It is currently October 20th 2018 4:32 pm




  Page 1, 2  Next
Post Posted: June 27th 2010 9:57 pm
 
User avatar

Join: October 12th 2004 9:34 pm
Posts: 2541
Location: Toronto, Canada
Watched Episode III on TV for the first time in years today.

Two observations:

1. If the direction was better but had the exact same script and acting the movie would be 10 times stronger. Some of the shot setups in HUGE moments are just horribly conceived.

2. There might be 20 full-fleged landing sequences in this film. What a waste of money and runtime.

That being said, I'm happy to know that Sith has some very powerful moments that still hit me 5 years later.


Post Posted: June 28th 2010 9:12 am
 
User avatar

Join: May 2nd 2005 7:26 am
Posts: 1999
Location: Down the rabbit hole
But aren't the pictures of the ships landing pretty? Plus, that's time that people don't have to speak, and by people, I mean Hayden.

I still find his acting painful especially in the lead up to the duel.

Though I think the collage of Order 66 is one of the most well done parts in a film.


Post Posted: June 28th 2010 11:22 am
 
User avatar

Join: October 31st 2003 7:00 am
Posts: 578
Location: Michigan
The only complaint I have with the movie is not something I've heard a lot of criticism about, and that's the dialogue delivery of Ewan McGregor in key parts of the second half of the film.

Starting with Order 66 onward, in my opinion, his lines of dialogue are just OK, but his delivery is awful. "I can't watch anymore," "I have failed you, Anakin," are way beneath his talents as an actor. Those were some key points where his delivery mattered more than then content of the lines, and the ADR recordings (I'm assuming) were poorly selected. There was a way to say those lines with much different emphasis that would have fit the moments much more appropriately.

Having said that, his non-speaking acting throughout the duel is excellent, and his final look, on the Naboo skiff as he departs Mustafar, is moving. I almost wish the final duel would have been completely dialogue-free, until the part where Ewan says "YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE!" That part was extremely well-done, in my opinion.

I think ROTS was infinitely better-edited than AOTC, and just doesn't feel like the rush-job that AOTC feels like today. I think Lucas learned a lot of things from the making of AOTC, and applied them smartly on ROTS, particularly in bringing in Roger Barton as an editor.

ROTS, to this day, remains the most powerful cinematic experience I've ever had, and 95 percent of the credit for that should go to Lucas. I don't think every single thing Lucas has ever done is perfect, but his body of work will always be an untouchable favorite, to me.


Post Posted: June 29th 2010 5:38 pm
 

Join: February 29th 2004 6:19 am
Posts: 243
Still don't buy the fall to the dark side. It's one thing to reluctantly support Palpatine to save Padme, but somehow he became fully fledged evil within a couple of days. I just don't get it.


Post Posted: June 29th 2010 9:40 pm
 

Join: June 18th 2010 2:10 am
Posts: 5
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I tend to look at it in terms of a broken man. His deal with Palpatine caused him to lose his wife instead of save her. He tried to kill his best friend. He fell so far down a path that he hated that it was easier for him to go even farther than it was for him to admit that he was wrong.


Post Posted: July 2nd 2010 2:24 pm
 
User avatar

Join: March 22nd 2005 11:53 pm
Posts: 1494
Location: Deep Space Nine
The whole production has that rushed feeling. I think Lucas came up with a deadline when planning the prequels and that deadline was fucking tough for everyone, including him. Every aspect suffered. The scripts, the performances, the effects, the MUSIC.

The scripts were unpolished. Performances are all over the place. Needed a lot of re-takes. Editing is wacky. Entire scenes feel totally abnormal in ROTS, for example. The scene where Anakin tells Mace Windu about the Emperor and when Obi-Wan talks to Padme. Those are terrible scenes.

Ben Burtt is a horrible editor. Hayden was pitiful much of the time. The movie has no visual identity outside of all the effects. This is rarely mentioned. AOTC and ROTS are a bore to look at when the screen isn't cluttered with visual effects. The cinematography is too straight-forward for such fantastic stories and settings.

Empire is still the best-looking one. It's a beautiful thing to behold. There's this slickness to AOTC and ROTS, a polished video non-film look that prevents me from grounding them in any kind of reality like the earlier movies.


Post Posted: July 5th 2010 9:52 am
 

Join: May 3rd 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 18
I think there are 2 main things that make it the prequels seem out of place, first was the move to digital. It gives it a way to clean look, even compared to Phantom Menance. One of the things that New Hope did to change movies was its "used" look. Up until that point, every sci fi movie was very sterile, brand new and white looking. I get it that before the clone wars it was supposed to be a more civilized age, but nothing is gritty looking in AOTC of ROTS.Some of this is due to the CGI work, but the lack of practical sets really suspend belief. Its getting close, but its not completely there yet.

The second thing is the 10 year jump from TPM to AOTC. It suffers the same way the Pirates trilogy did, where the second and third movies bridge one story and the first movie still feels like a stand alone adventure. I think it would have been way more affective if Anakin was 14 in TPM, still young enough to have attachment issues but old enough to get excited by Padme.

One thing that never gets talked alot about is the eventual special additions of these movies that eventually will come. I wonder what he will update in ROTS and AOTC. I clear update that needs to be made is giving Anakin a black glove when he leaves his ship and tells R2 to stay back on Mustafar.


Post Posted: July 5th 2010 10:20 am
 
User avatar

Join: March 22nd 2005 11:53 pm
Posts: 1494
Location: Deep Space Nine
The stories feel rushed in Clones and Sith. We pretty much KNEW everything that was going to happen. Rather than feeling like a progressive story and series of events, seeing things unfolding such as in the last 45 minutes of Episode III, it was like Lucas had a checklist of things to resolve or tie up. So the story and the universe just kind of take all these wild turns because it's required.

When Palpatine becomes the Emperor, he just sort of transforms into this monstrous visage similar to the old movies. It doesn't really make any sense and it's never explained, but I guess we just accept it. I mean, we know he's supposed to look kind of like that, right? But still, why not just have the old guy age progressively during the course of the movies.

The Republic becoming the Empire had little effect on me. We know this has occurred because it's thundering out, there are guys in Imperial uniforms and ships with TIE fighter sounds. Oh yeah, and there's Vader.

We never really connect with most of the Jedi. Even the ones we do know, like Mace Window, there's a certain soullessness to them. Obi-Wan, Anakin, Qui-Gon and I suppose Yoda are the only ones that seem to exhibit human qualities. Although, Anakin is more of an anti-hero with some serious anger issues. It's tough to really stand behind him.

Who the hell cares about Plo Koon, conehead or the tramp with the breasts and ass? When they are killed, the scene may be well-conceived and scored, but not for the series that preceded it. As such, I'm not sure what Lucas was going for here. In Episode II, many Jedi are murdered and we apparently are not meant to feel anything. It's just a mindless action scene with comic relief by See-Threepio. In Episode III, we are supposed to feel for these guys?

Anakin goes into a hospital as a severe burn victim and missing a few limbs and comes out with a fucking cape and spooky outfit. I can't be the only one that imagined Anakin chose this appearance when he turned to the dark side, probably after he was injured. Some kind of modified traditional Sith armor. Another thing that is rarely mentioned is the impact these climactic scenes would have had if the films had been made in a chronological order. Imagine the original trilogy didn't exist (just briefly, please, I know it's a nightmare). Anakin being chopped up, burned and placed into the Vader outfit would have been one of the most ridiculous plot twists in the history of cinema. At least the way Lucas pulled it off.

Perhaps I've just become cynical in my old age, but the movies just seem progressively more silly and disappointing as time goes by. There's none of that magic to bind it all together like the old ones.


Post Posted: July 10th 2010 10:47 pm
 
User avatar

Title: Mortician
Join: May 26th 2005 1:23 am
Posts: 1928
Location: Progress City
As an old man, and one who grew up fantasizing about and financing my own minature version of the Star Wars Universe, I have to admit, the Prequels in total are a dissapointment. I'm one of those people who are glad when they make something, anything related to Star Wars that I can consume. And the films of the Prequel trillogy truly are an artistic masterpiece, as far as art direction, design, and visual effects are concerned. But storywise, it wasn't at all what I had been waiting for. I had always imagined it had all happened far differently. That the Jedi had been intelligent and wise warrior thinker/badasses. And in the PT they just seem like a bunch of mid-level agents of some strange Universalist church with a license to be aloof. I thought they would be tougher, and more commited to freedom, and progress. Not the easily blind-sided bunch of tea-sipping puppets of the system they seemed to be by the end of ROTS.

