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Star Wars: The Clone Wars
February 11, 2008 11:40 PM   Subscribe

A look at the (likely terrible) CGI Star Wars prequel hitting theaters this autumn. The "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" movie is expected to run around 100 minutes and pick up between episode II and III. Anakin Skywalker is not yet Darth Vader. The story will then continue in 30-minute smallscreen installments.
posted by incomple (106 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Apparently it has 40 episodes already completed, and according to Lucas (via Wikipedia), "It has to go after 9 o'clock, and it can't be on a kiddie channel." (It will no doubt be FILTHY.) And it would seem they're planning for at least a hundred episodes...

Then there's the live-action TV series, set to debut in 2009. Apparently multiple series are in the works, with potentially 400 episodes amongst them. Of course, this is the same group of assholes who originally said that the series was going to consist of twelve movies, and that the original trilogy was going to come out in 3D last year, so who knows...

The fact that all of this will no doubt be terrible makes it all the more compelling for me. Even as a lapsed Star Wars fan, getting potentially hundreds of hours of more stuff—if only to goof on—is an exciting prospect.
posted by incomple at 11:46 PM on February 11, 2008


Wasn't there already a 25-episode series of five-minute shorts by Genndy Tartakovsky caled Clone Wars? How wil this new movie and series fit in?
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 12:02 AM on February 12, 2008


Oh, good lord. Hopefully (and I say this as another lapsed fan), this will finally tank the franchise before it can be devalued any further, in much the same way as the Star Trek franchise was tanked by the mid-late 90s string of crappy Next Generation films and Enterprise. Then it can be revived after a good long break with Lucas' hubris in check and a fresh perspective, in much the same way as the new Trek film, which from all available information appears to be pretty good.

Either that, or Lucas and friends will continue to completely pound it into the fucking dirt and not care how crappy the output is as long as they can make bank on video game/toy/Happy/Meal/etc. tie-ins. Unfortunately, this outcome seems more likely.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:03 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


A poorly rendered 3D model has more acting range than Hayden Christensen.
posted by christonabike at 12:05 AM on February 12, 2008 [11 favorites]


Lucas employs the best of the best, obviously, for who but the best of the best could have come up with so brilliant a name for a bad guy as "Grievous".
posted by Tube at 12:07 AM on February 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


I was wondering that myself, ten pounds of inedita. I can't seem to find a clear answer. Though I haven't seen the Tartakovsky series, I hear good things about it, so hopefully this new thing can exist without making the older series apocryphal.




...Wait, why do I give a shit? What's wrong with me?
posted by incomple at 12:09 AM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by mr_roboto at 12:10 AM on February 12, 2008 [23 favorites]


Seriously; if the man had set out to torpedo the entire enterprise he could not have done better. He's thrown away more good will that George Bush.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:11 AM on February 12, 2008


than
posted by mr_roboto at 12:12 AM on February 12, 2008


DO NOT WANT
posted by shakespeherian at 12:15 AM on February 12, 2008 [7 favorites]


DecemberBoy, "tank the franchise before it can be devalued any further"? How much fucking further could it possibly be devalued, after potentially 450+ hours of terrible storytelling? That's an amount of bad Star Wars* that outweighs the good Star Wars** by a ratio of 100:1.

*Everything but A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, and maybe the Tartakovsky series
**A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, and maybe the Tartakovsky series

posted by incomple at 12:22 AM on February 12, 2008


Not promising that he thinks that the best bit about being given an enormous budget to make a TV show about the clone wars is that he gets to invent a new character, who turns out to be another precocious child.

Also, it was nice that when I paused the video it didn't continue to cache, and instead played back with the same start/stop/caching crappiness as if I hadn't allowed it to load first.
posted by markr at 12:24 AM on February 12, 2008


I HATE SAND!
posted by parallax7d at 12:32 AM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Make it stop!
posted by zardoz at 12:36 AM on February 12, 2008


Tartakovsky did it first and did it better. This is just the latest in Lucas's latest blood-from-a-stone experiments. Or was it the dead-horse-beating experiments? I can never really tell, nowadays.
posted by ooga_booga at 12:40 AM on February 12, 2008


The animated Clone Wars shorts were pretty good. I enjoyed those much more than episodes 1-3.
posted by Talanvor at 12:51 AM on February 12, 2008


I will say this now, as I have said before.

The best thing that has come out of the *entire* prequels was Tartakovsky's Clone Wars.

It was the only star wars content I was actually looking forward to watching, and was excited as each new short came out. I ended up going to Return of the Sith out of obligation in the "how is this train wreck going to end" mentality. And the only thing that even motivated me to do that was that I sat down and watched all of the Clone Wars that day leading up to it.

Now Lucas is going to give us the Anakin, the 90210 years.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:53 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: ...Wait, why do I give a shit? What's wrong with me?
posted by Hat Maui at 1:10 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, so I watched the trailer, and despite all my better judgment, I'm mildly looking forward to this.

