Star Wars used to be all that I knew about film. Those films, Ghostbusters and the Spy Who Loved Me. They where the films that I enjoyed most as a kid and would watch them almost every weekend.
Why wasn’t I out playing when I was younger I hear you ask?
Simple, I didn’t have many friends.
Now I’m much older. I lived through the disappointment of the prequels. Now with a whole new spate of Star Wars films from the Disney corporation. It’s safe to say that I’m done with the franchise.
I knew I was done with it when I watched The Force Awakens. I saw Rogue One because everyone said it “Was pure class like”, it wasn’t. The Last Jedi was good in that it cured me once and for all with my fandom.
Where the Star Wars Prequels as bad as you thought?
You know, with the Disney Star Wars, my lack of interest, it got me thinking. Where the prequels as bad as all that.
To an extent, yes, as a work of storytelling, the Star Wars prequels aren’t good. The biggest problem that I have with the prequels aside from an overreliance on special effects is that tonally they’re all over the place. For every good aspect, the films have they have two bad ones as well.
Even Lucas was aware of the tone and pacing problems the film had.
The films are great on a technical level. The prequels helped pushed the envelope regarding technical innovation.
I wasn’t aware just how much the films pushed technology forward until this video showed up in my home feed.
When you watch this video, you realise that George Lucas did a lot to help bring filmmaking to where it is today.
Money for old hope
The tonal and pacing problems of the prequels aren’t new in Star Wars. Even before A New Hope, the issues were there. George was fortunate enough to be surrounded by a group of people who cared about him and the film. They cared enough to fight with him to make the movie better than the sum of it’s parts.
This video shows you how Star Wars was saved in the edit.
Would Star Wars be held up as a cinematic classic had it been released as Lucas had originally intended?
What always amazes me about behind the scenes on film is that films are even made in the first place. That they’re even let alone half decent is something else.
In the beginning
This documentary about the making of The Phantom Menace is also worth a look.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched it since I first got the DVD all those years ago. This is a fascinating insight into the making of the most anticipated film of all time.
It appeared everyone was aware that the film was going to suck. People valued their jobs more than the finished result.
The Unsung Hero
Gary Kurtz, the producer of A New Hope and The Empire, Strikes Back died last month. Kurtz is the unsung hero of the original trilogy. He left at the start of Return of the Jedi’s scripting phase. It’s a shame that he did because his story ideas sounded much better than what we got.
Here’s a link to an interview with him that is well worth a read.
Inspiration for filmmakers
There you have it. If you’re a filmmaker and you’re struggling it just goes to show that no one knows what they’re doing. Sometimes that leads to something magical, many times it doesn’t but hey,
Do or do not, there is no try.
When in doubt, cut to the droid.