George Lucas

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Billionaire director and visionary behind the Star Wars universe (although he needed quite a lot of help being steered away from the first drafts). Mark Kermode believes Lucas can direct neither traffic, nor his way out of a paper bag.

When Mark interviewed Lucas, he told him frankly that he had never got Star Wars, but that his children did enjoy the toys. Lucas explained that part of what he wanted to achieve with Star Wars was to give a universe in which kids can then build their own adventures using the toys and their imaginations. Mark conceded that although there was a lot of truth in this, it also conclusively proved that Lucas does not know how to tell a story himself.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace ("one of the worst films ever made, ever") and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith ("a bad television soap opera except overrun with mad computer graphics") are two of the films that have been on the end of definitive Kermodian rants. Mark also points out that the film that is usually cited as evidence of Lucas' directing skill, American Graffiti, is in fact not well directed - it is well edited.

However, Mark also acknowledges that as a technical mastermind, few people have improved the cinematic experience as much as Lucas. THX quality sound, in particular, is a vast improvement from the tinny rattling that used to be movie sound in many auditoriums up until the dawning of the multiplex age.

Mark also interviewed Lucas on a separate occasion for a Culture Show special about Steven Spielberg, during which Lucas said he agreed that the ending of Schindler's List was too sentimental.