Actually, it wouldn’t be all too terribly difficult for any normal person to dodge one of these blaster bolts – especially if it were fired from so far away. Maybe this explains why the Storm Troopers suck so bad and shooting. They don’t suck, it’s just that Han, Chewie, and Luke can easily dodge these bolts when far enough away. The Storm Trooper, on the other hand, can’t dodge. Why? Because those blasted helmets block their vision. You can’t dodge what you can’t see (well, except for Luke).
George Lucas, giving the award to Sid Ganis, who was the in-house publicist on Star Wars: Episode Five – The Empire Strikes Back, said, “Sid is the reason why The Empire Strikes Back is always written about as the best of the films, when it actually was the worst one.”
Does this mean then the prequel trilogy was an attempt by Lucas to redeem himself?
There’s been talk on the wires recently regarding the best order in which to view the six films of the “Star Wars” sci-fi saga, but US actor Topher Grace has probably gone a step better, editing the contents of all three prequel trilogy films down to a single 85 minute long piece.
The result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace’s fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace’s Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available.
From what I can gather, Grace’s much shortened version still succeeds in pretty much conveying the gist of all three prequel films. This I would like to see.
Mixing up the viewing order of the six “Star Wars” films may make for a more enjoyable way (Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks notwithstanding of course) to watch the sci-fi saga, writes Rod Hilton, who suggests seeing episodes four and five first, then episodes one through three, concluding with “Return of the Jedi”:
The prequel backstory comes at the perfect time, because Empire Strikes Back ends on a huge cliffhanger. Han is in carbonite, Vader is Luke’s father, and the Empire has hit the rebellion hard. Delaying the resolution of this cliffhanger makes it all the more satisfying when Return of the Jedi is watched.
The People vs. George Lucas is a documentary comedy made by US filmmakers Alexandre O. Philippe and Michael Ramova, that explores the anger and resentment of fans of the “Star Wars” science fiction movie saga with its creator George Lucas, while also attempting to understand his thinking and motives.
Not only are fans up in arms over the numerous – though usually minor – changes Lucas has made to the films since their original release, many are also upset with the quality of the prequel trilogy of films, particularly “The Phantom Menace”, that after much anticipation, they felt was especially disappointing.
There are always two sides to every story though, and both are presented here. I saw a screening recently and thought it was exceptionally even-handed, despite Lucas’ lack of direct participation.
“The People vs. George Lucas” will be released on DVD in Australia to rent or buy on Wednesday, 22 February 2012, and thanks to the people at Hopscotch FilmsI have three DVDs to give away to readers of disassociated.com.
To go in the draw for one of the DVDs please leave your name and email address in the appropriate fields in the comment form below, plus the name of episode four in the “Star Wars” film saga, in the comment box.
The small print. One entry per person. Correct entries will go into a random draw to determine winners. You must be residing in Australia to participate. Your entry constitutes acceptance and understanding of these terms. The giveaway closes at 5pm AEDT on Wednesday, 22 February 2012, and winners will be contacted soon after.
The People vs. George Lucas (trailer), a documentary comedy jointly directed by US filmmakers Alexandre O. Philippe and Michael Ramova, explores the anger of fans of the “Star Wars” movies towards saga creator George Lucas, in particular their annoyance with changes Lucas has made to the films since their original release.
Fans are also deeply disappointed with aspects of the Prequel trilogy series of films, especially the first episode, “The Phantom Menace”, which after years of anticipation many considered to be a let down. As the title suggests, the film considers the grievances of fans, while also mounting a defence of Lucas, in court room trial fashion.
“The People vs. George Lucas” explores through interviews with fans, filmmakers, and the use of archival news footage, the indelible mark the science fiction film series has left on popular culture, a phenomenon that came as something of a surprise, as few people believed the first film, “A New Hope”, had any real chance of succeeding.
Also analysed is Lucas’ disillusionment with the way Hollywood produces films, which he feels deprives directors of the full creative control they are entitled to. His anger at the way his earlier films “American Graffiti”, and “THX 1138”, were “meddled” with, further spurred him to find ways of gaining total control of the production process.
Lucas’ continued tweaks and adjustments to the “Star Wars” films are attempts, he says, to finally assert his original vision, which he was unable to fully realise earlier. The changes he has made are defended in a number of ways, including the argument that many artists frequently alter their works before finally declaring them complete.
“The People vs. George Lucas” is far from a one sided, vitriolic, attack on Lucas despite there being no actual interviews with, or direct comment from him, about the subject matter. And while one or two criticisms are expressed passionately – and the anger of fans is palpable to say the least – overall the case for Lucas case is fair and balanced.
While this is a film hardcore fans of the “Star Wars” saga will certainly appreciate, in exploring the frustrations of Lucas, it also has a lot to say about contemporary filmmaking. As to a verdict? The arguments of both sides, I thought, for better or worse, were valid, though I doubt anyone can really claim Lucas’ edits had the effect of destroying their childhood.
If George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars sci-fi movie saga, is so intent on constantly altering his original work why doesn’t he remake the films instead, perhaps as Alfred Hitchcock did with “The Man Who Knew Too Much” in 1956, which he first made in 1934?
Of course the idea of re-writing, updating or altering is not new. Authors do it all the time, presenting a revised second edition and letting the first edition slip quietly out of print. Nor is the idea of re-working old material, it happens all the time, even with classics. Kate Bush did just that with her album Director’s Cut earlier this year. But in most cases enterprising fans can find a copy of the original version, or, if there’s enough consumer demand, original versions are made available by a publisher who will typically own the rights. Not so with Star Wars. The rights belong to George Lucas. But should they?
While remakes wouldn’t please everyone they would have allowed the originals to remain untouched, while fulfilling Lucas’ desire to realise his “original” vision in regards to the saga.