Lucas and Coppola (Before American Graffiti)

I remember working on The Godfather. There’s an account of that elsewhere in this blog. Since I’d lobbied so hard to get Marlon Brando to play the Godfather, I was the one in charge of making sure he got to the set on time and sober. I was the one in charge of directing him. I had no problem getting him to the set on time and sober. I don’t know how he got that reputation but Francis Ford Coppola was leery of working with a star of that magnitude. I think, Francis was a little intimidated. I, on the other hand, enjoyed Marlon Brando immensely and thought his attitude or work ethic were exemplary. Possibly Marlon had some run in with some director somewhere along the line and that got him a reputation of being hard to handle. Marlon was one of my top five favorite people, he was intuitive and gracious, very funny and in my opinion, a genius. The only problem I had was with his short-term memory loss. I’d run lines with him, and he truly could not remember. He would get so frustrated sometimes there would be tears in his eyes. So we worked together on cue cards and their placement. I had already worked with Marlon on part of the movie before Francis even showed up. He was working on another project. Francis showed up for this particular scene because it was outdoors and at night and he wanted to see how I would handle that. (I had been a ghost director on many films previous to this one, so Francis knew my work.) What I had decided on, was using an overhead projector to project the lines onto the stone wall that was on two sides of the parking area where the scene was taking place. We moved the projection around a few times so Marlon could change position, and it would look more natural. (All you have to do is say to someone, “I want to use an overhead projector for the cue cards. You’re going to need to find one, you might try asking schools if we can borrow one, and then put Mr. Brando’s lines on whatever it is an overhead projector uses.” And then it happens, just like that, just like magic.)

I hold a clipboard, like a teddy bear, when I’m directing. I remember standing, leaning against one of the cars in the lot, hugging my clipboard when Francis came over and leaned against the car with me. We chatted a bit, he asked how Marlon was doing: I told him – great. He asked why Marlon’s cheeks were so chubby, he was afraid perhaps Marlon was sick or something. I told him it was Marlon’s idea: he pictured the Godfather as jowly, so he had tried putting cotton in his cheeks and that just moved around and got soggy so I bought extra small tampons and soaked them in olive oil. We laughed. When there was a lull in the conversation, Francis asked me, “Seen any good movies lately?” I laughed. I thought a minute, then said, “Yeah, I saw a real good short film. It had a strange name with a bunch of numbers and letters that didn’t mean anything so I can’t remember the name, but I can remember it was written and directed by someone named George Lucas. I made it a point to remember his name – it was that good.”

Francis said he’d be interested in seeing it. “No, wait, I think I know him. George Lucas is his name, you said?” Then Francis told me the name of the movie and asked if that was the one. I said I didn’t know but it must be, it was a weird name like that and how many of those could there be?

“A lot. You’d be surprised at the names of some of those student films.” We laughed.

Then he said something like he may be meeting with George in a few days and he would size him up for me. I laughed. I didn’t think Francis was serious. A few days later Francis said that indeed the man he had a meeting with was George Lucas and he seemed like a real nice, smart guy, “And you want to meet him?”

I nodded, “Oh yes please, I’d love to meet him.”

“He wants to do two more movies and the studio is on the fence about it. I’ll tell them you believe in him and that might be enough. The one he’s working on now has the cast pretty well set, and besides, you’d have to shave your head and you don’t wanna do that. The first movie he wants to do after this one wraps, is one about teenagers graduating high school. I’m sure I can get you in on that. You think he’s a good director?”

“I think he’s a great director.”

“Well if you believe that strongly and him, I’ll see what I can do for him, and I’ll get it so you can work on his other movie as assistant director or one of the cast members or something.” He paused, stepped away from the car and turned to face me, “It’s really perfect for you. I’m gonna keep an eye on this guy, I don’t want you getting involved with any of these Hollywood types. Some of them are real sleazes.”

Coppola should know. The same man who helped to get us together, has been helping those who have kept us apart.

I should say at this point that Francis Ford Coppola knew that George had proposed when American Graffiti wrapped. He further knew that George Lucas had been told that I was dead. He also knew that Lucas found out I was alive when he hired me to help with figuring out how to make Luke Skywalker’s farm vehicle fly. Francis knew that after I was finished naming the Star Wars characters I was abducted from the Star Wars set in the desert at gunpoint. Coppola knew that George Lucas frantically tried everything in his power to find me. He knew all that and still, one day at a party they were both attending, Francis said that he introduced me to George and George couldn’t hold on to me – or something to that affect. That devastated, angered, bewildered and saddened Lucas to the point that he didn’t speak to Francis for at least three years. He couldn’t understand why Francis would be so callous and cruel. Undoubtedly, others at the party were in on the joke as well.

