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* THE OFFICIAL * GEORGE LUCAS THREAD

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by Echo-07, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Dynamixx88

    Dynamixx88 Rebel General

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    I am a bit bitter about it. I was never hating George Lucas for PT, as I liked it just except the really corny romance in Episode II, if that was changed, the prequels for me would be great edition to the OT. I don't have problem with David Filoni, Jon Favreau and others expanding upon GL's legacy as they so far deliver great stuff, but even tough I have enjoyed ST, except with Episode IX being rushed and poorly executed (but I would be OK with the overall story as it was basically Dark Empire which I loved as a kid) - what makes me bitter a bit is GL's treatments getting tossed away and figuring out the story on the go.
    So ever since I knew George Lucas had a vision for finalizing his own saga, I think about it everytime I rewatch the movies and think what could've been?

    And I find Episode IX really lacking in lore and visual building as emperor just happens by Sith magic, sand planet, forest planet, ice asteroid and black sand planet with inverted pyramid, star destroyers with Episode IV design and mounted cannons on their bellies rising up from the black sand...
    with story group trying to save it with over the top explanations in guidebooks.

    No Coruscant was a huge bummer... so even tough, the ST in GL's hands might just totally killed the Star Wars for people already hating PT if it was done by him, or making us speechless, it's hard to have three movies to end up a series and knowing it is a different vision than the original creator intended.

    And also, another thing I wonder about is, how would George Lucas push the filmaking further, like he did every time he filmed Star Wars.
    Jar Jar might be hated character, but he was state of the art full CGI main character in a movie. Or Clone troopers...
    Ironically, Jon Favreau with Dave Filoni pushed filmaking further with Mandalorian, to get a tv show on par with a huge movie production.

    ST did nothing of sorts... it was technologically quality filmmaking and one exception is Snoke that in Last Jedi looked way better than Tarkin and Leia in Rogue One so much, that I don't have this uncanny feeling about him and he is basically an actor live on screen.

    But in the end, the hype that the announcement of Episode VII created died in underwhelming way, when the Episode IX arrived.
    I do enjoy the ST as kind of EU a great canonical bonus that I longed for and didn't expect, but just bonus. For me the saga is complete with 6 episodes and the next three are optional for extra Star Wars fun. But as a final ending to Star Wars saga, nope. And the montage at the end with Endor and Cloud City being the only screaming connection to the previous episodes was a joke... besides Palpatine of course.
    It was just Han and Leia's son creating further problems after his parents won against the Empire, taking it simply.

    I hope we will get some info on GL's treatment of sequels in the future, even if it will be just drafts, to know what could be, however they are.
     
  2. Darth KreVass

    Darth KreVass Clone Trooper

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    George Lucas is probably the only Hollywood celebrity I admire, and I think calling him Hollywood Celebrity is probably an insult to him. However, I admire him. I love all his SW movies, and Indiana Jones, and others. I do want to revisit Willow.

    Thank you George Lucas. For giving the world Star Wars, and for giving the world the next stage of movie making. If anything, ANH did just that.
     
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  3. Dynamixx88

    Dynamixx88 Rebel General

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    Hear. hear! Yeah, I think he is one of the most influential and creative people there was and I am a bit sad that people just bash him for prequels but overlook all his achievements. He is incredible man and huge inspiration for all creative people.

    And when you compare prequels to the sequels, it shows the Man versus Hollywood for me...
    He created whole new thing with Prequels, let designers rework everything to bring something fresh, also went ahead with how filmmaking is done...
    On the other side, Hollywood went and did remakes/reboots with ST and didn't bring much new.
    The craftsmanship is great and top notch, but the designs and themes lack.

    It really takes someone unique to bring in new things, otherwise the Hollywood just rehashes.
     
