Where is Marsha Lucas?

George and Marsha in a cutting room, when
there was still actual cutting to be done.
I admit, I'm sad I missed those days. 
That question ran through my mind last week while I watched the Star Wars special features on a lunch break. (Ah, the glories of working from home...)

I've seen black and white pictures of this lovely phantom. I knew she was an editor, that she was integral to the success of Star Wars, and that she was once just as connected to Coppola, Spielberg and Kubrick as her legendary husband.

But after one black and white still of her popped up in the hours-long documentary about Star Wars, I took note of the almost dismissive nature of it. "Yeah, yeah...she was there too and stuff. We guess."

I've heard Lucas talk about his divorce on the "Temple of Doom" special features. He said it was a terrible dark time in his life. But all of the sudden it hit me. Where did she go?

So I Googled "Where did Marsha Lucas go?" and THIS WAS THE TOP RESULT. A fascinating and in-depth article about just exactly where she went on a website called Secret History of Star Wars. And can I just tell you, my heart sort of sank as I read. Here was this woman, independently doing what she already loved to do and being rewarded for it on her own, and in some ways, really personifying the "woman behind the man" idea.

And she has essentially been erased. Can you blame George? I guess not. It's his empire. Or is it? She was there too...but then again, according to the article all she ever wanted was a normal life. So maybe that's what she got. Exactly what she wanted, to be excluded from the empire she saw amassing before her eyes. I'll certainly watch the story of Anakin and Padme unfold in a different way now.

So, that's Marsha on the left holding an Oscar...
for editing Star Wars. Yet she's never in any of the
Special Features. Again, maybe it's by choice. But I
wish I could hear her talking about making the movies too.
I still love George as if he were the distant uncle who forgot all my birthdays or something. (You don't pretend George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are your uncles? Oh...me either.) I mean, who am I as a fangirl to judge whatever happened in their personal lives? Nobody, that's who. I've never been a big fan of the "Let's all hate George Lucas for doing as he darn well pleases." crowd. That would just be ungrateful. The man brought us Star Wars, let him add whatever he wants. I'll be happy to go see it in 3D and Real D and whatever other dimension he wants to release it in.

I just...all of the sudden I feel as confused as Sally Draper. I guess more than anything else, I want to know more about Marsha Lucas. So I guess I just feel kind of...robbed of the history? Yeah, I guess that's it.

Also, I had a doll named Marsha when I was a kid. So maybe it's subliminal...who knows? Just read the article. It's fascinating. And for a woman like me, I
guess a little terrifying.


Captain Picard, Meet Dr. Who

Q's V-Day Tip. And is it just me, or is John De Lancie
looking quite a bit like Nathan Fillion here??? 
So, you just know I love crossovers.

And this amazing bit of news popped up on facebook tonight and gave me something to look forward to. (Something to which I can look forward? Eh...I'm almost 30, I guess I can end my sentences with prepositions when I want to. Look I did it again!)

Just this week I was watching a random episode of Buffy while cleaning the kitchen and Buffy was talking to Giles, Riley and Xander saying, "You're like my fairy Godmother and Santa Claus and Q all wrapped up into one. Q from Bond, not Star Trek." It really got my wheels turning on crossovers that I would love to see happen in comic book form.

I mean, comics are unlimited. You can do whatever you want with them. It's what makes them the perfect format to use when you need to bridge time periods in fictional universes. (Countdown, anyone?)

If you could create a crossover, what would it be?

One of my big dreams was always to write a Next Gen/Sherlock Holmes crossover novel. (I have kind of a problem writing about Star Trek, in that I've never been able to stop doing it.) I always wanted more holodeck shenanigans with Dr. Moriarty. In fact, it's one of the reasons why I went to grad school. (There's even a really terrible copy of my first stab at it floating around the internet still! Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to self-publish.) Whether you had an agent or not, you used to be able to pitch your ideas and back in the day, (2008)  having an M.A. in creative writing was like having a free ticket to get your pitch heard.

You will never know the epic facepalm that happened when I saw that the publishing company no longer accepted unsolicited pitches by the time I earned my degree. Worst. Day. Ever.


What Makes the Indiana Jones Special Features So Special?

My sister and I always talk about how the special features are the best part to any box set or movie collection. But I think that needs a qualifier. As with anything else, not all special features are created equal.

For example, I hate the features that just show clips of the movie spliced with interview footage and all the interview footage contains is an actor or director talking about the plot beat by beat. I know what happens dummies, I watched the movie...

So scratch "special features" that are really just junket footage.

Then there are special features that show us how green screen works. We got it.

I want depth. I want those blood, sweat and tears stories. Take "The Return of the King" behind-the-scenes for example. Nobody is spared and at times, the documentary-level details paint Peter Jackson in a far less than flattering light. They show the stress the crew is under as Jackson makes constant changes they can't keep up with, the lack of sleep that generates a cloud over all involved and the painstaking side of excruciating makeup and prosthetics processes that could easily lead anyone having to endure them to a nervous breakdown.

For my money, I guess I'd be legally required to say that the LOTR features are technically the best because of their length and unprecedented access to the deep, dark corners of filmmaking that most productions try to hide. I'm sorry to have to tell you this everyone, but the production business, even on the lowest of levels, is 80% unpleasantness. It's pain up until the moment of delivery, where all you can do is hope against hope that some glimmer of joy or intention shines through the months of hard work and awkwardness on set or clashes with the crew. And I do love the LOTR special features so so much. For Pete's sake (literally) I've wept over them.

BUT. They're my second favorite.

To me, the best special features of all time have to be the ones that come in the Indiana Jones Trilogy box set. (I don't own the quadrilogy as a box set, but I do have KOTCS separately. And that's an entirely separate blog.)

There's a reason why the Indy special features are my favorite and it has nothing to do with the fact that "the Indys" are probably my most-loved movies. It's that the features themselves echo the stories, the making-of shows a grueling, hands-on practical process that made these stories happen...