George Lucas is a trusting man; he trusted that Francis Ford Coppola was a good person for helping him launch his career. Francis Ford Coppola, on the other hand, was just a means for the studio to gain access to George Lucas. These vile people find it amusing when others suffer. I have to wonder if Francis knew what was going to happen before he told the studio I wanted that job. He certainly knew what happened when he made that horrible joke at Lucas’s expense.

American Graffiti.


Star Warriors, please link this blog to your site, that will help.

May the Force be with you. I started a new blog called the Force Awakens for any further insight into the movie. I have to get this blog back on track.

Think Peace

Posted in Amnesia, Lynn Mickelsen, Reclaiming My Life!, Terrorism, the Force | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Darth Vader in a Nursing Home

“Nurse! How many times do I have to tell you – I need a straw to drink this.”
(A little joke I made when I found out Darth Vader was still alive. It won’t be in the movie.) Lucas laughed and said, “He won’t still be wearing his helmet.” I said, “I know. You could get James Earl Jones to play him in whiteface.”

Posted in Amnesia, Lynn Mickelsen, Reclaiming My Life!, the Force | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars 7, the Force Awakens

What are the contents of Star Wars 7, the Force Awakens

Instead of trying to recall the exact wording of each of the conversations that should be compiled into Star Wars 7, the Force Awakens, I’ve decided it would be easier on my nerves and more convenient for you if I just divulge what I think the movie should contain and you’ll just have to trust me that the reason I think these things is because they were parts of 3 or 4 conversations I had with George Lucas over the past 42 years. This way, you’ll be able to check me when the movie is released, and you’ll know who I am. Fair enough?


Why was Yoda in hiding when we first met him in the original Star Wars movie? I thought it was something more than being afraid for his life. George said that’s what it was, that Yoda was afraid he’d be killed so he went into hiding. But I said I thought it had to be more than that; perhaps Yoda was afraid his powers would be used by the Empire. Now that George has a pretty good idea of what happened to me, that will be worked into the Force Awakens. I hope so.

Who is Yoda? Yoda will return in a reincarnation as a woman. I know Lucas wants to rectify the mistake he made when he made Yoda a male character. He thought women didn’t say things like I did. But that reasoning is faulty since I’m a woman. I think he may try to get Charlize Theron to play Yoda, and I’d imagine unless she had some other commitment that’s impossible to get out of, she’d be thrilled to play Yoda. I know I would. Yoda may also come back as other things, but that’s more George’s bailiwick than mine. Yoda will explain why she talks the way she does – it’s simply too stress certain words and to economize other words and to make a point as briefly as possible so as not to waste anyone’s time or bore anyone. (I don’t write like I talk – you can be thankful of that – believe me)

Just so you know, it’s true that Yoda’s eyes were designed to look like Albert Einstein’s eyes. (The same goes for ET) When I talked to Lucas about that he was surprised I knew that. I thought everyone knew that.

Women in the Force Awakens

Also, George and I talked about the importance of women in the new millennium. We both felt that men had had their chance long enough and had made a mess of things and we both felt that women were better suited to handle the world the way it is right now and straighten things out. I don’t know if the storyline will point that out or if Lucas will just have more female characters in important authority positions and in decision-making roles.


Also, I felt very strongly that Chewbacca was a woman. I kept expecting someone to say something about that, but that never happened and when I told that to Lucas he was very surprised and thought that Chewbacca was a decidedly masculine character. I said there was nothing that Chewbacca did that a woman couldn’t do. I said I thought the pronoun he or him was only used once in the first three movies. I thought that Leah should be the one who knew that Chewbacca was a female all along. I think it makes sense. I don’t think I had Lucas completely sold on that idea, though.

But what we did both think of was Chewy and Han would have to go back for probably a wedding. Then Han, Leah and Luke would have to learn Chewbacca’s language and I thought that would be very funny. Again I thought Leah would be the one who could master speaking the language the quickest. And then, when they got back to their planet, they would realize that Chewbacca was a woman. I might be wrong but that idea was out there (in more ways than one.)

