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STAR WARS (films) question


CruciformSword
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I don't know if this has ever been answered or discussed before, but why did Lucas choose to start making the Star Wars films at Episode IV? Why didn't he just make the films in order? I don't quite got why he decided to do the movies in this order.

-Jason

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He started with the best story, and the more episodes he makes the farther away from the best story he gets.

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So than basically, he used the best stories to grab the attention of people and create a fan base, before releasing the other movies which could have turned people off to star wars if released first?

-Jason

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That is what he says :thumbup: Though his motives probably were more making sure the film makes profit and making the sequals possible ;)

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I thought the reasons for starting with IV was the studio's reasoning and that Lucas really wanted to start with I, but the studio felt that it could not generate enough revenue and that I did not have enough action. Remember, Lucasfilm did not have enough capital to distribute its films on its own, and therefore needed a studio to distribute the films.

Don't quote me on this; although I do say this story makes more sense because I would like to believe Lucas wanted to start with I.

Perhaps its that studio didnt want any gungans in it's film.... LOL . Just kidding. I don't even know if Lucas even conceived of them yet, or if he did, they were most likely in a totally different form.

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He started with the best story, and the more episodes he makes the farther away from the best story he gets.

Yeah, he shouldn't have bothered with a Prequel trilogy at all. Just pointless! Whats the point in watching a story when you ALREADY KNOW the outcome? :thumbup:

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To see how the outcome unfolds of course!! :roll: More important than the outcome I think that is too.

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It is interesting to see how a known story will unfold, and this type of storytelling technique is often used in films. It was done in Titanic (ie you know she'll survive, but how) and character development is also an interesting angle (as is being done in Superman prequel series, Smallville, and of course, with Anakin). It is done more subtly in other films as well. When you know a character will survive, because they are the main character, you'd like to know how, and when they get into deep trouble (take the trash compactor in SW, for example), it's exciting to see how they'll escape such a situation.

The prequels exploit this technique to full effect, although the quality of execution is debatable (shut it, Rogue Leader, wrong time, wrong place!). For example, what's going to happen to Padme, eh? We know Leia can remember her, and she probably dies, but how. Those are the questioned that (hopefully) will be thrillingly answered in Star Wars: Episode III.

And that's yet another reason why Lucas started on IV. Though the previous answers are his primary reasons, I should think.

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Whats the point in watching a story when you ALREADY KNOW the outcome? :)

1) Don't you ever watch a film a second time?

2) Go see Carlito's Way! :)

Marian - who has seen THAT one many times.

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Maybe he did it for shock factor, when mum first saw it aat the movies with my brother, she was wondering what happened to the other 3. Maybe he wanted it to look weird from the start.

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This is the officially unofficial explanation:

Back when The Phantom Menace was released, Lucas said he really had wanted that film to be released in 1977, as a way of starting the saga (from the beginning of course). But, effects weren't in place so he could show the scenes he wanted (like, I'm assuming, the underwater city, the podrace, etc.).

And when Lucasfilm (natch) came up with the technology, Lucas was able to generate the films the way he thought they could be done.

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This is the officially unofficial explanation:

Back when The Phantom Menace was released, Lucas said he really had wanted that film to be released in 1977, as a way of starting the saga (from the beginning of course). But, effects weren't in place so he could show the scenes he wanted (like, I'm assuming, the underwater city, the podrace, etc.).

And when Lucasfilm (natch) came up with the technology, Lucas was able to generate the films the way he thought they could be done.

That is also how I understood it... The Technology was not around in 1977.

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January 1973:

George Lucas begins writing the first of four drafts of the Star Wars screenplay.

May 1973:

Lucas completes 13-page plot summary that opens with the line: "This is the story of Mace Windu, a revered Jedi-bendu of Opuchi who was related to Usby C.J. Thape, padawan learner to the famed Jedi."

May 1974:

Lucas finishes writing The Star Wars - this rough draft being the first of the four screenplay drafts for Star Wars.

January 28, 1975:

Second draft of Star Wars is completed - The Adventures Of The Starkiller, Episode 1: The Star Wars.

August 1975:

Third draft of the screenplay is finished - The Star Wars - from The Adventures of Luke Starkiller.

January 15, 1976:

The revised Fourth Draft of the screenplay is completed - Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope from The Journal Of The Whills by George Lucas.

Back in the 70's, Lucas had no idea how everything would turn out, he didn't even know that he would be able to do a "second" STAR WARS film. All he had was a (constantly changing) story that was way too long - so he decided to skip the part that dealt with the rise of the Empire and where Darth Vader and Kenobi came from and start in the middle of the story instead. (Many of literature's great works begin "in medias res".) After the success of STAR WARS, Lucas decided to do two sequels, and to give the plot momentum, he turned Vader into Luke's father, making it necessary for Kenobi in JEDI to explain the things he'd said about Luke's father in the original STAR WARS.

