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January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)" 
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Gaffer
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Yeah, I'm referring to the rabid haters, the ones who scream death threats or proclaim raped childhoods. Those guys.
Though I'm not implying that Lucas only did this for the public. Hell, no. There's money to be made and he's going to make it. I'm referring to his willingness to give a great deal of fan service. I rather prefer Gene Roddenberry's approach to the fans. He loved them, appreciated them, was involved in a great sci-fi property, but he pretty much ignored their demands. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, but you always knew where you stood with Gene.

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:36 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
J.W. Allen wrote:
Yeah, I'm referring to the rabid haters, the ones who scream death threats or proclaim raped childhoods. Those guys.
Though I'm not implying that Lucas only did this for the public. Hell, no. There's money to be made and he's going to make it. I'm referring to his willingness to give a great deal of fan service. I rather prefer Gene Roddenberry's approach to the fans. He loved them, appreciated them, was involved in a great sci-fi property, but he pretty much ignored their demands. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, but you always knew where you stood with Gene.

I think Gene was just more of a mature adult than Lucas is. George RR Martin is someone that your description brings to mind- he knows what he's doing, and while he appreciates that the fans want for certain things to happen, he makes it unequivocally clear that it's HIS story to tell regardless of what the fans want. However, one other thing I'd bring up is that IMO both Martin and Roddenberry are better storytellers than Lucas will ever be.


Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:51 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Agreed. I like Star Wars, and am a Star Wars fan, but quite frankly, the stories are very simple. Of course, that's part of their appeal, is the fun and adventure aspect, much like the Indiana Jones movies, it's all about the visceral experience. Star Trek is a bit more methodical in it's story telling. This is probably because Star Wars wasn't meant to be taken as reality, while Star Trek tries to present itself as a plausible future for mankind. Two totally different types of stories, but equally fun in their own way.

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:45 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
J.W. Allen wrote:
Agreed. I like Star Wars, and am a Star Wars fan, but quite frankly, the stories are very simple. Of course, that's part of their appeal, is the fun and adventure aspect, much like the Indiana Jones movies, it's all about the visceral experience. Star Trek is a bit more methodical in it's story telling. This is probably because Star Wars wasn't meant to be taken as reality, while Star Trek tries to present itself as a plausible future for mankind. Two totally different types of stories, but equally fun in their own way.

Arguably, it could be said that Star Trek had stories to tell that weren't that difficult to write, simply because they brought up a lot of themes about morality and because unlike Star Wars, they tried to be more grounded in reality. The first episode where Khan appeared in the original series is a good example, as it touched on the theme of a third world war in Earth's history.

ST:TNG delved further into morality, such as with almost every episode that Q appeared in. It did have one of my favorite ST episodes of all time with "Darmok", involving Picard's interaction with an alien whose language consisted entirely of metaphors.

The Song of Ice and Fire series by Martin is an excellent example of character development and emphasis on the interactions between characters over magic and other elements of the fantasy genre. The Game of Thrones TV series has done a fairly good job so far of bringing that to the small screen, and hopefully that will continue with the upcoming 2nd season.


Last edited by Ragnarok73 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:55 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
J.W. Allen wrote:
Agreed. I like Star Wars, and am a Star Wars fan, but quite frankly, the stories are very simple. Of course, that's part of their appeal, is the fun and adventure aspect, much like the Indiana Jones movies, it's all about the visceral experience. Star Trek is a bit more methodical in it's story telling. This is probably because Star Wars wasn't meant to be taken as reality, while Star Trek tries to present itself as a plausible future for mankind. Two totally different types of stories, but equally fun in their own way.

... which is why Star Wars falls into the 'Fantasy' genre. :o


Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:42 am
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Star Trek is soft sci-fi. It thrives on the illusion of plausibility. All the nonsense about dilithium crystals, warp drive, solid holograms, and whatnot is carefully (or not-so-carefully) constructed pseudo-science, which gives the stories a reason to happen while hopefully not straining the suspension of disbelief too badly.

