For many people, including myself, George Lucas represents the connective tissue in the love affair between science and fantasy. He provided us with a world that, not only was beyond what we could imagine, but outside of the rules of imagination. We know it is impossible to shoot cannon through a window at a tie fighter, just as we know that laser beams do not extend to just over a meter in length from a flashlight and then stop in mid-air. And while we’re at it, why didn’t the princess just e-mail the plans to the rebel base on Yavin. But I digress.
This week, Mr Lucas, announced his retirement from film. No doubt he will withdraw to a sunny retirement home on Tattoine and reflect on the life he has had.
He can enjoy the fact that he changed the face of science fiction – every movie made after “Star Wars” paid homage to it in some way, either in design or, more blatantly, in opening scene – yes I’m talking to you Alien!
He redefined the rules of science fiction, moving away from a clean, sterile environment, to a more lived in, gritty and true to life vision.
Without a doubt, he revolutionised the special effects industry, championing motion control, that just about everyone copied afterwards, or if they couldn’t they’d hire ILM to do it for them.
In the world according to George, space and spaceships were dynamic, fast paced, not the soaring, boring two minute glide across the screen that we saw in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
His retirement, hopefully also means that he will finally walk away from the Star Wars movies that have been described by some as a death of a thousand cuts. The tinkering with the happy memories of millions, that effectively left them feeling upset, unhappy, and in some cases violated.
There will continue to be those who say “Han shot first”, and “Did the Death Star explosion really need the shock wave effect?” I’m sure they would debate the virtues of a CGI Yoda , to the living, breathing latex imbued physical puppet.
Just remember guys , the same chap you claim should have the Star Wars trilogy tackled and wrestled from his hands by force, is the same one who filled your sense of wonder in 1977, when the cinema lights dimmed and you read those immortal words “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away”.
So let’s give him the golden watch and hope he enjoys the quiet life!
Links to this week’s episode
- http://goo.gl/zjhIa Terminator 5
- http://goo.gl/NX8Iy Ray Bradbury
- http://goo.gl/rtIRa Sam L Jackson for Robocop
- http://goo.gl/GXJgS Meet the Governor
- http://goo.gl/QAb5W George Lucas retires
- http://goo.gl/45vy6 Justice League movie?