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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    Default Deep dive by medium.com

    This is a great article. The sheer amount of fun behind the scenes stuff is fun. A long but good read. And the link is broken..sigh. It's actually a fun deep dive by medium.com. The article is called ‘.Star Wars’ and the Art of ‘Making It up as We Go Along. Now this is interesting....https://medium.com/fan-fare/star-war...g-567a02373847
    Last edited by Conn Seanery; 07-02-2020 at 01:26 PM.
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  2. #2
    Mighty Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    And now, it magically works!
    "The Marvel EIC Chair has a certain curse that goes along with it: it tends to drive people insane, and ultimately, out of the business altogether. It is the notorious last stop for many staffers, as once you've sat in The Big Chair, your pariah status is usually locked in." Christopher Priest

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony W View Post
    And now, it magically works!
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  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Great article.

    There's a big spectrum between "planned to the last fractal inch" versus "completely random improvisation". Lucas' approach in the OT falls inside that spectrum and so is a mix between the two extremes. I'd say near the middle but tilting to the "planned" part while the Disney SW movies are very near the "completely random improvisation" part.

    There's also a huge difference between one person doing the "making up as he goes along" rather than a story committee doing it. When Lucas is doing that, he's finding his way, feeling his way to his own story and themes, solidifying and improving it, someitmes unconsciously. Plus he's a great artist with an original vision. So when he makes stuff up as it goes along, it's like it was on the cards all along.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    I think sometimes Lucas is given a bit too much credit for his 'plans'. Take Revenge of the Sith for example. Originally, the reason for Anakin's fall to the dark side was mainly just going to be that he was convinced the Jedi were staging a coup against the Chancellor; the Padme element wasn't really added until reshoots/production was already underway (although to be fair Anakin's fear of loss/death was brought up in AOTC).

    ESB and ROTJ were almost completely different movies before Lawrence Kasdan stepped in, as well.


    The final film of ROTS is a bit of a Frankenstein of these two plot elements (Ben Burtt's editing was a bit odd in some cases of the prequels).
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  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    I think sometimes Lucas is given a bit too much credit for his 'plans'.
    Film production is a really complex bit of business. Plans include stuff like character design, visual design, overall aesthetic and not just simply story beats and character bits. The problem with Star Wars discourse is that people think of these solely in terms of stories, in screenwriting manual terms, rather than visual terms.

    On the whole, Lucas had a solid well thought out plan for these movies laid out clearly. He knew that the Republic had to look and sound different and have an entirely different aesthetic than the OT did. It had to look more advanced, more vibrant, have stuff like active street life, society, and civlization (such as the '50s style diner that Obi-Wan visits in AOTC). Whereas you don't see any similiar thought process and aesthetic imagination at work in the ST. None of the people there thought to imagine what a galaxy that Luke, Leia, Han, and Lando could build would look and sound like.

    Take Revenge of the Sith for example. Originally, the reason for Anakin's fall to the dark side was mainly just going to be that he was convinced the Jedi were staging a coup against the Chancellor; the Padme element wasn't really added until reshoots/production was already underway (although to be fair Anakin's fear of loss/death was brought up in AOTC).
    That's Lucas reworking a character transformation to something more visceral and personal, honing down a character arc. It's relatively minor and small compared to everyhing else.

    ESB and ROTJ were almost completely different movies before Lawrence Kasdan stepped in, as well.
    Nope. Before Lawrence Kasdan stepped in on TESB, Lucas had already prepared a story with Vader being Luke's Dad, already conceptualized Lando Calrissian and his eventual turn to the good guys, the Han/Leia romance, and Yoda. Lucas created and developed all the characters and their trajectory before Kasdan came in. What Kasdan helped was doctoring it out and smoothening it because Lucas wanted a professional screenwriter to polish what he expected to be a low-stakes middle-part with a competent production (that got upset when Gary Kurtz mismanaged the whole thing).

    I thought after SOLO, which was entirely Kasdan's baby, people would have gotten over the idea that Lawrence Kasdan was somehow the hidden genius of Star Wars. Try and understand, Kasdan is at heart a writer-director of adult melodramas and thrillers (stuff like Body Heat and the Big Chill), for him Star Wars was paycheck work. Kasdan never created any of the characters in the OT, that was all Lucas.

  7. #7
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    Lucas of course had a plan for the Prequels. The Empire has to rise, Anakin has to become Darth Vader, the Jedi have to die, Luke and Leia have to be born or at least conceived for them to be young adults in the OT. These are things that all have to happen during the Prequels and all of that happens in ROTS. Meaning a third of the prequels is the only time he actually did the job of setting up the OT.
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  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperiorIronman View Post
    ...Meaning a third of the prequels is the only time he actually did the job of setting up the OT.
    The prequels' real story is about the failure of the Jedi Order as an institution, the failure of their ideology to defend the Republic and save Anakin, and save themselves, and the story you see in the three prequels is all about that. The failure of the Jedi is what led to Anakin becoming Vader, what led to the birth of Luke and Leia, and what led to Order 66.

