anakin's.

I don't begrudge him the complete wastes of time that were the prequels.  They were shit, but were his shit to make.

briangoblue

August 18th, 2010 at 3:08 PM ^

The changes in Return of the Jedi render the movie unwatchable for me. The CGI additions already look outdated and terrible- as the proud owner of the Sy Snoodles and the Max Rebo band toys, what Lucas did to the music at Jabba's Palace made me so angry I'm pretty sure my face turned plaid like Elmer Fudd.

 

Is there a dvd set that has the theatrical versions in widescreen?

Njia

August 18th, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

Hayden Christiansen. That guy can't act at all. I've seen non-Star Wars films with him in them, and they're horrid. My children act better when they're trying to blame each other for spilling something on the floor.

CRex

August 18th, 2010 at 3:32 PM ^

Older Trilogy: 

Obi-Wan: That boy is our only hope!

Yoda: Nah, Plan B we totally have man.

Newer Trilogy:

Obi-Wan is there when both kids are born.  So he knows Anakin has two kids.

Also: 

"This child will bring balance to the Force."  Yet oddly enough not one single Jedi goes "Hey there are hundreds/thousands of us, but not many Dark Side users.  To bring balance hey'd have to kill us / increase the Dark Side users."  I guess Jedi suck at math.

931 S State

August 18th, 2010 at 3:25 PM ^

He ruined it in so many ways it's not even worth pointing all of them out.  Other than the scenes with the Emperor in ROTJ,  It's pretty much all crap after they leave Cloud City.  Irvin Kershner doesn't get nearly enough praise for what he did with Empire.

Fuck you George Lucas for ruining Star Wars.  And for doing this too.

Hannibal.

August 18th, 2010 at 3:35 PM ^

RTJ had lots of great scenes.  The first half hour of the movie is excellent.  Especially the whole scene with the Sarlaac pit.  The speeder bikes were really cool.  The story in general was really good and the banter between the characters was good too.  A lot of people hate the Ewoks but I didn't find the Endor battle scene to be as implausible as other Star Wars fans often do (implausible within the context of the story, of course).

931 S State

August 18th, 2010 at 3:45 PM ^

True.  I like the Tattooine scenes in ROTJ.  Although, Luke as a Jedi Master just falls a little flat, especially in Jabba's lair.  He's very believable in the Sarlac scene though.  Hammill could have done a better job with a better director.  I completely blame Lucas for not letting Luke be what he should have in ROTJ.  This, combined with the Ewoks and everything on Endor just kill the movie for me though.  

Hannibal.

August 18th, 2010 at 4:05 PM ^

I liked Hamil in the movie (he's still a knight but not a master). I think that his failure to pull off the cool and collected Liam Nesson type Jedi is kind of intentional.

I love Return of the Jedi.  I can understand why people don't like parts of it, but I have seen Episodes II and III ranked above it on a lot of people's lists and that's just crazy talk to me. 

M-Wolverine

August 18th, 2010 at 6:46 PM ^

I got his reasoning, and what he was going for. I never understood THAT hate. Just seems like an anti-cute vibe. It's not like they're defeating the whole Empire. Just running a distracting maneuver so they can run some guerilla tactics. It was his whole Vietnam War comparison. Like Jawas and Uganaughts were precursors to them in the little funny people category.

CRex

August 18th, 2010 at 6:54 PM ^

Yeah but the Viet Cong had modernish weapons and extensive training from former members of the Imperial Japanese Army.  Not bows that somehow penetrated through high grade stormtrooper armor.   

It always annoyed me how the Ewoks went from cute and jumpy (when they trapped the Rebel strike force) to building massive body traps that took out mechanized vehicles.

  

Hannibal.

August 19th, 2010 at 3:17 PM ^

The Endor scene didn't show anything that was too implausible (within the context).  The booby traps that destroyed the mini-walkers were believable.  The vehicles are badly out of place in that terrain.  There's one scene where some Ewoks try to trip up a mini-walker with a rope, and it doesn't work.  And they don't actually show any projectiles like rocks or arrows penetrating armor and killing stormtroopers.  But they have numbers, knowledge of the terrain, and the element of surprise.  They are a nuisance that is there so that the rebel force can win the battle and that's basically what happens (e.g. Chewbacca taking over one of the vehicles).  I don't see why this is so far-fetched.

Hannibal.

August 18th, 2010 at 3:29 PM ^

How George Lucas ruined Star Wars -- by being completely clueless about what made the original trilogy great and then turning the prequels into high-tech cartoons with shitty writing.  Especially Episodes 2 and 3.

lbpeley

August 18th, 2010 at 4:08 PM ^

SEEN a vagina?!

Just kidding.

Heard a comic do a bit on Star Wars fans having arguments/discussions like this and that was one of his big punchlines. In spite of being a fan myself (although not to the deep level discussed here - I basically think the lines and acting sucked at times in the early ones and all the time in the last 3), I still laugh everytime I think of it.

Crime Reporter

August 18th, 2010 at 5:19 PM ^

Lucas just announced Star Wars is coming to Blu Ray next year (thank God) and in the rticle Mark Hamill discussed a deleted scene that would be included in the new release. Sounds pretty cool.

Per IGN:

We were then shown the scene, which would have taken place after Darth Vader arrives on the second Death Star at the beginning of Return of the Jedi. We see Vader walking down a corridor and into an elevator on the Death Star. We then cut to Vader inside his medication chamber, a la Empire Strikes Back. As Vader sits there, the camera moves into a close-up and we hear him reaching out with the Force. "Luke. Luke. Join me in the dark side of the Force. My son. It is the only way."

As Vader continues to repeat Luke's name, we cut to a tight close-up of Luke, insinuating he is hearing his father's voice. it's a very ominous shot of Luke, who is wearing his cloak and hood, with the shadows from the hood blocking out his eyes completely - in line with how Darth Sideous' face is mostly hidden. As Vader's voice fades away, the camera pans down to Luke's hands, and we see that he is using a tool to complete work on his new lightsaber. Satisfied, he puts the tool down and holds the lightsaber hilt up, igniting it – in what would have been the first reveal of the green blade.

We cut to a shot from the side and see Luke is sitting inside a cave on Tatooine, with C-3P0 standing outside, waiting for him – no doubt to receive his orders to head to Jabba the Hutt.

 

Space Coyote

August 19th, 2010 at 12:43 AM ^

I agree, some of the changes suck, and the Episode I and II sucked pretty much, but III was still by far an above average movie (though not as good as the original 3 movies).  I think Lucas gets way too much crap for a lot of things.  Is he partially to blame for a lot of what has happened to star wars and possibly the new Indiana Jones (I'm opening up some serious wounds now, and I feel them too because Indiana Jones is my favorite of all time), but he gets way too much credit for the bad things that happen and not nearly enough credit for what he originally established as one of the greatest movie events of all time.