George Lucas Han Solo Movie

Did we almost have a Han Solo movie before Disney bought Lucasfilm? It certainly seems that way. In a revealing new interview about the inspirations behind Solo: A Star Wars Story, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan reveals he was hired to write a Han Solo film before the big Disney purchase of Lucasfilm. Read More »

Geroge Lucas Solo Set Visit - Willow

Ron Howard has grown up in show business. He began his acting career at a young age as one of the main characters on The Andy Griffith Show and countless appearances on plenty of other classic TV shows. He was able to ride that wave through his teens, 20s and 30s before beginning a career behind the camera as a feature filmmaker. Now, he finds himself trying to save a major blockbuster in one of the biggest franchises in the world, and it just so happens to be based on characters created by the filmmaker who gave him one of his most well-known roles as a big screen actor.

Back in 1972, Ron Howard starred in American Graffiti for director George Lucas, a promising young filmmaker who had just come off his acclaimed sci-fi project THX-1138. He went by Ronny Howard in those days, and he first heard about Star Wars on the set of American Graffiti when it still just an idea popping around George Lucas’ head. Who would have ever thought that 43 years later the two would find themselves on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story, working together to bring the origin story of one of George Lucas’ most iconic characters to life? Read More »

Solo firing

Solo: A Star Wars Story has had a bumpy rode to the big screen. The film was close to completion under directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Then, Lucasfilm fired the duo and brought in Ron Howard to both finish and reshoot a large portion of the film. A new piece details the process behind the Solo firing of Lord and Miller and the hiring of Howard.

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George Lucas Sequel Trilogy

You might not realize this, but some of the ideas for Star Wars: The Last Jedi actually came from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Before Disney had acquired Lucasfilm on October 30, 2012, George Lucas himself wrote a treatment for a new trilogy of Star Wars movies. We’ve chronicled in the past how those story treatments were largely thrown out by director J.J. Abrams when he came on board the project on January 24, 2013. We will likely never find out what Lucas had planned for the Star Wars sequel trilogy, but the new Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi book gives us one small peek at a George Lucas-approved Jedi Temple on the planet that later became known as Ahch-to. This is the closest we might ever come to seeing Lucas’ original vision for the sequel trilogy.

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george lucas star wars sets

When George Lucas first filmed the original Star Wars in 1976, he was limited to the technology available at the time — practical effects, sets, and his own visual effects company that he had formed the year before. Star Wars, now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, was filmed on a small budget compared to the big-budget spectacles of the modern Star Wars franchise.

But under the ownership of Disney — which recently boosted its stock a ton thanks to the historic Fox deal — Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has a significantly bigger sandbox to play in than Lucas did 40 years ago. That means more effects, more locations, and a lot of new sets. Maybe too many sets, according to Lucas.

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George Lucas Star Wars The Last Jedi Reaction

Star Wars: The Last Jedi now has the ringing endorsement of the franchise’s creator, George Lucas. Though the director stepped away from the sci-fi series after Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney, Lucas is far from divorced from the series that has dominated so much of his life for the past 40 years.

Lucas saw The Last Jedi shortly after its Saturday night premiere and, like the hundreds of critics raving about Rian Johnson‘s film, he loved it.

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george lucas star wars advice

It turns out that “creative consultant” is little more than a title, as George Lucas and Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Mark Hamill have learned.

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, it turned the Star Wars franchise upside down, with the creator of that galaxy far, far away relinquishing his creative control to new filmmakers. Lucas was kept on as a “creative consultant” to Disney’s new Star Wars trilogy, which began with 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But Lucas’ close friend and collaborator Mark Hamill bemoans the fact that the director’s advice to Disney was thrown out the window.

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Spielberg Documentary

Steven Spielberg is one of our greatest living filmmakers. While some may want to write the Jaws filmmaker off as nothing more than a purveyor of popular blockbusters, very few directors understand the language of cinema as well as Spielberg. While many filmmakers can’t block a shot to save their lie, Spielberg can convey an entire story wordlessly with his imagery. He’s one of the medium’s true masters.

Susan Lacy‘s new HBO documentary Spielberg takes a look at the successful filmmakers vast career, and we picked out 10 revealing facts from the Spielberg documentary that you should know. And then you should watch the doc for yourself, of course.

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Exploring the Japanese Roots of ‘Star Wars’

001_Jedi_Nebuta_3x7_Cover_Slice

With Star Wars: A New Hope celebrating the 40th anniversary of its theatrical release this year, this is as good a time as any to dig into the film’s history.

Knowledgable film lovers often cite Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film The Hidden Fortress as a key influence on the young George Lucas, as the plot of that film heavily informs the original Star Wars. In it, two squabbling peasants become involved in the rescue of a princess, similar to how C-3PO and R2-D2 would get caught up in the mission to free Leia and deliver the Death Star plans.

As Wookiepedia shows, the first script treatment for Star Wars — a 1973 story synopsis that Lucas shopped around Hollywood — hews even closer in plot to The Hidden Fortress, with Lucas having straight-up plagiarized a description of that movie from a book called The Films of Akira Kurosawa by the late film historian and Japanophile Donald Richie.

But the Japanese roots of Star Wars run deeper than one artist stealing/borrowing from another (as all artists do, to the degree that they are influenced by one another). Let’s explore some of those influences: some well-known, others less perhaps so.

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Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Original Ending

Even though Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is the best of the prequel trilogy in the Star Wars saga, it’s still a far cry from measuring up to the original trilogy. One of the biggest issues with the final chapter in the story of how Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) became Darth Vader is how the former Jedi’s relationship with his secret lover Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) comes to an end.

On one hand, seeing Anakin’s judgment clouded by the dark side, so much that he nearly kills her, is a powerful tragedy. But the fact that Amidala ends up essentially dying because she “lost the will to live” is a bit silly. It doesn’t help that Padmé, who was once a strong, independent leader, never willing to walk away from a fight, just cries and whines when Anakin clearly isn’t himself anymore. But in the original ending, she didn’t take Anakin’s betrayal the same way. In fact, in the Revenge of the Sith original ending, Padmé made some bold moves to stop him. Find out more below. Read More »