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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. This is a good one, but I think there’s even more to be made of some these topics. For instance, I think much of Lucas’ early years is kinda souped-up, both in his assertion that he “kind of fell into film” and in making it seem as though he was well on his way to becoming an Anthropology professor but decided to pour his understanding of humanity into cinema instead.
  2. Yeah, but Hamil is describing supposed script drafts that had this as a literal framing device, which (1) had not been found in spite of Rinzler’s exhaustive investigation of the archives and (2) doesn’t read like a Lucas script insofar as Hamil recalls it describing a camera move, which Lucas never does. Memory being suspect seems to me to be the best explanation.
  3. The Ewoks were inspired by Wookiee from early drafts of Star Wars, but Hamil is describing script pages that describe a Wookie family reading about the adventures of Luke as a framing device: that was never a thing. The quotes about the 12-film plan are all from 1978, not from 1976 or 1975. The document appended is also estimated as being from that period, and even here I suspect possible falsification insofar as some of the notes Lucas jotted under the original film (here Episode VI) are reproduction of notes, slightly doctored, from his 1974 notes: “Kane Highsinger/Jedi friend; Leia Aquilae/princess; General Vader/Imperial Commander; Han Solo/friend” and here “Han Solo/Pirate Leia/Princess. Also Darth Vader.” Why would Lucas even need to add to this document a plot synopsis to a movie he just made? Kaminski and Taylor both show that Kurtz’ memories (and this all taken from interviews of Kurtz from the nineties or later) are just as suspect as Hamil’s or anyone else’s.
  4. By that point, Lucas himself had come up with the idea of the duel and spoke about it, and it seems to me that Hamil’s recollections are coloured by this: Hamil has done this quite a lot. He has described seeing a script that frames the piece as a Wookie fairytale…a script that as far as we can tell never existed. He claimed he spoke to Lucas on set about why he’s doing the fourth episode of a twelve-film series, which as far as we can tell was never a thing at the time. It’s very easy to let one’s recollections be affected by headlines, so to speak. And yes, arguments Ex Silentio are discredited in pure logic. But they’re used in historiography often and in the case of the development history of Star Wars, which is so filled with deliberate, after-the-fact misinformation by Lucas, I think it’s prudent to take that stance which is: if it isn’t appearant in production materials, it probably wasn’t a thing. No, I’m saying Star Wars STILL doesn’t have good continuity and so to try and force it into making sense is silly. Are you taking the assertion that George Lucas is a liar as a personal affrontery? That’s too bad, because he is. All of the literature - recent biographies of his, Kaminski’s Secret History of Star Wars and his other essays, Chris Taylor’s How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, Kitbashd, etc… - all point invariably to this. We know he even does it to his friends: Steven Spielberg admitted on camera that Lucas lied to him about having three Indy stories lined up. “As it turned out, George did not have three stories.” Quite. You can take it as a personal insult to the man, maybe to yourself. But it’s not, as such. It’s just a fact. Other artists have also tried to falsify or embellish aspects of their past works: Sergio Leone was a known liar; David Lean lied about some of his films, insisting for years that Sam Spiegel cut Lawrence of Arabia when in fact all the cuts were made by Lean himself. Wagner gives us a totally false impression of how he wrote The Flying Dutchman. It’s very common to recontextualize art according to an artist’s more recent ouvre, and the whole “it was always intended to be the way it turned out” is a big one for a lot of such artists, because it presents a certain view of art which a lot of artists hold as an ideal. George Lucas is at the absolute extreme of this: he had produced doctored versions of the original scripts to perpetuate that it was always “Episode IV” (it wasn’t) and that it was always going to feature an alien Jabba (it wasn’t) and falsified bits of his notes to insinuate that Midichlorians were always a thing and stuff to that effect. So excuse me for not taking his word as far as I can throw it. Is he sometimes telling the truth? Of course. I always doubted, for instance, that Lucas came up with the idea of Indy at the time that he claims he did, which would be in the thick of writing Star Wars, but in that case he seems to be telling the truth. In these cases, though, I think not.
  5. I read the actual script: it’s not in there. I read much of Lucas’ personal notes: it’s not in there. There’s no artwork from the time depicting it. There was, by the way, a battle in the backstory of the third draft: battle of Condowan, but nothing about a duel with Vader nor any scarring.
  6. The script says nothing on this subject, neither does any artwork, any of Lucas’ notes at the time (not that he’s above falsifying those). It’s just interviews from after the fact, and memory is suspect.
