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Post Posted: May 6th 2011 5:31 pm
 
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I figured the Yoda in TPM was going to be replaced with a proper CG version. One of the documentaries of the 2nd ROTS DVD basically confirmed it would be. I'm glad it is though as I said I hated that damn puppet in TPM. Yoda always looked like he was on crack.

I do hope though they put back in Old Anakin at the end of ROTJ if not I'm gonna be a bit disappointed.

The only major things I want changed for the OT are;

1: Color timing, hope that ILM has taken the time to get this right this time

2: Audio corrections, get the audio level for the music back to what it was in Star Wars (ANH for the younglings)

3: As I said before old Anakin at the end of ROTJ

4: Han shooting first, all though I don't think this will happen but can't hurt to wish on it.


Post Posted: May 6th 2011 8:49 pm
 
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Attack of the Clones the film is basically hopeless. All that can be salvaged is the recording sessions.


Post Posted: May 9th 2011 3:30 pm
 
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ETAndElliot4Ever wrote:
Attack of the Clones the film is basically hopeless. All that can be salvaged is the recording sessions.


That's a bit harsh, but AOTC it's definitely the one Star Wars film for which I'd like to see them go back to raw footage and redo all post-processing work from scratch.


Post Posted: May 9th 2011 7:44 pm
 
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ETAndElliot4Ever wrote:
Attack of the Clones the film is basically hopeless. All that can be salvaged is the recording sessions.

Ascovel wrote:
That's a bit harsh, but AOTC it's definitely the one Star Wars film for which I'd like to see them go back to raw footage and redo all post-processing work from scratch.


I remember being concerned about the production very early on in the pre-vis process when those storyboards of the arena battle and the Jango Fett rain fight were leaked. Something about an arena sequence so soon after Gladiator didn't sit well with me. Nor did substantially shrinking the galaxy by giving Boba Fett a father who happens to be the source of all storm troopers.

Anyway, I think the Obi-wan story is relatively solid and the Kamino scenes are among the strongest of the film (aside from the whole Sifo-Dyas junk that is completely and utterly pointless as a saga plot point). I do like the brooding music JW used.

AOTC does have a lot of problems. It makes me believe Lucas just didn't know where this story went next when he started production on the prequels - either that or some of the negative TPM reaction had such a powerful effect on the production that he had to go back to the drawing board.


Post Posted: May 9th 2011 9:04 pm
 
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I couldn’t disagree more with your last point. The overwhelming majority of the scenes in Clones either further the story, advance development in characters, and/or tie back to the overall concepts of the episode and the saga. Plus, in terms of symbolism, it could be the densest of the six films. Story wise, it’s a pretty solid film.

In terms your earlier points about music: is there really a hard rule which states that certain music is only for a specific scene, character, or concept? It seems like the Imperial March and the Force Theme are employed in a number of different scenarios, so why can’t the other motifs be treated in the same manner? Also, do the soundtrack names come from Williams or Lucas? (Was Yoda’s Theme really intended to be his theme or is just be another variation on the Force theme to Williams?)


Post Posted: May 10th 2011 2:20 am
 
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E_CHU_TA! wrote:
I couldn’t disagree more with your last point. The overwhelming majority of the scenes in Clones either further the story, advance development in characters, and/or tie back to the overall concepts of the episode and the saga. Plus, in terms of symbolism, it could be the densest of the six films. Story wise, it’s a pretty solid film.

There's a difference between simply continuing the story established in Episode 1 by bridging the gap between that film and the OT and delivering an engaging and powerful narrative. There are a lot of 'ideas' at play in AOTC - some miss and some hit. In my opinion, more miss than hit.

The idea of a detective story is a good one and it's the most compelling aspect of AOTC. It's also marred with gaping plot holes due to cut scenes (Dooku Library scene) and underdeveloped side plots (Sifo-Dyas). Re: Jango and the clones - I guess it's a matter of taste, but I didn't think this was a strong story decision. It's executed fairly well due to some good character acting from Morrison but "shrinking the galaxy" is something I'm personally not a big fan of.

The Sifo-Dyas mess never being resolved on screen also reflects an overall lack of vision to me. Regarding the "nods" to the OT / tie-backs - I think most of those reflect lazy writing more than clever plotting. Oooo Obi-wan pulled the same trick Han Solo did! Another asteroid field! Dooku makes an offer to Obi-wan like Vader did with Luke (which doesn't deliver an iota of drama or make sense for the story)! Ironically, I think the most carefully conceived plot point of AOTC was transforming Jar Jar from the most hated movie character in cinema history to a sympathetic figure.

