Gamma Male: The introspective, the unusual, the unattractive, and all too often the bitter. Gammas are often intelligent, usually unsuccessful with women, and not uncommonly all but invisible to them, the gamma alternates between placing women on pedestals and hating the entire sex. This mostly depends upon whether an attractive woman happened to notice his existence or not that day. Too introspective for their own good, gammas are the men who obsess over individual women for extended periods of time and supply the ranks of stalkers, psycho-jealous ex-boyfriends, and the authors of excruciatingly romantic rhyming doggerel. In the unlikely event they are at the party, they are probably in the corner muttering darkly about the behavior of everyone else there… sometimes to themselves. Gammas tend to have have a worship/hate relationship with women, the current direction of which is directly tied to their present situation. However, they are sexual rejects, not social rejects.
The two worst bosses I’ve ever had in my life were both Gamma Males.
Trying to work for a Gamma Boss is an exercise in forced obsequiousness on your part. They demand the bended knee constantly because of their paper thin egos.
The Gamma Boss’ favorite battle cry is, “don’t come to me with a problem unless you’ve got a solution.” They think this is a brilliant way to foster initiative in their subordinates. What it really fosters is a situation where everyone lies to the boss. If you have a problem that you can’t solve but can bury, you bury it and hope for the best.
The Gamma Boss, inhabits a happy dream world where he has humiliated his high school bully (that’s you, if you’re an Alpha) and everyone always tells him how smart, successful and cool he is, so that nothing can challenge that state of bliss. In truth he is walking around in a minefield of buried problems that have a nasty tendency to go up in a chain reaction once the first one blows.
If the Gamma Boss is lucky, he’s moved on before this happens.
Which conveniently brings us to Lucasfilms.
American Graffiti was a pretty big hit in it’s day. In fact it kicked off the fifties nostalgia craze that lead from Happy Days on through to Back to the Future. If you have ever seen it, it isn’t hard to figure you which characters are the avatars for the kid George Lucas was and the one he wanted to be.
When Lucas made Star Wars, you saw the same thing. George clearly dreamed of being Han Solo but then he’d wake up and find he was Luke Skywalker.
Despite the image that George likes to project Star Wars was a truly collaborative effort. He had a big budget (for it’s day) and that attracted the best talent. But they didn’t stay. John Dykstra was out the door as fast possible and he wasn’t the only one. There was a reason for that.
If you told Lucas, that won’t work more than once, you were out.
George was now starting to build Lucasfilms, however Star Wars had been such a draining effort for him that he was notoriously disengaged through out the production of The Empire Strikes Back. That was Irven Kirshner’s project.
Lucas was reengaged in filmmaking when he made Raiders of the Lost Ark with Steven Speilberg. And no getting around it. That was a great film although there were a few Lucas hallmarks connected with it. Secret of the Incas was buried so deeply that it fell into public domain. Just to protect George from the well aimed charge of having totally ripped off Harry Steele when he created Indiana Jones.
Lucasfilms’ last really good film is one that I am certain that you never heard of called Twice Upon A Time. Still a favorite of mine.
It is the last picture by Lucasfilms that lists Marcia Lucas in the credits.
Marcia Lucas was the one person that could make, “No,” stick with George. Collaboration was out the window at Lucasfilms when their divorce was finalized. And that was when the bad really started to set in.
Like any Gamma, George is given to lying constantly and like any Gamma boss, he demanded that everyone repeat his lies.
Classic example (1): Lucas claiming that Darth Vader was always Luke’s father. Bullshit. In his original iteration Vader was more like a court favorite commando, sort of like Otto Skorzeny. He really wasn’t all that important in the circles of the Empire’s high and mighty. Princess Leia didn’t think twice about getting all up in his grill when he boarded her ship. The admirals in the Deathstar conference room seemed to regard him as Tarkin’s pet. Tarkin was the most important guy in that room, not Darth Vader. He was just a knuckle duster. “He was just the guy that showed up when the Empire meant business.” – Mister Plinkett
Also, he wasn’t Luke’s Father.
The early drafts of the script had Luke’s Father and Darth Vader fighting it out on the rim of a volcano. They both fell in and only Vader crawled out. Vader didn’t become Luke’s father until Empire.
It wasn’t just a plot twist, it was the lowest point in the story for Luke because the central truth of his life was now revealed as a lie. That worked but there was no string of clues adding up to the reveal.***
Classic Example (2): Lucas claiming that Luke and Leia were always brother and sister. That one is really a crock of shit. The romantic subplot of Luke and Leia was a very strong element in the early expanded universe stories. Particularly in Splinter in the Minds Eye. You have to remember, Harrison Ford was really not too cool with being Mark Hamill’s supporting actor and for a while it looked like he was not going to sign on for any more sequels.
Honestly the only reason that Han got the girl was that (A) in the second movie, a love interest had to be selected if their was to be any romance at all. (B) Luke was too busy learning how to be a credible threat to Darth Vader to pursue a relationship. And (C Prime) Ford and Fisher had some pretty strong chemistry. Rather than just have Luke say, “I’m happy for the both of you” and then take off for Heartbreak Town. Lucas opted to neatly tie everything down emotionally with the silly-ass soap opera reveal. It was incredibly weak but by then nobody was telling George, no. The Gamma Boss wouldn’t allow it.
These were both ridiculous lies. But everyone at Lucasfilms repeated them endlessly. If you were in the mainstream entertainment press you repeated them endlessly if you wanted to maintain access. The Gamma Boss was now able to alter perceived reality to fit his self image.
During the next twenty years, George Lucas transformed Lucasfilms into a fortress that would protect his ego. If you could tell the Gamma Boss, no, then your resume would be kept on file.
Everybody always asks why were the Special Editions made? Because no one at Lucasfilms dared to tell him no. I am quite certain that they started out as a simple clean up and restoration project but then George asked the computer effects guy if he could add something. The rest was tragic history.
If you ever watch the documentary on the making of Phantom Menace, George reaches a point where he realized that the climax is an unworkable mess with too much stuff going on all at once and no one in the room knows what to say to him. If you start telling the Gamma Boss he is wrong, where the hell do you stop?
George chugged his way through the second and vastly inferior trilogy that was chock of full of characters that no one ever missed, (possible exception Darth Maul but that was entirely Ray Parks performance).
There were numerous Star Wars related projects that never went anywhere. Maybe he was too creatively exhausted by creating the fiction that was his Gamma Boss universe.
And finally he made the thoroughly forgettable Red Tails and proudly and repeatedly lied about it being “the first film with an all Black cast.”
It was a staggeringly absurd lie.
Two Gun Man from Harlem (1938)
Yes, the girl is black too.
She was Joe Louis’ girlfriend
and was really into foxhunting*
Apparently Lucas was under the impression that if he lied hard enough, then no one on Earth remembered Shaft.
Redtails was released in 2012. That was the year that George Lucas discovered that he could force everyone except people on Facebook and Twitter to repeat his lies about himself and his movies. His Gamma Boss delusion bubble shattered and he finally gave into to Disney’s thirty year campaign to get him to sellout.**
Lucasfilms was sold for 4.05 billion dollars to Disney and Cray-Cray Kay-Kay was handed the keys to the crown jewels.
Lucasfilms, an organization that was built from the ground up to make certain that no one ever told the boss, “Sir, I’m sorry but that is a really bad idea,” was handed over to a woman who never wanted to hear it. The silent minefield that had been built up for forty years finally went off last December.
*By that I mean actual Fox hunting on horseback.
** Remember Captain EO? Yeah, that was a Lucasfilms production. Micheal Jackson as man of action was George’s idea. The Bad goes back that far.
***I know some nerd is going to have to bring this one up. Aunt Beru sympathizes with a boy that wants to get off the farm. Uncle Owen is worried about having to bury the boy that he raised as his son.
Clearly and obviously neither Owen or Beru are worried about Luke becoming another unspeakable monster. They would never had let him keep his last name if they were worried about that. Kind of a giveaway to Anakin Skywalker you know?
4 thoughts on “Star Wars Lucasfilm’s biggest problem”
The Beginning Is this the Phantom Menace documentary you are referring to?
Lucas’s level of micromanagement was totally wrong for a production of that scale. Many of the decisions he makes should have been handled by underlings. Look at the faces of his subordinates throughout. There is moment after moment where you can see they know what Lucas wants is terrible, but they quickly hide it and say nothing.
I’ve had one Gamma semi-boss, and a few Gamma co-workers. Most frustrating was their inability to take responsibility for their mistakes.Even after being on the job for over a year every disaster was the fault of someone else.
The Gamma semi-boss was the worst. He’d do terrible work, maybe 35-40% completion, but enough that it looked ok. Move on, and brag about how fast his work was and how terrible and slow everyone else was, especially whoever was coming through after and completing his work. Its a blue collar trade. I didnt like the way he was treating the apprentices. It was abusive. So me and my partner on the job let him know he could go f*** himself & to talk like a human being to people who didnt yet know what they were doing. Which is probably why we were laid off 2 days later.
Yes, that was one.
As much as I personally love Return of the Jedi (favorite of the OT since it’s the first one I saw when it was fairly new), it was where George’s My Way Or The Highway gamma tendencies really started ti hurt his output. Imagine if George had worked something out with the DGA over credits for the first two films instead of throwing a fit and resigning. 80’s Spielberg (which is the best Spielberg) would have directed Jedi, instead of a lightweight who George could (and did) bully and overrule into going along with his bad decisions. The Ewoks might have been closer to their Viet Cong inspiration than the space teddy bears that George clearly had in mind, and the awesome stuff in Jedi might have been even MORE awesome. I’m on the right side of the Ewok Line, so I love the little furry bastards, but I totally get why others hate them as much or more than Jar Jar Binks.
I give Lucas credit for coming up with/stealing the original idea for Star Wars, and for pushing the state of the art in special effects forward. But I agree with our host that the success of Star Wars is due to a number of discrete factors, and not solely due to George Lucas as he loves to claim.
“George clearly dreamed of being Han Solo but then he’d wake up and find he was Luke Skywalker.”
I have never believed the whole “Solo sold Star Wars better than Luke” until I saw this
Notice the raction the only female in the room has towards seeing Luke for the first time vs her seeing Solo for the first time.