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George Lucas Talks Star Wars Critiques – A Lesson For Star Trek?

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..

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.

 

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Noel
January 6, 2010 1:57 pm

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.

January 6, 2010 2:00 pm

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.

Mark Anton
January 6, 2010 2:01 pm

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.

cbspock
January 6, 2010 2:01 pm

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

Mark Anton
January 6, 2010 2:01 pm

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.

cbspock
January 6, 2010 2:04 pm

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

Nick Cook
January 6, 2010 2:06 pm

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.

Chadwick
January 6, 2010 2:08 pm

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.

Alf, in pog form
January 6, 2010 2:14 pm

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

Anthony L.
January 6, 2010 2:18 pm

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.

Wonderboy
January 6, 2010 2:21 pm

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

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
January 6, 2010 2:23 pm

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.

Captain Stark
January 6, 2010 2:24 pm

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.

Jim Smith
January 6, 2010 2:35 pm

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.

Nick Cook
January 6, 2010 2:37 pm

#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.

screaming satellite
January 6, 2010 2:45 pm

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)

January 6, 2010 2:50 pm

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.

ensign joe
January 6, 2010 2:51 pm

“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?

ix9000
January 6, 2010 3:09 pm

18.

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

‘A Klingon!!!”
-Lieutenant Grant

Spectre_7
January 6, 2010 3:21 pm

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

spb
January 6, 2010 3:35 pm

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.

spb
January 6, 2010 3:36 pm

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

Ran
January 6, 2010 3:54 pm

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.

January 6, 2010 3:55 pm

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

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

Lukas CZ
January 6, 2010 3:58 pm

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.

SpockOut
January 6, 2010 4:04 pm

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.

Anthony L.
January 6, 2010 4:05 pm

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.

Alec
January 6, 2010 4:15 pm

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.

MagicDan
January 6, 2010 4:35 pm

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.

MagicDan
January 6, 2010 4:37 pm

And…….

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

January 6, 2010 4:39 pm

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.

Sean
January 6, 2010 4:52 pm

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.).

Admiral Shatner
January 6, 2010 5:00 pm

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.

I'm Dead Jim
January 6, 2010 5:00 pm

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

JWM
January 6, 2010 5:01 pm

#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.

spb
January 6, 2010 5:03 pm

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

JWM
January 6, 2010 5:05 pm

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.

Mantastic
January 6, 2010 5:29 pm

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.

Shunnabunich
January 6, 2010 5:37 pm

#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.

Kevin Rubio
January 6, 2010 5:55 pm

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.

Syn4Ever
January 6, 2010 6:01 pm

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

Anthony Thompson
January 6, 2010 6:30 pm

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.

January 6, 2010 6:49 pm
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… Read more »
January 6, 2010 7:08 pm

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!

MikeTen
January 6, 2010 7:09 pm

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.

spb
January 6, 2010 7:32 pm

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.

DonDonP1
January 6, 2010 7:37 pm

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”.

Christine
January 6, 2010 7:46 pm

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.

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