Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Empire" producer Gary Kurtz finally speaks out about Lucas

Here's a very interesting article just posted on the LA Times blog, Hero Complex.

Gary Kurtz, who produced the original "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back" with George Lucas, has stepped forward to say some not so flattering things about his former professional partner and gives some surprising insights into what 'the man behind the space epic we all grew up with' was planning during the time of the 'Holy Trilogy' and his mis-managing of the franchise after "Empire".

This is definitely an eye-opening interview and, especially coming from Kurtz who's always been a very straight shooter, not a publicity gaining stunt. Apparently the Lucasfilm leadership has been concerned about Kurtz’ appearance at Star Wars Celebration V, which is happening in Orlando this weekend...and it appears he has a lot on his mind to vent about. One of the most amazing revelations; starting with "Return of the Jedi", George Lucas has been in the "Star Wars" franchise game primarily for the toys, with the actual quality of the films they were based off of as a secondary thought! “The emphasis on the toys, it’s like the cart driving the horse,” Kurtz said. “If it wasn’t for that the films would be done for their own merits." OMG...WOW! This makes total sense when you look at the overall picture of how things have been churned out after 1983 and the end of the original trilogy.

The Hero Complex posting goes on to say Kurtz revealed that the discussed ending for "Jedi" he favored presented the rebel forces in tatters, Leia grappling with her new duties as queen, and Luke walking off alone like Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns. Instead Lucas opted for the teddy bear luau approach! I would have LOVED to have seen this ending! It's makes much more sense and would have resonated SO MUCH BETTER emotionally. Jeez, talk about flushing a perfect idea down the toilet!

Reading this is now the one reason I wish we were attending Celebration V. To hear Kurtz speak his mind in person and ask some really pointed questions that I'm sure a lot of other people probably will be doing. Hopefully there'll be a wrap-up online after the event. Click on the photo of Kurtz to read his full account at Hero Complex.


At August 15, 2010 at 3:07 AM, Anonymous Allen Pinney said...

Great article (I almost sent you the link!), too bad he couldn't have stuck around for 'Jedi', maybe even with Ewoks he could put some edge on that film!

I never thought Lucas was a great director but he had good instincts early on (American Graffiti/Star Wars). AND then... he got filthy rich and became addicted to keeping the cash cow alive.

Raiders and the Indy films were saved by having Spielberg involved. Now I wonder what will happen with 'Red Tails'?


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