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Star Wars Prequels

George Lucas Criticizes the Force Awakens (theguardian.com) 562

RogueyWon writes: While many critics have responded positively to JJ Abrams's take on Star Wars, one particular industry figure seems rather less impressed. George Lucas has criticized the "retro" tone of The Force Awakens and lamented his own lack of involvement in it. Speaking to television talk-show host and journalist Charlie Rose, Lucas quipped that he had sold his "kids to the white slavers that take these things". "They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that,” he said. “They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway, but if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do. And I don’t have the control to do that any more, and all I would do is muck everything up. And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’”
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George Lucas Criticizes the Force Awakens

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  • Yeah yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:03AM (#51215199)
    Why did you sell it? Take your money and shut up, it's not yours anymore (thank god!).
    • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by KermodeBear ( 738243 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:20AM (#51215313) Homepage

      No kidding.

      Cry me a river, George, with your billions of dollars, knowing that you've had a huge impact on world entertainment, sparked imagination and wonder in millions of minds, and created many thousands of jobs because of one single piece of intellectual property.

      If you wanted to keep such a tight grip on what happened with your stuff you never should have sold it. You sold it to DISNEY of all companies, you know that they only produce the most shallow of crap these days (but then again, so does most of Hollywood), you knew what was coming.

      I don't want to hear you bitch and complain about what happens in an imaginary universe.

      • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TigerPlish ( 174064 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:06AM (#51215675)

        You sold it to DISNEY of all companies, you know that they only produce the most shallow of crap these days

        Ever since John Lassater and Ed Catmull went from Pixar to Disney, Disney's features and shorts have shown an improvement.

        Wreck-it-Ralph was amazing and quite deep; Frozen was a good movie that somehow went on to be their biggest hit yet and Big Hero 6 wasn't exactly a superficial, shallow piece.

        Man. I can't believe I just typed nice things about the House of Mouse, I used to loathe it with a passion.. back in the Eisner days. But again.. since Pixar guys went to Disney, Disney's improved a bit.

        Now, there's nothing that will make me forgive Disney for what they did to their IT people. No amount of good film will make up for that.

        • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 31, 2015 @11:26AM (#51216293)

          >

          Now, there's nothing that will make me forgive Disney for what they did to their IT people. No amount of good film will make up for that.

          I can't forgive them for how they pushed for longer and longer copyrights. The idea was for a limited term, so the public could use that material later. Now things are ever more locked into the company that gets the IP, so rather than a net benefit to the public over time it is a net benefit to the IP holder over time, and not by a small amount. Such draconian terms stifle innovation.

          Don't get me wrong. Copyright has its place, as long as it is finite. Ten to twenty percent of the lifespan of the average man or women seems more reasonable than this death plus however many years, which in itself is liable to be extended, again.

          Of course their obvious evil with their IT workers is also a good reason to hate them. I'll probably see the new movie, but maybe I'll wait till it is on netflix.

        • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

          Don't forget Marvel is owned by Disney, as well.

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          I've not seen a lot of their recent stuff. But I saw tangled and was impressed at how the "bad guy", Rapunzel's stepmother Gothel, is multifaceted, not just some one-dimensional incarnation of Evil(TM) or Greed(TM) or whatnot. She had a legitimate grievance with the kingdom (they killed the flower she'd been carefully using and nurturing for hundreds of years to save their queen), and while she did kidnap Rapunzel as a child, she does seem to genuinely have feelings for her - despite also being dependent

      • I don't want to hear you bitch and complain about what happens in an imaginary universe.

        Imaginary!!! I distinctly remember being informed that it was "in A Galaxy Far Far Away". I remember so well because at the time I said to myself "Far Far Away is a funny name for a galaxy..." but then I remembered I live in "Milky Way", which made me want to go to the snack bar, and I forgot all about the now apparent lie that had been foisted off on me...

      • Come on, guys, he's allowed to not like it (and say so), even if we have different opinions.

        • Yeah so all the people trying to modify the constitution to make it illegal for George Lucas to have free speech can go fuck themselves.
    • I thought George Lucas was just Stephen Spielberg's puppet, as documented here:

      http://southpark.cc.com/clips/... [cc.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:38AM (#51215459)

      Dear George Lucas, STFU. You FUBARed the originals through your idiotic "updates" and Episode 1 to 3 sucked so don't try to make it sound like you could have done anything better. Disney did a fantastic job...go away George.

    • This guy sounds *exactly* like Monty Widenius of MySQL/MariaDB fame when he got pissed off after selling MySQL to Sun - he even went as far as asking the Sun-Oracle merger court to grant him MySQL rights back so he could regain copyright control, and when that failed he started up MariaDB as a GPL fork.

      Quit yer bitchin', you sold it, its no longer yours to control - Disney could have made it a fucking musical for all Lucas could have done about it.

    • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:12AM (#51215733)

      Why did you sell it? Take your money and shut up, it's not yours anymore (thank god!).

