Lucas Named 16th Best Screenwriter Ever

Vulture polled 40 screenwriters on the 100 best screenwriters of all time.  George Lucas ranked #16:

 In marrying the aesthetics of the pulp serials of his youth to formal lessons gleaned from Joseph Campbell, he quite literally created the template for 40-plus years of blockbusters. But his legacy isn’t limited to space operas. “Yes, the man created Star Wars, but want to see another side of his skills? Check out American Graffiti and weep because you’ll never be as talented as he is,” says Andrea Berloff.

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8 Responses to “Lucas Named 16th Best Screenwriter Ever”

  1. Moose Says:

    I am happy for Lucas’ inclusion here, but grow tried of the “clunky dialogue” bit. I love Star Wars dialogue because (just like in Shakespeare’s plays and Tarantino’s movies) nobody in the real world talks like that. It is part of what makes the whole experience special. I get enough “real life” in my real life.

  2. Hunk a Junk Says:

    For a guy who writes “clunky” dialogue, George Lucas has written some of the most quote-worthy dialogue in cinema history. It’s long past overdue to dismiss Alec Guiness and Harrison Ford’s griping about George’s dialogue as the peevish complaints of actors who at the time just didn’t get it and, frankly, were WRONG (hey, Ford hasn’t been brilliant in every role he’s ever had — sometimes he makes mistakes). History has proven them wrong. Why does everyone just assume they were somehow right when clearly the dialogue in ANH was terrific?

  3. Pedro Felipe Says:

    Good, shame they have use bashing his amazing dialogue as a sort of excuse to praise him. His dialogue is amazing, they don’t get it.

  4. Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

    This is a relief to read/know…. after today in screenwriting class where Anakin & Padme were used as examples of a bad romance (though in a more respectful way, heck the teacher did like/think the grass scene worked/could’ve worked… and even I had to admit the fireplace scene wasn’t the best), this is nice to see…. it is an encouragement as well for all of us George Lucas’ in the world (I’m listening to Stary Stary Night while typing this)

    Also since on the subject, I want to know if you think the line about “your kiss being a scar” is a bit creepy or absolute genius?

    P.S. Off the subject I’m back and forth about “The Last Jedi”

    • starwarsreality Says:

      You should read the “The Force Awakens vs the Prequels” post by rickworley. His comment is some of the best you will ever see.

    • Pedro Felipe Says:

      The thing is, “many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view”. I’ve never treated the Anakin/Padmé dialogue in Attack of The Clones as in the vein of traditional romance and that’s one of the things that make it so great to me. Anakin is young, insecure. I love the dynamic between the characters, the innocence, it’s very unique. It’s meticulously crafted down to the smallest details, clearly there’s a fine tuned thematic structure behind the dialogue. You begin to understand this when you look at the amount of time George spend writing and fine tuning the script, if you look at the the small part of the drafts, iterations, revisions and other production material that is available to us, it’s fascinating and unprecedented. The narrative that George was lazy, that gets repeated ad-nausea,, is a philthy lie. For example, look at this iteration of the often bashed at “Sand Scene”, taken from the shooting script of the movie:

      He touches her arm. PADMÉ has become receptive to the way he looks at her but is nervous.

      PADMÉ
      There was a very old man who lived on the island. He used to make glass out of sand – and vases and necklaces out of the glass. They were magical.

      ANAKIN
      (looks into her eyes) Everything here is magical.

      PADMÉ
      You could look into the glass and see the water. The way it ripples and moves. It looked so real… but it wasn’t.

      ANAKIN
      Sometimes, when you believe something to be real, it becomes real. Real enough, anyway…

      They look into each other’s eyes. He touches her chin.

      PADMÉ
      I used to think if you looked too deeply into glass, you would lose yourself.

      ANAKIN
      I think it’s true…

      ANAKIN kisses PADMÉ. She doesn’t resist. She comes to her senses and pulls away.

      PADMÉ
      I shouldn’t have done that.

      ANAKIN
      I’m sorry. When I’m around you, my mind is no longer my own.

      PADMÉ
      It’s the situation… the stress…

      He looks at her.

      ANAKIN
      …the view.

      Down to the small things, in the Meadow Picnic scene,

      “Padmé: You really don’t like politicians do you?

      Anakin: I like two or three, but I’m not really sure about one of them.”

      The definition of “great writing” varies wildly from person to person, from a literary school to another, and from a culture to another. What I find incredibly damaging in film criticism is the dogmatic adherence to certain conventions and the constant attempt to judge movies based on how close they adhere to those established principles.

      I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books, and I say this not to boast, but to evidence that I do have a good idea of what writing is and I love George Lucas’ dialogue to death. He’s a much better dialogue writer than most of those people at hollywood who win oscars these days. Now, in regards to your question about the “kiss becoming a scar” line, it’s a pretty straightforward metaphor and expresses Anakin’s perception that if he’s not with her that kiss will haunt him forever, don’t see any problem with the dialogue at all.

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