Why Did Lucas Make the STAR WARS Prequels?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Vidiot, May 11, 2020.

  1. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    Sorry, I know Im getting off topic here. But Im assuming that many students have shared this thinking with you? What do they think of the sequels? Seems they wouldnt care for them much.
     
  2. Mr. Gnome

    Mr. Gnome Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    Response was mixed for the sequels. That seems to be the general consensus overall though. They preferred the prequels to the sequels by a large margin.
     
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  3. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Location:
    WI

    I wouldn't say I'm stuck in 1983, but I get where you're coming from...

    I don't like the films as much as I did when I was a kid (still like them though, especially "Star Wars"), but yeah, for me, the three original films are it-I have no interest in the rest. Not because they're not the "SW" I saw growing up, but because the interest isn't there anymore.

    The whole "Star Wars" thing has gone beyond anything I'd ever have interest in.
     
  4. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Westerville, Ohio
    Wow. It's amazing the power of seeing something during your childhood has.

    The prequels are just BAD films.

    I saw The Phantom Menace at a midnight screening on opening night/day back in 1999 and the minute Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan went underwater with Jar-Jar in the first 20 minutes, I said to myself: "This isn't Star Wars."

    Now...within the first 20 minutes of The Force Awakens, way before any old characters showed up, I said to myself, "Now THIS is Star Wars."

    My MAIN complaint with BOTH the prequels and the recent sequels is they turned something that was very special and unique into "This week on Star Wars: The Television Show". You gotta remember, back in the late 70's to the late 80's whenever you saw something that was "fantastic" on the screen, you said to yourself, "How the heck did they do that?!?!" Starting with the prequels you just said, "Oh yeah...computers (yawn)."

    And please note: this is coming from someone who saw Return of the Jedi in theaters on opening day in 1983 and walked out saying, "That wasn't very good."
     
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  5. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Carbondale, IL USA
    I think he did it because he's a huge fan of KFC and collecting pods. He's probably still getting free chicken.
     
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  6. Mr. Gnome

    Mr. Gnome Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    That explains the first generation Star Wars fans.

    What they do not realize is that today’s generation discovered the original trilogy and the prequels at the same time and discovered the sequels as they came out. They aren’t judging and enjoying the original trilogy through the eyes of nostalgia like you are. Don’t act like it’s all objective and matter of fact that the “prequels are just BAD films”. Take off the rose color glasses that are making you view and tolerate one aesthetic while acting like the other isn’t true to Star Wars. Another thing, they aren’t watching the films in awe of how they were made, they’re watching them for the film itself, the story, the characters, and the action. When they talk about what they like or don’t like about the films, that’s what they talk about.
     
  7. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Westerville, Ohio
    My statement about the "power of childhood" eyes was about SECOND generation fans that saw the prequels as kids/pre-teens and hold them near and dear TODAY.

    Children, teenagers and adults LOVED the first three Star Wars films when they were "new" films. This isn't a rose-colored glasses situation, as most defenders of the prequels/sequels like to toss around with some air of authority. Almost EVERYONE over 25 DID NOT like the prequels because they are BAD movies. Contemporary reviews at the time were NOT kind and those films didn't all-of-the-sudden get "better" 20 years later.
     
  8. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    :laugh:
     
  9. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Didn't he always plan to do so?

    I seem to recall him stating that he would tell the backstory back in 1977. He even said the droids would be the only constant characters.

    In any case, you cannot go back home.
     
  10. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I don't know specifically when GL first proclaimed that "Star Wars" was the middle part of a longer story and he planned to do a big old 9-film set.

    I thought 1978 was when he first said that, but it could've been in 1977. I'm pretty sure it wasn't until after "Star Wars" had become a massive hit, though...
     
  11. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I think this is true. Even when you take a step back and look at the prequels objectively, they're not very good. Speaking as a former kid, if I sat down at 12 and watched all nine films in a row, I'd say, "hmmmm, that's weird how the first three are terrible, then suddenly they get a lot better, and then the last three are OK but not great. I wonder what happened?"

    I believe Lucas talked about all the films in July of 1983 in the famous Rolling Stone interview:

    George Lucas Wants to Play Guitar as 'Star Wars' Takes a Vacation

    Here's the quote:
    "Empire and Jedi were what that first film was supposed to be. And after that, I can tell another story about what happens to Luke after this trilogy ends. All the prequel stories exist: where Darth Vader came from, the whole story about Darth and Ben Kenobi, and it all takes place before Luke was born. The other one – what happens to Luke afterward – is much more ethereal. I have a tiny notebook full of notes on that. If I’m really ambitious, I could proceed to figure out what would have happened to Luke."

    What I knew in 1978, after talking to Alan Dean Foster, was that Lucas did have "broad stroke" ideas for 9 films. But what I was told (by several people) was that Lucas wanted to hand the films off to other people and have them made over the next 15-20 years, basically a new film every 3 years. But you can see by the end of this 1983 interview that George was clearly exhausted, and he was also hit very hard emotionally and financially by his divorce from Marcia Lucas.

    Having a half-dozen ideas jotted down on yellow legal pads is not the same thing as having finished scripts, and clearly all six films were much harder to make than anybody expected. And I know that Lucas gave the 3 outlines for Episodes 7-8-9 to Kathy Kennedy and expected she'd use those as a starting point, and he was annoyed that they basically tossed them in the trash and started from scratch. Disney CEO Bob Iger later said he regretted that they kind of treated Lucas disrespectfully in the deal...

    Star Wars: Bob Iger Regrets How Disney Handled George Lucas’ Sequel Plans

    An excerpt:
    Disney had purchased Lucas' original outlines for the Sequel Trilogy out of respect, but had never intended to use them. "George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything," Iger recalls, "but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them." That led to what seems to have been a very difficult meeting, in which Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt presented their plans for the Sequel Trilogy to Lucas. "George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot," Iger observes, "and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations."

    My joke at the time was, they told Lucas, "don't you worry George -- we're going to take your outlines and put them right over here on the refrigerator with a magnet, so everybody can see them!" :cool:

    Very clearly, George Lucas is not a guy who's happy with being told "no."
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  12. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Might have been 1978, but it was long before Empire.
     
  13. Phil147

    Phil147 Forum Resident

    Location:
    York UK
    For me Star Wars and Empire work so well because George was still making it up as he went along, there isn't a need to worry too much about what fits in where, who does what and why. I can't remember for sure but the Vader reveal only came into play after writing on Empire had started, this wasn't envisaged prior to starting Empire. These weren't movies by committee, they were George's vision put into life by a close knit group of people who essentially did what George wanted to do.
    Whatever we might think about the prequels George felt he had a story to tell and whilst money might have been one of the drivers (and let's face it there is nothing wrong with that, we all work for money) I think his main motive was telling that story.
    IMHO the prequels didn't reach the heights of the OT simply because George was hemmed in by the legacy of the OT, he essentially ended up with 3 movies which were there to setup the OT and in so doing those of us who were already familiar with the OT knew what most of the outcomes would be. And I think George, in order to make up for this, overdid it with the effects and convoluted story lines at the expense of character and a straight forward exciting plot which Star Wars and Empire had.
    In hindsight one can see this already starting with ROTJ, which was still an entertaining film despite some of its faults with plot and characterization.
    I have mixed feelings about the prequels. It was nice to have more Star Wars at the time and some of the performances I enjoyed, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Ian Mcdiarmid etc. The films looked great, there were some great set pieces but ultimately they just weren't that exciting or interesting and I made no connection at all with the two main characters which for the story to have any real impact at all was a minimum requirement and the biggest failing of the 3 films for me. We should be devastated at the end with the outcome for Anakin and Padme instead, I was left with a feeling of thank god that is all over...
     
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  14. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Yeah, I know that - just unsure when GL made his first formal declaration that he intended a huge series.

    Heck, I'd be interested to know when he first stated a sequel was on the way - and also when he indicated it'd be a trilogy!
     
  15. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I wish I could remember the source, but it was long ago. If I recall correctly (a big if), it seemed to be thinking out loud.
     
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  16. Shoehorn with Teeth

    Shoehorn with Teeth Romans 6:23

    Location:
    Missouri
    A lot of that also had to do with Anakin's characterization. Right off the bat's he's arrogant, whiny, annoying, creepy, and just generally unlikable. It was hard to feel sorry for him when he seemed like a ticking time bomb. No one should have been surprised that he went to the dark side.
     
  17. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Yeah, that's a major flaw of the prequels. We need to see more of the charismatic side of Anakin and understand why Obi-wan views him as a brother and why Padme loves him.

    The prequels neither make Anakin an engaging, sympathetic character nor do we really understand what makes him potentially the greatest Jedi of all - he never comes across as any more powerful than Obi-wan or any of the others, as far as I could tell... :shrug:
     
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  18. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I heard from a very high-placed source that there was great concern during the production of Revenge of the Sith that there wasn't enough chemistry between Anakin and Padme. And without that, the film kind of flounders.
     
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  19. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I am no expert, but I thought that was the result of some very, very bad directing on Lucas' part. Those movies brought in some decent talent. Yet Neeson, Christianson, and Portman all have the charisma of a tree trunk. Neeson and Portman have done great work in other films and I have even seen Christianson do well.

    Ewan McGregor was pretty good though.
     
  20. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    They should've been concerned with that during "Clones", as that's the movie that relies on the A/P love affair...
     
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  21. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I actually thought Neeson was fine in "Menace", and Portman wasn't bad in that one either. It was later when she needed to portray a broader array of emotions that she flopped.

    Agree that McGregor did pretty well across the whole run! :)
     
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  22. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Westerville, Ohio
    "Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo."
     
  23. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luray, Virginia
    Him and Ian Mcdairmed were fantastic.
    I'd also say it comes down to bad writing and ineffective direction. For instance, the Clone Wars animated series presents a charming,swashbuckling Anakin that is almost a different character than the one in the movies. That Anakin you can buy being the guy Obi-wan wistfully remembers in the original Star Wars as "a good friend."
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  24. JCRW

    JCRW Forum Resident

  25. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Well yea dude, that is what I said. I think Lucas simply forgot how to direct.
     
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