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George Lucas Talks Star Wars Critiques – A Lesson For Star Trek? January 6, 2010

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Editorial,Sci-Fi,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

The following has no direct link to Star Trek, but is about that other big Star franchise, Star Wars (which most of us are fans of as well). George Lucas was a guest on last night’s Daily Show with John Stewart, who did some fanboy grilling of the producer/director. Lucas had an interesting perspective on some of the nitpicking, and made some points which could apply to Star Trek as well.

 

Lucas talks critiques
The new Star Trek movie may have had its share of nitpicking and critiques, but it nothing compared to what Lucas has gone through for his Star Wars prequels (cough peoplevsgeorge.com cough). Some has even come from Star Trek’s Simon Pegg. Lucas had this to say about it:

It’s a work of fiction. It’s a metaphor. It’s not real. And therefore, you can either like it or not like it. Whatever

Watch the segment..

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
George Lucas
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Generational thing?
Lucas’ point about how the recent Star Wars prequels were the favorites of a younger generation may be surprising, but it is true. It is hard to understand for some old school fans (like myself), but the prequels are the preferred ‘Star Wars’ for a generation. Our resident pop culture sociologist John Tenuto has studied this phenomenon as well and even has data to back it up. I noted this when I spoke about the new Star Trek at Wonder Con last year and I got booed by the old school fanboys, but that doesn’t make it less true. Like it or not, the new Star Trek is also going to be the preferred Star Trek for another generation. This is nothing new for Trek of course, the TNG v TOS debates prove that.

And Lucas’ point about the Clone Wars show on Cartoon Network is well made. The show is a hit and has spawned another generation of Star Wars fans. Hopefully that is something that CBS can learn. A new Star Trek animated series would be a great filler in between the JJ Abrams movies.

If you want to pick up George Lucas’ new book "Blockbusting" it is available at Amazon.

 

Comments

1. Noel - January 6, 2010

I for one think George is right. There is way too much bitching about fictional stuff! Either go see it or not. If you don’t like the new product, fine something else you like and stop bitching about it. P.S. If you didn’t like the new Star Trek skip the sequel because I don’t want to hear your bitching.

2. Simon Jessey - January 6, 2010

I’m a 38-year-old man, but I enjoy the Clone Wars cartoons too. They’re actually better than the retarded prequel movies because they are stripped of all that political cobblers that nobody really understood or cared about.

3. Mark Anton - January 6, 2010

My nine-year-old son really enjoys the Clone Wars Cartoon Network series, as I am sure a lot of his generation do. I’ve watched a number of episodes with him, and I find it to be entertaining. I may be an old-school Star Wars fan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be open minded enough to enjoy what comes next. The same goes for Star Trek. My favorite will always be TOS, especially the remastered versions. But I really enjoyed the 2009 Trek too. I’m glad that I’m able to like and appreciate both.

4. cbspock - January 6, 2010

Lucas wrecked Star Wars. JJ atleast made an attempt to acknowledge the history of Trek while moving it forward.

5. Mark Anton - January 6, 2010

My nine-year-old son really enjoys the Clone Wars Cartoon Network series, as I am sure a lot of his generation do. I’ve watched a number of episodes with him, and I find it to be entertaining. I may be an old-school Star Wars fan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be open minded enough to enjoy what comes next. The same goes for Star Trek. My favorite will always be TOS, especially the remastered versions. But I really enjoyed the 2009 Trek too. I’m glad that I’m able to like and appreciate both. I also think James Cawley’s Trek is great too.

6. cbspock - January 6, 2010

The Clone Wars toon is done more in the style of the original Star Wars. The Prequels were awful.

7. Nick Cook - January 6, 2010

Lucas is right. I don’t care for the prequels either, but the fact that many do is undeniable. Personally, as much as I don’t get it, I’m not going to lost much sleep over it, and I stil lfail to understand why some people take the whole thing as some kind of personal affront.

Then again, I don’t get the Berman hate either.

8. Chadwick - January 6, 2010

Yea ok but how did he ruin star wars? No one is giving specific points.

I like the new star wars movies, they weren’t half bad…I don’t know what the problems are that people complain about. Jar Jar is annoying but I don’t HATE the character…he is a annoying at best. Anakin does cry too much, but other then that, I have not heard people give details of any merit of what it is that they dislike with the new movies. I thought they were great, a fun adventure, good prequels.

If you analyze any movie to great lengths you can ruin them all.

9. Alf, in pog form - January 6, 2010

Click the link for part 1 (of 7) of the funniest and most insightful review of “The Phantom Menace” (note: not safe for work)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxKtZmQgxrI

10. Anthony L. - January 6, 2010

I don’t hate Episodes I-II I find them watchable and I thought Episode III was fantastic. I didn’t grow up on the original trilogy but I didn’t grow up on the new one either. Empire is still my all time favorite of the series.

11. Wonderboy - January 6, 2010

Lucas is right I mean it was his company who helped Star Trek in the Big Screen ILM and they helped the JJ’s Star Trek as well This creditcs that are going about this are Fat stupid guys if you want good reviews check this guys out they know what they are talking about http://www.spill.com/ They are Credtics for us Nurds not like this Fat guys who thinks they know movies they know Jack Sh*** I watch Star Wars I watch The Prequels and I Love them both even the Clone Wars are good just do not like the 1950s real guy kinda anoying but These are Good Fracnhises I mean come on Fox is so stupid not proper Liscing Star Wars and Look at paramount they are brining the big Money Thanks to Star Trek and Transformers Revange of the Fallen and Paramount is even in talks for A Enterprise stright to DVD movies DS9 Movie plus another animated series so we shall see what happens in the future sorry if I went to long gotta get it out my chest

12. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - January 6, 2010

The Phanton was ok. The Clone Wars was good and Revenge of thr Sith was perfect. Lucas did what he though was best and with him being the creator well. Who are we to argue.

13. Captain Stark - January 6, 2010

Star Trek, Star Wars, anything to do with science fiction or even Kevin Smith for that matter, there are going to be people that hate it, those that love it, and those that just don’t care either way.

Star Trek has it’s good and bad. Star Wars was made for kids, George Lucas even admitted as much, referring to it as his visions of Saturday movie matinees.

There is no way that everyone will be pleased with the final product. There will always be nitpickers and naysayers. It’s been my experience that everyone who grew up on the classic Star Wars don’t like the new prequels, myself included (except for Episode III).

The great debate between TOS and TNG has raged on for years and still hasn’t died down, so neither will TOS and J.J. Abrams’ new Trek.

It’s been made, there are fans, and there are those who don’t like it. Deal with it and quit bitching about it. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

14. Jim Smith - January 6, 2010

You can’t generalise. I grew up on the ‘original trilogy’, I marginally prefer the prequels. They have greater substance but worse acting, basically. History will decide that all six are more or less the same anyway, which is what the non fan audience is already doing. Like it or lump it, it’s true.

15. Nick Cook - January 6, 2010

#8 Chadwick. Like I said, I’m not going to waste time bemoaning it. The simple fact is, people have different tastes, and don’t always like the same things. Doesn’t necessarily mean somehting is bad, just that you don’t care for it.

16. screaming satellite - January 6, 2010

regarding the prequels in general, in hindsight Lucas shouldve:

- made Anakin an adult in Ep 1 and cast a better actor than ‘Mannequin’ Skywalker Hayden – e.g. Christian Bale
(or have had AOTC as Ep I and had Ep II as The Clone Wars and had Phantom Menace as backstory/flashbacks etc)

- no jar jar…3PO and R2 were enough comic relief

- had someone else write the scripts like he did with the OT

- again like the OT, get different directors for Eps 2 and 3 (e.g Spielberg for 2…Cameron or Scott or Jackson for 3)…Spielberg was supposed to direct Return of the Jedi but couldnt due to some problem with the directors guild…but he was itching to direct a prequel (i believe Lucas intended him to direct Ep II b4 he decided to direct them all)….and the others wouldve jumped at the chance to direct a SW as they’ve all said the original film pretty much got them into directing in the first place. It would’ve been a calling – like ‘star wars needs you’ (like ‘starfleet needs you’ mentioned by JJ in the dvd doc)

(all imo of course)

17. Greg2600 - January 6, 2010

As opposed to Star Wars, in one way or another, I have enjoyed every incarnation of Star Trek, from first watching in the late 1980′s. I can watch The Phantom Menace, and the Clone Wars cartoon is decent, but Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are beyond boring. I fell asleep in the theater during episode II.

I also debate this “younger fans” like the new films better hogwash.

18. ensign joe - January 6, 2010

“Like it or not, the new Star Trek is also going to be the preferred Star Trek for another generation. This is nothing new for Trek of course, the TNG v TOS debates prove that.”

Huh I must be the ONE fan who watched TOS AND TNG as a kid and liked them both just fine. Apples to oranges but Trek through and through.

Oh well.. guess I should get with the times and start liking the Twilight series too..

Any other BOLD predictions you would like to make oh great sage?

19. ix9000 - January 6, 2010

18.

You’re not the only one, we just don’t seem to complain as much. Weird.

‘A Klingon!!!”
-Lieutenant Grant

20. Anthony Pascale - January 6, 2010

i am sorry if you missed the point, but i thought it was clear. The detractors of new things tend to be the people who love the previous generation version, be it Episode IV, TOS or whatever.

Many others, myself included, are able to like the new and the old.

But people tend to like the one they saw first. And so for a new generation, ST09 is their first trek and their preferred Trek, just like the prequels are preferred by many younglings

21. Spectre_7 - January 6, 2010

Well of course the newest Trek at the time you were inducted to Star Trek is the one you will care for the most.

Baby boomers prefer TOS, Star Wars IV-V-VI

Generation X’s prefer TNG-DS9-VOY

Generation Y’s prefer ENT-ST’09, Star Wars I, II, III

22. spb - January 6, 2010

Let’s see how today’s “kids” regard the Prequels in another 10-20 years, after they’ve seen more quality films and realize just how utterly crappy EPISODES I – III really are.

I used to love films like THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE, THE BLACK HOLE and THE UNIDENTIFIED FLYING ODDBALL… doesn’t mean they’re good movies.

23. spb - January 6, 2010

Besides, kids are stupid. Because they’re kids.

24. Ran - January 6, 2010

It will happen to all the kids that like the new JJ movie. 20 years from now, they are going to realize what a dumb movie it was / is.

25. Jeyl - January 6, 2010

#1. Noel: “I don’t want to hear your bitching.”

What a coincidence. I don’t want to hear yours either.

26. Lukas CZ - January 6, 2010

There are 3 main problems that I see on new STAR TREK movie:
1) it violate ST canon
2) it is typical blockbuster for only one summer based only on spcecial effects and action;
I like special effects and action. But I also like good strong stories. For example TOS became popular especially because of realy good stories. And even now it is possible to make a great film based only on good story. (The Shawshank Redemption for example.) But it is more easier to make film based only on special effects. I like these films, but this kind of films is everywhere. And only this kind of films is not enough for me.
3) the new ST film has abandoned the character of STAR TREK;
I think Roddenberry’s philosophy was not enough cool for StarWars fans Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman. I also like SW, but STAR TREK is STAR TREK.

As a director, JJ Abrams was excellent. But good ST can’t be made by SW fans as well as good SW film can’t be made by ST fans. These two universes are both popular, but both are very different.

I can accept ST 11 violating the 40 years of canon but there are stil two main problems that, I think, are important and significant than the first one.

27. SpockOut - January 6, 2010

Dang, according to Spectre_7 I’m older than I really am. I was in High School when TNG was being aired for the first time. I loved TNG but TOS was still the best in my opinion. I thought DS9 and Voyager were decent but not something I sweated if I missed a episode. I enjoyed Enterprise and was highly annoyed when UPN went away and the only way I could watch it was midnight on another network that picked up some of the defunct channels lineup. DVR ftw! Star Wars IV, and V rocked! I thought Return of the Jedi was Muppets in Space with a lame fairy tale ending. Luke should of died with Vader having every intention of going after Leah…lol The prequals were watchable but not really great sci fi – soap opera acting ftl.

