Is there anyone who has been more financially rewarded for doing absolutely everything in his considerable power to cheapen his own artistic creation, brand and legacy?
In a perfect world, he would have only made the one movie. "Star Wars" would have stood on its own as a technical and visual marvel as well as a testament to good-old-fashioned storytelling. The characters he created would have lived on in our hearts and minds like other cinematic icons whose likenesses were not pimped out and cheapened in endless pointless sequels.
Can you imagine if "Gone With The Wind" or "Citizen Kane" had come out in today's sequel-minded industry? We'd be up to "Revenge Of The Wind" and "The Wrath Of Kane" by now.
The ONLY reason any of us say we like any movie since the first "Star Wars" is because of the love we have for the characters, DESPITE the horrible dialogue. George Lucas has no idea what his true genius really is or he would not have felt the need to invest tens of millions of dollars creating the digital technology to enable Han Solo to walk up, over and around Jabba The Hutt in a movie all of us had already seen.
And why did he do it, you ask?
He did it because it was the only way he felt he could add enhanced value to a commercial re-release of the original trilogy and get those who already had the movies on VHS buy them again.
From that re-release, he made hundreds of millions of dollars, which he continued pumping into the further creation of advanced digital special effects technology, which would be utilized to its fullest capabilities in his continued exploration of the Star Wars Universe via the prequel trilogy.
Is there no end to the American public's desire to hand over good money after bad to see movies they already know the endings to? Apparently not because neither bad acting, dialogue that read like Apple's Terms & Conditions, nor Jar Jar FUCKING Binks could stop us from falling all over each other to buy tickets to a movie that served only to bring us all up to speed on how Darth Went Bad in the first place. YAWN.
Among even my most nerdy friends, there is no one who defends the three movies that comprise the prequel trilogy because it is a pointless exercise in self-denial, yet all of us to a man would be posting "Squee!" to our Twitter feeds if they were to be re-released.
No need for added footage or enhanced effects, even. Just put the same DVD's and Blu-Ray discs as are currently available in a different box - hell, you could even put a sticker on the box that said "Same Fucking Movie, Just A Different Box" and the lines at Best Buy would be around the block the day before it comes out.
The great national stampede of adoration and excitement leading up to the release of "The Force Awakens" was a force in and of itself, but, again, it is ALL based on our love for the original characters from the original movie. We love those characters so much that we watched three movies called Star Wars that they weren't even in just so we could get to the NEXT installment and see our friends again!
This multi-decade pursuit of the ultimate in digital visual trickery merely to allow Lucas the power to create entire desert battle sequences on a laptop instead of, you know, out in the desert, has been at the expense of the characters we so know and love.
For a writer/director who single-handedly ushered in a new way of thinking in Hollywood ("SEQUELS! MUST HAVE MORE SEQUELS!") to seduce us with these wonderful characters and then go completely silent after "Return of The Jedi" seems like the ultimate heartless tease.
Lucas came back with the prequels not so he could reunite us with the characters we know and love, but so he could show off all of his latest special f/x technology. Dammit, George, we never wanted the fucking special effects, we wanted more Luke and Han and Leia and the gang.
It's not about the machinery, or the technology, or the brand. It's about the humanity that you, George Lucas, created from thin air and then, by sheer force of will, brought to life.
30 years of no Darth, Luke, Han or Leia: characters you created, then tossed aside like rag dolls to play with your video games. You fucking miserable toad, you made us wait 30 years to see them again. You made us re-buy the same movies over and over, forced us to watch Hayden Christensen as a sniveling millennial cry baby, when you - at ANY TIME - could have given us more tales of Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, and the droids.
I mean, Mark Hamill sure could have used the money. Sure, he did okay doing voice-over for Batman cartoons, but, come on, the guy who played Luke Skywalker deserves better than "okay".
But there he and the others sat, so connected to their iconic roles in our eyes that we would accept them in no other roles. Only Harrison Ford managed to break free by playing yet another iconic film hero, Indiana Jones. Who says lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place?
Of course, with George Lucas, lightning strikes any damn time he wants it to. Just slap the "Star Wars" logo on it and wait for the cash to roll in.
Now, of course, George Lucas has sold the "Star Wars" franchise to Disney because he'd rather let someone else do what he was unwilling to do: give the people what they want.
Can you imagine being that one fortunate soul who, no matter how they may taunt us or play with our emotions, we can just never say no to? As a result, he sits atop a billion-dollar empire built upon selling us movies we already own, over and over and over again, all the while testing our dedication to the cause.
Whatever hesitation Lucas had "delivering the goods" does not afflict Disney. They know that "Star Wars" is a license to print money and will no doubt hit us where it counts on a regular basis from here on out because, with the promise of repeat billion-dollar box-office scores, why wouldn't they?
And we will be there every step of the way, unquestioning and unwavering in our support of anything and everything Star Wars.