Movies

George Lucas Is Retiring, and Why That Means Absolutely Nothing

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George-Lucas.jpg

?Many, many, many people have sent me George Lucas’ recent interview from the New York Times, which includes this starting bit of news:

“I’m retiring,” Lucas said. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”

He was careful to leave himself an out clause for a fifth “Indiana Jones” film. But otherwise, “Red Tails” will be the last blockbuster Lucas makes. “Once this is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do,” says Rick McCallum, who has been producing Lucas’s films for more than 20 years. “He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.”

…except it’s not news. Goerge Lucas has said he’s going to concentrate on making more “personal” films as far back as Return of the Jedi, and you can see where that’s gotten us over the last 30 years. Hell, he’s still planning on Indiana Jones 5, which immediately contradicts his “retiring from blockbusters” claim. And there’s no reason he couldn’t change his mind and make epsiodes 7, 8 and 9 later, just like he decided to finally make the prequels back in the ’90s. I’m not saying that’s likely, I’m just saying George Lucas has been saying he’s going to concentrate on small, personal films forever, so I don’t know why him saying it in 2012 is so significant. In fact, his is actually more significant to me:

When I [The New York Times writer] told Lucas that Spielberg had accepted the blame for nuking the fridge, he looked stunned. “It’s not true,” he said. “He’s trying to protect me.”

In fact, it was Spielberg who “didn’t believe” the scene. In response to Spielberg’s fears, Lucas put together a whole nuking-the-fridge dossier. It was about six inches thick, he indicated with his hands. Lucas said that if the refrigerator were lead-lined, and if Indy didn’t break his neck when the fridge crashed to earth, and if he were able to get the door open, he could, in fact, survive. “The odds of surviving that refrigerator — from a lot of scientists — are about 50-50,” Lucas said.

Wha…? Honestly, I’d really like to see that folder. If Lucas cared enough to make a fucking dossier on the fridge scene in Indy 4, I have to assume he talked to real scientists. And if he talked to real scientists then I also have to assume he’s telling the truth here, because otherwise this is the stupidest, most easily disproved lie he could tell. Which means… holy shit, the nuking-the-fridge scene is actually possible.

All right. That still doesn’t make Shia the Beef, King of the Monkeys any easier to swallow, but I’ll shut up about the fridge. However, I do feel slightly gratified to know that even Steven Spielberg — who had Indy and pals fall out of a plane on an inflatable raft and survive in Temple of Doom — thought the fridge thing was implausible, too. Maybe George should have passed out the dossier free at screenings or something.

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.