Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

Shameless Plug for The People vs. George Lucas

STATUS: Jumping into my work day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? RED RAIN by Peter Gabriel

Okay, this isn’t about publishing but Alexandre Philippe is a long time friend and filmmaker and I just love this documentary he’s currently working on.

And it is definitely a topic that is rant worthy.

In his own words:
“Are you passionate about Star Wars? Did the new trilogy leave a sour taste in your mouth? What’s your stance on the Special Editions? Are you ready to stand up for George, or to stand up to him? In short, if the words Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or even Howard The Duck make you want to speak up, we want to hear from you!

Based on the overwhelming worldwide response to our efforts this past year, we believe we are on the right track. Truly, it has been an amazing journey; and we intend to capture many more voices from every corner of the globe for the rest of the year. And yes, you can still submit footage to us through our September 30, 2009 deadline. Indeed, this groundbreaking, 100% independent and first-ever digitally democratic documentary gives experts and the audience a voice to express their opinions about the single most powerful and influential filmmaker and mogul in movie history. And we promise to deliver a dynamic and impassioned debate for the ages!”

So if you have a blog or a fan site, please take a moment to write about us today. Mention us in forums, on YouTube, MySpace, Facebook. Subscribe to and comment on our YouTube channel. Contact your local newspaper, film blogger or film critic. Email your local Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or Howard the Duck (!) fan site. Tell them we exist, and refer them to the YouTube link below and to our website.

Just doing my part. If so inspired, feel free to join in on this fun.

I was nine years old when I went with my family to see Star Wars in 1977. In fact, I have a vivid memory of this because I was kicking and screaming the whole way to the theater. I vehemently did not want to go. My dad said, “you’re too young to stay at home alone and the whole family is going so no more tantrum.”

So why the impassioned negative response? The year prior my Dad had taken my 8-year old self and my older sister to see 2001 A Space Odyssey.

I wasn’t doing that again.

I know! What was he thinking? He didn’t inflict this pain on my older brother!

But of course just 10 minutes into the film Star Wars, I was enthralled. There were no apes throwing bones in front of a monolith! No long segments filled with imagery, music, but no plot or dialogue! Later, when I was in my twenties, I got a chance to watch 2001 again. It was definitely a better experience then.

So which side do I belong on this debate? Not saying.


20 Responses

  1. jimnduncan said:

    I was about the same age when my folks to me and my little brother to see it. Being the geeky boy I was at the time (and still am for that matter), I was psyched to see it. Awe inspring it was to say the least. If it says anything about my parents, they took us to see it six more times. Loved every single time.

    Can’t say I am a fan of Lucas’s massive commercialization of it all, but have to give him kudos for changing the movie industry. The man was a pioneer.

    J Duncan

  2. Anonymous said:

    I saw Star Wars at 17, in opening day. I was (and remain) a Trek/sci fi fan so the movie piqued my curiousity. I loved Star Wars because it was a mass of contradictions. It was derivative of Trek, Robin Hood and even Flash Gordon. The death star seemed like a bigger version of The Guns Of Navarone…The technology was amazing, the flying ships, the explosions and the monsters. The film’s light tone was it’s best asset. This was high adventure played close to perfection by a cast of wily veterans and confident newcomers.

    By the last film it was apparent that Lucas had run out of steam. When he decided on the prequels they were plodding, self-indulgent and poorly written. They lacked the charm of the earlier films. It was only with the third film that Lucas found his footing. This entry, coincidentally, had a strong plot, the downfall of Anakin.

    Lucas deserves credit for his huge impact on film and the film business. He is visionary, imaginative and inspiring. Star Wars (Episode IV) is a timeless classic and will always be among the greatest films ever produced (along with the next sequel).

    Ed U.

  3. Peter said:

    Amazing, second Howard the Duck experience in two days…yesterday, for reasons I can’t even begin to fathom, I downloaded the soundtrack…Yes, Cherry Bomb and Thomas Dolby and those insanely cheesy songs from one of the worst movies ever made (notable only, when I was a teenager and seeing it for the first time, for Lea Thompson in panties…).

    And here it is a day later, after listening to such perfectly 80’s music since yesterday, and you’re talking about Howard the Duck?

    For those unfamiliar with the soundtrack: at the beginning of the Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore movie ‘Music & Lyrics’ there is a faux-music video from the 80’s called ‘Pop! Goes My Heart’ that sets up the movie. It is a perfect homage to 80’s music and videos and worth the cost of the rental all by itself. The music from Howard the Duck seems to me to be what ‘Pop! Goes My Heart’ aspires to emulate (well, that and, of course, ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’). This, by the way, would be called ‘damning with faint praise.’

    Now to queue up the Cantina song from Star Wars and soak up the atmosphere…

  4. Stuart said:

    My three year old son has about 10 Galactic Heroes figures (pre-school SW figures) and another 6 Adventure Heroes (Indy Jones).

    Yeah, I’m continuing the corruption to the next generation. 🙂

    Even though I think GL has lost his touch in what makes a good story. See Indy IV and the Swinging Monkeys for the latest proof of that…

  5. Just_Me said:

    Goerge Lucas…. I love the original Star Wars, adore Indy, hate Anakin Skywalker with an all-consuming passion. I wish somebody had killed him in episode one, or at least taken Padme aside and explained what a statutory rape law was.