I agree with a lot of ETAndElliot4Ever's points above, and the Vader part is what got me thinking enough to post. I too had imagined that his look was somehow more meaningful. That there was more depth to it all, other than "we put him in that because that's what he looks like". The PT isn't even so much "rushed" from my perspective, as much as it's mis-managed story-wise. It all makes me more a fan of the Empire, I guess. They're so badass, they don't require an explination.

Still, glad they made them. They could have just made them longer. Or better. Or both.


Post Posted: July 11th 2010 3:07 am
 

Join: October 6th 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 395
I still love the prequels. In terms of vision, scale and sheer balls, I can't think of any other trilogy to really compare.

That said, they're not perfect. I don't care what Lucas says now or what he said back in 1977, the prequels just weren't structured in a way to actually be told across three films. Lucas might've outlined where the OT characters and story came from but I don't think he ever actually intended to make Eps 1 to 3 and so he never really refined the story in a way that would balance each film enough with an equal amount of meat. It feels like ROTS has the lion's share of the narrative and that's unavoidable given how the backstory had to play out. The narrative is pretty unbalanced across the three films.

Mind you, this could've been avoided had he outlined and fleshed the movies out back in 1994 rather than writing each script as he went along.

Also, it feels like Lucas sort of chickened out on something after TPM. AOTC just doesn't feel like the Episode II we would've gotten. I think Lucas would've gone a different direction had it not been for all the crap he took after TPM.

One thing I'll praise the hell out of Lucas for doing, though, is portraying the Jedi Order as a group that's supposed to be concerned with all of these high minded ideals and whatnot but ultimately more concerned with covering their own ass than following the will of the Force. Qui-Gon was viewed as a loose cannon simply because he did what the Force prompted him to do rather than jumping each time the Council called... which says a lot about how far out of whack the Order had become.

The easy choice would've been to portray the Jedi as selfless, virtuous heroes; Lucas instead gave us a group who started off with wonderful ideals but who was complicit in it's own destruction. All Anakin did was give them what they had coming.

Highly enjoyable films.


Post Posted: July 12th 2010 10:50 pm
 

Join: May 3rd 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 18
I think your right, he had a new story he wanted to tell and sprinkled references to the original trilogy but then had to tie everything up in ROTS. Looking back, there were going to be 3 types of people seeing the movies, those who love all thing star wars, those going because of the hype, and the general public that goes into every movie looking to tear it to shreads. No matter what, there was not way it was going to match the hype of the publicity machine, nor the expectations of fans who have been dreaming of the clone wars from 1977 on. Yet it is the top grossing trilogy of all time currently, for a set of movies people love to hate, everyone went to see it many times.

For better or worse, these movies did push the envelope in terms of digital movie making and special effects. I was more impressed with Jar Jar from a technical standpoint then I was of Gollum, and still am. I think people were more amazed because Gollum was closer to a human and could be interpeted as "real" a little easier then a tall Gungan.

But back on topic, I personally loved the prequels, but I went in with an open mind and was just glad to be able to go back to the universe. There was so much that I think went right with it for me. I liked that the Jedi were arrogant to be taken, it gives a nice contrast to the fact the plan that Palpatine hatched was done back to him by Yoda. He was blind to Luke until he blew up the Death Star, just like the Jedi were blind until Maul showed up. They both took young Jedi in search of something and told them what they needed to hear from a certain point of view to drive them to both bring their version of balance to the force.

Even though the main plot line is Anakin and his redemption, the subplot of the rise and fall of the Empire was one of the things for the most part told very well over the course of the 6 movies. Thats why TPM to me was so good, it was such an opposite world, a more civilized age. The main action was some trade sqabbles that the Jedi became complacent middle men, not warriors that showed up and kicked ass. They never had to, it had been peaceful for so long, so they were ripe for the picking. That fact alone disappointed so many, because everyone thought it was going to be all Jedi action and it turned into the Jedi waiting around to bring balance to the Force when there was nothing really going on in the galaxy. Like I said before, the Anakin\Padme storyline would have worked better, and Anakin as a character would be more beleivable if he was around 14 in the TPM and there was a 5 year jump to AOTC.

As for AOTC, I did not mind the love story, it did not ruin the movie for me the way it did for others. It could have been done better, and would have made more sense if Anakin and Padme were like real horny teens and were trying to get into each others pants but kept getting interupted instead of Anakin trying to seduce her, it came across way to wooden. The start of the clone wars is still enjoyable to me, as is the whole final battle, especially when Obi Wan and Anakin bickering when Padme falls. Even the clones and introduction of Dooku were advances in that story, I just wished there was a mention of Grevious at some point, so he just doesn't appear out of no where in ROTS.

With ROTS, I liked how Anakin was attached to Palpatine as a father figure, and how they elude to him getting alot of personal encouragement from Palpatine. I did like that Anakin became consumed by his visions and need to save Padme, even though it would have been better if he did not rush to turn in Palpatine, and if after he revealed himself to Anakin, if Anakin still was mentored, and he walked in on Mace and Palpatine fighting forcing him to chose who to help. Order 66 and the end battles are great, but the Vader suit should have had more story as to why that suit instead of being what they had around to keep him alive. I would have accepted a quick line or 2 about how that was some form of enhanced century old Sith armor Palpatine used as symbolism, so it makes sense why people see him and get scared in the OT as an example.

Wow, I have no gone off on a Star Wars topic like that in ages, I apoligize for the long winded post, in short, I am a fan of the prequels, flaws and all. The Clone wars series is helping add to the story of AOTC and can't wait to see how they kill Asoka.


Post Posted: July 14th 2010 1:37 pm
 
User avatar

Join: August 4th 2004 8:00 pm
Posts: 1139
There’s no guarantee that Ahsoka will be offed in the series. She may go into hiding before ROTS or be inserted into the film in some capacity. Like with the PT storyline, GL still has a lot of room to maneuver.

I recently re-watched the six films for the first time in a couple years. Somewhat surprisingly, I now find the three prequels to be more interesting in their approach than the OT movies.

The best way to get my point across is to break down two scenes from each Trilogy.

Remember the scene in TESB where the Falcon makes a clever escape by floating away “with the rest of the garbage?” Before, the escape there is an exchange between Leia and Han. Their dialogue is much more subdued than their previous scenes where they pretend to hate one another. Harrison gets to coolly be Harrison as he searches for Bespin and makes a line like “no love for the Empire” seem less silly than it is. Even though the Falcon gets away at the end, tension is not lifted. Boba Fett shadows the heroes in their escape.

On the surface, the scene does a good job of forwarding the story and suspense. Below the surface, there's not much going on.

Here’s the clip for reference (scene at 2:28 mark):

[spoil][flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/2puY10rjqAA[/flash][/spoil]

The waterfall scene in AOTC plays out much differently than the scene I just described. At this point in AOTC, Padme is in danger, but there is no sense of emanate peril. Instead, we have a casual scene where the two characters talk about their private lives and politics. In the end, Anakin shows-off, fakes injury, and ends-up embraced by Padme.

In regard to their discussion, Anakin believes in a totalitarian form of government and finds democracy to be too irrational. Padme believes the current system works despite its seeming messiness. Even after the Republic’s failure during the Trade Federation invasion, she believes that democracy is the only just form of representation. (Later, Obi-wan will later take a similar stance after an even more egregious failure of government.)

Their political point-of-views are in direct conflict with their personal beliefs. Despite wanting strict order, Anakin hates systems and rules. He will later tell Padme that he cannot be rational when it comes to his feelings for her. Conversably, despite embracing the complexity of Democracy, Padme is very singular when it comes to her feelings for Anakin. She knows that their relationship is counter-productive to their careers and must be forgone. She attempts to rule herself with her head and not heart.

Of course, Anakin still manages to reel her in. He does this partially by playing to one of Padme’s better qualities – her selflessness. When Padme sees Anakin's fall in the field, she instinctually runs to help him. Even though he is faking in this instance, this exchange indicates something larger. Padme is the most emotionally giving character in the saga and Anakin is the most emotionally needy character. It’s only natural that she end-up entangled with him. Their tumble at the end is symbolizes their attraction and foreshadows their later death spiral.

Also, in regard, to symbolism, it’s hard to ignore the water in the background. Padme is associated with water throughout the PT. This makes sense, since mythology often associates water with women (think child birth). This waterfall is in direct contrast with the lavafall on Mustafar. Naturally, the hot-blooded Anakin is symbolized by fire. It’s understandable that he finds Padme’s company to be “soothing.”

Water is also an unconscious link to Obi-wan who is on Kamino at this point in the film. Even though, the two characters are on different planets, Lucas wants to show that their actions are interrelated. Later, when Obi-wan travels to the arid planet of Geonosis, Anakin will be in an equally dry place – Tatooine. I like the structural symmetry which is being employed.

Here’s the clip (scene at 4:13 mark):

[spoil][flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/X_8exLQKVcE[/flash][/spoil]

So, with one film, we have a cool scene with expository discussion. With the other, we have an intimate scene with abstract discussion. One scene ends with intrigue and the other with a knowingly corny tumble.

In the end, I find the Clones scene to be much more interesting because of what’s happening below the surface.

These two scenes are not completely representative of every scene in the two Trilogies. But, in general, I think it can be said that the PT has more going on when it comes to character study, historical analysis, and symbolism than the OT. As I watch the PT films, I see a wide net being cast and admire the director for doing so (even if it’s at the expense of pacing or audience identification).

royalguard96 wrote:
The only complaint I have with the movie is not something I've heard a lot of criticism about, and that's the dialogue delivery of Ewan McGregor in key parts of the second half of the film.

I don’t see this at all. His reading is of "I can't watch anymore" is matter-of-fact because he’s in shock. The comic adaption had Obi-wan collapsing on the floor in grief. To me, this is too maudlin. After all, Obi-wan had a good idea that Anakin was responsible before viewing the footage.

Image

Again a clip (mark at 3:56):

[spoil][flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/QVeGnxdTDEw[/flash][/spoil]

When Obi-wan states that “I have failed you, Anakin,” it’s a simple apology to Anakin and admission of responsibility. I think Ewan’s calm reading is consistent with this sentiment.

Final clip (mark at 4:07)

[spoil][flash width=640 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/Mxp2cfUTYjw[/flash][/spoil]


Post Posted: July 26th 2010 7:43 am
 
User avatar

Join: October 31st 2003 7:00 am
Posts: 578
Location: Michigan
Good counterpoints, ECHUTA.

I remember hearing a theory about the PT as a whole that could have tied those filmes together a little better:

Introduce Dooku towards the end of TPM. Have a shot of him at Qui-Gon's funeral, then walking out in disgust. Maybe with a glance towards Yoda or Mace. That point could be identified as when he started to move towards the dark side, and the 10-year gap between TPM and AOTC adequately explains his change from one point to the other.

Second, introduce Grievous in the end of AOTC. As was mentioned above, he kind of appears out of nowhere in ROTS, and is easily dispatched part of the way through the film. His presence has little-to-no overall impact on the PT as a whole. Show Grievous slaughtering Jedi in the catacombs of the Geonosis Arena, yet have him go undiscovered by any surviving Jedi. His presence adds another level of a threat to the Jedi Order, and allows his introduction in ROTS to carry more significance. When the audience sees him for the first time in ROTS now, he's just this weird-looking droid who coughs a lot. But with a small introduction in AOTC, the threat he carries with him gets amplified.

These are small criticisms in my mind. The PT remains just as enjoyable of a movie-watching experience for me as the OT does. These trilogies were made in completely different eras for completely different audiences. But we can still follow the stories of Aankin/Vader and Obi-Wan through to their conclusions. All six movies are so densely layered and well-designed, they will have unending appeal for me.

I will say, it is nice to see TPM becoming more highly respected with time. It is a beautifully-photographed film, and truly protrays the galaxy in a way I always wondered about when I only had the OT to watch. TPM is the ideal starting point for this saga in the big picture, even if Anakin was too young. In order to appreciate the ending, you have to see the beginning, and TPM contrasts with ROTS perfectly within the PT and saga as a whole.


Post Posted: July 26th 2010 8:47 am
 

Join: July 24th 2004 6:46 am
Posts: 878
Location: Norway
If anything, TCW has become the glue that keeps the PT relatively together.

I have less problems with Anakin turning after seeing him actually fight for three years straight. What the film didn't do well, was portray him as a war veteran, a possibly burnt-out wreck at that. At least in the series, we're getting scenes with him breaking under pressure (contrast any random banter when he's chopping up droids, to him yelling at Ahsoka during the botched landing at Geonosis).

It's an element the films totally lack and a loss on their part. TCW is just damage control at this point and doing a good job of it.


Post Posted: July 26th 2010 6:00 pm
 
User avatar

Join: March 22nd 2005 11:53 pm
Posts: 1494
Location: Deep Space Nine
Darth Maul, Dooku and Grievous were all fairly lame villains of the week. Darth Maul looked cool, but he was boring and barely said anything. Who IS this guy? Why doesn't he say anything when they're behind the energy walls?

Dooku was Christopher Lee, but he was more boring than algebra. There was an attempt to flesh the old guy out, but I still found myself not caring about him or anything he happened to be doing in the universe.

Grievous was a completely ridiculous character.

royalguard96 wrote:
I will say, it is nice to see TPM becoming more highly respected with time. It is a beautifully-photographed film, and truly protrays the galaxy in a way I always wondered about when I only had the OT to watch. TPM is the ideal starting point for this saga in the big picture, even if Anakin was too young. In order to appreciate the ending, you have to see the beginning, and TPM contrasts with ROTS perfectly within the PT and saga as a whole.


I think Episode I will be looked upon more fondly with the passage of time. Partly because of nostalgia. Partly because there's something undeniably likeable about the movie. Sure, many of us feel he screwed up the back stories. There's a fairy tale vibe to the whole thing.

That toon Jar Jar is so completely unfunny that he's actually hilarious in his own weird and vaguely offensive way. But he's still is need of a dipping from Christopher Lloyd.

If you can get past the horrible video transfers we've had to endure, it IS a pretty nice looking film. The location shooting lends a lot. Even the matte/effects shots have a distinctive style to them. The underwater city, Coruscant and that crazy energy chamber where they fight look so cool. WAY cooler than the environments of the sequels. It has a charm Episodes II and III are without.


Post Posted: July 27th 2010 1:28 am
 

Join: October 6th 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 395
Sounds like you're saying Ep II and III, in particular, suffered from not utilizing as many locations. I can't really think of anything from ROTS that could've been shot on location. At least, not without so much added in that you may as well have shot them on a blue screen stage anyway.

A lot of the problems the prequels have is more structural than anything. Maybe this effects shot could've been better or that line of dialogue could've been rewritten but no big deal. But the pacing? The prequel narrative is fine (better, I'd argue, than the OT) but Lucas didn't outline the three movies in advance and you get stuck with sort of wonky pacing. TPM is relaxed and carefree, AOTC has Lucas realizing how much could've and should've been put in TPM and parts of ROTS come off like a mad scramble.

It works, it works well, but it's not what it could've been.


Post Posted: July 28th 2010 3:07 am
 
User avatar

Join: April 20th 2004 11:57 pm
Posts: 515
Location: Southern California
ETAndElliot4Ever wrote:
The stories feel rushed in Clones and Sith. We pretty much KNEW everything that was going to happen. Rather than feeling like a progressive story and series of events, seeing things unfolding such as in the last 45 minutes of Episode III, it was like Lucas had a checklist of things to resolve or tie up. So the story and the universe just kind of take all these wild turns because it's required.


I definitely agree with the observation that "Sith" feels rushed, however the major problem I have with "Menace" and "Clones" is that both are paced far too leisurely and could've benefited from some tightening up (see: "AOTC: The IMAX Experience"). I think the general reception to both would've been much warmer had they come in at around 120 minutes, especially since much of the information Lucas deemed necessary in episodes I & II came off as hand holding.

Quote:
A lot of the problems the prequels have is more structural than anything. Maybe this effects shot could've been better or that line of dialogue could've been rewritten but no big deal. But the pacing? The prequel narrative is fine (better, I'd argue, than the OT) but Lucas didn't outline the three movies in advance and you get stuck with sort of wonky pacing. TPM is relaxed and carefree, AOTC has Lucas realizing how much could've and should've been put in TPM and parts of ROTS come off like a mad scramble.


I've always felt this was an issue with the prequel trilogy too but Lucas has always maintained that he sees the picture "in a fog" and only after time does he begin to really get an idea of what he has. Episode II is probably the biggest offender in this regard. I think had Lucas made Jango Fett a more elusive character whose real ties and motives where never clearly defined in the movie and had no interaction with Obi-Wan on Kamino, a lot of the more sloppy elements behind the introduction of the clones would have reinforced the idea of this mystery surrounding their creation and the Faustian pact the Republic (unknowingly) makes by enlisting their help through Palpatine's encouragement would seem all the more ominous. Then again, I do like what Lucas did with Fett's character in the final product so it's not an entirely wasted opportunity. (*Note: I edited this paragraph after I realized what I had said initially didn't make much sense.)

If the original trilogy was Lucas' (very successful) attempt at myth making for a whole new generation under the guise of a rollicking space adventure, then I look at the prequels as Lucas' examination of the themes, ideas and mythos he created with the original trilogy... under the guise of a rollicking space adventure. There's a lot to these films, more so than I think even ardent fans have picked up on but it's all there and I think it all affects us, whether we can articulate it or not.

