Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2015 by Germain Lussier
When you think Lucasfilm, you probably think of two things: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Both creations of filmmaker George Lucas, those two franchises put Lucasfilm on the map and made the company what is today: an entity that cost Disney $4 billion. But Lucasfilm isn’t only Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Proof of that hit theaters this past weekend as they released Strange Magic, an animated fairy tale Lucas himself conceived and produced.
That got us thinking, what else has Lucasfilm done? What are they without their two big superstars? The answer is “a lot” and “something pretty special.” Below, read our ranking of the 10 best Lucasfilm movies, minus Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
So, to be clear, the films not allowed on this list are as follows:
- Star Wars
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Header art by Drew Struzan.
The 10 Best Lucasfilm Movies…Minus Star Wars and Indiana Jones
10. Strange Magic (2015) Directed by Gary Rydstrom
We’d heard whispers of George Lucas’ fairy film for years before Lucasfilm finally unveiled it with very little warning. Sadly, it turns out it wasn’t much worth the wait. Strange Magic certainly has its heart in the right place. It is a relentlessly earnest fable boasting the tagline “Everyone deserves to be loved,” and it gets points for creativity. (When’s the last time you saw a fairy army marching to the beat of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”?) On the other hand, the story is laughably juvenile, the characters are thinly drawn, the animation is uneven, and the overall effect is more grating than lovable. Strange Magic is the latest Lucasfilm product and, unfortunately, among its least worthy.
9. Red Tails (2012) Directed by Anthony Hemingway
Red Tails is a very well-intentioned movie. George Lucas himself had for a long time been talking about making an action movie about the African-American fighter pilots who flew in World War II. The resulting film has an absolutely staggering cast – Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Michael B. Jordan, Andrew Royo and Bryan Cranston – and there are minor moments of entertainment. But for the most part, it’s a misfire, lacking emotion and depth. The film turns a powerful true story into a traditional, forgettable, but passable action film.
8. Radioland Murders (1994) Directed by Mel Smith
So many of the films George Lucas released via Lucasfilm are about things he loved as a child. Radioland Murders is a fast-paced, slapstick comedy set in the world of 1930s/1940s radio plays, which was probably how Lucas heard many of the stories that influenced his better movies. This movie is a suitably unique look into that world but it never really gives the audience much to grasp. The dialogue is snappy and jokes are non-stop, but ultimately the movie only partially works as a comedy, murder mystery, or anything else for that matter. It just kind of sits there.