George Lucas Retires, Defends “Nuking The Fridge”
In my opinion, George Lucas is the most successful failure of all time. He’s had two good ideas, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but he needs other people to take charge to carry these ideas into greatness. The best idea he’s ever had is licensing his product and making sure he owns all marketing rights for his ideas, something that will keep him and his children rich for the rest of their lives. However, Lucas has not been in a favorable eye to Hollywood and his fans since the late 90s. Lucas’ constant changing of the Star Wars movies, his refusal to make the original theatrical versions of the original trilogy readily available to the public, the disappointing new trilogy, and the even more disappointing new Indiana Jones film has made Lucas an enemy in the eyes of his fans. After years of complaints, Lucas has had enough. In an interview with The New York Times, Lucas said,
“I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”
The final straw here is Lucas’ new project, “Red Tails”, which he had to write, produce, and finance himself because no major studios wanted to pick up the project. Instead of understanding his shortcomings as a film maker, Lucas blamed racism in Hollywood for lack of interest in “Red Tails”. Lucas says he has become disheartened with the Hollywood machine, but many speculate this is Lucas’ reaction to the constant complaints of his recent works. Lucas says that he will only focus on small, personal projects… after finishing Indiana Jones 5.
One of the more controversial moments in a Lucas movie was in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” when Dr. Jones survived a nuclear explosion by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator which was thrown a least a mile or two by the explosion. The term “Nuking The Fridge” has now become the movie equivalent of the television phrase “Jumping The Shark”, signifying the point when a story has become completely unbelievable and not enjoyable to watch. Originally, Steven Spielberg claimed responsibility for the scene and apologized for it. When told about Spielberg’s confession, Lucas claimed responsibility and said that Spielberg was just protecting him. According to Lucas, Spielberg didn’t believe in the scene and wanted to cut it, but Lucas fought for the the scene to be left in and even provided “scientific evidence” that the scene was realistic. Lucas claims he consulted with scientists about the logistics of the scene and was told that Indy would have a 50/50 chance of surviving that situation.
What it really comes down to is Lucas cannot understand why his fanbase has turned on him. Lucas surrounds himself with a bunch of Yes Men who tell him that every idea he has is golden. This is a man who spoke out in the 80s to prevent people from altering classic films, and now he can’t understand why people are upset that he’s changing his movies. The truth is he’s a mediocre writer and director, and his best movies are the ones where he’s in a supervisory role and other people write and direct the movie for him. Now he is taking his ball and going home to pout.