Five years later, I still think Lucas has pulled off something really special with the prequel trilogy and as the years go on it's refreshing to see the films looked on in a better light (although I still recall an almost dead silence in Hall H when Sansweet announced 2009 as the ten year anniversary of "Menace" at Comic Con that year). I think when you get past the hype and nonsense that surrounded the films at release, it's easier to appreciate all that Lucas got right while still acknowledging the flaws and as far as I'm concerned there's more right than wrong in the prequel trilogy.

EDIT:

Quote:
Also, it feels like Lucas sort of chickened out on something after TPM. AOTC just doesn't feel like the Episode II we would've gotten. I think Lucas would've gone a different direction had it not been for all the crap he took after TPM.


I completely agree with you on this. I think there's a part of me that will never forgive the fans and audiences for the flak they gave George in '99 and one of the reasons I don't really feel connected to the larger fan base out there.


Post Posted: August 3rd 2010 4:17 pm
 

Join: April 24th 1981 6:59 pm
Posts: 539
Location: San Diego
5 years later ROTS is still my favorite Star Wars movies. Is it perfect, no...but neither is ESB (that film is plagued with problems everyone wants to ignore because OMG AT-ATs and "it's all dark and stuff").

For me, ROTS adds the most dramatic moments in the entire saga. Better executed and more meaningful than any other dramatic moments in the entire saga. Order 66 is absolutely amazing. To this day it still gives me goosebumps and challenges my tear ducts to keep dry. The declaration of the Empire includes Padme's only good line and Natalie Portman's only perfectly delivered line in all of the prequels. Then there's the immolation scene...and Padme's funeral. There is just so much good stuff in this film that I feel Lucas did so much better than I ever thought he could have.

I also think Anakin's fall was handled quite well. I prefer the way they did it. You can't have him turn to the dark side for no reason at all but if you give him a legitimate reason (like the Jedi do something wrong) for turning the dark side, it lessens the importance of his fall. His murder of Mace clearly set off a switch in his head whereby he knew there was no turning back and he may have even been powerless to help it. Yoda said "once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny." I really think this is what happened here.

To me, the Star Wars Saga is like a Greek Tragedy. I feel those that complain about the prequels don't quite get that aspect of it.


Post Posted: August 3rd 2010 5:35 pm
 
User avatar

Join: April 20th 2004 11:57 pm
Posts: 515
Location: Southern California
Quote:
I also think Anakin's fall was handled quite well. I prefer the way they did it. You can't have him turn to the dark side for no reason at all but if you give him a legitimate reason (like the Jedi do something wrong) for turning the dark side, it lessens the importance of his fall. His murder of Mace clearly set off a switch in his head whereby he knew there was no turning back and he may have even been powerless to help it. Yoda said "once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny." I really think this is what happened here.


Nice connection.

foxbatkllr wrote:
To me, the Star Wars Saga is like a Greek Tragedy. I feel those that complain about the prequels don't quite get that aspect of it.


I definitely think there's a lot in the films to support this and I've always felt that Anakin suffered from a non-traditional Oedipus complex seeing as how he is fixated (albeit in a non sexual way) on his mother and transfers his guilt over her death to Padme. This is nicely dovetailed with his desire for power seeing as how he starts off as the powerless (a slave) and eventually succumbs to a life of servitude in an effort to attain even more power. It's the very essence of a classic tragedy.


Post Posted: August 4th 2010 12:47 pm
 
OBGYN
User avatar

Join: August 25th 2004 12:31 pm
Posts: 3456
foxbatkllr wrote:

To me, the Star Wars Saga is like a Greek Tragedy. I feel those that complain about the prequels don't quite get that aspect of it.


Nicely put. :)


Post Posted: August 4th 2010 1:53 pm
 
User avatar

Title: Mortician
Join: May 26th 2005 1:23 am
Posts: 1928
Location: Progress City
foxbatkllr wrote:
To me, the Star Wars Saga is like a Greek Tragedy. I feel those that complain about the prequels don't quite get that aspect of it.


I dunno' if that's true with 100% of the criticism, but as a criticizer I am biased. I get the prequels, I just wanted more (darksiyeed!!) and had 20 years to dream about it. I expected something far different, and honestly I still like the version in my head better. That said, obviously it isn't my story to tell and I accept what we have been given. I actually enjoy the PT, but I'd be a liar to say I wasn't disapointed. I do think there is a measure of absurdity in some of the more common complaints of these films. But I found long ago that I wasn't put here to agree with the world, so I don't even try to relate anymore. And I enjoy, in films, things a lot of other people hate.

For instance, Padme on the Mustafar platform actually gets me a little teary, and I've read so many times how rotten that scene allegedly is. Have you ever made a girl you cared about cry because you were being a dick? I have, and that's how I felt when I saw her break down. That's some good actressin' right there.

And I never really liked, or understood Anakin, from Jake Lloyd to the end, but I don't know that I was meant to. In the OT he's the absent father, and in that respect I still can relate far more to Lukes perspective, but in the PT Anakins choices seemed illogical to me. And perhaps that is because, afterall, it is a story of his downfall and his failure. And in that light, am I supposed to root for or identify with him? Is me not liking or understanding him a testament to the accuracy of his portrayal? I think it is, and makes his redemption at the end of ROTJ all the sweeter. I get all pouty lipped like a fat girl when there's no more cake at the end of ROTJ now. It's a really moving ending, and it wasn't nearly as compelling until the PT was over. And maybe that's a measure of it's success.


Post Posted: August 4th 2010 7:46 pm
 
User avatar

Join: March 22nd 2005 11:53 pm
Posts: 1494
Location: Deep Space Nine
foxbatkllr wrote:
To me, the Star Wars Saga is like a Greek Tragedy. I feel those that complain about the prequels don't quite get that aspect of it.


Or they just miss Han and Chewie. I sympathize.


Post Posted: August 4th 2010 8:36 pm
 
User avatar

Join: August 4th 2004 8:00 pm
Posts: 1139
foxbatkllr wrote:
To me, the Star Wars Saga is like a Greek Tragedy. I feel those that complain about the prequels don't quite get that aspect of it.

Joe1138 wrote:
I definitely think there's a lot in the films to support this and I've always felt that Anakin suffered from a non-traditional Oedipus complex seeing as how he is fixated (albeit in a non sexual way) on his mother and transfers his guilt over her death to Padme. This is nicely dovetailed with his desire for power seeing as how he starts off as the powerless (a slave) and eventually succumbs to a life of servitude in an effort to attain even more power. It's the very essence of a classic tragedy.

Has anyone else seen the History Channel special ”Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed”? To me, it's required viewing as it does a decent job highlighting many of the mythological and political inspirations for the Saga. For reference, here’s the entire program:
[spoil]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/iSjod2JTy1g[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/5-9NVu8Yitg[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/mkHBoCzNo70[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/oW7dlsNPUPM[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/h8Jrt7Wr8lc[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/qM7Fotf5ui4[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/1w-fE2zLb4c[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/Ct785bj6Kxo[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/fQBJLUdNZ-I[/flash]
[flash width=480 height=385]http://www.youtube.com/v/g997clO4A2g[/flash]
[/spoil]

TroyObliX wrote:
And I never really liked, or understood Anakin, from Jake Lloyd to the end, but I don't know that I was meant to.

In the ”Annotated Screenplays” book, Lucas states that: “I didn’t want Vader to be all-powerful. In the first film it was very easy to make him into some kind of superhero. But I decided not to do that.” Lucas could have made the PT Anakin into a superhero. However, this would have gone against the parameters he established in the OT films.

In terms of Anakin’s personality, Lucas was also bound by preset rules. Since Vader was arrogant and emotionally immature, the PT Anakin also needed to have these characteristics. Neither of these traits endear Anakin to the audience, but that can’t be helped.

ETAndElliot4Ever wrote:
Or they just miss Han and Chewie. I sympathize.

I’m not sure that there should have been PT equivalents to these characters. Any actor cast as the PT Han Solo would have been compared to Harrison Ford and that’s a no win situation.


Post Posted: August 29th 2010 3:01 am
 

Join: October 6th 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 395
That, and the OT follows the dregs and losers of society as they overcome (supposedly) insurmountable odds. That's where Han Solo lives.

The PT follows society's upper crust as they proceed to fuck up the entire galaxy. A Han Solo type of character wouldn't fit well in that world.

Just sayin...


Post Posted: August 29th 2010 3:40 am
 
User avatar

Title: Mortician
Join: May 26th 2005 1:23 am
Posts: 1928
Location: Progress City
No. But maybe someone with an attitude. Everyone in the PT looks like they have to take a dump. It's in the eyes, I think. Very "I am uncomfortable." Not in a terribly distracting way, but it's there. Han Solo was more or less relaxed into his role in the universe. Leia was at times too. Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were better actors.

