Story by: Jack Foley
STAR Wars creator, George Lucas, has identified piracy as the
single biggest threat to the film industry and predicted bleak
Speaking at the London press conference for the final film in
the six-part movie saga, The Revenge of the Sith, Lucas said he
was glad to be 'getting out' while he still can, 'because it's
not going to be the same in the next few years'.
When asked how much worse he thought the situation might get,
the director said he doesn't know how the industry will survive.
"It's going to be very worse. If it wasn't for DVD, there'd
be no theatrical film industry, and as DVD gets widdled away with
piracy, there won't be any income, so you're going to see smaller
and smaller and smaller movies and eventually something else will
take its place.
"I'm not sure what that will be, whether it'll be straight
to video, but people will always want the theatrical experience,
just like they go to the opera or the ballet.
"People will still go to movie theatres just because they
want the social interaction with other people but I have a feeling
that films will be released on the Internet and in theatres at
exactly the same time; there will be some kind of coded pay-per-view
methodology, which is the only way to stop piracy if they're selling
it on the street for $2.
"In some countries obviously
now it's free and that's going to be an issue. At some point the
international courts are going to have to go along and decide
what they want to do with copyright because it doesn't just affect
the film industry, it affects the computer industry, video games,
Lucas also predicted that film marketing would get worse because
of the problems caused by piracy, as companies seek to maximise
the money-making potential of big releases.
Replying to concerns that Star Wars was being marketed on brands
such as Pepsi, as well as fast-food outlets, Lucas explained:
"Ultimately, with products like Pepsi, you have primarily
the issue of sugar. They have Diet Pepsi. Is it bad for you? I
don't know. I don't think it is. I grew up on that sort of thing
and all it did was make me crazy.
"We've tried very hard to be careful about the products
that we work with. We do have M&Ms, I love them as it turns
out, so a lot has to do with what we grew up with. We have various
"But it does come down to some fast food franchises and
we have cut back from what we used to.
"I know it makes it difficult for parents sometimes to control
that problem, but I don't know what to say about it - it's the
world of modern marketing.
"And in the world of piracy, having movies released on the
Internet, it's going to get even worse because capturing the attention
of the audience out there is getting harder and harder."
Feel the Force: Revenge
of the Sith - our verdict!
The George Lucas interview
Lucas talks Red
Tails and Star Wars DVDs
recalls 'Vader's day'