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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Force WAS With You - Evil Unmasked: Lucas Further Destroys Star Wars

In a time not long, long ago... many a boy (and some girls too) entered theaters across the country to see a movie that would define their youth; a movie that was still so intertwined with their memories of childhood that it is impossible to separate the two.  A movie that had them yearning for action figures, buying trading cards and fighting over who would get to be Han while running around during recess. Of course, I speak of Star Wars.

Over the years people began to sense a disturbance in the force, a being that seems to have been overcome by the dark side and now wants to single-handily destroy the Star Wars universe and the attached memories.  One that attacks from within.  The only one with the power to actually destroy The Force, the dark Lord himself, George Lucas.

Georgie Boy has taken upon himself to crush our once glowing memories of Star Wars with one swift stroke.  He has decided to make another round of change to the beloved film trilogy that gave birth to toy collecting-virgins-nerds across the globe (seen here in a hilarious video).  Lucas has tinkered in the past when he released the "Special" Editions, making changes to the originals, that would be an understatement to say annoyed fans.  These changes were bad, but the it was the release of the prequel trilogy that proved the force was weak in George.
Let's face it Lucas got lucky with the original trilogy.  The power of nostalgia protected the series for decades without the criticism most films deal with.   It was as if he possessed The Force himself and used it to control our minds - not many complaints, if any, were made about the first 3 Star Wars films - they were untouchable.  That was until the prequels - a series so widely hated (by those not in denial) that what used to be considered sci-fi blasphemy is acceptable now to admit.  Simply put, the original trilogy is no Godfather.  The first Star Wars (now known as The New Hope) was a good film with an exciting climax, but is often kind of...boring.  The second, "Empire," was a tremendous film with a better storyline, darker tone and of course Yoda; the dirty secret is that the film that is widely considered the best in the series was not written by Lucas.  "Return" got a free ride for years - now as adults, the Ewoks alone are enough to make some fast forwarding required during viewing.

Even with the numerous flaws of the original series many could get past them thanks to nostalgia.  Not so much with the prequels, many of us have gotten over the prequels by convincing themselves they did not exist (similar to the last two Matrix films); no Jar Jar, no cute mini-Darth, no wooden performances, no Midi-chlorian and no newly created Darth Vader screaming "Nooooooooo!"

Unfortunately for all those that have used denial and suppression to deal with the now tainted Star Wars universe, Lucas continues to pick at the scab that is just barely healing.  One wound that may never heal was his turning one of the best anti-heros in history, Han Solo, into a softy by having Greedo shoot first.  Now he is taking perhaps THE greatest villain of all time, the heartless, more machine than man, Darth Vader, and committing a character assassination and giving him a heart.  In the scene found below you can witness how with a simple word Lucas can take ruin a beloved character - turning the toughest m'r f'r in the universe into an over-sensitive, protective daddy.

If you just watched the video, I apologize for destroying your youth.  You may ask yourself, why?  Why would Lucas do this?  It is simple - ego.  Lucas made one huge mistake in the most watchable of the unwatchable prequel trilogy  - when Anakin transformed into Darth Vader during "Revenge of the Sith" he stands up and does something completely out of character, he screams "noooooooooo."   I remember it like it was yesterday, seeing it in the much anticipated film in the theater.  I remember the crowd, that stood in lines for hours to see the film, laughing.  I remember trying to convince myself that it was not as bad as it seems.  It was, perhaps worse.  Darth Vader died that day in many fans'minds and Lucas heard about it from distraught fans.  Besides Greedo shooting first and Jar Jar existence this was the most complained about of all Lucas' poor decisions.  Now ten years later it is as if he thinks he can sneak in another "noooooo" into a key scene of the original trilogy to justify they poor decision made in "Sith" and some how no one would notice.  People noticed and people are upset.    Some have even gone so far as to call for a boycott of the soon to be released Blu-Ray set.

Is this just a case of people just needing to move on, to get a life?  If so, who is more in need of doing so - Lucas or the millions of loyal fans.   The popular answer seems to be Lucas; perhaps it is time we just let go.  How much can we tolerate, George?  If I started a list (or you can do so in the comments) of all the issues people had with the Special Editions/prequel it would go on for quite a while.  The opinions of the fans have become more and more vocal, being recorded in film, books, songs, blogs and comedy act.  But, for some reason you continue to manipulate our childhood in post.  Don't you have enough money?   Are you still fighting for some respect?  Do you really think you are improving the Star Wars legacy?  No matter what your motive, you are wrong.  Back away from the editing bay and give people what they wanted in the first place, an un-altered original trilogy on DVD (now Blu-ray).  If you can do that, all will be forgiven.  We can ignore the prequels without having to be reminded of the inadequacies while watching the originals.  This means, no superimposed Hayden Christianson, no Jar Jar, no quick draw Greedo, no extended Ewok dance, and of course absolutely no "Noooooooooooo!" 

You can do it George.  Just put down the Star Wars universe and walk away.  Spielberg did.

(For the record, I finished writing this at 1am - typos will be corrected when I am slightly more awake.)




Anonymous said...

Sadly, I have to agree, get your grubby hands of the franchise already. I'll go ahead and say that the 2nd trilogy (EP 1,2,3) don't hold a candle to the originals, just because how far ahead of their times they were. BUT, they aren't horrible, they just were misguided.