    Besides, setting up the OT wasn't Lucas' main or only reason for doing the prequels. Again that's looking at it entirely from story/screenwriting manual logic. Lucas had other reasons for doing the prequels. One is that going back to pre-production of Star Wars, he wanted a vision of a vast galaxy filled with planets, cultures, civilizations and so on. Ultimately he scaled that back for the first film and follow-ups. The Star Wars prequels reflects far more than the OT did, the aesthetic of golden age science-fiction covers given new life and polish. Lucas didn't become passionate for the prequels just to fill in blanks or canon. Rather he felt that teling the story of Anakin's downfall would allow him to play with a lot of fun and cool visual ideas while also giving him a throughline with which to link the Prequels with the Originals so that both film add to each other.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    I think sometimes Lucas is given a bit too much credit for his 'plans
    As much as i like Georgie, i can't help but feel there is a fair part of BS in his "it was all planned" rethoric.

  10. #10
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    Lucas definitely didn’t have the whole thing planned out at any point. He did, however, have the drive to sit down and extrapolate the kind of follow-up and background story that would properly exploit his initial movie. I would also argue that the PT ultimately *did* tell the story it needed to - the fall of the Republic is honestly plotted pretty intelligently, and adds a “applicability” element to the Saga that the ST wound up kind of missing, even though it’s release schedule arguably set-up the perfect one for it (the return of fascism, radicalization of youth, elements of the MeToo Movement and systemic racism).

    I would also say the key failing of the ST in comparison, especially in hindsight, was forgetting who it’s main characters were because of disagreements and misinterpretations of LFL, Abrams, and Johnson.

    Lucas never lost sight of who he was focusing on, and adjusted his story towards his end goals.

    Clearly, as the article points out, LFL wanted Kylo as the male lead, was in denial about what the character actually was post-TFA, discarded Finn in a horribly short-sighted and horribly mis-timed manner, and never really had any clear intentions for Rey, nor anyone really “in her corner” compared to their attention to Kylo. That’s how you end up with the only film that feels like it was made post-2016’s election being the film *before* it, a second film that is more the epilogue of Luke Skywalker than a Sequel Trilogy entry, and a gasping final film that just doesn’t have anything work on regardless, and with both of the latter two films being accidentally racist and sexist even when their goal was the exact opposite.
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  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Set View Post
    As much as i like Georgie, i can't help but feel there is a fair part of BS in his "it was all planned" rethoric.
    Just because something didn't go according to plan, that things came in the way, and so on. That didn't mean the plan didn't exist. If you read Lucas' original treatment, printed in Rinzler's book, you will see that a good part of the worldbuilding, including the midichlorians and other ideas were there from the start in the earliest interviews.

    Again stuff is on a spectrum. There's a lot of stuff between random spitballing and Daniel Ocean perfect heist. Virtually everything in fiction, in long-form fiction, has stuff like contingency and other elements that come in. J. R. R. Tolkien's stories for instance were fairly well thought out and developed but as he himself said, "the tale grew in the telling". The reason we have LOTR is that the Hobbit books were successful and the publisher asked for more and so JRRT sat down and came up with the ring that Gollum had. Tolkien pitched other stories and concepts to the publisher but they wanted stories with hobbits at the center, so Tolkien sat down wrote and as he wrote the ring in The Hobbit developed and became more important, Tolkien tied in the mythos he was developing for The Silmarillion (which publisheres rejected). Tolkien even went back and retconned The Hobbit in later versions to make it synch up to his new story (sound familiar). But no one can say that The Lord of the Rings is random spitballing.

    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    That’s how you end up with the only film that feels like it was made post-2016’s election being the film *before* it, a second film that is more the epilogue of Luke Skywalker than a Sequel Trilogy entry, and a gasping final film that just doesn’t have anything work on regardless, and with both of the latter two films being accidentally racist and sexist even when their goal was the exact opposite.
    Agreed.

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Set View Post
    As much as i like Georgie, i can't help but feel there is a fair part of BS in his "it was all planned" rethoric.
    Yeah, he embellished his legend considerably. If anything, it makes his accomplishments more impressive that he didn't have that master plan.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Yeah, he embellished his legend considerably. If anything, it makes his accomplishments more impressive that he didn't have that master plan.
    In a way, it’s a tribute to the old serials that inspired Star Wars - he knows who he wants as heroes, he knows who he wants as the villain, and he knows what kind of ending he wants. Getting creative and introspective in the execution is the advantage he had that most of those old serials didn’t.

    And I’d say the ST’s problems is it didn’t have those answers down all the way through production: Abrams was making a film with Rey and Finn as the main heroes against Kylo As the villain and presumably wanted a happy ending for everything when all was said and done, Johnson wanted to make Luke the main hero with Kylo over Rey as a weird kind of composite protagonist/antagonist? and pretty much killed any chance of a happy ending when all was said and done, then Abrams, under LFL’s directives, had to try and make a film with Rey over Ben as the main heroes and Palpatine as the main villain so that a Ben could be a hero.

    ...Which is why is the only ST movie where Rey, Finn, and Kylo were all written well without debate - that’s where the characters were built and deployed, and Johnson and LFL’s rejection of Finn for the horribly inadequate and frankly repugnant-for-the-role Kylo screwed over all three of those characters, and because Johnson wasted Rey’s second film making a pretentious but un-self-aware film about man-pain instead.
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