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George Lucas Retiring, Still Needs to Make Amends for 'Crystal Skull'

Neil Young once stated in a song lyric that it’s better to burn out than to fade away.  So is it?   George Lucas, who after creating two of the greatest trilogies of all time, left on the high note.   He then returned to not only destroy the mighty worlds he created but alienated pretty much his entire fan base in the process.  And now it seems he’s officially walking away from the ruin.  According to an interview with Empire Magazine, Lucas is retiring from all things Lucasfilm related. 

Here is what Lucas had to say: "I'm moving away from the company, I'm moving away from all my businesses, I'm finishing all my obligations and I'm going to retire to my garage with my saw and hammer and build hobby movies. I've always wanted to make movies that were more experimental in nature, and not have to worry about them showing in movie theatres”.

So Lucas wants to now build “hobby movies”.  I guess this begs the question, will anyone care enough to check out what’s he’s working on?  Personally, I will always admire the man who gave us the original Star Wars trilogy, the first 3 Indiana Jones films and for his innovation with Lucasfilm, THX and ILM.  But he’s walking away on such a bad note.  Becoming a parody of oneself is not how you want to make your exit.  I can’t admire that at all.

Maybe building these “hobby movies” is the way Lucas can begin to regain the respect of his fan base once again.  I don’t think it can hurt his reputation anymore than what Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did.  And maybe, just maybe, this will give us the guy who, prior to Star Wars, gave us THX 1138 and American Graffiti…that guy wasn’t so bad.  If Lucas spends the rest of his life just creating cool little short films, I could be on board with that…maybe…if he takes a class or two on writing dialogue.  He really needs to work on that.

I wish him the best of luck, I really do.  Hopefully he finds the fun and reason why he got into the movie making business in the first place.  That was certainly lost some time ago….a long time a galaxy far, far away.

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Reader Comments (3)

I think the kind of films he's talking about making are similar to what Stan Brakhage crafted - abstract films. Many were hand-crafted - painting onto film frames, pasting things onto unexposed film and exposing, experiments with color, sound, sequence. Look him up. Criterion has a great collection of his work on video. There have been, and still are, artists still making these types of films and with digital video and computers they're pushing the boundaries even more. It's the kind of stuff one could do in a garage. Maybe if he lives long enough we may see a retrospective of what Lucas does, but that kind of stuff isn't going to be at the multi-plex. That stuff is usually shown at art museums.
As a representative of his generation, he's probably walking away at the right time. HE didn't diminish, it was the audience that just didn't get the homage to the cinema of his time. His retirement is well deserved and he still leaves behind a lot of great achievment in cinema that's left an extraordinarily indelible influence on the medium.
Sorry you still don't get Jar Jar or ancient Aztec aliens or black World War Two aces.

Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ.Bradley

Nice piece. I admire him, and am annoyed by him, for exactly the same reasons. His biggest problem with dialogue isn't that he can't write it - Star Wars is one of the most quotable films of all time. It's that he now views it as a sound effect, something that's background to the story, and generally doesn't give it the respect it deserves. That's unforgiveable for a filmmaker in my book and someone should have been brave enough to step in and say so, ideally way back when the Phantom Menace was just a twinkle in a midichlorian's eye.

Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

It's not that I don't get Jar Jar, ancient Aztec aliens, the Tuskegee Airmen or his homage to cinema, it's the poor execution of these projects that was really upsetting.

Friday, June 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterCraig Dietz

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