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  4. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel Official

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    I am a bit bitter about it. I was never hating George Lucas for PT, as I liked it just except the really corny romance in Episode II, if that was changed, the prequels for me would be great edition to the OT. I don't have problem with David Filoni, Jon Favreau and others expanding upon GL's legacy as they so far deliver great stuff, but even tough I have enjoyed ST, except with Episode IX being rushed and poorly executed (but I would be OK with the overall story as it was basically Dark Empire which I loved as a kid) - what makes me bitter a bit is GL's treatments getting tossed away and figuring out the story on the go.

    Return of the Jedi's pitches were literally on the go. They were running out of time, despite Lucas and co.s focus on wrapping up the script; they turned it in almost late. They didn't really know how to end the last chapter, and ended up changing and/or deflating Vader's characterization and motivation along the way.

    So ever since I knew George Lucas had a vision for finalizing his own saga, I think about it everytime I rewatch the movies and think what could've been?

    And I find Episode IX really lacking in lore and visual building as emperor just happens by Sith magic, sand planet, forest planet, ice asteroid and black sand planet with inverted pyramid, star destroyers with Episode IV design and mounted cannons on their bellies rising up from the black sand...
    with story group trying to save it with over the top explanations in guidebooks.

    No Coruscant was a huge bummer... so even tough, the ST in GL's hands might just totally killed the Star Wars for people already hating PT if it was done by him, or making us speechless, it's hard to have three movies to end up a series and knowing it is a different vision than the original creator intended.

    And also, another thing I wonder about is, how would George Lucas push the filmaking further, like he did every time he filmed Star Wars.
    Jar Jar might be hated character, but he was state of the art full CGI main character in a movie. Or Clone troopers...
    Ironically, Jon Favreau with Dave Filoni pushed filmaking further with Mandalorian, to get a tv show on par with a huge movie production.

    ST did nothing of sorts... it was technologically quality filmmaking and one exception is Snoke that in Last Jedi looked way better than Tarkin and Leia in Rogue One so much, that I don't have this uncanny feeling about him and he is basically an actor live on screen.

    Didn't the Sequel Trilogy try combining practical and special effects again, which hadn't been done in a while?

    But in the end, the hype that the announcement of Episode VII created died in underwhelming way, when the Episode IX arrived.

    In my honest opinion, the hype was sort of fake for VII to start with. Hype lasts a short time, but quality lasts for a long time.
     
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  5. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    That's actually untrue.

    TFA
    TFA brought back practical effects, massively.
    Folks had almost entirely given up on bothering with practical effects before 2015 rolled out TFA and everyone took note of how the production mixed together the blending between the two to such an incredible degree.

    Secondly, it absolutely smacked the heck out of the expectations of VFX standards for craft flight and camera matching. The disparity between the CGI fighters in the PT and Lucas' approach to framing and moving the cameras for Star Wars are vastly out of step with each other - it's an entirely different feel.

    And that was repeatedly common throughout the decade. As soon as the purely independent CGI hit, the specific feel of the director's hand and eye dropped in integrity. It was getting better and better. For instance, Abrams had already been pushing and pushing it in the Star Trek series, but it was still a bit slippery.

    However, when you look at TFA's ships and how the cameras move in that pure CGI environment and then go back and look at how Abrams moves around following aircraft in something like 8mm, it's incredibly close - to the point it's not even really a point of interest. It's now a seamless match between cutting between characters and ships to the point that Abrams in TFA is suddenly able to effectively move the action of a ship as if it's a response to dialogue of a character, and vice versa.

    It's also the first full-scale Falcon set ever made - no one in their right mind ever attempted that previously, but Abrams was big on pushing for that.

    TLJ
    With TLJ, good lord. That took the practical/visual mix-mash and just cranked it up a notch. The stuff going on here was just far outside the scope of need. It became about the craft and artistic achievement.
    Chances are really good that if you thought that the VFX looked iffy at some point point, then you're likely mistaken that it was a purely VFX moment.
    That fox was an insane accomplishment - everyone turned their heads in the industry at that thing.