      I agree with this, but to a certain extent I also agree with Lucas about the 'retro' tone of the movie. It seemed like it borrowed/copied far too many of the plot points and settings from the original trilogy, to the point you could almost call it a re-make of 'A New Hope' with bits of Empire and Jedi tossed in here and there.
      But having said that, it was still far better than that horrific clusterfuck of a prequel that Lucas was responsible for creating.

      And just a personal nit-pick... the title itself. "The Force Awakens". All the other movies had titles which made obvious sense in regards to the plot. But I have no idea where in this new movie we saw the force "Awaken", or what that even fucking means.

    • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:4, Informative)

      by Art3x ( 973401 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @11:01AM (#51216109)

      Why did you sell it? Take your money and shut up

      George's response is taken out of context. Charlie Rose brought it up. George mainly said that he had to stay away, so he didn't "muck it up." Mucking it up is a self-deprecating description. He's trying to keep it light.

      He did send one vague criticism, that he did say that he would have repeated less. Of course he feels that way. He has been there, done that. Directors get sick of a movie halfway through making it. Artists in general want to keep exploring new stuff.

      Even I was like, another Death Star, really?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:08AM (#51215221)

    -No one- wants to see Jar-Jar Binks again. Nor do they want to see a "token kid", or a Yoda doing backflips. No one.

    • by Kagato ( 116051 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:09AM (#51215703)

      Lucas was fine, when he let other people direct and stayed focused on special effects. He's not good at directing people. If you listen to the interviews from Harris Ford and Mark Hamill it's pretty clear Lucas shrugged off simple questions on dialog and motivation. The original movie ended up good because the actors were talented and worked extremely well as an ensemble cast. When you got to Empire and Return you had talented directors set the tone and motivation for the cast.

      You go to the prequels and it's uneven mix of amateur hour theatrics mixed in with cameos from talented actors. "I...I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children too." Anakin Skywalker Episode II. The most cringe worthy scene in the entire series.

      • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:13AM (#51215739) Journal

        No, the whole way he killed Padme off was terrible. How is it Leia could remember her mother when she was about thirty seconds old when she died?

        And midichlorians...

        • by Spazmania ( 174582 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:42AM (#51215989) Homepage

          And midichlorians...

          That was the exact moment when episode 1 jumped the shark.

        • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday December 31, 2015 @11:23AM (#51216269) Homepage Journal

          How is it Leia could remember her mother when she was about thirty seconds old when she died?

          That's just one of the many temporal inconsistencies. Luke being 16-20 in IV-VI yet Obiwan aging probably a hundred years (Jedi are long-lived and Tarkin thought that "surely he must be dead by now") - plus Anakin at the end of RoTJ was pushing 80, even if he was dark-force-degraded, other Sith Lords last far longer.

          And midichlorians...

          Which don't exist in the ESB Yoda's universe. I-III, as currently filmed, exist in a similar but different universe from IV-VI; that much is provable from the timelines (relativistic effects are just not part of the Star Wars lore - you have to suspend disbelief on that one).

          Lucas didn't want to make more Star Wars but there was so much money thrown at him that he went full-cynical and made the worst movies he knew how to do and taught his inner circle to not be yes-men after they all worked to turn out the crapfest of TPM, even though they knew it was bad (yet, it was a hugely profitable merchandising vehicle, so in that sense it was great, and Lucas has always done merchandising well because of his studio contracts). Lucas succeeded in proving to himself that the fans never really appreciated his work and will buy any shit sandwich with a logo on it.

          Lucas's one concession to his younger self was that he left room to do I-III later, in a consistent universe, if he ever wanted to (he has zero compunction about remaking movies). He'd have to give up his fortune and prestige to return to his roots and find that energy again, and I think he's probably going to be happier doing his educational charity work instead. Meanwhile Disney couldn't be happier that he's talking smack about the new film - heck I might even go see it after hearing this.

        • by retchdog ( 1319261 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @12:38PM (#51216887) Journal

          The sad thing is, I even liked the midichlorians in principle (assuming that they were symptomatic of Force concentration, and not the cause of it). They illustrated that before the fall of the Republic, the Force had been almost reduced to a scientific principle: something that was studied and analyzed formally, even too formally, by the ivory tower Jedi who lost touch with gritty reality and thus brought tragedy upon themselves and the entire galaxy.

          It's a shame that this potentially elegant expository device was wielded by a windbag imbecile like Lucas, but on the other hand, he did everything wrong and created a series of movies with more inconsistencies than the average piece of fan fiction. The midichlorians could have been done well by a competent writer. Instead, rather than try to redeem the idea, Lucas ran like a coward and dropped the concept like a hot potato after the damage had already been done.

      • "I...I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children too." Anakin Skywalker Episode II. The most cringe worthy scene in the entire series.

        I would disagree: "I love you, but I can't love you." I didn't see Twilight but I would say it had better romance.

        • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:39AM (#51215965)

          Mine was "Anakin, you're breaking my heart!"

          It's really easy for me to "get into" a performance and to stay focused, especially when it gets to the climax scenes, but this totally took me out. I was actually mad when this happened, and it was hard to get back into the movie before it was finished.

