Monday, October 3, 2011

SyFy Channel is Using As Its Business Model, The Imagination Deficient George Lucas of The Early 1980s

There is no doubt that the SyFy Channel has been using as its business model, the George Lucas of the early 1980s which was the first indication that the wellspring of fresh, innovative and sparkling ideas so prevalent in "Star Wars" (1977) and "Empire Strikes Back" (1980) were dried up and parched. Of course, I'm speaking specifically of the release of "Return of the Jedi" (1983). A movie so mind numbingly God awful in its terribleness (my new word for the day), that it makes the "Star Wars" prequels look like King Lear.

"Return of the Jedi" was (and still is) more than just a terrible movie. It was a devastating blow to the general public that George Lucas "had lost his magic." I don't believe it ends there either. "Return of the Jedi" was a product of the time and the circumstances under which it was made. It was made at a time when George Lucas so clearly had lost enthusiasm for the "Star Wars" universe. It was made at a time when George Lucas no longer considered the "Star Wars" universe worth exploring, but rather as a product to be cranked off of the assembly line. It's also obvious from watching "Return of the Jedi", that George Lucas had other things on his mind at the time the movie was made. Such as the simultaneous production of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Temple of Doom." "Return of the Jedi" was obviously a quick little pit-stop for George Lucas to wrap up the "Star Wars" saga he had clearly lost enthusiasm for in a completely boring and unoriginal he could move on to his new passion in life... The Indiana Jones saga. "Return of the Jedi" was being made at a time when George Lucas's new love in life was the Indiana Jones character. And the "Return of the Jedi" script suffered severely because of it. So little thought was put into the script of "Jedi" that almost 30 years later, the faults of the film are as glaring, sparkling, fresh, and as disappointing as they were during the original theatrical release.

Could George Lucas have come up with something better than Princess Leia being the "Other?" Why couldn't he have made Han Solo "The Other?" This would have made a hilarious movie if George Lucas had better writers at the time (himself included) working on the "Jedi" script. Not only would this have better tied "Jedi" much, much better to the previous two movies (the romantic rival triangle would have continued), but it also would have given the Han Solo character "contrast" to bounce his acerbic wit (one liners) off of (if Harrison Ford at the time were still enthusiastic about playing the character.) Imagine the Han Solo character as dynamically played by Harrison Ford in "Empire Strikes Back", finding out that he had "Jedi" mind powers in "Jedi." The comedic possibilities (and one liners) would have been endless. And if Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher still had had the enthusiasm for playing their characters in "Jedi" as they did in "Empire", "Jedi" really would have been a spectacular finale to the original trilogy with the audience still demanding more.

Instead, George Lucas went with the creepy "Incest Shit" in "Return of the Jedi." He made Luke and Leia brother and sister, apparently forgetting the fact that there was a romantic triangle going on between Han, Luke, and Leia in the previous two films. Even if Lucas had written into the script that Luke and Leia were half brother and half would have softened the creepy letdown substantially. All it would have taken was one word in the script..."Half."... "Jedi" still would have worked as a movie if he had made "Leia"..."The Other", but remove any notion of Luke and Leia being siblings.

This isn't the end of "Jedi's" problems as a movie. It was badly written and badly directed. Whether it be the late Richard Marquand having little to no experience working with actors, or George Lucas telling Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill to act like "coked out zombies" throughout the film, there is something clearly wrong with the performances of the the principal actors in this film. Their hearts clearly were not into the making of this film, and their hearts clearly were not into their work. They looked distracted in a way. Like something more important (to them) was beckoning them after "Jedi" were to finish principal photography. This was clearly a..."lap up the paycheck"....gig for Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hammil...and get the hell out of there quickly. This was clearly a ...."going through the motions"...type film while sleepwalking.

The actors hearts clearly weren't into the making of this movie, and neither were the hearts of George Lucas and Richard Marquand. It seems to me that at the time "Return of the Jedi" was made, it was the one project on Lucas's plate designated to get the shaft while the projects designated by George Lucas (simultaneously in production with "Jedi") to be more important to him at the time..."Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Temple of Doom" all of the tender loving care.

The way all of this ties into the SyFy Channel is as follows...Like the George Lucas of the early 1980s, SyFy Channel routinely and daily makes bad decisions with the entire Science Fiction genre. Like the George Lucas of the early 1980s, the SyFy Channel routinely "shafts" Science Fiction because they always have more important things (to them) on their minds such as "WWF Wrestling"...and branching the SyFy Channel off into some ambiguous retail operation. Like George Lucas of the early 1980s, the SyFy Channel sleepwalks through what they are supposed to be doing with Science Fiction...making sparkling, innovative, and fresh entertainment. And like the George Lucas of the early 1980s, the SyFy Channel has completely  given up on Science Fiction.

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