    On the other hand, everyone now knows what sci-fi is. I suppose that’s a good thing.

  6. Deirdre Mundy said:

    I “saw” the first Star Wars in utero. “Empire” was the first movie I saw in theatres, and my whole First Grade class was APPALLED when we realized (In Jedi) that Luke and Leia were Brother AND Sister!!! I mean, WOAHHH! Who could have seen THAT coming. =)

    The new ones? Blech, Blech and double Blech.

    Because for the prequels to be true, it means Obi Wan lied to Luke.

    And Leia lied too, when she said she remembered her mother.

    Though it does shed light onto that ‘He has much of his father in him’ thing… because Luke starts out whiny… and Anakin was ALWAYS whiny…..

    I liked the way episodes IV-VI portrayed Vader better– the idea of a good man and great general who, through pride, turned to the darkside. The whole series as “The Tradgedy of Vader”– Shakespearian in sweep.

    But no. YOu had to give us whiny Ani. Seriously, what did Padmi see in him????

    And don’t even get me started on JarJar…..

  7. Deb said:

    About “2001: A Space Odyssey” you are absolutely right. It had no plot. We were required to go downtown to see it my senior year, and half of us were “Aw, cool!” and the other half were “What on earth–?” We didn’t understand it was High Art and didn’t need a plot, characters, logic…

    SW was better. Until he made the first three episodes. Did anyone actually notice he just rehashed the original three plots?

    And don’t even mention mitochlorians to me. Ever. Thank you.

  8. Ebony McKenna. said:

    There was soooo much hype for the Star Wars prequels we all lined up to see it and the stirring music took us back to our childhood … the opening crawl came on and … jaws drop … it’s about … taxes? What? Trade blocks or something?

    Have seen Indy IV and … they just shouldn’t have made it. Watch the bonus extras of Steven Speilberg and the process of him trying so hard for so long to say no to George about the Aliens.
    In the end, Steven gave up.

    If George Lucas won’t listen to Steven Speilberg, there’s little chance of him listening to me, is there?

  9. Jill James said:

    I was 14 when I saw Star Wars for the first time. That summer my brother and I saw it 35 times. Of course, movies were 75 cents for kids, so you could go to alot of movies. It was such a breakthrough for science fiction and moviemaking and special effects.

  10. Nandini said:

    It drives me crazy when my kids refer to the original 3 movies as number 4, 5 and 6! The only good thing about the new star wars was Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan. Though I have to say, I’m slowly warming to Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network that the kids watch all the time …

  11. Jean said:

    Oh my gosh, Howard the Duck. People admit to watching that?

    The only reason I recall that movie was my parents coincidentally rented it the day I got stung on the lip. Yes, it swelled and yes, they called me “Howard”.

    As for Star Wars, that was memorable because my dad managed to convince the manager of the movie theatre to let us sit on the floor up front as the theatre was full. It was a close-up view I have not yet repeated.

    Oh, the family adventures that are connected to movies. 🙂

  12. Jen said:

    I loved the original triology. The prequels depressed me. Anakin was so whiny and annoying that I could never figure out why Padme was supposed to have fallen for him.

    The Revenge of the Sith was the only one I can really stomach, and even there Anakin is STILL a whiny git. Bah!

  13. Queen of the Road said:

    Just wanted to chime in about the wonderful Alexandre Philippe. I’ve taken many screenwriting workshops with him at Lighthouse Writers over the years, and he’s fabulous.

    May the Force be with his new project.

  14. Blythe said:

    Star Wars crystallizes my relationship with high/low culture come to think of it. When it came out, I was in my late teens and thought I was much too cool to go see it . . .

    And, as a Freshman English major at the time, I was happy to pretend I thought 2001 was the most wonderful triumph of culture imaginable and my favorite movie of all time (as I deserted Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind).

    But, finally, dragged by some presumably more low-brow friends to see Star Wars (and likely kicking and screaming in some form or fashion), I couldn’t help but become entirely enthralled and engrossed by the action, pacing, and just plain fun!

    Over and over again, since then, I have struggled with the same dilemma: Why is it all the stuff I’m supposed to like and certainly appreciate, is so rarely fun?

  15. Anonymous said:

    I know this has nothing to do with your blog today, but I have a question to ask. I’m a student at UNI and my question is if you write a story about college campus life would that be ya or af? We couldn’t decide in class today what the answer would be on this topic. Would like to hear your answer on this. Thank you for your time, from the English major wishing to be a writer one day.

  16. Madison said:

    I will always love the original series of Star Trek more than anything Star Wars. However, I LOVE the original Star Wars movies! I first saw them when they were re-released into the theater and am now in the process of watching them again. I love it when my family have Star Wars day, where we do nothing but watch the original Star Wars Trilogy all day.

    As for the new ones, I enjoyed them, but they weren’t great. Darth Maul’s double lightsaber was cool, but Anakin was WAY too young. The third one, Revenge of the Sith was the best out of the new ones. It was nice to see how Anakin became Darth Vader, but the new ones can’t top the original.

  17. Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said:

    I have all three original movie theatre magazines from the ‘first’ Star Wars series.

    Raiders had an amazing two year run at the Runnymede next to my sister’s apartment. We must have gone to see it twenty times when there was nothing else to do.

    We were soon able to recite the whole script verbatim.

    Oh, Harrison and your lovely green eyes…

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