The biggest gripe I have had with EPs 1,2,and 3 is that the technology and spaceships are so far ahead of the time of the later movies in the series. WHY couldn't they just make them look like the old ones, instead of trying to pass off that after Ep 3 all that stuff was destroyed and then they had to go to the much rougher looking more primitive ships. Also, the graphics of everything relied way too much on green screen and a lot less use of props. The slight cheesiness of the props and some of the scenes are what make the original 3 so brilliant, because it worked amazingly.

In regards to characters, the over use of Jar Jar Binks and under-utilization of Darth Maul destroys EP 1. Darth Maul should have had a bigger role, and probably been kept over into EP 2. The premature death of Darth Maul and Jar Jar binks not getting killed off taints EP 2 (though I think that he learned his lesson with Jar Jar and greatly reduced his input), EP 2 was pretty darn good, and the battle in the coliseum like place was awesome. EP 3 was awesome, besides Darth Vader being a sissy at the end....though I think that scene there to explain what ultimately is meant to lead him to be the bad ass he is in the original trilogy.

And finally, in regards to tweaking the scenes of a legendary movie is stupid, plain stupid. How do you edit that? Also, the slight puppet miscue, I can understand tweaking that scene, but anything besides crisping the picture up for HD viewing is absurd. Why ruin something that was so good as the original?

Joseph Balaich said...

George Lucas is updating and re-envisioning HIS masterpiece. He is not merely someone trying to destroy art. It is his own art. Yes I know Irvin Kershner directed The Empire Strikes Back and Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan did screenplay for the movie. Also the fact that Richard Marquand directed Return of the Jedi. However, the STORY belongs to George Lucas. Right from the beginning I knew you are a fan who or person who is bashing the creator. He holds the franchise itself.

When George Lucas said: "People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians." He met people who destroy other people's work is an immoral act of humanity. He did not mean people creating of their creations. Why else is editing a writer's best friend?

Lord of the Rings fans were happy to see a special addition to films; also people of all sorts of films love Director's Cuts because they love to see a movie the way the creator wanted it to be.

Also Han did shoot Greedo first. But regardless George Lucas created Han Solo and has a right to say that he did not want Han Solo to appear "the aggressive type", therefore he changed for Han Solo to shoot second. And as fans may love Han Solo to be the aggressive type, they have no right to bash how a creator initially intended his character or characters to be.

George Lucas may be milking his story, but he has a right to. It belongs to him. J.R.R Tolkien milked his story as much as he could and his son Christopher Tolkien preserved and shared his father's works to the world. Imagine all the fans would be without The Similarion?

The one good thing about the prequel trilogy is it brings new fans to the saga and keeps the fan base alive for new generations of fans to grow and grow. The original trilogy had a good feel to it with a story that seemed refreshing for the age.

Why can't we just get along with art? We live in such a time where art is the most biased and augmentative figuring what art is. I'm buying the Blu Ray complete saga of Star Wars because I love Star Wars and tip my hat to George Lucas for willing to bring fans movies onto a higher definition and vision of what he wants Star Wars to be. George Lucas does know fans will buy them, but who else would buy them? We act accordingly to what we want, need, love and hate.

FilmSnork said...

@Joseph, I can understand one man trying to make improvements on his atrwork. What I cannot accept is the complete altering of film history. The solution to this problem is releasing a copy of both the new edits AND the originals, untouched as they were on the big screen decades ago.

Just because it is his work it does not mean he should not be loyal to all those that loved it. If Tarantino went back in and swapped out the music on "Pulp Fiction" or if Indy in "Raiders" does not shoot the sword swinging thug until he actually attacked him, would it be acceptable?

The biggest issue people seem to have with this whole situation is not that the tinkering has occured, but rather that Lucas acts like the films in their original form are inferior - refusing to release them. It is his new vision or nothng at all; a slap in the face to all who loved them as they were.

The solution: a box set with BOTH. If that was the case, perhaps some fans would be interested in the alterations rather than utterly appalled. Lucas acts like an overcontrolling parent - making decisions for the children rather than guiding and letting them make thier own choices. And, like smothered children, we are rebelling.

Anonymous said...

Are you an idiot. Do you know how many people love the prequels. How many people love Jar Jar. You are just 1 person that is not happy. I say the original needed editing. There were scenes that they couldn't do because of their limited resources. If star wars was ruined how come everyone still loves star wars and are talking about both trilogies equally. Both are enjoyed. What you are saying is wrong. I've grown up watching star wars and my favorites of the series are "Sith" and "Jedi". They improved Star wars with the prequels and everyone loves them. So don't talk about star wars if you are going to make up facts. My point is kids love it, teens love it, adults love it, and elders even love it. All 6 of them so don't go around thinking you are leading some sort of angry mob when there are way more people against you than with you. Always when I watch any of the star wars I feel like that kid saying "Let's watch it again." And you are talking about the guy I look up to. I want to make movies and he is the reason why. Your whole blog is wrong. That was the beer talking. Not you. I bet you love star wars still as much as you did as kid. Star wars hasn't changed if anything it got better.

Anonymous said...

And one last thing. The extra no was needed because he is the sensitive father that makes him to be. He is the same little kid from tatooine but grown up.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. George Lucas is Sherwood Schwartz. You know, the guy who created "The Brady Bunch." His whole career was based on the Bradys, much like Lucas' is based on Star Wars.

I've lost complete respect for Lucas since reading an article in (the now defunct) Premiere magazine, where he said "If it was up to me, I wouldn't even use actors." OK, douche.


Michael said...

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