A Couple Of Lucas Appreciation Posts

This first blog post doesn’t mention the prequels very much but I’m sure you’ll appreciate the content all of the same:

One of my favorite Lucas stories occurred in this time, but I only became aware of last year. A man named Joe Johnston was a very important art director for the first three films, and who deserves an awful lot of credit for the great look those films achieved. Lucas thought he had a future in film school, though Johnston was reluctant. Lucas kept Johnston on at half salary, paid his tuition to film school in full and offered to help him pursue his own opportunities in the business. Selfless and loyal gestures like that, inspire me to do that for the workers I have in my employment today.

This next post goes into the prequels a lot more as well as the Ring Theory and the anti-Lucas faction of fandom.  The author gets critical of TFA but most of it is about Lucas’s Star Wars:

And the thing is, it’s always more rewarding to try to understand the piece of art that’s in front of you, rather than only understanding your own predispositions. When the prequels were coming out, it was a fascinating puzzle to me, and I was watching very closely how the structures of the two halves would tie together. Before Episode II came out, I predicted to my friends that it would end with a shot of Anakin and Padme’s wedding. I predicted too, also in 1999, that Episode III would end with the arrival of the twins in their new homes, the last shot being Luke with Owen and Beru on Tatooine. I even predicted that the first shot of Episode II would contain a camera tilt up to a planet, rather than a tilt down. Every other episode started with a tilt down, but once Lucas had a rule like that, there was always one exception as a counterpoint. I could see the musical structure to it, and enjoy what he was doing, rather than bitching because he wasn’t doing what I wanted him to.

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23 Responses to “A Couple Of Lucas Appreciation Posts”

  1. susanbowess Says:

    The first post doesn’t surprise me at all. Lucas is a very generous man and has contributed to a lot of causes through the years, mainly for education.

    The second post is interesting too. At least this person didn’t bash Lucas, like most critics/fans do.

  2. Keith Palmer Says:

    I read the second post first, and then found the first post sort of refreshing after the second’s brisk fervour… although that’s not to say the second post wasn’t satisfying in its own lengthy way.

    I also admit one point around the middle of the second post caught my attention, where a point was made about all the hot air churned out about the “cantina shootout” in the Special Edition, if only because I’d tried making the same point myself (supposing it to an “unpopular fandom opinion” to be brought up on a “once in a while” leap day) on my own journal just yesterday…

    • Cristian Martinez Says:

      Is a shame that it seems that no one remember the originals, in they really, really, really original form, the Special Editions fix a lot of the aged effects, but it seems that fans are so blind by their Nostalgia that no remember how horrible bad that imagines were, like Palpatine deformed face in the original version, they say that the Original Star Wars effects “aged” well, it seems that they don’t remember the originals version at all. I mention this because WatchMojo did a list of movies who effects aged well, and guess what, the Original Star Wars there, but it seems that a lot people don’t remember the originals versions as I do.

      • Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

        Martinez… Hahahah… WatchMojo… eeeehhhh… Sorry, I shouldn’t be laughing… WatchMojo is more cringe worthy than laughable…..

      • susanbowess Says:

        I, like you, do remember how horrible the imagines were in the original trilogy, especially the Emperor’s deformed face in a New Hope. (then titled Star Wars)

        BTW, the Emperor wasn’t called Palpatine in the original movie. If I remember right, he didn’t have a name at all. Vader just called him Master.

  3. timontatooine Says:

    That second article is so brilliant.

  4. M. Marshall Says:

    Recently the director of the upcoming “The Birth of a Nation” (it’s about the Nat Turner rebellion) praised Lucas in an interview with Yahoo movies.

  5. Jacobesico Says:

    I love the CGI Yoda in the 2011 edition of The Phantom Menace. It look so much better.

    • susanbowess Says:

      I agree 100%. The CGI Yoda was much better than the puppet used in the original trilogy. Although I loved the puppet version when Yoda first appeared; while watching the CGI Yoda you could actually envision the little, green alien as being a real character, almost as “alive” as the human actors.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      I think the puppet from Empire and Jedi looks better, but the Cg Yoda looks better than the Phantom puppet.

  6. Jacobesico Says:

    The second article is very good. I really admire George Lucas for doing the saga his way.
    I have never really been a person to follow the crowd and I’ve always respected George for doing the same.

    I don’t think that a lot of these “fans” actually undersatnd what Star Wars is about. They may claim to know but they are stuck in the past. If these “fans” mindset were around at the dawn of time, man would still be stuck in caves.

    Thankfully I have six Star Wars movies that I enjoy.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      I don’t think a lot of people actually take the time to consider art on its own terms anymore. People condemn artistic choices without bothering to try and understand why those choices were made. It’s not how “they pictured it”, so it must be BAD!

