Lucas Gone Round the Bend

Filed under:Good Grief,Movies,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on May 16, 2008 @ 3:32 pm

Well, all right, he was round the bend when Episode I was made, but now he’s so far gone I can’t even see him any more: Shia LeBeouf as the new Indy, with Harrison Ford coming back as the elder statesman a la Connery.

“I haven’t even told Steven or Harrison this,” he said. “But I have an idea to make Shia [LeBeouf] the lead character next time and have Harrison [Ford] come back like Sean Connery did in the last movie. I can see it working out.

I guess I’m dumb even to be surprised and dumber still to be sad about this kind of thing. This stuff is aimed at the generations following on to mine, and they don’t care if things we treasured are ruined–they’ll plunk down their money and Lucas will gather it up.

But I doubt Lucas has come to terms with that in his own mind. He still seems to have no clue that these are not good ideas from a creative/story point of view. I haven’t seen the new movie yet; it doesn’t matter whether Shia LeBouf is the new Ford or spends all his time chewing scenery. It’s not about that. It’s about a creative institution: Indiana Jones. Don’t show him to us getting old, sitting around, giving advice to the new protege. We don’t care about that. He was a man at a moment in time, and we don’t want to know how Lucas thinks he ages. We don’t want him to age at all. Enough, already. Connery worked because he was a static character also: Introduce him, boom, he’s old, he’s Indy’s father, accepted, he’s a name actor with charisma coming out his ears and we all love him. Wild cheers. Exit to applause–a lesson Lucas has never learned. His lesson is more like “wring out every last drop.” I thought it was only television execs who were supposed to be so heartless to their product–execs who have no hand in writing, casting, or shooting the work. Lucas should know better. Why doesn’t he?

As for Lucas’s comment that the current Indy movie will be the “exact same experience” the other three were, all I can say is, actually, I hope so.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace