George Lucas & The Meaning Of Star Wars

Recently t.v. presenter Charlie Rose did an interview with George Lucas in Chicago, discussing the meaning of Star Wars. I’m not able to view it at the moment due to flash plug problems but it appears the audio isn’t all of that great. But see it at the source instead of giving i09 undeserved traffic ;).

No word if anyone from Disney or the story group was present. Hey-ho!


24 Responses to “George Lucas & The Meaning Of Star Wars”

  1. piccolojr1138 Says:

    Nice, but I’m sure George has already said that a hundred times on interviews 😀

    Dave Filoni had some nice words recently :

    “It was kind of a nice way also to tie to the prequel era to use Luminara. A lot has been made of our ties to the original trilogy, but I am not a Star Wars fan that would ever ignore the prequel trilogy. Let’s face it, it’s been my bread and butter for the last decade. I love the prequel era. So it’s important to show, as much as how the Empire built up, what it destroyed and it destroyed a lot of these characters and they got caught up in it. Luminara was a really good lure. We wanted a character that you would know, that kids who had watched Clone Wars would probably actually know. That’s why she got picked over other Jedi.”

    “I had a really interesting conversation once with George [Lucas] about sensing the Force. It was in regards to… Well, it would have been in regards to Ahsoka. It was an old talk he and I had at one point about Ahsoka and Darth Vader and what she would think of that whole situation… but we’ll have to leave that for another time.”

    I really like Rebels so far.

  2. PrinceOfNaboo Says:

    It’s refreshing to hear George talking about Star Wars.

    This single interview, imo, just tells what’s the difference between George and the new Star Wars makers. George has an understanding of human nature, of our history. He is informed about psychology, anthropology, sociology, social psychology etc. and it showed in HIS SW films! In all of them.

    The new guys…all I ever hear them talking about is the “magic” of the PT and how damn cool Han Solo is and that they’ve always dreamed of being Han Solo.

    • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

      OT of course 😀

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      Exactly. The new makers will successfully execute something that looks and sounds like Star Wars — mostly, like in Rebels, because they’re directly lift designs, characters and even music cues directly from the OT — but it won’t have the Lucas era soul. It won’t take risks. It won’t, as Dave Filoni has said about George, try to push Star Wars to see if it might break. Executives who answer to shareholders don’t take risks. It will have cool ‘splosions and plenty of fan service, but bold, daring and original? I doubt it.

      • Nobody Says:

        That’s the really sad thing, here. The whole interview is about Lucas’ quest to stay way from the Hollywood bean-counters… but his story ultimately ends with him selling “Star Wars” TO the same Hollywood bean-counters.

        All I want to know now is– when do we get to see these goddamn “small, personal art films”? Please tell us you’re actually doing something with the time you’ve bought from giving up the GFFA.

      • Keith Palmer Says:

        In some strange way, that George Lucas just handed Star Wars over and went off into the sunset impresses me. There’s also, though, the peculiar hope that a few years (or less) into this brave new era, a person or two who never thought of that before will think “Huh, maybe things weren’t so bad when he was in charge and everyone was dwelling on that…”

      • Hunk a Junk Says:

        Nobody, my theory (and I’m sticking to it) is that Lucas sold Star Wars because he was simply fed up with the hateboy fans. When every single thing you do leads to nothing but constant griping and personal attacks, sooner or later you just say, “You people are fracking nuts and life is too short for this BS. Here. Go. I’m out. Have fun.” As for his personal films, I think he knows he can’t make them. It’s as simple as that. That’s just asking for more abuse. They could be masterpiece works of art and there would be basement-dwelling keyboard commandos just waiting to rip them to shreds. As for what he’s doing with his life, he and his wife have a new baby! He’s being a dad — like he SHOULD. He’s also working on his museum. He’s got a life that doesn’t require any one else’s approval, especially ours.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I still wonder why Lucas cashed out and the lack of curiosity within fandom about that is kind of baffling. Maybe it’s because they figure we’re getting more Star Wars, so who cares? I have my theories too but I’ll concur the jerks had something to do with it.

      • Nobody Says:

        What makes me really sad there is– essentially, the jerky fanboys have won. Lucas is gone, they’re getting Star Wars made to order according to their tastes and whims, and odds are he’s never going to do anything of his own again. What a miserable conclusion.

      • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

        I would have loved to see those long-announced George-Lucas-films besides Star Wars since 2005. It’s a shame he never went for it!

        I think the biggest problem with the new SW people is that those guys have no idea what to make this movie about, except for “As much OT as possible.”, which reminds me of a Lucas quote from 1999:

        “Learning to make films is very easy. Learning what to make films about is very hard. What you’ve really got to do is focus on learning as much about life, and about various aspects of it first. Then learn just the techniques of making a movie because that stuff you can pick up pretty quickly. But having a really good understanding of history, literature, psychology, sciences — are very, very important to actually being able to make movies.”

        What’s your movie/show about, Mr. Abrams/Kasdan/Kinberg?
        “Well, we wanted to recapture the magic of the original films.”


      • madmediaman Says:

        Well Lucas said, in the extended version of the interview, that putting together a trilogy takes up a good ten years of his life. If he were serious about his other endeavors like making small experimental films and developing his museum then the time to sell was now.

        There’s also the real possibility that he sees the implosion of big budget Hollywood blockbuster coming and believes now is the right time to get out of the Star Wars business. Lucas speaks quite a bit about this in the Rose interview, and I believe he’s right. Just looking at the sheer volume of superhero films landing in theaters over the next five summers, it is highly likely audiences will eventually turn their backs on the genre. It’s great for fanboys, but general audience film tastes change over time.

        These same fanboys tend to forget in the mid 00s Hollywood declared the death of the comic book genre, but Iron Man and Batman Begins saved superhero films. I would also argue had Guardians of the Galaxy not been so fresh and original it would have ushered in the beginning of the end of the genre.

        Right now most of these superhero films are tapping out at around $600-750 worldwide, and very few can get over the $250 million hump domestically. With budgets for these films around $200 million plus the massive cost of their publicity, there’s simply not a ton of profit left over. Contrast that with a film like Neighbors which cost $18 million to make and brought in almost $270 million worldwide. A film like that was just as profitable to Universal Studios as was Captain America Winter Soldier.

        The fanboys’ hearts were all a flutter with the release of the Age of Ultron trailer, but frankly I found it a bit of a bore. More of the same; superhero smash, superhero fly, big bad guy blow up world… now talk to me about trailers for American Sniper, or next summer’s Tomorrowland. Those trailers were worthy of building up buzz and are something to get excited about

        My concern with the Marvelization of Star Wars is that it will become nothing more than just another summer blockbuster in a wash of summer blockbusters. When the first superhero film fails, and one of them will fail dramatically, it will bring down the whole system like a house of cards…

        And I’m concerned Star Wars could be caught in that tidal wave.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        I am not sure whether the superhero movie genre will collapse or not… I have read an analysis by Mark Hughes that did not agree with Spielberg’s (was it him?) statement that this would happen soon.
        Anyway, if GL was convinced that this would happen, it may have been one reason to sell SW.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        All I know is bubbles burst eventually and what goes up must come down. In many ways the superhero movie has taken over the Action Hero genre that dominated the ’80s and ’90s. It used to be just about any action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, etc. was guaranteed to print money. Then that bubble burst, partially because the scripts got bad, partially because the leads started heading into their 50s. There were a few younger guys like Will Smith who carried on making star-driven action blockbusters but now even Smith is in his 40s and not the guaranteed hit maker he was a decade or so ago. Eventually the scripts aren’t going to be as inspired, the better directors will get bored or make a misstep, the actors get tired of the roles or get into conflicts with the wrong people, and audiences are going to look for something new. It’s just a question of when.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        The question is of course when this will happen… GL and Spielberg probably think sooner than later, others disagree.
        However, I can really think of “oversaturation”. When there is a dozen of superhero movies released during one year, the average movie goer will not be able to visit all of them. And by simple arithmetics, this decreases the profit of each individual movie.
        Anyway, comic book movie fans are having a good time at the moment, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it is a good question whether the “marvelization” of SW is bad or not (or whether Disney will really do it. Probably yes).

  3. madmediaman Says:

    The problem isn’t necessarily selling to Disney, or the “Disneyfication” of Star Wars… it’s the “Marvelization” of Star Wars under the control of Disney’s current management.

