As we get closer to the premiere of Episode 1, we continue to learn more about the film. And one thing that is very apparent is that George Lucas is doing this his way. And that way is not always exactly how you might expect. Here?s a few examples.
One of the most obvious examples is the title. THE PHANTOM MENACE. Who among us was expecting that? I don?t think anyone. We were all expecting "something OF THE FORCE" or another more glamorous title. But "The Phantom Menace"?? Definitely from left field.
Or how about that cool trailer? NOBODY expected it to show so much of the film. What a cool surprise. In a time where most trailers are vague or don?t show much, this one was long, exciting, and in-your-face. In fact, when rumors first started leaking about the length and content of the trailer, many didn?t even believe it was possible. Why would it show so much so early? Again, Lucas surprises.
How about the release of the trailer? After all the debate and speculation on the film it would first appear with, it ended up showing up in special sneak previews and on MANY different films from MANY different studios. At TheForce.Net, we had multiple people write us telling us we were stupid for even suggesting that the trailer would first appear on a non-Twentieth Century Fox film. Film school and movie marketing convention might tell you it?s bad business not to attach the trailer to one of your own studio?s films, but Lucas again disregards the norm for the benefit of the fans.
How about some of these character?s names? Qui-Gon Jinn? Padme? Naboo? Or the all time favorite, Jar Jar? Even when I heard the name "Jar Jar" for the first time (from Harry Knowles in a chat), I didn?t believe it at all. No way, no how. I started making jokes about it. Yet, in the end, it was true. In fact, I think I read on some website (I can?t recall right now where) that Lucas? son named the character. Who in their right mind would give character?s these names, much less let their young son name it?
We could also get into some of the hair styles like Queen Amidala?s geisha look. Or the Gungan?s strange Jamaican/Italian speech. Again, all things that make you say "Huh?"
But you know what? This is exactly the way it should be. It?s not our place to tell the painter how to paint, and it?s not our place to tell Lucas how to do things. Obviously, it?s working out that way, too. Lucas is not letting Fox, Hollywood, "common sense", the public, or even the fans tell him how to do things. I think the above examples illustrate that. And so far, despite the weirdness, I really love what I?ve seen. I even like the name "Jar Jar" now. J Can you imagine what would have happened if Lucas didn?t have his way the first time around? Who would have given a character the name "Obi-Wan" or "Chewie"? Who would have created a movie with a big hairy dog thing in it? Who would have called the sequel "The Empire Strikes Back"? We have the films we love because Lucas did it his way, and that sometimes means taking the good with the Ewoks?er?bad. J
I bring this up so you?ll remember to keep an open mind as Episode 1 gets closer. You?re going to hear about things that you might not care for. Things like "midichlorians", or "Wizard!", or Anakin being called "Annie". But remember that this is what you get for having Lucas in the driver?s seat, and in the end that?s what you really want. That means you?ll get stuff that?s not so great (in your opinion), but you?ll also get all the 10 times greater stuff that makes Star Wars what it is. So don?t fire off with a knee jerk reaction and blast something when you first hear about it, but wait till you see the big picture in it?s completed state to render judgment. We owe it to Uncle George to give him a chance.
January 1st, 1999
04/08/03 - Christopher Knight - Oscars Give Short Shrift to Fantasy
03/17/03 - Joshua Griffin - Put the REAL Classics on DVD
01/29/03 - Joshua Griffin - Imagine a Star Wars HALO Videogame
01/14/03 - Michael Potts - Clone Wars: Expanded Universe Editorial
09/03/02 - Joshua Griffin - Digital Pirates Sink Ships
05/17/02 - Chris Knight - Digital Projection: The Audience Is Watching... And Waiting
04/11/02 - TFN Staff - Thumbs Up, Tumbs Down for SW2 Marketing
03/08/02 - TFN Staff - Clone War Trailer Reaction
01/13/02 - TFN Staff - TFN Reaction to SNL N'Sync Skit
01/03/02 - TFN Staff - Boy Band Jedi Reactions
12/12/01 - Chris Knight - Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
12/07/01 - Jeff Yankey - All I Want for Christmas
11/17/01 - Guest Editorial - Ritual and Romance of Episode II
10/04/01 - Guest Editorial - Why Episode I is Brilliant
10/02/01 - Guest Editorial - Episode I is Star Wars
09/30/01 - Guest Editorial - Why I Loved Episode I
09/25/01 - Joshua Griffin - Episode II: Make It or Break It Time
08/21/01 - Chris Knight - SW2: Attack On The Soul?