    Beyond that element, it pushed the envelope of visual story telling. The entire "Forcetime" approach broke every convention in cinematography while using every letter in the cinematographic language to pull it off right.

    Think about that for a moment...you probably really aren't.
    You have to shoot two separate sets and then merge them together as if they are one because the eyeball can't bounce between viscerally disparate lighting atmospheres.

    Normally when you do something where you have to remove an actor from another, you have to worry about matching the lighting because they're supposed to be part of the other shot, and you have to match the eyeline.
    Those are the major components.
    If they are going to interact, then you have to worry about that as well, but at the very least, in principle, you have to worry about those two components.

    When you're doing something like a Borne or Bond film, you have to match the lighting enough so that the atmospheres aren't eyeball bleeds when you toggle back and forth (you don't want bright white and dark black bouncing back and forth from each other), but you don't have to worry about eyeline between characters all that much. It's mostly here and there between a window or some such, and it's usually just a shot or so - not an entire scene.

    With the Forcetime, they have to match the lighting while keeping the character of the lighting distinct between both, yet the directionality of the lighting matched such that if the angles between one character is a certain mixture of key lighting, back lighting, and fill lighting opposite and complimentary to the other character so that they look on screen as if they are talking to each other (it's these lightings which tells us this), while also attending to the other additional 10 lighting type potentials needed uniquely between each which need to be tailored for each's environment independent of each character's setting.

    That's if you just had a static shot. But they don't. They go straight out and do the full range of motion between the camera moving and the character's moving at the same time through the scene as if they were in the same set that had all of the same materials and textures between both.

    It's absolutely insane and hard as heck. Everyone saw that. There wasn't one DP and AD anywhere who saw that and thought, "meh".
    They may or may not have liked the aesthetic, but I guarantee every DP and AD recognized the logistical nightmare, talent, and skill that had to go into making those shots.
    No one was thinking of doing that kind of mixture like that. It's bonkers.

    TLJ also tried to push the boundaries on narrative telling in cinema in a way that literally no one I can think of has attempted previously (and arguably, still hasn't even tried to go for it again).
    Star Wars has always been a BATON passing story. It walks extremely linearly from each scene to the next all the way through.
    So does Mad Max Fury Road.

    ESB broke that, and also broke the rules on what you can do in story telling narratives. It ran parallel tangents that kept the main cast apart from each other for the vast majority of the film - effectively telling two films in one. Lucas got a ton of flack for it during production.

    TLJ does it again. That's nothing new.
    However, telling a split narrative that splits while continuing a baton narrative IS absolutely pushing the boundaries of cinema.
    Rey and everyone else are separated. That's basically ESB's formula.
    But then Finn and Rose split from everyone else as well, so now we've split again.

    However, in each of these cases, we're splitting by handing a baton (sometimes literally) between characters and scenes back and forth.

    It's absolutely insane and I've never seen anything like it - the amount of narrative planning, and then logistical planning the AD and Rian would have had to do as a result...hell, just breaking down the screenplay alone into its elements...good lord.

    TROS
    And then...there's TROS.
    MY....GOD!

    I could go on at ridiculous length about the technical boundary pushing of TROS, but I'll stop simply with highlighting four:

    1) They took the same trick that TLJ pulled with Forcetime and pushed it to an absolutely insane level because now they were not only doing the same thing as before, but then adding interactive practical AND virtual objects, materials, motion, AND cameras into the mixture.

    That fight sequence is quite literally every bit as much of a boundary push as the "Bullet Time" of The Matrix.
    It's exactly the same level of complete shifting of how to handle shoots across sets that are directly interacting, yet neither being fully virtual or practical.

    Something that NOW in 2020 became immediately relevant and everyone borrowed lessons from.

    2) The scale of virtual and practical mixture just went entirely off the rails at this point. The scale of interaction was just awe inspiring and jaw dropping to anyone looking on.
    It just ripped the face off of anything else, blowing away both previous titles in blurring seamlessly back and forth between the two material elements and camera sets.
    This is worth noting when you take into account number 3, which is...

    3) The editing. TROS completely changed industry's understanding of what the editing process is, or what it looks like.
    Editing has always been a post-production process. You shoot it. You edit it. You look at it. In that order, and one after the other separate from each.

    You do NOT edit WHILE you shoot it, and reshoot it WHILE you're editing ON THE PRODUCTION SET!

    Unless you're TROS, and then you do.

    It's absolutely insane, AND it totally worked!
    Brandon has openly said that she has no intention of abandoning the method they developed on that film, and hopes to expand it going further because it's just absolutely superior in every possible way and with the newer digital environments there's no reason not to do it this way going forward.

    It doesn't get more game-changer than that. Changing the fundamental relationship of where and when editing happens.
    In the future, it will likely happen on set more often than off set.
    It might take a decade or more to become really common, because it has to get cheaper to do, but it will.
    Just like there's those digital monitors everywhere now where once you only saw them once in a while - such as with Lucas standing behind them in the PT.

    Which leads to....

    4) Editorial pacing. I don't care if you liked it or didn't like it, TROS absolutely pushed the boundary of editorial pacing and every editor anywhere noticed that.
    I don't care about the awards, this film was breaking rules right and left and challenging just about every norm set down about how far you could push the limits of those norms and conventions.

    OK, I lied...one more...

    5) The fact that this editorial blur was still relatively following a baton linear directional narrative that itself is flowing Left-side bias to Right-side bias throughout the course of the film (the film starts out with a bias of weighting objects and blocking to the left of the lens/screen, while the second half of the film bias in weight is blocking to the right of the lens/screen) WHILE also maintaining a nearly unbroken 180 continuity line through the entire film with almost every traveling movement being from the left of the screen to the right of the screen (unlike R1, for instance, which purposefully whirled us around all over the place with the space battles).

    The net result is that you subtly end up slowly turning your "head" (more-so your eye's expectation of neutral) from left to right just a bit over the course of the whole film.

    This itself is running, as mentioned, counter to the linear 180-degree line it cements to throughout.
    It's like you have a car coming down the road and you put it on the left, and move it to the right, but you're doing that with moss growth in time lapse and moving the camera's angle as you do it such that even when you have a right-side bias, the motion is still entering the frame from left and existing frame right.

    This probably caused some of the problems folks have with the pacing - because there's an uncanny relationship between motion within the frame and the camera's motion in context to the overall film's screen motion. Because of that right side blocking bias portion with the 180 left-to-right bias motion inside the frame, the fast editorial pacing is taking place around a slightly unfamiliar foundation (unlike Fury Road).

    It's wildly experimental and just entirely boundary pushing in every way.

    IN ALL...
    The technological and procedural fallout from the ST is absolutely giant.
    Between the ST and Mando's Stagecraft set (which everyone is playing with now), Star Wars has done tons to push the boundaries going forward for quite a while...and I'm seriously doubting they're done pushing the boundaries.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #165 Jayson, Feb 4, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
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  6. Dynamixx88

    Dynamixx88 Rebel General

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    Thanks for extensive info, but from my point of view, ST brought in top level high quality film-making. Story and design aside, they are beautiful films and I don't dispute that. For example, Snoke was done as great that I haven't had that CGI uncanny valley with him and he looked perfect to me.
    But aside of film-making techniques, there wasn't really nothing groundbreaking for me, like Jar Jar as full computer generated character in 1999, or the droid army being fully computer generated at that time. So outside of the movies being done pretty well, employing the top level moviemaking techniques, nothing that really blew me off, like the Volume for example.

    All Star Wars Movies are made like that and what blew my mind everytime I saw it, is the podracing scene, that still looks great like it was made yesterday.

    But great post, thanks sharing :)
     
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  7. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I understand your position, but I do think you're creating a very constricted measure for achievement that is effectively built around one thing: visual effects.

