where the writers are
Rewriting George Lucas

Like most complete dorks, I could not wait for the new Indiana Jones movie. And like most people with eyes and a brain, I was disappointed. In circumstances like that, the writer in me kicks in and I spend way, way too much time imagining how I would have written and directed it differently.

"Crystal Skull" is a difficult case because it got off to a weak start and never gained steam. The action sequences were lame. On paper "two jeeps bang each other by the side of a deep precipice as Mutt and Olga (whatever) swordfight" is just as potentially appealing as "giant ball is released, Indy flees down narrow cave to avoid being crushed" -- except, of course, one is a classic sequence and the other sucked like a black hole. 

I'll only venture this: (oh yeah; spoiler alert!!! duck!!) the formula needed refreshing. We all knew the Cate Blanchett character would be there at the end and she'd melt or explode or some such. And she did. As long, in the early drafts, the writers were working on the idea of a turncoat (Winstone character)...couldn't they have used that to give us more of a surpise at the end: maybe Indy looks like he's trusting the wrong person but in the end shows his savvy and wisdom. 

 I had better luck with revising the second (first) Star Wars trilogy. Simple fix: The Natalie Portman character should not have been a queen. She should have been the queen's bodyguard. She and Future Darth could have hung out OUTSIDE all those Jedi council meetings; the movies would have had the same rebel spirit as the first (second?) trilogy. Instead, they were about meetings (attendant being blue, tentacled etc. but still I get enough of that at work.). I'd rather be out in the corridor with the help. The audience would have got the same information and had more fun.

Gossip, and take it for what it's worth: A friend of mine used to live in Northern California during the making of that trilogy, and he knew someone who worked at LucasFilm. People who disagreed with Lucas about....to take the easiest example...Jar Jar Binks didn't last long. According to this person, he surrounds himself with yes men and women.

You get the feeling that he wore down Spielberg and Harrison Ford, with all the drafts over the years: Okay, okay, George, we'll do it we'll do it. The script sucks...let's get this over with.