Dune director Denis Villeneuve says Star Wars lost its seriousness and elegance after Empire retaliates


During the promotion of his latest film, Dune, director Denis Villeneuve recently mentioned the novel by Frank Herbert which influences George Lucas, but also how Star Wars influenced his adaptation of Dune.

Denis Villeneuve speaking at San Diego Comic Con International 2017, for “Blade Runner 2049”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Villeneuve’s comments on Star Wars and Dune came during a discussion with Rodrigo Perez of The Playlist.

Perez would bring up the Star Wars topic by telling Villeneuve, “I’m going to try not to disparage the maestro, Mr. Lynch, and move on. Still, it’s interesting, all that stuff you talk about, about the true depth of Dune, cultures, religions, it reminds me of a comment you made a long time ago on Dune and wanting to do a Star Wars for adults. . And it’s funny, Star Wars has it all, religion, politics, etc., but it’s just a lot less sophisticated compared to Herbert’s consideration of the same ideas.

Source: Dune

Villeneuve replied: “It’s a very delicate thing to talk about Star Wars because everything will be dissected [laughs]. And I will say that I was also a fat Star Wars fan. The first two Star Wars films, and the one that later became A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, were by far films that had a huge influence on me when I was young – they are probably one of them. reasons why I’m a filmmaker now.

“There is a connection, of course, I discovered Dune after seeing the first Star Wars and, probably after seeing Empire. So those movies, the fact that I was drawn to a book like Dune, probably had something major to do with the love of Star Wars, ”he said.

He continued, “Now it’s interesting to know that as everyone knows, Star Wars, in a way, is a very interesting Dune adaptation because George Lucas took a lot of inspiration from Dune and there , I had to try and do a new adaptation of Dune, but having to face the white elephant in the room that’s Star Wars, which means it was kind of a looping echo: Star Wars being influenced by Dune and making us a movie about Dune and being influenced by Star Wars it was an interesting way of looking at it [long pause]. “

Source: Dune (2021), Warner Bros. Entertainment

Related: Dune Director Denis Villeneuve Says Marvel And Superhero Movies ‘Turned Us Into Zombies’

Villeneuve then discussed the seriousness of Empire Strikes Back, “There’s something about The Empire Strikes Back, its obscurity, its tragic elements, the way I was feeling at that precise moment in time. Star Wars – there was something really serious about it that I loved deeply.

He continued, “Science fiction is serious business for me; it’s something I love when you consider life and existence to be serious. This is what I have so much respect for Blade Runner, the original, of course, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. When people take science fiction seriously, it’s so powerful.

Source: The Empire Strikes Back

The director then claims to have lost the seriousness and elegance following The Empire Strikes Back, “So there was something about The Empire Strikes Back, in its darkness, in the way it approached the psychological path. by Luke Skywalker. And I just feel like they lost it afterwards. They have lost that elegance.

He clarified, “And maybe that was something I was referring to when I said, ‘Oh, I wish Dune was – somehow my idea was to come back to that. [early Star Wars] spirit.”

Villeneuve jokingly concludes: “We must not publish this; i will be crucified [laughs]. But I totally believe it. I never left Star Wars, Star Wars left me.

Source: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lucasfilm

Related: Justice League Director Zack Snyder Has Commented On The Current State Of Star Wars

Villeneuve isn’t the only director to make similar comments about Star Wars leaving him rather than leaving Star Wars to him.

In February, Justice League director Zack Snyder also made some pointed comments on the current state of Star Wars.

He appeared on TheFilmJunkee’s YouTube channel where he said, “I’ve probably talked about this a bit in the past. I am a huge Star Wars fan. The reason I started making movies when I was 11 is because of Star Wars. Of course, that had a huge influence on me and really got me into that mythical past, kind of a Joseph Campbellian take on archetypes and storytelling.

“Star Wars, that’s it for me. I have an interest in Star Wars. I don’t think I have a story right now,” he added.

Source: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

He then detailed: “I don’t know how I would fit into the Star Wars universe anymore. I do not know what it is. It’s something that I love, but I don’t know if I am… Maybe it changed me.

“I still love him and have lightsabers all over the house,” he concluded.

Source: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Snyder is directing his own space opera film on Netflix. Deadline has announced that he has chosen Sofia Boutella to star in a film called Rebel Moon.

The film will see a young woman sent from a small colony on the edge of the galaxy to neighboring planets to recruit warriors to confront the tyrannical Regent Balisarius and his armies.

Source: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

What do you think of Villeneueve’s comments? Do you think Star Wars has lost some of its seriousness and elegance after The Empire Strikes Back?

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