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Old 12-04-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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The Dark Side of George Lucas

Profile of George Lucas by Time Magazine contributor Denise Worrell

Quote:
George Lucas slouches on a couch in the area office of his home in the rolling, oak and bay covered hills north of South San Francisco. The 39 year old creator of Star Wars looks limp and worn and almost never smiles. He has lost 20 pounds in the last 6 months. He's wearing faded brown, slightly bell bottomed jeans, an oversized shirt and a brown vest. His glasses are brown. His brown hair and beard are flecked with grey. “I am burned out I am burned out period” Lucas says. I was burned out a couple of years ago and I've been going on forward momentum ever since. Star Wars has dominated my life, sort of grabbed it and taken it over against my will. I've got to get my life back again before it's too late. The sacrifices that had to make it this point are greater than what I wanted to make, ultimately.

Whatever personal sacrifices Lucas has made, he and his pal, Steven Spielberg will go down in film history as Hollywood’s 2 most popular film makers. Star Wars (1977) and the Empire Strikes Back (1980) rank number 2 and number 3 on the list of all time biggest money makers. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), a Lucas idea and story, executive produced by Lucas and directed by Spielberg, is number 5. Lucas’ American Graffiti (1973), is loosely based on his own experiences as a small town adolescent racing souped-up cars, is one of the most profitable movies ever made. It cost universal 780,000 dollars to produce and has grossed more than $145 million worldwide. And Lucas's upcoming Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, the third in the trilogy, looks to be no less a blockbuster then its brethren.

But George Lucas is tired. Soon he will rest. Earned it he has. He says, my life, once I got into film school in 1965, was like pushing a 147 car train up a very steep slope. It was push, push, push. I pushed it all the way up there and then Star Wars came and I reach the top. I jumped on board and started going down the other side, and I've had the brakes on ever since, pulling and pulling on all these levers, with the wheels screeching and screaming trying to stop. There's no way the brakes are ever going to stop it, and it's all been work, work, work. I'm about to jump train. I've got this slim chance right now to decide whether I'm ever going to climb back on again and see if I can find some level terrain for the train to travel on.

I am afraid that if I did another Star Wars movie now, I'd be straying from my path. To me that would be like being seduced by the dark side, but more than anything else, I think I'd be unhappy. Star Wars is a book. I look at the movies as 3 chapters in a book. I have made the last chapter and put the book on the shelf. I wanted to finish it so I could say, The End. Up to this point it has been incomplete. Whether or not I'm going to write another book, I have to decide. This book practically killed me. I didn't know after I did the first chapter if I could finish the book or not. I was ready to quit then. I wanted to quit then. But I kidded myself into thinking that if I stopped directing, it would be like quitting. I thought I could just over see it. But it didn't work that way. Star Wars is so uniquely my vision and so incredibly complicated to do that I ended up having to get involved. It's bigger than what 1 or 2 or 3 people can do. It needs a giant team of people. I relinquished endless control. It didn't bother me to give up the control dash I couldn't have kept it.

End of Part 1

I'm working out a speech recognition application, so I figured this would be worth while.

This represents a page and a half of twenty two.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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This is an article from, oh.... 1983.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I'm working out a speech recognition application, so I figured this would be worth while.

I don't follow.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Worrell
George Lucas slouches on a couch in the area office of his home...


Typical magazine journo introduction.

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Originally Posted by Denise Worrell/George Lucas
The 39 year old creator of Star Wars looks limp and worn and almost never smiles... “I am burned out I am burned out period” Lucas says. I was burned out a couple of years ago and I've been going on forward momentum ever since. Star Wars has dominated my life, sort of grabbed it and taken it over against my will. I've got to get my life back again before it's too late. The sacrifices that had to make it this point are greater than what I wanted to make, ultimately.

...I am afraid that if I did another Star Wars movie now, I'd be straying from my path. To me that would be like being seduced by the dark side, but more than anything else, I think I'd be unhappy.

So this is what explains the Ewoks in ROTJ? And why the Special Editions (and later alterations) were misjudged and the Prequels so lacklustre?