  7. I think this is the first time I've ever been accused of being "disingenious." I've had "Pretentious Jerk" (which I'm thinking of putting on my wall), and I believe there were one or two accusations of racism (rich, being aimed at a Jew) but disingenious is a new one and I'm not sure I'm very appreciative of it. But I won't go into this any further. I just think the continuity in Star Wars is so loose that to try to make it make sense is...unnecessary. One need, I think, just looks at the individual entries - whether they be Episode III, Obi Wan, Rogue One or Episode V or Episode IX - as individual entries and judge them on that level. If they're done in such a way that takes away from other entries from a dramatic standpoint (which some stuff in Obi-Wan certainly does) I think that's much more meaningful than whether the mechanics of the continuity work or not. Then we have our argument about George Lucas, which at this point is probably too much of an aside to go into, but I do think history has backed me up on my complete reluctance to take a word out of that man's mouth at face value.
  8. She's not replacing Frealaf, though: https://redanianintelligence.com/2022/06/16/the-witcher-actor-joins-the-lord-of-the-rings-war-of-the-rohirrim-animated-film/ Honestly, a solid cast and I think expanding on the situation Helm's daughter finds herself in, especially within the context of Eowyn narrating, could make a good female tragedy. And it goes without saying, Brian Cox is a tremendous casting coup.
  9. https://deadline.com/2022/06/lord-of-the-rings-the-war-of-the-rohirrim-brian-cox-miranda-otto-1235045883/
  10. Yes, we know Obi Wan knows Anakin now goes by "Darth Vader" but we don't know that he knows that Vader survived, except very implicitly when he says to Yoda that "we must take them somewhere where the Sith will not sense their presence." I think having Obi-Wan be oblivious of Vader's survival is a decent conceit.
  11. Well, in 1977 of course Ben knew Darth Vader was alive because Darth Vader was just this former apprentice of his, and there's little indication that the duel existed as a concept at the time, and virtually no evidence of the debilitating scarring of Vader existing. In Revenge of the Sith, you could read Obi-Wan knowing that Anakin lives into some of the lines: "We must take them somewhere where the sith would not sense their presence" but I don't think its very helpful to do so. I do think its valuable to have some events take-place offscreen between entries rather than spelling everything out, and the pitfalls of spelling everything out are never more the case than in those shots we get here under the Vader suit: Gareth Edwards had the good sense of fogging those shots up, whereas here...
  12. In Israel, that's how Schindler's List always airs, I believe...
  13. I do remember thinking "are these showrunners doing the Second Age wishing they were doing the First?" The amount of First Age material they're putting into this: showing Galadriel as a little girl in Valinor, meeting at least one of her brothers and learning what befell him, possibly having another of her brothers be the season villain, etc: I mean, its a little much.
  14. I mean, I generally don't begrudge prequels "for doing the prequel thing." When, within a single movie, a line or a visual are repeated in changing contexts, we consider it a good example of setup and payoff.
  15. That'd be tricky. I can't attest for ET but Jaws was never one of the cleanest of presentations...
  16. I think Obi Wan would work a lot better if this period between Episode III and the original Star Wars wasn't already so jam-packed with properties that are preoccupied with "stitching" the entries together: Rogue One, Solo, etc... Its just too much stitchwork.
  17. I really don't want to be too negative. I think some of the characters and storylines (and visuals) show a lot of promise.
  18. Whoever the character turns out to be, he's played by Daniel Weyman, who to be fair does have some resemblence to McKellen. We also have Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) as our ersatz-Aragorn to some extent, and certainly Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova) is our Legolas proxy, Durin IV is to some extent a Gimli-proxy, and like I said we have fem-Frodo and fem-Sam, we have the requisite forbidden love affair between mortal and immortal, etc...
  19. The Tolkien Estate are involved in the creative process insofar as they have veto rights. It seems they were just willing to play ball... I think there will come a day when fans will note the irony of how films once decried in some circles for their relative lack of faithfulness to the books, made without the involvement or approval of the Estate and in fact done much to Christopher Tolkien's chagrin, were in fact more faithful than a series made with the approval and involvement of the Tolkien estate. This is all the more ironic since some people believe (falsly) that any changes made in adapting The Lord of the Rings would have been unnecessary if it were a TV series.
  20. Yeah, the Balrog thing checks-out as a way of providing closure to the Moria storyline. It requires bending the time-frame, but they're already doing this with the Second Age, so who's to say they won't poach a millennia or so off of the third? Its stupid as hell, of course, but at the same time, having him be Gandalf is just as cloying: we have a fem-Frodo in Elanor, a fem-Sam in her buddy Poppy, the equivalent of the elderly Bilbo in Sadoc, and the younger couple are clearly going to go on an adventure with this guy. Everything about the Hobbit storyline is just off. This should have been a cuthroat Machiavelian thriller, not yet another cross-country quest story. Both are just theories, I hasten to add. But they're probably the most likely ones.
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