George Lucas is set to receive an NAACP Vanguard Award for his work in producing “Red Tails.” While I applaud Lucas’s efforts in making “Red Tails,” the movie hardly gives enough credibility to Lucas to be one of the first non African American to win a a Vanguard award from the NAACP.
I’ll admit it, I didn’t see “Red Tails.” Not because I’m as sell out who wants to see Black movies fail but because I took into account reviews from film critics and friends I respected that said it was uninspiring and cliche.
I think George Lucas should be awarded for his work for the first Star Wars Trilogy and Indiana Jones which were all excellent movies. But given the critical response to “Red Tails” it will unlikely go on in history like Lucas’ other films.
When Red Tails first came out, Lucas went on guilt-tripping campaign to get people to see his movie, saying:
“I’m saying, if this doesn’t work, there’s a good chance you’ll stay where you are for quite a while. It’ll be harder for you guys to break out of that [lower-budget] mold. But if I can break through with this movie, then hopefully there will be someone else out there saying let’s make a prequel and sequel, and soon you have more Tyler Perry.
Okay so we should go see “Red Tails” to keep Black film alive? Sorry that doesn’t work. If you want to make people see Black films, make a good Black film. By all accounts, “Red Tails” wasn’t as good as the “Tuskegee Airmen” movie from 1995. Its not enough to take into account the good intentions of a movie, the movie has to be good too.
I find it funny that George Lucas is winning an NAACP Vanguard Award before Spike Lee. Spike Lee’s contribution to Black film 30 years full of intriguing characters, smart plots artful dialogue and stunning cinematography, George Lucas helped fund a movie, that was already told and added special affects.
Where was George Lucas when “Glory” or “Miracle At St. Anna’s” came out? Both movies were war movies with all Black casts that told of Black heroism and patriotism. Both movies were also good and did not receive the guilt tripping save black cinema go-see-“Red Tails” marketing campaign.
Lucas also created the infamous Jar-Jar Binks character who many accused of being an alien minstrel show. After Lucas was criticized for not having any African American characters in he first Star Wars, he included the slick talking, morally challenged, Lando Calrissian, played by smooth Billie Dee Williams for “Empire Strikes Back”
So should Lucas get an NAACP Vanguard Award for funding “Red Tails” maybe if they give them out for good intentions.