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Originally Posted by Denise Worrell/George Lucas
It didn't bother me to give up the control dash I couldn't have kept it.

But he did effectively keep it. For almost another three decades.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
I don't follow.
Who's the more foolish? The Fool or the fool who follows him?
Yeah Ol' George became exactly what he didn't want to become, which is both sad and disappointing.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
I don't follow.

Rocko's going to read us a bedtime story, which will turn magically into text!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryJunior
Yeah Ol' George became exactly what he didn't want to become, which is both sad and disappointing.

The seeds of doubt did start to emerge quite early, didn't they?
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:27 AM   #7
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The profiles were not originally written for publication...but used solely by the writer in New York for the basis of the story that will appear in the Magazine, (Time).

Quote:
As it was, I could barely oversee these films. It is hard to describe the amount of detail, the amount of work involved. It's a 3 year deadline with 2 years of really concentrated, serious work involved, 10 to 12 hours a day 6 days a week. There are 2 periods of 4 or 5 months in those years when the work is 16 to 18 hours a day. You get not much more than 5 hours of sleep a night. And that's hard. On Sunday you're wiped out and you're still thinking about the movie. People usually don't understand the implications of what I'm saying, living this way, day after day, but it's awesome. You can do it for a couple of months, but year after year it gets to be grim. I've been doing it for god knows how long. It's more and more pressure and I'm more and more unhappy and tired and exhausted and dragging home endless problems at the end of the day. I'm not having much fun. It's all work. It's very anxiety ridden, very hard very frustrating and relentless. The extent to which ones personal life is usurped cannot be overestimated. It has made me less of a happy person then I think I could be. It has disrupted my family life. I have a wife and a 2 year old daughter, and they are the most important things in my life. My family is it for me. Amanda is 2 years old now, and she's magic. She is this little girl and she ain't going to wait for me. She's going, she's growing. The last thing in the world I want is to turn around and have her be 18 and say Hi Dad, where have you been all my life?

I thought it would get better after Star Wars but it hasn't. It's just gotten worse. The anxieties and the frustrations get worse as you get more removed. I'm afraid I'll end up at the end of my life saying, well that's all I've done. Sure, there's a creative high in fixing a sequence, but there's a much bigger high in holding your daughter. Raising a child is a much more significant accomplishment to me then having made the movies. I just wish I could figure out how to do them both at the same time. I love Star Wars. I think it's great but I just don't want to sacrifice my entire life for it. I don't want to be and all consumed workaholic. I want to enjoy the better things in life like a normal person. Just say, go out and stand on a hill and enjoy life. I really am lazy. A lazy person would rather not be doing what I'm doing. I am lazy unless forced to get going, and I've really been forced to get going.

I don't think I'll ever let other people take over the Star Wars movies If I don't do them. I'd rather not have them done then have them be done badly. I'm not going to turn it into Planet of the Apes. This story is finished and whether I go on and do another story, Who knows? If they are done at all, I'll do them or find someone like Steven Spielberg, who is willing to do the next 3. But it would have to be someone like Stephen whom I have complete confidence in. I don't know if I'd ever find somebody else like that. The important thing is this finishes it for me. I can walk away from the whole thing now and get my personal life in order. I'm going to put my company, Lucasfilm on hold for the next 2 years. I'm going to take a 2 year sabbatical and try to make my life full and rewarding. I want to relax, go to the movies, learn more about computers study social psychology and architecture. I want to do a little writing. To read a book has been a luxury beyond anything I've been able to know. There is more to life the movies and work, no matter what the accomplishment. Star Wars is an accomplishment. It's a thing and it exists. I created a small work that stands on its own that is what it is. Its given people a certain amount of joy in a certain time of history. In 1000 years, 10,000 years it will be nothing more than that pretty minor footnote in the pop culture of the 1970's and 1980's. I have to decide what my next accomplishment is going to be.

End of Part 2

I figured since I can't find the article online, and I'm vetting voice recog for a project, it would serve an additional purpose or two including being an interesting read concerning the period between Raiders and Doom.