28. Anthony L. - January 6, 2010

I’ve never been able to “get” the cannon argument. The only thing you can compare to Trek cannon is the first sequence with the Kelvin before the time line is altered. After that everything single event that occurs after can be entirely different.

29. Anthony Pascale - January 6, 2010

remember, Phantom Menace came out in 1999….most of the kids who got into that arent kids anymore, hence Lucas’ point about the Clone Wars cartoon show.

30. Alec - January 6, 2010

I liked the original Star Wars trilogy, especially the first two films. But none of these films, despite their critical acclaim, appealed to me as much as the good Star Trek episodes and films. Star Wars to me, even in the original trilogy, focused too much attention on the droids and the special effects; and I couldn’t relate to it as well as I could Star Trek.

The less said about the prequel trilogy the better. I would strongly advise you to have a look at the following two YouTube reviews. They are very good and very funny. The first was recently mentioned by Trekmovie. It is ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review’ by RedLetterMedia. The second set of reviews is by confusedMatthew.

31. MagicDan - January 6, 2010

Wow, did all these people miss the POINT of this thread?

Stop complaining and enjoy, you crazy fools!

Unless, oh, I get it! This IS the way they enjoy things.

Come on kids, lets go home. There is no help for them, lets just walk by and look the other way.

32. MagicDan - January 6, 2010

And…….

Star Trek 5 was a good movie and I liked it. Yeah, I said it.

33. karanadon - January 6, 2010

Anthony, I totally agree. I’m 21 now, and I grew up with the 24th century Treks – don’t get me wrong, I love TOS, and many aspects of TOS are imitated in the later shows and never bettered, but there’s something about the Berman years that I love best! Maybe it’s whatever you see first – just like different incarnations of the Doctor in Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, or whoever – that holds a special place in your heart, for that very reason.

34. Sean - January 6, 2010

I’m 24 and Voyager is my favorite Star Trek series, but TOS is my second, followed by TNG and ENT being tied for third, then DS9. (Don’t get me wrong, there are episodes from all that I love.) I enjoyed the new movie quite a bit too, even if it isn’t my favorite (First Contact).

As for Star Wars, A New Hope is my favorite, but I also enjoyed the prequels, even the Phantom Menace. The Clone Wars animated series isn’t bad, either. (The first one by Genndy Tartakovsky of Dexter’s Lab fame was quite good too.)

Everything has a fan, and everything has a critic. (Heck, I even enjoy critical and satarical reviews that bash things I love, praise things I hate, etc.).

35. Admiral Shatner - January 6, 2010

For the record I’m still in high school and the original Star Wars are best, the Clone Wars sucks, so does Star Trek 11, and TOS is the best TV show ever. Don’t lump me in with people who have no taste in film just because of my age.

36. I'm Dead Jim - January 6, 2010

I was around when TOS aired but very much prefer TNG, not that it matters much. They’re fiction after all.

37. JWM - January 6, 2010

#2 – I understood the political stuff, and it’s frighteningly relevant to today if you pay attention. The prequels are a warning about how easy it is to believe a politician is a good man when, in the end, he’s just another man making a grab for power. In fact, it’s highly reminiscent of some of the better TOS plots.

Further, as someone who lost a mother too young and lives in a world which can’t come to grips with the fact that we’re all going to die no matter what, those metaphors are extremely relevant.

Everyone wanted Space Cowboys, The Early Years. When they instead got The Fall of the Roman Empire they whined and complained. For a decade. Lucas and Shatner have had to tell their fanbases the same thing, though The Shat got to do it on SNL 20 years ago.

38. spb - January 6, 2010

Sorry, Anthony, but anyone under 21 is a kid.

39. JWM - January 6, 2010

One further point: the prequel haters should realize that they’ve become just like their parents who railed about how their music and TV shows were better. No, you’re just crippled by nostalgia.

40. Mantastic - January 6, 2010

I disliked the prequels because the dialogue and the characters were boring and stiff (watching Anakin, Obi Wan, and Padme was like watching grass grow). Anakin was also drastically miscast in both his kid and teenage forms. And of course….Jar Jar.

With the original movies you had characters and dialogue that was a lot more fun and entertaining.

Nostalgia has nothing to do with it. They’re simply not as good or as fun as the originals. They had the potential to, but they fell flat.

Knights of the Old Republic, on the other hand, is proof positive that you can make a new Star Wars that’s exciting and entertaining. They should do a new movie based off of that series.

41. Shunnabunich - January 6, 2010

#39: It’s funny; I was born in 1986, yet I often wish there was more popular music of the calibre of that which came out in the 60s and 70s. No nostalgia there, per se — I wasn’t around when it was happening. Perhaps I just don’t listen to enough indie music.

42. Kevin Rubio - January 6, 2010

I was recently asked by the documentary crew of “People v George Lucas” if “…George hates the fans”. Hopefully this puts some of that to rest.

In short I stated that there is no better a proponent for fans than George. He always anyone to play in his universe, so long as you are not detrimental to the property. He gives you tools to help you from his own library. He has pioneered editing, sound, camera and fx tech, that has found it’s way into the average Joe’s home. Then he even gives you an award, if you’re good at making a film. Does that sound like a guy who hates the fans?

It’s also nice to see his humor on display – very dry and almost British, but he is a funny guy. He’s responsible for what i think was the funniest dialog exchange in my Clone Wars Episode. Most people think I was the one who wrote it. No, I won’t tell you which line it was.

43. Syn4Ever - January 6, 2010

I’m 19 and I’m a fan of Star Wars 4 – 6. The prequels weren’t very good. They seemed to be more geared towards action than good stories. I guess I don’t fit in with my generation. When it comes to Star Trek, I’m TOS all the way.

P.S. Jar-Jar Binx is the dumbest character… ever

44. Anthony Thompson - January 6, 2010

I believe that one’s first encounter with a phenomenon creates a special emotional bond. For instance, the first 007 movie I saw was “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, starring George Lazenby. That was (and is) my favorite Bond film and I am a fan of Lazenby in the role. For me (at that time), Sean Connery was “that old guy”. I have since come to appreciate the various incarnations, but for me personally OHMSS will always remain my favorite because that is when I was first thrilled by the world of James Bond.

45. Jeyl - January 6, 2010

Well, in a literal sense, yes. It is a work of fiction. But really, do we always look at things at face value? You may say it doesn’t exist, but the concepts and ideas are real. They do exist, but not in a literal sense. That is why so many want to be a part of it, want to understand it and want to see where it is all going. That takes commitment and time, and nobody wants to look over their shoulder and say that their time was wasted just because it’s a work of fiction. While Lucas certainly has earned every right to do what he pleases, it’s not really fun when he shoos away criticisms because people take the material seriously.

A big problem I think Lucas has is his ‘generation’ dependence. He talks about how nobody likes the original trilogy because they’re so boring compared to the newer movies like he wants the current generation to be the only group of fans that matters, and it feels like it. We’re still stuck in the prequel era with no signs of going anywhere else more interesting and new.

Take the part where he says that the previous generation of fans don’t like the new movies and only like the old ones. That’s a pretty accurate and fair comment. However, unlike most movie makers who would leave it with “Well, they’ll still have the originals to go back to”, Lucas doesn’t even provide that. He only gives special attention to the “Special Editions” of the originals while the unaltered editions are with DELIBERATE lack of quality. No 16×9 Anamorphic Widescreen and no 5.1 audio, the two most standard specs to any movie that was released in theaters.

And no matter how good the Clone Wars stories gets, no matter how awesome the characters do in this series, it all leads to that fundamental taint that forever ruined Star Wars for me that doesn’t involve Jar Jar, Anakin, Clones or bad acting.

“She has lost the will to live.”

The only female character in the entire new trilogy, and Lucas reduces her below the level of Bella from Twilight with her vague, unrealistic and totally dumb founded love for a guy who has no redeeming qualities at all. He goes on a murdering spree, killing women and children and you expect me to believe that Padme would act surprised that Anakin did the same exact thing three years later? I’m sorry, but no amount of ‘it’s metaphor/fiction’ talk can shield away from how awful that moment is.

46. Captain James T. Kirk - January 6, 2010

You got fanboys bashing on the new star trek film that JJ did and the trek fans can’t accept changes personally I like the new star trek film it fits n the canon to me I grew up both star trek and star wars and you got star wars fans bashing on the clone wars They not fans they’re fanboys. fanboys will defend one thing and bash on the other They just can’t settle a real debate If don’t like it new chagnes keep your opinos to yourself!

47. MikeTen - January 6, 2010

Come on folks, next to Transformers 2 the worst Trek or Wars is a masterpiece.
I think the biggest problem with the Star Wars prequels was running time. Alot of stuff could have been cut out and made the story tighter. I agree with another poster who said Anakin should have already been a Jedi or at least a adult in Episode One.

48. spb - January 6, 2010

Nostalgia isn’t always a factor… some people grew up with BATMAN: THE MOVIE (1966) and some kids probably saw Batman for the first time in BATMAN AND ROBIN.

Does that automatically mean they think those films are better than THE DARK KNIGHT?

STAR WARS (1977) and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK were, are, and will always be examples of great filmmaking. Not so with JEDI and the Prequels.

49. DonDonP1 - January 6, 2010

I was once a Trekkie and a Warsie. Though, my favorite film series is “Superman” while my two favorite TV shows are “The Simpsons” and the “Power Rangers”.

50. Christine - January 6, 2010

I love Star Wars — that is, movies IV – VI. When I was younger (okay, like… 7 years old, maybe 8) I did like the prequels, but mainly because my older brother loved ‘em, too. Now, being a little older and with a more critical eye for films, I can see they weren’t nearly as good as their predecessors.

Clone Wars, I have no opinion on, because I’ve never seen it, but I hear it’s not that bad. Then again, animated series aren’t quite what they were when I was into them. But I’ll tune into “A New Hope” any time.

51. VOODOO - January 6, 2010

Sorry, but the prequels are just not very good films. It has nothing to do with age and everything to do with the quality of the movies.

It’s laughable to compare the quality of “Star Wars” (One of the top 15 films of all time according to the American Film Institute) + “The Empire Strikes Back” to trash like “The Phantom Menace and “Attack of the Clones”

Lucas is making excuses because he doesn’t like the critical bashing his recent films have taken.

On the other hand the non stop bashing of Lucas gets tired. His original Star Wars and Indiana Jones films plus his contribution to the film industry helped shaped a generation. It’s too bad that his sequels and prequels to those legendary films don’t live up to the originals in any sense.

52. Dr. Image - January 6, 2010

Why do people insist on continually pulling the wool over their own eyes??
The prequels were NOT good movies. Period. They are simply painful to watch, with horrendous acting.
Even Jedi was a more solid effort than those were, and IT basically sucked.

What gets old is people pretending that a thing is great when it simply isn’t.

And George has been breathing his own fumes for far too long.

53. DesiluTrek - January 6, 2010

“Like it or not, the new Star Trek is also going to be the preferred Star Trek for another generation.”

Just because the new Trek might be the one you’re exposed to first doesn’t automatically make it the preferred one. One might decide on seeing the movie to be inspired to go check out the original, then “logically” conclude that it’s the superior, thus preferred version. In fact that’s what I hope happens with those whose first viewing of “Star Trek” is the Abrams movie.

54. jas_montreal - January 6, 2010

@ 20.

I disagree Anthony, but the prequels are NOT preferred by the young ones. I know that many of my young cousins who have seen both the original trilogy and the prequel star wars trilogy and they prefer the old one. The star wars prequel was really REALLY bad ! This is however not the case for Star Trek… it was simply a great movie.

George Lucas is just trying to cover his butt. He produced a string of bad prequel movies. ITS A FACT that the movies were bad…. its not a sense of different perceptions !

