In this issue: George Lucas is retiring, is it finally time to leave him alone?

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12 Comments

  1. GeorgeDubya
    February 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    Did Matthew just put down Willow?

    *Grabs a torch and pitchfork*

    No, wait. Nerd on nerd violence isn’t the answer.

    *Puts away the weapons and shakes fist impotently in Matthew’s general direction*

  2. February 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm — Reply

    *Joins in the fist shaking party.

  3. Oldcomicfan
    February 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm — Reply

    No matter how you feel about it, George Lucas is getting on in years, and he also has more money than I ever will. If he wants to retire, God bless him. I’ve never understood the nerd rage towards George Lucas. After all, those are HIS movies and if he wants to edit the heck out of them or even destroy them in revenge for all the nerd hate, more power to him. If you want to hate him for something, hate him for Ewoks, Jar Jar Binks and the two Endor movies, for pity’s sake. Better yet, if you want to hate him for something, hate him for not taking better care of the original negative. The whole alteration began when Lucas went to do the laserdisc transfer and discovered that the original star wars film stock had deteriorated to the point where whole scenes are lost. Remember Luke and R2D2 are in the swamp on Degobah, and R2 get swallowed and spit out by a swamp monster. In the original release and video tape versions, Luke said “You’re lucky you don’t taste very good” to R2. Lucas was forced to splice in a rejected cut of the scene to replace the deteriorated film, in which scene Luke says “You’re lucky you got out of there.” I liked the enhanced versions that were released in DVD format. I don’t particularly care about 3-D. Not going to see or buy those versions – sorry George. I haven’t seen the alterations everybody is raging about – who cares if Han shoots first or not? It makes sense that they’d splice in Hayden’s face since he plays Vader in the second trilogy, and it might confuse folks in the future when they watch it and wonder why he used different actors for the role. Like Stephen said, Vader is a composite character played by 2 different physical actors and a voice actor, he never really existed as the work of one actor. Getting upset about who was in the suit is like fans of the muppets getting upset because the wrong puppeteer had their hand up Miss Piggy’s backside. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Now, what I’d like to see George Lucas alter is the scene in the movie 2001, when Dave Bowman is trying to get the HAL 9000 to open the pod bay door and Hal won’t do it. It’d love to see the scene with the “Dave’s Not Here” sketch from Cheech and Chong dubbed into that scene. “Open the Pod Bay door, Hal.” “Who is it?” “Dave.” “Dave’s not here…”

  4. Xian
    February 5, 2012 at 7:11 am — Reply

    Ahem… digital comics.

    Good ep. I know the Ages of Comics are still shaking out but I thought I’d add the breakdown given in “75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking” by Paul Levitz:

    Stone – Pre-1938
    Golden – 1938-1956
    Silver – 1956-1970
    Bronze – 1970-1984
    Dark – 1984-1998
    Modern – 1998-2010
    Digital – 2011

    I’m comfortable with a past non-contemporary period being referenced as “Modern” because we use similar terms in art / architecture (Wiki says the Modern Art era ended roughly in the 70s). I’m less comfortable with “Ages” lasting less than 20 years which is why I have the bad habit of rolling the Bronze Age into the Silver Age and the Dark / Iron / Adamantium Age into the Modern Age.

    It’s interesting that the previous Ages tended to be more about the approach to content whereas digital is more about delivery (since we’ve had digital interiors- coloring, lettering, art, writing, etc- prior), but it will be interesting to see how the approach to the content will be seen down the road. However, creatively, it is another commercial attempt at revival like the other ages… it’s just not clear what the added value or spin is just yet: Gold- Just add Superman; Silver- Just add Superheroes; Bronze- Just add Reality; Dark- Add continuity and darkness; Modern- Remix additions, reduce continuity; so what will make Digital distinct in terms of content?

  5. Oldcomicfan
    February 5, 2012 at 10:17 am — Reply

    That’s a pretty good list, but I’d suggest a few modifications:

    Stone Age – 1895-1934 which would cover the birth of comics, which at first just collected cartoons and comic strips reprinted from the newspapers. This era ended with the founding of DC in 1934. This was the age of the Yellow Kid, the Katzenjammer Kids and their ilk.

    Golden Age – 1934-1954 – This age should begin with DC’s creation and end with the establishment of comics censorship under the Comics Code Authority in 1954. Anything goes seemed to the motto of the era. We got a wonderful explosion of creativity here, but also a lot of disturbing imagery, such as Batman with machine guns, Superman laughing as he dangled criminals from their heels, etc., and, of course, EC Comics.

    Silver Age – 1954-1970 – This age should begin in 1954 with the first use of the Comics Code Authority stamp. It could also be called The Kiddie Age because this is when we got all the great Disney books, plus things like Archie, Little Lulu, Casper, Richie Rich and the like.

    Bronze – 1970-1980 – I would suggest the Bronze Age ended a few years earlier. This age was actually typified by comics being written with a more grown-up audience in mind, a definite improvement in art, but still a slavish devotion to the Comics Code Authority. Many Golden Age heroes got an update in this era. To my mind, this era ended when Comic Book publishers moved to direct distribution thru subscriptions and comic book stores which effectively killed off all the kiddie comics except the Archie line, rather than such nonsensical markers as when Barry Allen got a haircut or when Hal Jordan became an even bigger swinging dick.