The love story on the other hand is atrocious by the measure of the vast majority of moviegoers. Even apologists have gradually come to admit how terribly AOTC's love scenes were executed. Forget the dialogue and acting (which are easy to pick on), the plot of how it all goes down is weak. So Padme is in trouble...so let's send her to a place nobody will ever find her: her home planet! And there what'll happen is that Anakin will somehow convince her over a walk, a tumble on some grassy hills and a force-served dinner that they're meant to be together. You are too smart a guy for me to believe you actually think this is good stuff.

My biggest gripe with apologetic fans (I used to be one when I thought that loving Star Wars meant I should relentlessly defend GL in hopes that LFL would send annual cheques to my house) is that their first retort is always "it's no different than in the OT." Well, no. Han and Leia's romance developed organically throughout a plot driven by the events of a believable and proper narrative; not by the need to simply "tell a love story." When you do this you inevitably break into cliches the audience doesn't identify with. It's like throwing two people into a closet for five minutes at a make out party. It's unnatural and awkward. That's the love story of AOTC.

Obviously you've got some interesting things going on with Anakin once you get to Tatooine and some "wink wink" foreshadowing moments sprinkled across the film, but let's be honest: delivering these types of scenes are layups for Lucas. They're not even executed to maximum effect (I still don't know who's yelling "Noooo" in Yoda's meditation: a suddenly articulate Tusken Raider or a flash-forward silly-sounding Vader from ROTS sans JEJ).

This film was also worse to C-3P0 than TPM was to Jar Jar.

E_CHU_TA! wrote:
In terms your earlier points about music: is there really a hard rule which states that certain music is only for a specific scene, character, or concept? It seems like the Imperial March and the Force Theme are employed in a number of different scenarios, so why can’t the other motifs be treated in the same manner? Also, do the soundtrack names come from Williams or Lucas? (Was Yoda’s Theme really intended to be his theme or is just be another variation on the Force theme to Williams?)


The use of a context-senstive orchestrated score is about as conventional in movies as "shot-reverse-shot." There are no "hard rules" in film period, but that's not the point. We're talking about the stylistic rules established by these movies and that includes playing the Force theme during a powerful mystical moment, the Imperial March when we see Darth Vader or the Empire, the Rebel Alliance motif when things are going well for the heroes, and the Emperor's theme when Palpatine is being evil. If you played the Emperor's theme during the tree house scene on Endor and Palpatine was not referenced in the scene, the audience would think "WTF is going on?"

And yes, John Williams actually names the tracks to reference motifs, concepts and characters. Yoda's theme is intended for Yoda and the Imperial March (or Darth Vader's theme) is intended to remind you of Darth Vader, which is why it's used to introduce him in ESB and is only played in ESB when Vader is being referenced (I've read a lot of Star Wars Insider magazines - it scares me too). If you notice, there's no misuse or abuse of these rules in the OT. That's because the films were locked fairly well in place prior to the scoring sessions (no last minute droid factory sequences). When you get to the PT, well...that's when rules start getting broken because of Lucas's tinkering with the cut long after those sessions are complete.

To your point, there's one scene in ESB where "Yoda's theme" is used in a scene not involving the Force or Yoda (per se) and that's on Bespin when Luke arrives and during the heroes' escape. It works for two reasons: 1. It's played ominously - remember, Yoda warned Luke not to go to Cloud City; and 2. it's not simply a replay of "Yoda's theme" used earlier in the film: it's a completely different rendition sensitive to the environment, encompassing musical cues from the Bespin music. In AOTC, we're getting recycled music from TPM that wasn't crafted by the composer for those scenes. It's comparing apples to oranges.


Post Posted: May 10th 2011 9:06 am
 
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My biggest problem with AOTC is the editing, which I always found troubling, since Lucas' background is that of an editor. The Anakin-Dooku fight needs a LOT of work to make it as smooth and clean as the other saber fights are in the film.

The Geonosis arena sequence stands up as awesome today, in my opinion, and the "recycled music" doesn't bother me so much, since there was a lot of music from the ANH end battle that was - not duplicated but very close - used in the ROTJ end battle.

Going back to some of the animatics and stills, I miss some of the shots and material that wasn't included, like clonetroopers shooting Geonosians out of the sky, and the short sequence where Dooku is fighting with two sabers. I would really have liked to see those two things in the final film. The exclusion of those short bits relates back to editing. Some of the compositing work in that movie could use improving also. I hope to see that on the blu-ray release.

I am probably one of the few who appreciates Hayden's performance in AOTC. I immediately and permanently identified with where his character was during the fireplace scene. Who among us hasn't been that 19-year-old guy, pouring hs heart out to the unattainable girl, only to have her react in the most uninspiring way possible?

This is the only film in the series where my opinion is slightly influenced by the public's perception of the film. Since this movie came under so much heavy criticism (some of it justified), I tend to emphasize the good things I like in this movie as opposed to the other films. There is so much good stuff crammed into this movie, it remains as enjoyable for me to watch as any of the other five films.


