If any of you people out — that might happen to read these words — actually knows Mr. Lucas, please tell him for me that he is my hero more now than ever.
Like so many other fanboys, I grew up in the Star Wars world, and have loved so much about the series. I can't tell you how many Star Wars books I've read, the money that I've spent on toys, video games, and other franchise items. They're beyond my ability to count quickly. But besides the Star Wars franchise is a little known, though possibly about to be well known, movie that Mr. Lucas made prior to Star Wars. Hell, he even named one of his companies after it: THX 1138.
I first saw THX 1138 in the early eighties on WKBD Channel 50 in Detroit, Michigan where I grew up. It was on a movie of the week sort of show, and I found it amazing. There was humor in it, though subtle, and it came to represent something unusual within me. I both feared what was happening in it, and yet admired the main character (THX) for his rebellion. Even though I didn't understand the political statements in the movie at the time, I came to realize that there were important messages there; even if the movie wasn't intended to be very serious. This is something that has stuck with me all these years, and I have always enjoyed watching the movie ever since.
Fast forward a lot of years to today. Over the last ten years, Mr. Lucas put a lot of money into the Star Wars franchise to tie up some loose ends. He released the special editions of the original trilogy which I did enjoy tremendously, though I still have a problem with Greedo shooting first, and I miss the old Ewok ending of Return of the Jedi. (Hopefully the impending release of the original trilogy on DVD this week will be the originals unedited, but I'll take them anyway I can get them on DVD.) Then there were the two movies released until now, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. While I enjoyed both, they were lacking some of the warmth and depth that the original trilogy had, and I began to wonder if Mr. Lucas was just trying to make more money, rather than concentrate on the story.
On this issue, I can only really say this: it is incredibly hard for an artist (writer, film maker, or whatever) to begin a work, leave it for a time, and return to it with the same hand. Though the flow of the piece may be similar, and the subject identical, it is seldom of the same quality. And despite the fact that episodes I & II are not of the same quality, I must admit that I enjoyed them both. Even Jar Jar. I'm looking forward to The Revenge of the Sith next year.
Back to the topic though. I didn't realize until this past Friday that THX 1138 was being rereleased to theaters. (Oddly the same day it was rereleased.) And after reading an article on CNN.com I came to understand Mr. Lucas' viewpoint. There's a hell of a lot of pressure on him to make Star Wars perfect. If not from the studios then with the fans. To hell with them, all of them! (Me included!) Mr. Lucas, I can't wait for you to get back to making the movies you want to make, the way you want to make them! That's the same attitude I used to take with my writing, and would love to get back to. I'm not a published author, but I had stopped writing the stories that I wanted to write, the way I wanted to write them because I've been focused on trying to get published for the last 10 years. I would love to be in your shoes Mr. Lucas, and I wish you the best! Go kick some ass!