Friday, August 15, 2008

Does Lucas Turn Everything Into Crud?

The best new things to come out of the recent Star Wars revival ("recent" meaning the past ten years, since about the re-release of the original trilogy) were:

Bioware's Knights of the Old Republic, which took place a thousand years or before The Phantom Menace, and relied on Bioware and Black Isle's proven talents as RPG developers;


Star Wars - Clone Wars, which took place between the second movie and the third movie, and relied on Genndy Tartakovsky's proven talents as an animation director.

Bioware developed Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights,the former ushering in a new standard for RPGs, and the latter being the first serious attempt to let DMs run their own campaigns. Meanwhile, Black Isle developed the greatest post-apocalyptic RPG ever, Fallout and what some would call the greatest RPG ever: Planescape: Torment.

Using this talent for making KOTOR is a no-brainer, right? The only embarrassing thing is that most agreed that Bioware surpassed LucasFilms in writing a story that was a compelling foray into the universe he created.

Genndy Tartakovsky, after creating the cartoon powerhouse Dexter's Laboratory and having no small influence on Craig McCracken's Powerpuff Girls, had just created the smash Samurai Jack. Tartakovsky abandoned Jack to work on the Clone Wars, which was delivered in a few dozen five-minute installments. (However excellent, no substitute for the originality of Jack.)

So, naturally, given the success of the series, you'd hire the same guy to direct the feature, right? Right? No, you'd hire some guy with a fraction of the experience and get a 5.6 on IMDB, even with a third of the voters being fanboys who gave it a ten before seeing it.

I'm not a big Star Wars (or Trek or Search) guy, but I thought this might be fun. 19% on Rotten Tomatoes? How can such a genius producer keep dropping the ball so badly?

Screw it. I wanted to see Bottle Shock more anyway.


  1. I still can't figure how he was responsible in any way for "Raiders"

  2. Producer.

    That is, he plans, schedules, organizes--the guy's a logistical genius. It's what made Star Wars possible.

    Star Wars is really just a mishmash of other movies with some really bad dialog thrown in, and revolutionary special effects.

    His other movies have been similar, but revolutionary SFX don't really cut it these days.

  3. Another over praised hack. Cecil B. Demille with a computer. Similar careers. Over praised epics that made a lot of money but whose careers just piddled out at the end.

  4. Lucas?

    Yeah, although he's important historically. There's a direct line from the quality superhero films we've had in the past ten years to Star Wars.

    And, really, he is a great, great producer in terms of logistics and organization, by all accounts. He made The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles for half what it would've taken anyone else. Even the recent trilogy was produced way cheaper than it would've been with most other producers.


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