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Lack of Technology Puts Star Wars Series On Hold

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the lost-long-ago-and-far-away dept.

Star Wars Prequels 309

adeelarshad82 writes "It was back in 2007 when we first heard about George Lucas making a live-action TV series focusing on characters from Star Wars. Almost four years later, it seems the idea of ever seeing this live-action show is still living in a galaxy far, far away. In a recent interview, George Lucas mentioned that the technology to produce the show in a cost-effective way doesn't exist yet, and that the cost of producing an episode is about ten times of what it should be."

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Funny (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324424)

Funny how other Science Fiction series manage to incorporate all the special effects they need to tell a story without blowing the bank's budget. Apparently George wants movie-grade FX on a TV budget.

Re:Funny (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324492)

And of course there are ongoing sci-fi shows because their budget requirements are quite low..

Oh wait...

Legacy (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324506)

He's afraid that it would ruin the Star Wars legacy... Wait, shit.

Re:Funny (2)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324552)

The Canadian-made SGU had movie-grade FX on a TV budget (it cost $2.5mil per episode according to Robert Carlyle, the main actor on the show). SGU's FX were the best ever on TV (so far). Just check on Netflix "The Greater Good" episode to see the amount of detail and craftsmanship that went on the FX. But I think Lucas' problem is that he wants to do the FX via ILM, which is an expensive company to work with, even if he owns it. The answer is to go off shore for FX. Either Canada, or even South America.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324980)

And I'm sure that the costs of SGU production played some part in the show being canceled - certainly wasn't because it wasn't as good as most of the crap SyFy pushes.

And I wonder how much Canada subsidized the production of the show (if it was), they've done that for shows in the past.

Frankly, with what we saw with EP1 ->3 - this probably is a blessing.

Re:Funny (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325000)

The Canadian-made SGU had movie-grade FX on a TV budget (it cost $2.5mil per episode according to Robert Carlyle, the main actor on the show).

Syfi (SciFi) cancelled Farscape despite its popularity citing cost as the main factor. Farscape was 1.2-1.5 Mil per episode. Stargate SG1 had a per episode budget of ~1.3 Mil until exchange rates flip flopped on them and it shot up to ~2 Mil and subsequently got cancelled (OK they were winding down anyway). You say SGU had a budget of 2.5 Mil and it has now also been cancelled. I'm sensing a trend. Maybe if the Ghost Hunters and Wrestlers insisted on more money per episode we would get some of these shows back?

Re:Funny (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325096)

Actually, SGU at $2.5mil was cheap. Maybe not as cheap as SyFy wanted it to be, but it's cheaper than the average US show, which costs $3mil per episode these days. And that's the average price. Some network shows go up to $4 mil per episode. Cable shows are usually cheaper. "Mad Men" costs $2.5mil per episode too btw (started at $2.3mil in 2008 according to NYTimes).

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36325114)

What FX? You mean the (yes, well-designed) sets (suits, bridge, space ships), occasional sparks, and Poser default blue aliens? ;)

I found the show to lack a lot in visuals. Always the same boring corridors, rooms, and space shots. With the occasional "planet" mission on what was obviously just a patch of nature behind their sets with a filter over it. ;)
Yet, I forgave them, because I know they had little viewership and probably couldnâ(TM)t afford big-budget stuff.

But the worst, and the core problem, were the stories. Apart from them being utterly boring for the whole first season, stretched out beyond what I could have imagined, they always focused on the US propaganda narrative of "Oh, there are evil terrorists^WCylons^Waliens posing a constant threat via blowing up things and capturing people, so let's rape all moral standards and create a dictatorship!â.
Seriously: They had the head guy strangle and murder someone with his bare hands, and then showed for weeks, how right and good that was. It was disgusting!
And a blindingly obvious analogy.

The problem: If you show that narrative too often, people believe in this reasoning in reality too. And think that's how reality actually is.