    The next piece in my blog is going to examine the amazing similarities between George and Walt Disney. Both had father issues they had to deal with early in their careers, and both shared passions for history and technology. Lucas’ brand of storytelling was clearly influenced by what Walt did with his studio from the 40s-60s. I highly suspect if Walt were alive, healthy, and still running Disney when George was pitching Star Wars, he would have given George a shot.

    The problem is the mindset at the studio right now. To them Star Wars is just another brand to exploit like Marvel. If they go through with their plans of multiple Star Wars films per year and potentially multiple television shows, it will cease to be special and will simply become just another brand.

    My other fear is the sheer volume of superhero action films… at some point the general public is going to be turned off, and when that happens the genre will collapse in epic fashion, and there’s a real possibility it will take Star Wars with it.

    • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think many of the Spin-Offs will do too well. Is a Boba-Fett spinoff really promising? I’m not sure.

      • madmediaman Says:

        I don’t see the Boba Fett spin off doing that weel with general audiences… I just don’t. Obi-Wan is one spin off however I can see doing well with as it’s one of the most popular characters in the entire Saga, and will star a big name actor.

        Frankly if they want to attract general audiences then they need to go into areas a general audience might be interested in like exploring the origins of the Jedi. Something different and new looking.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        madmediaman, you may have a point here. It’s the general audience that let a movie make $$$, not the specific fans of a franchise. And how many average movie goers are really interested in a Boba Fett movie? On the other hand, if it has the SW tag on it…

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Dangit, Walt, why couldn’t you have lasted another decade or so?! Both Disney and Lucas are/were traditionalists at heart, firmly rooted in the values of 20th century small town America, albeit in Lucas’s case with a ’60s twist.

      Well, you know how I feel about superhero movie glut. Not only is it too much, I also think that there’s no room at all today for anything original or different. Everything has to come pre-sold. No wonder so much of the experimentation and creativity is taking place on television or the internet.

      • Keith Palmer Says:

        I remember a “Disney should have backed Star Wars” comment in the “update” chapter of Richard Schickel’s The Disney Version, which wasn’t the most complimentary book about “Walt Disney the man” I’ve ever read but still wound up looking askance at “Disney after Walt” (up to Michael Eisner taking over). Even so, I’ve always had the impression Walt Disney wouldn’t have allowed the “personal” project of someone else to be made…

  4. Stefan Kraft Says:

    I can completely understand all the frustration that has been expressed here… Personally, I am still hesitant to judge the ST. Ep VII has not been released yet, and maybe GL’s story treatment is still the core of it. And maybe they’ll add more PT references than expected. (I have read a I-dont-know-how-trustworthy-and-maybe-already-outdated spoiler somewhere that one character was planned to be the descendant of a PT character – and I am not talking about Luke & Leia.)
    What bugs me is the marketing, which – as LP has stated – seems really to focus on “recapturing the magic of the OT”, implying “yes, we address the elephant in the room that you did not like the last three movies, so we’ll do the next ones the way you want them to be.” Which is not the best idea because millions have grown up with the PT and consider them “their” SW. And I am quite confident that the average movie goer (not visiting message boards…) thought of the PT everything between “at least as good as the OT” and “well, not the real deal, but still nice”.
    Not to forget the whole “we use tons of practical effects!!!111one” because these automatically make the movie better, you know? I mean, everybody hates the Avengers, or Pixar movies (100% CGI), or TCW (100%…), right?
    (Personally, I think the hateboys followed this reasoning: “too much SFX, too little story + too much SFX because of CGI -> CGI means bad story”. And now try to derive from that “no CGI -> excellent story”… You can’t? Me neither. But hateboys more or less can. Or at least they argue “no CGI -> old school, like OT : recapture the spirit of doing the OT, i.e. the old way -> ST great”)

  5. JustinJL Says:

    Has anyone read or listened to the audiobook, the secret history of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski? It truly is a fascinating listen, when I think of all the elements in terms of myths and storytelling being brought into play, it makes me appreciate Lucas more for it. I also heard that was not fond of writing but Francis Ford Coppola, pushed him into writing. I found that interesting.

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