Star Wars, as H.I. McDonough observes, is not sci-fi of any kind. It doesn't even make a token effort at crafting or maintaining illusory plausibility. We don't know how anything works. We're not meant to know and we're not meant to care. We can't even begin to hypothesize that a good explanation might somehow exist. The ships, robots, and weapons are the way they are purely because they add visual pizzazz to the storytelling. There is no science, fake or real. Fi without sci is not sci-fi.

It is indeed fantasy--almost 100% by-the-book conventional fantasy. It has wizards, magic, swordfighting, good knights, evil minions, a forbidding enemy stronghold, Froduke Bagwalker... the only thing missing is the Middle Earth backdrop.

EDIT:

This is not meant to devalue Star Wars or imply in any way that fantasy is a pejorative. (Of course it isn't.) I only mean to put the value of Star Wars into context. It is a marvelous fantasy story.


Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:23 am
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
J.W. Allen wrote:
Agreed. I like Star Wars, and am a Star Wars fan, but quite frankly, the stories are very simple. Of course, that's part of their appeal, is the fun and adventure aspect, much like the Indiana Jones movies, it's all about the visceral experience. Star Trek is a bit more methodical in it's story telling. This is probably because Star Wars wasn't meant to be taken as reality, while Star Trek tries to present itself as a plausible future for mankind. Two totally different types of stories, but equally fun in their own way.

Arguably, it could be said that Star Trek had stories to tell that weren't that difficult to write, simply because they brought up a lot of themes about morality and because unlike Star Wars, they tried to be more grounded in reality. The first episode where Khan appeared in the original series is a good example, as it touched on the theme of a third world war in Earth's history.

ST:TNG delved further into morality, such as with almost every episode that Q appeared in. It did have one of my all-time favorite ST episodes of all time with "Darmok", involving Picard's interaction with an alien whose language consisted entirely of metaphors.

The Song of Ice and Fire series by Martin is an excellent example of character development and emphasis on the interactions between characters over magic and other elements of the fantasy genre. The Game of Thrones TV series has done a fairly good job so far of bringing that to the small screen, and hopefully that will continue with the upcoming 2nd season.


Good point, and "Darmok" is most definitely amongst my favorite episodes of The Next Generation. It's true, though, that much of Star Trek is simply allegory for the events of the day. The original series dealt with those issues in a fun way, I thought. Plus, I love the campiness of the original Trek. :mrgreen:

H.I. McDonough wrote:
J.W. Allen wrote:
Agreed. I like Star Wars, and am a Star Wars fan, but quite frankly, the stories are very simple. Of course, that's part of their appeal, is the fun and adventure aspect, much like the Indiana Jones movies, it's all about the visceral experience. Star Trek is a bit more methodical in it's story telling. This is probably because Star Wars wasn't meant to be taken as reality, while Star Trek tries to present itself as a plausible future for mankind. Two totally different types of stories, but equally fun in their own way.

... which is why Star Wars falls into the 'Fantasy' genre. :o


Of course. I never suggested otherwise. I was speaking in terms of fan service.

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Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:32 am
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Fanservice, eh? Seems to me that both franchises have a decent amount of both, what with the metal bikinis and go-go boots.

(I know that's probably not the kind of fanservice you're talking about, but I couldn't help but seize upon the word. Fanservice is one of the greatest things about being a fan.)

-----

I know I've ran my mouth extensively in this thread... not necessarily in the defense of Star Wars, but in the defense of not taking offense to Star Wars.

Talk being worth what it is, I'm currently formulating a plan to rewatch all six movies and catalog my (hopefully) unvarnished impressions. It's been a while since I've watched any of these movies in their entirety, so hopefully the experience yields some kind of value.

By the recommendation of many fans who are not me, I'll be watching the series in the order of in-universe chronology. I'll probably be watching The Phantom Menace in the comfort of my own home, rather than in its 3D theatrical presentation, because fuck that.


Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:43 am
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
I know I've ran my mouth extensively in this thread... not necessarily in the defense of Star Wars, but in the defense of not taking offense to Star Wars.

Talk being worth what it is, I'm currently formulating a plan to rewatch all six movies and catalog my (hopefully) unvarnished impressions. It's been a while since I've watched any of these movies in their entirety, so hopefully the experience yields some kind of value.

