A boy I knew in high school once intrigued me with the idea of the Lunch List. He didn’t give it a specific name, that came later in my head, but he said he would like to have lunch with Madame Curie. It stuck with me because she’s dead. We spent some time that afternoon getting to know each other by creating our lists. My list changes periodically. I’ve just added Robert Pattinson to my Lunch List. It’s not what you think. Sure, he plays Edward Cullen, the fictional vampire who has ruined me for real men for all time, but this is not about his charming smile or amazing, tousled hair…I’m ok…No this isn’t about that. He’s just a weird little dude. I am highly amused by the “off” things he says in his interviews. I love that kind of quirky banter, especially over lunch. So there you have it. Robert Pattinson, you’re on my Lunch List. By the way, I’ve had Never Think in my head for the better part of the day. What! It’s a good thing!

 

My Lunch List

Thomas Jefferson, George Lucas,  Betsy Ross, the person who invented chocolate, Nathan Fillion, Denise Linn, Crazy Horse, Benjamin Franklin, JK Rowling, Jane Austen, Boba Fett, Salvador Dali, Hatsepsut, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Meryl Streep, Stephenie Meyer, Yoda, and Robert Pattinson.

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Yeah, I know, it got an F…from everyone. I liked it. It’s fun. It’s something new in the Star Wars galaxy. I appreciate that.

I think I have a nearly unique perspective when it comes to George Lucas though. First and foremost he’s an Indie film maker. Yes, Star Wars is one of the most, if not the most marketed movie franchises ever, but this is what amuses me most and makes me root for George. As the story goes, he traded away his director’s fee for A New Hope, to get it made. In return he was given something like 99% of the licensing. I’m too lazy to look that number up right now. I think it was 99%. So 99% of everything with the Star Wars logo on it (movies, books, comics, toys, lunch boxes, role-playing games, board games, card games, video games, clothing, CDs, DVDs/videos, Christmas ornaments, etc.) goes directly into George’s pocket.

I think it’s beautiful that the money goes to the creator. That’s as it should be. People say he’s a sell out, but I ask you this, “Wouldn’t you, if you could?” I mean, really? Picture it. It’s your galaxy. You get final say in everything. People are clamoring just to be a part of it, to write something, to design something, to put their own fingerprints on your greatness. You can make a buck or two, if you let them, and you get to pick and choose how they can make you even greater; there are that many options. Seriously, you’d refuse? I’d set my great-great-great-great grand nieces and nephews up for life, personally. If I created a wonderful galaxy, and everyone wanted me to move in and make it better, I’d be more than happy to oblige. I worked hard to create that galaxy, after all. It would be hard to let it go, and I’d just be happy that everyone was so pleased with it.

That being said, Star Wars is an amazing galaxy, and we, as fans, begged him to keep it alive for us. We wrote books, that fleshed it out. We developed his characters several decades past what George ever intended. We created new characters and new worlds. We theorized for decades about the backstory. And when we finally found out, in Episodes I-III, we complained? This is wrong. Think about it. He could have left this galaxy behind in 1983. Instead he allowed others to step in and leave their mark. All he asked was that we leave the movie making to him really. His prerogative. Is it really that great of a surprise that professional writers wrote “better” stories than a director who happened to have a great idea? Look at Lord of the Rings. Many have said JRR Tolkien is a linguist who had a great story to tell; he’s just not a writer. I look at George in much the same way. His first three SW movies were magic, but why was that? It was the time. He did so much to push sci-fi along, both with effects and story line. His characters were real, and lovable. They pulled us in to this lived-in looking galaxy, and made us feel at home and like we were a part of something special. Because of what he did back then we expect so much more now. He raised the bar, and many since have answered the challenge. How do you, 20+ years later, create something new and cutting edge that has the same flavor? That’s a nearly impossible task. I for one am glad he tried.

As I’ve been saying for years, if George Lucas unexpectedly showed up at my house for dinner, I’m not going to complain that he brought a cabernet instead of a merlot. I’m going to accept the gift. And I don’t even like wine!