Maybe it's not "better". Maybe to me they just appeared more comfortable on camera. It was the 70's. Wasn't everyone in California stoned for some portion of the late 70's? Maybe that's the difference. Or maybe it's that those characters were allowed to or chose to react as a normal person would. If they were a person who doesn't have to take a dump would. To react to moments where a cocky smirk and "Oh Yeah?" dripping off yer face are appropriate.

Nobody looked like they were thinking anything inappropriate in the PT. Except for Anakins sex-offenderish grin in AOTC, in Padme's apartment when he makes Padme (and me too rilly) uncomfortable and she's all "Stop looking at me like that." I think the pressure of business in the era of "People hate that" immediate feedback response, coupled with what always looked like to me as a "yes sir" culture (from Lucasfilm business shown in behind the scenes footage).

No offense, you all do a fine job. I'm a fan of your products. I'm just sayin. That's how it looks. Who wants to disagree with the rich guy in charge. It's never a good way to get ahead. But that culture that the PT was made in was what made a lot of people nervous. Fans bitched about Jar-Jar. And he was gone from the story by ROTS. Someone like Han Solo wouldn't have fit into the story of the PT. But maybe the live action series. The End.


Post Posted: August 29th 2010 6:28 am
 

Join: October 6th 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 395
Harry Knowles has said precious few things I agree with but one point he made was that the OT has a far better cast of characters while the PT has a much better story. I would largely agree with that.


Post Posted: December 25th 2010 11:49 pm
 
User avatar

Title: darthpsychotic@gmail.com
Join: July 3rd 1971 6:59 pm
Posts: 4219
On Christmas Eve while watching Revenge Of The Sith during Spike's Prequel Marathon in for the first time in years - the film aged gracefully for me. Episode III is all the more better right after watching Episode I + II before it. Revenge Of The Sith retroactively made The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones better - albeit slightly. Watching a grunged out Anakin mowing down Alien Separtists and Younglings we seen previously in the films before it was all worth it. The Immolation scene and subsequent transformation into Vader put the Revenge Of The Sith over the top.

The Prequels plus television shows (current and future) was not meant and could never be Original Trilogy level film. The Prequel Trilogy was offered to satiate the world's appetite for more Star Wars, in addition to pushing LucasFilm's movie technology business. The Original Trilogy has become American myth with Star Wars in general becoming a timeless brand along with Disney, Peanuts, and even Sports teams.


MF.com five years later: still here.

MF.com was created as the anti-Star Wars site - away from social chat threads and forums games, where there were no restrictions in terms of posting spoilers, bootlegs, or posting words like "fuck". The site was meant to be minimalist. There are awesome threads created awesome posters. The content is there for those interested in the subject matter. MF.com has even broke news in the post-Star Wars movies world. However there is no way in hell MF.com can replicate what was accomplished during the Original Trilogy DVDs 2004, Revenge Of The Sith 2005, and for those who remember Attack Of The Clone 2001-02 (where SI, Ternian, and me posted our spoilers all the fuck over).

Five years later, there should have been a new MF.com. There will be a new version of the site in 2011. The current code is outdated with hacks on top of hacks. The banners will be updated with superior heavy metal (and other subject mater) inspired graphics. There is new content on the way in the form of 3D Theatrical Releases, HD Box Sets, and television series.

And MF will pirate and spoil every last bit of it.


Post Posted: December 26th 2010 11:15 am
 
User avatar

Join: May 2nd 2005 7:26 am
Posts: 1999
Location: Down the rabbit hole
Sounds absolutely awesome DP. Can't wait to see it.

MF.com has been an awesome refuge from the other Star Wars sites (not naming names), glad to see it getting an update.

Your work and dedication to this site has been greatly appreciated.


Post Posted: December 26th 2010 7:04 pm
 

Join: January 31st 2005 11:58 pm
Posts: 570
Location: Australia
I am extremely grateful that MF.com exists. It's one of the few Star Wars related sites I visit these days and can depend on it for news that isn't bullshit, or filled with idle gossip, nonsensical rants or childish arguments, that are all the rage on many other sites. DP, you've done an impeccable job in your presentation and have always promoted the Star Wars brand, in a positive and intelligent manner. I look forward to seeing the new layout in 2011.

I was just pointed in the direction of this interesting analysis of the saga by a fellow by the name of Kevin McLeod, which may be of interest to people here:


[spoil]
[align=left]
Did George Lucas change cinema with ‘Star Wars’ prequels?

George Lucas should have stopped after three original “Star Wars” films — that’s a common sentiment among Jedi fans of a certain age and disposition, and they passionately point to Jar Jar Binks, an over-reliance on CG effects and numbing dialogue as the unforgivable sins of the second live-action trilogy, which began with “The Phantom Menace” in 1999 and closed out with “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005. But are old-school fans missing the true value and actual innovation represented by the prequel trilogy? Yes, they are, says Kevin McLeod, who has made online games for productions in other media, including those for”A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and the television show “Jericho.” Here, in a guest essay for Hero Complex, he makes a case for the idea that the prequel trilogy was in fact a landmark moment in cinema.

George Lucas pushed all of film into the 21st century when he made his “Star Wars” prequel trilogy. And like a magician, he used mirrors.

Remember that mirrors do not duplicate images — the way a copier does — they reverse them. Although mirroring has been around for a long time in art, Lucas took it much farther. His most basic mirror, the through-line of the trilogy, simply inverts the power structures of his original trilogy, reversing who discovers the flaws of those in power (in the original trilogy, it is the rebels; in the prequels, the Sith do it). And why would Lucas do this? Why would he sacrifice much of the excited feeling that audiences had in rooting for the “good” guys? He did it to show you that power does not align with good or evil, or with lightness or darkness, and that power itself can be evil. To shade his stories beyond black-and-white extremes, he uses colors and forms that, under his abilities, transform into patterns.

These patterns tell stories of which you likely are not aware. By reversing the story and focal points, he engages the audience in a search for patterns they normally would not be looking for and what they mean. And his primary target audiences are always kids and the youthful, whose minds are still flexible and whose brains are malleable and growing. Viewing motion, form and color above and beyond speech is fundamentally linked to cognition.

Welcome to the age of pattern recognition, better called pattern cognition, and it’s an age Lucas has been elemental in creating and reflecting. Still in its infancy, pattern cognition is one of the key tools of future media (including future languages). Appearing in 1977, “Star Wars” was an evolutionary leap in pattern cognition. Notably, the first film arrived alongside household Pong and arcade Space Invaders. Video games, like “Star Wars,” are rife with patterns and forms at war with one another. Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Charlie Chaplin, Stanley Kubrick and a few others have worked at the highest levels of pattern cognition, as have others — some of whom you’d expect and others you wouldn’t: John McTiernan, Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron and McG (who all offer pattern cognition with bullets).

Also notably, “The Matrix” (itself an evolutionary step in patterning) appeared the same year as “Phantom Menace.” Like many other viewers, I initially rejected ”Menace” as a simplification of “Return of the Jedi“; it seemed childish and chilling. Much later, as I began to consider certain very strange scenes in the new trilogy, I realized that they were all elements of a hidden story, adding up to a precise opposite of the original trilogy. This story is both satiric and visionary. As I mentioned above, for example, there’s an intentional self-assuredness to the heroes’ characters that the original trilogy lacked, which dulls them and subtracts a nuance we’re expecting. Characters you thought you would love you actually hate or dislike. Their sense of discovery too is gone; now it resides with the Sith, aiding their quest to topple the current order — not until later in the original-trilogy Empire’s cold efficiency do they lose this sense. This is what draws Anakin to the Sith: They make him run; they challenge him. I can’t possibly review or analyze the whole story here, but below are three examples of concepts that ingeniously appear solely in the imagery.

1) Gesture mirrors: “Star Wars: Episode IV” begins with a Blockade Runner that has obviously just escaped a blockade, and “Phantom Menace” begins with a (too) similar ship approaching a blockade, willingly entering it. Mirroring begins the trilogy. Even basic plot gestures are mirrored. Vader wants her alive; Sidious wants them dead. And subtly there is a doubling of doom; we meet the trilogy’s central conflict: hooded humans who want to kill one another within the film’s opening seconds (the Jedi and Sidious).