...Wait, why do I give a shit? What's wrong with me?

Me too, man.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:10 AM on February 12, 2008


The question I want answered is "Why does that director guy wear his cowboy hat while sitting at his desk?"
posted by LeLiLo at 1:15 AM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


lelilo, I was wondering the same thing, but upon closer observation I'm like 90% sure that it's a fedora, no doubt inspired by Indiana Jones. The best part is that he no doubt thought it looked real cool. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by incomple at 1:21 AM on February 12, 2008


They definitely need to call the live-action TV series “Star Wars: The Next Generation”.
posted by XMLicious at 1:26 AM on February 12, 2008


There is a disturbance in the farce.
posted by srboisvert at 1:32 AM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


…upon closer observation I'm like 90% sure that it's a fedora, no doubt inspired by Indiana Jones.

Perhaps a chapeau of identical pedigree to that of MeFi's own asavage?
posted by XMLicious at 1:32 AM on February 12, 2008


It will suck, I will hate it, but I will be sat watching in reverential silence and awe anyway.
posted by vbfg at 1:47 AM on February 12, 2008


My mates 10 year old kid loved (and loves still) the ep I..III Star Wars films, and I'm sure he's going to love these as well. It amazes me that a generation of 30 somethings don't understand simple concepts like nostalgia and target demographics.

It also worries me that the squeaky wheel that is the internet appears to have influenced Lucas. Star Wars with a 9pm watershed. That's madness.
posted by seanyboy at 1:59 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why is it that star wars fans seem to hate most of the franchises output?
posted by scodger at 2:03 AM on February 12, 2008


Wow. Lot of hate here. I loathe ep 1-3 as much as anybody, but I don't see how this could possibly be as bad as them.

Unless, y'know, Hayden Christensen signs up to do the Anakin voice and/or Jar Jar shows up. Then all bets are off.
posted by juv3nal at 2:06 AM on February 12, 2008


Then it can be revived after a good long break with Lucas' hubris in check and a fresh perspective, in much the same way as the new Trek film, which from all available information appears to be pretty good.
I think before that happens, George Lucas's ashes will need to be shot into space like Gene Roddenberry's. I would be ok with that happening right now.

If they're going to do this sort of thing, to sort of rake over the wreckage of the star wars "world" to find something else to sell, I would rather see them open up a real sort of franchise system where anyone could make a Star Wars movie, and would pay a percentage to Lucas. There have been fan movies that were way better than any of the prequels. You would see a lot of crap that way but you might also see something interesting come out of it. As it is now, with Lucas doing it, it's 100% crap.

It doesn't look like they have Jar Jar, but it does look like they have a sassy preteen character who was modeled on Dora the Explorer. She's figurine-ready.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 3:04 AM on February 12, 2008


I am going to go out on a limb and say that I actually like Episodes 1, 2 & 3. It helps that I've watched the movies with my boy, seeing his face is kind of like seeing my own face back in the 80's when I was sat on the stairs at the local single screen cinema, packed in with 500+ other kids (in direct contravention of fire safety laws) who had waited what seemed like years to see Return of the Jedi.

Yes, they were initially awful when I saw them on my own - Jar Jar-fucking-Binks, midi-fucking-chlorians, virgin birth/parthenogenesis, "Nnnnnoooooooooooo!" etc. It was clear to me that Lucas had no actual plan, no actual storyline at all other than "Luke's dad was a decent bloke who turned bad. Oh, and the Empire happened too" when watching the movies.

But all the obvious gripes aside, I got to watch the movies on DVD with ze boy recently and I get to see the sense of wonder and excitement all over and I get to see it in him. Yeah, Jar Jar is a tosser - Ewoks anyone? midi-chlorians? Sure - they're a joke but you know what - it's only a film. It's a swords and sorcery meets science fantasy movie. They need to come up with shitty reasons why the hyperdrive doesn't work and why some people have magic powers. It moves the story line on.

Anakin had to have had a dad - was he going to be some fat dude in a sparkling tinfoil vest smoking a space pipe and watching the 3d-boob-tube? No. Get rid of the dad. Make it a miracle. Make it a prophecy (hey it worked for Dune right?).

There is no defence for the "Nnnnnoooooooooooo!" but I can see why it's in there. It's like the severing of the Anakin umbilical and the birth of a monster.

And finally, Haydn Christensen did look like a scary fucker in Ep3. And all the lightsaber battles were awesome.

I rest my (not overly significant) case.
posted by longbaugh at 3:22 AM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Zarquon's got it. Though it's possible to pick and choose a few other individual good cherries, Tartakovsky's Clone Wars cartoons were one of only two great things* to come out of the entire prequel mess. Now I guess they'll ruin those two.

