I recently read an article about the possibility of more Indiana Jones movies, which included this little gem:
Lucas sat down with AP Television at his Big Rock Ranch outside San Francisco, where he said he didn’t pay much attention to the reception from critics and fans to “Crystal Skull,” a sci-fi adventure set in the 1950s.
Let’s just mull over that for a sec.
To say, “I don’t care what the critics think” is the prerogative of any director. Saying, “I don’t care what the audience thinks” is something altogether different. Only filmmakers who claim to be making pure art can do that. For instance, David Lynch probably doesn’t worry too much about what audiences think.
But if you’re making a film that is supposed to have mass appeal, and at the same time you are claiming that you don’t care whether anyone enjoys it, then you are either a self-indulgent egomaniac or a liar, or a little of both.
Personally, I think Lucas’ ignoring us is an epic act of passive-aggression. He probably lives in a cocoon of yes-men, and he naturally saw the negative reaction to the prequel trilogy as unfair. Probably the only thing that brings him joy now is taking the money of the people who are the most critical of what he’s produced over the past 10 years: his fans.
I remember how back in 2006, he finally released the original trilogy on DVD, without the “Special Edition” bells and whistles. But it wasn’t even a transfer from the original film stock – it was just the 1993 laserdisc version copied onto a DVD. There were only two channels of stereo sound, instead of the standard 5.1. And it wasn’t even anamorphic – it was letterboxed.
If you don’t know what any of that means, don’t worry about it. But just take my word that it was a clearly inferior DVD release, especially coming from a company known for its technological wizardry. It seemed like a purposeful slap in the face to the hardcore fans, who had the audacity to like the movie the way it used to be.
Anyway, I know none of this is a news flash. The idea that Lucas has no respect for his fans is pretty much as old as the Star Wars Holiday Special. But reading that article, where he comes right out and says that he doesn’t care what we think of Crystal Skull… somehow that still surprised me. The man who invented the blockbuster has become a misanthrope. I’d feel sorry for him, if he wasn’t such a douche.