I think that the Wookies fight by pulling their opponents arms out. That will probably be in there. That’s something I said when I named the Star Wars characters and said Chewy was a Wookie.

Getting Han, Leah and Luke back together

I thought there should be a scene where Han, Leah and Luke were reminiscing and going through a photo album and there were three pretty good jokes I gave him for that. We both pictured Leah and Luke on a love seat or couch with Han standing on their left, the screen’s right. I said the film could move from that scene to a scene of a starship coming into the frame and Lucas asked which side should the ship come in from, and I said in from the left and headed to the right, and he laughed because that’s what he pictured as well. I kind of doubt that will be the very next scene in the movie, but I just bought I’d throw that in there as an interesting little tidbit about the way Lucas’s mind works.

I hope at some point, there will be a cane that turns into a light saber. (Since they’re so old, and all)

Parenting in Star Wars 7, the Force Awakens

Somewhere along the line in the movie there will be suggestions on parenting a teenager and parenting in general. Those suggestions should come from Yoda. I hope the suggestions include getting your child ready to be an adult by the time he or she is 12 or 13. I hope the suggestions include compromising with your children rather than ruling them with brute force. I hope the suggestions include allowing your child the freedom to be his or her own person. Lucas and I think that’s important.

I suggested that Luke should find himself in a situation with his son where something goes wrong and he recognizes that his parenting skills are the same as his Uncle’s were with him, and he uses the Force in a detrimental way. Luke then realizes that he never completed his Jedi training and goes back (I would have him go back to the swamp) and finds Yoda so he can complete his Jedi training. This gives the movie a perfect opportunity to talk a little bit more about the Force. I told Lucas I was waiting for something like that to happen, so I hope it happens. It better, or I’ll be disappointed.

Defining the Force in Star Wars 7

I told Lucas a story about something that happened to me about 40 or so years ago and I could never figure it out but as we talked I realized it was the Force, the elusive thing that I had always wanted to know more about. Lucas wanted my ideas about the Force. I asked if he believed in God and he did so I told him I believe that God is energy. I believe that before anything happened, God’s energy existed. God’s energy is the matter that makes up the center ball or cluster or what have you that began the Big Bang. I never believed there was a Bang, but rather a flutter or a whisper that started moving things in an outward circular motion. Like the cluster was a metaphorical dradle and God’s hand was the child on Hanukah. As the cluster got dispersed, planets and stars and sun and moons began to take shape. Depending on the energy of each sphere, some were hot, some cold, some were bright and on and on. It’s still going on; creation is a continuous, eternal process. No strings attached.

String theory says tiny strings hold everything together even atoms and molecules. Someone actually thought tiny strings pulled the molecules together to create matter. String theory has been disproven and energy has taken its place. I have been saying that energy is the source of everything for as long as I can remember. Probably since I learned about the expansion of the universe and thought about how that would have started; I think that must have been 40 or 50 years ago. But I feel it; I connect with it on a regular basis. I had a “Near Death” experience where I’ve been to Heaven and I can tell you God is just energy. Energy you can feel and just barely see but He’s clearly energy. So energy has to be the thing that holds everything together. It holds neurons, electrons and protons together to make atoms, molecules, matter and on and on and on. It’s energy that creates gravity, rocks, air, magma, human beings, water, space, the sun – everything.

In that respect, we are all connected. We are one entity. We are one with the universe. Some people can feel it and are very tuned into it. Most people ignore it: we’re taught to ignore it. We’re laughed at and ridiculed if we admit to feeling it. In 2003 I went to pyramids in Mexico. People were allowed to walk up the stairs of the pyramid, something my health didn’t allow, but I’m not sure I would’ve gone if I’d been up to it because the energy in the place was palpable. I spent my time sitting at the base with my back against the stones. The feeling was unforgettable. I’d say to other tourists from time to time, “Isn’t the energy of this place incredible?” And most times they would say they hadn’t noticed. They’ve turned their sense of energy off. To me it would be like putting a blindfold on and living that way. Completely unaware that there was this whole world that you could see if you just looked. Completely unaware that their eyes have a purpose other than a place to keep your handkerchief. Ridiculing the sixth sense is a way of keeping people in the dark.

The Force

I feel that the Force is tapping into the energy that surrounds us and not only holds our bodies together but every molecule in every cell in our bodies. It’s the Force that holds us to the earth and to our surroundings including each other. So if each individual were to tap into his or her own energy and attach that energy to the energy of the Creator and then to everything and everyone around us – that energy would multiply by each individual and object it attaches to. That’s the Power of the Force!

Let’s say, for instance, you’re in New York City. You’re one person but there are 500 people in your building. If you and the 500 people all concentrated their energy together with the Creator’s energy and the energy force the building produces and the energy in the ground under the building and the sidewalks and the air around the building and the sky over the building that would be such a tremendous amount of energy – I know it would be possible to accomplish mighty things.

People do it on smaller scales but they rarely combine their energy with anyone else (except when they want to get a good parking spot.) I think we need to build a fortress of trust so that we can combine God’s energy and our energies into something extraordinary and positive – and that is the Force.

The Dark Side

The Dark Side of the Force taps into the cornerstones of evil, rather than the power of God the Creator, and therefore can never be as powerful. JJ et al: know this – When you live your life believing in the power of Vengeance, Anger, Fear and Hate you are on the wrong team. You will never know true happiness or inner peace; and nothing good or positive will ever come of your actions.

In Conclusion How do we know we’re doing the Right Thing?

The test we must answer before we make a decision to take any action is – Is this something I’ll want to admit to? Is this something my children and I will be proud of? How will this decision affect the world seven generations from now?

Posted in Amnesia, Lynn Mickelsen, Reclaiming My Life!, the Force | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Regarding the treatment of Yoda in the Force Awakens

At one point in the phone call Lucas asked, “Does anyone ever tell you, you sound like Yoda?”

“Oh, you mean the way I talk? Inside out – that’s what I call it.”

“Well, you talk like no one else I’ve ever heard,” Lucas laughed.

“Sometimes they do, sometimes they say that I remind them of Yoda. I say, you think I look like a little green man in a kimono?”

“Don’t you ever think it’s the things you say and the way you say them?” Lucas asked.

“Yeah, I get that. I know I believe the things Yoda believes, but I don’t think I talk like Yoda. Yoda uses just as many words as everybody else – I try to use less words. I figured out what it is Yoda does, you wanna know how Yoda talks?”

Lucas just laughed, “Enlighten me.”

“Yoda ends his sentences with a vowel. Like, if I say I’m tired, Yoda would say, ‘tired I am.’ So he uses just as many words as everybody else, I try to use less even if that means making up a word.”

“So you make up words on the fly?”

“If need be.”

Lucas thought that was a riot. “If need be? Who talks like that? Nobody says stuff like that. Nobody talks like you; I’ve never heard anyone talk the way you do.”

I’ve heard Lucas say that he’s going to try to get as much of my exact wording into Star Wars 7. I’ve also heard him say he’s going to make it clear that Yoda is a woman, he’s going to try to rectify the mistake he made when he turned me into a man. I said at one point in our conversation, that I wanted to get together with Charleze Theron’s mother because she has ideas on how to overhaul the English language. I told Lucas that the English language is harder than any other language and more difficult to learn, and yet the world seems to be leaning toward speaking English. I think that would go a long way toward World Peace if the world had one language. And I started to point out the many flaws I saw in the English language that made it so hard. I’ve heard Charleze Theron say that her mother pickets spelling bees because she wants to make everything as simple as possible. George wasn’t sure who Charleze was. In describing her I told him I thought she was a beautiful girl. And I have heard George say that he was going to try to get her to play me as Yoda in the Force Awakens.

It turns out that all of the writing that George did while we were shooting American Graffiti, was, he was writing down everything I said and that’s why it didn’t bother him that I was talking while he was writing – he was taking notes.

George Lucas believes in reincarnation. I believe we can be reincarnated if we like, but I’ve been to Heaven and I can’t imagine wanting to come back here. I know I’ve heard Lucas say that he’s a Lutheran Buddhist, I kind of am too, in that I believe Christ is God and the Buddhist’s religion is the best of the organized religions. (Buddhism is Christ’s favorite organized religion, too.) Many Star Wars Characters will be reincarnated in various forms in Star Wars 7.

There was a list of nine phrases Lucas read back to me that I had said during our conversation; I think, at first, he said they were wrong, but I insisted they were grammatically correct just worded differently and more efficiently than most people would word them. Seven of the nine phrases I thought were fine but Lucas explained they were just different. I heard him say later that he would try to incorporate all 9 phrases into Yoda’s dialog in the Force Awakens.

Posted in Amnesia, Lynn Mickelsen, Physics, Reclaiming My Life!, the Force | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment