- Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:37 am
If other aspects of the story and the people were around at that time, Star Wars would still be Star Wars.
The special effects in the original star wars was mind blowing and that grabbed an audience. For the first time, space ships looked realistic enough in the movies to take away your disbelief.
There was that. However, the special effects and images we saw were greatly influenced by Ralph McQuarrie. His genuius and ability to take Lucas' various script revisions and give them body made Star Wars possible.
Sadly the prequels did not have anyone with his vision or foresight. Darth Vader's helmet and breathing were first influenced by the practical notion that one person moving from one spaceship to another during a battle may need a space suit.
Also McQuarrie's drawings created a gritty, unknown idea of space. Few silver jumpsuits. The look of the ships, aliens, weapons, clothing all captivate the audience. The prequel designs were not that good. The Naboo ships--especially the three versions of the Queen's ship were not all that great.
The solar sail ship for Dooku (about that name which was lame) was not great.
And Naboo's look was stolen almost image by image from dinotopia which again makes the prequels come off as cheap.
Also of great importance was the music. John Williams was brilliant composing music for Star Wars, Jaws, Raiders. The music grabs the audience member as much as the visual effects. Screw surround sound. Good music grabs the audience and brings them into that world much more than we realize at the time.
The story--especially the story of A new hope and Empire were really well done. The prequels showed little to no connection. Menace is kind of out there and honestly was just not a strong stand alone vehicle. Clones and Sith were more closely connected but Sith was so rushed because if it was going to follow the pacing of Menace, we would have never been on track to get to Luke.
Poor dialogue and a confusing storyline that has a rushed ending was just a mess.
Acting--Natalie Portman is a wonderful actress. McGregor has shown great range. Sam Jackson is a wonderful character actor. But none of them could get much out of their characters. McGregor did better than others. So too did Ian McDirmid as Palpatine. English are better trained than their American counterparts and when they don't get direction from their director, they can improvise.
The Star Wars movies greatly benefitted from Alec Guiness disagreeing with Lucas on how to play Kenobi. So too did Anthony Daniels who helped make 3po more of prissy butler than say a buggs bunny sounding con man (that was Lucas' initial plan).
Harrison Ford asked Lucas how to fly the Falcon and demonstrated that he knew how to make the character work.
I am not saying these actors corrected George right and left. But Lucas in the 1970s was not the George Lucas multi billionaire of the late 1990s. People said "no" to Lucas in the old days. Lucas was surrounded by "yes" men by the time he chose to return to Star Wars. It is painfully clear with product and listening to the interviews.
Also Lucas got divorced prior to Jedi and frankly his wife's ediitng skills and general guidance was clearly evident by Jedi.
It is not just cgi versus hard copy models. It is so much more. For goodness sake Star Wars was nominated as best picture. Whatever Lucas wants to say about this story being just a b movie afternoon matinee flick...Star Wars was nominated for best picture. It didn't win but that is not the point. None of the prequels were really close to being the best movie of the year.
Star Wars and Raiders were among the very best movies of the year in which they were released. That is why people care today.