83
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Worrell/George Lucas
The 39 year old creator of Star Wars looks limp and worn and almost never smiles... “I am burned out I am burned out period” Lucas says. "I was burned out a couple of years ago and I've been going on forward momentum ever since. Star Wars has dominated my life, sort of grabbed it and taken it over against my will."
This reminds me of what his buddy, Coppola, said in a "60 Minutes" segment just before "Phantom Menace" was released.

Francis Ford Coppola: "I feel that 'Star Wars' has robbed America of one of its greatest directors".
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Rocko's going to read us a bedtime story...
Mutt: "...better than a glass of warm milk." (Just joshin', Rocket!)
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I figured since I can't find the article online, and I'm vetting voice recog for a project, it would serve an additional purpose or two including being an interesting read concerning the period between Raiders and Doom.

Gotcha. Pretty cool.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Worrell/George Lucas
I don't think I'll ever let other people take over the Star Wars movies If I don't do them. I'd rather not have them done then have them be done badly.

These were fine comments made by a possessive creator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Worrell/George Lucas
I'm not going to turn it into Planet of the Apes.

However, after Lucas went 'Tim Burton' with his own prequels it comes as no surpise that he would finally lose patience and give the whole lot away to Diseny!
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
However, after Lucas went 'Tim Burton' with his own prequels
I was wondering how you were going to handle Lucas insulting your girl. I guess you'd have to say Tim Burton went "Lucas" on his remake, but I don't get your meaning.

I've noticed how Lucas went "Apes" on Indy, but not Star Wars...

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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
...it comes as no surpise that he would finally lose patience and give the whole lot away to Diseny!
He sold before he lost half to Obama.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryJunior
Yeah Ol' George became exactly what he didn't want to become, which is both sad and disappointing.
I have the feeling George is doing exactly what he wants. He's just not getting the exposure of the hippie commune like he used to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
The seeds of doubt did start to emerge quite early, didn't they?
Nah, he's in the midst of losing those creative influences he started with. At this point he's publicly (at least) co-opting his wife's wishes. Soon it'll be all him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Rocko's going to read us a bedtime story, which will turn magically into text!
It's actually pretty cool! If only I could get it to stop substituting "cheese" for "she's," which, come to think of it is going to make for a distasteful detraction somewhere down the line...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
This reminds me of what his buddy, Coppola, said in a "60 Minutes" segment just before "Phantom Menace" was released.

Francis Ford Coppola: "I feel that 'Star Wars' has robbed America of one of its greatest directors".
I see a lot of truth in that. Star Wars was supposed to finance experimental films, but he realized it could finance an entire Studio. Wife + Child + Studio Mogul ≠ Happy Family. Lucas became the daddy of a new family, a business family called LFL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
Mutt: "...better than a glass of warm milk." (Just joshin', Rocket!)
Just put out the cigarette...and pay attention!

Last edited by Rocket Surgeon : 12-06-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I was wondering how you were going to handle Lucas insulting your girl. I guess you'd have to say Tim Burton went "Lucas" on his remake, but I don't get your meaning.

Just that there's 'classic' Apes, which were good even when they were bad, and then there's Tim Burton's Apes which was just bad.

Classic Star Wars was good, even when it included Ewoks. Prequel Star Wars was just bad, like Burton's Apes!
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Classic Star Wars was good, even when it included Ewoks.

It wasn't.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #14
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Even now, on the eve of the movie's release, Lucas doesn't know if Return of the Jedi is any good. A chronic pessimist, (a recurring line in Star Wars is, I have a bad feeling about this), Lucas says, we didn't know until 2 weeks ago when an audience saw it whether the film worked or not. I feel the same way I did about Star Wars - it is either the worst film or the best film. There is just no way to know. I'm still not sure. When you're working on it, you just have no way of knowing. I'm so wrapped up in it and I've worked so hard, I've lost sight of the thing. I mean, here I've got a 10 year old story- that's pretty old - and it was written as a dumb kind of thing, and suddenly it's become this giant phenomenon and you say, well, gee, is this going to live up to... Shouldn't there be more? Maybe I should redo the whole thing. Maybe I... gee , maybe this isn't what everybody thought it was supposed to be. I feel more confident about the film then I did about The Empire Strikes Back. Empire was a big risk. It was a departure. It didn't have an ending. This has an ending. This is more of an "up" movie. Empire was a "down" movie. But I am really worried about this too. Well, they've seen 2 already; maybe they're going to be tired of it. And, well gee, is it going to pay off? So you finally get to the end of the shaggy dog story, and then everybody says, is that it? I thought a lot about whether I should try to do something else, but then I said, what the heck, this is the way the film was written, this is what the film is. Well, that's all there was.