        • At the seven-movie marathon back on VII's opening day, the MOST cringeworthy scene was in AotC, when Anakin just gives this creepy lust-infused stare to Padme, who looks vaguely skeeved out and worried.

          I thought, 'How could ANYBODY think Hayden Christensen is a bad actor? This is EXACTLY how a teenage boy acts when he's 'so in love'.

          Of course, then she kisses him...I think there was a sit-com style 'he got older, she stayed exactly the same age as TPM' sort of idea there.

      • by WheezyJoe ( 1168567 ) <fegg@NOsPaM.excite.com> on Thursday December 31, 2015 @12:03PM (#51216563)

        "I...I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children too." Anakin Skywalker Episode II. The most cringe worthy scene in the entire series.

        Yes, that was horrible. But one of so damn many. For me it was the drivel about Midichlorians, and then a child's half-baked "yippee"s in horrid Episode 1. The prequels broke suspension of disbelief many many times, but even Jar-Jar didn't bug me as bad as the boy actor playing young Annakin because, you know, the whole damned story is ultimately about Annakin. The kid was so poorly directed and his lines so bad, I never believed in him or in any of his abilities or that someday he would become an arch-villain who would choke the life out of people as easy as look at them. Every seen he was in, every line, and every ridiculously contrived tie-in with the other films (I fucking built C-3PO!!!) shoved me out of the movie to look for the nearest exit. I couldn't forgive that shit. Kids can act well and carry a movie if a director takes them serious enough (e.g., The Sixth Sense), but Lucas didn't bother to give a shit.

        Count Dooku in Episode II was pretty fucking cringe-worthy as well, stopping a fight with Yoda because, you know, let's fight with light saber instead. And does Yoda defeat him? No... he does a little thing and walks away, leaving three Jedi holding their limp little dicks. Clued me in on something, though: the Force sucks, particularly the good side. "Failed, have I" in Episode III. No shit, Yoda, because you SUCK! Mace Windu almost smoked Palpatine, except the good side didn't clue him in to an attack coming from amateur Annakin.

        You didn't watch the prequels, you fucking endured them, waiting out one dull scene after another, hoping something redemptively cool would happen. Next thing you know, the movie's over. Two hours and ten bucks you'll never have again. Fuck you, Lucas. Take your billions, buy an island, and live on it with all the most expensive, pure, uncut highest-quality coke money your billions can buy. That'll get your mind off Disney giving you the shove.

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:08AM (#51215223)

    I agree with him.

    There was way too much slovenly fan service in that movie. As I expected with a Disney movie, it played it totally safe and took no chances. It looked test-marketed to within an inch of its life.

    A real filmmaker would have made his own film, not just remade someone else's.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:11AM (#51215239)

      Agreed. I am glad Lucas couldn't touch the movie, but it was a very 'safe' boring movie. As expected from Disney who plans to use it to leverage a gazillion spin offs, theme park and merchandise projects.

      • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:36AM (#51215441)

        it was a very 'safe' boring movie

        Yeah, that's what disappointed me the most, just how BORING it was. For all the FX setpieces and explosions, it was, at its core, boring as fuck.

        Maybe if Abrams had slowed down the breakneck plot long enough to make the characters more relatable or believable it would have helped. It may be the kind of movie that really benefits from a 4-hour Director's Cut that explains why these characters actually give a shit about each other. As it is, it goes from "I don't know you" to "We're running...and some more running...and yet more running" to "I would risk my life to save you" so quickly that I'm wondering if 90% of the original script wasn't cut out to make room for more cool action scenes.

        • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @11:16AM (#51216203) Journal

          This! A zillion times this!

          Okay aside from my biggest peeve ("a bigger, badder death star that can inexplicably be destroyed in way less time!") was the lack of balance between character development and action.

          Sure, they did try (well, sort of) to develop most of the individual new characters, but really - why would any of the new characters give a flying frig about each other? That aspect of the plot barely held together, with a few split seams showing here and there (enough to disturb the experience).

          Example of a 'split seam': They spent so little time on the Kylo Ren dude (okay, they just flat-out set him up wrong), that he was less of a badass, and more like a bipolar emo kid with daddy issues. I mean, Vader had a fucking *presence* about him when he walked into the room - enough to see palpable fear emanating from all the other actors in the room. You knew right up front that he was a badass. Even in the misbegotten eps I-III, you still had a sufficient-if-not-quite-Vader level of badassery going on w/ Maul. But Kylo Ren? The phrase "punk bitch trying to prove himself on day one in prison" kept popping up. Sheesh. (okay, rant over on that one...)

          But yeah - the whole thing came off as less of a movie and more of a fanfic, truth be told.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jgtg32a ( 1173373 )

            I mean, Vader had a fucking *presence* about him when he walked into the room - enough to see palpable fear emanating from all the other actors in the room. You knew right up front that he was a badass.

            Yeah that's it that was what was bugging me about him. Poe gets dropped down in front of Kylo and starts wisecracking, zero fear what so ever. That would be fine IF Kylo was already established, then it would have does a lot in establishing Poe as a badass for looking him in the eye.

