By Felix Vasquez Jr. | August 29, 2006

Could George Lucas actually be backing off his devotion to his own franchise? The franchise that gave him so much money he could pay Mexican cabana boys to wipe his a*s and still sit pretty?

Like that weird large pouch Lucas grew under his chin, “Phantom Menace” is one of the films in the franchise that sticks out. It’s pretty boring, it’s bland, it’s anti-climactic, the story is complicated, and let’s not forget the atrocious acting courtesy of Jake Lloyd. Granted, Darth Maul is pure bad-assness, and McGregor rocked the house as Obi-Wan, but let’s face it, “Phantom Menace” sucked. Hard.

But in a recent article I came across, Lucas seems to not only be jumping ship on his prequels, but he, as all directors do, blames us for its failure and lack of quality in a double talk pretending to be refering to the new film. Both fans and critics. Aside from blowing more air up the fans a***s about more rumors concerning the new “Indiana Jones” film that may never come, Lucas went on to say:

“People’s expectations are way higher than you can deliver. You could just get killed for the whole thing”¦We would do it for fun and just take the hit with the critics and the fans…But nobody wants to get into it unless they are really happy with it.”

Not exactly a vote of confidence to where the new “Indiana Jones” will be heading. So, if you want to enjoy the new “Indiana Jones” film, just lower your standards and don’t expect too much from the script. Seriously, you’ll be disappointed if you actually expect something from Lucas, and Spielberg. You’d be stupid to hope the new film is a masterpiece.

Then Lucas makes the awfully creepy allusion that the new “Indiana Jones” will be like “The Phantom Menace.” How exactly? Will it have a complicated story involving politics? Plot holes? Or will it feature a thirteen year old Indiana Jones on an adventure that takes place a year before “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where Indy is suddenly in his late thirties? One can only imagine.

But worst of all, Lucas cops out. It wasn’t the fact that the acting was weak, the writing was bad, the plots were utterly nonsensical, the plot holes were apparent and sloppy, and Lucas didn’t even follow his own continuity he’d set forth in the original trilogy, but our expectations were too high for “The Phantom Menace.”

In further reading for the article, Lucas seems a bit nervous about the actual plot, discusses yet another re-write, makes an excuse that the film likely won’t sit well with critics since everyone is already a superstar, and explains in typical studio double talk “But there’s a good chance it will happen.”

In spite of all the constant rumors, I don’t know how they can just proceed with this series anymore. Ford has really just slowed down as an action star, and while I’m always up for an installment of Indy (Temple of Doom, baby), I just don’t know what they can do with this series.

But that’s assuming they ever start filming this new installment. I just wish they’d film this damn sequel already instead of interviewing George Lucas on it so he can squeeze in his own finger pointing to fans and critics who actually expected something from the prequels and were let down immensely.

Film the goddamn sequel already, and then bitch about the failures called Episodes one, two, and three on the press junkets.

P.S. If you hated the prequels, I suggest checking out “The Clone Wars” DVD series. They’re more action packed, and coherent than all three of the prequels put together.

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  1. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    The dialogue was horrible.

    I enjoyed “Revenge,” I have to admit.

    Mace Windu was bad-a*s. But yeah, the acting was pretty weak. Hayden Christensen has to be one of the worst casting choices in the last thirty years.

  2. stateparks says:

    Plus it seems totally obvious that pretty much every bit of dialogue was a ‘first take;’ you can almost see Sam Jackson reading the cue cards (and I love Sam Jackson.) Boring scripts, no soul, no passion. What happened?

  3. At least Phantom had a climax. Jar-Jar was nowhere near as nightmarish as Hayden or his dialogue. And that Yoda-Pokemon s**t at the end defined suck to the utmost degree. Clones is probably one of the worst movies ever made. It has nothing on Phantom.

    Not like I think that movie is good either, but you know.

  4. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    Not to mention how Anakin went from a small boy to a grown man in only a few years. Lucas really has no idea.

  5. stateparks says:

    Clones was on TV the other night, and while it took me the amount of time for Clones to move from regular screenings to the brew-pub theater (was there ever a better invention? BEST INVENTION OF THE 20TH CENTURY) for me to even watch it the first time, the beer made me think it was OK. Then it was on TV and the lack of beer made me realize Clones sucked almost as hard as Menace. I bet when I finally throw the rest of my money Lucas’s way to buy the trilogy box-set for the ‘first three’ Star Wars movies, I’ll realize that even tho’ Revenge was crammed to the gills with Wookies and battles, it really sucked A*S as well. Because Lucas isn’t really a director, he’s a DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY and his actors know it, and since he decided to abandon traditional photography for the ‘first three’ in favor of letting a bunch of code-monkeys make his films, feature length video games with a relatively decent pedigree are all that remained.

    er …what?

  6. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    You forgot acting, Mike.

    I thought Phantom Menace was worse, because at least Clones had a more simplistic plot. The Star Wars movies have always been about simplicity.

    I disagree Trevor.

    It wasn’t that we were expecting too much, it’s just that Lucas lost it. In the trilogy, the only one he took on on his own was “A New Hope”, and the rest were by different directors.

    Lucas refused to collaborate, thus he failed big time. Not to mention the plots often made no sense, they were confusing, the characters were bland, and all the life was sucked out thanks to his complete dependence on CGI.

  7. I have to say, I agree with Lucas somewhat. I don’t defend that movie or the poor choices they made, but seriously, rabid Star Wars fans would not have been completely happy unless they wrote the script themselves. I think, no matter what, people would have been upset with that movie; it was the first one and anticipation was absolutely insane. There was no way Lucas could have pleased everyone…but he sure as hell could have done a better job than he did.
    As far as the Indiana Jones sequel: I’m one step ahead of him; I expect it to be a piece of s**t.

  8. Attack of the Clones was way f*****g worse. WAY worse in all departments – lack of climax, acting, action, acting, dialogue, acting, Hayden, George Lucas, etc.

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