Post Posted: May 10th 2011 8:14 pm
 
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CoGro wrote:
Regarding the "nods" to the OT / tie-backs - I think most of those reflect lazy writing more than clever plotting. Oooo Obi-wan pulled the same trick Han Solo did! Another asteroid field! Dooku makes an offer to Obi-wan like Vader did with Luke (which doesn't deliver an iota of drama or make sense for the story)!

These parallels are so lame. A related issue I have in the prequels is how so much was dumbed down and kiddified. Lucas is not a funny guy, perhaps especially in his old age. He's just so out of touch. It reminds me of the Lieutenant taking over as DJ in Good Morning, Vietnam. You know? There are far too many scenes that exist to inspire "awww" reactions, jokes that fall completely flat and entire scenes that are so mind-numbingly stupid.

Watch the teaser for Attack of the Clones. Why does this still raise my pulse? To see the gray See-Threepio in the desert, spaceship on a mysterious planet, stormtroopers, Artoo lighting up in the dark, the house on Tatooine, (oh and hey, the cast like Hayden and Sam Jackson actually emoting!) etc.

CoGro wrote:
To your point, there's one scene in ESB where "Yoda's theme" is used in a scene not involving the Force or Yoda (per se) and that's on Bespin when Luke arrives and during the heroes' escape.

By that point, Yoda's theme extends beyond Yoda himself and represents the side of good. Luke applying his training and defying Yoda to save his friends, the escape of his friends in a future always in motion, that even Yoda could not see. It makes sense.

Anakin jumping around in the video game/Galaxy Quest knockoff scene was obviously just temp-tracked with a shit ton of music from the rest of the score.


Post Posted: May 11th 2011 7:31 am
 
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Am I the only one who prefers AotC over RotS? My only grip with the movie is the Sifo-Dyas subplot, that never ended up being explained in RotS (as it was supposed to).

As for the set, it's pretty dissapointing. Old documentaries, and useless ones like 'Star Warriors' and 'Star Wars Spoofs' makes the saga boxset not worth the purchase. If the OT is not fixed (i.e: colours, lightsabers, sound), then I will probably just buy the PT boxset (if each trilogy includes their respective extra disc, that is).


Post Posted: May 15th 2011 8:15 am
 
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After making my comment on music a few days ago, I soon realized that – yes (duh) - certain music is meant to be associated with certain characters. Anakin and Jar-Jar’s themes in TPM perfectly suit them and Princess Liea’s theme is only played in association with her.

In thinking back, what threw me off was the references to the Coruscant chase music and Yoda’s theme being employed during the Droid Factory sequence. To me, the chase music fit perfectly. It’s played as R2 is flying and it reminds me of the flying cars. Therefore, I was taken aback by the idea that it should only be used during the chase. Having forgotten the specific cue for Yoda’s theme, I listened to it and then The Death of Yoda. I was surprised to hear that the cues played most frequently during Yoda’s death were the Force theme and not the music from the Dagobah sequences in Empire. Again, this made me wonder if Yoda’s theme was in fact meant to be his trademark music. Also, concerning track names, some like “The Droid Invasion and The Appearance of Darth Maul” seemed so expository that it made me wonder if someone at Sony was simply trying to approximate a name for each cue as a way of to market the soundtrack.

Anyway, I was wrong. CoGro, you make very cogent points about your musical expectations with the films. I agree that there are “stylistic rules” and it does seem strange when these rules are not applied in a consistent manner.

Regarding your puzzlement about the use of Duel of the Fates in ATOC, its context is in relation to the Tusken slaughter. Anakin’s Darth Vader persona finally emerges when he takes vengeance on the Tusken tribe. Therefore, when he is on the bike and the music is playing, he is literally rushing headlong towards his destiny. The jawa shot is just the conclusion of the search. The next time the film checks in with Anakin, he is on the ridge over the Tusken camp. (Consequently, that shot is both an allusion to the conclusion of The Searchers and provides Anakin with a drop which appears to represent his forthcoming fall to the Darkside.)

The Fates scene works in conjunction with the preceding one where he and Padme hug. During their goodbye, GL uses a shot of the character’s shadows to heighten the situation and draw emphasis to the action. He is indicating that this is a very prophetic farewell. When Anakin returns with his dead mother, he is not fully himself. In order words, Anakin Skywalker has begun to fade out of the picture and is becoming a shadow of himself. (Later on in the film, this idea of atrophy is taken a step further when Anakin loses his arm.)

Overall, I don’t believe explained myself very well when I complemented Clones story. On one level I was referring to transition from plot points within the film and between episodes. But, to a larger extent, I was referring to the rich subtext of the film.

This subtext encompasses the symbolism (like the elements I discussed in part previously), the symmetrical story structure (for example having Anakin and Obi-wan on watery or arid environments at the same time or having Anakin and Obi-wan’s meetings with old friends lead to dark revelations), and the use of parallels.

