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  1. #1

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    George Lucas vs. Imagineering- A comparison

    After a few discussions with a co-worker about general Star Wars stuff, it occured to me some of the similarities between the way LucasFilm and Imagineering has done business over the years.

    Both started out with a brilliant creator and a dedicated team of storytellers. Both had their share of budget issues but made the most of what they had. Both were also massive successes after a short time.

    It was clear in the Star Wars movies and the Disney theme parks, that even though they might not be able to do everything they always wanted, the quality showed and the creators clearly put everything into making the best product possible.

    But the real similarities begin after a few decades, when both Lucas and WDI seemed to be altering things from the way they used to be. Both seemed to succumb to either internal or external forces to change the way they did things.

    The more recent attempts seemed to be driven more by marketing potential than true storytelling. The original movies/attractions were updated in order to be more acceptable to a wider audience, only to be criticized by loyal fans (POTC, SW 4-6). Characters added were seen as unrefined and annoying (Tiki Birds at WDW, Jar Jar Binks). Instead of classic techniques, more often new technology was used (CGI in SW Ep 1-3, hi-def screens in Finding Nemo) which was also not liked by many.

    I think its an interesting comparison that both entities seemed to be unsure of how they achieved success to begin with and were convinced to alter the way they got there in the first place. I believe both suffered because of it.

  2. #2

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    Re: George Lucas vs. Imagineering- A comparison

    They both have withstood the test time
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  3. #3

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    Re: George Lucas vs. Imagineering- A comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisFL View Post
    The more recent attempts seemed to be driven more by marketing potential than true storytelling. The original movies/attractions were updated in order to be more acceptable to a wider audience, only to be criticized by loyal fans (POTC, SW 4-6). Characters added were seen as unrefined and annoying (Tiki Birds at WDW, Jar Jar Binks). Instead of classic techniques, more often new technology was used (CGI in SW Ep 1-3, hi-def screens in Finding Nemo) which was also not liked by many.
    SW4-6 were not updated to be acceptable - they were updated because the director wanted to make the movies the way he wanted with new technology. The 'changes' are a reflection on the change of the director. Just as when they redid ET.. they weren't done for other people, they were done because the creator had changed as well.

    Disney's POTC changes were purely based on 'PC'

    Many characters were added.. JarJar was just one of dozens.

    Techniques... Lucus fully believes in digital technology and is an innovator in the field. Just as he was with special effects 30 years ago. The people who don't like them are the ones are the ones who snuff most change.

    Does anyone honestly feel the p. jelly on the lens to do the land speeder is 'better' then the digital version done now? Of course not.

    WDI fell to internal politics and 'big corporate'. Lucus has repeatedly run away and shunned others to avoid that.
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  4. #4

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    Re: George Lucas vs. Imagineering- A comparison

    ^^ Exactly.

    Respectfully, there's alot of flaws with the original poster's comparison. WDI, and Disney in general, is a huge corporate bureaucracy. Even with good people at the top like Iger and Lasseter, it's hard to make the ship do a sharp 180 turn with a bureaucracy like that.

    Lucasfilm is completely driven by the will of George Lucas. It does whatever he wants it to do and exactly the way he wants it done. In terms of filmmaking (and film exhibition), he has always pushed the technological envelope, whether it's special effects, digital film, THX standards for theaters, etc.

    In terms of storytelling, however, I think Lucas has just gotten older and he doesn't have the same sensibility he had 30 years ago. Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd/Hayden Christensen, Greedo Shoots First, and anything else you hate about the "new" Star Wars (or even the digital changes to "THX 1138" and "American Graffiti") comes from George himself. They are his personal choices.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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  5. #5

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    Re: George Lucas vs. Imagineering- A comparison

    I don't have any problem with the new SW IV-VI, I think they look better than ever, aren't different enough to be considered really different and are still the films we know and love...but they just look amazing! One can't deny they at least look really snazzy and slick. Sadly the same cannot be said of WDI, whose problem now is not imagination or any such things, EE and Crush showed us they can still churn out quality attractions, but there's too many clones and weak ones among the shining stars.

  6. #6

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    Re: George Lucas vs. Imagineering- A comparison

    ^^ If I may go off topic for a moment, they new DVDs do look amazing. However, if they have the ability to make the "Special Editions" look that good, they should go through the trouble of making the original films look that good too. They are part of film history, even if they are not Lucas' perferred versions, and the fans should have access to them. Also, some diehards claim that the sound mix on the new dvds is screwed up, specifically that the music score is intentionally dialed down in some places and that some of the dialog is garbled in a couple of scenes. Personally, I think its barely noticeable.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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