Thursday, March 16, 2006

How bad will this suck?

by Jackrabbit Slim
Lucas plans Star Wars TV spin-off

From the Guardian:

George Lucas... still not done with Star Wars.

And you thought the Star Wars saga finished with Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Wrong you were, my youngling friend.
George Lucas and his team are currently hard at work on a Star Wars live-action TV series. It will be set between the end of Revenge of the Sith and the beginning of Episode IV: A New Hope. The plot would centre on Luke Skywalker's early years growing up on Tatooine.

Yesterday, producer Rick McCallum announced the tale would be spun over at least 100 hours. "Hopefully if we can make it work and everybody's excited and watches it, we will keep on going," McCallum told BBC Radio 1. A writing team will start sweating on a script soon, with filming scheduled to begin in 2008 for transmission later the same year.
McCallum said there would be "a whole bunch of new characters" and the series would be "much more dramatic and darker". The actors from the films are not expected to take up their roles again.

The live-action TV series is not the only spin-off in the offing. Last year, at a Star Wars fans' convention in Indianapolis, Lucas also said he was preparing a 3D animated TV series called Clone Wars, about the battle led by Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and other Jedi knights against the army of the Republic at the end of Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Clone Wars is based on an existing animated series, made up of five-minute episodes, broadcast on the Cartoon Network TV channel. It is set to be ready next year.

Before work on the live-action TV series can begin, Lucas needs to work on his long-cherished project Red Tails, a drama about African-American pilots in the second world war. He has also just approved the script to Indiana Jones 4, which will see the return of Harrison Ford at the whip and Steven Spielberg in the director's chair.


Blogger Chris said...

Well, Lucas isn't writing or directing the TV shows (I read somewhere that he might direct the first episode, but I'm not sure), so they should be good. The Clone Wars cartoon from Cartoon Network was excellent, so I have no reason to believe that the CG version will be bad.

Star Wars has been very good when Lucas isn't the main creative force involved. The storyline for the game, Knights of the Old Republic, was better than any of the movies (Empire included), and I have heard that many of the books are excellent.

I can only assume that Red Tails will be crap, although there is a chance that Lucas could actually do decent work now that he isn't shackled to Star Wars movies.

3/16/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

This raises two questions:

1) I'm not really one to bash the fanboy set, but is there anyone else who isn't tired of Star Wars by now, or at least burnt out to the point where 100 more hours just doesn't seem necessary?

2) Is Indiana Jones 4 really going to happen?

Count me as skeptical on both counts for now.

3/16/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I have to keep reminding myself that this is the guy who made American Graffiti, which is a terrific film.

Though it says actors from the film won't be involved, I have to believe that Jimmy Smits will be in the cast.

3/16/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I don't think this is a general rule, but hasn't the quality of the Star Wars saga been in direct correlation to how far removed Lucas has been from it? Like Empire Strikes Back was scripted by other people, or the Clone Wars was done by Genndy Tartakovsky, or even some of the novels.

And I've heard differently on the plot. Isn't it going to be about Bounty Hunters working for the Empire? Or maybe that's just a plot element.

I think if Lucas lets this one grow without his hands on involvement it might turn out pretty good.

Also makes me sort of hesitant about Indy IV. He approved the script? That a good thing?

3/16/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

"Like Empire Strikes Back was scripted by other people, or the Clone Wars was done by Genndy Tartakovsky, or even some of the novels."

Yeah, well continuing with the "Lawrence Kasdan is very underrated" theme from yesterday, Kasdan wrote "The Empire Strikes back" (along with Leigh Brackett, who co-scripted "The Big Sleep" and a bunch of other good films). Kasdan also wrote "Return of The Jedi," and if I had to guess, I would think that Kasdan was the one who had it set on Chewbacca's planet before Lucas vetoed that in favor of the Ewoks.

3/16/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Yeah, well continuing with the "Lawrence Kasdan is very underrated" theme from yesterday, Kasdan wrote "The Empire Strikes back"

We really should have some pantheon of Gods, with Kasdan and the Herzog amongst them.

3/16/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

I just finished my review of Herzog's "Wheel of Time," and it should be up on Discland in a few days. It's a pretty good movie, but not one of his best. Has anyone on here seen "The White Diamond"?

3/16/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger LesterG said...

If Lucas' involvement is minimal, I might tune in.

Nice to see the bastard is still concentrating on the bottom line above all else (i.e. 100 episodes will be needed to tell the story - coincidently the same number ideal for syndication).

3/16/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Stroup said...

The plot would centre on Luke Skywalker's early years growing up on Tatooine.

I'm not much of a Star Wars fanboy but isn't this a period where nothing really happened to Luke Skywalker. He just lived a quiet life of isolation out on that farm?

If it turns out that he actually had a childhood full of adventure and excitement doesn't that screw up the Episode IV more than Episodes 1-3 already did?

3/16/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Well, from what I understand, he spends some time bulls-eyeing womp rats in a T-16. So maybe we'll get to see that.

3/16/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I think I'm more tired of people saying that Lucas sucks or the last three Star Wars movies suck etc. than I am of the Star Wars franchise. And I disagree that The Empire Strikes Back was the best, and that the less Lucas has to do with it the better, etc. The original Star Wars was far and away the best film in the series, IMHO, and while the most recent films have serious flaws, they do have some wonderful touches that were absent in Empire and Return of the Jedi that only Lucas seems capable of doing when he has a more direct hand in the project.

One of these touches is the "movie movie"-ness of the first film and the most recent three. Star Wars was very much conceived as a movie movie, and it is rife with all kinds of cinematic references, which I am completely in love with. God, I can't think of a more exhilarating film that manages to channel Kurosawa, Riefenstahl, John Ford, WWII B-movies, and serials.

What stands out for me with Star Wars is the editing job, and that is what saved that film from being what the most recent three are.

Some of those Young Indiana Jones TV shows were pretty good, I thought (not the ones with the really young Indy), so I see no reason to spew premature vitriol over this new series (which I thought was kind of old news, btw).

Having said all that, though, I can't say I'm super-excited about it. I would like to see Lucas do something else. He's a very talented guy who is squandering his talent by not being more willing to let others cover for some of his deficiencies (like dialogue).

I didn't really care much for the Clone Wars cartoons. They were okay, and I liked some of the humor, but that was all.

I'll believe Indy 4 when I see it.

And one more thing: having a battle of Wookie primitives against the Empire was something Lucas had wanted way before Return or Kasdan's involvement.

3/16/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

I know that Lucas originally wanted it on the Wookie planet, but I'm guessing that Kasdan wrote it that way and then Lucas changed it to the Ewoks. But that's just a guess. Does anyone know exactly what happened?

3/16/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Sherry said...

I'm interested, not excited. Looking forward to it. I enjoy mmmmost of the books, so I would say that given the reality that this will likely be other people playing in George's world it could be decent.

3/16/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Stroup said...

For me Episode IV was the most fun of the six and Empire was the best movie. I haven't really cared for any of the other four and Attack of the Clones remains one of only two films where I was so bored I fell asleep in the theater (Unnecessary Roughness was the other).

But even my liking of the first two films isn't that strong (I'm fine with the thought of never watching either again) so I'm missing the connection that exists in those I know who liked the last three films.

3/16/2006 07:13:00 PM  

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