Thursday, September 8, 2011

George Lucas - Finish Already.

“A novel is never finished, merely abandoned.”

George Lucas has released the Six Star Wars movies on Blue-ray. That would be great if he would stop fiddling with them.

The films weren't perfect and the first time he went through and added things it was a mixed bag.

I generally liked the changes to Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, he did for the DVD release.

Turning Mos Eisley into a city with people instead of the budget limited three huts and a bar. You could understand why Luke was disappointed when he couldn't go buy power converters. It was a big trip to the city. Not just stopping downtown.

It also explained why he was out of place in the bar. In the original it was the only bar for 100's of miles, farmers would be sure to stop there from time to time. In a huge city they would have their own bar.

In Empire, removing the boxes, or matte lines, around everything in the space scenes made it look more professional.

Then he hit Return of the Jedi.

Jedi was slightly flawed in the original version. Jabba's crew hung around with little to do. But that made Jabba more of a gangster. He liked them going out of their way to worship him. A paid as little as possible for that worship. They were there out of fear, no money.

Bringing the band in took away from Jabba's character, plus it kind of sucked.

The addition of hundreds of Storm Troopers to stand at attention for Darth Vader to say he was there to improve efficiency on the construction made him less threatening and more of a bureaucrat. “You have several hundred men standing around doing nothing. I have been sent here to find ways to speed up construction. Where should I start?”

I don't even want to get into the Falcon flying through hundreds of Tie Fighters and nothing getting hit.

The flawed original was much better than the “Remastered” version.

The same is true with novels. I just reread Asimov's “Foundation Trilogy” after not reading it for 20 years. His “voice” is silly. Douglas Addams ripped it off for the Hitchhikers Guide series. He bounces around from one person's head to another, the characters are one dimensional. But I loved reading it this time as much as I did in high school and college.

It's the clarity and vision I love. In his last two of the series, written years later, he had a better technical skill and better characters making them good, if different, books. But the original ones were fun.

They would be ruined if he went back and “fixed” them.

So I have to learn if my books aren't technically perfect that there needs to come a time to abandon them. Sometimes “fixing” a work of art makes it worse, not better.

1 comment:

  1. True enough. It's good to work on what doesn't work, but sometimes what works is enough.