Date of Degree Completion
Bachelor of Arts
Second Committee Member
This video essay analyzes the early filmography of George Lucas as a critique of auteur theory. Dissecting THX 1138 (1971), American Graffiti (1973), and Star Wars (1977) based on their autobiographic qualities, this short documentary investigates the advantages and disadvantages of viewing a complicated cinematic work through the lens of an individual author. Analysis focuses on Lucasfilm founder George Lucas and his reputation for controversially altering his works through special edition re-releases, calling into question the sanctity of theatrical releases and the confines of a film auteur. Does a filmmaker, particularly one whose films are drawn from personal experience, have the right to restrict access to their original works by substituting theatrical releases with director endorsed re-edits? Through filmic analysis, Escaping Modesto posits that the tendency of Lucas to revise his films is in itself what defines his auteurism. George Lucas is a revisionist as an author, with a history of outspoken support for authorial freedom over theatrical purism.
Persson, Krister, "Escaping Modesto: George Lucas, Film Auteur, and the Alteration of Movie History" (2022). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 46.