That explains a lot
Ever since I learned that Lucas had a scriptdoctor who saved Star Wars and Empire, I've thought that he was overrated, and I think his subsequent films have proved that point. He's a gadgeteer, and I don't mean that disrespectfully, because he's the best damn gadgeteer in the world of special effects I've ever seen--for that alone, he deserves to be remembered in the annals of film history.
But I had the sense that he cares more about his toys than his stories reinforced when I read this interview with Brian Singer, director of the new Superman flick coming out soon. Now I want to be clear here--Singer's not taking a shot at Lucas. I'm taking the shot.
Hayden Christensen talks about a moment in filming Revenge of the Sith when he forgot to put on his wig before a scene, and George Lucas says, “Don’t worry. We’ll put it in in postproduction.” How do you resist the temptation, or compulsion, to do everything with CG?
Yep: We have the technology; we can rebuild your sky. But I fight that every day. We try not to tamper too much with reality. We built beautiful sets; we have wonderful actors and great costumes. Then, every once in a while, you’ve got to do it. Wave your hand and the wall changes color. At some point, I’m going to make a film for $20 million, not $200 million, and I’m not going to have that flexibility. But since this is Superman, the film supports that kind of budget.
That's not directing. I'm not a director and have no illusions of ever being one, but that's not directing. That attitude--we'll just do it in post-production--tells me that Lucas doesn't really care about what the actors do on the screen. He cares about how his toys look. The actors are a necessary evil for him.
So is that why Hayden Christensen got that part? Because he looked right? Sure, I could see him as a young version of Mark Hamill's dad, but his acting was atrocious, and why should it have been any better if that's the attitude on the set? Christensen is apparently a satisfactory actor--I didn't see Shattered Glass but it got better than average reviews and his performance in that film elicited this review from Gary Thomspon of the Philadephia Daily News:
"Christensen is terrific as the deceptively boyish Glass, and his performance confirms the notion that people who act badly in George Lucas movies (he's Anakin Skywalker) aren't bad actors, they're just in George Lucas movies."
I didn't see Revenge of the Sith. I gave up on Lucas after that atrocity known as Attack of the Clones and decided he wouldn't get another penny of my money until he stopped sucking. Well, I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon.