"Indiana Jones 4" and The Phantom Menace

Finally proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has no clue what hardcore movie geeks thought of "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace," filmmaker George Lucas recently used that film to explain where the "Indiana Jones" series is headed. I know, the guy's nuts.

From IGN FilmForce: "We're basically going to do "The Phantom Menace"."... People's expectations are way higher than you can deliver. You could just get killed for the whole thing?We would do it for fun and just take the hit with the critics and the fans...But nobody wants to get into it unless they are really happy with it."

George Lucas said that. And also this:

""I discovered a McGuffin," Lucas informed Empire Magazine, referring to the old Hitchcockian plot device about something that is only truly relevant because all the characters are after it and thus it advances the plot.

"I told the guys about it and they were a little dubious about it, but it's the best one we've ever found? Unfortunately, it was a little too 'connected' for the others. They were afraid of what the critics would think. They said, 'Can't we do it with a different McGuffin? Can't we do this?' and I said 'No'. So we pottered around with that for a couple of years. And then Harrison really wanted to do it and Steve said, 'Okay'. I said, 'We'll have to go back to that original MacGuffin and take out the offending parts of it and we'll still use that area of the supernatural do deal with it'."

Click here for the full article, and then ask yourself how badly you really want another "Indiana Jones" movies. Because I think it's starting to sound like a really bad idea.



Cap Nord

Considering how much money the Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith made at the box office and with DVD sales, I don't think Lucas really gives a damn about what the hardcore movie geeks thinks and rightly so. Despite what these geeks and critics thought, a large number of new fans and original Star Wars fans like myself, enjoyed the prequels.

Lucas is right, the expectations are way too high for Indiana Jones 4 and the only way you can satisfy these geeks is by remaking one of the original three movies with just enough of story change to call it an original. I think Lucas is brilliant and having Spielberg and Ford on board is good enough for me.

As for these geeks, do us a favour and stay home so the rest of us can enjoy Indiana Jones 4 without having to put up with your incessant whining.

Aug 22 - 04:43 AM


Julian Stanelle

You hardly have to be a "hardcore movie geek" to view the Star Wars prequels as one of the worst things ever recorded on celluloid. The plot of Episode I, for example, was completely irrelevant to the rest of the series and only served to introduce main characters and loosely set up the events for Attack of the Clones, where the bulk of the prequel trilogy's "plot" ultimately started.

I would hate to see this done to Indiana Jones. IJ at least doesn't have to be complicated ("McGuffins" were essentially what drove the plot of the first three movies), but I would have for Lucas to once again bombard us with cheesy dialogue and special effects in an attempt to capture all audiences and make as much money as possible. I understand that that's his job, but making money shouldn't get in the way of making a good movie. He shouldn't exploit the fact that so many viewers will see IJ4 by default.

Aug 23 - 12:50 PM


Cap Nord


The Phantom Menace $976 MILLION
Attack of the Clones $650 MILLION
Revenge of the Sith $864 MILLION
Total Box Office for the Star Wars Prequels rounds out to $2.5 BILLION and that's not counting DVD sales. $2.5 BILLION IN BOX OFFICE SALES???

As Jar Jar Binks would say: "Mesa Mesa be thinkin; that's mucho, mucho money for movies that's supposed to, um, suck."

It seems to me that George Lucas has a hell of a lot more of fans out there than you think who believe that he did a decent job with The Star Wars Prequels.

Aug 23 - 04:08 PM


ddddd ddddddd

from your own numbers can you see that:
phatom menace: everybody and his dog who liked the original trilogy would see this

clones: after the dissapiontment from phantom menace, lost a few fans from both the original series and probably some new kids too

sith: numbers back up because fans of the original series just want to watch it and get it over with. also the promise of vader probably spurred sales.

if lucas was to write a new story free of any old lines, that would be a real test of his skills and popularity; afraid that's unlikly to happen though

Aug 23 - 05:07 PM


Cap Nord

Sorry, but I don't buy that line of rational mainly because the DVD sales of all three movies also set sales records. But then again, I suppose you'll also say that the same people who only paid good money to see these so called terrible movies because they were Star Wars movies also had no problem wasting more good money to by these terrible DVD's just so they could have the entire set of Star Wars movies. I don't think people are that stupid. No matter what they are , if movies are bad people won't go see them and then buy the DVDS later just because. The Matrix Trilogy proved that.

As for comparing the quality of the prequels to the orgingial trilogy, Jar Jar Binks is no dumber than the Ewoks and Hayden Christensn's acting no more wooden than Harrison Ford or Mark Hamil.

Aug 23 - 06:15 PM


ddddd ddddddd

I dont think I said that star wars was crap, but
I beg to differ that moderate movies can still have huge sales sucess.
advertised as pushing the cutting edge of technology can get many part time movie goes out of their houses.
even if they didnt like the movie at the cinema's ; the dvd revolution and HD tv has made some "cool" movies be in your dvd library to show off your sound system/TV

I mean, no one is going to be flaunting "capote" to show off their TV!
the matrix however was a different story... the level of storywriting in revolutions was so horrible.... I felt like they spat in my face; one of the few movies where it turned out unintentionally laughable.

while there are people who are in your group of people that wont like star wars no matter what, I think the level expecation these days is so low that star wars is able to compete.

Aug 27 - 06:50 AM


Brett Nottingham

[b]Sales vs Quality[/b]
Domestic Total Gross: $54,580,300

Fantastic Four:
Domestic Total Gross: $154,696,080

So according to your logic, the academy got it all wrong! Fantastic Four should have been the Best Picture nominee!

Aug 23 - 05:52 PM


Cap Nord

No, all I'm saying is what I said in my comment: "$2.5 BILLION in world wide box office sales seems to say that George Lucas has a hell of a lot more of fans out there who believe that he did a decent job with The Star Wars Prequels than those who think he didn't." It seems like a simple statment to me and one that nothing do to with Crash, Fantasitc 4 or The Academy.

Aug 23 - 07:04 PM


Julia Young

Agreed. As much as I prefer the original trilogy over the prequel trilogy, I did get tired of people's complaining about the movies. Guys it's not going to be as good as the original. Nothing ever is.

Aug 22 - 06:32 AM

Zen Bullet


Alien< Aliens


Aug 22 - 07:00 AM

Zen Bullet


I don't think the expectations for Indy 4 are high. If anything, people are torn between really wanting another one and feeling that it could be a big letdown.

Many people have enjoyed the prequels(and that's awesome), but most of us couldn't look beyond the weak-plotting, logic-inconsistencies, unconvincing performances, dubius explanation of what The Force is, and the kiddie-tone of the whole thing. Much less the lack of real drama. People have a right to complain when a franchise they care about puts its head under the mud.

Lucas used to be the "story-master", but he didn't even come through in that regard with the prequels. They were bland, showcasing his universe while simultaneously undoing the intriguing mysteries that made the original trilogy so captivating. If a newcomer to the SW universe saw the prequels first, he'd lose the wonderful sense of awe brought by episodes 4, 5, and 6.

I felt like the only person in the world who completely lost touch with what Star Wars was . . . was Lucas himself.

Indiana Jones 4, despite it being a little late to tackle the project with its aging actors, still needs to be treated with respect. But if Lucas does his little chuckle and decides to "just have fun" with it, then I begin to get really nervous. I have a right to be nervous. I used to be a big Star Wars fan, but that didn't change the fact that ten minutes into "The Phantom Menace" I told the person sitting next to me that the movie felt like a Power Rangers episode.

Aug 22 - 06:56 AM

Zen Bullet


Alien< Aliens


Aug 22 - 07:00 AM


kev sull

at this point my expectations for The Mummy 3 are higher.

Aug 22 - 08:10 AM

I Am Remote

Robert Pilkington

The prequels get a bad rap.

Aug 22 - 09:21 AM

Banana Kid

Johnny Estes

Episodes One and Two were alright. They had problems, but so did the original movies.

Episode Three, however, remains my favorite Star Wars movie.

Aug 22 - 10:22 AM


Ciaran Vejby

[b]Raiders of the Lost Series[/b]
I thought the IJ trilogy ended on a relatively high note: emphasis on character and the father/son relationship between Harrison and Connery. If this is going to be just another "add-on" like Temple of Doom or Pirates 2, I think a sequel would do more harm than good. I admire Spielberg and Lucas both (despite episodes I, II and the first half of III), however if Indiana Jones ends up like Jurassic Park III, they should just let it die. It's hard to imagine Spielberg directing a post-"Schindler's list" movie, considering he's slipped into the dark and cerebral.

Aug 22 - 10:49 AM


ash fischer

It's gonna be like phantom menace? So....Harrison Ford won't be in it and it's gonna suck?

Aug 22 - 11:25 AM


m a

you suck

Aug 23 - 09:35 AM


Rory Jobst

George Lucas is a clueless, inept nincompoop. He has one savant talent, coming up with good stories. As long as he hires a comptetent screenwriter, and stays away from the set, the production should be fine.

Aug 22 - 11:27 AM


John Locke

He didn't have to compare it to the Phantom Menace. What he pretty much said is "Yea the script sucks, and everyone else seems to think so too. The actors care about a good story, vbut all i care about is money." If he was going to compare it to any Star wars movie, at least say Revenge of the Sith.

Aug 22 - 12:02 PM


Muddler Critic

If Spielberg takes a real interest in the movie, and can keep himself from casting Tom Cruise in yet another movie, it might be ok.

I was a big Harrison Ford fan, but he's made terrible movie choices for nearly a decade now.

Lucas has not made a good movie since the last Indiana Jones flick (and he had a hand in Howard the Duck, so there is no end to how bad a movie he can make). In all, he's a hack.

Spielberg has fared better year after year with even his worst movies not being absolutly unwatchable, so I see him as the saving grace.

Aug 22 - 12:04 PM


Lee Mountford

:O How can you call Howard the Duck a bad movie????? I LOVED IT.

Personally I think Lucas made this statment to lower expectations, which I think he's done. My problem is that if he is doing this then he doesnt have belief in the project or in his own abilities. If thats the case then why bother? This for me is a shame as at one point this guy really knew how to tell a fantasic story that you could get totally wrapped up in. As for the Star Wars prequels, I could enjoy them for what they were - enjoyable but seriously flawed. They just missed the magic spark of the first three. Darth Maul was great though, should have had more screen time.

Aug 25 - 05:40 AM



I couldn't agree more with statements 1,3, and 4.

Never really cared all that much for Ford, but wow has he made some poor decisions of late.

Lucas' failures, in regards to SW, have only been highlighted by the qaulity of the recent spinoffs in that universe. None of which he has had a serious influence on.

I especially agree with your comments on Spielberg. At his worst Speilberg is merely watchable, at his best he is entertaining, and occasionally enlightening (if not a bit heavy handed in his delivery). All things considered he's fairly solid.

Aug 26 - 09:31 AM


Samuel Ewing

I think any movies that has Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones in it or an Indiana Jones like charcater will be better than the Phantom Menace

Aug 22 - 12:47 PM


First Last

[b]Once again...[/b]
The editor of this article makes it sound like Lucas can only do wrong. I strongly agree with the concensus of posters here: it sounds like a very good idea.

I'm sure many critics are going to fault Lucas before a story is even released for this film just because he's called them out so many times for their (and the public's) high expectations. Well, he's right. There's virtually no possibility of the movie living up to the built-up expectations IJ4 just as was the case with TPM.

But the most unfair comment in the article is how "its starting to sound like a really bad idea." What?? Ok, fault Lucas for whatever you want: overuse of CGI, not an 'actor's director', etc. But the man, as a storyteller and filmmaker, has never given any reason to doubt him. I know of people that disliked the prequels because of acting but still actually really love the story. And thats what we're talking about right now in IJ4: the story. And with Spielberg and Ford in on it, how can you justify having any doubts at this point? A McGuffin is just what the franchise needs to both tell a good story and still satisfy a lot of fans (hopefully).

People need to stop reading the TPM-comparison so much. He simply meant in terms of anticipation and expectations they are they same.

Aug 22 - 12:53 PM


Harry Myland

[b]Indy And The Menace[/b]
The Phantom Menace comparison makes sense to me because once the Indy train gets moving, the hype will outweigh the movie. The problem with the prequels was also, *gasp*, the hype surrounding them.

Let me ask the guys who saw Star Wars in '77 a question...how old were you?? For a lot of the fanboys, the general age is between 10 and 15. Fast forward to Ep I...."i hated Ep I because it was too kiddie!"....how old are you now guy who saw Star Wars in '77..oh, that's right...IN YOUR THIRTIES!! The old Star Wars movies were a big Flash Gordon serial guys, a lot of people have lost touch with that (and what that exactly means).

Then the prequels came along with Ep. I, and it was, *gasp* A KID MOVIE! The guys who saw the '77 SW were so pissed because they thought that Lucas would continue to make movies for 'them'. "No it's suppose to be for me because I was theeere man! When I was twelve!" Get OVER yourself. Why would you deny a twelve year old today the opportunity to bask in a Star Wars movie for THEIR generation?? I was in 8th grade when Ep. I came out (I'm now a soph. in college), and to this day I prefer Ep. I over Ep. IV. "You're an idiot! Are you blind? I guess you have no taste and no brain!". I've heard these things from the 'old crowd', and I laugh every time. I mean...do you guys ever really WATCH Star Wars? Not see it and remember all the bubbly feelings you had in '77, but actually watch the movie?? It's really, not that good. The only movie that I think Lucas ever achieved greatness in at directing was American Graffiti. He is a great idea man and story teller, but he isn't gifted as a director.

Could the prequels have been better? There's no question, but I enjoy what they are anyway. To me, the 'saga' is a better story now with the prequels, which now tell us the 'epic' story of Vader; how he rose, how he fell, and how he redeemed himself. To me, that is what SW is; to the old generation, I doubt they've come to accept those terms..but that is the deal, either suck it up and move on, or continue to bitch like 30 year crap flingers. In the campy, 'Flash Gordon serial' sense SW succeeds, but its not the end all be all movie that so many people make it out to be. IV, V, and VI are the better campy, fun serial movies. I, II, and III are the better 'drama/epic' movies, which is exactly what Vader's story is....epic. If you don't agree then you don't agree, continue to play with your 1st generation SW toys while waiting for the 'glorious untampered' version of the films to come out (which will blow compared to the dvd changes/quality anyway).

Okay...yeah, sorry for that rant, people just piss me off sometimes. Back to Indy. To me, I really don't think this movie needs to be made. Ep I, II, and III made sense to make; Indy doesn't seem to have that same purpose other than, "lets make one more Indy movie!" The Indy Trilogy is a gem to me, I don't see why you need to play with it if it's already pretty perfect.

I also definately agree with Muddler when he says "I was a big Harrison Ford fan, but he's made terrible movie choices for nearly a decade now." That is very true, if Indy is a success, Harrison should just retire...if it's a flop, well, that will be an interesting day.

Aug 22 - 01:04 PM


James Lockie

[b]Georgie Boy[/b]
Lucas made Samuel L. Jackson dull. 'Nuff said.

Aug 22 - 01:23 PM


Diana Le

I'd like to add, he also made the Force dull. Midichlorians?! Give me a break.

Aug 22 - 02:17 PM


Brandon Kramb

[b]The editors on this site need to learn to read[/b]
He's talking about the hype for the films...not what he intends. He is talking the hype surrounding Episode 1 before it was released. The film is terrible yes, but there is also no way it could've lived up to some people's expectations.

Aug 22 - 02:30 PM


m a


Aug 23 - 09:37 AM


First Last

I think the McGuffin is LucasSpeak for Jar Jar Binks. Hence Indy 4 will be titled:

1. Raiders of the Lost Binks

2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Jar Jar


3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade of Jar Jar Binks

Aug 22 - 01:56 PM


Andrew Viloria

[b]Indiana Jones and Temple of Anakin!!![/b]

Aug 22 - 02:13 PM


Diana Le

I'd like to add, he also made the Force dull. Midichlorians?! Give me a break.

Aug 22 - 02:17 PM


Brandon Kramb

[b]The editors on this site need to learn to read[/b]
He's talking about the hype for the films...not what he intends. He is talking the hype surrounding Episode 1 before it was released. The film is terrible yes, but there is also no way it could've lived up to some people's expectations.

Aug 22 - 02:30 PM


Brandon Kramb

[b]The editors on this site need to learn to read[/b]
He's talking about the hype for the films...not what he intends. He is talking the hype surrounding Episode 1 before it was released. The film is terrible yes, but there is also no way it could've lived up to some people's expectations.

Aug 22 - 02:30 PM

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