Conclusion: http://www.zpub.com/un/chomsky.html [zpub.com]

Re:Funny (5, Insightful)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324564)

Well, other Science Fiction series have actual plots and don't rely on special effects tricks to hold your attention.

Re:Funny (2)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324876)

And dialog. And they leave out 1:30 hours worth of CSPAN (in Space!!!)

Re:Funny (1)

evildarkdeathclicheo (978593) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324846)

In other words, it's the polar opposite of BSG, which featured character development in lieu of special effects. Yay.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324888)

"Lack of technology" didn't stop Lucas in 1977. WTF. Lamest. Excuse. Ever.

Re:Funny (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324960)

Apparently George wants movie-grade FX on a TV budget.

Maybe I haven't been watching the right films, but I don't think Lucas has ever been concerned with film-grade F/X...

Re:Funny (1)

CaptainLard (1902452) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325192)

I don't understand why he can't just release the show now, and then fix it in syndication when future technology lets him tell the story the way he always wanted to.

All I can say is (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324444)

Thank God for that.

Re:All I can say is (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324510)

Damn right. I'm convinced Eps 4-6 were only made good by accident. The chances of George Lucas accidentally making something that is not utter shit again are quite slim.

Re:All I can say is (1)

VendingMenace (613279) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324584)

And let's be honest. Only eps 5 is actually a *good* movie. Eps 4 is only good because of the very strong characters and setting. The story is only so-so. Eps 6 is only good because it is riding on the shoulders of 5 and the viewer is still caught up in what happened in eps 5. Eps 5 is actually a spectacular movie, from almost any standpoint. The fact that the tension from 5 carries all the way through 6 is just that much more telling.

Re:All I can say is (5, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324620)

And I'm pretty sure ESB was actually in someone else's hands (Different director or producer or something. Can't remember).

Just sayin'...

Re:All I can say is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324654)

Irvin Kershner

Re:All I can say is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324728)

Irvin Kershner

...who undoubtedly made one of the best ever films. May the force be with him, always.

Re:All I can say is (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324864)

And let's be honest. Only eps 5 is actually a *good* movie. Eps 4 is only good because of the very strong characters and setting. The story is only so-so.

I will never understand people who say this.

Star Wars, the original movie (no, it wasn't called "Episode IV"), was pretty much perfect. Yeah, the story wasn't any great miracle -- pretty much a retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk" -- but it did have strong characters, it did have good settings, and it was an action-packed and enjoyable movie.

The Empire Strikes Back is arguably better shot and better directed. But as a story, you would have no idea what's going on if you hadn't seen the first movie. Worse, it starts at some point mid-story, it ends at some point mid-story, and there isn't really any plot at all. Luke whines, Han Solo introduces us to Lando Calrissian (who betrays him), Leia bitches, and Darth Vader kills his own guys. The end. Yeah, it had some great action scenes -- but isn't tons of action with a weak story the reason we all hate the prequels? It's pretty telling when the most memorable character in the movie is a Muppet. And I remember distinctly as a kid, when Darth Vader told Luke he was his father, thinking, "That's bullshit, Vader's lying." When RotJ came out and they acted like it was the god's-honest truth, I was like, "Whaaaaaat? That's so lame."

The Star Wars series is mostly bad movies. The original Star Wars, on the other hand, remains a near-flawless miracle of filmmaking that will never be repeated.

Re:All I can say is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324902)

Return of the Jedi did have at least the saber duel between Luke and Vader. That fight was much better choreographed than any of that spinny ninja shit in the prequels.

TIme gone by. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324454)

I remember hearing about the show during Starwars Celebration III and thinking it was only a year or 2 away.

Can't fully replace people yet George? (4, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324458)

I'm guessing the holdup is that there still has to be people involved in the production at some step and he was hoping to do it all with robots. Simply treating actors like robots didn't work out in the prequels.

Re:Can't fully replace people yet George? (0)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324562)

Yep, didn't work out to the tune of 2.5 billion dollars. A colossal failure if ever there was one.

