Thursday, December 31, 2015

Star Wars Review - Part 4

Subtitle: Why did Lucas go wrong?

I briefly pause my review of The Force Awakens series to postulate a new theory answering an old question that I and many of you must have had over the years.  How could George Lucas be so brilliant by creating not one but three epic films that will forever be touted as one of the best trilogies ever made to later make three of the worst? Even more damning is he had great actors like Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Liam Neeson plus two decades of advancement in technology and movie making techniques to work with.

It occured to me yesterday as I posted my list of what was cheesy about the prequels and compared it to The Force Awakens that I had an epiphany.  Lucas learned in the first three films just how valuable "after effects" were.  Have you ever seen raw footage of a Darth Vader scene with the original actors voice?  If not, check out this video below and you will see what I mean.

Without dramatic music in the background, without the robotic deep voice of James Earl Jones, that scene is indeed hilarious and barely worthy of a fan following.  For whatever reason, I believe this falsely put the idea in George's head that it really doesn't matter how it looks on camera, "I can fix it in post." And if you remember he didn't actually wait until the prequels to start using more after effects. If memory serves me correctly he started digitally manipulating all the originals and re-releasing them with said modifications.  I believe this is also why he went so nuts in the prequels with green screen and didn't worry too much about the writing or acting.  Why would he?  This is a familiar formula for him and his safety net of after effects and editing hasn't let him down so far!

Another theory I have that might be just as possible is he was out of practice after 20 years.  But what do you think?  Share your thoughts about why there is such a huge difference between the two and what he is probably thinking now about the major props JJ is now getting for this newest film.