As a follow-up to my post a few weeks ago, I thought I’dgive an example of what I mean about objectionable content in the media. I have to admit that I find it hard to go tothe movies these days without being bombarded by stuff I just don’t want to seeand hear, and I don’t think I’m alone.
One series of movies in recent years in which I wasdisappointment because of the content was Transformers. For a series based onchildren’s toys, it was sure full of sexually charged content. Then if youthink of many movies which are considered classics, you will see that they havevery little swearing, sexual content or graphic violence. My favorite example is Star Wars, in whichall of these things are present very little. (Unless you consider ‘scruffy-lookingnerf herder’ offensive)
It got me thinking: what if Star Wars had been made todayand Michael Bay, the director of Transformers had been at the helm? I’m certainthere would be some changes. Here aresome I came up with:
All the Imperials, especially Darth Vader, woulddevelop a potty mouth, each trying to top each other.
· The ewoks would talk in over-the-topstereotypical racial dialects. (which the director would deny)
· The phrase “Who’s your daddy?” would becomeDarth Vader’s new catch phrase.
· Princess Leia would wear her Jabba’s palaceoutfit all the time, even on Hoth.
· The fading death of a Jedi would be replaced bya bloody “mortal combat” style death.
· Han Solo would become the king of innuendo. Landowould become a close second.
And the movie would be ruined. Star Wars doesn’t shy away from toughissues. People are betrayed, fight, anddie horrible deaths, but it is also handled tactfully. The story, the characters,and the dialogue stand on their own without having to use gimmicks to get theaudience’s attention. I guess seeing R2-D2 turning into transformers would bepretty cool though.
What are your thoughts? How else might Star Wars bedifferent? What other great movie couldhave been ruined this way?
Writing Update: Despitemany hours spent in rehearsal and performance for the Berlioz Requiem, I wasstill able to get some significant writing done.
I’m up to 20,236 words in Simon Says, and just over 12,000words in the second Last Archangel Book. I decided to embark on a newnon-fiction title this week that has to deal with running a small church choir,especially those in LDS congregations. I’ve done this several times myself andI really wish someone would have given me a book to let me know what was goingon.
I’m also preparing to submit a parable to the Parables forToday contest which ends October 1st. You can win prize money and publication in aprinted anthology. View the websitehere: http://www.parablesfortoday.com.
Myparable has to do with a TV star who uses dishonest methods to try to get hisTV series renewed for another season, but then realizes that he has his prioritiesall out whack. Here’s hoping!
Transformers picture by Nicolas Genin
4 thoughts on “Move Over George Lucas…”
Here here. It seems a no-brainer to me that if you make movies more family-friendly you would get more sales. Evidently, Hollywood doesn't see it that way. In normal marketing, you want to make your product as universal as possible, not see how many people you can offend with it. But, hey, I guess that's why we write the way we write.
Well said Berin. I'm not sure why Hollywood sees it this way. Alienating people is suicide and its not something you can do in a down economy especially. Has anyone actually said they didn't like a movie because there were too few swearwords in it?
I have lost track of the "movies that would be good but…" If there's a "but," then it's not good. (Compare to that glass of water with just a little poison in it. It's still good, right? There's only a little garbage in it!) I'm beginning to wonder if there's some new, secret law that says the f-bomb MUST be used at least once, even if it doesn't fit. The rating standards are sliding so badly that often *commercials* should be rated R. The offensive language, gratuitous violence, constant (and obvious) sexual innuendo, and the use of people as objects in media teaches watchers that such behavior is acceptable, even desirable.And the outcry that filtering the trash out of otherwise good movies infringes on the artist's artistic rights is ridiculous. Isn't it better to have people viewing a filtered version than no version at all? The money in the bank is still the same amount. And if there are so many people who want to filter movies so that they can be watched without the trash, then the movie makers need to get a clue.