Then, in 1994, Lucas started writing the prequels. The main plot elements had been conceived in the 70's and 80's (Kenobi, Vader, Palpatine, Luke, Leia, their mother) but I doubt that there was a "story" or "Gungans" or anything as concrete as that when Lucas sat down in 1994.

I think the prologue of the STAR WARS novel (by Alan Dean Foster) is interesting as it gives you insight into the back story of STAR WARS that existed in 1977. To Lucas credit, he stuck closely to his initial vision when he developed the prequels so much later in life.

Another galaxy, another time.

The Old Republic was the Republic of legend, greater than distance or time. No need to note where it was or whence it came, only to know that ... it was the Republic.

Once, under the wise rule of the Senate and the protection of the Jedi Knights, the Republic throve and grew. But as often happens, when wealth and power pass beyond the admirable and attain the awesome, then appear those evil ones who have greed to match.

So it was with the Republic at its height. Like the greatest of trees, able to withstand any external attack, the Republic rotted from within though the danger was not visible from the outside.

Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.

Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.

Having exterminated through treachery and deception the Jedi Knights, guardians of justice in the galaxy, the Imperial governors and bureaucrats prepared to institute a reign of terror among the disheartened worlds of the galaxy. Many used the imperial forces and the name of the increasingly isolated Emperor to further their own personal ambitions.

But a small number of systems rebelled at these new outrages. Declaring themselves opposed to the New Order they began the great battle to restore the Old Republic.

From the beginning they were vastly outnumbered by the systems held in thrall by the Emperor. In those first dark days it seemed certain the bright flame of resistance would be extinguished before it could cast the light of new truth across a galaxy of oppressed and beaten peoples ...

From the First Saga

Journal of the Whills

by George Lucas

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I would think that Episode 1 didn't enter his thinking.

I mean, almost every other movie in the world doesn't have a prequel, so this story, like everyone else starts at a certain point, not at the earliest possible scene worthy part of the overall story. In 1977, a sci fi movie in 6 parts was a thought no one could comprehend- I don't think Lucas had such deep thinking about the other five movies he would make.

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After the success of STAR WARS, Lucas decided to do two sequels, and to give the plot momentum, he turned Vader into Luke's father, making it necessary for Kenobi in JEDi to explain the things he'd said about Luke's father in the original STAR WARS.

Now, this decision by him was contrived and silly :)

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Whats the point in watching a story when you ALREADY KNOW the outcome? :sleepy:

1) Don't you ever watch a film a second time?

2) Go see Carlito's Way! :jump:

Marian - who has seen THAT one many times.

you forgot to mention:

'what about the next generations (that haven't seen any SW movie yet)?'

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You folks should be glad that The Phantom Menace was not the first SW movie. Otherwise this series would've gone direct to video.

Hmm... I disagree. If TPM had been released as a standalone film, it certainly wouldn't have generated so much revenue, but it would've still been a hit, allowing for a sequel. Plus, without all the comparisons to the original triogy, the negativity towards it wouldn't be there.

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Plus, without all the comparisons to the original triogy, the negativity towards it wouldn't be there.

Without all the hype from the Original Trilogy backing it up an audience would not have been there! :|

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Yes, Morn, it would have to be good, but it wasn't.

Excellent post, Mahawa, and a good refresher for everything I remember reading as a boy back in the 1970s. I know I bitch a lot about the prequels (because they suck), but I really wouldn't have a problem with their existence, if I thought future audiences wouldn't be confused by the numerical sequence. If, as has been suggested, Lucas intended to tell his story in medias res, as he was forced to do by actual circumstance -- beginning in 1977 with a film called Star Wars (which upon re-release he subtitled, rather lamely, A New Hope), and then, completing the trilogy with Jedi in 1983; and then, after an interval of 20 years, only then, returning to the well, which of course had run dry back in the early '80s, and squeezing out the overblown turd called The Phantom Menace -- if he wanted his story to begin in the middle, I say, like Homer's Iliad, then he would let the films stand in the sequence of their making (SW, TESB, ROTJ, TPM, AOTC, etc.).

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line he must have contracted encephalitis, because he started monkeying with the original series, in an invidious attempt to drag it down to the level of the prequels, thereby paving the way for a revised sequence, in which TPM would be the first of the series -- meaning the first seen -- ensuring that everyone will be asleep or changing the channel well before so-called Episode IV. The revised sequence, of course, also has the unfortunate consequence of ruining every surprise sprung in the originals ("I...am your father," etc.).

A plot worthy of Palpatine himself.

Congratulations, George! You are the Charles Foster Kane of our age.

Is that your neck, or is Jabba the Hutt giving you a hickey?

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I was talking to my friend about this a few days ago, and we thought that the first Star Wars was just called that. Only when Episode V came out was the first movie numbered IV. Maybe Lucas began to get an idea after the first film (4th episode).

~Conor

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I don't think Lucas had much of an idea about the saga besides the original Star Wars when he started out. It's a common misconception that he had all six movies planned out. I really don't think so. I think he came up with the basic outline for what the Star Wars universe was like, then he came up with his drafts. Perhaps he had a vague backstory, but not to the point of making them into three seperate stories. I also think that he decided to make Vader be Luke's father AFTER the original Star Wars came out. That's just me though.

