It’s a phrase out of the music industry: one-hit wonders. Those bands that come out of nowhere, hit the top of the charts with a catchy – maybe even impressive – single, or have one chart-topping album, and then never seem to be able to hit that sweet spot again. Anybody remember Boston’s second album? Another hit single after “96 Tears” from Jay and the Mysterians?
But they’re not alone. There’s not an area of entertainment where the phenomenon doesn’t exist. Rod Serling never topped The Twilight Zone, and Chris Carter never came up with another series as good as The X Files. Fitzgerald wrote a lot of impressive stuff, but never matched The Great Gatsby, and drank himself to death over it (well, Zelda being crazy didn’t help). Michael Cimino copped an Oscar for The Deer Hunter (1978), and then began a long, spectacular flameout.
It happens. And maybe it’s time to finally recognize George Lucas as a member of that club.
Early last year, I’d written a compare-and-contrast piece on Steven Spielberg and Lucas (“Titans: George Lucas v. Steven Spielberg” posted 1/17/11). I acknowledged that, of the two, Lucas probably has had the greater impact on the movie industry. Hell, Lucas has probably had the greatest impact on the industry since Griffith!
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