          • NEAR SPOILER ALERT

            I dunno - was this JJ & Co trying to add 'nuance' to the film? Create some kind of story arc that shows he's conflicted between the light and dark?

            Rather than being another black and white 'bad guy', of which there's already been a ton of them....everywhere, including Star Wars....maybe we're going for another kind of antagonist. And what he did on that bridge on that bridge on the star killer base was pretty brutal...especially for fans! Perhaps that's where he fully committed t
          • "[Kylo Ren] was less of a badass, and more like a bipolar emo kid with daddy issues."

            Like most people that think that they are badasses, he wasn't.

            That was the point, and clearly it was successfully made.

          • by guardiangod ( 880192 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @02:25PM (#51217657)

            >[Kylo Ren] was less of a badass, and more like a bipolar emo kid with daddy issues.

            That's exactly the point.

            http://io9.gizmodo.com/kylo-re... [gizmodo.com]

            The Star Wars movies have always featured villains who are cold, calculating and in control of their emotions. Vader, the Emperor, Dooku, Maulâ"the Sith always acted with a chilling precision. But Kylo Ren is anything but precise. Heâ(TM)s brash, raw, sullen, and just bursting with emotion. This is something we've seen before in the Expanded Universe of books and comics, but never in the movies.

            Kylo Ren howls and loses his mind, whenever anything goes wrong.

            Kylo Ren harbors a bitter resentment for the expectations thrust upon him in his former life as Ben Solo, Jedi-in-training and a son of legends. Even his lightsaber itself is unstable and angry, flickering with sparks and heat-just like its owner.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is, we've seen the kinds of films that this filmmaker would tend to make... And they were crap.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SDLeary ( 652447 )
      Took no chances?? Thats not the movie that I saw. As for "retro"... it had much the same tone as the original movies, without dismissing anything (at least that I saw) from the prequels. And I fail to see how space flight with artificial gravity, blasters, world size battle stations, and FTL would fit into retro.
      • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:20AM (#51215309)

        I want to reiterate that agreeing with Lucas on anything leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. But I'll give him this, those prequels were hit or miss (RoTS-hit, AoTC-slight miss, TPM-didn't even hit the backstop behind the target), but at least he attempted in them to create a new universe with its own distinctive look that we hadn't seen before.

        The Force Awakens, by contrast, looks like it was made by someone raiding old Star Wars sets and randomly assembling parts from the old scripts. And here I thought Superman Returns overdid it in its creepy level of homage to Donner's original. J.J. Abrams made Bryan Singer look gutsy by comparison.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nightcats ( 1114677 )
          My problem with all this, and the tentative point where I agree with Lucas, is that it seems a strange new world where the creator of a work is locked out of its further development simply because a corporation stepped in with $4B's and bought all rights and control of it. In other words, when a work of art becomes too popular it is in danger of becoming a mere franchise.
          • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:47AM (#51215525)

            Well, that's exactly what happens when you sell your franchise. Specially one as marketable as Star Wars.

          • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:51AM (#51215543)

            My problem with all this, and the tentative point where I agree with Lucas, is that it seems a strange new world where the creator of a work is locked out of its further development simply because a corporation stepped in with $4B's and bought all rights and control of it.

            Pretty naive to think that that is somehow anything new. People have sold IP rights since the first moment there was such a thing as IP. That's like selling your house and then expecting to have a say in how the new owner decorates it. The entire notion is idiotic. If George wanted a say in how things were done he could have negotiated that. He chose not to. Frankly given how bad the prequels were, I wouldn't have wanted him around either. He clearly failed to understand why people liked Star Wars, couldn't direct, couldn't write and everybody knew it. Disney has dealt with guys like him before and his time had clearly passed.

            In other words, when a work of art becomes too popular it is in danger of becoming a mere franchise.

            It's adorable that you think Star Wars wasn't a franchise before. I saw Star Wars in the theater in 1977. Do you have ANY idea how big of a think merchandising became because of Star Wars? Every kid I knew was carrying around a Darth Vader carrying case loaded with action figures. Video games, lunch boxes, toys, decoration, etc. Those became a big deal because Star Wars WAS a franchise right from the very beginning. Your notion that it was some holy work of "art" is belied by the actual facts.

          • by zAPPzAPP ( 1207370 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:05AM (#51215665)

            They did not 'step in' with 4B. He sold it.

            And if he feels so creative, he is free to use that huge pile of money to create something new of his own. Should bne enough for several movies, where he can show us all of his brilliant ideas.

          • by malditaenvidia ( 4015209 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:21AM (#51215803)

            My problem with all this, and the tentative point where I agree with Lucas, is that it seems a strange new world where the creator of a work is locked out of its further development simply because a corporation stepped in with $4B's and bought all rights and control of it. In other words, when a work of art becomes too popular it is in danger of becoming a mere franchise.