Regarding parallels, “lazy” is the last word that comes to mind for me. When Kevin McLeod stated that Lucas use of the parallels was the most prolific in the history of cinema, I wasn’t too surprised. After ROTS was released, I attempted to do a scene by scene catalogue of parallels in the film. After finding much more than expected up, I gave up out of desperation after going through the opening sequence. My initial draft is below. (I’m sure I’m missing some.)

[spoil][align=left]
ROTS: The Jedi Interceptors are an echo of the design for …
ANH: ... Vader’s TIE Interceptor and ....
TPM: ... the Maul’s Sith Infiltrator.

ROTS: The ARC Fighters are echoes of the design for ....
OT: .... the Rebel X-wings.

ROTS: Obi-wan is Red leader.
ANH: There is a Red Leader on the assault on Death Star I.

ROTS: Oddball: “Set S-foils in attack position.”
ANH: Red Leader: “Lock S-foils in attack position.”

ROTS: Obi-wan: “You’ve got four on your tail.”
ANH: Red Leader: “Watch it! You’ve got one on your tail.”

ROTS: Oddball: “There are too many of them.”
ROTJ: Rebel Pilot: “There are too many of them.”

ROTS: Droid fighter and ARC fighter fly head to head at one another. Droid fighter destroys ARC fighter and flies through its debris.
ANH: Wedges X-wing and a TIE Fighter fly head to head at one another. Wedge destroys the TIE fighter and flies through its debris.

ROTS: An ARC fighter explodes and the clone pilot is jettisoned into space.
ESB: A TIE fighter explodes upon impact with an asteroid and the TIE fighter pilot is jettisoned into space.

ROTS: Anakin spins his Jedi Interceptor.
TPM: Anakin spins his Naboo fighter.

ROTS: Obi-wan: “Flying is for droids.”
AOTC: Obi-wan: “This is why I hate flying.”

ROTS: Obi-wan: “Oh, I have a bad feeling about this.”
TPM: Obi-wan: “I have a bad feeling about this.”
AOTC: Anakin: “I have a bad feeling about this.”
ANH: Luke: “I have a very bad feeling about this.”
ANH: Han: “I got a bad feeling about this.”
ESB: Leia: “I have a bad feeling about this.”
ROTJ: C3PO: “I have a bad feeling about this.”

ROTS: Anakin and Obi-wan crash land inside the Invisible Hand. (Belly of the Whale motif)
TPM: Anakin crash lands inside the Federation Ship.
AOTC: Anakin lands the Naboo cruiser in the Geonosis crater.
ANH: The Millennium Falcon is pulled inside the Death Star.
ESB: The Millennium Falcon lands inside the space slug.
ROTJ: The Millennium Falcon flies through the Death Star II to destroy it.

ROTS: R2 taps into the Invisible Hand’s computer.
AOTC: R2 taps into the Droid Factory computer to save Padme.
ANH: R2 taps into the Death Star computer.
ESB: R2 taps into the Cloud City computer.
ROTJ: R2 taps into the Endor Bunker.

ROTS: Two Destroyers droids attack Anakin and Obi-wan on the Invisible Hand.
TPM: Two Destroyers droids attack Obi-wan and Qui-gon on the Federation Ship.

ROTS: Obi-wan asks R2 to activate the elevator on the Invisible Hand.
ANH: Luke asks C3PO to deactivate the garbage machine on the Death Star I.

ROTS: Two Battledriods lean over the elevator shaft and aim art Anakin.
ANH: Two Stormtroopers lean over the elevator shaft and fire at Luke and Leia.

ROTS: Chancellor Palpatine is seated in a chair directly in front of a window that overlooks the battle outside the Invisible Hand.
ROTJ: Emperor Palpatine is seated in a chair directly in front of a window that overlooks the battle outside the Death Star II.

ROTS: Anakin and Obi-wan duel with Count Dooku.
AOTC: Anakin and Obi-wan duel with Count Dooku.

ROTS: Anakin uses two lightsabers against Count Dooku.
AOTC: Anakin uses two lightsabers against Count Dooku.

ROTS: Palpatine encourages Anakin to kill Dooku.
ROTJ: Palpatine encourages Luke to kill Vader.

ROTS: Dooku: “I sense great fear in you Skywalker. You have anger, you have hate, but you do not use them.”
TPM: Yoda: “Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.”

ROTS: Palpatine hangs over the elevator chasm.
ROTJ: Palpatine is thrown down a chasm on the Death Star II.

ROTS: The heroes are caught in a force field.
ROTJ: The heroes are caught in a net.

ROTS: Anakin (to Grievous): “You’re shorter than I expected.”
ANH: Leia (to Luke): “Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?”

ROTS: Grievous: “Jedi scum.”
ROTJ: Imperial Officer: “Rebel scum.”

ROTS: R2 causes a distraction. The heroes retrieve their lightsabers, free themselves, and escape.
ROTJ: On Jabba’s sail barge, R2 discharges Luke’s lightsaber. The heroes free themselves and escape.

Achilles heal motif:
ROTS: I) The Buzz driods can be debilitated by sending an electrical short in here center eye. II) Grievous is vulnerable in his stomach.
ANH: The Death Star can be destroyed by triggering a chain reaction on its exhaust port.
ESB: The AT-AT walkers can be destroyed by tripping them with tow cables or by placing a grenade inside the hull.
ROTJ: I) Boba Fett’s Jetpack is debilitated, resulting in his death. II) The Death Star shield can be destroyed by destroying the in workings of the bunker on Endor. 3) The Death Star II can be destroyed by firing missiles into its core.
TPM: The Federation Ship can be destroyed by firing missiles into its core.
AOTC: Jango Fett’s Jetpack is debilitated, making him fatefully vulnerable to Mace.[/align][/spoil]

The use of parallels is a literary and cinematic tradition. (I think the more common term for parallels is “juxtaposition.” In the TPM DVD commentary, Lucas himself describes the parallels as “rhymes” and compares them to musical notes which are played in varying degrees to create different but similar sounds.) But, parallels for the sake of parallels wouldn’t hold up that well if they didn’t tie into larger concepts. As I have stated before, the reoccurring themes and sequences are really an extension of the mythological and historical iconography in the Saga. As Lucas is an ardent admirer of Joseph Campbell (and as Campbell was an ardent admirer of Carl Jung), he is deeply interested in concepts and symbols which repeat through differing cultures. Moreover, myths are communicated as ideas and stories that are passed down from generation to generation through re-telling. The repetition in the Saga storyline mirrors the repetition in myths through world cultures. Also, putting it another way, GL is retelling the same story in a different way much like myths get retold by new generations

The parallels require active viewership by the audience. As the each parallel varies in their degree, the viewer has to actively discern its context in the chapter they are viewing and compare in the relation to the other moments. (As Obi-wan and Qui-Gon discuss at the start of the entire Saga, one has to be mindful of both the immediate action and larger picture if you are to appreciate the full story.) While some parallels are not significant and merely done to give viewers a familiar grounding, others relate back to the larger ideas of morality and human nature and may lead to questions. (For example, why did Dooku turn out to be a refined old gentleman who is evil while Obi-wan turned out to be refined old gentlemen who he is good? Also, in looking at the parallels between the Fett’s and Skywalker’s, it makes you wonder if in a different life it would be Luke firing cover shots at Boba as he walks into a trap set by Jango.)

Overall, if you take the Saga’s story on the surface, it’s fun and can hold up against or surpass other similar genre films. However, what makes the films transcend beyond escapism is the depth of the story and the intelligent point-of-view of its creator. Even though the prequels are more detached and bookish than the predecessor films, they help elevate the overall Saga and add to the richness of the six part story.

CoGro wrote:
There are a lot of 'ideas' at play in AOTC - some miss and some hit. In my opinion, more miss than hit.


Regarding the Sifo-Dyas plot, no further information needs to be explained to the viewing audience. The essence of the plot is that Sifo-Dyas or someone impersonating him ordered the clones, someone murdered Sifo-Dyas, a Jedi erased Kamino from the archives, and someone named Tyranus recruited Jango. When Sidious calls Dooku Lord Tyranus, it is meant to be the final puzzle piece for the audience. Since Dooku is a former Jedi who had access to Sifo-Dyas and the archives, since he recruited Jango, and since he is a Sith Lord, all signs point to him. (I believe that the inclusion of the Sifo-Dyas plot in ROTS was merely to shed light for benefit of the Jedi characters and not the audience)

Regarding the Fett’s, I can only explain Lucas' mindset. The Fett’s inclusion in a prequel film was due to Lucas’ acknowledgment of fans’ appreciation for the minor character and his feeling that Boba’s death in ROTJ was dramatically wrong (listen to the DVD audio commentary.) Therefore, he wanted to make the Fett’s central to the overall story, show all their gadgets in use, and give at least one Fett a proper death. One aspect that gets unappreciated is Lucas’ elevation of the Fett’s to the same level of the Skywalker family. Specifically, the character of Boba Fett is set up to be parallel of both Anakin and Luke. He is a parallel to Anakin in that he only has one father and becomes orphaned through violence. He is parallel to Luke in that he follows the path of his armored father and, in the OT, there is the danger that Luke will follow the path of his armored father. Jango’s headless flop and Boba’s moment with his father’s helmet are not a superficial image parallels, but thematic links. When Luke beheads the ghostly Vader (just like Jango), it’s his father’s helmet which clues Luke into his own inner darkness.