Re:Can't fully replace people yet George? (2)

elastic_collision (2173718) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324780)

You read it here ladies and gents, financial return is the only measure of success.

Re:Can't fully replace people yet George? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325100)

It's not the only measure, but it is A measure. It's also a pretty good proxy for popularity. People (generally) liked the prequels. A lot. Kids love Jar-Jar. Deal with it.

Re:Can't fully replace people yet George? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325088)

Yes, but needing 3 movies to do that. Pfffft. Avatar made more than that on it's own. And by your logic it has to be the better movie.

Re:Can't fully replace people yet George? (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324656)

Why bother for hardware moving around.
He's waiting for a way to take an actor's face and voice from the old movies and somehow use them to make new movies, *convincingly*.
Just capture the gestures from unknown, easily replaced actors that are paid peanuts and voila: big budget look and feel without paying the talent.

I know why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324460)

They haven't invented an espresso machine up to his standards yet.

You could always make them 1/10 shorter or produce (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324462)

You could always make them 1/10 shorter, produce 1/10 of them or a combination of both.

Re:You could always make them 1/10 shorter or prod (2)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324916)

10/10 - 1/10 = 9/10.

And Nothing of Value was Lost... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324470)

Ok, let's think for a second here: back when the only Star Wars movies/media that were any good at all were produced, visual effects were both vastly cruder and more expensive(per unit bang, I'm sure the ceiling price has continued to climb...).

Therefore, if they are "too expensive" now, either Lucas has wandered off the ranch, so to speak, and is insisting that it be shot in 100053459348p 512Hz 3HD or and vastly more likely the plan was to shovel a bunch of straight-to-TV/DVD kiddie-schlock and they aren't sure that they can recoup the cost of visual effects that wouldn't be laughed at.

It sounds like the world is on track to be spared an atrocity here.

Sheesh (2)

mrsam (12205) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324472)

Gee, I didn't know that the cost of flogging a dead horse is still that expensive. I'd think that Lucas could command a hefty discount, based only on volume.

Re:Sheesh (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324686)

The rest of the star wars story (eps 7-9) is actually more interesting and deep than the crap we've got so far. George Lucas drorpped 4-6 to shove us into the center of an incomplete story, like starting The Gap Cycle on book 3. A very inferior story compared to suffering the first book and a half. Unfortunately, the depth of character development that gets explained in the first 3 episodes is ... difficult to do in movies. A long-running TV series would be better; movies are horrible because they put every relevant piece of a story into an almost fixed length of about 2 hours, and nobody will tolerate 12 in the series. TV has the same problem in the US, because everyone wants a complete problem-resolution cycle in isolated episodes that don't have to be watched in exact order, as opposed to chapter-style episodic progression.

The end result is we got somewhat uninteresting action for movies 4-6, because we showed movies 1-3 as movies 4-6. The real depth of actual story starts around episode 4, so that's where the original series started. Episodes 7-9--which now will not be produced--detail much more complicated emotional struggles, as well as more subtle story progressions. There is less action and more content, which is less interesting to people than watching Neo beat up hundreds of copies of Smith for no real reason.

Re:Sheesh (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324942)

Well look at Lord of the Rings. the full director's cut of all three movies is nearly 12 hours long and is still missing massive amounts of the story.

What I wish, is for more and bigger budget mini-series's. So a story that runs 12-20 hours long allowing proper character development the big side of special FX's. The remake of Dune , Band of Brothers, etc

Something you won't sit down and watch all at once, but you don't end up with 5 seasons of varying quality and actors.

Re:Sheesh (2)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325046)

>> TV has the same problem in the US, because everyone wants a complete problem-resolution cycle in isolated episodes that don't have to be watched in exact order, as opposed to chapter-style episodic progression.

Luckily the tides are slowing turning that way (for now); the strongest starter was back with the Sopranos. Now, HBO,Showtime, Stars, etc. are full "episodic" material. You could argue that reality TV is that way too.

Two problems:
1. Sci-Fi - Film companies have been scared of it historically (read Sci-Fi Ghetto at TvTropes.com; or don't if you have something to do this month). Are exceptions, even going back to the old serial Flash Gordon movies.
2. Pendulm Effect - Meaning history, art, and taste swing back and forth. We could start going back to "situational" and 22 min resolutions.

Re:Sheesh (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325180)

The end result is we got somewhat uninteresting action for movies 4-6, because we showed movies 1-3 as movies 4-6. The real depth of actual story starts around episode 4, so that's where the original series started

Wow, dude, you really need to pull your head out of your genre for a while.

The reason science fiction books are always series with a minimum of three books is because that way they can sell you a minimum of three books.

If you'd broaden your horizons a little bit, however, you'd realize that most of the great literature of the world is stand-alone books. Likewise, most of the great movies ever made do not have any sequels or prequels -- The Godfather being one notable exception, which they fucked up when they tried to have lightning strike twice.

And FWIW, this thing about George Lucas "deciding to film episode 4 first" is a myth -- propagated by Lucas, but a myth nonetheless. He made a movie. When it was a success, he made more movies.

As Jon Lovitz would say: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324474)

And nothing of value was lost!

I'm sure I speak for all of us (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324476)

We're very, very disappointed that this isn't going to happen.

Lack of Technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324486)

Lack of Technology!

If J. Michael Straczynski believed this when he was pitched Babylon 5, we probably would not have had that great series, in fact it's production pushed out newer and cheaper technologies as it went along!

Re:Lack of Technology! (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324906)

Exactly. Babylon 5 didn't have the technology to do the FX cheaply (models used by Star Trek, etc. were expensive), so they created their own as they went along.

Sometimes the Babylon 5 SFX team completed the rendering of a scene hours before it was to be uploaded to the studio for broadcasting (rendering scenes on Amigas originally, taking days to complete a simple scene). They even recycled some of the footage (e.g. launching ships) between episodes.

Groundbreaking stuff that showed you could do quality effects (for the time) on a budget.

Midgets. (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324488)

Use more midgets, I hear they work for peanuts...... Oh wait.. maybe elephants.. Yeah that's it.. Hire more elephants!!!!

old stuff (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324490)

For me, whenever I read "Star Wars" in articles, I always think, "ongoing re-tread/re-write/re-cast of the 1970s movie." It seems Star Trek has same trend. Cmon' these guys got lotsa bux or is it the issue of $50 million for special effects, $5K for writers?

Consider if same was done for Gunsmoke and Bonanza, there's only seven plots to a western.

Before I'm dead of old age, I'd like to see some new material (and a new manned spacecraft flown from USA but that's for another thread). I guess I'll have to get off my butt and do it myself.

Han Solo show! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324502)

You know what would be really cool - a show all about han solo, where he and his rag-tag crew jet about the galaxy in their decrepit but well loved ship, taking on any smuggling job, facing danger together, serving out home-style justice when it serves their pocketbooks, wooing space-ladies.

Oh wait, they already made that show, it's called firefly, and it got cancelled.

Sorry to get your hopes up george

Re:Han Solo show! (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324940)

I read a book like this once when I was a kid. It was about Han and Chewie's smuggling adventures prior to meeting Luke. It was a really cool book (When I was a kid at least, I'm not sure how it would hold up if I read it now).

Lack of special effect technology.... (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324512)

...didn't stop the first movies from happening.

Are all directors this INCREDIBLY LAZY and uncreative?

Re:Lack of special effect technology.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324568)

Actually for most early film EVERYTHING was special effects. Only later did they learn that you could also tell stories with the medium. Of course that was a century ago, so you'd think it would have sunk in by now...

Re:Lack of special effect technology.... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324580)

George Lucas was ever creative? The only reasons why the first 3 movies didn't suck was because George wasn't doing it solo. Episodes 1-3 suck so much because he thought his shit didn't stink and he surrounded himself with nothing but yesmen and all he churned out was schlock.

Re:Lack of special effect technology.... (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324778)

Lucas creative? I don't think so. I never thought so, rather.

Similarly to "if life gives you lemons, make limonade", a real creative can do his/her work even if all the available resources are a few cardboard boxes and silver paint.
Therefore, I don't believe that there is no technology to make ANY series. Everything is possible in fiction. If it's not, you are doing it wrong.

Re:Lack of special effect technology.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324948)

As a writer, he's not bad. He has writing credits on all the Indiana Jones movies and Willow.
He is just an awful director and didn't direct a movie between A new Hope (1977) and Phantom Menace (1999).

Re:Lack of special effect technology.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324618)

Hell, they had to invent most of the stuff that ended up in "Star Wars", leading to the creation of ILM, who always have pushed the limits of FX technology.

Remember that after "Jedi", Lucas said he wanted to make a prequel trilogy, but "the effects technology hasn't been invented yet/today's tech wasn't good enough", and we all saw what crapfests those turned out to be. All the FX in the world can't make up for lousy scripts and lousy direction, both of which were almost solely in George's hands. Look at the Red Letter Media reviews.

Re:Lack of special effect technology.... (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324894)

Many many years ago depicting a mere spaceship was a real challenge. They pushed on and managed to do the first SW trilogy. Where is that willpower and creativity now?

Hence, I consider that man got lazy and is not worthy of having fans or even being a "creative" person at all. Pass the seat to the new generation of real creators who live permanently shadowed by this kind of people.

I don't really care about the result, never really been a SW fan, yet, I value effort and real creativity A LOT. I see nothing but horrible cheap CG in the new trilogy. All that can be considered good were events "set on stone" by the previous movies.

Re:Lack of special effect technology.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324984)

Lucas (or rather, his team) invented motion-control camera techniques for the first movie so that a lot of SFX could be done in-camera (using models and multiple exposures, etc) which today (even ten or fifteen years ago) would be done with CGI. Unfortunately it takes a small army of artists and computer geeks to do decent feature-length CGI these days (the credit roll on the latest Harry Potter flick takes ten minutes).

TV's a little easier to do because you can render at lower resolution, re-use stock shots (did Stargate ever have more than one or two shots of the gate-opening flush effect?) but as others have noted, that deficiency is usually made up by using actors, directors and writers who can actually act, direct, and write.

Why so expensive? (1)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324534)

what makes it so expensive? seems like a really intense 3d modeling software would be expensive, but a one time cost. is it just a lack of man power? I even understand that the process requires a good deal of processing power, but what is stopping the software from doing some rough rendering while tweaking scenes and leaving the really CPU intense stuff for the evening.

Re:Why so expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324634)

3d "modelling software" is not purchased, but rather licensed. They typically carry a 25% -38% maintanance contract.

Re:Why so expensive? (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324986)

Blender is free. It has been used to create various animated shorts showcasing what it can do (Elephant's Dream, Big Buck Bunny and Sintel).

Re:Why so expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36325124)

Blender IS free, but most professional artists don't know how to use it - nor have enough motivation to learn, since it doesn't do anything 'better' then the existing systems (which cost significant amount of money).

Blame Jar Jar (2)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324652)

CGI these days is mostly labour based. A render farm is costly upfront but all the players have massive ones sitting waiting for jobs. The thing that costs money is paying good artists for the huge amounts of work you need. Creating fully CGI characters and sets (like George probably wants because he is an idiot) is a lot different from doing some touching up like removing wires from stuntmen.

Star Wars TV could be done no more expensive then shows like Battlestar Galactica or Stargate. In nearly all the stories the aliens are mostly background characters so who cares if they are just rubber masks? Hell, in the Imperial period you could just set the show in a particularly xenophobic part of Imperial space and barely have to worry about aliens.

The problem is a film producer/director trying to work in TV. TV is a world of compromise and spreading your money really thin. A big budget movie producer/director doesn't have the skill set or correct mindset (Spielbergs mini-series are hellishly expensive).

Re:Why so expensive? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324696)

Because the expertise required to create 3D effects from perfectly capable hardware and software is ridiculous.

Re:Why so expensive? (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324750)

Software is expensive, render farms are relatively less so, but artists who understand how to use the tools efficiently and effectively aren't exactly a dime a dozen.

Re:Why so expensive? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325132)

Rendering is the very last step but to get to the last step, you have to actually have people doing the animation. There isn't a Star Wars plugin Lucas could buy that allows him to make up scenes, vehicles, planets, and characters out of nothing. Animation is not a skill that you can hire anyone off the street. From The Incredibles commentary, Brad Bird said there were two animators that both happened to be Spanish that were very good at animating heavy objects. "If you have something heavy, you must go to the Spainards!" What that meant is that these guys could animate a scene in which a heavy object would feel heavy to the viewer. That nuance takes skill and even though other animators at Pixar are good at their jobs, these animators had a niche.

Original Star Trek / Tron Legacy (2)

ddt (14627) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324538)

I'd still watch new episodes of the original 60's Star Trek, as long as the writing/acting was a good as some of the better ones they made then, and the special effects were all but missing in action then.

By contrast, I just saw Tron Legacy again, and it is nearly unwatchable for me. It was distractingly inappropriate as a sequel to the original. Great special effects married with poor writing and poor actor direction.

Re:Original Star Trek / Tron Legacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324636)

I would like to remind you that the original Tron is not the glorious piece of film that you are painting it to be... it was hardly anything worthy of being called a masterpiece of writing and acting.

Re:Original Star Trek / Tron Legacy (1)

ddt (14627) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324814)

It was no Shawshank, but the original Tron wasn't the tripe that is Star Wars Episodes 1-3 or Tron Legacy either. The original Tron also had a production budget of $17M. The new Tron Legacy had a production budget of closer to $170M. Those things need to be taken into consideration.

The first Tron had the novelty of being the first, which buys it cool points, and yes, it was better written and acted, much better than Tron Legacy, where every female character's job was to literally bat their big eyes at attractive angles, where Jeff Bridges' immense acting talent gets completely disposed of so that he can spend over half the screen time trying to look Zen, and instead, we're distracted by a character named Zeus, because what the Tron universe needs is a comical club owner / double agent who likes to play with a Charlie Chaplin cane. Just reading that makes my eyes bleed. What made Tron Legacy particularly inappropriate was that it required you to be familiar with Tron and heavily referenced it, so the juxtaposition becomes vivid in your mind as you're watching it.

George is copping out.

Re:Original Star Trek / Tron Legacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324994)

Yes, but remember, the GP most likely first saw it between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. This, by means of SCIENCE!, makes it far superior to all the dreck he/she saw between the ages of 18 and today.

Honestly. It's like you refuse to understand SCIENCE! at all.

writers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324540)

Lucas probably found out what it costs to actually pay somebody who can write a story with things like plot lines, dialog, continuity, logic, etc rather than slapping a 'script' together while sitting on the crapper like he usually does.

Wait a second.. (1)

bravecanadian (638315) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324542)

Why does he need it to be economically viable?

If he really wanted to do it for some valid artistic reason or even because he needed something to do: he can spare a billion or two and get it done.

He isn't getting any younger. I mean how many yachts do you need, anyways?

Re:Wait a second.. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324658)

He isn't getting any younger. I mean how many yachts do you need, anyways?

Yes, but he has to think of all the yachts his children might need in the future.

He still doesn't get it (5, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324544)

He still doesn't get it. For whatever reason, he continues to equate incredible special effects with incredible results. Even if he were to spend that massive budget for each episode, I strongly doubt the result would be anywhere near as good as something like Battlestar Galatica, Babylon 5, etc.

If you somehow haven't seen them, I recommend Red Letter Media's review [redlettermedia.com] of the Star Wars: Episodes 1-3, which does a better job of explaining why those films are miserable piles of crap than I could ever hope to do myself. Also relevant clip from an episode of South Park. [southparkstudios.com]

Re:He still doesn't get it (4, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324700)

He still doesn't get it. For whatever reason, he continues to equate incredible special effects with incredible results.