            Oh but that's exactly what Lucas did. He wasn't responsible for all of this work, he was only the screenwriter. A new hope was a horrible mess until his then wife saved it in editing. Neither Empire or Return were directed by him. The puppetry that gave the series one of its most memorable characters had nothing to do with George, neither did Empire's script, or Lucasfilm's special effects, or Ford, Fisher and Hamill's acting.
            This legacy wasn't his work, yet he owned every single bit about it, took it upon himself to absolutely ruin movies he didn't direct with post and then he sold all of it for an absurd amount of money. Your outrage should be directed at George, who absolutely fucked up these movies which were not his work, sometimes just to spite his fans, for the hell of it.

            I bet you loved that "Jedi rocks" music video added in the special edition of Return of the Jedi, or Hayden Christiansen being added to the ending of the DVD edition as a force ghost. He even added Jar-Jar's voice to the very end of Return, a movie he didn't direct, just to spite all the people who hated his stupid cartoon rabbit. He also made Darth Vader yell "NOOOOOOOoooo" while throwing Sheev down the shaft in the BluRay release. I'll bet good money he named Palpatine "Sheev" as a final middle finger to his fans.
            Seriously, if someone is responsible for messing with other people's work and appropriating it, it's George himself.
            Hell, and that's without even going into those prequel abominations. You also point out how Star Wars is just becoming to popular and a franchise, when this was George's goal from the very beginning, securing the merchandise rights from 20th Century FOX in exchange for a smaller cut. Star Wars was designed from the very start to be a marketing campaign, not a work of art. Whatever artistry was involved in it, had barely anything at all to do with George.

            • One of the points brought up in Mr. Plinkett's review of the prequels was that in the original trilogy, Lucas had limitations of special effects, money, and control. He didn't control everything in the first 3. By the time of the prequels, he had full control of everything and didn't have to answer to anyone. That was the main problem. No one could tell him anything was a bad idea. Without any feedback, the prequels were a mess.

              One of things that had made Pixar so successful is that their is constant feedb

        • If they want to invent a new universe, they can do that with another movie. No need to make a Star Wars movie then.

      • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:21AM (#51215319)

        It did not. For starters, the plot is basically identical to EP IV.

        • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:23AM (#51215821) Homepage Journal

          It did not. For starters, the plot is basically identical to EP IV.

          I was fine with that. I think the rationale was "Let's show the fans that we're taking the franchise back where it started from, rather than the horrible mess Lucas made in the prequels." So they set up a new Empire, with a new Death Star and a new young Jedi (one I like a lot more than I ever liked that crybaby Luke, actually). Yeah, it was more or less the same plot, with lots of fan-service thrown in, but they also set up some interesting new characters.

          The real test will be what happens in the next movie. If it's a rehash of ESB, then I'll be annoyed that they didn't just call it a reboot rather than a continuation of the story -- though if it's an entertaining movie I'll still see enjoy it. But I don't think it will be. I think having established that they've thrown Lucas out of the airlock and gone back to the Star Wars roots, they're now free to do something new. Note that I'm not saying I expect radically novel filmmaking. Obviously not. What comes next is going to be more big-budget space cowboys. But it will be fun.

          I'm actually much more upset at the Star Trek reboot, but that's because I always held Star Trek to a higher standard. Star Trek started out as real science fiction, social commentary exploring much more interesting questions that "Does love defeat all?" and "How many people can we blow up?". There were some occasional missteps, and it really declined after Roddenberry was gone, but the reboot fell off a cliff. The Abrams Star Trek movies are entertaining, but they're no longer Star Trek. He kept the universe and the characters (sort of) but lost the soul.

          In contrast, The Force Awakens has resurrected Star Wars. It's simple, mindless fun, but that's what it always was, and we liked it.

      • Care to elaborate on what was supposedly edgy and chance taking about the film? Other than a some racists getting butthurt over a black stormtrooper, the movie was standard formulaic, Disney movie. And even the thing about casting a black guy in a prominent lead role to the chagrin of Internet racists isn't really taking much of a chance. Even that new Fantastic Four movie beat them to the punch on that.

        • The sad thing about it is that the "token black guy" actually had the potential to be one of the most interesting characters in the movie. But the movie is so focused on the fan service, big action scenes, and crazy fast plot that they completely missed the opportunity to develop his character. He had a great premise, "Stormtrooper has change of heart, finds his humanity." But then he spends the whole movie just running, fighting, and looking vaguely confused. He's so paper-thin that he may as well have sta

          • by Higaran ( 835598 )
            I agree, they totally missed the mark with him, all the trailers and everything made it look like he was to become a jedi, and basically he just carries the light saber around the whole movie. He never really uses it effectively, and they same thing with Captain Phasma, she was bad ass looking, but does absolutely nothing in the movie. Don't get me wrong, I like an action movie, Michael Bay would have put less action in this thing if he was the director of it. There is one thing I do have to say, Thank
    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:15AM (#51215269) Homepage Journal

      It's OK to agree with him to a point, but slovenly fan service is precisely what we've got from Lucas since Return of the Jedi, in the form of the marketing-friendly Ewoks, Jar-Jar, etc etc. He also thinks he should have been involved with the movie, but I don't see any evidence that would have made it any better.

    • Same here. Say what you want about Lucas, but at least his prequels tried something new instead of rehashing plots from EP IV-VI.

      • by halivar ( 535827 )

        I'd rather have a retro movie I can enjoy watching than a movie I can only appreciate for its artistic merits. Which, FWIW, episodes 1-3 had none.

      • Say what you want about Lucas, but at least his prequels tried something new

        Other than having people act primarily in front of green screens and a massive overuse of CGI there wasn't really anything that new about the prequels. Stilted, terribly-written dialogue, bad acting and annoying characters were all pretty old concepts by the time the prequels were made.

      • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

        Because Lucas messed up the original IV-VI movies with his remastered versions, I welcome JJ Abrams' rehash.

    • So it's the Star Wars version of JJ's Star Trek movies?

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      There was way too much slovenly fan service in that movie

      I don't think "fan service" means what you think it means. There was actually very little of that (damn it).

      They did rehash a lot of plot elements from the first trilogy, I will give you that. However, it may well be that was cover for the things they did change. We have all just seen the first major top-budget fantasy action movie in my memory with no real white male leads, and there has been very little pushback on that from the usual mouth-breathers. Perhaps that's because they made everything else loo

      • I don't think "fan service" means what you think it means. There was actually very little of that (damn it).

        Oh, c'mon. There was a lot of it. The finest example i can think of right now is --- SPOILERS! --- making Han Solo and Chewie appear magically in the Millenium Falcon, now in the middle of god-knows-where, just to give them their iconic "we're home" scene.

        Yes. That shot was amazing. Point is, the movie is basically a collection of fan service scenes with no real plot connecting them; it was almost an afterthought.

    • Back to basics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:35AM (#51215433)

      I agree with him.

      Then you fail to understand the problem. Disney HAD to make a film that reminded everyone of why they loved Star Wars. After the debacle that was the prequels, they needed to come back to basics. THEN they can start doing more creative things going forward. But they had to repair the damage first and get people enthused about the franchise again. I suspect they'll get more adventurous in the future but doing so for this movie would have been idiotic.

      A real filmmaker would have made his own film, not just remade someone else's.

      And if they did that then everyone would have bitched about how it wasn't Star Wars. And they would have been right. Giving some director complete freedom to go off on whatever idiotic tangent they want is how we got the prequels.

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      This was my impression too. It felt like a remake of A New Hope with an extremely calculated level of fanservice. It's not a bad movie, although there are certainly some plot holes, but at the end of the day I was feeling a bit blah about it. It's not as bad as one of those Michael Bay "steal your childhood and blow it up" movies, but it was still soulless. Also, seriously, did anybody not see the "big twist" coming from a mile away? I had figured it was going to happen from the moment the villian's na
    • by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:03AM (#51215653) Homepage

      I agree with him.

      There was way too much slovenly fan service in that movie. As I expected with a Disney movie, it played it totally safe and took no chances. It looked test-marketed to within an inch of its life.

      A real filmmaker would have made his own film, not just remade someone else's.

      Took no chances? No implied interracial love triangle? No "female persona" for the robot [screenrant.com]? No killing off of main characters?

      I actually agree that half the movie was lifted from IV-VI, but I happened to like that. I wanted to see a Star Wars movie, not an action film that used the Star Wars name and character names (like the same director did with Star Trek).

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:05AM (#51215667)

      A real filmmaker would have made his own film, not just remade someone else's.

      Last time someone did that we ended up with Episode 1. Fanservice has it's place. The original 3 starwars movies had something about them that made them great. For the last 10 years we've been complaining that this was lost in Ep 1-3, and now someone is complaining that the new one isn't original and too much of a remake?

      It's what we asked for, and given the current ratings and reviews it would seem the vast majority of people are very happy with what we got.

    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:05AM (#51215669)

      I'm half in agreement. The new movie is underwhelming, but not because it's "retro", I think that's fine, it looks like it occurred ~35 years after RotJ. The movie is underwhelming because it's unoriginal and lacking vision. Honestly I think that's a pattern with JJ Abrams, he makes great TV but give him a movie and it's paint-by-numbers all the way.

      I will give Lucas credit for the 2nd trilogy on those grounds. It was original and had vision. It just happened to be poorly executed at the same time.

  • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:09AM (#51215225)
    That the first three films were decent only because of Lucas' lack of control. We saw what happens when his every whim is indulged with the prequels. Ugly stuff. In short: George, you're shite, now fuck off.
    • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

      That the first three films were decent only because of Lucas' lack of control. We saw what happens when his every whim is indulged with the prequels. Ugly stuff. In short: George, you're shite, now fuck off.

      Exactly. Star Wars is like a brilliant and beautiful child who has escaped from their abusive father. Lucas should never be allowed near that child again.

  • Retro (Score:5, Funny)

    by Translation Error ( 1176675 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:09AM (#51215233)
    Yeah, why can't Disney be more forward-thinking like Lucas instead of just pandering to the moviegoers and giving them more of what they want?
  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:22AM (#51215329)

    Translated to English:

    I made three very good bottles of wine. So good people called me a visionary. My bottles were great.
    Then I made three bad jars of wine. These jars were jarringly bad.