Return of the Jedi is the climax of the trilogy, and both Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back build up to it. Jedi also has 3 times the budget and nearly twice the number of special effects that Star Wars had. Initially, 20th Century Fox allotted Star Wars, which Lucas both wrote and directed, $3.5 Million . The figure was upped to $10 Million, and the movie came in at between $10 and $11 Million. Empire cost $25 million . Irvin Kershner directed it. Jedi, directed by Richard Marquand, will have a final price tag of about $32 Million. Lucas was the executive producer of both Empire and Jedi. Star Wars had 545 special effects, compared to Empire's 763 and Jedi's 942.

The movies got bigger and bigger largely because the Wizards at LucasFilm's special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), kept making breakthroughs in technology just to translate Lucas' vision onto film. Lucas, with his driving perfectionism, was finally able to do in Jedi what he had wanted to do in Star Wars. Jedi was the hardest of the 3 films, technically and logistically, Lucas says. At every level it was harder. Special effects, for example. In Star Wars, the battles in space were faked, done by sleight of hand editorially. There were only 1 or 2 ships in each shot and there was no continuity between shots - a ship couldn't fly from one shot into another. There were very few ships, and the ships moved slowly, and the moves were simple. In Jedi, each shot has 30 or 40 ships, they're all moving continually between shots, and their moves are very complicated. You can say, why bother to change if the special effects worked in the first film? That's what I wanted the first film to be, and I had to see if we could actually accomplish it. Plus the audience has become more sophisticated and the space battles in this film are the way the audience will remember them in Star Wars.

End of Part 3
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Worrell/George Lucas
Even now, on the eve of the movie's release, Lucas doesn't know if Return of the Jedi is any good. A chronic pessimist, (a recurring line in Star Wars is, I have a bad feeling about this), Lucas says, we didn't know until 2 weeks ago when an audience saw it whether the film worked or not. I feel the same way I did about Star Wars - it is either the worst film or the best film. There is just no way to know. I'm still not sure. When you're working on it, you just have no way of knowing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
...being an interesting read concerning the period between Raiders and Doom.

Lucas' chronic artistic self-doubt was being recorded at a time shortly before Temple of Doom, a film which both he and Spielberg considered got away from them, and went to darker places than they intended.

In Lucas' words that doubt is something that's been with him since at least 1977, yet the success of Jedi didn't lift him for Doom. Hard to believe, but his wiki bio relates that Lucas was having "cash-flow difficulties" following his 1983 divorce "concurrent with the sudden dropoff in revenues from Star Wars licenses following the release of Return of the Jedi." The last part I can believe because after the hype of Jedi sales of Kenner's Star Wars figures slowed down and finally ended in 1985.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Worrell/George Lucas
I'm so wrapped up in it and I've worked so hard, I've lost sight of the thing. I mean, here I've got a 10 year old story- that's pretty old - and it was written as a dumb kind of thing, and suddenly it's become this giant phenomenon and you say, well, gee, is this going to live up to... Shouldn't there be more? Maybe I should redo the whole thing. Maybe I... gee , maybe this isn't what everybody thought it was supposed to be...I thought a lot about whether I should try to do something else..

Again, the artist who is never convinced by their own success. He would redo the Star Wars mythology, repeatedly, through tinkering. By 1999 it really did feel that he was trying "to do something else."



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
The profiles were not originally written for publication...but used solely by the writer in New York for the basis of the story that will appear in the Magazine, (Time).