Regarding the love story, it’s far from atrocious. First off, its does make sense that Padme returns to Naboo after the assassination attempts. As explained in the film, she is safe among her own people and she can use her familiarity with the surroundings as an advantage when hiding. (Besides, no one thinks she is hiding as the decoy on Coruscant is presented to the would-be killers and everyone else as her.) Concerning the progression of the relationship, it does make sense in hindsight. The courtship is very awkward due to Anakin’s ineptness and Padme’s level headedness. For Anakin, the Force is much easier to understand than Padme. (Here, I think Lucas is taking a kidding jab at the nature of women. As presented, they are more difficult to decipher than the mysteries of the universe. See Anakin’s later statement: “I’ve given up on trying to understand you!”) For Padme, at first, Anakin is just a grown child who she emasculates by calling Ani. During the transition scenes and the Naboo scenes, she starts to see Anakin as an equal. It’s not really until events surrounding Tatooine that her rational mind moves out of the way and her feelings come to the forefront. In the Saga, the most telling scene for her character is the one in the TPM where Anakin gives her the necklace. During this scene, Padme receives a message that the Naboo are being slaughtered. After the message plays, she looks stunned. However, when she sees Anakin, she is immediately concerned for him. He is cold and lonely and needs to be consoled. Despite her own problems, Padme thinks of Anakin first. As such, she is revealed to be a giving, compassionate, and motherly person by instinct. During the sequences dealing with Shmi, Anakin is revealed to be an emotionally needy person. In reality, Padme is only one of can sooth him with her presence (as Anakin puts it.). (I like Lucas use of Oedipus imagery by having Anakin’s mother and motherly bride both be diminutive brunettes.)

After viewing Clones, only couple of items bothered by about the love story. The first was the tumble down the hill. I didn’t mind the knowingly operatic dialogue, but the tumble seemed a bit over the top for me. I now appreciate this moment for its symbolism. In the scene, Anakin fakes injury and Padme instinctually comes to his aide. Anakin grabs Padme and they roll down the hill. The symbolism is that Padme comes to Anakin’s side out of his need for her. He wraps her up in his life and they both ending-up “tumbling” to their deaths.

I’ve also reconciled with the tone of the moment. I think Lucas’ decision to use stilted dialogue in the Prequels partially is in relation to the timeliness of the product he is creating. When I view a film that is almost a hundred year old, I’m not worried if the dialogue is inline with current standards or the lingo a hundred years ago. I’m more worried about the ideas at play. In this scene, to me, substance trumps style, and the same can be said for other allegedly “uncool” moments in the Prequels.

The other item I found to be curious was Padme’s revelation of love. I now see this from a different perspective as well. First off, I think that Padme had come to the same conclusions as I had in analyzing their relation. Both characters are peerless in their respective areas (politics, the Force) and personality wise, they complement each other perfectly. It is only natural that the two be together. Secondly, in light of ROTS, I think Padme’s seemingly quick decision can be seen in proportion to Anakin’s decision to turn to the Darkside. Both moments happened in an instant, but everything in their lives seemed to be conspiring to these moments.

Concerning Han and Leia, I consider their "scoundrel" and princess romance to be just as conventional in its design as Anakin’s and Padme’s freed-slave and queen romance. The fact that Han and Liea’s courtship is more fun and comedic than the AOTC love story doesn’t mean that it’s inherently superior. Empire’s lover story is more stylistically executed, but in analysis, it’s not as intricate as Clone’s. Personally, I’m glad that GL didn’t try to tell the story in the exact same manner.

Alexrd wrote:
Am I the only one who prefers AotC over RotS? My only grip with the movie is the Sifo-Dyas subplot, that never ended up being explained in RotS (as it was supposed to).


From a technical filmmaking standpoint, I consider the films to be ranked in this order: 1) ESB, 2) ANH, 3) ROTS, 4) ROTJ, 5) ATOC, and 6) TPM. (I consider the technical differences between 3) through 6) to be minimal.)

From a personal standard point (of emotional response and level of interest), I rank the films in this order: 1) ROTJ, 2) TPM, 3) ATOC, 4) ROTS, 5) ANH, 6) ESB.

I constantly question whether these rankings matter as its just one long six-part movie.


Post Posted: May 16th 2011 1:07 am
 
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Great post. I enjoyed the various parallels / articles you referenced as well. I'll break up my commentary in two parts so bear with me.

E_CHU_TA! wrote:
In thinking back, what threw me off was the references to the Coruscant chase music and Yoda’s theme being employed during the Droid Factory sequence. To me, the chase music fit perfectly. It’s played as R2 is flying and it reminds me of the flying cars. Therefore, I was taken aback by the idea that it should only be used during the chase. Having forgotten the specific cue for Yoda’s theme, I listened to it and then The Death of Yoda. I was surprised to hear that the cues played most frequently during Yoda’s death were the Force theme and not the music from the Dagobah sequences in Empire. Again, this made me wonder if Yoda’s theme was in fact meant to be his trademark music. Also, concerning track names, some like “The Droid Invasion and The Appearance of Darth Maul” seemed so expository that it made me wonder if someone at Sony was simply trying to approximate a name for each cue as a way of to market the soundtrack.


Interestingly, after I posted I thought of one OT example you could have cited to damage my argument: Williams retreads the Snowspeeder music (the scene where Zev is looking for Luke and Han) during the Bespin escape to great effect. The climaxes are different but the action music is the same. That said, this works for me because it's a simple enough cue used solely as background action music during a dialogue scene (sort of like how the space battle finale from TPM works fine during the Coruscant crash sequence in ROTS, even though it's doctored).

Coruscant Chase doesn't work for me in the Factory because it was scored against action very specific for that sequence. For example, as Obi-wan is falling through the city there's that that out of control, end over end "I'm falling" cue. When it's played during the Factory, it loses its context and to this viewer/listener, feels very obviously out of place. If you played "The Asteroid Field" from ESB in another action sequence, it would feel tacky since it's quite obvious cues were crafted to echo the on-screen action. That's the magic of SW music - and Lucas himself talks about this at every opportunity - it's supposed to convey all the emotion of what we see on screen. In order for this to happen with maximum effect, the artist of the imagery and the artist of sound have to be on exactly the same page. When there's a disconnect, an observant audience should detect the flaw. SW audiences are about the most critical and detail-oriented around so you bet it pulled me out of the moment when I first saw it and it does every time.

Re: Yoda's theme at Yoda's death. When we see Yoda for the first time in ROTJ we hear Yoda's theme. When Yoda is speaking to Luke from bed about "anger, fear, aggression" - his teachings - we hear Yoda's theme. When macro-Force issues (i.e. major story revelations) come into play we get the Force Theme...and that makes sense: The Force Theme is bigger than any one character. It's the culmination of events over 6 movies. The Force Theme is always context-sensitive, so it's the main exception to the rule of "characters and events being associated with a specific cue or theme." We get it when Qui-Gon discusses Anakin's origins with Shmi, when Obi-wan tries to recruit Luke, when Yoda confirms Vader is Luke's father, and when Vader dumps Palpatine down the shaft. I happen to think the PT misuses (overuses) the Force Theme quite a bit, but a big part of my argument is about how the PT's rushed post-production efforts negatively impact the score. It's easy for JW to shoehorn the Force Theme at every opportune moment. It's also lazy and uninspired. In fairness, Johnny isn't as spruce as he once was and the pressure and motivation to deliver a masterpiece is no longer pressing when you're universally accepted to be the greatest film composer in cinema history. You can only bat 1.000 for so long.

E_CHU_TA! wrote:
Regarding your puzzlement about the use of Duel of the Fates in ATOC, its context is in relation to the Tusken slaughter. Anakin’s Darth Vader persona finally emerges when he takes vengeance on the Tusken tribe. Therefore, when he is on the bike and the music is playing, he is literally rushing headlong towards his destiny. The jawa shot is just the conclusion of the search. The next time the film checks in with Anakin, he is on the ridge over the Tusken camp. (Consequently, that shot is both an allusion to the conclusion of The Searchers and provides Anakin with a drop which appears to represent his forthcoming fall to the Darkside.)

The Fates scene works in conjunction with the preceding one where he and Padme hug. During their goodbye, GL uses a shot of the character’s shadows to heighten the situation and draw emphasis to the action. He is indicating that this is a very prophetic farewell. When Anakin returns with his dead mother, he is not fully himself. In order words, Anakin Skywalker has begun to fade out of the picture and is becoming a shadow of himself. (Later on in the film, this idea of atrophy is taken a step further when Anakin loses his arm.)


What puzzles me is that the piece is called "Duel of the Fates" and aside from the AOTC swoop scene we've only associated it with a battle between Jedi and Sith. Until it happens there aren't any foundational cues to help me associate it with Anakin's inner struggle (a metaphoric duel of the fates, maybe?). Not to mention that emotionally, the way the score is paired with the first person view of racing across the canyon, the track is pumping me up for a big action sequence that doesn't happen. It's not an action scene and so I think that instead of using Duel of the Fates, the scene would have benefited with something more ominous. In fact, look no further to ROTS where Anakin is racing to destiny to stop Mace from killing Palpatine. We get a dark variation of the Force Theme. As the Tusken slaughter is one of those landmark saga scenes, some variation of the Force Theme / Anakin's theme might have been more appropriate (in this critical fan's opinion).