    I sold my vineyard, great bottles and Jarring Jars and got lots of money.
    Nobody considers me a visionary any longer because of the latter.
    (Also have you ever tried discussing galactic treaties in a way that people want to hear about
    it that doesn't sound like you helped write the internal revenue tax code and the trans-pacific partnership?)

    Now I see that these new owners have made something good.
    I think "Hey I could have done that!" I'm a visionary.
    I think "Wait, I did, back in 1977, you know, before 30% of the planet was alive." Nobody knows I'm a visionary.
    I think "I could have done it again." They would have recognized my genius again. Jar. Jar.
    I forget about the jarring jars. I don't know where that came from anyway. I play with dolls way too much.

    The grapes I would have picked are probably sour anyway.

    - George Lucas

    • by Yunzil ( 181064 )

      He made one good bottle of wine. The other two good bottles were made mostly by someone else.

      And you can make an argument that the first one was largely his wife's doing.
       

  • Shut up George (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:24AM (#51215347)

    George Lucas has criticized the "retro" tone of The Force Awakens and lamented his own lack of involvement in it.

    Shut up George and go spend your billions. You had your chance and blew it with the prequels. Nobody gives a shit what you think anymore. You created something cool 35 years ago and then made a mockery of it with your arrogance and incompetence 20 years later. Star Wars HAD to do something retro because you screwed it up. You failed to understand why Star Wars was a success in the first place. People needed to be reminded of why they liked Star Wars and THEN we can worry about doing something new and interesting with it.

    George, if you wanted control you shouldn't have sold out. If you want to do something new then go create something genuinely new. You've got the money and the time but I'm pretty sure you don't have the talent to write or direct. Go do some experimental film making and prove to us that you have something worthwhile to contribute.

  • ....the only mistake Disney made for the moment is firing LucasArts people. Now LucasArts do not do game development anymore, just manage the IP. Wikipedia: "Disney Interactive Studios retained the ability to develop, and LucasArts retained the ability to license, the franchise for the casual gaming market."
  • by bev_tech_rob ( 313485 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:32AM (#51215401)

    I am going to basically repeat in a more respectful tone than what the other smart-asses said on this thread, but with all due respect,

    Why did you sell your franchise in the first place? You know Disney's track record for mucking up stuff and should have known that they would not listen to you after you sold Lucasfilm to them. That would be like me selling a nice hot rod to Disney and telling them "Oh don't put flames on that car! It looks better in solid candy apple red!"

    Disney basically gave you the finger in a respectful way and did what they wanted (which is to market to the lowest common denominator who likes explosions and action). They don't care about telling a story. They want $$$$$$$$$$$..

    • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:40AM (#51215465)

      Disney basically gave you the finger in a respectful way and did what they wanted (which is to market to the lowest common denominator who likes explosions and action). They don't care about telling a story. They want $$$$$$$$$$$..

      Because Lucas only ever made fine art and only marketed Star Wars to the snobbiest of snobs. He also only did it for artistic integrity and never for the money which is why he's so poor and starving. All the merchandise, games, novels, etc. and constant movie rehashes were done purely for art and never so he could rake in another couple of billion dollars. Damn that Disney for turning Star Wars into a money-making machine rather than keeping it pure and only for art! *rolls eyes*

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @11:03AM (#51216117) Homepage

      Why did you sell your franchise in the first place? You know Disney's track record for mucking up stuff and should have known that they would not listen to you after you sold Lucasfilm to them. That would be like me selling a nice hot rod to Disney and telling them "Oh don't put flames on that car! It looks better in solid candy apple red!"

      Actually, what is Disney's track record for mucking up stuff? Seriously. Disney's acquired Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and Maker Studios. I haven't seen much of a difference with Maker. Pixar has been as great as they've always been (don't blame Cars on Disney, it was and still is Lasseter's pet project) and have retained their creative freedom (just look at Inside Out). Marvel has never done better on the big screen.

      Now we have the first SW film. Yes, it plays it safe. But... it feels like Star Wars. Gone are the stunted acting, terrible writing and extreme reliance on CG of the prequels. The new SW film is probably how IV would have been made had they released in 2015. And while it's conservative, it also shows that they knew what elements to keep to make the film work. As a result, it's similar, but still very enjoyable and a nice start for the new series.

      As of now, Disney has done a much better job with Star Wars than Paramount has with Star Trek.

  • George (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    George, Your children were taken away from you because you were raping them. George, you sold them to other men, to be used.
  • I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aron1231 ( 895831 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:37AM (#51215451)

    The hate is strange. Guardians of the Galaxy was an AWESOME product from Disney. But they had nothing "preconceived" to work from there. It was total freedom, and it was indeed awesome.

    Star Wars is a totally different beast. Too many chances, and you end up with the crap Lucas spit out for prequels, and definite alienation of some fans. Regardless, there was NO WAY they were going to please everybody. But we got an entertaining continuation of the originals, IMO. Lets hope it only gets better! Honestly, I'm very much looking forward to the next installment.