2) Character mirrors: “Phantom Menace” is saturated with strangely similar bipeds that are overt mirrors: Jar Jar Binks and the Droid Troopers present living versus mechanical beings that nevertheless have similar coloring, shape and form and are equally awkward; Lucas even introduces them in mirrored framings and movements, and ultimately they go to war with each other on a massive scale. Also, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul (under all the makeup) are dead ringers, as are Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley (also under the makeup), who alternate roles. There are even subtle mirroring devices: Upon meeting Trade Federationists, Portman wears a gemstone that behaves as their third eye. The “phantom menace” of the film is this mirroring — it’s everywhere. Some mirrors we don’t recognize, and some we do (or are shown). The height, of course, is the Sidious-Palpatine “mirror,” which the audience sees but the Jedi do not — they can’t see his mirror simply because they can’t recognize their own.

3) Location mirrors: In “Attack of the Clones,” the planet Kamino mirrors Bespin of the original trilogy. These planets have opposing color formats (gray versus colorful) yet each possesses an atmosphere made up primarily of moisture. Both are where the Slave I is encountered, and, as essentially the center of the trilogy, we see the Fetts, father and clone, play mirrored roles, the lure of Skywalker to Bespin and the lure of Obi-Wan to Kamino. And on both planets we have heroes — Luke and Obi-Wan — falling to near peril. The result of the lures also have similarly mirrored outcomes: Vader tells Luke the truth, and Dooku tells the truth to Obi-Wan. Both trilogies end by revealing what those truths mean.

Consider this: With all these mirrors, a form takes shape — it’s a sphere. It’s a mass that Lucas slowly animates into a behemoth. The prequel trilogy might accurately be called the hidden story of the Death Star since he animates large spheres of all kinds in reference to this weapon: the Federation Droid Control ship (a ring that surrounds a sphere means many of these ring a planet for its control), the Congress of the Republic, Coruscant as the planet that is one city. Consider the vast, curved landing bay of the Droid Control ship and Death Star’s trench as subtle mirrors of each other; Anakin even mirrors Luke’s last battle accomplishment when he destroys the Droid ship. Finally, even more wickedly, we see the water-opera sphere in “Revenge of the Sith,” which appears to be reenacting the last battle of the next film, while Palpatine explains Anakin’s origin without directly telling him. Look carefully and follow the patterns: Overall, there is a transforming flow of identities that take spherical form, a path from nature into the mechanical.

Now the whole enchilada: Since you have these basic examples, look around and you’ll see hundreds of these patterns between and within the trilogies. Want some more? OK: Two asteroid chases in the middle films, with Obi-Wan imitating the Millennium Falcon’s hiding style in “Empire”; the Jedi’s temple tower resembles the Emperor’s tower; Geonosis, hot and arid, is the exact opposite of Kamino, yet each planet is the source of the war’s troops. Still want more? Notice Luke is suspended upside down both in the beginning and the end in “Empire Strikes Back“; the Lars homestead entrance is a dead-on mirror of Artoo. Luke kneels while he gazes at a loop of Leia kneeling. Watch Luke duel the remote device in “Star Wars” wearing a type of helmet he also wears while destroying the Death Star; he duels both successfully in similar states of limited vision yet at wildly different scales. As Leia’s torture approaches, watch the TIE Fighter’s hexagonal wings wipe frames with the cell block’s hexagonal corridor. Check out the cantina scene in Star Wars: It is carefully rescaled as the holographic game played aboard the Falcon.

Now take a look and see for yourself. Not only are these patterns not random, but they also intentionally and artfully tell a story outside (and inside) the surface drama that unfolds among the protagonists. Lucas’ visual ingenuity is relentless; he offers us a strikingly revolutionary level of storytelling. I agree that no one can make you like films you simply don’t like, but look deeper and go back and watch a film you’ve actually never seen before. Welcome to the future, where George Lucas already is. Take a look around…

– Kevin McLeod
[/align]
[/spoil]


Post Posted: December 27th 2010 3:28 am
 

Join: June 7th 2005 9:48 pm
Posts: 83
I love reading this board. Comfortable shoes that always feel good to slip on. Thanks. Lookin' forward to 2011.


Post Posted: December 27th 2010 10:33 am
 
User avatar

Join: August 4th 2004 8:00 pm
Posts: 1139
I’m not sure that the parallel/dualism/juxtaposition motif changed cinema, but it’s definitely the most thought-out and pervasive example in the medium’s history.

The concept of "mirrors" shouldn't come as a surprise. By naming the first chapter “The Phantom Menace,” GL is overtly pointing out that the movies should viewed in larger terms (and not merely in isolation). Hell, early on, he even has Obi-wan state that there is bigger picture to keep in mind.

In general, I think it’s a sad that someone outside of professional cinema criticism had to point out this information. Of course, while I’m posting, I should mention that I largely scooped Mr. McLeod by 8 years in a December 2002 post at :gb2tfn::

[hr]
Parallels, Parallels, Parallels

So, why is GL constantly drawing connections between characters, events, and situations?

In the audio commentary of TPM, GL stated that he liked to parallel scenarios because it gave a sense of rhyme to the story. Moreover, he always viewed the Star Wars films as silent films and the “rhyming sequences” were like notes being replayed in the musical score. I think you can take the “rhyming” concept a little further, and tie it into some other motifs and concepts.

For one, the reoccurring themes and sequences can be seen as an extension of the mythological and historical iconography and semantics that run throughout the Star Wars universe. GL intentionally borrows themes and symbols from various myths and cultures throughout history. By their nature, myths are passed down from generation to generation. There is a sense of repetition to them. Moreover, many of mythological themes and symbols crosscut societies and are repeated throughout various cultures. GL also uses history as a guide, and as the saying goes, history tends to repeat itself as well. The parallels within the Star Wars storyline provide the saga with it’s own kind of “repetition.”

In addition, the thematic parallels fit in with the motif of dualism. When you create a “rhyming sequence,” you essentially you create a double. For example, there are now two asteroid sequences. Upon examination of TPM and AOTC, you find that characters and events that are coupled with one another. Here is my attempt at a listing:

TPM
- The story centers on a conflict that involves 2 Jedi and 2 Sith.
- The story takes place on a planet with 2 civilizations each with their on ruler (Nass; Amidala).
- There two invasions on the capital city. The Trade Federation invades Theed at the beginning of the film and captures the city. The Naboo invade Theed at the end of the film and liberates the city.
- While piloting the sub, the heroes are almost devoured and are subsequently saved by “bigger” fish on 2 occasions.
- Along the way the heroes end up on Tatooine where they run into 2 slaves.
- The Pod Race comes down to 2 racers.
- Anakin pilots 2 vehicles: the pod racer and the Naboo fighter (“Now this is Pod Racing!”)
- A lightsaber battle ensues on Tatooine and also on Naboo at the end of the film.
- The Jedi heroes appear before the Jedi counsel twice.
- Two votes take place in the Senate. The first vote removes Valorum form office and the second elects Palpatine in as chancellor. By the end of the film, the audience has seen 2 supreme chancellors.
- Boss Nass’s assistance is requested by the Jedi at the beginning of the film and again by Amidala at the end of the film.
- Palpatine and Amidala have 2 scenes in his apartment.
- Darth Maul uses a double bladed lightsaber.
- Darth Maul’s double bladed lightsaber is cut in two.
- Darth Maul himself is cut in two.
- A Jedi is killed during the duel and a Sith is killed during the duel.
- The Jedi counsel votes twice on whether to admit Anakin to the Jedi order. The first time, he is denied and the second time, he is admitted.
- There are 2 duplicitous politicians on Naboo (Padme/Amidala & Paplatine/Sidious).

AOTC
- There are 2 assassination attempts.
- Two Jedi are assigned to protect Padme. The assignation plot is the work of 2 bounty hunters. By the end of the film, both bounty hunters are killed.
- During the chase, there are 2 freefalls.
- There are 2 severed arms in the film (and 4 severed heads).
- Obi-wan has 2 Kaminoan "tour guides.”
- There are 2 Fetts.
- Jango uses 2 blaster pistols.
- Jango has a duel with a 2 different Jedi on 2 separate occasions.
- Jango believes that he has killed Obi-wan once on Kamino and again in the asteroid field.
- Two slaughters take place in the film (the Tuskens, the Jedi).
- During his duel with Dooku, Anakin uses 2 sabers.
- The 2 Jedi begin to uncover a plot that has been devised by 2 Sith Lords.
- There are 2 scenes in the Jedi council.
- There are two scenes in the Jedi meditation room.
- While on Kamino, Obi-Wan observes the clones from a balcony. At the end of the film, Palpatine and company observe the clones from a balcony.

This listing doesn’t indicate that all themes or events occur only twice. Some concepts are repeated much more frequently (malfunctioning vehicles for example). However, it appears that combinations of two are predominant in the Prequel Trilogy. I believe you can probably carry this concept forward to the OT as well (two Death Stars, two surviving Jedi, ect.). There are two trilogies after all.