*the other was Duel of the Fates, of course, which will need a disco remix to kill.
posted by rokusan at 3:28 AM on February 12, 2008


I called this. Ages ago, I called this. Granted, I was considering the possibility of Episodes 7, 8 and 9, but still I called this. If Lucas ever makes a new Star Wars movie, I said, it's going to be entirely CGI. I was right.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:37 AM on February 12, 2008


Oh, and there's one more great thing that came out of the prequels: Lego Star Wars.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:39 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, George always wanted to do away with those pesky, you know, actors, and now he gets his wish. For fuck's sake, they can't even hire some decent voice talent? That new character, her voice sounds like they gave the receptionist the gig. Whoever they could get for cheap. So very typical.

To those of you who care about this man and his art: he doesn't give two shits about you or your expectations of him, he just wants the contents of your wallet. That's the whole Lucas story. What a fucking joke.
posted by dbiedny at 3:47 AM on February 12, 2008


Just to really ensure that it is flogged mercilessly to death I think Joe Eszterhas and Shane Black should co-write the script and Michael Bay should direct. Lucas can still produce. And the music should be provided by Wang Chung.

There's your guarantee of quality right there.
posted by longbaugh at 4:01 AM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I will countenance no harsh words against Wang Chung.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:05 AM on February 12, 2008 [7 favorites]


Amazing to reflect on how totally into the whole Star Wars thing I was at first, in high school, to such a degree that my parents were alarmed by it; by the time of The Empire Strikes Back, not quite so much, and when I saw those Muppet-lookin' things in Return of the Jedi, I knew something was wrong. George wanted to remake his original movie because it wasn't good enough, and the latter three movies barely held my attention -- the last one had my movie-going friend weeping in her popcorn while I was struggling to stay awake. As for this, I have (I think appropriately) low expectations and will wait for it to show up on TV.
posted by pax digita at 4:10 AM on February 12, 2008


They need to come up with shitty reasons why the hyperdrive doesn't work and why some people have magic powers.

NO THEY DON'T

NO THEY FUCKING DON'T

MIDICHLORIANS ARE SARLACCSHIT

As far as I'm concerned, the only good recent Star Wars developments have been the Tartakovsky cartoons, which are like a low-rent version of Samurai Jack, and MC Chris's song Fett's Vette.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:18 AM on February 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


MC Chris's song Fett's Vette.

OK, that was fucking great.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:25 AM on February 12, 2008


Lego helps, stop motion helps (read: Robot Chicken), and this is pretty hilarious.
posted by Caviar at 4:56 AM on February 12, 2008


So...I take it they sent this over to Lucas Arts for the animation? I was willing to tolerate the idea of a CGI movie until it came out looking like it was from the creators of Jimmy Neutron. I had expected a higher degree of quality to the CGI than the run of the mill stuff you see on tv these days. I mean, he is Lucas, he is obsessed with getting the best out of computers. The only reason I can foresee the show airing "after 9" is because showing a lightsaber cut through clones and droids is just too much for a 5 year old to handle. ...

I'll probably tune in at first out of allegiance to a once fanatic following of Star Wars, but I'll probably be cured of that quickly if this preview is a good idea of what will come. Whatta stinker.
posted by Atreides at 5:29 AM on February 12, 2008


Why is it that star wars fans seem to hate most of the franchises output?

Excuse my long, early-morning rant: but it's an issue of expectations.

I was born in 1983. All the original movies had come out by that point -- so I never had the experience of seeing them in theaters by themselves. So, naturally, as a boy I accepted all three movies unconditionally. "Wow, cool." I said. Lord Lucas is pleased.

It wasn't until much later (my mid-to-late teens) that I began to see Lucas' slow progression into madness over the course of those films. First movie: pretty good. Farmboy gets a bitchin light-sword thingy, joins with the scrappy rebels, pilots a fighter jet and blows up the Death Star. Darth Vader is introduced and is the coolest villian ever. Also, Han Solo is a tough drug smuggler with a heart of gold, Chewie is cool and the droids are comic relief. Whats not to like?

Second movie comes along. Scrappy rebels vs. Evil Empire. Ok. Not bad. Things move along nicely. Except.....uh. Well, the old Jedi from the last movie appears in a vision and tells Luke to visit Grover, uh, Yoda for more training. No offense -- I like muppets as much as the next guy, but seriously? And then, guess what -- Darth Vader? The Evil Supervillian from the first movie? Turns out to be Luke's dad.

At this point, someone should have said "George, step away from the typewriter. You're only hurting yourself." Nobody had the balls to do that, though -- which is why we have Return of the Jedi -- a muppet and flying-into-the-deathstar crapfest. Oh, and Darth Vader is redeemed at the end once he sees his son getting fried by the Emperor. As if to say "Oh no! I suddenly realize that I'm one of the bad-guys! We hurt people! What have I done?!?!" So Darth Vader, who has personally murdered thousands of people himself, would suddenly grow a conscience over his bastard son whom he never met?!?

Then, later on, you have the "Greedo shot first" fiasco, which besides being a technically terrible edit (they literally move Han's head 3 inches to the left in less than a second to avoid the blaster bolt -- it both looks fake and is physically impossible) but it's also indicative of Lucas' ever-growing insanity. Scrappy drug smuggler's are OK with shooting first, George. It's what they do.