NP: Sphere (Elliot Goldenthal)

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The revised sequence, of course, also has the unfortunate consequence of ruining every surprise sprung in the originals ("I...am your father," etc.).

Yes, but you get new surprises and you get anxious waiting for when Luke will discover that Vader is his father. I don't see only disadvantage in the prequels being first other than the fact that they suck and should be disowned by Lucas.

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I don't see the disadvantage in the prequels being first other than the fact that they suck and should be disowned by Lucas.

LOL

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You guys REALLY make me feel sick.

And about the 'No Luke, I AM your Father' thing I expect that Anakin DIES in EPIII and we don't see 'resurge' from the melting pit. Then someone called Darht Vader Appears in EPIV, and so new people seeing SW will not be spoiled.

I HOPE that.

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OK I extend my apologies to Mr. Skywalker. I am not trying to annoy you or intetionally piss you off in any way. Sorry if my comments come off as arrogant or just being a @$$hole in general (which is more likely :pukeface:). It just that, well as I've stated here many times before. I just can't shake loose my anger at the way things have turned out with SW.

I knew as I was typing that I was just being a jerk. Probably should have just let this one go.

Anyway I'll try to be less harsh in the future.

-Rogue Leader who thinks he needs to go one day without attacking Lucas. :mrgreen:

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Oh but one other thing:

And about the 'No Luke, I AM your Father' thing I expect that Anakin DIES in EPIII and we don't see 'resurge' from the melting pit. Then someone called Darht Vader Appears in EPIV, and so new people seeing SW will not be spoiled.

Could work I guess. Might seem kind of obvious though. I mean you'd be all like "uhhhhh where did that Anakin guy go? They focus on him through these three films and just kill him off?". Anyway we'll see.

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Unfortunately, I missed Rogue Leader's deleted post. A pity, since it probably would have stoked me to new levels of rage.

Luke, let me ask you this -- why does Lucas feel compelled to screw with the originals? Why doesn't he just make his very bad prequels and be done with it? Should they have gone back and computer colored Psycho when, twenty years later, they decided to make a Psycho 2? It doesn't make sense. Why screw with people's collective memory? It's not like he's fooling anyone.

Star Wars was great the way it was. If he thinks he can do better now, well, more power to him. It doesn't mean he is morally correct in destroying the best-loved movie series of all time.

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In my view, he can do what he likes to the originals, as long as he makes the original version as aviable as his special special special editions. There is always the slim chance he might improve the movies. :mrgreen:

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You can't improve on perfection, at least not two decades later. Jedi wasn't perfect, but unless it's a mere matter of editing and working with unused footage, I can't see how a director/producer/puppetmaster twenty years down the line can "improve" anything. The discrepency between technologies is too vast. Subsequent edits have also wreaked havoc on Williams' scores, if you haven't noticed, most damagingly at the climax of E.T..

An artist's first thoughts are frequently (although not always) the best.

Figo, who agrees with Morn at least in that the originals should be made available.

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I dunno, The wampa scene in TESB and the windows in Cloud City. The close ups in the end battle in ANH :P There is no such thing as perfection really :)

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:P

Poor Morn, trapped in his own philosophical quagmire.

The wampa scene was pretty ridiculous, if you ask me, kind of like the troll fight in LOTR. It never looked terribly real to begin with, but it was much better when you only got a quick glimpse.

Figo, who, oddly enough, thinks the tauntauns looked very cool, and therefore is shocked Lucas didn't try to ruin them.

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...tauntauns?

Are you serious? And you call yourself a Star Wars fan?

You have just further damaged your credibility at this board -- if indeed that is possible.

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Morn, we all understand your transparent attempts to increase your post count.

Why don't you get some sleep? You look terrible.

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Rogue Leader... You took it very seriously :oops: (good :P)

In my opinion, the SW movies will be better when redone in 2006 :). Everytime i see ANH (the Yavin battle) well I HOPE LUCAS REDO the entire scene, and you cannot tell me it will not look better. the nearest ot perfection (regarding Special effects) is ROJ, that has very few scenes to improve.

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Well I knew you were not totally serious. I just felt like as if maybe I had pushed it a bit too far that time. As for improving the ANH final battle. Hmmmmm I dunno about that. :P

Could work maybe. However, I do agree about ROTJ. That movie's final battle was flawless.

Oh and I'd like to mention there is not even ONE DROP of CG in the entire thing.

Makes ya think? Don't it? :)

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Well on the set of Empire Strikes Back Lucas reportedly told "Whats his face" (the guy who played Darth Vader UNDER the suit) that Obi-Wan was his father.

However, it remains a mystery if Lucas was just making stuff up as he went along or if he was just F%^^ING with David Prowse (whos name I JUST NOW remembered). Probably the latter considering Lucas never liked Prowse much and vice versa.

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