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(Den Of Geek)   A previously-unpublished interview with the late Richard Marquand, director of Return Of The Jedi. He was all set to direct one of the Star Wars prequels once upon a time   (denofgeek.com) divider line 22
    More: Interesting, Return of the Jedi, Star Wars, Richard Marquand, Karen Allen, Episode IV, Happy Endings, Irvin Kershner, Jabba the Hutt  
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2087 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Jun 2013 at 9:44 AM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-25 09:51:31 AM
Then the divorce happened and Lucas locked down the product.


I think it was for the best. The movies we got were the movies we were going to get. Meaning the plot and the acting and everything would have been the same if they were made now or in the 80s. The only really great part of the new movies were the CGI. Could you imagine those crap-fests with 80s level special effects?!
 
2013-06-25 09:56:28 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: The only really great part of the new movies were the CGI. Could you imagine those crap-fests with 80s level special effects?!


A bad movie is a bad movie - regardless of budget or technology.
 
2013-06-25 10:02:44 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Then the divorce happened and Lucas locked down the product.


I think it was for the best. The movies we got were the movies we were going to get. Meaning the plot and the acting and everything would have been the same if they were made now or in the 80s. The only really great part of the new movies were the CGI. Could you imagine those crap-fests with 80s level special effects?!


I prefer the puppets in the Cantina and Empire Strikes Back Yoda over any of the CGI.  CGI is great for action, but creatures just look souless.
 
2013-06-25 10:04:04 AM
Sorry, but Return of the Jedi was the beginning of the end.
 
2013-06-25 10:09:23 AM

clkeagle: The Stealth Hippopotamus: The only really great part of the new movies were the CGI. Could you imagine those crap-fests with 80s level special effects?!

A bad movie is a bad movie - regardless of budget or technology.


But the approach is different - The Gungans would have been fewer and different.  The thousands of CG Gungans vs. thousands of CG droids would had to have been rethought and possibly not done.  Padme, Anakin, and Kenobi vs. those arena creatures.  Thousands of clones vs. thousands of droids.  What I guess I'm saying is if you're going to set up a major, elaborate live shot, you're probably going to think it through 2 or 3 times and make sure it's worth the effort.

Marquand actually hints around to the difficulty in getting a live shot of a droid or Darth Vader with a plan in place, knowing exactly how he's going to execute it to completeion with the post-production work.  It's sort of fascinating when you think of it in those terms, and then look at the results of the prequels - along with many movies today - that use post production CGI as a crutch and put little or no thought into it.

That's not to say we wouldn't have heard "Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo" or whatever nonsense that was.
 
2013-06-25 10:09:51 AM
From what I've seen, the suckitude of a Star Wars movie is directly proportional to the amount of control George Lucas has.

Lucas was barely involved in making the Empire Strikes Back, and it's by far the best one. He was involved in making a New Hope and Jedi, but only a part of a larger team.  So they were good movies.

Lucas had full control over the creation of the prequels. They were irredeemably bad.
 
2013-06-25 10:40:34 AM

bark_atda_moon: CGI is great for action, but creatures just look souless.


joeysparacio31.files.wordpress.com
filmpro.ru
uploads.kidzbop.com
 
2013-06-25 11:03:20 AM

amindtat: bark_atda_moon: CGI is great for action, but creatures just look souless.

[joeysparacio31.files.wordpress.com image 600x311]
[filmpro.ru image 640x358]
[uploads.kidzbop.com image 600x250]


I will admit, in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar looked fantastic.    Gollum, Jar Jar, and the things from Avatar look fake as hell.
 
2013-06-25 12:41:35 PM

Twigz221: From what I've seen, the suckitude of a Star Wars movie is directly proportional to the amount of control George Lucas has.

Lucas was barely involved in making the Empire Strikes Back, and it's by far the best one. He was involved in making a New Hope and Jedi, but only a part of a larger team.  So they were good movies.

Lucas had full control over the creation of the prequels. They were irredeemably bad.


I want to be the first to explicitly say Lucas should have just paid whatever Kershner wanted to take over... or twisted his arm if the guy just wanted to teach film etc.
 
2013-06-25 01:34:57 PM

bark_atda_moon: amindtat: bark_atda_moon: CGI is great for action, but creatures just look souless.

[joeysparacio31.files.wordpress.com image 600x311]
[filmpro.ru image 640x358]
[uploads.kidzbop.com image 600x250]

I will admit, in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar looked fantastic.    Gollum, Jar Jar, and the things from Avatar look fake as hell.


Everything but the anime eyes on Gollum was about what I expected and done fairly well. Of course the eyes bring it from a c+ to a D
 
2013-06-25 02:38:33 PM

Piizzadude: bark_atda_moon: amindtat: bark_atda_moon: CGI is great for action, but creatures just look souless.

[joeysparacio31.files.wordpress.com image 600x311]
[filmpro.ru image 640x358]
[uploads.kidzbop.com image 600x250]

I will admit, in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar looked fantastic.    Gollum, Jar Jar, and the things from Avatar look fake as hell.

Everything but the anime eyes on Gollum was about what I expected and done fairly well. Of course the eyes bring it from a c+ to a D


I don't really think realism = soulfulness/soullessness. Soulfulness would indicate an ability to convey emotion, which thankfully Andy Serkis was able to do with Gollum. Realism would mean CGI Gollum looks exactly like what a 600 year old cave-dwelling proto-hobbit looks like. How many real 600 year old cave-dwelling proto-hobbits do we have wandering around to use as comparison?
 
2013-06-25 02:53:24 PM

clkeagle: A bad movie is a bad movie - regardless of budget or technology.


Yeah, but it was pretty.
 
2013-06-25 03:56:00 PM
Man, I just rewatched this.

I was disappoint.

Ten percent of it is brilliant. The rest is laughable.
 
2013-06-25 04:44:36 PM

Benjamin Stone: Man, I just rewatched this.

I was disappoint.

Ten percent of it is brilliant. The rest is laughable.


Ya, a lot of it doesn't hold up very well. I would say a good deal more than 10% is decent, but certainly not all.
 
2013-06-25 05:00:08 PM
Lunchlady:

Ya, a lot of it doesn't hold up very well. I would say a good deal more than 10% is decent, but certainly not all.

That's fair. I am admittedly prone to hyperbole.

I liked the scenes with Luke and Vader but the whole Battle of Endor thing ... it just seemed like an advertisement for teddy bears.

Also: we're going to blow up the Death Star?

Again???

Lazy writing. In my opinion. But I'm not worth four billion dollars so what do I know...
 
2013-06-25 06:16:49 PM

Benjamin Stone: Also: we're going to blow up the Death Star?

Again???

Lazy writing. In my opinion. But I'm not worth four billion dollars so what do I know...


As opposed to taking three movies to destroy a ring.
 
2013-06-25 08:35:26 PM

Benjamin Stone: I liked the scenes with Luke and Vader but the whole Battle of Endor thing ... it just seemed like an advertisement for teddy bears.

Also: we're going to blow up the Death Star?

Again???


I can agree that the ewoks were ridiculous and the death star 2 was unoriginal, but the space battle scenes are still some of the best "dogfighting combat" ever put on the big screen- right up there with Battle of Britain, Midway, Tora Tora Tora, Top Gun, etc. Heck, Wedge appears in the original trilogy for at most 10 minutes out of a whole 6 hours, yet was iconic enough to spawn an entire book series, and the same scenes inspired one of (if not the) greatest video games of all time in Tie Fighter. Does anyone actually not feel any kind of emotion when the a-wing goes out of control and crashes into the SSD bridge? The helpless kamikaze aspect to that scene, along with the clear desparation in the Admiral's character just before it happens as he sees the battle turning badly, makes it my favorite movie moment of all time. I've watched it 100s of times and still get chills every single time.

My biggest complaints about the prequels was that none of them had anything that came close. The two space battle scenes they did were too short, had no focus, had no sense of real danger, and didn't include enough "chatter" scenes between pilots to build them into fully-fledged characters.
 
2013-06-25 08:53:52 PM

WhippingBoy: Sorry, but Return of the Jedi was the beginning of the end.


