No match for a good blaster

47 of you (53%) have put STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A New Hope in the number one spot in your "Favorite George Lucas Movie." & as always, we're curious to know a little more about your decision making process. Take note we only gave the option of George-directed films, & we'd love to know if you took this into account. Did you base your vote on directing-directing, or was it FX, genre, nostalgia, popularity, quotability, or other? More simply put, what does "director" mean to you; is it more than composition/mise en scene, or does it go as far as cinematography/costumes/acting/plot/dialogue/music/overall production? In summary, why is A New Hope George's greatest directing accomplishment? & if you voted for other, speak up!


Mr Fist said...

I've always prefered to see a film as the director's story, since each one of them has a distinct style of their work. Hell, I've got my dvd/blu-ray collection in directorial order.

However, I cannot deny that film-making is also a collaborative event, which uses everything from photography, editing, acting, writing, etc. The director has to work with everyone involved in order to make the film they want.

Jacob said...

I was never a big Star Wars fan, and to this day consider George Lucas as one of the most overrated directors of all-time. American Graffiti is the only of his films that I ever thought was anything special.

Jaspers said...

Star Wars is a film many cinephiles take for granted. Mired by a lifetime of adoration or hatred of the franchise, we forget its single-handed impact on both the science fiction genre and film as a whole. Before Star Wars, hard sci-fi films looked like Buck Rogers. Everything had a certain artificial quality, an inauthentic, hyperstylized mis-en-scene. It was a future full of chrome, antennae, and blinking lights. Ironically, this retro-futuristic look is more indicative of the past in which it was produced than the future it tried to emulate. It's subject matter consisted of political allegory, fantasy, or horror. When Star Wars came out, the future started looking futuristic. Spaceships looked more like what actual engineers would construct, and not just flying saucers. Alien creatures looked more like alien creatures; an actual middle-ground between green men and tentacled beasts. As for subject matter, Star Wars dared to be adventurous. It's a well-known fact George Lucas borrowed heavily from westerns and samurai flicks for plot and character inspiration, but he kept the tension and thrills from these genres, transplanting them into a new environment. Star Wars marketed itself as an action film first, and a sci-fi film second.

Since then, practically every sci-fi film has followed suit. Everybody expects science fiction to be a thrill-a-minute roller coaster full of groundbreaking special effects. As the founder of the movement, George Lucas aided the genre's development by establishing ILM, THX and Skywalker Sound, three services synonymous with blockbusters, and mainstays of the Hollywood system. It's a roundabout way of saying it, but this is why Star Wars is George Lucas' crowning achievement. All of this is on top of a well-written screenplay, legendary characters, and an intricately woven universe with its own history and mythology. How could there be any comparison?

Everything that made the film a smash sensation in 1977 holds true today. It's exciting, it's engaging, and it's well-crafted. It's ingrained as part of our culture. And all of this resulted simply from one man, his visions, and two hours of film stock. American Graffiti and THX-1138 are both fine films, but Star Wars is the Citizen Kane of spectacle.

Jacob said...

I'd say 2001: A Space Odyssey is the Citizen Kane of spectacle. Star Wars is more like the Godfather.

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