Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Empire Strikes Back!

A couple of days late, but I still wanted to mention this iconic movie here. It is probably, more than likely, the best of the six Star Wars movies. I got to watch it on Spike this past weekend for the first time in a good while. I personally think that it still holds up today. So many great lines, pretty decent story, and probably one of the most important and shocking moments in cinematic history. It looks pretty good in HD too. Although, they need to hurry up with the bluray version, which will probably kick the HD's ass.

After all of these years, I must admit that Star Wars is still dear to me. I mean, it WAS most of my childhood. It's hard to deny. Playing with all of my figures, either pretending to be on Hoth with Laura on my Mom's bed, you know, with the white sheets playing the part of the snow, or playing as if I was on degobah on the porch with the bushes playing that part of the planet, or actually pretending I was Luke, and cousin John was Han, it played a huge role in my life. Although, we didn't have anyone to play Chewbacca, I guess we didn't have any hairy kids back in the hood. In any event, it was so fun.

It really neat to see Raymond taking it in soooo well. I mean, he really loves to watch the movies whenever they are on. Am I surprised? A little, yes. Why? I have no idea, I guess because Star Wars has been around for so long, I guess you kind of forget that these movies do appeal to kids, and this holds true. Am I a little bit happy about this? Of course. It reminds me how happy I was being a kid and breathing Star Wars, you know?!?! I guess it is running in his blood. It has to be, I mean, I don't force him to watch it or anything like that, it is like it was natuarally appealing to him. Seriously!

To be completely honest, even though the Prequels were a bit terrible, I guess the kid in me gives it a free pass. Still, it is disappointing to know, or think about what could have been, what they should have been. They should have been so much better, but I doubt they could have lived up to expectations. Lucas should have tried though, right!?! Oh well, there is nothing that we can do about it now. I say that we just have to be happy with the Star Wars that we were dealt, and I do. Trust me, if and when all six movies come out on Bluray, I will be there.

I am still a bit surprised to learn different things about the Holy Trilogy after all of these years. I guess that I am not a knowledgeable about Star Wars as most people are on the internet. It never surprises me how "nerdy" one can get about Star Wars. I was pretty shocked and disappointed to read some things about Lucas. Mostly disappointed. It sounds like he, to put it as someone did on the internet, chickened out on some things in Return of the Jedi. Reading this stuff really sucked to see that this movie was probably supposed to turn out a lot different. I share a few with you now...

"The concept of seeing the Empire's home world, renamed "Had Abbadon", came up again in Return of the Jedi, and the concept of the entire planet being a city came up for the first time. However, it was realized that such a city on screen would be impossible given the technical limitations at the time, and so the idea was abandoned."

"also in esb they seeded leia having a bigger role in jedi, with yodas portentous "no, there is another"

i always get the details wrong but my understanding it that the original arc was to have luke fall to the dark side, and leia rescues him from vader, rather than luke rescuing vader from palpatine.

instead she got to fucking play with ewoks and make googly eyes at han. totally undid her previous badassness."

"Originally "there is another skywalker" referred to Luke's sister, who wasn't Leia.

I believe Luke was going to search for her after ROTJ..."

This shit right here should blow your mind!!!

"The issue of whether Harrison Ford would return for the final film arose during pre-production. Unlike the other stars of the first two films, Ford had not signed on for two more sequels. Ford's idea was to have Han Solo be killed through self-sacrifice. Kasdan concurred, saying it should happen near the beginning of the film to instill doubt as to whether the others would survive, but Lucas was vehemently against it and rejected the concept.[2] Yoda was originally not meant to appear in the film but Marquand strongly felt that returning to Dagobah was essential to resolve the dilemma raised by the previous film.[9] The inclusion led Lucas to insert a scene in which Yoda confirms that Darth Vader is Luke's father because, after a discussion with a children's psychologist, he did not want younger moviegoers to dismiss Vader's claim as a lie.[7] Many ideas from the original script were left out or changed. For instance, the Ewoks were going to be Wookiees,[10] the Millennium Falcon would be used in the arrival at the Forest moon of Endor instead of the Death Star attack, and Obi-Wan Kenobi would return to life from his existence in the Force.[11]"

One last tidbit, this one about Empire...

It is a matter of public record that Kurtz's final collaboration with Lucas, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, was an expensive and difficult production. Records at Elstree indicate that the movie took 175 shooting days having been budgeted at 100, which forced Lucas to borrow $10 million to complete the film. Kurtz had to help direct along with David Tomblin, Irvin Kershner, Harley Cokeliss and John Barry (who died during production of meningitis) to bring the film in on even this revised schedule and budget. Lucas visited the set in London only a couple of times. There are photos published of Lucas on the "bog" set consulting the production, but Kershner directed all the scenes on that set.

During filming of The Empire Strikes Back George Lucas suffered an apparent panic attack, accusing the filmmakers of ruining his movie. He followed this by taking the existing footage into an editing bay and cut together a fast-paced action version of early scenes, excising plot-oriented content, then showed it to Kurtz and other members of cast and crew, who reacted with laughter. Lucas later admitted this was a mistake.

Kurtz's wife, Meredith, planned the film's 'wrap party' in late August 1979 and the Kurtzes hosted the affair. The actual completion of photography was a month later. Kurtz did not leave the movie before its completion and was actively involved from post production through its release in theatres in the U.S. and the UK. He was replaced by Howard Kazanjian for Return of the Jedi.

Even after the financial success of The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas regarded The Empire Strikes Back as a failure. It was after this pronouncement that Kurtz and Lucas parted company.

It is notable that the more mystical aspects of the Jedi were absent from Star Wars films following Kurtz's departure, while similar mystical elements appeared in Kurtz's later muppet fantasy film The Dark Crystal. Lucas' replacement of mystical or spiritual explanations with more scientific-seeming explantations such as midichlorians in the Star Wars prequels has faced heavy criticism from Star Wars fans."

Goodnight, and May The Force Be With You!

Thoughts? Please comment!


jd150807 said...

The FORCE is strong in this one it is!

jd150807 said...

Able to see the weakness he does!