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Post Posted: April 9th 2008 7:50 am

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April 9 2008


An interview with Lucas discussing a number of things; most notably The Live-Action Series.

Post Posted: April 9th 2008 4:30 pm
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I transcribed the relevant Live-Action Series excerpts. There are some new bits of information i.e. the Episode IV tone of the show and how the two television shows and movies are under the control of Lucas, apart from the novels and other materials.


TotalFilm: How far down the line will Star Wars continue in these new incarnations?

Lucas: Clone Wars will probably go for at least five or six seasons which adds up to 200 episodes. Then we have the live-action series, which is going to be a little bit more experimental. It takes place over the 20 years when Luke's growing up, but it's not about the Skywalkers or any of that stuff.

Like In Episode IV -- you hear about the Emperor, but you don't actually see him. People live in the Empire, but you don't see Storm Troopers. It's a completely different kind of idea, which is risky. But that's the only reason I'm doing it. Some people will inevitably say. "It's not what I think of as Star Wars." So who knows, it may work or it may not.

TotalFilm: Is it really a radical departure?

Lucas: I'd say so. It's kind of like Episode IV -- it's funny and there's action, but it's lot more talky. It's more of what I would call a soap opera with a bunch of personal dramas in it. It's not really based on action-adventure films from the '30s -- it's actually more based on film noir movies from the '40's!

TotalFilm: Any casting news?

Lucas: No, that won't be for a while. We've got writers who are currently working on scripts with the art department. First you've got to create the characters, because half of them are human and half of them aren't.

That's the thing about Star Wars -- there's always two and half years of design work before the production stars. Nobody spends that long in television; people have a tendency to just put t-shirts on actors and call them spacesuits! Or they just use motorcycle helmets and paint them green or something. So we've been working on this for about a year now: designing sets, environments, vehicles and aliens...


TotalFilm: The Star Wars universe has expanded far beyond the movies. How much leeway do the game makers and novel writers have?

Lucas: They have their own kind of world. There's three pillars of Star Wars. I'll probably get in trouble for this but it's OK!

There's three pillars: the father, the son and the holy ghost. I'm the father, Howard Roffman [president of Lucas Licensing] is the son and the holy ghost is the fans, this kind of ethereal world of people coming up with all kinds of different ideas and histories. Now these three different pillars don't always match, but the movies and TV shows are all under my control and they are consistent with themselves.

Howard tries to be consistent but sometimes he goes off on tangents and it's hard to hold him back. He once said to me that there are two Star Trek universes: there's the TV show and then there's all the spin-offs. He said that these were completely different and didn't have anything to do with each other. So I said, "OK, go ahead."

In the early days I told them that they couldn't do anything about how Darth Vader was born, for obvious reasons but otherwise I pretty much let them do whatever they wanted. They created this whole amazing universe that goes on for millions of years!"

TotalFilm: Are you happy for new Star Wars tales to be told after your gone?

Lucas: I've left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII - IX. That's because there isn't any story. I mean, I never thought of anything! And now there are novels about the events after Episode IV, which isn't at all what I would have done with it.

The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, The Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married...

Post Posted: April 9th 2008 5:25 pm
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He certainly doesn't seem as excited about the conversion to 3D... Perhaps a bit more work is involved than expected. It's also interesting that the spin-off material is not a direction he would have pursued - kind of a slap to the Expanded Universe purists out there.

Post Posted: April 10th 2008 4:32 am

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Not too sure how much I'll look forward to the Live Action series if it's going to be more Corellia 90210 than the SW we all know and love.

Still, I guess it depends on how everything gets balanced out.

Post Posted: April 10th 2008 1:02 pm
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I was actually happy to hear it'll be more "soap operaish." One of the faults with the prequels, I felt, was the lack of focus on the characters as real people (they seemed to be there more to tell the story and move the plot forward than the actual focus of the movies). I think having a more character-centered approach could make the show more like the OT.

Post Posted: April 10th 2008 11:26 pm
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Lucas: Some people will inevitably say. "It's not what I think of as Star Wars." So who knows, it may work or it may not.

It's like he reading my mind. :weed: :what:

Post Posted: April 12th 2008 1:38 am
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Below I transcribed the Indiana Jones IV part of the interview:

Lucas: It's not like any of us really need the money," "We just sort of wanted to have a movie vacation."

TotalFilm: It's been quite a while since our last appointment with Dr Jones.

Lucas: When we finished Last Crusade we figured, that's it -- three films, that's fine. Originally, that's all we were going to do. Steven and Harrison kind of wanted to do another one but I said I couldn't think of any story -- and I'm the one who has to come up with it! It's very hard to come up with a good MacGuffin, which in our case has to be a supernatural object of an archaeological nature that is real of that people believe to be real. That's as opposed to all the copies that have been churned out since Raiders, which are about fanciful, made-up objects. Then I came up with an idea when I was doing Young Indiana Jones. I was very excited about it, but Steven and Harrison were a little reluctant. I worked on a script they didn't like, then another, then another. Finally I just gave up.

