Okay, first, the good news. In a recent and lengthy interview with The New York Times, George Lucas said this, “Why would I make any more [Star Wars films] when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” Yaaaaaaay! Brush off your Yub-Nubs, kids, it’s celebration time. All your whining and squawking has not been for naught! You’ve bullied this poor billionaire out of making three more Star Wars films. I hope you’re happy. (You are? Me too!) Though, ostensibly, the NYT piece was meant to highlight George Lucas’s newest project, Red Tails, the interviewer naturally spent some time one Lucas’s more famous projects. In response to the constant fan disapproval, Lucas said, “I’m saying: ‘Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.’ ” And, with that, Lucas misses out on the fundamental issue that plagues you, me and everyone we know. Because movies aren’t made, and certainly don’t become classics, in a vacuum. Lucas thinks it’s his film, and, well, in a certain, very literal sense, this is true. But when films strikes such a resounding chord as the original Star Wars trilogy did, then it becomes ours. His and ours. And to muck them about without any regard for “fanboy” opinion or feelings is to deny us our role in what makes Star Wars such an enduring and engaging legacy.
Because, if we’re being honest, it’s sort of a stupid trilogy. The dialogue clunks along and a lot of the performances (particularly yours, Mark Hamill) leave much to be desired. But it’s our stupid trilogy. We love every dumb name and concussed Stormtrooper. So, fine, Lucas, meddle as you wish. Go ahead, terrorize and threaten me with another Indiana Jones movie. (Allegedly, Lucas composed a six-inch dossier on the science behind fridge-nuking. I think that tells you everything you need to know about one man and his absolute, slavish devotion to terrible things.) But, in my opinion, Lucas loses all artistic and moral high-ground by making the fiercely beloved originals unavailable to the “fanboys” he dismisses to readily. Listen, Red Tails sounds pretty cool, though he curries no favor with me by comparing it to Avatar and I wish him and this project well. But I shall forever hold bitterness in my heart for what he took from us. Lucas has promised to retire from the field of blockbuster films (after that fifth Indiana Jones film) and I got this far in the article without asking what the h*ll is going on with his neck in that header photo. Aren’t you proud? You can read the whole interview here. Frankly, it’s pretty interesting. (NYT)
And I’ll let these gents say it better than I ever could.