Should be titled How LucasFilm Changed the World, as the links are based mostly around the different talents in or connected to that company as opposed to the specific Star Wars film. Nevertheless, the point is solid:
I blame Lucas personally for Reagan’s silly Star Wars idea.
The film section is misleading at best, as many of those people within it weren’t “made” by Lucas or Star Wars, and if it is just intended to reference the films made, I’m not so sure that we are better off for the wider effects of the film which suggests a far more limited artistic effect, or even a negative one if viewed from the way the popularity of the film impacted Hollywood, than technical, which is no surprise given the technical aspects were the most significant aspects of the film to my mind.
In my humble opinion, the one sci-fi that truly changed the world was 2001: A Space Odyssey
This is one of those ‘history must emanate from a center thingies’.
History is a wave such that if it wasn’t Lucas, it would have been someone else.
What the chart shows us is how acquisitory corporations are.
Notice Photoshop coming out of IL&M:
In 1987, Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan began writing a program on his Macintosh Plus to display grayscale images on a monochrome display. This program, called Display, caught the attention of his brother John Knoll, an Industrial Light & Magic employee, who recommended Thomas turn it into a fully-fledged image editing program. Thomas took a six month break from his studies in 1988 to collaborate with his brother on the program, which had been renamed ImagePro.3 Later that year, Thomas renamed his program Photoshop and worked out a short-term deal with scanner manufacturer Barneyscan to distribute copies of the program with a slide scanner; a “total of about 200 copies of Photoshop were shipped” this way.4
During this time, John traveled to Silicon Valley and gave a demonstration of the program to engineers at Apple and Russell Brown, art director at Adobe. Both showings were successful, and Adobe decided to purchase the license to distribute in September 1988.3 While John worked on plug-ins in California, Thomas remained in Ann Arbor writing program code. Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990 for Macintosh exclusively.5
Thomas Knoll was in the right place at the right time by way of his brother – the wave of history swept him up to Adobe.
Huh, weirdly, the second paragraph I posted did not show up on the OP, but my sign-off did?
I said, not exact quote, “I do not see this chart like the maker does, as a series of causal relationships emitting from a single reaction, but as a good graphical display of how connected and small-world the filmmaking business is. It is true in the Indie world and foreign businesses as well—names keep cropping up again and again. It’s interesting the ways in which they inspire and promote each other, sometimes unconsciously and sometimes directly.”
And then I went onto some other paragraph about top-down and how how that thinking doesn’t apply at under-the-bar production levels.
The vastness of the relationships in that chart refers to the influence of success, which has a thousand offspring, failure is an orphan.
J.G. Ballard on Star Wars
At least Ballard got the Muppet prediction right. He falls into the common trap of assuming Star Wars is science fiction, while it shares much more DNA with the Western.
^he wrote that piece in 1977 dude, give him a break. we only see it as a ‘western’(and that’s debatable) through revisionism.
How Nazism lead to Star Wars:
Scheine des Todes (1923)
The Journey (1959)
Ron Howard (I)
American Graffiti (1973)
which was directed by
who also directed
I’ll give props to Lucas for branding himself and therefore leading to a lot of the “STAR WARS did in fact change the world” viewpoint (contestable): love the fact that in the original theatrical release of STAR WARS (available untouched and un-CGI’d on the second bonus disc of the DVD release a few years ago) the majestic 20th Century Fox logo comes up for ten seconds followed for an equal amount of time by the rinky-dink green lettering on black Lucasfilms logo. It preemptively emphasizes Lucas’ equality with the big studios, which he would eventually attain through the trilogy’s popularity.
RE: How Nazism lead to Star Wars
I checked wiki and everything seems to be right. The argument is CORRECT
apropos: Apophenia is the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.
Thanks Robert. Gonna use that one a bunch from now on.
Okay, I’m going to go ahead and step in on the other side this time. As previously mentioned, my original point in posting this was because I’m more interested in how these ideas emit than “cause”, so to speak. But now that we’re on to comparable methods of logic using Nazism, I think it’s time to step back a bit.
Whereas Hollywood is not exactly the media equivalent of science’s “closed system”, Hollywood “Six Degrees of Separation” is a more significant bridging of relationships than a more open system. A person who learned how to do VFX under LucasFilm will take that information into whatever other movie, making LucasFilm’s way of approaching and thinking about and using that information a part of how the other movie gets created. There is, actually, an aesthetic connection between Star Wars and Nazism that is significant and traceable: the Empire and its Storm Troopers are modeled after the ranks in Triumph of the Will (themselves modeled after the musical choreography of Busby Berkeley). Otherwise, yes, we’re probably all related to professed Nazis within six degrees or so or something.
And JG Ballard provides the proof, despite his negative review (most of which I agree with, except fuck you Ballard, Man Who Fell to Earth is wonderful and in no way a failure): the sound design (that he complains about):
Watch Dark Crystal and The Empire Strikes Back back to back, you’ll hear the same sounds twice. How many DVDs do YOU start watching that begin with the familiar THX logo coming just short of the range where it’d blow your speakers out? And this is not simply a mistake of Lucas knowing the right people without any individual input, watch his student film Electronic Labyrinth THX-1138 and you’ll see sound design is something consistently on his mind.
AND, JG Ballard is correct: Star Wars is science fiction without semiotics, and thus can be accredited with the vibrant array of subsequent genre productions. Good or bad? Meh, I’ll leave that up to you guys, I’m sure you see it as a bad thing, but nevertheless Ballard calls it the first of its kind and eeeeeehhhh, I guess so. I couldn’t really say Ray Harryhausen’s movies were really full of semiotics, but on the other hand Star Wars nigh-put Harryhausen out of business.
I think the point of this graph is NOT “Star Wars changed the world” (i.e. made it better, more awesome, whatever), but that Star Wars set a new production code in Hollywood—movies were made in this way, with these tools. Most of us, I feel, are aware of Star Wars’ effect on the idea of a “blockbuster” and the end of the 70s auteur decade and so on, but this graph shows the ways in which the underlying technical and structural design of Star Wars branched out to effect contemporary media production.
I always wondered what people with useless graduate degrees in the humanities do with said degrees. The answer, of course, is they contribute to threads like this.
Easterns, not Westerns
Hitler was TIME Man Of The Year 1938. George Lucas, at one point, must have read TIME magazine. So obviously, Hitler influenced Star Wars.
“History is a wave such that if it wasn’t Lucas, it would have been someone else. What the chart shows us is how acquisitory corporations are.”
Well, I think Star Wars certainly became emblematic of a movement already underway. Saying that Star Wars “changed the world” is a bit of an overstatement (as it was really just playing with and into existing Science Fiction/ Western/ Samurai [genre] &c. themes and ideas) but it’s impact is pretty undeniable. At any rate, it’s impact was great enough to provoke people into responding to this thread.
At least in the Science Fiction genre, Star Wars definitely was a pretty influential film. I don’t want to compare it with the Lord of the Rings and the fantasy genre but I’ll just say that while Tolkein pretty much defined the “standard” fantasy universe, Star Wars in any case outlined a sub-genre of Science Fiction (by which I mean the space-faring, faster than light-travelling, galactic war-fighting sub-genre from which we get stuff like Stargate and Battlestar Gallactica &c.).
“I do not see this chart like the maker does, as a series of causal relationships emitting from a single reaction, but as a good graphical display of how connected and small-world the filmmaking business is.”
Exactly. Genres (like Science Fiction/the Western/ the Samurai film) especially play with and off eachother, so do filmmakers. It would be a bit much to say that Star Wars is somehow at the root of some massive tree of innovations. I tend to see Star Wars as becoming emblematic of a greater over-arching trend rather than in some way causing it (although, as I said, it certainly was a milestone).
“I think the point of this graph is NOT “Star Wars changed the world” (i.e. made it better, more awesome, whatever), but that Star Wars set a new production code in Hollywood—movies were made in this way, with these tools… this graph shows the ways in which the underlying technical and structural design of Star Wars branched out to effect contemporary media production.”
I admit that I’m absolutely not an expert on either sound or film history, but surely there was some kind of precursor to Lucasfilm’s production method (?). My thinking generally gravitates towards a view of history as a series of modest baby steps rather than revolutionary strides.
The American video game industry.
I agree with Faux Nom. The technology was there and available. Somebody was going to popularize it, and it was probably going to be in a scifi film because that’s the genre that has the most use for the technology. But, I do give Lucas credit for having the ambition to try to use special effects in ways that hadn’t been tried before.
Noticed how writers and directors who collaborate with Lucas and Spielberg come to a bad end?
Kasdan,Huick, Gale,Barwood , Marquand…Check IMDB —the list is long.
Only Zemeckis escaped the curse.
What the hell is SCUMM ?
Lawrence Kasdan is still with us.
What I like is that a chart like this one could be made showing how Robot Monster changed the world since that was the first movie the great Wyott Ordung worked on, who later gave a role to Roger Corman in his first film, who later gave work to Coppola, (amongst many others), who later produced THX1138, which gave Lucas his feature directorial debut and so on. Yep, Robot Monster was the film that started it all, made Hollywood what it is today. Pretty appropriate I think.