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Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars...

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Ron Marz, consistently one of the best comics twitter accounts, tweeted the following the other day:

Character lesson: George Lucas is giving $4 billion to education. Donald Trump is holding $5 million hostage in pathetic bid for attention.

It's been RT'd more than 1300 times.

Ultimately, the lesson is, yes he can afford to give half his fortune away and still maintain his lifestyle. But he doesn't have to. And yet there are those with shit-tons of money whose only purpose is to not only make more money, but to also ensure that other people don't get more money.

Jay Leno has made tens of millions of dollars a year for decades now. He is quite fond of telling people that he has never even touched that money, that he has only used his stand-up/speaking engagement money to buy a fuckton of cars and a couple houses. That money just sits in a bank.

George Lucas is a human being, yes, but he's in a world where there are very few human beings with anything more than enough money to live.

Wow...got on a soapbox there. Sorry for being a pinko commie to our right leaning friends.

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No matter what, pretty much no one says "you know what, I don't need that extra four billion. I think I'll give it away." It's not like there's a plateau where suddenly you decide that you have enough money and don't want to keep an extra few billion dollars. Greed is a pretty innate human trait. When offered enough money to essentially become a deity on Earth, who would honestly decide not to take it? George Lucas, apparently.

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Exactly. I also often think that wealthy self-made moguls have a reflex where they need to see their money invested in something. Now that the equivalent worth isn't going into his business (what's he going to do, start Lucasfilm 2.0?) it's a natural reaction to put it into something else and try to create a new success story. Once the pursuit of profit is lost I'd like to think the only thing for a wealthy man to do is good works.

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Once the pursuit of profit is lost I'd like to think the only thing for a wealthy man to do is good works.

You'd think, but that's an easy thing to say when you're not in that position. It's the right thing to do, of course, but I'd bet that the vast majority of multi-millionaires/billionaires, when put in that position, wouldn't choose to give it away like that.

One thing that should be noted: only half of that $4 billion is in actual cash that Lucas can give away; the rest is in Disney stock. It makes Lucas one of the biggest shareholders in Disney, though knowing how outspoken he is about how much he dislikes dealing with business in general, I doubt he's going to be taking much advantage of that.

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If this is true, here's what they need to do for Episodes VII - IX:

VII: The New Republic is thriving under the leadership of Leia and Luke's New Jedi Order. However, there are undercurrents of unrest, giving way to a New Rebellion. The New Republic is able to put out a few fires, but, in the end, the threat has not been eliminated.

VIII: The New Rebellion gains a major foothold in the New Republic, and, at the end of the film, they're able to kill Luke, Han, and Leia. (With Han dead, Ford can go away to be old. But Fisher and Hamill can return as Force ghosts to guide Luke's students.)

IX: With the New Republic crippled, the New Rebellion declares itself The Empire. But Luke's Jedi rise to destroy this threat once and for all.

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I was about to write my own 7-9 plot summaries, then I realized I was merely combining the Thrawn trilogy and the Jedi Academy trilogy. Whoops.

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It comes from the fact that Star Wars is founded upon the basic principles of three-part mythic storytelling. Going from that same basis, you often end up with a similar story in the end.

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I'm uninterested in anything involving Leia and Luke portrayed by their original actors because they're no good at acting.

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I'm uninterested in anything involving Leia and Luke portrayed by their original actors because they're no good at acting.

Hey, Hamill is an awesome voice actor. And Fisher...um...she did a great job firing a rocket launcher in the middle of a Chicago slum.

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Hamill is a guy that really benefited from getting his face mangled. He was forced to learn how to act. I think he'll be alright. Carrie Fisher is fucking awful, though.

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Mark Hamill is honestly a hugely underrated actor in the Star Wars trilogy. Just look at the Dagobah scenes: half of why Yoda works at all is Hamill delivering a totally genuine performance and selling the fact that Yoda is a real "person" actually sitting there. Also look back at Luke coming across his torched home and family in ANH; he really sells the sinking feeling of loss, as well as the resolve he instantly gains to fight the Empire.

Hell, the fact that we can actually buy Luke going from a naive farmboy in ANH to a Rebel Commander in ESB and finally a Jedi Knight in ROTJ is due to Hamill purposely acting out a long character arc in terms of Luke's personality and maturity. Hamill will tell you in interviews that he's purposely whiny and annoying in ANH because that's how he figured Luke would be during this first chapter in his life.

Carrie Fisher was literally drugged out of her mind for a good portion of the OT; it's hard to say what's her acting and what's her being high. I don't think she was terrible, though. A little off, to be sure, but let's keep in mind that all the script demanded of her was "say a snarky line, look pissed at Han/Vader/Tarkin/Chewbacca/Jabba/Wicket/Lando." And she did that well, so... good? I guess?

Overall, though, Star Wars owes most of its success to the fact that Hamill, Fisher, and Ford honestly sold their characters as genuine. They're not perfect, but they did their job very well, and in some cases (Hamill, Ford), went above and beyond what was technically needed.

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I'll argue that Carrie Fisher works well when she's being Carrie Fisher. I've seen clips of her one woman show and she's awesome there. In the long run, she's a better writer than she is an actress. That said, she has learned how to make a living off of her own fame. The sheer amount of cameos she's done that are pretty much direct references to playing Leia alone. Even one of her better recent acting jobs, guest starring on 30 Rock as an aging comedienne, has a couple of Star Wars references. Like I said before, I honestly feel that Leia and Han's story is over and should be background material at most with cameos in the new trilogy.

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Hamill being a voice actor has nothing to do with his film acting. I would argue he became passable after his accident. But he has zero screen presence. And has anyone seen what he looks like lately? I have. Just last night in fact. And it ain't pretty.

Airborne_Promo_dayleicesterdone14.jpg

Looks more like Jerry Lewis.

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I have a solution.

The movie takes place 800 years forward in continuity. They retcon it so that all Jedi Masters, when they get really old, get all little and green like Yoda. The reason we only saw Yoda and the chick Yoda like that is that most Jedi have a chronic inability to resist getting horribly murdered. They just have Hamil voicing the puppet/CGI thing. BAM! Where's my 50 bucks, Disney?

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Yes. The first one is sort of a neat, short experiment. Worth watching.

The second one is pretty excellent. It takes a season or two to get its footing, but it gets a lot better as it goes along. There is an oddity in the first two-and-a-half seasons, though, in that many of the episodes randomly jump around in the timeline without any warning whatsoever. That gets cleared up in the second half of season three, though, which is also where the show almost doubles in storytelling quality. So, in short, Clone Wars has its quirks, but it's totally worth your time if you're a Star Wars fan.

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