George Lucas was instrumental in developing one of the very first franchise film blockbusters in Hollywood, singlehandedly with the Star Wars series. Lucas effect named after George Lucas is a situation wherein a single creative voice has absolute creative control over the direction of a large scale project. This leads to the ignorance of many checks and balances that makes a movie spectacular. The very example of this phenomenon is the Star Wars film series with the exemplary first trilogy (episodes IV, V and VI) and lacklustre prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II, III) – released later.
How did George Lucas change Hollywood?
George Lucas aided in shifting the works of Hollywood – from an auteur to an entrepreneurial model all the while pioneering digital filmmaking. The substantial contribution to the film industry on the economic, aesthetic, and cultural level is revelling. His strategies of taking a different creative and entrepreneurial stance in his films brought about new visionary Hollywood practices and standards. George Lucas deserves the recognition and acknowledgement for his part in shaping the New Hollywood. He pretty much changed our understanding of film, filmmaking, and the film industry. His work through well appraised is often criticised for over-representation, all because of the uncontrolled creativity, incompatible with the big picture – allegedly the Lucas Effect.
He did a series of firsts in the film industry like –
- He was the first to write, produce, and direct modern-day day high-concept blockbuster (Star Wars).
- He was the first to create the famous film franchises (Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones series) which changed the way films are made in Hollywood.
- He also made the shift from auteur to entrepreneur (and move from Hollywood) and used the profits from his films to start successful new axillary businesses like Skywalker Sound, ILM, THX etc.
- He changed the way the film industry was seen and contributed to the power shift from auteur to a conglomerate approach in the industry.
- He was the first filmmaker in history to fully own all the modes of production and successfully create, produce, finance and retain full ownership of his films.
- He also was the first to own the merchandising rights to his films and changed the way films are marketed and experienced by viewers—leaving a memorable mark on popular culture.
Lucas effect is not limited to Star Wars and among the notable occurrences is Wachowski’s Matrix saga. It is also cited to the Jupiter Ascending by Wachowski and on Indiana Jones by Lucas, getting carried over. But, undermining the abilities and contributions of such artists like George Lucas is unreasonable.
Experts to say that the reason for this is a lot of pressure on the creator, for doing many things at once or simultaneously, making it all a confusing jumble. To escape committing to the effect – hear out other people, realise when to stop instead of overanalyzing. The skill is to control the overwhelming rush of creativity when working on a project. The Lucas Effect is inflicted when one doesn’t define the limit and ends up cramming up too much – characters, subplots and stories in one story, making it tediously unimpressive.