Author Topic: Lucas and the Prequels  (Read 858 times)

Offline Brian

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Lucas and the Prequels
« on: June 6, 2005, 01:31 PM »
I originally posted this over in the ROTS thread, but thought it might be good to have it over here too.  Basically, this article (in Entertainment Weekly - May 20, 2005 edition) talks about the whole "journey" with George Lucas, and he touches upon a few things I found interesting regarding the prequels.  Here are a few of the highlights I picked out, including comments from both McCallum and Lucas regarding the prequels and their evolution.

Regarding what the fans wanted for the prequels....


"I think the problem most hardcore fans had with the movies is that they wanted to cut to the chase" says prequels producer Rick McCallum.  "They watned Darth.  You could almost go from Episode III now and do two more films....you know, Episode 3.1 and 3.2.  Just to see a Vader evolve...."  McCallum pauses, and the idea just hangs there, tantalizing.  "But those aren't the films George wanted to make".

Lucas on the Prequels and the gamble of TPM.....

Lucas believes his biggest gamble was starting the saga with Jake Lloyd's gee whiz kid in Menace.  Even his marketing team was skeptical.  "That's a little bit of why it got overhyped.  People (here) were nervous if it was going to break even," says Lucas of Menace's notorious promotional push.  "I didn't care.  I said, This is the story.  I know I"m going to need to use Hamburger Helper to get it to two hours, but that's what I want to do."

By Lucas' own calculation, 60 percent of the prequel plot he dreamed up decades earlier takes place in Sith.  The remaining 40 percent he split evenly between Menace and Clones, meaning each film contained a lot of.....filler.  Or, in Lucas parlance, "jazz riffs....things that I enjoy.....just doodle around a lot"--mostly in the form of blending live action and animation to create exotic worlds and emotionally resonant characters.  You know, like Jar Jar.  "That's the whole point to me.  Making it the way I want it to be.  That's what it comes down to," he says.  "Somebody's got to be happy out of all this.  It might as well be me."

Lucas and the beginnings of the Prequels........

After finishing ROTJ in 1983, capping a decade of Star Wars labor, George Lucas wanted to focus on raising a family with his wife Marcia, and build Lucasfilm into a vehicle for financing and servicing the films he wanted to make.  "Then I got divorced," says Lucas, "and that sort of screwed that up.  I had to start all over again."  He means emotionally and financially: The split reportedly cost him $50 million of his fortune.  He spent the next decade or so raising his three adopted children, shoring up Lucasfilm, producing a few movies and a TV series (Young Indy), and trying to determine when....and with what.....he'd return to direction.  In 1994 "after much back and forth", he chose Star Wars.

"I tried to get out of doing it," confesses Lucas.  He even asked (half jokingly) Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard to each take a prequel: "Those are the two guys I agree with aesthetically the most."  If they had said yes? "I would have said, Good!"  But both said no.  "He was reluctant to get back in the harness.  Its just the hours and the intensity," says Howard.  "Steven told him the same thing: George, there's one person to do these, and that's you.  YOu just have to get up out of your chair and leave your desk.  I know the ranch is an enticing place, but just go make these movies".

Anyways...great article, and a nice read.  I really didn't know some of these things that Lucas thought about the prequels, and basically admitting that he had to stretch the story out and use "filler" for the first two prequels.  Plus, the fact that he initially wanted help with them from Howard and Spielberg was just interesting to me.  The whole "60 percent of the plot for the prequels takes place in ROTS, with the other 40 percent split between TPM and AOTC" really explains a lot I think :).

Online Nathan

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Re: Lucas and the Prequels
« Reply #1 on: June 6, 2005, 03:16 PM »
Great article, mosnab!

By Lucas' own calculation, 60 percent of the prequel plot he dreamed up decades earlier takes place in Sith.  The remaining 40 percent he split evenly between Menace and Clones, meaning each film contained a lot of.....filler.  Or, in Lucas parlance, "jazz riffs....things that I enjoy.....just doodle around a lot"--mostly in the form of blending live action and animation to create exotic worlds and emotionally resonant characters.  You know, like Jar Jar.  "That's the whole point to me.  Making it the way I want it to be.  That's what it comes down to," he says.  "Somebody's got to be happy out of all this.  It might as well be me."

Huh. That's the conclusion many of us came to years ago, but it's really weird to see him come right out and admit it.
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Offline Ook

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Re: Lucas and the Prequels
« Reply #2 on: June 9, 2005, 07:13 PM »
Yeah, that was a good read. I got that issue, too. I love collecting magazines and other articles with material you don't find anywhere esle. I've probably got a bunch of stuff I never even read for fear of spoilers. I'm glad those days are over!

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Lucas and the Prequels
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2005, 12:21 PM »
Thanks for posting that. I fasinated but the history of the making of and love the fact that he asked some of the best filmmakers to help out. Poses more what if questions.
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Offline dafoo

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Re: Lucas and the Prequels
« Reply #4 on: July 5, 2005, 10:02 PM »
he shouldn't blame Jar Jar on filler, that was just stupid. Just take the moronic way of speaking away from Jar Jar and the Gungans in general.  Think about it, just how much better it would have been!
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Offline Darth Broem

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Re: Lucas and the Prequels
« Reply #5 on: July 6, 2005, 08:56 AM »
My thing with Jar-Jar is that he was simply in the film way too much.  Almost every scene in Ep1 he dominates it with either the bodily actions or that loud annoying voice.  I really did not mind the character so much or even the voice really.  It was just simply too much and too over the top.  I am not really sure what he was trying to do with Jar-Jar?  He muct have had some bigger plans for him but the public just went off on that character.  Thankfully he was not in it much the rest of the way. 

It's interesting that McCallum would say something like "you could almost have Ep3.1 and ep3.2 to see Vader evolve but that is not what George wanted to do."  Which would have been nice.  I have to admit. 

What is really odd to me is that after all that time.  What was it 15 years?  Lucas did not dream up of some better filler content.   What is even stranger is that there were some interesting ideas floating around for years from the fan community.  You know stuff like the Mandalorian Warriors.  I just thought he would have dreamed up something more interesting that some of the stuff we got instead.  I don't know how to explain it. 

 

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Lucas and the Prequels
« Reply #6 on: July 6, 2005, 10:42 AM »
he shouldn't blame Jar Jar on filler, that was just stupid. Just take the moronic way of speaking away from Jar Jar and the Gungans in general.  Think about it, just how much better it would have been!

Not much better. Dialogue is one thing, character development is another and that's Jar Jar's major flaw, the character goes nowhere. What would have helped Jar Jar is if he would have done something proactive in the final battle. In stead of bumbling around, he could have done something intentional to take out some droids showing that he actually learned something durring his time with the Jedi.
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Offline dafoo

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Re: Lucas and the Prequels
« Reply #7 on: July 6, 2005, 06:37 PM »
LOL Jar Jar having a life lesson. Nah, I'm not looking for deep stuff.

But yeah, WAAAAY too much screen time, I never thought about that one
who Learned you To spoke!