Overheard while watching the Star Wars Episode 1 DVD audio commentary with George Lucas tonight:

Did he just compare the Gungans to the Viet Cong???

Some other observations from the commentary:

  • George Lucas deals in some pretty clinical filmmaking. Everything was about how they technically achieved this or that. Nothing about the actors, their performances, or the writing.
  • Nothing about the costumes or makeup, which I was looking forward to.
  • I liked the sound guy’s anecdotes. He was interesting. I liked the bit about the flute and the ’69 Cadillac power windows.
  • Lucas so obviously skips over everything people ripped on while also trying to make subtle excuses. He talks about how he always planned on mentioning the “midi-chlorians”; he just never got around to it before. He also completely skips the “Why didn’t Qui-Gonn disappear?” argument in favor of pointing out the stylistic similarity between the funeral pyres that end episodes one and six.
  • Not much about the light saber battles and the fantastic work Ray Park did. He must’ve pissed Lucas off.
  • Nothing regarding Jake Lloyd being a little wooden puppet, only lots of vague insisting that he was supposed to be “good” and “earnest”.

Granted, there’s a whole other disc with, like, ten hours of supplemental stuff on it, so it’s possible they’ll cover all this stuff elsewhere. I’m just mad that George Lucas essentially ducked a lot of questions. I wanted him to own up to his mistakes in the film. Instead it’s just him prattling on and name dropping (he mentions just about every film he’s ever made and every director he’s ever spoken to). Lots of crap about musical structure and “cyclical themes”. Basically, unless you’re a big time Star Wars or film nerd, avoid the commentary. It’s not going to tell you anything of the stuff you want to know, and it’s crammed with crap that you never needed to know. I’ll report on the rest of the disc later.