TotalFilm: And then?

Lucas: For a couple of years it sat quietly, then Harrison said he really wanted to do another Indiana Jones. So I said, "This is the only thing I can come up with." Finally they said "OK." I worked on a script for a number of years with a number of writers until we got to a point. where everyone was happy. But it was a long 15 year process.

TotalFilm: You've already voiced doubt that the film will satisfy critics and fans.

Lucas: With this kind of movie, no matter what you do, it's not going to live up to expectations. I had it with The Phantom Menace. The fans say, "Oh, I expected the Second Coming and it didn't happen!" The critics say, "It's just more of the same." They didn't like the first three anyway, so why expect that they'll like this one?

TotalFilm: We've got high hopes at Total Film.

Lucas: Well, if you love the other ones, you'll love this one. But you have to love all of them! I think this one's a little funnier and more interesting that the others. Although if you think it's going to be better than the other ones it's not. It's the same as.

TotalFilm: It's just as great?

Lucas: It's just as great! but if you're a disgruntled fan who's already written the story and you find it doesn't follow your script, then it's gonna be terrible. We did it primarily because we just wanted to have fun.

TotalFilm: And did you?

Lucas: We did. So for us it's already a success. We've accomplished everything we could ever want and more. We had the best time making this movie. And since we got what we wanted, we've decided to put the film in a trash can and bury it. That way nobody has to see it and we don't have to get bad reviews! Sorry. It's too bad the way that happened, but we had a great time making it!

TotalFilm: There's a lot of speculation that this is Indy's odyssey into science fiction.

Lucas: It's not. It's an archeology film just like the others. He's going after a supernatural object. The first films were based on those '30s Saturday matinée serials, as was Star Wars. Then when this one came along I realized that it was 19 years later and I couldn't do 'then' -- I had to do 'now' is basically the mid-'50s. I said, "Gee what's the equivalent of B-movies in the '50s?" A it's science fiction films -- Them, It Came From Outer Space, The Thing. It gave us a whole new genre to play with and a new texture beneath the story. And I came up with a great MacGuffin.

TotalFilm: So why the reluctance from Ford and Spielberg?

Lucas: They thought it was a little too much of a Spielbergian idea! Or a Lucas-Spielbergian Idea. A little too obvious. I think possibly they didn't fully understand the malleability of Indiana Jones -- that we don't have to do the same movie over and over again. Because we never did. The great thing about this movie is that it's the same but different. It's of a different genre, but it's stilll Indiana Jones the archaeologist going after something -- its' just now he's pushing 60.

TotalFilm: You've managed to do a fine job of preventing the plot from leaking online.

Lucas: Well, after Star Wars we know how to do that. Steven is more adamant about it that I am. I'm not sure having everything be a secret makes much difference one way or the other. It's not like Jaws or Jurassic Park failed because they were books before they were movies. It's one thing to know what happens, another thing to see it. People go to these movies because they want to see Steven do his brilliant star turn as a director. If anyone else did the story it wouldn't be as good. He can do anything --- Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan. But this is the kind of movie he can do in his sleep. Not that he does it in his sleep -- he actually gets a kick out of it!

TotalFilm: Harrison Ford calls you the "global authority" on Indy. Do you own the character the way you own Star Wars?

Lucas: I created the character so everything has to come back to me. I'm the one who knows what he does and doesn't do and I make up the stories. I'm the one who tries to keep them grounded in some kind of reality, which means we don't cheat a lot. Well, we cheat a little bit but we're clever; we don't just invent things to get him out of a mess.

TotalFilm: Although some handy divine intervention has saved Indy's neck a few times.

Lucas: Yeah. The thing is, if you believe in the Ark of the Covenant, if you believe it has some relationship to God, if you believe it strikes people down -- which is all true in a certain code of reality -- then it all makes sense. But you can't just make something up, like a time machine. That's not what it's about. These are supernatural mysteries, not action-adventures where you have no historical or archaeological context.

TotalFilm: Is Crystal Skull a full stop or a new beginning?

Lucas: I don't know. There's no motive other than to enjoy ourselves. We'll see what happens.

Post Posted: April 14th 2008 1:17 pm

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That's awesome that he sees the post ROTJ EU the same as I do.

Post Posted: April 16th 2008 3:33 pm

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That's awesome that he sees the post ROTJ EU the same as I do.


And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn't at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, the Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married...

Lucas is my hero

Post Posted: April 27th 2008 8:03 pm
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