      Many of the movies that mainstream geekdom says are “objectively terrible” are actually at least objectively decent, if not better. I have yet to see a single film that is as “garbage” as the mainstream makes it out to be. True, they’re rarely game-changing works of art, but they’re far better put together than given credit for: Daredevil, Green Lantern, even Abrams’ Trek films have more value than is often stated.

      • Falcongunner Says:

        Adam, I have to say that you are so right and I’m very much looking forward to seeing Ben Affleck’s take on Batman as I thought he was very good as Daredevil (as was Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern) If you have any sort of art in your life, people will often not notice your best work but work that does not satisfy your standards will be the work that others will praise (old model-makers adage!)

  7. jayoungr Says:

    I really enjoyed the second article. I doubt it will convince anyone who’s already decided to hate the prequels, though.

  8. andywylde77 Says:

    A big problem with SW as a whole is that certain “fans” of SW are public enemy #1 of the SW franchise. They are tearing the franchise down brick by brick with uninformed opinions, their disingenuous whining about Lucas and the PT and much more.

    They think that TFA is a “return to what SW is about” They think it is about bantering friends, minimalistic tendencies and dirt and grit. Well that attitude that thinks that is what is really “destroying” SW. Because SW is much, much, much more than that.

    Because I love a SW universe that is rich in detail, strong with emotions. With characters and story that tug at the heartstrings, touch the soul, and give food for thought to anyone that is willing to believe in it. And Lucas brought all that and more in huge doses. But the true “fans” of SW only see the superficial exterior and not all the true beauty that lies beneath it. Those “fans” will be forever grateful with a by-the-numbers, generic, assembly line corporate product that was TFA. Now I personally do have some faith that the future of the SW films could redeem themselves and not worry about catering to the middle aged man-children that want the entertainment industry to make the feel like kids again.

    I had my childhood and it was great. Nothing will ever change that. But again, I had my childhood. Now let the children of today have theirs. Because all these middle aged man-children think that LFL owes them because they bought all the versions of the OT on home media formats or bought every action figure from 1977-1985. No it doesn’t work like that. That kind of attitude only takes away from the goodness. Kids are being robbed of their childhoods because of middle ager’s running around wanting to be reminded about all the things in their youth. I do hope that TFA was enough to quench the nostalgia thirst that the older generation has. Because now it is time to put down that nostalgia pacifier and grow up!

    • Cristian Martinez Says:

      You are being to optimistic, they never would grow up, because they are hypocrite, they can be high in their horse bitching someone else, here is a classical example of a Original Star Wars fan in internet, Steve Shives, sometime in the past he did a video about Five Stupid Things about Star Trek, and the last critic, he that the Originals Star Trek fans believe that they OWN Star Trek, that Rodenberry and the current industry should make movies for them, and not for the general audience, and as final note he used the quote: “That creator should be worry about the characters and not the fans.”

      Back to the present. What you think that Steve Shives do when he review Force Awakens? He critics the plot or the lack of thereof? He critic the Mary Sue characters that are a blank page? He critic that is a total fanservices movie to the Original Star Wars fans masturbate on it? No, nothing, he bring a brindis for the new Force Awakens movie. What happen with “care about the characters and not the fans”? He is so nostalgic that totally would ignore the total lack of world building and character development of the movie, that is how the Original Star Wars fans are, and they wont change, because they believe that they are “right by definition” that they are the “good guys by definition”, the “true fans by definition”, everyone else is a wannabe, fake, not worth of being called fan only because they like the Prequels.

      And they really destroy the Star Wars universe, if the next two movies not have any world building or character development, that are pure fanservices and a rip-off of Empire Strike Back and Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars universe would be truly destroyed, and maybe, if the Prequels are redeem in the future, when the old generation die down, all they hopes that this age would remember as they want to be remember as something positive for the franchise would be crushed, and of course, the fact that they bully and bashed an entire generation during decades wont help their case, it seems that they forgot the phrase the says that you grow more respect with love than with hate, most of the current generation hate the Original Star Wars fans, and they wont have any problems in bury them down when it come their turn.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yes I agree with the whole critic issue of TFA. It seems that a lot of them just coddled the film and let it off easy. Pretty sad really. I just wish that the fans that whine about the PT would just be honest with themselves and just stand up and yell:

        I JUST WANT MORE OF THE SAME!

        See that I can appreciate a little. Because that is exactly what they want. They got that with TFA and the film grossed tons of money. This alone reinforces the fact that the “fans” just want more of the same. I don’t agree with wanting the same, but I do respect honesty even if I don’t agree. Then even the makers of the films could be more honest instead of what they did with their marketing campaign which was just a smear campaign. They too should just stand up and yell:

        WE ARE GIVING YOU AN OT GREATEST HITS COLLECTION INSTEAD OF AN ACTUAL FILM!