55. Will_H - January 6, 2010

Yeah I agree that its a generational thing. I was born in the mid 80′s, I grew up watching TNG as one of the first shows I remember watching (I watched Encounter at Farpoint premier in my diapers) and I think its the same for Star Wars…to a point. Going back to Trek, I think that most people that come into it now days would probably go into TNG or later. TOS is so retro by today’s standards that its hard for people even younger than my self to put it into context of when it was made. Actually Ive read how a lot of non Trekkies end up really liking Enterprise and can’t stand anything else. I think Star Wars is a bit different. During my childhood there was no Phantom Menace (at least not till the later part of my childhood) so I knew Star Wars as IV-VI, even got to see them in the theater when they remastered them. When EP I came out even at the time I found it childish, II I found confusing and jumbled, but II I actually enjoyed somewhat, though still not as much as the first. So yeah, all in all I think a good deal of it comes down to age, and when you were introduced to Trek or Wars.

56. Brandon - January 6, 2010

I call shenanigans on Mr. Lucas here.

First off, the reason there’s such a backlash against the prequels is not just because of the bad acting, bad dialogue, uber-CGI or plot holes you could drive a semi through… it’s because Lucas refused to do two things:

1. Collaborate & delegate. While “A New Hope” certainly was amazing for what it was worth, it showed Lucas’ directing & writing style was not sophisticated in the least. However, with the bulk of the original trilogy, he had others direct & screenwrite for him, making it a collaboration. He’s good at coming up with ideas – bad on execution, much like Gene Roddenberry was (who was removed from large scale interaction for every film after TMP, and we all know that was a blessing)

2. Venture outside of his own mind and the Star Wars Universe. The original was steeped in classic B-movie sci-fi lore. This is why it had such mass appeal in the first place. Because Star Wars’ universe is so massive (including books & comics), Lucas didn’t venture outside of his own medium to make movies again.

Don’t get me wrong – he makes a good point, but there are certain absolutes that he is willfully ignoring. I might also add that back in the days of the original trilogy – EVERYONE loved Star Wars. Adults & kids. Now, only kids like the prequels. Let’s face it: kids don’t have the most discerning taste and aren’t the best judges of what makes a good movie.

Sorry Lucas, I don’t buy your excuses and I don’t think J.J. Abrams succumbed to the same myopic view that you have. The new Trek movie did a great job DESPITE all the plot holes and canon-raping because it kept us engaged and interested. Not a lot of people care about trade disputes (which defines at least half of the Trek TV episodes that suck), and creating a character SPECIFICALLY for the kids just simply appeals to a low common denominator that neither Abrams, Roddenberry, or even Berman pandered to.

I still look at Lucas as the person who made me hate Star Wars after loving it for so many years.

57. ATOM - January 6, 2010

I think George was so dead on accurate of the psychology of fandom. I for one am a fan of all his films. And think he understands the balance of creative passion and the unpredictable social nature that stories assume in our culture better than any filmmaker today.

I think JJ carries the same philosophy he is incredibly passionate, but realizes that what he is doing is never more than making films. That is not to say that the impact the film make can have a large impact on peoples lives, but constantly maintaining awareness of that can hinder ones ability to let the characters and story go where they need to. And at the same time let new tools and innovations like technology help bring your imagination to life and not dictate your decisions. Maybe James Cameron could learn a thing or to.

58. GarySeven - January 6, 2010

“It is hard to understand for some old school fans (like myself), but the prequels are the preferred ‘Star Wars’ for a generation. Our resident pop culture sociologist John Tenuto has studied this phenomenon as well and even has data to back it up.”
I would be interested in seeing the data. Is it possible to post it or post a link to it? Kind of shocking, considering how much the prequels sucked.

59. RetroWarbird - January 6, 2010

Ah! I’m a weird sub-type in this Star Wars ongoing debate. I’m only 24. I saw the original trilogy when I was a kid, thought they were very cool but very forgettable. Saw them again as a young lad, LOVED them. Then as a teenager, the new films came out, and I thought they were rubbish – of course, having seen the others first. But I suppose if I saw the new ones first, my opinion COULD’VE been less harsh. Maybe not, though. No Harrison Ford.

Anyway, I lean far into the “Classic Trilogy” fanatic territory, but find The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network to be frakking amazing. I wish the voice cast had been the stars in the New Trilogy, because I think they would’ve made it work.

60. ryanhuyton - January 6, 2010

I prefer the original trilogy “Star Wars” over the prequels. But I enjoy watching them all as part of a marathon. “The Phantom Menace” is the worst of the bunch for a few reasons. First, Jar Jar Binks was a totally unnecessary, unfunny and uncalled for character. Second, the story was way too much focused on politics. Third, the humor was kindergarten level with animals farting and Jar Jar Binks being obnoxious. Thirdly, killing of the coolest character in the movie, Darth Maul, was lame. Missed potential there. Instead of an Anakin Skywalker-Darth Maul lightsabre duel in “Attack of The Clones” and “Revenge of The Sith”, we got Count Dooku instead. Nothing against Christopher Lee, but Dooku just didn’t have the same impact that Maul did. And finally, “The Phantom Menace” just doesn’t hold up picture-wise as the others when watching it on a widescreen LCD.

As for “Attack of The Clones”, I enjoyed that movie better. But at times it too became a little too political. However, Jango Fett and little Boba were great to see. Even though some of the visual effects look dated now, the action scenes were pretty fun.

“The Revenge of The Sith” is easily the best of the prequels. The opening battle over Corusant was fun to watch. Ewen McGregor really uppped his performance as Obi Wan Kenobi, and fits with the performance of Alec Guiness. The scenes dipicting the slaughter of Jedi and the battle between Anakin and Obi Wan was great, although I had a hard time believing even powerful Jedi such as those two could survive let alone fight on such a hellish planet as Mustafar. The ending was excellent, tying nicely into “A New Hope”.

But the original trilogy can’t be beat. All of them are *better* films than any “Star Trek” film to date. And I say this as a bigger fan of Star Trek.

As for the generational issue, for me it is moot. I am 29 and consider the original trilogy “Star Wars” the best, but when it comes to “Star Trek”, I enjoy TNG, TOS, ENT and DS9 equally but for different reasons. Voyager I like least because of all the shows it is the most inconsistent. But I still enjoy many episodes such as “Scorpion” , “Dark Frontier” and “Year of Hell”.

And finally, I hope people stop bashing George Lucas. Sure he has made a few questionable decisions (**cough Jar Jar Binks cough**), but the positive impact outweighs the negative. Same for Rick Berman. For huge franchises like these, there are often things that are great, good, okay, average, bad and ugly. But the survival of these two pop culture powerhouses is because the amount of good quality out weighs the bad by a large margin. As I said earlier, the prequels had their share of problems, but there were times during “Return of The Jedi” that lost some of the previous films pace. And Rick Berman screwed up by killing off Kirk, but he did good work on TNG, DS9, and ENT, as well as “First Contact”. “Generations” was pretty good except for Kirk’s death. “Nemesis” is better than (good but not great) than what the box office revenue indicated. Even TOS, which many consider their favorite, had its problems, mainly in the third season when the budget finally took its toll. The writng of about two-thirds of that season’s episodes were pretty poor, ala “Turnabout Intruder”. Anyway, we should be grateful to George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry and many others of both franchises for their huge contributions to pop culture.

61. Dave - January 6, 2010

I’ve been saying for years online that what Star Trek needs is a new animated show—to bring in new young-kids fans– might not have the intellectual weight of a 1 hr TV Show, but if CBS doesn’t do something, there won’t be a new generation of Star Trek fans…

and imagine the marketing/toys/tie-in aspects of that..

62. Rosario T. Calabria - January 6, 2010

Stewart’s such an underrated interviewer.

Anyways, that was a great segment. And while I’m more a fan of the original trilogy than the prequel trilogy (although Episode III is one of my favorites), I agree with Lucas about the generational thing. I’ve always felt the prequel trilogy and all its “issues” (for instance, Jar Jar) play absolutely perfectly for this younger generation of Star Wars fans.

63. ryanhuyton - January 6, 2010

It is also hard to properly gauge the popularity of “original versus new” amongst generations. In my opinion, while a great deal of kids today might prefer the original trilogy over the prequels, I bet a lot will reverse their position in a few years when their taste in movies become more sophisticated. That’s not to say they will “un-like” the prequels of course. All I am saying is peoples’ tastes change over time. Mine certainly has. There have been movies I didn’t like, or didn’t think I’d like, but I ended up loving them. “Lord of The Rings” and “Spider Man” for example. And I bet a lot of people didn’t like the original “Star Wars” when it first came out, but gradually ended it up loving it. I am sure that there are many adults that prefer the prequels and many kids that prefer the originals. One has to be careful before painting certain demographics with a broad brush. In many ways, it is similar in regards to a person’s political belief. Just because someone is African-American doesn’t mean they voted for Barack Obama while the same logic holds true that not all white people and/or seniors voted for John McCain. At the end of the day, these kinds of polls must be taken with a grain of salt. For instance, #50 Christine has proven to have a pretty sophisticated taste in films and shows considering that she is still only 13 or 14. She even articulates her thoughts better than a lot of adults on this site. If Christine hadn’t revealed her age a while ago, I would have assumed her to be an adult. I say this because I have just read a bunch of posts saying that kids are idiots and have no taste. Well, not all adults are smart and have good taste. It is a long road to go down in regards to generalizing certain demographics.

64. Canon Schmanon - January 6, 2010

George is correct. What he fails to realize, however, is the fact that ALL of the Star Wars films are quite bad, no matter how spruced up they may be with pretty effects. They really are children’s films compared to Star Trek, though Trek still seems able to bring the whining infant out of many of its own fans from time to time.

Still, on the whole, Trek is much more mature than its more affluent cousin, and story-wise much more original and imaginative. Star Wars has the imagination when it comes to visuals, but without a solid foundation of a good story, that’s just like wrapping a turd in silk. Might look pretty on the outside, but it’s still crap in the inside.

65. Pyork - January 6, 2010

The point of fiction is to escape the harsh realities of this world. We center our lives around it because it’s enjoyable and a chance to forget about a hard day at the office or a long night at the work yard. To say something like this is arrogant and elf centered. Sure not everyone is going to like it, but Lucas, you pretty much stated that you’re a film whore. You don’t give a damn about the people, you’re just going where the money is at.

66. JohnWA - January 6, 2010

Lucas hasn’t directly controlled the Star Wars franchise for quite some time. Because all the Star Wars novels, comics, and video games are more or less canonical, you have a much wider range of contributors to the “story” than a tightly controlled enterprise like Star Trek. The work of Timothy Zahn, for instance, is very influential in terms of how Star Wars has turned out. For instance, the city-planet of Coruscant – which we later see in the prequels – was basically Zahn’s creation.

I think this hands off approach has given Lucas a unique perspective on these issues. Even as the creator of the franchise, he’s less dogmatic and more open minded than the average Trekkie.

67. Christine - January 6, 2010

#63 :: Uh, I appreciate the compliment, but I’m 16. But, really, that makes me feel good. Thank you. :3

68. ryanhuyton - January 7, 2010

#67 Wow, you’re growing up fast!

69. Olley Olley Olley - January 7, 2010

The SW Prequels?
2 words

BONE ACTING

70. DesiluTrek - January 7, 2010

As much as I revere Gene Roddenberry, I’ll acknowledge that he got sucked into his own myth a bit in his later years, morphing from intelligent TV producer seeking a hit into creator/promoter of a Star Trek “philosophy” (of course one that I largely buy into.)

But never in the way George Lucas has. He can’t admit that “Star Wars” was just a retreaded World War II dogfight movie with cool FX for the time and that John Williams score. Lucas thinks he’s Joseph Campbell, but he’s really a marketer of toys.

71. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

NEVER WILL THE NEW STAR TREK BE BETTER THAN THE OTHER TREKS NEVER NEVER NEVER

THE CURRENT GENERATION DOES NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS MISSING IF THEY PREFER THE NEW TREK MOVIE OVER THE OTHER SHOWS.

IT ANNOYS ME WHEN SOMEONE PREFERS CHRIS PINE OVER WILLIAM SHATNER.

72. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

I can like both but the ones I hate are the ones who don’t bother going back to watch the originals.

The genrational thing is also relevant to Doctor Who, many new fans favourite is David Tennant where as Tom Baker is the most iconic of all Doctors but then with Doctor Who each genaration has their own Doctor.

73. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

71- I can live with it but I sure hope those new fans watch the other stuff

If they only watch the new movie and nothing else then they are not getting to see the true potential of this wonderful universe of Star Trek.

74. Anthony Pascale - January 7, 2010

Neill

you need to calm down. Firstly you have to stop always making 3 or 4 repetitive posts every time you post, just say it. Plus no more ALL CAPS

but finally with the ‘hate’ and the ‘angry’ stuff, you really need to chill

you seem obsessed with what other people think…it doesnt matter what other people think. and trust me you are not some lone person fighting to save classic trek, it is alive and well with the fans who visit here and buy the dvds and go to the cons etc.

bottom line, Relax

75. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

Yes Anthony I’m sorry

I like the new movie but I prefer a lot of the stuff that came before.

I love all Trek. I just don’t the new movie is a good as some of the other movies.

76. Jack - January 7, 2010

Watched all 6 during the holidays (they were on like 9 different channels, daily). The prequels were way more watchable then I remembered and I was surprised at the number of “holy cow! look at that!” moments… and I’d seen them 2 or 3 times before. I guess my expectations were lower. I still winced at “he’s under a lot of stress, Artoo” after Anakin comes home after slaughtering the Junior Jedi. I’m also slowly realizing that a lot of the lines from the original three(lines I memorized as a kid, and then would quote randomly at school, to much mockery) aren’t much better. James Earl Jones did magic even with his two lines in the Star Wars holiday special.

Another thing I’d forgotten — the yoda head in the Phantom Menace really creeped me out.

I buy the generational thing. Although I also think there something to Trek holding up much better to adults. In a total aside, I remember being super excited when I was 7 or 8 (in 1977) because a brand new Star Trek episode (and that must mean a brand new series)was on, and I could tell because they had brand new uniforms, not the red, blue and gold ones I’d known and seen like 8 billion or so times. Alas, it was where no man had gone before, probably the only episode I hadn’t seen.

77. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

I don’t have hate toward the new movie, yes I have gripes but all I am saying is if all the Trek thay are watching is the new movie then I don’t feel they are getting to see the full potential of the philosophy of Star Trek.

The genaration thing applies to Doctor Who, look how the kids perceive the revival of Doctor Who in comparison to the classic series. I am always happy that the kids have watched the classic stuff. To me the new series is a continuation of the classic series, its all one show and I like each incarnation of the Doctor, Sure I look some of them more than others.

In regards to TNG I saw it as follow on from TOS and the other shows all added to the TOS, none of them took away from TOS.

Sorry if I come across a bit angry but this is not my intention, I love all of Star Trek, and this movie turned out better than I thought. I do despise the mainstream of today, watched Sherlock Holmes on Tues and I enjoyed it, there are things I liked but I was thinking that 3/4 of the audience probably never heard of Sherlock Holmes. I am probably wrong but to me it seems Hollywood has to make more deviations from the source material to make it work for the mainstream.

There is a double edge when it comes to the mainstream, for it to work we have to deviate from what the fans like yet at the same time this has to be done so that the film can make more bucks.

78. Mitch - January 7, 2010

I actually like the Clone Wars cartoon too, and it is getting a little darker, which will appeal more to the adults.

I always felt that the key to making a good cartoon is to make it more enjoyable for adults. If making a comedy, make adults laugh. If making an action show, make the adults enjoy it. Ultimately, I think kids will find the cartoon good too, even if it’s for different reasons.

Bugs Bunny cartoons were excellent examples of what I’m talking about for humor, and the recent Bruce Timm Justice League/Superman/Batman series’ are action examples.

If they did a TOS series on the level of the Bruce Timm cartoons, it would be incredible.

79. Ralph F - January 7, 2010

Obviously the best of the series was the original, STAR WARS (no bloody suffix, as a great man once said); I was heading towards my 11th birthday when it premiered:

http://www.core53.com/PIC/PLEASE_DONT_HOTLINK_SWOD.jpg

Those too young to remember its opening may not know what kind of a splash it made when it came out. Akin it to Beatlemania — we just went crazy for it. it was new, different, and fun. And, though Lucas retcon’d the hell out of the story, it wasn’t originally a “trilogy of trilogies” as he would later say — STAR WARS was “From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker” and it was his first adventure. It was a one-up film (i.e., one story that was self-contained), laced with technology, fantasy, adventure, and mysticism. The characters were arguably cookie-cutter two-dimensional (hero, damsel, scoundrel, evil enemy, comic relief, etc) but they were, for lack of a better word, approachable. You could know them and like them.

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK raised the bar in many ways, but it hosed the story in others. It was like when you read a particular comic book for years, and then suddenly there’s story over half a dozen different titles over multiple months. And RETURN OF THE JEDI; geez. Original story — with Wookies instead of Ewoks — would have been much preferred. And think of the possibilities had Spielberg actually directed it rather than opt to stay in the Director’s Guild (see Wikipedia for more info as to why Lucas quit it after EMPIRE; it has to do with credits and opening titles.)

I didn’t think the prequels completely blew; the first one was a loss and sought to completely wash away the Force’s mysticism. I don’t know what happened to Lucas — he grew up? — but he lost the element of wonder. I liked CLONES as a kind of s/f action film (my kids like that one) (and the soundtrack is fantastic), and I thought REVENGE OF THE SITH was an attempt to rescue the whole she-bang, and maybe make up for JEDI. Hell, the prequels are like the original trilogy in reverse; the first one was the least common denominator in this equation.

Sorry; rambling. Lucas would do well to remember that STAR WARS was what it was, and that Alan Dean Foster’s sequel — SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE — was written to continue Luke’s adventures and lay the groundwork for what might be an inexpensive serial-like film series (read Foster’s intro/narrative to the novel for more; Lucas approached him to write something “that could be filmed cheaply”). STAR WARS just exploded and made so much money that he just couldn’t help himself.

80. Holger - January 7, 2010

That seems to be the status quo, Clone Wars and JJTrek are the versions for the younger generation, and some of the old school fans can’t identify with the new stuff.
I find it’s a little bit of a pity that the good old stuff can’t be handed over to a new generation, severed ties and all that, but here we are.

81. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

The real sad thing is that the kids wont see the originals Star Wars trilogy as it was originally seen, they will see it modified to fit in with the prequels. The kids will see Return of the Jedi without the Ewoks song at the end and a digital Hadyn Christianson replacing Sebastian Shaw as the Ghost of Anakin Skywalker.

To be perfectly honest Lucas destroyed the original trilogy for the kids who loved the prequels. When Ridley Scott did the Final Cut of Blade Runner at least he did not destroy all the past versions of thefilm.

Ridley Scott said hat the final cut was his preferred version but he knows that the original cut has its fans and made it all available. Lucas should have done that with the original trilogy.

Star Wars fans tell Star Trek fans they should be lucky, they tell me Lucas ruined the originals with the prequels yet Trek fans should be happy as the new Trek is in a parallel universe.

82. nerdinpink - January 7, 2010

Ok, I was a “young person” when these came out. I loved the first one, hated the second one, and didn’t bother with the third one. I love all of the original movies. I’m not sure that you can disprove something through one person, or even the 80 coments here, but I’m not one of the new generation who prefers the new movies.

83. JimJ - January 7, 2010

Decaf. coffee may help many at this site that are die-hard classic fans. Guess what, I am too! However, I want these franchises to survive and I rather enjoyed most of these “new” takes. As well as the originals? In most cases; no. But, I know that to survive, these franchises must evolve. I’d be up for the last 3 installments of Star Wars, however, I’m ready for at least another 9 Star Trek movies. Speaking of evolution of a franchise: James Bond = Evolving and making more and more $$$. That’s the bottom line in Hollywood and lots of other places, unfortunate as that fact is.

84. TomBot3000 - January 7, 2010

The Clone Wars cartoon rocks for what it is, and my nephews love it, and as far as I can tell, not the prequels much, nor is the new Star Trek at ALL on their radar. Mostly, I don’t care what they like; did I care what my Dad liked? Not much, not really… If they don’t like what I like, whose fault is that? I dig the Clone Wars, and I recognise Lucas was rusty as hell when he started the Prequels, so I give him a lot of slack. I even gave JJ a lot of slack, and it was just after the afterglow had faded, that I felt it made more intellectual misses than hits. If the masses want a dumbed down, idiotic Trek, then so be it, and being an outcast nerd is nothing new to me, so it’s not like I’ll sweat it. Thing is, despite it’s success, there’s no phenomenal cultural explosion resulting, as far as I can see, so no one will be taking JJ to task years from now for cacking it up- they won’t even remember it.

85. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

74

Anthony I over react, i have loved Trek for over 20 years

I will always love it. But I guess for most Trek fans change is the hardest to accept.

86. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

I mean a small percentage lol.

I

87. Chris Roberts - January 7, 2010

The things some need to get Is there are people who like the prequels.If It hadn’t been for the special edition the Phantom Menace would be the
highest grossing Star Wars Film.I am one who like all films of Star wars,and
the first film I can remember clearlys eeing In theatres was The Empire
Strikes Back.What some people now are Ignoring for years some complained
about Return of the Jedi with the Ewoks but now they sar Return of the Jedi
Is so great.George Lucas created Star Wars.It Is his baby.Some here would
critize me for not loving reimaged Battlestar Galactica.

I agree the prequels would have been served If Episode 1 would have been
Episode 1,Episode II being the Clone Wars,and then Revenge of the Sith as Episode III and Anakin being an adult from the getgo.

The Star trek Film was the best we could get.Paramount could have brought In
people who really turned It Into something Star Trek In name only.Similar to what would have happened If the JJ Abrams Scripted Brett Ratner Directed
version of Superman would have been made.You would have a vast
reimaging of Superman.

88. Capt Krunch - January 7, 2010

I for one love everything TREK, but SW has done much more for me over the past few years with expanded universe, KOTOR, Legacy, as well as action figures and the like….Lucas is master of merchandising…he’s made a fortune off me alone…
Being 43, I eagerly awaited the prequels, and was let down as well like many my age…Sith redeemed the franchise for me, 1,2, and ep 3, are a far cry from the original trilogy….
TOS vs NextGen….Kirk v Picard….all generational?….
at least the new TREK has brought in some youth and vitality that has attracted the younger generation…my 11 y.o. loves TREK now..and with a new gen, TREK will live on and on!

89. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

Has it opened the doors for the other Treks a well for him?

90. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

thing is this kind of talk will start the Genarational War

Its happend with evey major sci fi show

91. Daoud - January 7, 2010

@81 Yep, when whichever channel aired JEDI over the holidays, and my son and his gf were watching it… I couldn’t help at the end, but sing outloud JUB JUB…. because the revised ending is stupid.

Lucas should have left JUBJUB, because you ride on the horse that brought you. Cutting it out completely, diminishes what little coolness the Ewoks had. Actually, if he’d instead had JUBJUB transition to something orchestral in the refit, that would have been tolerable.

People cheering on Coruscant though… nuts.

And I had no problem with Hayden appearing.. but what Lucas SHOULD have done, was have Old Yoda, Shaw and Guinness both start that way, and then morph them younger to appear as Youthful Yoda, Hayden and Ewan… that would have made a very intelligent point about rebirth and being young in the force.

Lucas always “sings” off key. That’s why it’s so hard to watch Star Wars over and over.

92. tman - January 7, 2010

To those saying that Lucas is self-deluded, DO bear in mind that he was on the show to sell his thick text on how to make a block buster. If you ever go to his blogs, he sounds like a small business owner trying to run a business. I don’t think he is talking about the films as art.

I agree with what 16 said about changes that would have made Ep1 better. I think you should add: less explanation (Sith stories, the midichlorians) so it is not creating a goofy set of myths (based on existing myths) but keeping the “religion/philosophy” part open as they did in OT.

To Anthony, I really have to disagree about this notion that most people have fond memories of what they grew up with. I think Sci Fi community tends to be a subset of the general population and I know few people my age (around 40) who pine for the original BSG compared to the recent BSG, who miss Gil Gerard-like Buck Rogers, who hail Air Wolf and Knight Rider as high art, or think Tom Baker/Peter Davison era Dr Who is as good as the new series.

