In fact, one of the many facets of the love-hate relationship “Star Wars” fans have with George Lucas stems from the amazing savvy he showed in negotiating his merchandising profits. Even if the original film had made one-third its eventual gross, Lucas would’ve been richer than Croesus anyway.
Now, of course, “Star Wars” is just one of a thousand movie franchises with toys cramming the shelves of your local strip malls. In a world where Dr. Evil shares display space with Terl from “Battlefield Earth” and the Hacksaw and Kevin’s Head “Marv” variant from “Sin City,” the glut of “Revenge of the Sith” products hardly seems notable. But don’t forget, Lucas deserves the lion’s share of the credit/blame for the phenomenon.
Speaking of George, word came down last week from on high (i.e. Starwars.com) that The Man himself would be attending Celebration III in Indianapolis this month. This will be the first fan gathering Lucas has attended since the 1987 10-year anniversary celebration of the original’s release. More importantly, it’s the first assembly of its kind he’ll appear in since the release of the prequels. I haven’t lurked on any message boards to gauge reaction to this announcement, but I suspect it’s a little less enthusiastic than it was pre-Phantom Menace. After pissing on our heads with those last two movies, the guy has to have some serious balls. Then again, the kind of people who attend Celebration III are the same ones who can tell you they enjoyed the prequels with a straight face.
Did I mention Chris Gore is going?
In one respect, it’s a good sign. For all his insularity and seeming ignorance of popular sentiment, he can’t be completely shielded from the critical reaction to “Phantom Menace” and Attack of the Clones. And while I can’t imagine Lucas is going to set himself up to be asked questions without prior approval, surely the fact that he’s appearing in public bodes well for “Episode III.” Doesn’t it?
Jesus, we really will grasp at anything, won’t we?
I sincerely hope someone manages to slip through the screening cordon and ask a question that isn’t along the lines of, “Could you expand on your interpretation of the power of myth?” Maybe something like, “WTF was up with the midichlorians?” Or, “WTF was up with Anakin’s virgin birth?” Or, “Is it really necessary that every character from the original trilogy has a connection to every character in the prequels? It’s a big galaxy, right?”
Not that I’m holding my breath. That trailer was pretty sweet though, wasn’t it?
Read the next installment in THE STAR WARS REPORT: TO THE WINNER GO THE SPOILERS>>>