The point is, there are roughly 30,000 professional Hollywood writers (and many more outside Hollywood) who could have taken over after the first movie and given the franchise a different direction. Timothy Zahn could have done it. Hell, anybody could have written better scripts than Lucas. Or casted better actors. Or shot scenes in more locations than "Planet GreenScreen".

People had high expectations when the saw A New Hope. They expected something big and wonderful. Instead, they got muppets and eventually Hayden Christensen. Never again, Lucas. Never again.
posted by Avenger at 5:30 AM on February 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


"This is the clone wars. You're going to see a lot of clones. We had to make the clones unique!"

You did?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:37 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Jar Jar is a tosser - Ewoks anyone?

"Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like fucking Shaft!"
posted by Tenuki at 5:53 AM on February 12, 2008


The whole "Greedo shot first" thing always rang stupid to me: the Greedster had a gun trained on Solo during the whole conversation. It ain't about who shot first, it's about who pulled their weapon first.

If someone has the drop on you, I'd say shooting them, whether they fire or not, is perfectly fair.
posted by breezeway at 5:54 AM on February 12, 2008


Smells like 1982 in here.
posted by Dizzy at 6:07 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anakin had to have had a dad - was he going to be some fat dude in a sparkling tinfoil vest smoking a space pipe and watching the 3d-boob-tube? No. Get rid of the dad. Make it a miracle.

I understand that the tried and true way is to have dad die at the hands of space orcs.
posted by ersatz at 6:09 AM on February 12, 2008


Oh my god, this looks absolutely repulsive. Like a cut scene out of a really low budget video game.
posted by fusinski at 6:22 AM on February 12, 2008


Every once in a while I think "Would it really be so bad if the human race were annihilated? Whatever comes next would at least not be under the spell of the hideous fucking Star Wars franchise." But then I thank, "Bah. Different strokes..." and carry on with my day.
posted by dobbs at 6:28 AM on February 12, 2008


think. THINK!
posted by dobbs at 6:28 AM on February 12, 2008


From the linked article:

"George Lucas, who has revisited the property and time again over the decades, said he mounted this new spinoff because he "felt there were a lot more 'Star Wars' stories toys left to tell sell."

All fixed.
posted by dbiedny at 6:29 AM on February 12, 2008


*sigh* I loved me the first two movies, New Hope and Empire. (I was 27 when the first one came out and I was totally into it.) Liked Tartakovsky's cartoon a lot. There were bits of the other movies that I enjoyed tremendously, but overall the feel had left the building. Watching this 3D thingie with the sound off actually gave me a little wood for the old days again. I like animation, and the stylized characters don't bother me one bit.

It is, after all, about the story. If the story (well, and the characters) is good I can forgive a lot. I can't tell about this yet... so I'll watch it and we'll see. If it blows I'm out of there. I don't love long, open-ended series stuff in general, and George seems to have shot his wad, but let's face it -- he has a lot of good help. Maybe. Just maybe, is all I am saying.

We've all been burned... but maybe.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:34 AM on February 12, 2008


We've all been burned... but maybe.

There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas... probably in Tennessee... that says, fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me... you can't get fooled again.
posted by fusinski at 6:44 AM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


GODDAMMIT STOP JUST STOP YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKER JUST STOP

STOP STOP STOP STOPPIT
posted by EarBucket at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2008


YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.
posted by notyou at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was clear to me that Lucas had no actual plan, no actual storyline at all other than "Luke's dad was a decent bloke who turned bad..."

Actually, he didn't even have that much. If you read this 1977 interview with Rolling Stone, you see him talking about Vader and "Luke's father" as two separate people. It's when he describes the backstory of Vader's labored breathing:

Lucas: It may be in one of the sequels.

Rolling Stone: What's the story?

Lucas: It's about Ben and Luke's father and Vader when they are young Jedi knights. But Vader kills Luke's father, then Ben and Vader have a confrontation, just like they have in Star Wars, and Ben almost kills Vader. As a matter of fact, he falls into a volcanic pit and gets fried and is one destroyed being. That's why he has to wear the suit with a mask, because it's a breathing mask. It's like a walking iron lung. His face is all horrible inside.


So, either Lucas is very cleverly and directly lying to Rolling Stone in May of 1977, or the addition of Vader as Luke's father was a bit of patented Lucas hackwork added between the first and second flicks.

You decide, I guess.
posted by mediareport at 6:56 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Evil Supervillian from the first movie? Turns out to be Luke's dad.

"Turns out to be dad" is a classic plot element going back (at least) to the Ancient Greeks. Read your Poetics, and see the story of Oedipus for an example involving both parents.

That's why the original Star Wars were good. All he did was take all these archetypes of myths and characters and put them in space. The new movies lost that and replaced it with Galactic Senate CSPAN and Midichlorian levels.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:58 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Turns out to be dad" is a classic plot element going back (at least) to the Ancient Greeks.

