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Mary Warner said on April 11th, 2010 at 11:49 pm

People don’t recognise Star Wars as a happy accident because Lucas made American Grafitti previously. Two brilliant and innovative films in a row like that doesn’t happen just by happy accident. Just as you can divide science fiction movies into pre- and post-Star Wars categories, teenage movies can be split into pre- and post-American Grafitti. It completely revolutionised the genre. But people often fail to realise how innovative it was because it’s become one of the most imitated films in history.

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ImperatorMJ said on April 12th, 2010 at 7:27 am

What about Blade Runner?

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I think Blade Runner is part of a different trilogy. I’d say: Alien/Blade Runner/Escape From New York. If the thread of LR/SG/OM is that they’re allegories for current social problems, the theme of Alien/Blade Runner/Escape from New York is the Evil Corporation (in Escape it’s a particularly cynical government, but it’s the same thing). Life as a commodity, people as tools, and expendable protagonists. Call it Corportist Science Fiction.

(as a side note, I’m going to disagree that Star Wars has a political element. I’ve heard the Watergate and Vietnam arguments before, and I just don’t buy them. The Empire is just the bad guys. Ming the Merciless not Tricky Dick. In fact, one of the things that makes the original trilogy work so much better than the prequel trilogy is that there isn’t any fashion, politics or design work to bog things down.)

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Re: supergp:

It’s not that Star Wars was a happy accident, it’s that Lucas quit directing for twenty years and assumed he could just pick up where he left off. Directing a movie ain’t like riding a bike, George. 🙂

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Actually, it’s probably that Lucas burned out on STAR WARS sometime during the making of JEDI. Although there’s a lot of skill and effort in the new stuff, it’s pretty much just a technical exercise for him now- he stopped caring about these characters decades ago.
And it’s THREE classic films- THX 1138 is less revolutionary in it’s impact ( it’s very much an example of the kind of sci-fi STAR WARS put an end to), but it’s a fine example of it’s genre.

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Well, know I’ll have to go and watch all those…But a quick point on Logan’s Run: I’ve read up on it a bit, and it strikes me as a very anti-Boomer movie in a time when the Boomers were coming into their own in terms of film and as a target market. Any substance to that impression?

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I would group “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” with the pre-Star Wars science fiction movies even though it was made after Star Wars. It is the only Trek movie that feels like an adaptation of a classic science fiction novel.

It’s also widely considered to be the most boring of the Star Trek films (not the worst, but the most boring); make of that what you will.

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@Carter: actually Star Trek:TMP is the first Star Wars Backlash picture. There’s a lot of talk on the DVD on how they made the movie to contrast with Star Wars Flash Gordon/Space Opera aesthetic.

Which is why everyone goes out of their way to avoid doing anything remotely exciting for 2+hours. Also, I think Clarke developed the story, and he’s not exactly known for zippy fare.

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Star Wars is dead to me now. And I saw the original 8 times in the theatre on its first release.

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Fred Davis said on April 13th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

IT probably bares mentining that Lucas did work on a few movies between jedi and phantom menace – he was producer and executive producer respectively on howard the duck and Labyrinth, sometime shortly after jedi the suck just seemed to become strong in that one.

And I say that as someone who sort of likes labyrinth (mostly for Bowie’s presence really), but its not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination.

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I don’t think we can dismiss Lucas’ inter-SW period so easily. After all, there were two Indiana Jones movies in that period. (And Willow. Which probably isn’t good, but I have nostalgia for. (Ditto Labyrinth.))

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vortexgods said on May 15th, 2010 at 2:47 am

Wait…. what about Robocop/Alien/Running Man and the like?

These all seem to be about ideas, but perhaps I’m wrong?

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