07/13/01 - Joshua Griffin - Special Time for SW Fans
05/14/01 - Joshua Griffin - AlphaCon is Finished
05/09/01 - Chris Knight - In The Beginning... Star Wars Comes To A Wired World
04/17/01 - Joshua Griffin - Global TFN - International Outlook on Star Wars
03/14/01 - Chris Knight - Palpatine vs. Hitler: Prequel Speculation Runs Amok!
02/13/01 - Chris Knight - "The Force" of Love: A Valentine's Day Editorial
01/17/01 - Chris Knight - Star Wars Could Continue... As Television Anthology
01/11/01 - Guest Editorial - A Review of A New Hope After the Prequels
01/07/01 - Guest Editorial - No - We Want the DVDs Now!
01/04/01 - Chris Knight - New Digital Disciple Says "Lets Wait On Star Wars DVDs"
12/21/00 - Joshua Griffin - Is George Lucas Really a Genius?
11/18/00 - Joshua Griffin - To Spoil or Not to Spoil
11/06/00 - Joshua Griffin - The Power of the Election
11/01/00 - Chris Knight - Why Isn't There A Star Wars Postage Stamp?
08/17/00 - Jason McCabe Calacanis - The SW2 Fan Trailer (guest editorial)
07/14/00 - Joshua Griffin/Scott Chitwood - TFN's Spoiler Policy
06/20/00 - Chris Knight - Star Wars and the Saga of Life
05/13/00 - TFN Staff - TheForce.net Wish List
04/08/00 - Special Guest Editorial by Skybaugh - Worth the Wait
03/30/00 - Joshua Griffin - What Star Wars Has Won
03/19/00 - Joshua Griffin - The Next Denver Celebration
03/14/00 - Joshua Griffin - Fair Weather Fans
03/07/00 - Joshua Griffin - Predicting the Academy Award Winners
02/22/00 - Joshua Griffin - Who should profit from Star Wars?
02/16/00 - Joshua Griffin - Episode I and the Academy
01/27/00 - TFN Staff - Flaming TFN over DVD
01/25/00 - Chris Knight - Motivations of the Sith
01/20/00 - TFN Staff - Leonardo DiCaprio as Anakin?
01/10/00 - Joshua Griffin - World-Wide Star Wars
01/03/00 - Joshua Griffin - Mass Merchandising Menace
12/13/99 - Joshua Griffin - Questioning Star Wars
11/22/99 - Joshua Griffin - Trusting Internet Rumors
11/11/99 - Paul Davidson - Rise of the Empire: China and TPM
10/28/99 - Scott Chitwood - Signs There Probably Won't Be a Sequel Trilogy
10/18/99 - Joshua Griffin - Why not Episode I DVD?
10/15/99 - Joshua Griffin - What Makes SW Fans Special
10/01/99 - Joshua Griffin - The PG Rating of TPM
09/07/99 - Scott Chitwood and Paul Ens - Comic and Book Wishlist
08/18/99 - TF.N Team - Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down on Episode I Everything
07/11/99 - Joshua Griffin - Parody Site isn't that funny
07/10/99 - Brian Linder - The Jar Jar Factor
06/08/99 - Joshua Griffin & Chris Knight - Why is Jar Jar in Episode I?
05/06/99 - Darin Smith - Return of the Child
03/09/99 - Scott Chitwood and Paul Ens - A Chat with LFL
02/07/99 - Amy Pronovost - Convention Romances, Can they Work?
01/23/99 - Scott Chitwood - What's up with Prowse?
01/01/99 - Scott Chitwood - Uncle George and Episode 1
11/23/98 - Scott Chitwood - What Lucasfilm is doing right
11/05/98 - Scott Chitwood - Prequel Spoilers
09/28/98 - David Coates - First thoughts on the the Episode 1 Title
06/19/98 - Scott Chitwood - How Godzilla affected Episode I
04/09/98 - Scott Chitwood - The Art of the Space Battle
04/09/98 - Scott Chitwood - DIVX SUX
02/26/98 - Scott Chitwood - X-WING TV Series Should Fly
02/09/98 - Scott Chitwood - Xerox Sites
02/03/98 - Scott Chitwood - Canon Issue, Part 2
01/07/98 - Terrence Daniels - Canon = Personal Preference
12/17/97 - Darin Smith - Everything I need to know...
11/15/97 - Chris Kivlehan - Six Episodes or Nine Episodes?
11/07/97 - Scott Chitwood - How do you solve a problem like Ewan?
11/03/97 - Scott Chitwood - How we get our Prequel 'Spy' info
10/22/97 - Paul Davidson - Trek vs. Wars