By the recommendation of many fans who are not me, I'll be watching the series in the order of in-universe chronology. I'll probably be watching The Phantom Menace in the comfort of my own home, rather than in its 3D theatrical presentation, because fuck that.

I'm betting that the Blu-Ray set would be cheaper than the cumulative cost of tickets for the films in theaters.


Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:57 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Mainly, I'd like to view all six films in the same viewing circumstances, like a scientist doing a... science thing. And I'm not keen on waiting six years for this project to unfold fully.

I'm also thinking that part of this project will involve occasionally pausing, and I don't have enough spare change to bribe the projectionist.


Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:56 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
Fanservice, eh? Seems to me that both franchises have a decent amount of both, what with the metal bikinis and go-go boots.

(I know that's probably not the kind of fanservice you're talking about, but I couldn't help but seize upon the word. Fanservice is one of the greatest things about being a fan.)

-----

I know I've ran my mouth extensively in this thread... not necessarily in the defense of Star Wars, but in the defense of not taking offense to Star Wars.

Talk being worth what it is, I'm currently formulating a plan to rewatch all six movies and catalog my (hopefully) unvarnished impressions. It's been a while since I've watched any of these movies in their entirety, so hopefully the experience yields some kind of value.

By the recommendation of many fans who are not me, I'll be watching the series in the order of in-universe chronology. I'll probably be watching The Phantom Menace in the comfort of my own home, rather than in its 3D theatrical presentation, because fuck that.


I get what you're saying about fanservice, and there are shows I like, and once in a while they throw the fans a bone and it's great.

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Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:20 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
By the recommendation of many fans who are not me, I'll be watching the series in the order of in-universe chronology. I'll probably be watching The Phantom Menace in the comfort of my own home, rather than in its 3D theatrical presentation, because fuck that.

Indeed, 3-D always has been - and always will be - a mere gimmick. It's waving a set of keys in front of a cat. Of course, it's also a convenient excuse for jacking up admission prices. Even films that were shot specifically for 3-D viewing (e.g. "The Adventures of Tintin,' "Hugo") I instead chose to see in 2-D. As much as I like Star Wars, I'm not so sure I'm willing to take it in in this format.


Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:40 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
H.I. McDonough wrote:
Ken wrote:
By the recommendation of many fans who are not me, I'll be watching the series in the order of in-universe chronology. I'll probably be watching The Phantom Menace in the comfort of my own home, rather than in its 3D theatrical presentation, because fuck that.

Indeed, 3-D always has been - and always will be - a mere gimmick. It's waving a set of keys in front of a cat. Of course, it's also a convenient excuse for jacking up admission prices. Even films that were shot specifically for 3-D viewing (e.g. "The Adventures of Tintin,' "Hugo") I instead chose to see in 2-D. As much as I like Star Wars, I'm not so sure I'm willing to take it in in this format.


I've yet to watch a movie in 3D. I'd like to do it once, just to see what all the fuss is about. I'll get my chance, too. Star Trek 2 is going to be shown in 3D, and since it's likely to be the only movie I will be seeing in the next year, so be it.

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Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:46 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
It's worth mentioning that Star Wars is already effectively a very 3D movie. Fuck's sake, shot #1 is two ships zooming overhead out of the immediate foreground into the depths of space, above a planet so large that it can scarcely be pictured onscreen except as an immense, nearly straight edge. For multiple generations of moviegoers, this is the first glimpse of the Star Wars universe.

Your brain doesn't need the pseudo-stereovision provided by 3D glasses. Your brain understands the three-dimensional movement perfectly. The ships are so large and heavy that they threaten to crush us. The planet is larger yet. The movements of the objects on the screen make dynamic use of the entire depth of field. That's 3D moviemaking. Glasses unnecessary.


Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:52 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Good point. When I saw ROTS in theaters, I was bowled over by the visual spectacle, and whatever problems I had with the movie, none of it were the visuals.

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Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:14 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Phil "The Bad Astronomer" Plait points out that time is a dimension; therefore, all movies are technically 3D already.


Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:59 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
Phil "The Bad Astronomer" Plait points out that time is a dimension; therefore, all movies are technically 3D already.