        This would be the truth. And it is being done to win back fans that abandoned or quit the SW franchise because Lucas told HIS story HIS way and not THEIR way. So both the film makers and certain “fans” just dance around the issues and throw terms around like, “practical effects” “real sets” “character development” and so on. When all that dancing around the issues could be summed up by what I just wrote these people should actually say. But they don’t want to be honest with anyone.

        There are SW fans 🙂
        and
        There are SW fans 😦

    • Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

      “Kids are being robbed of their childhoods because of middle ager’s running around wanting to be reminded about all the things in their youth”… sigh, that is around the top section of multiple reasons why I wish that Lucas never sold his company to Disney… and I mean for this sentence to bash on Disney, a company I grew up with and still enjoy some of their work…. but than they pull catering tactics like this and not only throw true fans, respectful OT-only fans, admires of fine cinema arts (who understand Star Wars more than Simon Pegg ever will) under the bus… but make the new generation suffer. Even if kids’ like The Force Awakens now, will they watch and look back with found memories a decade from now, or will they be displeased and be full of regret? Even though I rather disown the darn thing, I hope for their sake that they will treasure it and not later see it as a dated product with boring characters (okay, save BB8, but he is still a baby R2 clone). I would like to see hope for VIII & IX, especially with the possible Naboo sets they have, but I don’t have much hope as long as Bob Igor, Ms. Killedy, and Mickey Confused Mouse are in charge…

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yes I understand where you are coming from. The folks that hated the PT were the ones that coined the phrase “Lucas raped my childhood” Because of the reasons that Lucas didn’t cater to their childhoods but instead gave kids of that generation a childhood of their own. But I also do hope like you that these current youngsters will be able to love TFA for their own reasons. But these will pick up on something if there is something wrong. Because the older fans can see that TFA was a nostalgia project geared for older fans. Now the kids today may look at that down the road and pick up on the fact that TFA was one big nod and wink to the OT. Which kinds of cheats them out of a genuine experience and it disrupts the entire SW story as a whole. If one is to watch the entire 9 part saga when all is said and done and they get to TFA they will realize that not much was offered in terms of story and character development. So if one has watched I-VI they will notice when VII is on that it seems like it really didn’t matter whether or not they actually watched it because it didn’t add much to begin with.

        Will the next 2 episodes continue this trend? Who knows. We will find out though. But since they are continuing to market these with all the practical effects and being shot on film stuff, it seems most likely that they will pretty much make the next 2 episodes in the same vain as TFA. I could be wrong though.

        Because here I was sitting here thinking that SW had a story to tell when all SW was really about was actors running around in plastic suits! Oh and SW was all about plywood, rubber masks, puppets, plastic, models etc. Not the story or characters or anything like that(end sarcasm)

      • susanbowess Says:

        The Prequels are the glue that bonds the OT and the next episodes of Star Wars into one great, continuing story. As long as future generations include the Prequels as part of their Star Wars experience, I think they’ll love the entire saga as much as we do.

  9. susanbowess Says:

    I’ve been following comments about TFA on this site, on FB, and also articles written about the movie. Most critics praised TFA highly, as well as OT fans. However, I found that most of the complaints about TFA come from Prequel lovers. Most think that TFA is just a rip-off of ANH. I agree to a point, TFA does have scenes that are very similar to ANH, but we’ve got to remember that Lucas did the same thing with the OT and the Prequels – as was proven by that video that combined all six episodes together in one vid.

    Say what you will about TFA, I think it had a fresh plot – such as who the heck are Rea’s parents, why does Ben hate his father so much, AND did Kylo really kill his father, or did Han really ignite the lightsaber himself? (youtube – https://youtu.be/OOlbhVjmo5w) Although TFA is very comparable to ANH, it left us (me anyway) wondering just what the heck the next episodes will add to the saga.

  10. Phen Says:

    Ok, this made me tear up. I am so grateful to Lucas for this fantastic world he made. It’s my escape from the crap and drudgery of life. I’m glad he got some joy from it, even at the end, becuase he also got a lot of crap for trying to make movies poeple will like.

    i wish there was a way to show my appreciation for him, in a way that would communicate it. but for now i watch the movies, read the books, and love the jedi. and, when i get down about the lack of support of the prequels currently, i go find some of the old books i missed. There are so many.

    this week i was in target, and over heard some kids arguing about if they wanted to get a general grevious or commander cody lego set. Did my heart good to hear that those were the only two they were considering. I don’t hate new stuff. I just miss the prequels, and am hurt that disney put the kabosh on so much prequel merchandise.

    • susanbowess Says:

      You should have sent an email to me, or a video of yourself thanking Mr. Lucas. I made an appreciation video to him that group members got in on. Here’s the link to watch it on youtube:

      This video is full of messages thanking Mr. Lucas that I’m sure you’ll like. It may even make you tear up too. 🙂

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