We will remember those shows far more fondly than they deserve (if we haven’t rewatched them) but I find it hard to believe someone who has strong opinions on OT hasn’t rewatched them over the years. I’ve probably watched them 50-75 times since my 5 year old prefers them to the new ones.

The new film had visual effects that immersed you in a cartoon compared to the scant models too close together in OT but I think the sets, costumes, and effects in OT had purpose in the story or to make characters easier to relate to: the bad guys like Nazi’s, Japanese-ish monks for Jedis, the way they presented the Force was as religion/philosophy in general rather than providing a details of a religion with it’s own goofy things (midichlorians, the details of Jedi hierarchy and trainings, etc) and even allowed the Power of Myth. The set and costume designs of Episode 4 were visually distinct and though they wandered a little from it in Episodes 5, 6 here it defined the look of those films. I would contrast that with Episodes 1-3 where, though I see their intent to present the grandness of the pre-WWi era and a vast universe it looks not less dissimilar from other fantasy franchises like Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, etc and is so much visual as to distract.

I like George Lucas’s visual style (the way they shoot things in THX-1138 and Ep4).

Alec Guiness got to rewrite his lines in Ep4…

93. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - January 7, 2010

STAR TREK IS BETTER THEN STAR WARS

94. Desstruxion - January 7, 2010

Both products are fun. There are things that I don’t like about each but there’s so much more that I do like. Like George said it’s fiction and not real so we shouldnt get all bent outta shape.

95. Dennis Bailey - January 7, 2010

It doesn’t matter whether this movie creates new fans for the older versions of Star Trek or not – this is a new Star Trek unto itself. A lot of fans will carry over from older versions. Some won’t. C’est la guerre.

96. Nivenus - January 7, 2010

Lucas is partially correct. People in my generation *are* more forgiving of the prequels. But that doesn’t mean we all prefer them. In my experience we generally tend to enjoy the films, since we grew up with them (I was 10 when TPM came out) but we still acknowledge their weaknesses compared with the OT. I haven’t met a single person who feels differently.

That being said, young people still tend to enjoy the prequels quite a bit and the Clone Wars series *is* a hit. But consider that the OT was popular among people in their 20s and 30s as well as among the teen and preteen crowds. The prequels haven’t really reached that same level of cultural phenomenon. As for Clone Wars, it is, after all, produced by Dave Filoni, who famously headed the Avatar animated series on Nickelodeon, which was popular among adults and children.

On the other hand, it is a myth that the prequels were ill-received by critics. TPM, which received the lowest rating, still scores in the 70s at Rotten Tomatoes and RotS actually scores *higher* than RotJ.

97. Steven - January 7, 2010

George Lucas doesn’t have a neck.

98. David Stoeckel - January 7, 2010

I have Always though STAR TREK is SUPERIOR to Star Wars in every way, shape, and form!!!!!

99. captain_neill - January 7, 2010

97
I’ve been saying that for years.

98
Agreed

100. The Last Maquis - January 7, 2010

SW The clone wars Suck, the Prequels suck, the original Trilogy Owns, but its played.

Trek ’09 Sucks. nothin’ beats the Original Trek. Nuff said.

101. skyjedi - January 7, 2010

Comparing the star wars prequels to JJ’s Trek is not entirely fair. Because the prequels sucked and were painful to watch and the new trek was a damn good flick, in my own opinion. Yeah i was prepared to hate it but the sense of wonder was there and so was the great characters of the original series. Only thing missing was something of a phlisophical nature or more cerebral science fiction. But this one set the pace for what is to come.

I will admit i found the dialog in the bar to be crude. But believable since people do talk like that. I kept on wondering if Kevin Smith wrote that scene though.

102. Captain Rickover - January 7, 2010

I think Lucas is perfectly right.

It’s a generations thing.

I prefer the old Star Wars movies, because that’s what I was growing up. I was awaiting a similiar thing with the prequeles, but the outcome was not so great – in my eyes. My younger brother, on the other hand, prefers the prequeles, a thing I can’t understand and he is a big fan of TCW also.

103. Smike van Dyke - January 7, 2010

I grew up with the old movies but I still prefer the PT a lot! Okay, maybe not Ep. I but the other two were pure genious! I could do without Jar Jar but he isn’t have as annoying as those Ewoks in Ep. VI. There are many reasons I (29) prefer the PT. It is not just those gorgeous SFX and all the strange new worlds depicted.
It is far more political and I like that. It is not just good vs. evil done fairy-tale style. That Sith conspiracy is so much more exciting than that original fairy tale. And I really liked the introduction of Midichlorians: a messurable element so much more SciFi than just calling it “the Force”…It is no longer a fairy tale in space but true Sci Fi now although old-schoolers will eat me alive for that!

104. departmentQ - January 7, 2010

Great Interview with Lucas on NPR’s “Fresh Air” yesterday…

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122279258

also available on itunes

105. JKP - January 7, 2010

No adult of the original Star Wars generation (I’m 38) will ever feel the wonderment we felt when seeing the original trilogy as kids. Because we saw the prequels as adults there was no way they were going to capture us like the originals.

My 7yo son has been exposed to all 6 and loves them all, but the Clone Wars are his thing – mostly because he got to see it in a big screen theatre as a little kid a couple times, whereas the others were on video. All of them hold the wonderment, because he’s at the age we were when we felt the wonderment.

Star Wars was and is aimed at kids that want to pretend they’re space captains and Jedi Knights. It’s not really for us anymore, that’s why the prequels don’t resonate – the special feeling of wonderment we had as kids is long gone.

106. Greg2600 - January 7, 2010

I’m just not buying this generational thing with Star Wars. It’s one thing if you’re talking about a little kid, because Clone Wars and Phantom Menace were tailored to them. However, I’m sorry, but if you prefer any of the prequels to the original trilogy, and you’ve seen them all, thoroughly, you’re an idiot. There’s not one reason to prefer the newer ones, once you’ve grown up and can truly understand the difference between a great film and a piece of garbage. As for Star Trek, I can easily see how many people prefer one incarnation over another, because they’ve all been good stories. I actually liked The Phantom Menace, aside from Jar-Jar. The last two were two of the most boring films I’ve ever seen. And that is saying something, because I love almost all science fiction/fantasy.

107. Khan was framed! - January 7, 2010

I watched this interview & Lucas is way off in his thinking!

The thing is, once you’ve created something like this & it succeeds to the level of icon, it’s not exclusively yours anymore.

You have a responsibility to consider the needs of the fan base you garnered & take the difficult road of including their needs in the decisions you make with it going forward.

So, it’s not acceptable to just write them off as crack pots or “too involved” just so you can take the easy path & ignore them in favor of your own ideas.

It’s a syndrome that the new Trek & Wars suffered from in excess & it’s what makes them infinitely inferior to their predecessors.

In both cases there should have been a fanboy on set to act as a “no” man & shoot down dumb ideas like Jar-Jar Binks & Kirk driving a car.

Criticism is constructive, it’s the most intelligent form of thought & a necessary part of the game.

There is far too much ignorance of criticism in Hollywood these days & because of it, the movies we get are under thought, lowest common denominator crap, intended for mindless cattle.

For fans of Michael Bay films I’ll summarize in your terms: Less Bang-bang, more talky-talk, please!!!!

108. Scutter9000 - January 7, 2010

Star Wars Eps I-III: It’s not the age of the viewer, stupid, its the crappiness of the incoherent writing, bad wooden dialog and the very bad performance killing direction that Lucas gave his actors.

Pixar movies are for kids but they are all damn well written! Nobody argues this and they appeal to audiences of all ages.

I was young when Star Trek V came out, for example, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an incoherrent badly done mess of a film (sorry Bill).

Of the Star Wars series, New Hope and especially Empire are the best written and directed. They appeal to audences of all ages too. The stories make sense, the characters are well fleshed out, the pacing flows. The audience can easily connect and get into the emotion of the films. None of this is true for the prequels.

109. PeterP - January 7, 2010

“Just because you like my stuff doesn’t mean I owe you anything.”
–Bob Dylan.

My advice to fans who think they can do better than George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, or any other filmmaker (or any other artist): put up or shut up. If you can do better, get out there and DO BETTER.

The notion that your subjective opinion about a creative work is somehow FACT is a delusion of the most arrogant and ignorant sort.

110. MC1 Doug - January 7, 2010

#28: “I’ve never been able to “get” the cannon argument. The only thing you can compare to Trek cannon is the first sequence with the Kelvin before the time line is altered. After that everything single event that occurs after can be entirely different.”

CANON!!! Please say it with me. Ca-non. Canon!

One is an established and accepted history, the other (cannon) is an obsolete weapon.

As the old Styx song wisely says, ‘haven’t we been here before?”

111. ryanhuyton - January 7, 2010

#109 Couldn’t have said it better myself! There are a lot of people who feel that just because they paid for something, that means they have a personal stake in the business that produced it. This sense of “entitlement” is vastly misguided and misplaced. It is democracy folks. No one has put a gun to your head and forcced you to buy their product. If you don’t like something, fine, just do the logical thing and move on.

George Lucas can do whatever he wants to with his franchise. I could either take it or leave it, depending if I like or dislike what he is selling. Ditto for J.J Abrams and Paramount.

112. tassieboy - January 7, 2010

I love all six Star Wars movies. I don’t even think of it as original and prequel, I just think of it as one big 6-part epic.

I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to watch it. Seeing the star wars story through their eyes is going to be a completely different experience. (Anakin’s turn to the dark side will be the huge suprise, whereas Darth Vader’s admition of being Luke’s father will be a no brainer.

113. ryanhuyton - January 7, 2010

I wasn’t born til ’81. I missed out on the first 2 “Star Wars” movies and was too young for “Return of The Jedi”. But I got to see them in the theatres in 1997 during the 20th anniversary. Boy, did I have a blast at watching the classics as they should be seen on the big screen. It is worth it to pay to see these kinds of movies on the big screen.

114. The_Drone - January 7, 2010

Well to weigh in. . .
I disagree on the “Generational” idea. In my opinion, it’s simply a question of “Is the movie any good or not?” Look, here’s the deal. I’m 43. I grew up with TOS in syndication, so it’s always been my favorite. I was 12 when TMP came out and with it, the revival of Trek. I’ve seen every movie and pretty much every episode once of all the series. Not every movie was great, and not every TV episode was top-notch either. Enterprise is my least favorite, but not because it’s a Generational thing, and not because it was a prequel series either. The show was simply bad on several levels, and I don’t want to get into that here, it’d take too long. The 4th season definitely stands out. There were some well-written episodes. If they’d done it that way from the beginning, ENT might have gone 7 seasons.

But then, TNG didn’t hit it’s stride until the 3rd season, and there were many who were initially skeptical. But TNG won over the TOS fans because the writing got better and better, and the characters grew. Sure, there were some “stinker” shows, but TNG turned in a lot of great TV!

Here we are in 2010, coming off a successful year for Star Trek. Again, as a long-time fan, I was very skeptical of JJ’s efforts at first. Sure, there are some “Canon” changes I didn’t like, such as the Big E being built in Iowa, Chekov a part of the bridge crew, Spocks romance w/Uhura, (which isn’t that far off, since early eps showed she had some interest), and the first meeting w/the Romulans. But in my opinion, these are minor, and every time I watch the movie, I like it more and more!

Why? Because I believe everyone involved captured the essence of TOS. It was Action Packed in a way we haven’t seen since TOS or First Contact. It was a very engaging story and had so many wonderful nods to TOS. The point is, at least as far as I’m concerned, it was and is a great movie. And when you have a great movie, people are going to watch, and I believe there are more fans like me than you know who enjoyed this movie. I’ve often said, the death knell for Berman was when they killed Kirk. I’ve often felt they needed to go back to our original heroes. I feel certain that ST:New Voyages paved the way for Paramount to choose to return to Kirk. So true, I agree, there is no one like Shatner as Kirk. But it’s the characters that we all love, and I enjoyed seeing them on the big screen again. Can’t wait for the next one!