Post Posted: May 16th 2011 3:42 am
 
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CoGro wrote:
Interestingly, after I posted I thought of one OT example you could have cited to damage my argument: Williams retreads the Snowspeeder music (the scene where Zev is looking for Luke and Han) during the Bespin escape to great effect. The climaxes are different but the action music is the same. That said, this works for me because it's a simple enough cue used solely as background action music during a dialogue scene (sort of like how the space battle finale from TPM works fine during the Coruscant crash sequence in ROTS, even though it's doctored).


Actually, you can thank Ben Burtt for the reuse of that cue. Track 3 of the SE/Sony release, "Snowspeeders Take Flight" was intended for the rescue scene. He also replaced Williams' intended version of the Imperial March with the concert suite, and Pre-SE Empire also reused the suite for when Captain Needa transfers to the Executor. But that's a separate discussion.


Post Posted: May 16th 2011 8:54 am
 
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CoGro wrote:
Interestingly, after I posted I thought of one OT example you could have cited to damage my argument: Williams retreads the Snowspeeder music (the scene where Zev is looking for Luke and Han) during the Bespin escape to great effect. The climaxes are different but the action music is the same. That said, this works for me because it's a simple enough cue used solely as background action music during a dialogue scene (sort of like how the space battle finale from TPM works fine during the Coruscant crash sequence in ROTS, even though it's doctored).

Topeka wrote:
Actually, you can thank Ben Burtt for the reuse of that cue. Track 3 of the SE/Sony release, "Snowspeeders Take Flight" was intended for the rescue scene. He also replaced Williams' intended version of the Imperial March with the concert suite, and Pre-SE Empire also reused the suite for when Captain Needa transfers to the Executor. But that's a separate discussion.


I think the concert suite works better for Vader's intro in Empire than what Williams produced - it wasn't bombastic enough. The concert suite fits the moment a bit more. One of the rare times I agree with the editor over the composer.

I know Ben Burtt and the editors did a lot of damage to the score also. The SE's are especially cruel (Death Star I assault, the escape from Bespin to account for Vader's added scenes boarding the Executor, etc). That said, I don't think any of the OT music edits reach the point where they're distracting and make you think "wait a minute, this doesn't feel right to me." I get that a lot more in the PT, particularly AOTC.


Post Posted: May 16th 2011 8:47 pm
 
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Something tells me Duel of the Fates in Episode II was a Lucas idea.

I love the first appearance of the march in the ESB film. I just wish Williams had re-recorded that cue. There's an awkward edit when they cut to the Imperial crew on the bridge.


Post Posted: May 17th 2011 6:09 pm
 

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One MAJOR gripe I have with the scoring of the PT I mentioned back in 2005 on these very boards, is the bullshit cut-and-paste of the ESB duel music during the Obi-Anakin fight. That bothers me every time more than anything in AotC, or the Trade Federation march during the assualt on the Temple, which only after the fact did I think "Hey, wait a minute....", and still works in the moment - as long as I'm not thinking to critically about it's inclusion.

That huge chunk of the score for the final duel, inside the mining facility is utterly out of place, and features a very jarring cut to avoid the crescendo where the brassy version of "Han Solo and the Princess" comes in during the escape from Bespin. Particularly as the duel it was scored for was between an awesome, terrifyingly strong opponent and this young, inexperienced kid, and where it is used in RotS is a duel between absolute equals in skill and strength, it simply makes no sense to have the overbearing imperial march tracked in from when Vader is throwing chunks of machinery at Luke who is utterly over matched.

So much of what this duel should have been just never materialized, and if Nick Gillard is to be believed in 2004. It also seems that a metric fuck-ton of the duel was chopped (the final duel was to be the longest of any of the six films and would be a nice surpirse to find on the deelted scenes. The whole, or at least missing pieces of the final duel, possibly even the rumoured dialogue which was cut from this sequence, which again might have brought a little more emotional oomph to the sequence).

Not sure if it's Williams who reused the ESB score, or the music editors who tossed something Williams had written for another cut of the duel (and if so, man would I like to hear that orignal take), but perhaps this is yet another sad result of having no locked cut of the film to work with.


Post Posted: May 17th 2011 7:28 pm
 
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The variant rendition of The Duel was re-recorded for Episode III. It's kinda debated whether it was actually intended for Yoda vs. The Emperor or some extended version of the other duel which may have mirrored the fight in Empire.


Post Posted: May 31st 2011 8:42 pm
 
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ETAndElliot4Ever wrote:
The variant rendition of The Duel was re-recorded for Episode III. It's kinda debated whether it was actually intended for Yoda vs. The Emperor or some extended version of the other duel which may have mirrored the fight in Empire.


Actually for Revenge Of The Sith all they did was re-record the choir for "DOTF" portion then used the orchestra only version and mixed the newly recorded choir over that.


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