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Posts Tagged ‘George Lucas’

“Everybody has talent, it’s just a matter of moving around until you’ve discovered what it is.” — George Lucas

I really like this quote because I do believe that everyone has talent. Just look at a film like Star Wars (I’ll pick Episode IV, because it’s my favorite!) To become successful, Star Wars needed good writers, artists, designers, special effects people, sound engineers, actors, make-up artists, costumers, props people, editors, cameramen, etc. And, of course, a good director! The amazing part, this long list of people doesn’t even scratch the surface of those who contributed to the success of the movie.

Some talents are highly visible. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill were on the movie posters and book covers. I’m sure their action figures sold the best. But hidden under the robes and armor were extras playing Storm Troopers and Jawas. Their contribution made the movie work, too.

And lest I forget, there were cooks who prepared the meals eaten on set. There were assistants who made sure everything went smoothly. There were pre-production, production, and post-production workers whose names no one knows whose talents contributed to Star Wars. I think George Lucas would agree with me that each of them have talents – talents which made a difference in making Star Wars an iconic science fiction blockbuster.

Of course there’s a little more to it then having talent. I’ll quote George Lucas again: “Working hard is very important. You’re not going to get anywhere without working extremely hard.”

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Happy Star Wars Day and May the Fourth be with you! Here’s a link for a brief history of how this holiday began.

May is a special month in the Star Wars world – not only was George Lucas born in May, but most of the live-action Star Wars movies debuted in May, including Episode IV – the movie that began not only the Star Wars franchise, but was a major leap in film and special effects. And I think my birthday being in May is no coincidence!

Star Wars had a profound effect on my creative life. Since childhood, I’d been a watcher of Star Trek and other science fiction (and fantasy) television shows. When I got the chance to go to the movie theater, I usually chose to see speculative films. Many of the books I borrowed from the library or had on my bookshelves were adventure tales, fantasy, and science fiction. But I hadn’t yet embraced sf/f/h as my creative niche.

After Star Wars, I realized I belonged as an artist and writer in the fantastical worlds of fantasy and science fiction. I wanted to write about heroes (both male and female), sidekicks, magical creatures, faraway galaxies, and strange worlds. I wanted to paint the landscape and inhabitants of those imagined lands (or seas or starships or mysterious places).

When asked to list my creative influences, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Arthur Rackham always make the cut – but in truth, George Lucas should be mentioned, too!

Here’s NASA’s May 4th greeting for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s a short video with a May 4th wish delivered by R2D2.

And finally, a link to a fun and geeky Star Wars website. Enjoy!

(And by the way, my new book, Owl Light, has several science fiction stories in it for SF readers.)

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Older, but no wiser than the last time I blogged, I wish each of you a Happy Star Wars Day!

As for me, I fell in love with George Lucas’s saga from the opening frame of Episode IV, and have over the years read most of the Star Wars books and watched (multiple times) all 6 of the movies. And unlike many diehard fans, I have no problem with Star Wars Episodes I thru III. I enjoy them for what they are, and don’t compare them to Episodes IV thru VI.

Nevertheless, Episode IV will always be my favorite Star Wars movie. As I sat in the darkened theater those many years ago, spellbound by the action unfolding on the screen, I was reminded of my love of adventure tales with heroes, villains, damsels in distress, sidekicks, and exotic locales. Whether Treasure Island or Tarzan or Buck Rogers or Lord of the Rings, I’ve always been a fan of adventure tales. And that’s what Star Wars is – an adventure tale.

Wait, you say. It’s a science fiction world built by George Lucas and the various writers who’ve contributed to the Star Wars universe. True. But location, spiffy space vehicles, and lightsabers aside –  it is the sense of daring, of plunging forward against incredible odds, of using wits and magic and luck to battle the dark forces of the world, and the friendship between unlikely allies that lure us into the story. And oh what a story!

For writers like me, there’s much to be learned from Star Wars: world-building, appealing characters, redeemable villians, fallen heroes, complex non-human species, gadgets and gizmos, and creating a compelling adventure tale that is fun to read. Remember, dear readers and fellow writers, good storytelling is good storytelling whether it’s classified popular fiction/cinema or literary fiction/cinema.

For those who’d like to revisit a bit of the Star Wars world, the place to be is: www.starwars.com For those even geekier (I say that with no judgment. How would I know of the link had I not visited it?) — there’s Wookieepeida: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

So on May 4th, all puns aside – May the Force be with each of you!

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 As a fan of fantasy & science fiction, I’ve found that although characters, plot & dialogue are vital to a genre story —  the location where a story is set has a tremendous impact on the success or failure of the completed project.  Discovering at FaeireCon that I need a Steam Punk setting for my novel’s faeryland was a breakthrough.

Some readers & writers might be shaking their heads, but those of us who’ve tumbled with Alice down a rabbit hole, walked with Lucy through a wardrobe, or stepped with a character through a looking-glass, know location often decides the direction of a story.

Without The Shire, the Mines of Moria, Rivendell, Helm’s Deep, Mordor & the rest of Middle Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasies wouldn’t be the same. Many of the challenges faced by Bilbo, Frodo, the other Hobbits & their companions are a result of the places where they find themselves while on their journeys.

When George Lucas imagined the adventures of Luke Skywalker he took us from the wastelands of Tatooine to the forest moon of Endor, the swamps of Dagobah, the interior of the Millenium Falcon, the ice world of Hoth, the Cloud City of Bespin & dozens of other locations in the vast galactic sprawl of moons, asteroids & planets that is home to the Star Wars saga. The contrasts in the various settings gives rise to action, encourages character development & helps the reader “suspend their disbelief.”

Another favorite of mine, Neil Gaiman, chose the sidewalks, pubs & subways of a city in Great Britain for his Neverwhere. He knew the claustrophobic closeness of tunnels, subways, apartments, and urban nooks & crannies would make a difference in the feel of the story. Likewise, when he wrote about Wall & the world of Faery that existed next to it, the settings made a difference in what it meant to locate a fallen star in Stardust.

And what about Harry Potter? J.K. Rowling’s decision to have Harry travel from a cupboard under the stairs to Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, the Weasley home & the rest of the author’s wizard world gave rise to the change & growth of Harry, the dialogue, the other characters, the antagonists, the plotlines…

In each of these examples & countless others, location is one of the keys to the success of the tale. In my story, Sideshow by the Sea, the boardwalk-carnival-seaside location was an important element. The locale’s flavor added not only a touch of reality to the fantastic, but was a familiar presence for many readers. In my next eShort, Assassins, the vast prairies, mountains & canyons of the planet Konur Prime are a familiar touchstone. In fact, this science fiction adventure tale could be classified as a “Space Western” — with updated versions of the stagecoaches, saloons, gunslingers & heroes of the Old West moved to — why, a new LOCATION of course!

For those who want to know what a number of authors think a Space Western is — check out: http://www.spacewesterns.com/articles/73/  If you scroll down in the article, I’m the 6th author interviewed.

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