        He has made an obscene amount of money and gotten a whole generation of geeks to worship his half-assed "space opera" special effects films and treat them as if they had some deep meaning.

  Star Wars (even the originals) are almost completely special effects extravaganzas. It wasn't Shakespeare and it certainly wasn't good science fiction.

          What doesn't he get?

Re:He still doesn't get it (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324724)

My review of Red Letter Media's review:

Fuck these guys are retarded. Who publishes content like this as a video?

Re:He still doesn't get it (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324756)

It seems apparent to me in watching the outtakes how unconcerned Lucas was with things like plot, acting, and nuances. He just wanted to get the actors to spit out their lines and move to the right spots. He'd fix every thing with SFX and more light sabre swordplay it seems.

Re:He still doesn't get it (1)

PhrstBrn (751463) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324830)

Well you ain't gettin a pizza roll.

Don't Bother. (2)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324548)

If the kind of technology that George Lucas uses was 1/10th the cost then it would be used by good storytellers and he still wouldn't be able to film a TV series.

What should it cost? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324570)

and that the cost of producing an episode is about ten times of what it should be."

Most things cost around what they should cost. I think what he meant to say was that it would cost 10 times what it would be worth.

Define cost effective (1)

itwbennett (1594911) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324578)

How 'cost effective' does it need to be when it's got a guaranteed audience of male tweens, teens, 20s ... plus all the geek girls. And the nostalgia audience too (that's my demographic, btw.).

Try Henson More (2)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324592)

Because we want to replace all the non-human characters with CG ones?

I'd rather take my Jim Henson puppets from Farscape, Dark Crystal and Yoda thanks.

10 times the crap crammed in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324596)

It would cost 10 times because Lucas has this weird idea that cramming in 10 times the amount of useless background detail into every scene is what makes a good movie. See episodes 1 to 3 and the "remade" eps 4 to 6 as prime examples of the visual clutter he thinks is necessary. (though I suppose the purpose there is to distract from the paper thin storylines)

Re:10 times the crap crammed in (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325050)

It would cost 10 times because Lucas has this weird idea that cramming in 10 times the amount of useless background detail into every scene is what makes a good movie

And into the foreground would be crammed the childhood versions of every character who ever appeared in Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi.

GOOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324600)

This is a very good thing IMHO.

George Lucus ought to lose all right to Star Wars after all he's done to 'IMPROVE THEM'

Also, he and Steven Spielberg should get life without parole for 'Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'

Typewriter, George! (2)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324606)

Funny, but the technology existed in the early 70's to make the greatest space fantasy film of all time on a mere nine million dollar budget.

I think what's really got him is that his computer-based word processor can't write a decent script by itself. It's lacking the AI that his typewriter had in college. It's lacking the imagination to create anything substantial.

Please George, find a garage sale, and buy a used, beat-up Royal Typewriter, and sit down and write a real script with characters, using nothing but the imagination inside you. Whatever spark of creativity you once had must still exist down there inside you, you've just lost touch with how to access it.

Maybe you need to THROW AWAY all that technology that's got you so befuddled, and go back to something more genuine. You've forgotten that it's the humans in the story the audience is concerned with, not how glitzy you can make the spaceships look.

Story first, then figure out how to film it. It's the most basic rule in all of film-making, and you've forgotten it.

He's forgotten what made Star Wars good (1)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324622)

This is coming from a man who put together A New Hope on a shoestring budget fighting against all the odds. Now he can't put together a decent TV show at a decent budget? Come on. People don't watch Star Wars for the insane production values.

Thank God! (1)

jareth780 (176411) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324678)

If this is what is keeping him from producing more of that crap, then I'm all for it.

Although he clearly means he just needs cheaper animators in to throw annoying effects on the screen. If he just made the shows the way he made A New Hope, he wouldn't have this problem (or in our case, solution).

Nub Nub Cry The Ewoks! (2)

QuatermassX (808146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324708)

I suspect his bland style of pastiche adventure would work fairly well as a 60-minute limited series of, say, 15 episodes, but 100 hours? Good lord, Lucas should just call it a day and direct cut scenes for any of the Star Wars spinoff video games. I suspect they'd be far better received than his recent ghastly, leaden feature films.

George Lucas (1)

x6060 (672364) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324712)

The only man whose fans absolutely hate him. I was really looking forward to this when it was announced as there were suppose to be Mandolorian episodes. But since he turned them into pacifists he destroyed the only thing I liked about star wars.

Remember (1)

Chaymus (697182) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324732)

Judas only betrayed one man. Way to go George.

Hey Everybody - Remember Me...? (4, Insightful)

Leo Sasquatch (977162) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324766)

That's all this is. He can't need the money. He's desperately trying to pretend he has still got something to contribute to the arts.

Pioneer One tells a compelling story with essentially zero FX and a budget that wouldn't pay for nose-candy on most movie sets. Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning was rendered in the film-maker's kitchen. The Hunt for Gollum manages to produce a digital Gollum (ok, for a few seconds...) that's not too far off the best results of WETA Digital. Give Seth Green a handful of Star Wars figures and a digicam and he could probably come up with something that stayed within canon in about 20 minutes.

But George Lucas, with all his years of experience, skill, contacts and vast gobs of cash can't make a couple of seasons of a watchable TV show because the technology's not there yet? Absolute bollocks.

Lucas Has a History of Bad TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324820)

Lest we forget, Lucas has quite a HISTORY [wikipedia.org] with television failures...

Is it already shot? (1)

ThePolkapunk (826529) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324852)

When asked about the status of the show, Lucas said that the footage “sits on the shelf.”

Does this mean that the the show has already been recorded? He's just waiting until special effects are cheap enough to add them in? Or is the footage "figuratively" sitting on the shelf?

Why doesn't he just use models and puppets? (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324878)

I mean, the models and puppets Lucasfilm comes up with are heads and tails better than any of the 3D stuff we've been seeing. You can watch stuff like Star Wars Ep 4-6 and see how much better the models look compared to the Ep 1-3 3D effects. You can look at episodes of Star Trek TNG and see how well those models worked in conjunction with 3D effects. Yeah, on the older stuff you can see the model frame splice edges, but today it is trivial to get rid of that and make it all look seamless. GO BACK TO USING MODELS.

the real reason (1)

theCat (36907) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324914)

More likely George discovered too late that there was already a really successful "Star____" television series out there and realized he didn't want to play second fiddle to that other guy.

He's referring Jar Jar's accent (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324944)

They can't pay anyone enough to actually talk like that on camera. That's part of the reason they Jar Jar was CGI.

Effects Enhanced shows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36324946)

Shows like Babylon 5, Star Trek, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate (SG1, Atlantis, Universe), Caprica are one type of thing. When you use effects to enhance the story it makes for compelling storytelling. When you use effects because "It Looks Cool" you've missed the entire point of the effect. Based on the fact that shows like this have come to a natural end and not tried milking every last drop from the fountain in addition to the main network for these deciding to focus more on fantasy/fiction I think that the Clone Wars animated series is good enough.

Simple Economics (2)

fotoflojoe (982885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36324982)

Why is George worried? The show may cost 10 times more than it's worth to produce, but it's Star Wars, he'll be able to sell it for 100 times what it's worth to the networks.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36325134)

Maybe he won't be able to screw up the mythology any more than he already has.

Strange... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36325162)

Why is the cost so prohibitive? "Firefly" looked as good as the prequels did... "Battlestar Galactica" pulled off amazing FX... Heck, even "Babylon 5" was able to do big space opera on a shoestring budget years ago... But Lucas can't figure out how to do it?

Give it to J. Michael Straczynski (3, Interesting)

Hidyman (225308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36325166)

He would do it on time, under budget and make a better story to boot.
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