Which concludes the discussion that the '3D effect gained through the use of glasses' is merely a money grabbing post production gimmick (yes i know some films are MADE in 3D but then I've MADE images with a red filter.


Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:52 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
I know I've ran my mouth extensively in this thread... not necessarily in the defense of Star Wars, but in the defense of not taking offense to Star Wars.

Talk being worth what it is, I'm currently formulating a plan to rewatch all six movies and catalog my (hopefully) unvarnished impressions. It's been a while since I've watched any of these movies in their entirety, so hopefully the experience yields some kind of value.

By the recommendation of many fans who are not me, I'll be watching the series in the order of in-universe chronology. I'll probably be watching The Phantom Menace in the comfort of my own home, rather than in its 3D theatrical presentation, because fuck that.

It begins.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:41 am
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
Ken wrote:
I know I've ran my mouth extensively in this thread... not necessarily in the defense of Star Wars, but in the defense of not taking offense to Star Wars.

Talk being worth what it is, I'm currently formulating a plan to rewatch all six movies and catalog my (hopefully) unvarnished impressions. It's been a while since I've watched any of these movies in their entirety, so hopefully the experience yields some kind of value.

By the recommendation of many fans who are not me, I'll be watching the series in the order of in-universe chronology. I'll probably be watching The Phantom Menace in the comfort of my own home, rather than in its 3D theatrical presentation, because fuck that.

It begins.


As a point of interest, I should note that I rewatched all six movies in chronological order before writing the Lucas defense. In order, I contend that the prequels stand up better than they did as stand-alones. Also, RotJ is strengthened. The material with the Emperor is built to by his constant presence in Part I-III. He doesn't just appear out of nowhere in Part VI (excepting the brief scene in V).

As for the "No! Nooooo!" add-on in RotJ, it's not nearly as bad in context as it is out of context. It is unnecessary, but it didn't ruin the moment for me. Your mileage may vary, but don't offer an opinion until you have seen it after watching the entire Blu-Ray film. Watching it as part of a two-minute clip is a lot different than watching it as a part of two-hour movie. I'm not going to defend its inclusion - it's a pointless addition - but I'm not going to go along with the prevalent belief that this change wrecks the movie. It doesn't.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:53 am
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Ken wrote:
Ken wrote:
I know I've ran my mouth extensively in this thread... not necessarily in the defense of Star Wars, but in the defense of not taking offense to Star Wars.

Talk being worth what it is, I'm currently formulating a plan to rewatch all six movies and catalog my (hopefully) unvarnished impressions. It's been a while since I've watched any of these movies in their entirety, so hopefully the experience yields some kind of value.

By the recommendation of many fans who are not me, I'll be watching the series in the order of in-universe chronology. I'll probably be watching The Phantom Menace in the comfort of my own home, rather than in its 3D theatrical presentation, because fuck that.

It begins.


As a point of interest, I should note that I rewatched all six movies in chronological order before writing the Lucas defense. In order, I contend that the prequels stand up better than they did as stand-alones. Also, RotJ is strengthened. The material with the Emperor is built to by his constant presence in Part I-III. He doesn't just appear out of nowhere in Part VI (excepting the brief scene in V).

As for the "No! Nooooo!" add-on in RotJ, it's not nearly as bad in context as it is out of context. It is unnecessary, but it didn't ruin the moment for me. Your mileage may vary, but don't offer an opinion until you have seen it after watching the entire Blu-Ray film. Watching it as part of a two-minute clip is a lot different than watching it as a part of two-hour movie. I'm not going to defend its inclusion - it's a pointless addition - but I'm not going to go along with the prevalent belief that this change wrecks the movie. It doesn't.


I completely agree with your points. On a related note, I'm planning on introducing my 6 year old cousins to the Star Wars universe, and they'll be watching the films in chronological order (starting with Ep. 1 3D this week... convenient considering Phantom Menace is the more appropriate for children). Hopefully they'll find it to be a cohesive generational saga (well, they're kids, at least it'll make sense for them). It should be interesting (exciting, actually, at least for me) to see people experiencing the movies like this for the first time.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:46 am
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