Funny that Lucas didn't think of it until he was working on the 2nd movie, then.
posted by mediareport at 7:02 AM on February 12, 2008


The first two flicks are the best, to be sure, but the scene in the third one where god-king C3PO is telling the saga up to now to the treacly ewoks is cinema gold. "La la Solo nuk nuk Carbonite walla walla «clik whir chunk fshhhhh» yabbo yabbo," indeed.
posted by breezeway at 7:03 AM on February 12, 2008


Lucas has raped and murdered my childhood... and is now committing necrophilia with the corpse.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:07 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somewhere, deep inside me, a 12 year old weeps.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:20 AM on February 12, 2008


I want a CGI Prequel of The Star Wars Holiday Special, followed by 100 live-action Star Wars Holiday Special episodes that take place between Carrie Fisher's coked-up singing and Bea Arthur dancing with Walrus Man.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:24 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Funny that Lucas didn't think of it until he was working on the 2nd movie, then.

Classic plot elements are like archetypes ghosting through the cultural subconscious. One doesn't need to have read Poetics* to stumble upon them. Or to recognize them.


----------
*Which I will go do, now**.

-------------
** "do, now" in the sense of go to Amazon, order a copy, add it to the pile of books I ought to read soon.
posted by notyou at 7:28 AM on February 12, 2008


You know, I recently watched "THX 1138" for a class, on an old VHS copy that I bought at a Hollywood Video when they were switching entirely to DVD. I was actually amazed at how good it was, and likewise amazed at how much my classmates hated it, until I found out that they had all seen the "Director's Cut"- with the SPACE MONKEYS. It was here that I realized that George Lucas is driven, like some sort of ghoul long dead, to destroy every good thing he has ever done. I just imagine him, late at night, at his desk made of money, weeping under his fedora, like Peter Lorre in M.:

But I... I can't help myself! I have no control over this, this evil thing inside of me, the fire, the voices, the torment! It's there all the time, driving me out to wander the streets, following me, silently, but I can feel it there. It's me, pursuing myself! I want to escape, to escape from myself! But it's impossible. I can't escape, I have to obey it. I have to run, run... endless streets. I want to escape, to get away! And I'm pursued by ghosts. Ghosts of mothers and of those children... they never leave me. They are always there... always, always, always!, except when I do it, when I... Then I can't remember anything. And afterwards I see those posters and read what I've done, and read, and read... did I do that? But I can't remember anything about it! But who will believe me? Who knows what it's like to be me? How I'm forced to act... how I must, must... don't want to, must! Don't want to, but must! And then a voice screams! I can't bear to hear it! I can't go on! I can't... I can't...

posted by 235w103 at 7:38 AM on February 12, 2008


Let's just watch the Star Wars Christmas Special. It'll be less painful.
posted by bettafish at 7:39 AM on February 12, 2008


The fact that all of this will no doubt be terrible makes it all the more compelling for me.

I find your lack of faith disturbing justified.
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:39 AM on February 12, 2008


My first response is "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

But on further reflection, "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!1!!!!1!!!!!"
posted by Mister_A at 7:52 AM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Classic plot elements are like archetypes ghosting through the cultural subconscious.

Fair enough. I'll settle for noting that "Darth is actually Luke's father" wasn't part of the original plot.
posted by mediareport at 7:54 AM on February 12, 2008


You know, all of this would be somewhat forgivable if Mr. Lucas were doing something more substantial and philanthropic with all the money he's extorting from everyone's childhoods. Even though most everyone I know loathes Bill Gates' business practices, it's hard now not to admit that he might do something good by trying to put an end to malaria.

I just want to say, the CGI jedi look worse than bad Second Life characters. Especially the new girl. Why wouldn't they do any testing on these things before ordering up, uhh, four hundred hours of them?
posted by newdaddy at 7:55 AM on February 12, 2008


I think the key to being a Star Wars fan is moderation. For me that means I only watch the movies and play the better videogames. No books, toys, animated series, fansites, comics, trading cards, etc.
posted by aerotive at 8:02 AM on February 12, 2008


I remember my brother coming back from seeing episode 1 and saying he felt like Lucas was raping his childhood memories. I thought that was a bit dramatic, until I saw episodes II and III.

