Both of the greatest movies that were directed by George Lucas involved characters on the run or on the go... in transit and not stuck in any particular place for very long, and both stories were energetic and incredibly entertaining... And, although both were made a long, long time ago they still hold up and always will.
These are AMERICAN GRAFFITI, about a group of youngsters cruising a boulevard and STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE (and the next two films using other directors) about a group of rebels fighting an evil Empire. The characters from GRAFFITI and STAR WARS had one main thing in common: they were always moving. Even Luke Skywalker, who was stuck in a particular homestead, desperately wanted out.
The new STAR WARS prequels had many issues, but the main problem was how each episode centered on planets with spaceship freeways, senate halls, waterfalls, fish people, 50's style diners with alien cooks wearing wife-beater shirts, gambling sports bars and other computerized nonsense.
These rightfully maligned films were so overloaded with overpopulated planets and places that... unlike scant rebel hideaways like Hoth, Yavin or the murky swamps of Dagobah... there were too many things going on while the characters were idle and lazy within the safe confides of their cozy homeland.
DISNEY has acquired the rights to STAR WARS, J.J. Abrams is directing and the new cast, including original faces like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, have a new movie, EPISODE 7, on the way, so let’s HOPE they learn from the original STAR WARS trilogy and AMERICAN GRAFFITI where the protagonists never looked back...
For then, and only then, we can return to that "used future" George Lucas created in the first place! Let's keep our lightsabers crossed, and may a truly creative force be with them!
By James M. Tate