Saturday, June 30, 2012

George Lucas

The criticism finally got to him: Lucas says he will not be making big blockbuster movies anymore. I am sure hard core fans all over the world took a sigh of relief on that news.

It is no secret fans, fanboys of the Star Wars saga (of the first three.. err - last three movies), hated Lucas' approach to the prequels. I've been following the feud for a while now. At first Lucas was welcoming criticism, happily noding, chalking it off to fans who were older now and SW always containing little childish fun, he thought the criticism would eventually go away. It didnt. Lucas was still unmoved for a good while about this tho, even fighting back on talk shows, interviews. That pissed off the fans, and Lucas' apparent stubborness started to rub all fans the wrong way, it seems.

Now things got to such a point that the backlash even managed to seep into shows like Chuck, where one of the characters, a die-hard SW fan, loses his memory and wants to remember his old likes, habits, his jokster friend (trying to be mean) tells him  to watch Star Wars movies, starting with Phantom Menace -- the most universally hated episode of all 6 installments. #slam! Hillarious scene.

So - did SW "first" three episodes suck?

I guess it was good to see some sort of story (or backstory in this case) taking place in the same universe as SW.

Did fanboys expect too much? From a blockbuster movie, I dont think so. Fans seem to have expected heroism, a grand big space opera with bad-ass Darth Vader showing up again, instead what they got was a subpar action movie featuring some flappy eared creature, lots of teenage angst coupled with shoddy romance. The movies could do more to satisfy fans' expectations.

My belief is that the Star Wars franchise suffered from too much centralized control. Just as second wave mentality is bad in all walks of life starting from politics to business, it is also bad in movie making. iPhone is hacked and extended by its users, whether Apple likes it or not, in the same vain, SW could have used some outsourcing, some crowdsourcing of its creation and its future direction. At least choosing another director, letting go of all SW related copyrights would be a good start. Maybe then, Lucas would be making mere millions, instead of billions, but is the alternative worth to being remembered as a joke, the man who destroyed the franchise he himself created?

Artistic creations which are universally liked are few, and are a nice-to-have. But they involve ingredients from earlier efforts, earlier experiments which might have failed, and are themselves experiments in some weird, untried direction. They owe too much to the creativity of the well they spring from to be shut off to outside and declared off limits. It is a good thing Lucas finally got the message. Maybe he'll practice some of that Zen Buddhism that he seems to love now -- learning to let go.