    What more can you ask for? They had epic expectations and didn't completely fail like the previous attempt from Lucas.

  • by Dega704 ( 1454673 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:54AM (#51215567)

    I'm assuming by 'retro' he means we didn't see a bunch of tedious senate scenes. Instead they just blew the senate up before we ever saw it.

    Seriously though, making a Star Wars movie is a "damned if you, damned if you don't" scenario. No matter what you do, there are going to be people who hate it. Disney and Abrams just took the route that would please the most people (and generate the most revenue). I can't really fault them for that.

  • by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @09:58AM (#51215601)

    It's Star Wars we're talking about here, not La Strada. The whole problem with the prequels was Lucas taking himself waaaaay too seriously. Star Wars is a Saturday Matinee Samurai Space Opera. Which is what Abrams delivered. Yay!

  • by Fragnet ( 4224287 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:17AM (#51215761)
    The Plinkett Reviews of Star Wars [youtube.com] are as long as the movies, far more entertaining and completely hilarious.
  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:28AM (#51215857) Homepage

    and all I would do is muck everything up.

    Better 16 years late then never, I guess...

  • by waspleg ( 316038 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:33AM (#51215891) Journal

    If you're paying attention, Abrams actually steals from all 3 original trilogy movies extremely heavily (particularly New Hope and Empire). There are a couple of very small segments for doing backstory but overall very little in the way of building characters. It's more like he watched the original trilogy and just wanted all the action scenes.

    The screen writing needs serious work. The new characters are.. mostly forgettable although decent actors so I don't think that was their fault. Kylo Ren is laughable, near complete dark side trained (no mention of Sith) but gets his ass kicked by the most competent STORM TROOPER we've ever seen on screen and a completely untrained girl with some innate and until-she-meets-with-him latent power that she suddenly figures out how to use better than he does?? WTF?

    The pacing was fast and I suspect aimed at Millennials and Sub-Millennials with 0 attention span and their goddamn phones out at all times (as evidenced by the 2 chattering girls and one of their boyfriends who wouldn't shut the fuck up the whole time - guy "Sick!" every 30 seconds).

    Having said that, it's 10x better than the prequels - ALL of which are/were fucking terrible. I'm glad there was no mention at all of midoclorians or whatever. All of the 3D effects were good and real people in costumes where needed - despite there being a shit load of it comes off far better than farting brontosaur pack animals in the prequels. My girlfriend, who is not a Star Wars fan in particular, thinks it was great. As a Star Wars fan, I'm just glad they told Lucas to fuck off.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:36AM (#51215927) Journal

    Wow.

    Criticism on the 'retro' tone from the guy who mande American Graffiti? And then who made a bog-standard space opera comprised of a mashup of cowboy movies and Kurosawa? Really? And did he actually watch episodes 6, 1, 2, and 3? What was intrinsically novel in them?

    That, my friends, is irony.

    Yes, the Disney film was entirely an homage (read: flat-out-copy) of the first film. It took no risks, but what it did do is retell the first film for an entirely new generation. "Rebooting" is such a popular way to say "copy" today, if they'd just said "we're rebooting it because 2/3 of the source work from the original author we have as a foundation was utter crap" people would be arguing about that.

    Yes, it was a naked merchandising enterprise (I believe I saw a 50 yard WALL of merch at Target before the film came out) but SO WAS THE FIRST.

    Suffice to say: I loved Star Wars - I was 10 in 1977, and watched it at least 30 times in theaters. It is what it is. All the encrustations of epicness that have been laden on by Lucas and creepily-worshipful fans are just that: extrinsic and irrelevant. If it took a single new film to break that all off and start clean, I'm cool with that.

    I hope this means that the NEXT film can be more interesting and a little more daring.

  • by rochrist ( 844809 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @10:57AM (#51216089)
    Slashot can't quite decide whether they hate Lucas of The Force Awakens worse.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @04:03PM (#51218241)
    Abrams, et. al. didnt really introduce anything substantially new, but re-arrangements of earlier material. No new planets, plot twists, races, character types, special effects ... It was safely done without any overdose of computer graphics like the clone armies or rubber-Jar Jar. For these reasons, I'd probably say it is the movie I'd least like to see again of the seven.
  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @04:26PM (#51218381)

    Abrams story telling always tends to be lazy, sloppy, and incoherent.

    How does Rey have knowledge, and skills, that exceed those of Luke, and Han, put together? She has no training, or experience, yet she is an instant expert in operating and repairing the Falcon. She knows how to fight with a light saber, and otherwise use the force - as well as, or better than Luke did after years of training.

    How could the bad guys be stupid enough to build a mega death star? The first two were stupid, and easily defeated. Bad guys are not formidable if they are that dumb.

  • by Your Anus ( 308149 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @11:42PM (#51220151) Journal
    He mutilated the original trilogy and instead of releasing the new versions as "director's cuts" in parallel with the original versions, he took the original versions off the market. Maybe Disney will undo the damage. Also, his favorite character is Jar-Jar. So he can fuck off.

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