115. toddk - January 8, 2010

I think that george lucas should use the technology used in james cameron’s avatar to enhance the original trilogy, Lucas has expressed interest in 3D, I know he wouldnt do it, but he could actually fix the battle of endor to match the action and scope of the avatar battles.

116. captain_neill - January 8, 2010

115

Please don’t say that
Hasn’t Lucas done enough damage to the origianl trilogy

And he would consider it it.

117. Pete - January 8, 2010

Guys, I couldn’t read through al the posts, but I would like to say that criticizing the Star Wars prequels has nothing to do with nostalgia. People in their late 20s or early 30s who like Star Wars have never seen it in the cinema. The movies are simply bad from so many objective points of view. Look at this review:

http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/12/17/watch-this-70-minute-video-review-of-star-wars-the-phantom-menace/

It is just hat you get what you pay for. From the point of view of story telling mainstream hollywood has simply gone downhill. So many plot holes, bad acting, pointless action etc. And we all swallow it. People just don’t care. And that is what they get in return. Dummed down stuff with plot holes (ST09 not being much different).

118. PeterP - January 8, 2010

#117 “The movies are simply bad from so many objective points of view.”

I would argue that it’s not possible for a film to be be OBJECTIVELY bad. The relative “goodness” or “badness” of any work of art is inherently SUBJECTIVE. What aestheticians call “a matter of opinion.”

Two points we would all be wise to remember:

My taste is not GOOD taste, it’s just my taste. To honestly believe that anyone who disagrees with my personal taste in movies (or anything else) is objectively wrong…well, it’d be hard to get more small-minded and arrogant than that.

Even if everyone I know agrees with my opinion (about anything), that proves nothing about what “most people” think. How many people do I know, after all? Maybe a few hundred. How many do I know well enough to know their honest opinion on any given subject? Maybe a few dozen. A few dozen opinions out of six billion possible opinions tells me nothing at all about what “most people” think.

I am entitled to my opinion, but I need to recognize that it is just that: MY opinion, and nothing more. Trying to make my opinion more important by claiming that it’s “fact” or claiming that “everyone” agrees with me is at best hyperbole and at worst megalomania.

119. Dom - January 8, 2010

The difference between Trek and Wars is that Wars never pretended to be anything other than great entertainment.

Some people took Trek way too seriously (arguably including Gene Roddenberry,) got pretentious about it and started to focus on its ‘relevance’ to ‘issues’ and how ‘important’ it was in that context, rather than just a fun TV and movie series that ***touched*** on serious issues, hence years of tedious pomposity in the spin-offs!

And, for what it’s worth, as a 35-year-old, I actually prefer Attack of the Clones to A New Hope and Return of the Jedi! So there! :p ;)

120. Holger - January 8, 2010

118: But it’s not purely subjective. I’ll grant anytime that it’s a purely subjective matter which criteria we choose by which we determine our appreciation of a movie. But once you have chosen some criterion, it can be quite objective if the criterion is met or not.
For example, if you don’t like shaky cam, then that’s your opinion. But it’s not a matter of opinion whether a movie has lots of shaky cam or not.
So you could still say that, for a given movie, there are many criteria by which it is bad, and that’s not a purely subjective affair, I would think.
But in the end subjective taste is decisive, that’s for sure.

121. Desstruxion - January 8, 2010

Get over canon people. Star Trek (as with all sci fi) is art and entertainment and an escape from reality if just for a little while. It’s fantastic starships, aliens and new worlds. It’s not real. It’s a fun diversion. Since it’s not real it can be redone again and again with different ideas from different “artists.” I enjoy “new” Trek as well as old. Canon is for people that think it’s real.

122. Andy S - January 8, 2010

Here’s an AMAZING and hilarious new 70-minute review of The Phantom Menace that has been getting a lot of press lately (in case it hasn’t already been mentioned in the previous comments).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxKtZmQgxrI

123. ponnfarr6996 - January 8, 2010

No one has mentioned……….The lack of the Space Cowboy/Pirate aspect that the original films had…..when i was a kid in the early (early 80s) there were 2 kinds of fans…..fans of the Jedi(lone hero, mythical space ninja) and alot of Han Solo fans(Military,smirkish,rogue, loner,cowboy type)…..the prequels failed to bring that serious grown up realistic character to the forefront(Bounty Hunters would never work for one another)There was an actual element of darkness in the Death mark Solo had on his head an a sense of urgency to rescue him…..A mysticism to the mirkiness of Dagobah(yoda living alone) A gangter feel to the Hutt Dynasty in the emptiness of the desert on Tattooine(Like Nevada)………The fact that Obi Wan was Lukes Mentor however tied in real well with QuiGon Jinns friendship with Anakin and I believe Ewan McGregor did a very believeable job with the transition between Guiness and himself…..as for the new Star Trek Film…..I love everything Star Trek…….but the same goes for the first 5 films(vulcans are thought provokinmg because of their mystery and logic….dont over expain vulcan mysticism…thats what keeps us tuned in…….Hey George …how about an in betweequel…….The Adventures Of Han Solo Perhaps(A great book)Harrison could Really help with this one too in passing the torch(much like Nimoy did with Quinto)…..I know there are political issues between Harrison and Lucas but …..lets do this.

124. the Quickening - January 8, 2010

119.

I think you are confusing “serious” with mature. TREK is and was more adult than STAR WARS. Sure, a few TREK episodes and movies were and are pretentious, but that’s going to happen when you deal with adult sensibilities, themes and attempt to be more realistic. TREK can and has been just as grand entertainment as WARS, the problem is one of application, talent, and finance. The simple-minded “good verses evil” of STAR WARS, falls in the fairy tale arena were WARS choices to play in. Nothing wrong with that, but as an adult, I just find life a little more in the gray areas. Lucas can attempt to muddy the waters by calling it metaphor, to excuse bad writing, acting, dialogue, trying to please every demographic in the same film and overall, just making bad movies–but that’s not going to cut it as far as I’m concerned.

TREK on the other hand, is not as adult as, say, Ron Moore’s BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. What I love about TREK though, is, it rest on and in between the not too silly and broad as STAR WARS, and not too adult and restrictive as BATTLESTAR, which is why I am a fan of TREK more than either of these. TREK just has better balance in my opinion.

125. ponnfarr6996 - January 8, 2010

…..Forgot to mention…….cant wait to really get to know the new/old crew of the Enterprise again……….just a few movies isnt going to be enough for me….An animated series would indeed be cool…..It would really fly on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network

126. ponnfarr6996 - January 8, 2010

#119 As a 35 yo i prefer TNG and TOS equally…..my favorite trek characters for story lines are Spock,Data and Worf……….good story is good story…but as for your post ……I concur

127. Pete - January 8, 2010

@118

“It is a matter of taste!” said the monkey and took a bite of soap.

Of course there are things that are purely subjective, like whether or not you prefer apples or pears, what your favorite color is or even religous faith.

But there is something like movie making 101. Of course it might be that somebody still likes a movie for other reasons, even if every objective criterion (like absence of plot holes) is violated. Nobody wants to deny or prohibit that.

and PS:
If anything is pretentious, than it is to call Star Wars art!

128. Dom - January 8, 2010

124. the Quickening

Nope! I know exactly what I mean. Trek was an entertaining, sci-fi action adventure series that touched on social issues and had some superb, intelligent discussions between its characters.

By the end of the 70s, though, people were acting as if Trek was some kind of religion. Pretentious types applauded the talkiness of the spin-off shows and sneered at the ‘childishness’ of TOS with its fistfights, action scenes and witty banter.

Star Trek is what it is: fun, sexy, adventurous, sci-fi action series with a healthy dash of philosophical discussion.

It’s not a religious text and it’s certainly not about engineering the sort of twisted ‘utopia’ of TNG universe.

Star Wars fans (annoying as many of them can be!) are at least honest about their unabashed love of their saga. A lot of Trek fans seem somewhat embarrassed about their love of the franchise and appear to feel that they need to talk up its ‘importance’ in order to justify loving it!

129. JWM - January 8, 2010

107: “The thing is, once you’ve created something like this & it succeeds to the level of icon, it’s not exclusively yours anymore.”

I usually avoid cursing in life and on boards assiduously, but BULLSHIT. You can like or dislike, but you have NO ownership over an artist’s work beyond that. As an artist, if you ever uttered that phrase to me, I’d ram a bunch of paint brushes up your no-fly zone.

Art by popular vote is not art. It’s monstrous.

130. JWM - January 8, 2010

117: “It is just hat you get what you pay for. From the point of view of story telling mainstream hollywood has simply gone downhill. So many plot holes, bad acting, pointless action etc. ”

You have no idea what you’re talking about. We only re-watch and remember the cream of the crop. There was far more reviled material than accepted classics “back in the day” — and even hits at the time faded into obscurity.

And other films -including Citizen Kane, It’s a Wonderful Life and Touch of Evil, took *decades* to gain true acceptance as people were able to look back more maturely on them and realize them for the great works that they were.

131. JWM - January 8, 2010

119: “TREK is and was more adult than STAR WARS.”

And it must really grind your gears that if not for that little breakout hit in 1977, Trek would have continued to languish, at most becoming another inconsistent TV show.

132. JWM - January 8, 2010

#45: “He goes on a murdering spree, killing women and children and you expect me to believe that Padme would act surprised that Anakin did the same exact thing three years later?”
—–
Had cancer been my a tribe when my mother died, I would have killed all of them where they stood. Anakin also expressed remorse. I wrote something about this years ago:

http://blogs.starwars.com/kesseljunkie/49

Read it or don’t.

133. ryanhuyton - January 8, 2010

#131 I actually happen to think that Star Trek and Star Wars were the best things to happen to each other. TOS proved sci-fi can work on t.v while Star Wars opened up many possibilities for other sci-fi properties (including Star Trek) on the big screen. Plus, ILM which began as a company created by George Lucas to provide visual effects for his Star Wars, has done a lot of fine work for various Star Trek movies, including the new one. And Star Trek created a bigger appetite for sci-fi in the 70′s which allowed Star Wars to happen.

134. JWM - January 8, 2010

#66: ” For instance, the city-planet of Coruscant – which we later see in the prequels – was basically Zahn’s creation.”

That’s so wrong it makes me sad. Coruscant was a discarded concept from Return of the Jedi when they decided to tighten the plot so it wasn’t occurring in locations too far away from each other. Ralph McQuarrie even did production paintings for it, including an underground lava lair for the Emperor. Read the annotated screenplays from Laurent Bouzreau to know this, and other fascinating facts.

The leeway Zahn got was to choose whether to go with Coruscant or Had Abaddon for the planet name. Both were bandied about in the early script treatments.

135. JWM - January 8, 2010

#133: I’m sorry, I love Trek, but back then, after being in syndication for a decade, it had nowhere the crossover appeal that would account for the explosion in fantasy/sci fi interest that Star Wars created. At best, it provided the initial audiences that went to conventions to hear Mark H talk it up.

136. ryanhuyton - January 8, 2010

#135 Ummm how about those conventions in the 70′s that happened after Star Trek was put in syndication? Granted, I wasn’t around yet, but from what I heard and read about, there was a growing demand for more Star Trek from people who either weren’t around in the 60′s or didn’t catch it the first time around. While I agree that a large percentage of those who went and saw Star Wars, there still was a significant number of Trekkies who went to see it as well, Im sure. And don’t forget that Paramount was in preproduction on a new Star Trek series came out. After Star Wars came out, Paramount realized then that many trekkies wanted a movie and Paramount felt that was the best way to go to bring back the franchise. While Star Trek has never had (and likely never will) the kind of crossover appeal that Star Wars has, no one can deny that Star Trek had a fairly large impact on the sci-fi scene. Star Trek got the ball rolling then Star Wars took it to the basket for a slam dunk.

137. ryanhuyton - January 8, 2010

Damn, I meant “While I agree that a large percentage of those who went and saw Star Wars weren’t Trekkies, I’m pretty sure there was a significant number of Trekkies who went to see it as well.”

138. JohnWA - January 9, 2010

134-

The concept for the empire’s HQ was originally more Gotham City – perpetually dark and scary – and less what they ended up with. Prequel Coruscant had a fairly normal weather pattern and plenty of sunshine. Lucas also wanted the emperor to run the whole operation from a lava cave deep below in the planet’s core. Running a Galactic Empire from a lava cave never made much sense any way. And I am glad they decided against showing the planet.

He didn’t tell Zahn to pick between Had Abaddon or Coruscant either. In fact, Lucas said in the very book you cited that he “had a million different names for the home planet of the Empire, but Coruscant came out of publishing.” Had Abaddon was only one of many, many, many possibilities. And since he went with it, Coruscant was apparently as good as anything he had in mind.

As for who has the bigger footprint globally, I’ll leave that argument in the capable hands of the Trekkies here. I will say that there are points to be made for both franchises. But I would also point out that neither has made much of an impression outside of the West. If you go to rural China to talk about your love for Star Wars or Star Trek, for example, they’ll look at you as if you were some crazy white man with mental problems.

139. Holger - January 9, 2010

66, 134, 138: Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series from the 1950′s had a Galactic Empire whose capital was Trantor, a planet entirely covered by a city.
If memory serves, when Asimov was asked why he didn’t sue the Star Wars franchise, he replied that he already had more money than he could spend. (Coruscant was only in the novels during Asimov’s lifetimes, of course.)

140. S. John Ross - January 9, 2010

The Clone Wars cartoon _is_ often pretty good, and there’s a simple reason it’s often pretty good: George Lucas is less involved in it.

Same reason Empire Strikes Back is the masterpiece of the original trilogy … it’s the one Lucas seized the least creative control over.

It really is as simple as that.

Lucas is clearly a genius Producer and megagenius Marketeer, but writing and directing are not his consistent strong suits. He seems aware of this on some level … prior to the release of the prequels, he promised that he’d only direct the first, to set the tone, then hand the job off … a promise he ended up backing out on, and I do wonder how things might have been had he kept it.

141. Dom - January 9, 2010

140. Yeah, according to Joe Ezterhas’s book Hollywood Animal, Richard Marquand had a dreadful time on Return of the Jedi. Apparently Lucas spent most of his time hovering behind Marquand, telling him what to shoot, contradicting and undermining him and overruling his decisions!

142. PeterP - January 9, 2010

#127 “If anything is pretentious, than it is to call Star Wars art!”

Why? You might argue that it’s BAD art or SIMPLISTIC art or HACKNEYED art or DERIVATIVE art or add any adjective you choose, but of COURSE it’s art.

Art is an attempt by someone (an artist) to shape an aesthetic experience for others. That’s it. Such an effort doesn’t need to be “good enough” in order to be art any more than a city ordinance has to be “good enough” in order to be a law. A smiley-face stick figure is art. It’s very SIMPLE art, sure, and not very likely to inspire. But it’s art. And so,of course, is “Star Wars.”

Assuming that “Star Wars” isn’t “good enough” or “important enough” to be art (or, excuse me, Art…with a capital A)…now THAT’S pretentious.

143. the Quickening - January 9, 2010

#128
Trek was an entertaining, sci-fi action adventure series that touched on social issues and had some superb, intelligent discussions between its characters.

By the end of the 70s, though, people were acting as if Trek was some kind of religion. Pretentious types applauded the talkiness of the spin-off shows and sneered at the ‘childishness’ of TOS with its fistfights, action scenes and witty banter.

——————————

It still is entertaining. Only a small portion of fans, the TV episodes and movies can lay claim to the pretentious and religious. You are using too big a brush to paint your opinions in my view. TOS–still my favorite–was more cartoon-action based than, say, TNG, DS9 and ENTERPRISE. VOYAGER, like TOS, was also more cartoon-action based.

The times forced another “kind” of TREK to be made: a more drama-based product, rather than the juvenile-comic book product that I grew up with, say like LOST IN SPACE, LAND OF THE GIANTS, etc. Growing up, what I liked about TOS, was it seemed more mature and adult than most of the sci-fi of its time. However, the quality sci-fi of the 80s and beyond: TNG, DS9, BABYLON 5, THE X FILES, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (redo), seem more adult and less “fun” and “adventurous”–as you say, than the juvenile STAR WARS and the old sci-fi I viewed as a kid, including TOS. If you are calling this contemporary, less fun, mature, drama-laced, sci-fi approach, pretentious, that is your right. I still say it’s merely more adult.

As to your point about talkiness: drama, in and of itself, is going to be “talky”. That’s simply it’s nature–especially on television and theater, where budgetary restraint make for more conservative ways (dialogue) to get across plot and character points in the story.

#128
Star Trek is what it is: fun, sexy, adventurous, sci-fi action series with a healthy dash of philosophical discussion.

——————————

And that’s what it still is. TNG, DS9 and ENTERPRISE just removed the cartoonish, juvenility and focused on attempting to make adult drama. If all this new TREK television has shortcomings, it’s in the lack of quality and failure as drama, not because it’s not fun, sexy, and adventurous. I think it is. It’s just not silly. Thank god for that too, otherwise, most TV TREK would have come off like VOYAGER and bad MACGYVER episodes. God forbid.

#128
STAR WARS fans (annoying as many of them can be!) are at least honest about their unabashed love of their saga. A lot of Trek fans seem somewhat embarrassed about their love of the franchise and appear to feel that they need to talk up its ‘importance’ in order to justify loving it!

—————————-

STAR WARS is a cartoon and a fantasy. Of course it’s going to appear less important. It’s treatment and respect follow suit. TREK is an attempt to show our history and future, and therefore a more emotional attachment is going to exist. To call this dishonesty is unfair and judgmental. Yes, too much is made of the “positive future” bit, and a small percentage of fans do go overboard, but that’s the nature of fans to one degree or another.

144. the Quickening - January 9, 2010

#131
And it must really grind your gears that if not for that little breakout hit in 1977, Trek would have continued to languish, at most becoming another inconsistent TV show.

——————————————-

Actually no. Doesn’t grind any gears.

I’d like to clear up this matter, as I’m sure many have before. This notion that new TREK would not have been made if not for STAR WARS is utterly false. An expensive TREK movie at that time would not have been made. I give you that. But, some form of TREK was coming. Plans for new TREK were already being discussed, before STAR WARS and that is an historic fact! So, can we please drop the spread of this wildly inaccurate info.

145. JWM - January 9, 2010

#144: “But, some form of TREK was coming”

Yep – a TV show. That was in development Hell and having trouble getting off the ground and would likely have been cancelled within three seasons again. Star Wars created an appetite among the *general population* that Trek did not, but was available for Paramount to exploit.

What you are doing is taking an item out of context to force it to support your argument. You have to look at the extant cultural and historical situation to analyze why your franchise was able to be resurrected *successfully*.

Which, oddly enough, would tie into the point of Lucas’ book.

I’m a fan of both franchises (though Star Wars is my first love) but hard core Trek fans lack any and all historical perspective. You all can, in fact, be so delusional at times that you think technology itself would have halted had it not been for TOS.

Communicators did not lead to cell phones. Cell phones would have existed regardless of Trek. As would computer disks. As would microwave cannons that can be used to disperse crowds. As would science fiction.

146. JWM - January 9, 2010

#Oh whatever, you know who you are:

“As to your point about talkiness: drama, in and of itself, is going to be “talky”. That’s simply it’s nature–especially on television and theater, where budgetary restraint make for more conservative ways (dialogue) to get across plot and character points in the story.”

Good grief. Good “talkiness” movies = Glengarry Glen Ross, The Godfather Parts I & II, and the like.

Bad “talkiness” = any movie edited poorly, slowly paced and would have been able to tell the same story just as effectively in less time like a book that needed a new editor willing to make cuts. You know, like TMP.

147. JWM - January 9, 2010

#136: “Ummm how about those conventions in the 70’s that happened after Star Trek was put in syndication?”

Well, gosh, I guess Gene Roddenberry was smart enough to market the Hell out of the only idea he ever had that even a small portion of the population liked.

Roddenberry wasn’t altruistic – he was trying to make a dollar and a cent any way that he could.

148. Dom - January 9, 2010

143. the Quickening: ‘If you are calling this contemporary, less fun, mature, drama-laced, sci-fi approach, pretentious, that is your right. I still say it’s merely more adult.’

No. Again, you’re missing my point: I’m saying that people who try to argue that Star Trek is in some way more important than it is are pretentious! I don’t automatically consider shows that gab the whole way through to be more adult. Indeed, the Trek spin-off shows were several steps more juvenile for their often politically-naive tub-thumping.

TOS was an action-driven sci-fi show with good dialogue and a strong moral centre. It was a grown up, intelligent show. Later Treks were more like children pretending to be adults, forcing issues to the forefront rather than intelligently approaching the subject via allegory. It was like having a fifteen-year-old animal rights activist on your TV and was a complete betrayal of what many of us considered to be Star Trek.

I love TOS for its action scenes, humour, sexy women, the great interplay between Kirk, Spock and McCoy and its fun secondary cast lead by Scotty. The philosophical debates a part of the mix but far from the main reason I tuned in. More than anything, it was cool to be in outer space and walking on strange new worlds.

I’m not ashamed of liking Star Trek. Sadly many Star Trek fans seem embarrassed in their everyday life about liking the show and have to use the philosophical debates to justify liking the shows, rather than admit they watch it for action scenes, humour, sexy women and Kirk, Spock and McCoy.

Star Wars fans aren’t embarrassed to be Star Wars fans. Good for them!

149. Rick James - January 10, 2010

Clone Wars, what a pointless pre-quel. I love spoiling the end of Clone Wars for little kids that like the show however. Something along the lines of: whatever the Jedi do doesn’t matter. They will all die at the end and Anakin will kill many of them. Plus Palpatine will become the Evil Emperor and take over the Old Republic. The looks little kid’s faces make is priceless.

150. Dom - January 10, 2010

149. Rick James: Is that before or after you steal their sweets and tell them there’s no Santa Claus?! ;)

151. the Quickening - January 10, 2010

#148
No. Again, you’re missing my point: I’m saying that people who try to argue that Star Trek is in some way more important than it is are pretentious! I don’t automatically consider shows that gab the whole way through to be more adult. Indeed, the Trek spin-off shows were several steps more juvenile for their often politically-naive tub-thumping.

————————————

As I said above, most fans aren’t focusing on the pretensions in regards to TREK, except perhaps the ultra fanatical and the ultra fanatical, should NEVER be used as an example and representative of ANY group.

Many fans in most franchises exaggerate, externalize their heroes and passions in the form of dressing up, writing literature, going to conventions, etc. TREK fans are no different. The tricky thing about TREK is, because it deals with possible ideas, concepts and philosophy in the future–and always has–those who focus on those elements, appear more serious and pretentious. I don’t think they are a negative thing so long as they are not fanatical about them. Those are simply elements that fans like about TREK, but not the only ones that make up STAR TREK. My issue with you is, you keep using that point (pretensions) to color the STAR TREK product and it’s fans as a whole, especially regarding the latter TV series and that is not true. Yes, Roddenberry took his positive view of the future too far, especially with TNG, but DS9, ENTERPRISE and the movies did not. Roddenberry had little to do with the latter products and it shows.

I guess I prefer drama over comic book sensibility, and don’t feel DS9 or TNG gabbed their whole way through each episode. They were intelligently written, drama-based series that balanced TREK ideas, action and drama. Being character and drama based, requires more gab–an element of all TV drama.

I would use the words “naive”, “idealistic” and “exaggerated”, for the Trek spin-off shows’ “politically tub-thumping”. Not juvenile. The Flash Gordon, cartoon-action-suspense, and overly-melodramatic-soap opera-dramatic approach of TOS, I would call juvenile. A matter of taste I guess.

#148
TOS was an action-driven sci-fi show with good dialogue and a strong moral centre. It was a grown up, intelligent show. Later Treks were more like children pretending to be adults, forcing issues to the forefront rather than intelligently approaching the subject via allegory. It was like having a fifteen-year-old animal rights activist on your TV and was a complete betrayal of what many of us considered to be Star Trek.

