George Lucas: Done with the big screen?

143219__gl_lDid you feel that? That was a tremor in the Force. It was as if millions of movie nerds cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. It was the sound of George Lucas not making movies anymore. (Well, almost.)

Yup, George says movies are too risky and expensive in the choice-based, on-demand movie universe we’re now entering. (He should know — he made ‘em that way.) Says he’s getting into TV and TV movies. Quoth Grand Moff Lucas: “For that same $200 million I can make 50 to 60 two-hour movies.” So instead of one big, jaggedly plotted, weirdly paced, horrendously written Lucasfilm, we get dozens of little, jaggedly plotted, weirdly paced, horrendously written Lucasfilms. For those of us who doubt Lucas’ storytelling powers (even as we genuflect before his superior imagination), that’s kind of like asking which you’d rather face, the Death Star or an asteroid field.

It’s not as if George hasn’t dipped his midi-chlorians into TV before. Remember this classic? Of course you do. Granted, it’s been a while. (Look at these accompanying commercials,one for some otufit called “GM” which used to make something called“American cars.”) But George has revisited the small screen here andthere, and his understanding of the form has improved in directproportion with his willingness to let someone else ground-manage his projects.

addCredit(“George Lucas: Barry King/WireImage.com”)

One hopes he’s studying up on today’s best shows, intergalactic andotherwise. But that raises the question: What could George add to TV?His storylines (such as they are) do seem to sprawl — maybe TV’s theright medium for him after all. But what could George add to televisionsci-fi and adventure? Heroes has finally begun to crack the comic-book code for TV, and Battlestar Galactica has made space drama drop n’ pop in ways not seen since Picard went all Locutus on us.

But maybe George should bring his narrative gigantism down to earth. The Wire takes place in a universe every bit as vast and varied, unpredictable and violent as that of Star Wars —it lacks only lightsabers and a puerile good-evil duality. And I’m afirm believer that Studio 60 is just a couple of lava-planetamputations away from being a really good show.

Rise from your couches, my dead-eyed Jedi, and tell me what Lucascould bring to TV — is he better suited to small screen/long format? Riiiiiise!

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  • Ep Sato

    Since his best work on tv was the Clone Wars series, Lucas should follow up with a parody of Star Wars called “Senator Darth Vader” to take place between Episodes III and IV. They could air it on Adult Swim. Here’s the plot:
    In light of his recent throning, the chancellor annoints Vader to his seat. All wackiness ensues as the Decnocratic party raises opposition to the Death Star Appropriations bill over the no bid contracts the emperor plans to give to the non-union and non-minority employing Stormtrooper Inc (owned by Halliburton). the Decnocrats also oppose the Deathstar bill because of it’s reported costs, the lack of a day care center, lack of OSHA oversight, and possible environmental damage to the green moon of Endor.
    Running gags: Darth Vader finds an excuse to kill his chief of staff in every episode. Luke Skywalker gets a job as an office intern, and annoys all his co-workers. At least one joke per ep would be dedicated to making fun of the “West Wing”. Finally, each episode would end with a 10 second snippet on the US government so folks like Lucas can learn about politics instead of making it up as they go along (seriosly, the Galactic Senate of Eps I-III was SOOOO off the mark).

  • Rahul

    Just as long as he stops writing -stick to producing

  • Ceballos

    George Lucas done with movies…good. I echo Scott’s sentiments…his movies had great imagination, but the pacing was just off, and the dialogue was painful and embarrassing.
    As I’ve said before, the best and higher quality work today is being done on TV, so I don’t see why this has to be some sort of a step down. I’m not a big Lucas fan, but I think he could potentially add something unique to TV..he has the imagination…as long as someone else writes the scripts.
    WAY off topic…I’ve been waiting all day, but no item on Neil Patrick Harris being gay. To me this is bigger news than T.R. Knight or Lance Bass (who cares?) coming out. Good for these guys, and I hope they continue to shine in their current roles and get excellent work in the future.

    http://people.aol.com/people/article/0,26334,1554852,00.html

  • Matty

    And the whole world rejoices. Too bad he didn’t make this decision 10 years ago.

  • Miles

    OH NO, I fear for the state of television, and just when it was getting good. I guess, that’s what he does best, he sees something good and finds a perfectly good way to RUIN IT!

  • mike

    George lucas can produce anything he wants. He can direct all the Sci-Fi series he can. But, never let him write, especially dialogue.

  • Karla

    Oh wait, the writing, we all agree, is appalling. But anyone who can make Sir Alec and Carrie boring is also a flat-footed director. He doesn’t seem to have an ear for naturalistic dialogue or top-level acting.
    As an artist – feh. But as a visionary and a business mogul, the dude is Mothra to everyone else’s Osaka (he so rules it isn’t even fair). Oh please oh please, let him run the thing and give TV some interesting films, but let him hire good writers and directors. And please, trust the actors and let them do their jobs!

  • Darth Dooku

    You’re all just Lucas-bashers…. there can’t be something so wrong if GL has THIS MANY FANS!

  • Auriana

    Whether it be in the theater or on tv, I’ll be there watching in full cosplay mode. What happened to Indy IV then?

  • Howard

    What Mike said, but don’t let him direct either.
    Lucas’ involvement in the Clone Wars TV series was exactly what it should have been for the Star Wars prequels: he produced, told Genndy Tartovsky (sp?) where to start, and where he had to end up and let him go. That’s why it was the best of any of the Star Wars projects of the last go-round. If Lucas had farmed out the writing and directing for any (preferably all) of the films in the latest trilogy, we’d be talking about six sci-fi classics instead of how he ruined what was a watershed film series for a great many fans.

  • Jon Hughes

    Scott Brown knows nothing about George Lucas, mainly because Lucas does not have to stoop low enough to interview with EW.
    Spare us the Lucas-bashing, it’s tired and so pre-Revenge of the Sith, which had 86% positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, and was the highest-grossing film of 2005, and my 3rd favorit movie of the ENTIRE franchise.
    It’s sad that EW is still getting up on thier anti-Star Wars soapbox to plead to anyone that cares about their position on the prequels, and the bottom line is that, bashing or no, the prequels were a HUGE success, making more money in the US than Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter etc. Get over it, losers – Lucas WON!

  • Michael

    Lucas hasn’t made a real movie since “Star Wars”, so no big loss.

  • Darth Nihilus

    George can do anything he sets his mind too, and does not require any input from the dreadfully amatuerish EW.
    Bash all you want, but I will see any movie and TV show made by the flanneled one, and it amuses me to see that people still get fired up over this foolish prequel bashing. The Star Wars films have always been an homage to the old b-movie sci-fi serials like Commander Cody, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, including the dialog. If you don’t understand this after almost 30 years of Star Wars, then you should not watch Star Wars at all, because you just don’t get it.
    Jon Hughes is right, by the way.

  • Alice

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • Ken

    All 3 prequels were utter garbage. Making a profit doesn’t mean the movies were good. Blair Witch Project made one hell of a profit too, and that was a big pile of dung.

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