    Platinum Foil Age – 1980-1985 – I would suggest a new age here – actually a half age – which started when the comic book companies moved to direct distribution of their books – a short sighted and stupid move that eventually nearly destroyed the industry. Sure, we got the rise of the mainstream comic book shop, but comics vanished from grocery stores, drug stores and news stands and if you didn’t live near a comic book store you were just out of luck. I call it the Platinum Foil age because we got some real treasures as independent publishers like First, Pacific, Dark Horse, etc. came on the scene and started printing some wonderful books (the platinum part). DC and Marvel’s response was to flood the market with Alternate Cover Foil Embossed Bubblegum Scented Collectable Edition comics (the foil part) in an effort to retain market share. Marvel went overboard and openly acknowledged that they were flooding the store shelves with over-production in order to drive out the independents.

    Dark Age – 1985-1998 – This age was typified by the collapse of the independent comic book publishing industry. All those wonderful publishers, who brought us new, fresh stories, printed on better paper with better art and better color vanished almost overnight, often between one issue and the next. Several series I had been collecting moved between two or three different independents before ultimately vanishing. Marvel’s overproduction caught up with it, sending the company into bankruptcy. And both DC and Marvel floundered, due in large part, to having diluted their best ideas and properties over too many series, cross-overs and the like. Worse yet, many independent comic book stores closed their doors forever, leaving much of the nation without any place to get their comics.

    Copper Age – 1998-2010 – I would arguable call this the copper age. The industry began to recover from it’s 80’s excesses and a few independents Image and Dark Horse survived, with a few more coming onto the scene. This age marked the final demise of the Comics Code Authority and an open acknowledgement that most comic books were read by adults. This didn’t lead to any upgrade of the contents, though. The age was typified by the reliance of crossovers and event comics to the detriment of the industry, proving that Marvel and DC still haven’t learned a thing from the Dark Age.

    Silicone Age – 2011-Present – The rise of digital comics! And not just comics. Newspaper cartoons are also moving online as the market for their products vanished. Will this new era see the demise of the printed comic book? Quite possibly. I could see all the publishers moving to a totally digital distribution of their monthly books, with only the collected trade paperbacks ever seeing print as ink-on-paper. Sort of like how novels, in the Victorian era, were often serialized in newspapers first and later were collected into hardback books. I predict that if this shift happens, it won’t be permanent, but if the publishers move back to print, it won’t be with their full lines. You might get one monthly Bat Book or Spider Book instead of sixteen or seventeen. Unless, of course, the publishers finally get their head out of the sand and put comic books back on grocery store shelves, drug store shelves, news stands and the like. You wanna sell more books, DC and Marvel? Get them into Wal-Mart!

    • February 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm — Reply

      Ages are always in the eye of the beholder. I tend to use milestones (which is why the Bronze Age doesn’t end until 86, when Barry dies and the DC Universe is revamped in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

      Still, some good thoughts in here, although I don’t see the difference between your description of the Copper and Dark ages.

  6. February 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm — Reply

    I got to say, thank you for the incredibly reasonable and level headed discussion about George Lucas and Star Wars. It was such a great relief to hear such a civilized discussion about a topic that tends to get heated very quickly! (Especially if you’re like me and usually find yourself on the ropes trying to defend why you DON’T hate the prequels. Yeesh. Rodney Dangerfield gets more respect than me in a nerd gathering.)

  7. baddog1229
    February 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    You all got me thinking of how Star Wars is handed down in that movie Reign of Fire. Will it actually be handed down in front of the fireplace like King Author in old days should we lose the modern conveniences?

    • Steven Larson
      February 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm — Reply

      Remember that thought it was pretty cool that Star Wars was like that movies version of Homer’s Odyssey etc….

  8. February 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm — Reply

    So, what’d you guys think of this year’s Superbowl Volkswagon commercial? That was a much more blatant use of Vader than last year’s.

  9. Steven Larson
    February 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm — Reply

    You praised George Lucas, but….you didn’t really critique him very well i.e. his CONS

    1. He’s not a good director and doesn’t deal well with actors
    2. He’s not a good screenwriter and is especially terrible with dialog

    The original trilogy and his earlier movies appear better than what he puts into them, mainly because he was more open at that time (being a young director trying to break into the business) to others ideas and critique of his scripts, etc….

    The prequels didn’t work mainly I think because he had at that point been placed on a pedestal as one of the greatest film director/makers, therefore was less open to others ideas and critique, and other people were less willing to challenge him on questionable things like overuse of Jar Jar etc….

    posting some links which go into further detail on this.

    http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/natureofthebeast1.html

    http://redlettermedia.com/

    1st one is a article written by Michael Kaminsk
    The other is a scathing but insightful website that reviews the Star Wars Prequels along with the Next Generation Movies. Done by Mike Stoklasa via his made up character Harry S. Plinkett

  10. Steven Larson
    February 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm — Reply

    That being said you are right in the praise he did change everything about the movie industry as a whole (for good or ill) and got people re-interested into the Sci Fi genre. Without him we probably wouldn’t have had a Next Generation Star Trek, Last Starfighter, and so on……

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