If not for publication, where did these profiles finally surface?
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #16
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Lucas' chronic artistic self-doubt was being recorded at a time shortly before Temple of Doom, a film which both he and Spielberg considered got away from them, and went to darker places than they intended.
Where were the voices of reason? I think it went exactly where they intended. They just didn't have the balls to stand up for their choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
In Lucas' words that doubt is something that's been with him since at least 1977, yet the success of Jedi didn't lift him for Doom.
It's not coming from a coherent place, these are ideas cobbled to gether from places outside of him. Does anyone know how something is going to be received? Question is why would he think its something he should be able to predict?

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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
...Lucas was having "cash-flow difficulties" following his 1983 divorce "concurrent with the sudden dropoff in revenues from Star Wars licenses following the release of Return of the Jedi."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Again, the artist who is never convinced by their own success. He would redo the Star Wars mythology, repeatedly, through tinkering. By 1999 it really did feel that he was trying "to do something else."
I think its satisfied more than convinced, and I think tinkering with Star Wars was a middle finger to Marcia, (potentially undoing her work) as well as possibly cutting her out of future profits from the films since the new versions were extensively re-edited.

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If not for publication, where did these profiles finally surface?
I'll post the rest of the author notes with each of the parts...the answer will be forthcoming.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
Where were the voices of reason? I think it went exactly where they intended. They just didn't have the balls to stand up for their choices.

I like where they went. Could have gone even further into the bowels of hell with a nasty, self-centred Indy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I think its satisfied more than convinced, and I think tinkering with Star Wars was a middle finger to Marcia, (potentially undoing her work) as well as possibly cutting her out of future profits from the films since the new versions were extensively re-edited.

That's a novel take. A self-satisfying middle finger to Marcia, and at the same time relieving himself of the burden of a tarnished 'hero'. Could go psycho-analytical on the reformation of Han Solo after reflecting on the dark side of Marcia!


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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I'll post the rest of the author notes with each of the parts...the answer will be forthcoming.

Tease!
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
I like where they went. Could have gone even further into the bowels of hell with a nasty, self-centred Indy.

And, this site wouldn't exist if they had. There would have been no Last Crusade, none of the 1990s games, and certainly no nostalgia for the franchise. Remember, at the time, people were openly wanting to see Romancing the Stone take over the 'adventure' reigns from Indiana Jones because of the very... long... masochistic middle act.

Exactly how far did you want to go? A graphic rape scene? Maybe some on-screen mutilation of children? At some point, and Temple of Doom just starts to skirt that point, you go from just having a 'darker' story to just being an depraved ******* with a camera.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:08 PM   #19
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And, this site wouldn't exist if they had. There would have been no Last Crusade, none of the 1990s games, and certainly no nostalgia for the franchise.

Why? TOD was 1935. We got a glimpse of the 'fortune and glory' character, who was still looting from natives a year later.

Indy could have been tougher. He melted a little too quickly on the appearance of the Indian boy returning to the village.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
Exactly how far did you want to go? A graphic rape scene? Maybe some on-screen mutilation of children? At some point, and Temple of Doom just starts to skirt that point, you go from just having a 'darker' story to just being an depraved ******* with a camera.

Now you're just talking crap.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Why? TOD was 1935. We got a glimpse of the 'fortune and glory' character, who was still looting from natives a year later.

Yes, he was more 'Han Solo' at that point. He was not evil bastard that would quickly murder everyone for the treasure and laugh like the bastard in a View to a Kill. You remove the soul from Indiana Jones, he's no longer Indiana Jones.

Quote:
Indy could have been tougher. He melted a little too quickly on the appearance of the Indian boy returning to the village.

It would have been inhuman of him not to, considering what he had heard at this point. You're not trying to push Indy to be more like Belloq, you're trying to turn him into Toht!

Quote:
Now you're just talking crap.

No, you seem to be demanding an wholly unlikable character and more intense 'dark' for the pure sake of it. Much farther and the movie would have just been an exploitation film, and quite a few people at the time of its release - including Speilberg - were already calling it that.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:24 PM   #21
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Tease!

For next installment he'll want you to bark like a frog. That right, a FROG. Gggggrebit!

When he's finished I'll provided the scans. Gggggggggrebit!
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:36 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Vance
Yes, he was more 'Han Solo' at that point. He was not evil bastard that would quickly murder everyone for the treasure and laugh like the bastard in a View to a Kill. You remove the soul from Indiana Jones, he's no longer Indiana Jones.

It took Han Solo until the end of the film to change his mind and 'do the right thing'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
It would have been inhuman of him not to, considering what he had heard at this point. You're not trying to push Indy to be more like Belloq, you're trying to turn him into Toht!

No. Just more like Belloq. The real difference between them is that Indy felt the need to justify his actions. Such as a museum being a worthier owner than the natives - and Indy thereby taking a merc's fee rather than the profit of the item itself.

We see Indy doing this in 1936 after his Indian 'awakening' the previous year. He could have been more callous in TOD, since he was never fully reformed by the time of ROTLA.

Anti-heroes are much more fun than heroes, because they're conflicted by each circumstance. Pulled by their nature, and what they feel they ought to do.

These were ideas Lucas was more comfortable playing with between 1977 and 1984.

Later on he's afflicted with the need to soften and 'educate'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance
No, you seem to be demanding an wholly unlikable character and more intense 'dark' for the pure sake of it. Much farther and the movie would have just been an exploitation film, and quite a few people at the time of its release - including Speilberg - were already calling it that.

Depends on your definition of likeability. I'd prefer a character with an edge and a moral conflict over one who's bland.

Hence, as a child I found Han Solo far more preferable to Luke Skywalker.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by JuniorJones
For next installment he'll want you to bark like a frog. That right, a FROG. Gggggrebit! When he's finished I'll provided the scans. Gggggggggrebit!
You do inspire...
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:49 PM   #24
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[quote=JuniorJones]
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Originally Posted by JuniorJones
When he's finished I'll provided the scans. Gggggggggrebit!

I bet you have them, too!

But we'll have to wait for Rocko to read all twenty-two pages out loud before you'll reveal them!

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You do inspire...

Get back to reading out loud!
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
It took Han Solo until the end of the film to change his mind and 'do the right thing'.

Yes, but there was no doubt that he was GOING to.. it was just a matter of when he would. And, it's not like he didn't have reason, there was a giant turd-lookin' thing with an army of criminals out to kill him... Indy didn't have that impetus to actively NOT do the 'right thing' at the moment.

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No. Just more like Belloq. The real difference between them is that Indy felt the need to justify his actions. Such as a museum being a worthier owner than the natives - and Indy thereby taking a merc's fee rather than the profit of the item itself.

Indy's a pulp hero. He shouldn't be any darker than most of Bogart's characters. You have to know that he'll do the right thing, even at great personal risk...even if he grumbles about it... but he has to have a good side for the audience to relate.

Since I brought up Romancing the Stone, look at how the main character was handled. That's about as far down the 'rat bastard' road most audiences will accept for a protagonist.

We see Indy doing this in 1936 after his Indian 'awakening' the previous year. He could have been more callous in TOD, since he was never fully reformed by the time of ROTLA.

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Anti-heroes are much more fun than heroes, because they're conflicted by each circumstance. Pulled by their nature, and what they feel they ought to do.

Anti-Heroes work best when there's either a hero egging him on a little (like, Luke Skywalker or Leia Organa).. or the villain is so bad the anti-hero comes off as a hero by comparison (Heath Ledger's Joker).

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These were ideas Lucas was more comfortable playing with between 1977 and 1984.

Temple of Doom went too far in most respects in the 'dark' while trying to smooth it out with bad comedy and over-the-top action sequences. Making Indy himself even darker wouldn't have 'saved' the film, since the character himself wasn't really what was wrong in the first place!

The decision to make Willie comedic relief rather than a streetwise jaded urbanite, and the very long 'dark' middle act are what hurt the film. Cut down the torture sequence, re-add the exposition scenes so you know who Chatter Lal was, show Willie send off Blumbert for help, get a better hand on the conspiracy going on, lose some most of Willie's "wide angle" screams... and it would work better.

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Later on he's afflicted with the need to soften and 'educate'.
Ironically, he went completely 'Hollywood'... after helping to define it for the 1980s onward...
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