Check out this stillframe from “Within a Minute,” a behind-the-scenes minifeature that appears on the recently-released Revenge of the Sith bonus disc:
This is a shot of George Lucas “at work” on the Episode III script. What I find most revealing about this particular “behind-the-scenes” scene isn’t Lucas offering us a peek over his shoulder while he (supposedly) painstakingly crafts a shooting script for the film, but that godawful row of Cliff’s Notes very tidily arranged along the far edge of his desk.
You read that right. Fucking Cliff’s Notes.
Look—I can probably believe Modesto Junior College didn’t offer much by way of literature and philosophy classes in the 1960s. But Lucas did graduate with a BFA from USC for chrissakes, didn’t he? I mean, they archive all his student films on their website and everything. Maybe I’m missing something here.
Of course, this goes a long way in explaining the painful dialogue and cardboard characterization that marks so much of the Star Wars films, not to mention his obsessive/compulsive reverence for all things Joseph Campbell…