I love TOS for its action scenes, humour, sexy women, the great interplay between Kirk, Spock and McCoy and its fun secondary cast lead by Scotty. The philosophical debates a part of the mix but far from the main reason I tuned in. More than anything, it was cool to be in outer space and walking on strange new worlds.

————————————–

Some episodes of latter series did that (as did TOS), but not anywhere near the amount so that you can color those series and episodes as you have.

I liked TOS series also, and for many of the reasons you listed above, but to do that kind of TV series in the 80s and even now, would and would have taken an enormously talented person and group of artist to pull off. I won’t go so far as to say it wouldn’t work, but I wouldn’t bet on it working either. TREK had to grow as a dramatic TV property and using an action format (VOYAGER, anyone?) or a too obvious allegorical approach, or simply copying TOS period, would and would have been creatively empty. Do I think the latter series could have been better? Yes, but I still thought they were very good shows and we were luck to have had them.

#148
I’m not ashamed of liking Star Trek. Sadly many Star Trek fans seem embarrassed in their everyday life about liking the show and have to use the philosophical debates to justify liking the shows, rather than admit they watch it for action scenes, humour, sexy women and Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
Star Wars fans aren’t embarrassed to be Star Wars fans. Good for them!

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STAR WARS is more mainstream, so the likelihood of being embarrassed is practically none existent. TREK is smaller and therefore suffers from more cult-like denouncement. The embarrassment–in my view–comes from the exaggerated behavior of a small group of fans, NOT the “action scenes, humour, sexy women and Kirk, Spock and McCoy.” I just don’t see many fans using the philosophical elements of TREK as a cover for liking it. You’re on the wrong track there.

152. MacTrek - January 10, 2010

“Generational thing? – Lucas’ point about how the recent Star Wars prequels were the favorites of a younger generation may be surprising, but it is true. It is hard to understand for some old school fans (like myself), but the prequels are the preferred ‘Star Wars’ for a generation.”

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I have a similar translation of his prequels as well. Even though it doesn’t talk to my (possibly our) generation, the prequels do speak to younger children. If you consider who the audience in which he was speaking to, George was very successful in executing his plans. When the “Clone Wars” animated series came out on Cartoon Network, I finally got what he was actually doing. While watching hundreds of hardcore fans screaming to the sky, I stood back and said, “Wait! I am not his intended audience. Not anymore, and I am okay with that.” It allowed me to appreciate the original trilogy more as an adult; thus, giving me the insight and understanding of why he took this direction. As a result of catering to a younger generation, he has made “Star Wars” more accessible to a wider audience.

I can live with that.

153. MacTrek - January 10, 2010

# 151

“STAR WARS is more mainstream, so the likelihood of being embarrassed is practically none existent. TREK is smaller and therefore suffers from more cult-like denouncement. The embarrassment–in my view–comes from the exaggerated behavior of a small group of fans, NOT the “action scenes, humour, sexy women and Kirk, Spock and McCoy.” I just don’t see many fans using the philosophical elements of TREK as a cover for liking it. You’re on the wrong track there.”

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“Star Trek” has always been a larger but conservative franchise. “Star Wars” has always been the smaller but more bigger than life franchise. Each one speaks to a different part of ourselves. Science-fiction-fantasy (Star Wars) is more whimsical than straight forward science-fiction (Star Trek).

Even though I rationalize my loyalty with the “Star Trek” franchise based upon it use of philosophy, science, and literature, I mostly watch the show because its entertaining. It does carry a philosophical element, which explores the human condition. However, the combination of all of its elements (found in “Star Trek: TOS, DS9, & TNG) has always drawn me into watching.

I think many of the fans are upset about the continuous usage of recycled stories, characters, species, and other elements, which we originally admired about the franchise form the start. Repetitious elements is what killed people’s attention span. What the franchise really needs is to open up to the next century (25th century); thus, allowing the evolution of stories to unfold without interfering with previously established history. New worlds, technologies, and everything else. Heck, they can start off with a younger crew.

If my intuition is telling me this the right way, most of the gripe is from not going forward in the first place.

154. Dom - January 11, 2010

151. the Quickening

Thing is even the ‘@$$hole fans’ – the sort of extremist embarrassing types who actually hope to get laid by dressing up as Chancellor Gorkon or Lursa for a black tie dinner party – are having fun. FUN!!!

Y’know what? I’m probably just as big a loser myself in a lot of ways, but I think Star Trek is fun too. I loathe the serious types who actually buy into this crap that Star Trek is somehow about bringing about a future utopia of the kind propaganidised in TNG. They’re the ones who scare me and they’re the ones who stole Star Trek from fans of the original shows by pursuing it with the cold fury of the true fanatics.

And, for what it’s worth, had TNG not existed and Voyager had come first, I’d take that crew of whacked-out spacebums over the TNG Space Nazis any day! Voyager was the better show by several million gazillion parsecs!! It’s just a shame that many of its stories had already been done (in a far worse production) starting seven years before!

155. captain_neill - January 12, 2010

Dom

Please stop the TNG bashing

whay is it if a fan hates the new movie they are called a treoll but anyone criticises the spin offs this is ok to do.

Seems a bit bias at times.

156. the Quickening - January 12, 2010

#154
Thing is even the ‘@$$hole fans’ – the sort of extremist embarrassing types who actually hope to get laid by dressing up as Chancellor Gorkon or Lursa for a black tie dinner party – are having fun. FUN!!!

Y’know what? I’m probably just as big a loser myself in a lot of ways, but I think Star Trek is fun too. I loathe the serious types who actually buy into this crap that Star Trek is somehow about bringing about a future utopia of the kind propaganidised in TNG. They’re the ones who scare me and they’re the ones who stole Star Trek from fans of the original shows by pursuing it with the cold fury of the true fanatics.

And, for what it’s worth, had TNG not existed and Voyager had come first, I’d take that crew of whacked-out spacebums over the TNG Space Nazis any day! Voyager was the better show by several million gazillion parsecs!! It’s just a shame that many of its stories had already been done (in a far worse production) starting seven years before!

——————————————-

I think adult and drama focused movies like PLANET OF THE APES, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, or television shows like the new BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and THE X FILES are also fun. Their just less cartoon-based. They just have a more realistic tone. I guess it comes down to what your idea of fun is.

Those who get into the TREK philosophy are having fun too. They are externalizing that fun when they discuss and theorize about TREK utopian concepts, just like those who dress up are externalizing their fun in collecting ship schematics or dressing like their favorite characters, or creating a Klingon language. Where the difference? You loathe fans who get into the TREK philosophy, others loathe those who choose to sit in their basements and dress up like their favorite characters. Some may loathe both, or neither, or some other facet of TREK. Each is having and expressing their “fun” in different ways, from different elements of TREK.

I’ve been a TOS fan since the beginning and have never been a fan of the design of the ENTERPRISE. It looks like it was designed by three design teams who never met to compare notes. (Indeed, one of my biggest disappointment of the new movie was the fact that they didn’t radically redesign that ship.) I guess my point is, I can overlook that, and still enjoy TOS. As a fan, I hope you too can overlook the part of TREK you don’t like, pretentiousness, and just enjoy the stories. TNG and DS9 produced some fantastic episodes. If you haven’t seen them, give them a try, or if you have, re-watch them. Just divorce yourself from Roddenberry’s overzealous propagandizing. I think you can still have a lot of fun.

Do you really believe TNG, DS9 actually stole Star Trek from fans of the original shows? See TNG crew as “Space Nazis”? Wow. Don’t you think you’re exaggerating? Producing too many undesirable products (VOYAGER, ENTERPRISE, INSURRECTION, NEMESIS) destroyed TREK. Not the utopian philosophy. That element simply gives TREK a little gravity and weight, nothing more. With or without it, TREK can still be enjoyed.

Thanks.

157. the Quickening - January 12, 2010

#153
“Star Trek” has always been a larger but conservative franchise. “Star Wars” has always been the smaller but more bigger than life franchise….

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By smaller, I meant in the public eye, in popularity and profits–especially worldwide. STAR WARS is hugh around the world, TREK simply is not.

#153
I think many of the fans are upset about the continuous usage of recycled stories, characters, species, and other elements, which we originally admired about the franchise form the start. Repetitious elements is what killed people’s attention span. What the franchise really needs is to open up to the next century (25th century); thus, allowing the evolution of stories to unfold without interfering with previously established history. New worlds, technologies, and everything else. Heck, they can start off with a younger crew.

————————-

I agree completely. My gripe with TREK continues to be not taking advantage of developing it’s fictional universe. With the exception of DS9, all TREK has been the same old format; characters on a star ship, exploring. I’m hoping that any future TREK will expand the fictional world so we can see it’s details. Map and branch out it’s universe and tell stories based on other corners and facets of that universe. In my opinion, BABYLON 5, STAR WARS and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA have done a better job. Of course, when the majority of your stories are about exploring and dealing with others not in your family or surroundings, it’s hard to focus on “home”, but I think it’s time TREK gets down to doing that.

158. Dom - January 12, 2010

155. captain_neill: ‘Please stop the TNG bashing
whay is it if a fan hates the new movie they are called a treoll but anyone criticises the spin offs this is ok to do.
Seems a bit bias at times.’

Not really. Read my many posts on this site from its beginning. My criticisms of TNG are reasoned and always backed up. I’ll happily debate the subject with anyone who cares to take me on!

You of all people with whom I’ve enjoyed engaging in discussion ought to know better, so I’ll thank you for not saying I’m a troll, which would imply I’m simply saying ‘TNG sucks!!’ in order to p!ss people off . . . although it’s a fun by-product sometimes! ;)

I always have my tongue in my cheek when I discuss TNG anyway. I like a lot of DS9, Voyager and Enterprise, although I haven’t seen every single episode of those three. I have DS9 on my shelf and will look at it when I’ve finished TOS on Blu-ray. I have, however watched TNG in its entirety more than once and my opinion of it has dropped each time. Each time I’ve become convinced that it represents a huge misstep for the Star Trek franchise and it’s significant that every subsequent spin-off tried to hearken back to TOS, albeit infected by the woolly Federation universe of TNG (which I consider as separate a universe as the new movie’s universe from the original.)

Quite simply, to refer to what 156. the Quickening, said (‘Helloooooo!’ by the way, if you’re reading!) I can’t just divorce myself from Roddenberry’s overzealous propagandising. In TNG it’s forced into every story. Rodders had some good ideas, but TOS represented the work of many people and that gave its views some depth and sanity.

Roddenberry’s personal, ‘pure’, refined, revisionist version of Star Trek was actually rather scary, culminating in us being expected to see Nikolai Roschenko as wrong-headed for saving a few people from a dying world when the Federation, in its arrogance, deliberately allowed an innocent race to be wiped out, using the Prime Directive (in TOS a guideline rather than a fixed immutable law) as an excuse! In the end jaw-jaw doesn’t make something grown up: the long-term actions of the characters speak volumes. And for all the people the TNG crew helped, there’s still a desolate planet that’s a gravestone to an entire race the Federation could have saved but wouldn’t!

Thing is, I like a lot of TNG – stories like The Inner Light are magical – but I simply feel that it’s a completely separate entity that used the name Star Trek and a bit of TOS terminology to get sold. It’s a perfectly decent sci-fi show, but it isn’t Star Trek!

159. Rosie - February 2, 2010

["Nothing against Christopher Lee, but Dooku just didn't have the same impact that Maul did. ...... "]

Really? I thought Dooku had a bigger impact than Darth Maul. Maul just looked cool and had kick-ass moves in his lightsaber duel. But as a character, he was one-dimensional to me. Is that how many STAR WARS fans liked their villains? One dimensional and “cool”?

160. Star Wars Stuff » Yoda Jedi Master Star Wars Spinning Attack Figure - February 9, 2010

[...] George Lucas Talks Star Wars Critiques – A Lesson For Star Trek … [...]

161. Steve - August 3, 2010

“Popcorn pictures have always ruled. Why do people go see these popcorn pictures when they’re not good? Why is the public so stupid? That’s not my fault. I just understood what people like to go see, and Steven has, too, and we go for that.” – George Lucas

The lesson is that even the creator of Star Wars thinks people who like Star Wars are stupid. Here endeth the lesson.

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