Monday, November 2, 2015

‘Star Wars’ Doesn’t Belong to George Lucas. It Belongs to the Fans.; New York Times, 10/29/15

Manohla Dargis, New York Times; ‘Star Wars’ Doesn’t Belong to George Lucas. It Belongs to the Fans. :
"Mr. Lucas’s true genius may be in marketing, including of his vision. Like other filmmakers who came of age in the 1960s, when American directors became auteurs, he has strong views on authorship. In a 1997 interview with Wired, he addressed the studios’ and artists’ rights, arguing that a copyright should belong to “the artist” of a film and not the large corporation that owns it. “I solved the problem by owning my own copyright,” Mr. Lucas said, “so nobody can screw around with my stuff. Nobody can take ‘Star Wars’ and make Yoda walk, because I own it.” When asked about the changes that he had made to his earlier work, including to “Star Wars,” he said: “It’s my artistic vision. If I want to go back and change it, it’s my business, not somebody else’s.”...
Years before the popularization of the idea of participatory culture, a term for those who are at once pop-culture consumers and contributors, “Star Wars” fans had staked their claim on this world. That engagement sometimes took Mr. Lucas aback. “It’s always amazing to me when people take them so seriously,” he is quoted as saying in Dale Pollock’s essential book “Skywalking” (1983).
In the years since, Mr. Lucas has clearly embraced his destiny as a force. And while it may seem strange, given his hatred of the studios, that he sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, he found it a perfect home. Mr. Lucas helped shape modern conglomerate cinema, to borrow a term from Mr. Schatz, but it was Disney that really pioneered cradle-to-grave entertainment. In 1929, Walt Disney sold the rights to use Mickey Mouse (soon called the “million dollar mouse”) on children’s writing tablets, signing his first licensing contract a year later. “The sale of a doll to any member of a household,” Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, said, “is a daily advertisement in that household for our cartoons and keeps them all ‘Mickey Mouse Minded.’ ”"

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