This is what happens when ESPN Page 2′s Patrick Hruby leaves his politics at the door — awesome stuff!
George Lucas As writers, sometimes we botch facts. Sometimes, we make typos. Sometimes, we flat-out drop the ball. Such was the case in my recent “Real Men of De-Genius” article, in which I inexplicably failed to include director George Lucas among a list of sports and pop culture individuals whose initial burst of brilliance proved illusory.
With thanks to commenter alz9794, it’s time to right a wrong:
Mistaken identity: Directing peer to Steven Spielberg.
Genius credentials: Directed the original “Star Wars,” created the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises, founded the animation studio that later became Pixar.
Genius moment(s): Han Solo’s shooting first, the Jedi mind trick, failing Darth Vader for the last time, Lucas waiving his up-front directing fee for “Star Wars” in favor of owning licensing rights believed to be worthless at the time. (The AT-AT walker under our early-1980s Christmas tree begs to differ.)
Genius reconsidered: Neither directed nor wrote the screenplay for “The Empire Strikes Back,” by far the best “Star Wars” film.
Genius reconsidered (II): “The Ewok Adventure,” Ewoks in general.
Genius reconsidered (III): “Howard the Duck.” You are not forgotten!
Genius reconsidered (IV): Digital “Star Wars” redux has Greedo shooting first.
Genius reconsidered (V): Lucas sold Pixar to Steve Jobs, who later sold it to Disney for $7.4 billion.
De-Genius moment (I): Jar-Jar Binks; “Yippee!”; Jedi Jimmy Smits; every word of maple-bat dialogue and pretty much everything else about the new “Star Wars” trilogy, except for casting the same guy who played the Emperor the first time around. Oh, and the double-bladed lightsabers. Those are totally awesome.
De-Genius moment (II): “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” did not happen.
The real genius: Whoever talked Lucas into not making any more “Star Wars” movies for all those years.