Naturally, the number three plays an important role in the films as well. As in most works of fiction, groups of three's result in tension. For example, you have Han, Luke, and Leia and the ensuing love triangle that runs through out the OT. In AOTC, Padme causes friction between Obi-wan and Anakin. In Episode III, you will have Palpatine driving a rift between the pairs of Obi-wan and Anakin, and Anakin and Padme. In ROTJ, it’s Luke that drives Vader apart from Palpatine.

So, if three's are equitable to friction then two's naturally equate to balance. This by far is not a new theme from a mythological standpoint. To me, the concept of Yin and Yang that best encapsulates dualism. With Yin and Yang, you have the universe made up of a series of pairs: good & evil, masculine & famine, night & day, ect. Each item in the pair balances the other. In turn, the two offsetting objects echo another. For example, there cannot be good without evil. Again, there is a feeling of repetition.

As a whole, it makes sense that Star Wars would incorporate a dualism motif into the saga. It is simply a story about good and evil (the Light and Dark side). Consequently, dualism also ties in with the motif of persona/dual identities. For example, as Gonk stated, Anakin is a microcosm of good and evil by himself. He is dually Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. Most of the themes are interconnecting in some way. Overall, it appears that the Star Wars saga in its most abstract form is a series of events and themes that repeat, interrelate, and ultimately balance one another.
[hr]


Post Posted: December 27th 2010 10:35 am
 
OBGYN
User avatar

Join: August 25th 2004 12:31 pm
Posts: 3456
Mike_Droideka wrote:

I was just pointed in the direction of this interesting analysis of the saga by Kevin McLeod of Grand Designs fame, which may be of interest to people here.



This was brilliant! Thanks for posting. I've been talking about what I like to call "Visual Poetry" since TPM came out, and have been generally laughed off of a few Star Wars message boards or told by friends and acquaintances that I'm pretty much full of shit over the past decade. Glad to see I'm not just imagining things or reading too much into it. :)


Post Posted: December 28th 2010 4:32 am
 

Join: January 31st 2005 11:58 pm
Posts: 570
Location: Australia
No worries man. I thought it was really interesting and also refreshing to see the prequels looked at, in a much more positive light.
I thought Kevin McLeod was the "Grand Designs" television show presenter, but apparently it's a completely different person, so I have amended my post above!


Post Posted: December 29th 2010 1:25 pm
 

Join: October 6th 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 395
E_CHU_TA! wrote:
The concept of "mirrors" shouldn't come as a surprise. By naming the first chapter “The Phantom Menace,” GL is overtly pointing out that the movies should viewed in larger terms (and not merely in isolation). Hell, early on, he even has Obi-wan state that there is bigger picture to keep in mind.

As a saga fan, I am too actually. Astute points all, and I'd never thought to phrase them in quite those terms.

Quote:
In general, I think it’s a sad that someone outside of professional cinema criticism had to point out this information.

I'm not. Surely I'm not the first person to point out that film critics went from explaining what a film is to being caught in a never-ending pissing match over who can be the most sarcastic. They used to be thoughtful, eloquent people; now they're mostly hipster douchebags.

If I read one more fucking review about a comic book-related property that starts off with "POW! BIFF! SOCK!"... I mean, fuck, that stopped being "clever" back in the 60's.


Post Posted: April 17th 2011 10:51 pm
 
User avatar

Join: October 12th 2004 9:34 pm
Posts: 2541
Location: Toronto, Canada
I recently introduced someone to the Star Wars films. Not the first time I got to watch the films through another set of eyes but probably the most telling experience I've had. She wanted to experience the films as I had, so we watched the OT and then the PT. Granted, she didn't see the O-OT, then the SEs, then the DVD SEs, but that's another story.

In short, her ranking went like this:

ESB
ROTS
ANH
AOTC
ROTJ
TPM

Perspective: realizing how much stronger ROTS is as a film - from a writing/directing/acting standpoint - than every other SW film except ESB. With a bit of tweaking, ROTS could have been the best of them all, I think; and that includes the lack of a Han Solo-type character to ground the story a bit. It certainly struck the strongest emotional chord with the person I watched with, especially during the Order 66 sequence.

I was left with the impression that with time (i.e. the public being removed from the web-hate the PT received) the PT is going to comfortably be accepted alongside the OT. To the uninitiated, TPM was just as engaging as ANH. If anything, ROTJ's palace sequence and ewoks were "sillier" than TPM's "gungans" and Jake Lloyd to this viewer.


Post Posted: April 17th 2011 11:46 pm
 
User avatar

Title: Mortician
Join: May 26th 2005 1:23 am
Posts: 1928
Location: Progress City
Wait. I was with you till' "ROTJ's Palace Sequence". Huh? Jabba's Palace, or the Imperial throne-room on Death Star II? I wasn't sure what you meant, but I'm assuming it's the musical number in Jabba's Palace. It hurts my mind, as an adult, to try and rationalize that sequence to other adults. Fucking sycophants, someone should have said something, like "Hey, George, puff puff pass dude, and what's with the jazz-ensemble cartoon disco acid-trip thing you have written in the script right here?" Cuz damn, next to an under-utilized adult Fett, and the creepy-gross incestuous kissing between Luke and Leia, the Sy Snoodles band comes in as my most uncomfortable Saga-wide moment.

I rank ROTS pretty high myself. My only complaint about the film, anymore, is the Padme/Anakin on the balcony while she's brushing her hair scene toward the beginning. Baaad. All around bad. I look at the FX in the background and pretend Natalie Portman doesn't look like she's on downers or retarded or something, and I imagine that the horrible dialogue is really something better that I'm just not paying attention to. When it's over, I can look back at the screen. I'm really surprised any director would put that cut of the performances into his highly anticipated and expensive finished product. It wasn't pivitol to the story, and it was baaad. Did they only do one take? What about the cut and splice nature of performances in digital film-making? Who put that scene together and said "Great! Lets go with this one". Because I like Natalie Portman. She's a good actress, and she's hot as fuck. I'd hit that shit sideways. But in that scene she looks like she's a qualude away from drooling on the mat at special-ed class and Hayden sounds like a Halmark moment on stupid. And it kind of takes me out of the moment.

I still dig the movie though. I just don't understand, with all the tinkering Lucas Does with his films, why he doesnt fix shit like that.

I wish they would ask for my opinion. They would make so much more money if they hired me as a consultant. They wouldn't have to really pay me either, they could just give me free shit. And I could tell them what I think of that too, and then they would make even more money, because I'm one of those people who buys that shit anyway. But a lot of it sucks. Like the balcony scene. Just an idea.

:funkycomedyscience:


Post Posted: April 18th 2011 12:04 am
 
User avatar

Join: October 12th 2004 9:34 pm
Posts: 2541
Location: Toronto, Canada
Yeah - I meant Jabba's Palace.

The musical number was far, far more uncomfortable to explain than anything in the PT. The SE stuff made it worse but it was pretty cringeworthy in its own right.

That balcony scene is the worst love scene in ROTS, but I think that's the only one that stands out as 'bad'. The first scene with Padme/Anakin actually isn't a bad scene. It's scored pretty well and ends on a high note for SW standards. After the balcony scene there isn't a pure "love scene" for the rest of the movie.

One thing I'd really like fixed is the Vader scream. I want Vader to rip that fucking room apart. I want that scream to be far more violent and shot from different angles. I always imagined it would be closer to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxafIhYFOr0

Oh, and that Qui-Gon/Yoda exchange should definitely be put back in, but I'm afraid how the score changes would fuck it up. It's already a perfect moment when Bail walks in.


Post Posted: April 20th 2011 10:12 pm
 
User avatar

Join: April 26th 2005 11:20 am
Posts: 1171
Hey TroyOblix, about the balcony scene:

I think the peculiarities of the balcony scene is slightly meta and totally intentional. This is something that I realized just after viewing the scene at the midnight showing. Here you have one of the most beautiful actresses in the world made up to look like less than the picturesque visage we're used to. It's meant to stun the viewer as we go from a profile of her to her facing Anakin. She looks different and not in a good way. Something is up with the lighting and make-up. But the point is is that it doesn't matter to Anakin. To him, she's "so beautiful," even when she may not be to the viewer.


Post Posted: April 21st 2011 12:52 am
 
User avatar

Title: Mortician
Join: May 26th 2005 1:23 am
Posts: 1928
Location: Progress City
I dunno' bout that. That's kind of a stretch. I think it's just sloppy directing/editing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. To what degree does accepting those inevitable moments, where the apple of one's eye is less than visually ideal, hint at our propensity to be blinded to good and evill? I'm just not capable of those kind of mental gymnastics. Unless your just kidding. Good one (insert uncomfortable pause here) if you are, I mean.

