What’s Lucas thinking?

February 24, 2012 5:18 pm

Writer fears director is harming film series with latest releases

Beginning this year the“Star Wars” series will return to theaters. This time in 3D.

One film per year is slated to be released each year beginning with what is now the first of the series, “The Phantom Menace.”

George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars,” is adding content to make the films what he considers better.

But the question is, should artists be allowed to tinker with their work after publication? “Art is never finished, only abandoned,” the famed-artist Leonardo daVinci once said.

And it appears Lucas has taken that quote to heart, but quite possibly in the worst way. Lucas has made an imprint on cinema that is so pervasive and deep, that many forget his reach.

If not for him and the revolutionary work of his company Industrial Light & Magic, three quarters of the films released since 1978 probably would have never been possible.

In recent years a dark shadow looms over his legacy, and it’s because of none other than Lucas and the paths he’s gone down as a business man and filmmaker.

Lucas strived from the very beginning for complete creative control, to ensure that no big mean studio will come in and damage the integrity of the film.

Admirable goals, but there lies a problem, when you have all that power, who stands up to you to tell you when you’ve drifted, which is all too apparent with the “Star Wars” prequels.

Since the birth of home media the “Star Wars” films have received changes with each new format, some small, some very noticeable and all are simply not overindulgent.

It would be easy to complain about Greedo shooting first and what not but instead break it down into a few core tenants.

1. The purpose of a prequel is to shed light on backstory to better enlighten the story we already know and if one has to change prior work in order for  new work to make sense, then this new work fails on the prequel premise.

2. Go ahead and change the movies, they are technically your movies, plenty of filmmakers have done similar things, such as Steven Spielberg with “E.T” or Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” and it’s whopping five alternate cuts.

But where they are still safe is in the fact these filmmakers acknowledge those other editions and have them out there for purchase even if they’re not their preferred cut.

Lucas acts as if the original editions never even happened and forces consumers to buy his “Special Editions.”

He’s gone so far as claiming the original negatives have been destroyed.

3. Are they really his films to change? Films aren’t made by the talents of one person alone, it takes hundreds and thousands of people to make a complete package, so where does Lucas have the right to remove scenes, music, special effects, or even whole performances, when they were the blood and sweat of other individuals?

Art once it’s entered culture shouldn’t be tampered no matter who it is.

If da Vinci asked if he could do a second painting of the Mona Lisa and that the original be destroyed, would we allow it?
On what purpose would it be necessary?

Sure the artist might have complaints but he already unleashed it to the world and “flaws” to one man might hold meaning to another, that’s what makes it art.