I think the worst thing about Lucas' approach is the abundance of time the guy interviewed in that clip talks about. lots of time on his hands, lots of mucking about.

sometimes hard deadlines are your friend.
they can even inspire.
posted by Busithoth at 8:05 AM on February 12, 2008


From that 1977 Rolling Stone article that mediareport linked to:

I had actually written four different plots and different stories with different characters, and they involved different environments. In one of the scripts there is a Wookie planet. It's a jungle planet and there was a whole sequence where the Empire had a little outpost on the Wookie planet and Luke [Skywalker] gets involved with the Wookies and he fights the head Wookie. He wins the fight but he doesn't kill the Wookie and the Wookie says, okay, you are going to be the son of the chief and all that kind of stuff. He rallies the Wookies and the Wookies all attack this imperial base. The imperial base has tanks and all kinds of stuff and the Wookies beat them off, and then Luke and Ben [Kenobi] and Han (Solo] and a bunch of people train the Wookies to fly the fighters, and it is the Wookles that go after the Death Star, not the rebels that were on the planet. It was a much different thing, there was a very involved thing with the Wookies. The Wookies are . . . slightly primitive, they live in the jungle, and there is a great sequence which may end up in one of the movies where there is a giant fire and they are all dancing around the fire, all the drums are going and all that kind Of stuff. The Wookies are more like the Indians, more like noble savages.

Oh. My. God.
posted by JanetLand at 8:09 AM on February 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


Were this event to be commemorated by a set of limited-edition postage stamps, would Young Thin Lucas or Old Fat Lucas provide the more appropriate iconography?
posted by killdevil at 8:14 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


The great problem with Lucas is that he strayed from his original concept of making modern day version of old serials. He wanted to make the film franchise become too many things, from a kid's delight with Jar Jar, to a political commentary, to finally, a bloated idea of what an epic has to be.

The sadness, for me, is that in all of the three prequels, I feel like there's parts of what made Star Wars great in those movies. They're there and just enough of them to remind you and let you down as you return to the rest of the movie. The potential is still in Lucas, but its been buried and flounders under what Lucas has become since the success of the first movie. What he needed was someone to come along and pull it forth and to do so, successfully. He failed to do this. The best thing he could do now is hand over the development of the Star Wars franchise (saying it must be further developed) to someone else, someone not so burdened as himself. I think a wonderful example of this are the animated shorts of the Clone Wars.

Otherwise, Lucas seems to surrounded himself with yes men and followers who have become wrapped up in much of the same crap that is drowning Lucas' own abilities.
posted by Atreides at 8:20 AM on February 12, 2008


It was clear to me that Lucas had no actual plan, no actual storyline at all other than "Luke's dad was a decent bloke who turned bad...

I always assumed this was true myself, and indeed the storyline did change hugely between drafts. It's almost certain that Lucas had no idea that Vader was Luke's father before Empire, or that Leia was Luke's sister before Return of the Jedi.

But—and this is the weird part—some of the stupidest-ass stuff from the the prequels really was in Lucas' head from the very beginning.

There is a fascinating short transcript in the bonus material at the very back of The Making of Star Wars: Deluxe Edition (pg. 350-353). In July & August of 1977, George Lucas sat down with a tape recorder to lay down some backstories for the novelization, merchandising, and comic books that were being created.

Some of the stuff he said was way off-base. But check this shit out (I swear I am not making this up). Remember, this was 1977.

Speaking as C-3PO:
I was lucky to be totally reassembled by a young boy working for a junk dealer.
On the history of the Empire:
In the Old Republic, all the systems sent their representatives to the Senate. It wasn't an Imperial Senate; it was a Republican Senate, which made the decisions that controlled the Republic. There were 24,372 systems in the Galactic Senate. The Senate would vote in a Chancellor or an overseer who would work for four years as the leader of the executive branch of the republic. You were only supposed to be able to run for one four-year term—you were only eligible for one term.

What happened was one of the Chancellors began subverting the Senate and buying off the Senators with the help of some of the large intergalactic trade companies and mining companies and intergalactic power companies. Through their power and money, he bought off enough of the Senate to get himself elected to a second term, because of a crisis. By the time the third term came along, he had corrupted so much of the Senate that they made him emperor for the rest of his life.

…There was a rebellion in terms of the Senate against the Emperor… The Jedi Knights were alerted immediately and they rallied to the Senate's side. But there was a plot afoot and when the Jedi finally rallied and tried to restore order, they were betrayed and eventually killed by Darth Vader.
On midichlorians(!):
It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different; they have more midi-chlorians in their cells.
Anyway, regarding the subject of the post, Tartakovsky's Clone Wars kicked ass, and made Grievous look positively pitiful in Episode III by comparison. I don't know why the animation in this 3-D version looks like Veggie Tales; didn't these guys invent Pixar?
posted by designbot at 8:27 AM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also from that Rolling Stone interview linked above:

"The room went dark and we watched the "lasers" light up the screen. The better ones were greeted with applause; the most spectacular ones got cries of "Wowie!," "Whoopee!" and "Far Out!"

That must have been the inspiration for the scene towards the end of The Phantom Menace where lil' Annakin spins his fighter around in circles, blowing shit up and shouting "Wheeee!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:28 AM on February 12, 2008


I have purged the memories of the prequels...the original originals hold a very important place in my childhood...

I'm pissed that people that watch the new originals get steaming pieces of shit added in and will never know what they used to be like. Children defend Han Solo, "'cuz Greedo shot first!."

No, no he didn't.

I used to think you were a genius George, but now i'm not 12 anymore. You ruined everything.
posted by schyler523 at 8:45 AM on February 12, 2008


There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas... probably in Tennessee... that says, fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me... you can't get fooled again.

I couldn't have put that any better myself.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:45 AM on February 12, 2008


The imperial base has tanks and all kinds of stuff and the Wookies beat them off

I would totally pay to see a Star Wars movie with the Wookiee Masturbation Squad. They could call it Kashyyk: The Hand-Job Chronicles.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:55 AM on February 12, 2008


There is no way I'm going to watch this pile of bantha fodder. None. No way. Never, ever, ever, ever. EVER. Nothing you can say or do would make me reconsider my position.

Wait, did someone just say that Paul Dini is on the writing staff?

:: Sigh! :: Well, I guess I'll be watching it, then.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:57 AM on February 12, 2008


I remember in, I'm sure, John Brosnan's history of sf film book where he's talking to Lucas and Lucas says something like: I though of finishing Star Wars like this... at the end, after the medal ceremony, we cut to a wookie house in a wood and there is this mother wookie reading a story to her baby who has fallen asleep. She puts the book back on the shelf and we see it's called Star Wars... wouldn't that be great! Brosnan then dead-pans something like - I restrained myself from saying what I thought of the idea.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:58 AM on February 12, 2008


When ol' Georgie dies you will all cry huge tears for his passing.
posted by Dizzy at 9:12 AM on February 12, 2008


So we were studying Plato's cave the other day in my philosophy class, and we discussed whether someone might envy those in the cave because of their ignorance. Sometimes, when I delve too deeply into what has become of Star Wars, I envy those in the cave, and wish I could return.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:17 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I really can't stand any of the live action films. Thought the Clone Wars cartoons were entertaining. The only thing that could possibly save this is good writing, something not at all appreciated by the live action wing.

On another note, lots of obvious Windows shots in there for production, but did I also see some SGI shots?
posted by juiceCake at 9:20 AM on February 12, 2008


Darths & Droids
posted by homunculus at 9:23 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love the bit in the video where the Fedora douche says "my favorite part is we get to introduce new characters", and the first clip on the screen is some CGI rendered alien girl ass. Oh yeah, baby, bring on the curve models. Or maybe it's the part where he says "there will be a lot of clones" and you can just see the thought bubble that says "yep, clones save on modeling budgets".
posted by Nelson at 9:35 AM on February 12, 2008


When ol' Georgie dies you will all cry huge tears for his passing.

Around here we cry little "."s.
posted by JanetLand at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2008


The first movie came out when I was in college. I can recall driving home from the theater imagining my car was an X-wing fighter. I have never been so psyched by a movie since.
posted by tommasz at 9:51 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


WAIT.

Regarding THX.. ""Director's Cut"- with the SPACE MONKEYS."

WHAT. WHAT.

I had my composure till I got to here, he's buggered his SW universe beyond repair, and some fanboy can go and repair it and make an ew universe, but.. but..

HE DID WHAT TO THX-1138?

My god. I did not think it was possible but I have hatred veins throbbing.
posted by cavalier at 10:01 AM on February 12, 2008


he encounters a small group of shell dwellers: one is a dwarf and the rest are CGI created creatures that climb like monkeys and descend from the ceiling. Huh? The shell dwellers are both dwarf humans and monkey-like beasts? This doesn't make a bit of sense, so it detracts from the movie's considerable momentum as it nears the conclusion.
From review of THX 1138 Director's Cut here. ARRghgHGhghgh.
posted by cavalier at 10:07 AM on February 12, 2008


Ok, fine here it is:

NUKE IT FROM ORBIT!

Feel better?
posted by washburn at 10:08 AM on February 12, 2008


The absolute best part of the reworked THX was the addition of a masturbation machine.

In the original film, THX whacks off with his hand.

In the revised edition, a machine lowers from the ceiling, with a green glowing LED light. When it falls "into position", a red light comes on, and the whole thing starts pumping up and down.

In the Lucas universe, you can't even jack off without the help of technology.

And no, I'm not making this up, go look. I got to see this nightmare before he released it, and I was sure that the critics would all jump on this detail with glee. NO ONE did.

And when Lucas leaves for that big death star in the sky, I won't give a shit, much less shed a tear.
posted by dbiedny at 10:12 AM on February 12, 2008


Loved IV-VI
Loved I-III
And absolutely love the fact that all the nerds absolutely hate anything Lucas does now.

The man will forever have my admiration for ditching all of the hopeless sci-fi geeks who now think that he has 'denigrated the franchise' (HA!).

I just hope he keeps coming up with more series so I get the double pleasure of some more dumb space fun and a bunch of dorks spending far too much time telling anyone who will read/listen how irrelevant/crap/pointless it all is. Yay!
posted by i_cola at 10:30 AM on February 12, 2008


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
posted by Ber at 10:43 AM on February 12, 2008


The Fedora douche seemed like he was doing a bad Quentin Tarantino impression (the real thing is bad enough).

"The Clone Wars" sounded badass in the first movie, but when the actual Clone Wars happened in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones1 it was really confusing. First, "Attack of the Clones" sounds like a bad thing, but the clones were fighting for the Republic so they were good guys, right? Except they were also stormtroopers, who are bad guys. Plus, they're clones, but in the original movies stormtroopers are different sizes2. I'd rather watch Troops.

1 Another missed chance at using Send in the Clones as a title.
2 I know there are explanations, but they're not in the movies.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:02 AM on February 12, 2008


I always hear Cologne Wars and imagine some sort of fight scene from A Night at The Roxbury with different factions representing Polo, Obsession and Old Spice.

The art style looks like the old LucasArts PC game Outlaws set in space.
posted by geekyguy at 11:08 AM on February 12, 2008


Metafilter: the Wookies beat them off

“I just hope he keeps coming up with more series so I get the double pleasure of some more dumb space fun and a bunch of dorks spending far too much time telling anyone who will read/listen how irrelevant/crap/pointless it all is.”

Ow! My Balls!
huh huh huh huh. That’s entertainment. I don’t care what those people who talk like fags say.
posted by HVAC Guerilla at 11:09 AM on February 12, 2008


stav - apologies about dissing Wang Chung above - after all, they did the soundtrack for To Live And Die In L.A. which micturates from a great height over the Star Wars franchise. Not only does this have one of the top 5 car chases of all time, it also has William L Peterson's semi-erect penis clearly visible during the sex scene*.




*which came as somewhat of a shock to me after re-watching it recently. The bow-legged fucker is hung (imho). Now I'm going to go watch Jade and see if David Caruso gets his ginger tickler out so I can do a CSI: Penis Line Up type thing.

{NOT CSI-PENIS-SIZE-COMPARISONIST}
posted by longbaugh at 11:16 AM on February 12, 2008


Except they were also stormtroopers, who are bad guys. Plus, they're clones, but in the original movies stormtroopers are different sizes.

One of the off-base things from the 1977 tape recording:
Some of the stormtroopers are women, but there weren't that many women assigned to the Death Star. We can assume that there are quite a few elsewhere.
posted by designbot at 11:24 AM on February 12, 2008




At Midnight I Will Kill George Lucas With A Shovel mp3 link

-Patton Oswalt, from Werewolves and Lollipops
posted by Espoo2 at 12:18 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can't resist pasting into this thread a bit of wisdom I just noticed on Salon.com. Camillie Paglia, it turns out is a big George Lucas fan:

I've recently enjoyed re-seeing and studying [. . .] "Revenge of the Sith" (2005) from George Lucas' "Star Wars" saga. The climactic light-saber duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi on the volcano planet of Mustafar (with footage of actual explosions and lava flows at Mount Etna in Sicily) is nearly mystically sublime in the High Romantic sense. The convulsive, manly passion between the two tortured Jedi is hyper-sustained by John Williams' powerful music. Then there's Anakin's shocking mutilation and Wagnerian immolation, leading to the grisly Frankenstein surgery that turns him into Darth Vader and that is cross-cut with a parallel hospital sequence, as Anakin's wife, Padme, dies while giving birth to the twins Luke and Leia.

It's amazing how much primal emotion Lucas is able to generate from such scenes. The finale of "Sith," with an adoptive couple tenderly cradling the infant Luke (separated from his sister) as they stand before a brilliant sunset, is reminiscent of "Gone With the Wind," produced at a time when Hollywood could speak in universal emotions (rather than cheap irony) to a mass audience.


Really?
posted by washburn at 7:10 PM on February 12, 2008


Forget the clone wars... I want to see a movie about Mace Windu solving problems with the jedi council, because Samuel L. Jackson is the bomb.
posted by bugmuncher at 9:11 PM on February 12, 2008


There weren't that many women...We can assume that there are quite a few elsewhere.

designbot, that particular quote may be off-base as far as canon is concerned...but I must say it resonates with my remembered worldview at the time.
posted by unregistered_animagus at 9:31 PM on February 12, 2008


It's amazing how much primal emotion Lucas is able to generate from such scenes.

That's true... sorrow, anger, hatred, despair, but mainly a deep numbing disappointment that the one small glowing ember of hope that, against all logic and expectation given what had come before, George just might pull a great ending to the saga out of the bag had been snuffed out inside me.


There weren't that many women...We can assume that there are quite a few elsewhere.


What? Femtroopers are canon?! Hoo ha!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:50 AM on February 13, 2008


Anakin, who isn't fit to teach a pet womp rat, apparently has a padawan of his own in this. It's going to suck bantha balls.
posted by Flitcraft at 8:35 PM on February 13, 2008


I went and found the Tartakovsky stuff. Feh. Two minutes of dialog in an hour of aimless flying objects is Good? I need to get out more.
posted by sneebler at 4:47 PM on February 17, 2008


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