It how it works now with the internet. Anything with a bit of mystery involved will be speculated on 100 times in the first week so by working out every possible answer someone will have got it right.
At least content creators are now used to this and no longer change the idea because someone guessed it.
Forgive my ignorance here but I had a random query pop into my head and thought you guys might be able to explain…
Why were there 16 years with no Star Wars movies in between the original and the prequel trilogies?
I know the fundamental answer is “Because George said so” but that seems like a colossal amount of money to be left sitting on the table.
Granted, the cinematic world was not quite as obsessed with known brands and franchises back in the day but it isn’t like sequels, even unnecessary ones, were unheard of at that point. Case in point, there were seven Star Trek movies, six James Bond movies and four Batman movies released during that same time frame (not to mention the entire Police Academy franchise…)
It is, but Lucas always stated he’d do six more movies - three prequels, three sequels - and that he was developing them. And that was pretty much it, since he had the rights. And it’s not like he wasn’t making a lot of money off the original trilogy in the meantime. I suppose he had no reason to hurry.
One specific reason he gave was he was waiting for the possiblities of special effects to catch up with what he wanted to do.
I think that’s a pretty big one. He was using his video game company, Lucasarts, in conjunction with ILM to develop this technology. I remember Rebel Assault 2 (especially the cut scenes) being pointed to as an early example of how he would film most of the Prequel Trilogy. It was a great game with such an immersive experience. It felt like an interactive movie.
I see. Well, good on him for just sticking to his vision, I suppose.
Lucas was also disgusted with moviemaking politics. He’s an interesting guy—he started out as a guy who wanted to make art films, then Star Wars hit. He grew tired of directing after the first one—he’s not a people person and reportedly treated his effects team terribly and people did not like him. Indiana Jones was his concept but he felt like Spielberg got all the credit. Other stuff he produced, like Howard the Duck and Willow, were poorly received. He withdrew from moviemaking, devoted himself to the sound and VFX stuff, remained in the Bay Area.
He and Coppola started out together as friends and collaborators and had big dreams to exist outside of the studio system, but only Lucas got that power and he was tethered to Star Wars. I think it just took him a long time to come to grips with it.
My question would not be why he didn’t make more Star Wars films, but why he didn’t turn to more artsy and/or personal films like he started and originally intended, but the answer to that question is probably in my first paragraph up there.
That is the reason he gave for why he sold Lucasfilm. He wanted to do more experimental stuff and he didn’t think that he could bring shareholders and employees along for the ride.
I get the feeling that he wants both worlds. He wants to do experimental work with the accolades that Star Wars brought.
Has he done any films except for Red Tails since he sold Lucasfilm?
Nothing that I’ve heard of. But I don’t know that he’s planning on doing anything too commercial.
Everyone wants that; Charlie Kaufman was saying last year that he can’t finance his films as easily as he’d like. Well that’s because he often has expensive ideas but only a small audience for them.
Lucas has always had a lot of projects in development, but he has no-one urging him to make them and he doesn’t need the money.
I hope he does a few more films, but it’s his life.
It’s odd what he defines as experimental vs commercial as his sensibilities are very commercial. Even Red Tails appeared to be a fairly standard commercial narrative film. THX1138 is the only work of his that really even approaches experimental. I think that is more down to it being early in his career and using it to grow his storytelling ability as American Graffiti was incredibly commercial.
It’s also worth noting that Star Wars kinda disappeared in the late 80s. The Marvel comic was cancelled in 1987, the toy line died out in 1985, and there were only three tie-in novels in the 80s. The only piece of Star Wars merchandise to start in the 80s and keep going was the RPG.
Star Wars started to come back in the mid-90s, after the comics, novels and computer games began to get noticed and popular. I think it was 95 when Lucasfilm began to push the brand again and announced the special editions and prequels.
So does he still have involvement with Lucasfilm? Once again, there’s nothing experimental about that.
I guess I should step back and say that we’re maybe talking about different things. Experimental film has a very distinct definition.
At this point I believe he’s entirely divorced of involvement with Lucasfilms. That was made pretty clear when he said he was sharing his ideas for the new Star Wars films only for Disney to dump all of it.
I wasn’t under the impression that he meant experimental in the literal sense but probably closer to stuff like THX.
He’s apparently still going to be credited as an EP on the new Indiana Jones movie, but won’t have any active involvement.
It just seems odd because Lucas definitely knows what experimental means in that world. The USC program he attended and some of his influences like Godard, Truffaut and Fellini are more in that vein.
Full disclosure, I was a film student for about a year. Even though most students in the program were more interested in narrative film, the program specialized in experimental and documentary film. At the time (I’m not sure if it’s still the case), it was one of only a handful of programs that offered an MFA in film in the US.
Lucas had a plot developed for the prequel trilogy really early on. But then he had to add in an annoying kid, Jar-Jar Binks, some racial stereotype aliens, lots of pages of exciting trade negotiations, a rushed heel turn, and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, and hey all these delicate tweaks carefully designed to ruin something wonderful take time you know!