There was a time when George Lucas was a brilliant young filmmaker, until the 1990s when CGI and an obsession to tinker with his past art seduced him to the dark side. It was a moment first felt in movie theaters in 1997 when millions of people shouted out in agony during the revision of “A New Hope” and suddenly went quiet — until they went home and got on the Internet. Then in an effort to destroy all the good he had contributed, he unleashed a prequel trilogy made up of wooden acting, endless trade negotiations and quasi-racist CGI characters.
But the real crime was when a belligerent Lucas decided that mucking up “Star Wars” was not enough. “No,” George might have thought. “Let’s set out to make my second best franchise a laughing stock. Let’s bring back Indiana Jones and — add space aliens to the mix!” And he did, bypassing the brilliant third film’s title “Last Crusade” and adding Russians to replace the Nazis. A Cold War-era “Indiana Jones” movie people really didn’t ask for because they had already been burned by Lucas with “Star Wars.” He even tricked us by bringing Steven Spielberg back to the fold, a fold in which the directer even admitted he didn’t care much for the story. A story he was directing. And like those prequels, “Crystal Skull” was met with groans — especially that refrigerator scene — that even furthered many opinions that Lucas now seemed to be a vehicle for really bad ideas. To be fair, that fridge scene was Spielberg’s idea — proving he too can have really bad ideas.
Now, in the wake of releasing Lucas of his franchise obligations, Lucasfilm has announced there will be another “Indiana Jones” sequel. They just do not know what the story will be, if Harrison Ford will reprise the role or be replaced by Chris Pratt and when exactly it will come out. It seems George Lucas did have a story in mind, but since he sold this and “Star Wars” to Disney, a company that pretty much didn’t use his ideas for the new sequel “Star Wars” films, what the new “Indiana Jones” will be is still up in the air. And considering Ford is in his 70s, who knows if he even will be interested in reprising this role.