I was recently going back through some old Star Wars DVDs I had- a 'home made' collection of the various Star Wars TV specials that have aired over the years. I wound up watching one that must have come out in the era between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. This particular behind the scenes special was narrated by Mark Hamill. During the show, he made a couple comments (scripted or not) that I found interesting. The first was regarding the Force:
"More people ask me about the Force than anything else. And I don't like to be too specific when I answer. Everyone has their own ideas about it. And if none of them is exactly right, none of them is necessarily wrong. Ultimately, the Force is what YOU make of it."
Wow. If only they'd continued with that outlook in the prequels. I mean, of all the things that did NOT need more explaining, the origin and nature of the Force was one of them.
Another, more telling, statement came in the closing moments of the special:
"Special effects are the purest form of movie making. With them, we can create visions that owe nothing to any other form of artistic expression—and which no other art can possibly duplicate. We now possess a technology that places anything man can imagine within reach of the camera. There's no place, past, present or future it cannot go.
But if we possess this new technology, we mustn't allow it to possess us-as so many of this century's great inventions have come to do. For in the end, a special effect is just a special effect. If it isn't surrounded by people we care about- if it doesn't serve a story that moves and involves us- and if (above all) it doesn't help us to grasp some larger imaginative vision, then it is just a trick- a gimmick."
When I look at the special effect-laden prequel trilogy, I find this whole statement rather ironic. The prequels were gorgeous to look at, without a doubt, but with 'wooden' acting and writing they (to me at least) lack the impact of the original movies. Anyway, I just thought it was interesting.