As a strange side-note, that scene didn't bother me nearly as much until after I watched The Last Airbender. Besides being a tremendous multi-leveled letdown, and definate winner of the 'worst movie I saw in 2010' award, it's a film loaded with scenes whose failure mimics the lousy-balcony scene from ROTS in poor acting form and compositive technique. The whole film is a mess, but in the same 'who the fuck shot this garbage and didn't seem to even try to get something better' kind of way.


Post Posted: June 22nd 2011 8:08 am
 

Join: April 24th 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 136
CoGro wrote:
I recently introduced someone to the Star Wars films. Not the first time I got to watch the films through another set of eyes but probably the most telling experience I've had. She wanted to experience the films as I had, so we watched the OT and then the PT. Granted, she didn't see the O-OT, then the SEs, then the DVD SEs, but that's another story.

In short, her ranking went like this:

ESB
ROTS
ANH
AOTC
ROTJ
TPM

Perspective: realizing how much stronger ROTS is as a film - from a writing/directing/acting standpoint - than every other SW film except ESB. With a bit of tweaking, ROTS could have been the best of them all, I think; and that includes the lack of a Han Solo-type character to ground the story a bit. It certainly struck the strongest emotional chord with the person I watched with, especially during the Order 66 sequence.


I wish I could find a Star Wars virgin to watch I-VI - just to see if it works at all. I suspect that ANH would be the odd one out with various contradictions with the rest of the saga.

My personal preferred order is now IV, V, I, II, III. I like to end the saga on the happy note even though ROTJ is in some respects the weakest chapter.

Quote:
I was left with the impression that with time (i.e. the public being removed from the web-hate the PT received) the PT is going to comfortably be accepted alongside the OT.


I can't wait for the kids who saw PT to grow up and stick it to the OT purists.


Post Posted: June 27th 2011 8:05 am
 
User avatar

Join: March 19th 2005 12:39 pm
Posts: 395
The_Somnambulist wrote:
I think the peculiarities of the balcony scene is slightly meta and totally intentional. This is something that I realized just after viewing the scene at the midnight showing. Here you have one of the most beautiful actresses in the world made up to look like less than the picturesque visage we're used to. It's meant to stun the viewer as we go from a profile of her to her facing Anakin. She looks different and not in a good way. Something is up with the lighting and make-up. But the point is is that it doesn't matter to Anakin. To him, she's "so beautiful," even when she may not be to the viewer.


Portman looks so different in the balcony scene because that bit was filmed during the re-shoots - she was already starving herself for her V for Vendetta role or something (just a wild guess about the starving). This also means the balcony scene was one of those that Lucas wrote into the script very late in the game, after viewing all the footage he already had filmed based on his original draft. Personally I don't find Portman beautiful and this scene never bothered me either - Star Wars movies were never about perfectly looking actors (or visuals for that matter).


Post Posted: June 27th 2011 8:10 pm
 
User avatar

Join: August 4th 2004 8:00 pm
Posts: 1139
On the balcony, Padme is revealed in her most unguarded state. In contrast to her roles as an ornamental Queen and somber Senator, she is shown without make-up and in a doting and playful mood.

For the record, I find Portman to be attractive in this scene. In fact, upon first viewing of the film, I almost laughed out loud when Anakin said what I was thinking.

Image


Post Posted: June 28th 2011 3:47 am
 

Join: October 19th 2010 6:17 am
Posts: 66
E_CHU_TA! wrote:
On the balcony, Padme is revealed in her most unguarded state. In contrast to her roles as an ornamental Queen and somber Senator, she is shown without make-up and in a doting and playful mood.

For the record, I find Portman to be attractive in this scene. In fact, upon first viewing of the film, I almost laughed out loud when Anakin said what I was thinking.

Image


Wasn´t that scene shot while she was doing V for Vendetta? She looks so much thinner in that scene than in the rest of the movie.
I think nathalie looked her best in Episode 2. :heavymetal:


Post Posted: June 29th 2011 11:14 am
 

Join: April 24th 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 136
It's just a quiet domestic scene, I bet most people wouldn't have anything smarter to say in the similar situation.


Post Posted: July 1st 2011 11:04 pm
 
User avatar

Title: Mortician
Join: May 26th 2005 1:23 am
Posts: 1928
Location: Progress City
Bah. It's clunky, uncomfortable, and a sad mess. One of the few moments in the whole saga where the entire scene seems like drivel. I don't buy the argument of 'most people wouldn't have anything smarter to say', because A) I think quite a few people might, wordsmith, and 2) I think that if they are trying to illustrate the more evolved relationship between the two characters, it didnt do much to advance that notion other than make me think they both suffered traumatic brain injury before this obvious add-on, jammed into position, just bad scene.

As far as Portman looking her best in EPII, i dunno. I thought she looked pretty nice ever since she hit the legal age I could think that about her and not feel 'creepy'. I liked a lot of the EPII and other EPIII looks they gave her. I felt really bad for her when she started bawlin on Mustafar. To me, my assertion that she looks like she's "gone retarded" is an obvious lack of direction, or serious lack of meat in the script, showing up all over her face. In a scene where they are talking, they say so little, and look like they believe it even less than I did.

And "Star Wars movies were never about perfectly looking actors (or visuals for that matter)". Um, WTF? In every slightly odd delivery Luke provides in ROTJ, while some of those moments make me uncomfortable, I believed he was Luke Skywalker, on Endor, lisping about like a sissy. Han Solo was Han Solo, and only the drunken "No Han Solo, just my careering" of Harrison Ford in public ever degraded that image. Perfectly looking, maybe not, but more believable most definately. In the balcony scene, Portman looks kind of lost. They are in love. Right. They both look like they are going to start laughing.

I get, and basically agree with, that yes she looks different because it was later on, V for Vagina period(loved that film, just like typing Vagina, ok?) and all that yadda yadda etc. The only way you can understand what I mean about how bad this one scene is would take you, if you haven't already, go watch M. Night Shyamalyan's "The Last Airbender". The film is filled with nothing but examples of "what director/editor would pull up this scene, and these particular performances, and go 'yeah, thats great. Go with it'" moments. Like Georgie did in ROTS balcony/Twilight scene.

Is this all a minor complaint on my part, blown out of proportion? Probably. But that doesn't make it 'not suck'. :schoolyou:


Post Posted: July 3rd 2011 11:55 am
 
User avatar

Join: March 19th 2005 12:39 pm
Posts: 395
TroyObliX wrote:
And "Star Wars movies were never about perfectly looking actors (or visuals for that matter)". Um, WTF? In every slightly odd delivery Luke provides in ROTJ, while some of those moments make me uncomfortable, I believed he was Luke Skywalker, on Endor, lisping about like a sissy. Han Solo was Han Solo, and only the drunken "No Han Solo, just my careering" of Harrison Ford in public ever degraded that image. Perfectly looking, maybe not, but more believable most definately. In the balcony scene, Portman looks kind of lost. They are in love. Right. They both look like they are going to start laughing.


I was talking about the actors' physical appearance not the delivery of dialog lines. In pretty much every episode there are instances of scenes where the lead actors are somewhat "scruffy looking" and other miner problems plague the visual presentation.


Post Posted: July 3rd 2011 12:26 pm
 
User avatar

Title: Mortician
Join: May 26th 2005 1:23 am
Posts: 1928
Location: Progress City
Ok, well, on that I can agree with you. There's only two bangable women in the entire OT, and yes I'm counting the fat palace dancer in ROTJ.


Post Posted: July 12th 2011 6:19 pm
 
User avatar

Join: March 22nd 2005 11:53 pm
Posts: 1494
Location: Deep Space Nine
At least Natalie Portman emotes in Episode III. In II, she's pretty awful. I mean, it's a BAD performance, plain and simple.


Post Posted: July 15th 2011 8:39 pm
 
User avatar

Join: October 28th 2010 8:30 pm
Posts: 51
I always cringe in Episode II when Padme jumps off that column and lands onto the Reek's back.

Nothing in Episode 3 (or any of the other films, for that matter) even come close to the awkward, bizarre, and fake nature of that one part. It's so silly because absolutely zero acting was required to pull that moment off, and they couldn't even get a jump to come off right.

I'll stare at that balcony scene for eternity if GL would just go back and fix that muff smashing landing.


Post Posted: July 15th 2011 9:56 pm
 
OBGYN
User avatar

Join: August 25th 2004 12:31 pm
Posts: 3456
Arkamazza wrote:
...if GL would just go back and fix that muff smashing landing.


It would be awesome if she yelled "Ow! My balls!"


Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
  Page 1, 2  Next



Jump to:  
cron




millenniumfalcon.com©
phpBB©