    But here's the thing: at this point, there's not a ton to do to break the world wide open in visual effects that's going to be a big notice on your side as a viewer.
    Everything to do with it is going to be on the back side where you don't see it (for example, if no one ever brought it up, you would never know about Stagecraft used in Mandalorian).

    The likelihood that anyone will create a new way to technically achieve visual effects in filmmaking that you can't imagine at this point is highly unlikely because we've effectively reached the point that Lucas was envisioning back 40 odd years ago when he held up a straw to Spielberg and said that one day the entire film could be created in a computer and piped through a line as thick as the straw.

    The only thing really left visually on our side at this point is something we see evolving - it won't jump out like bullet time of Matrix, or Jar Jar of Star Wars...it's the whole de-aging/virtual actor/deep-fake thing. Which, honestly, once they get that down, will be about as interesting as white wallpaper.

    To start with it's not that interesting - all you're really saying is, "I'd like my actor to be able to have infinite make up possibilities and never die or leave their contract if I don't want them to."

    That's not actually that remarkable. It's not like seeing spaceships flying across the screen like real planes shooting lasers for the first time, or like bullet time for the first time. But that's all that's left in VFX.

    The rest is about stuff you won't see on the screen. Stuff that makes doing the VFX smoother - refinements. Nothing major.

    If you want the next big thing in film, it's editing. Not VFX.
    The Editing workflow and what you can do with editing has been moving like molasses since the 60's.
    We only barely do things differently than we did then.

    Hell, Walter Murch still uses the same basic workflow and he started on a Movieola!

    We're not progressed on the editing - not really.
    We only recently started to, but I think with VFX wrapping up to such a high degree, and streaming coming into its own, you're going to see some interesting things going on with editing - because speed is going to be king for a while. If you can't whip those shows and films out faster than the other guy, then you're gone.
    And further, the way we edit - the aesthetic will change - we'll experiment more there I think.
    We're already starting to. Look at Queen's Gambit - by today's standards, that was an experimental edit. It moved so slowly. We don't move that slowly anymore.

    But that's more borrowing from the past. I think it'll move further - I think we'll eventually get more artistic with our editing.

    And I believe that's where it's going to go because humans are about to start fighting for their editing jobs against AI, as AI is already developed and being refined to auto-edit according to maximized audience response according to data collected from biometric studies of human subjects in labs.

    Yep, we're shoving humans in labs to watch movies, seeing how they do and how they react, figuring out the best way to make their neurons respond, and then looking for ways to automate those factors so that we can all but guarantee those results every single time we spit out a product.

    Right now the technology is being used to "speed up the process of the editor", to "help the editor", by having the AI do all of the grunt work of digging through the raw footage and automatically picking 5 or so shots for the editor to look at based on what is before and after in the timeline, and based on those statistics from the data about humans and movies. Then the editor takes it from there.
    But that's no different than how robots first came on the scene in factory assembly lines - first step is always a machine hands it to the human to take care of the quality check and refinement. That's how you refine the machine to the point that it no longer needs the human.

    So humans will need to fight for their job as editors by becoming the one thing that the AI can't do - be artistic with the editing, and be socially present on set rather than post-production only - be unexpected in a way that is uniquely human in its language.

    Aside from the editor, the production is where the other dormant and stagnant sector is.
    Because of Covid, the industry just found out how many flights it really doesn't need to be taking to make a show or film.
    It also found out how many people it actually needs to make a show or film.

    So, yeah - if you're waiting for the next big eye-candy VFX "never seen before" technological break through - you're probably not going to really get one.
    There's no dinosaurs too big, or time too fast, that we can't show them to you now.

    Now, if someone could come up with a way to actually auto-rotoscope...I know an entire industry of wrists that would be thankful.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #167 Jayson, Feb 8, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  8. Ditolus

    Ditolus Clone

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    Lucas should not have directed eps 2 and 3. especially ep2.
     
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