Benjamin Stone: Ten percent of it is brilliant. The rest is laughable.


Strengths of ROTJ:

- Yoda's death scene (see finer puppetry, you will not)
- Ian McDirmid
- an iconic slave costume
- Admiral Ackbar
- Ben Burtt's sound design for the speeder bike chase
- Luke vs. Vader (the physical swordplay doesn't match the astronomical levels displayed by Ray Park in Ep 1 (what could?) but the psychological tension adds tons of weight)
- Vader's death scene

Weaknesses:

- Ewoks.  (if they'd been Wookies everything would have been fine)
- Solo.  No more moral ambiguity, he's fully committed - and therefore boring
- lots of clunky dialogue and stilted delivery - Marquand didn't show the same ability Kershner had in bringing the best out of the cast
- all loose ends (say, the rest of the Imperial fleet) tied up a bit too tidily, but it's a 3rd act, what are you gonna do)

Still better than any of the prequels

$0.02
 
2013-06-25 09:24:07 PM
As others have alluded to, it was precisely because of the technical limitations of the time that led to cleverer storytelling solutions.

Had the prequels been made in the mid-80's, they still would've been stories that didn't need to be told, but I bet they'd have been told better.
 
2013-06-25 10:09:11 PM

Nana's Vibrator: clkeagle: The Stealth Hippopotamus: The only really great part of the new movies were the CGI. Could you imagine those crap-fests with 80s level special effects?!

A bad movie is a bad movie - regardless of budget or technology.

But the approach is different - The Gungans would have been fewer and different.  The thousands of CG Gungans vs. thousands of CG droids would had to have been rethought and possibly not done.  Padme, Anakin, and Kenobi vs. those arena creatures.  Thousands of clones vs. thousands of droids.  What I guess I'm saying is if you're going to set up a major, elaborate live shot, you're probably going to think it through 2 or 3 times and make sure it's worth the effort.

Marquand actually hints around to the difficulty in getting a live shot of a droid or Darth Vader with a plan in place, knowing exactly how he's going to execute it to completeion with the post-production work.  It's sort of fascinating when you think of it in those terms, and then look at the results of the prequels - along with many movies today - that use post production CGI as a crutch and put little or no thought into it.

That's not to say we wouldn't have heard "Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo" or whatever nonsense that was.


I liked the prequels, warts and all, but I agree with this.
 
2013-06-25 10:22:19 PM

frestcrallen: Strengths of ROTJ:

- Yoda's death scene (see finer puppetry, you will not)
- Ian McDirmid
- an iconic slave costume
- Admiral Ackbar
- Ben Burtt's sound design for the speeder bike chase
- Luke vs. Vader (the physical swordplay doesn't match the astronomical levels displayed by Ray Park in Ep 1 (what could?) but the psychological tension adds tons of weight)
- Vader's death scene


Adding:  The sailbarge skiff fight scene (minus the terrible kick).  From the salute until "don't forget the droids" it's a great set piece.

The scene where Vader talks to Luke on Endor.  The scene is simple, very few effects, but emotion is conveyed with Vader's mask, which dare I say, is impressive.

The space battle.  The most technically complex effects sequence ever put on film, and with CGI it will never be surpassed.  The raw number of elements and passes with optical printing needed to achieve that scene is mind boggling.

The Luke/Vader fight.  The anger was palpable as Luke was cutting his father down.  Then it's over, but it's not.  Up until this point the Emperor is seen as a figurehead, not as a dangerous enemy.  After Luke vanquished Vader, it's over, right?  Hell, no.

The shuttle design.  Probably my favorite secondary ship in the SW galaxy.
 
2013-06-25 10:34:48 PM

Twigz221: From what I've seen, the suckitude of a Star Wars movie is directly proportional to the amount of control George Lucas has.

Lucas was barely involved in making the Empire Strikes Back, and it's by far the best one. He was involved in making a New Hope and Jedi, but only a part of a larger team.  So they were good movies.

Lucas had full control over the creation of the prequels. They were irredeemably bad.


ANH is the only SW movie I can watch over and over without ever getting tired of, so I'd respectfully disagree.
 
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