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Star Wars: Prequel Discussion Thread (aka: wtf were you thinking George?)


rubberducker
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He talks about Leia in Jedi though, he clearly already knows about her.

True, I hadn't thought of that. Although that could be explained (in the OT context) by Yoda telling Obi-Wan the story between ESB and RoTJ. The new trilogy negates that explanation though, without there being any reason for him forgetting about Leia in Empire.

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"lucas proberly [sic] knows the OT less well than most of its fans"

I'd put it slightly differently - that lots of fans have watched these films many, many more times than Lucas could have expected. Surely most films are, quite understandably, made on the basis that they'll be watched just once or twice, not dozens...

I think it's quite telling that comments have been made to the effect that 'I enjoyed it first time but it went downhill from there'...

I'm not arguing that the prequels are in any way beyond criticism (I'm sure even people who love them could suggest improvements) but really don't get why people bother getting so uptight about them.

George Lucas owes nobody anything. He's not 'raped your childhood' or spoiled anything by making the prequels. If he'd made the films you wanted, someone else would have hated them. The worst that can be said is that he's made some bad films. In that respect, he can join a very big queue.

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I saw this yesterday, and was immediately struck by a huge, gaping plothole that doesn't seem to have been mentioned so far. Obi-Wan was at the birth of the twins, knows their names, knows where they've been taken. Yet come ESB, he describes Luke as "our last hope", only to be told by Yoda "No, there is another". He's just forgotten about being present at the birth, has he? Perhaps when Lucas inevitably goes back to fuck with the OT yet again, he could have Yoda say "No he's not you stupid old bastard, he's got a twin sister that you helped to deliver. 850 years younger than me, yet going senile you are". That just typifies the laziness and self-indulgence of the new trilogy.

To be fair, it was slightly better than the last two, but that's not really saying much. The Obi-Wan/Anakin battle was quite good. It certainly didn't make Ep I and II worthwhile though, which was what I'd been hoping. Really, the new trilogy is pretty much indefensible except by the line "Oh, but it must be great, it's Star Wars", which is possibly the worst argument ever.

I would think they believe that the son of Skywalker would be the powerful one, as in many cultures the male child is held in higher regard than the female, or it could be they believe the force is stronger in Luke than his sister. Maybe they think her strength in the force is not great enough to face up to Vader.

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Really, the new trilogy is pretty much indefensible except by the line "Oh, but it must be great, it's Star Wars", which is possibly the worst argument ever.

I'm not a huge fan of the prequels but please don't judge people who think they're great entertainment. To each his own and all that.

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I'm not a huge fan of the prequels but please don't judge people who think they're great entertainment. To each his own and all that.

Precisely. Bands don't make music on the basis that everyone will like it. Films are no different.

This is meant to be neither profound nor a surprise to anyone.

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I'm not a huge fan of the prequels but please don't judge people who think they're great entertainment. To each his own and all that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with people enjoying the films. I'd disagree, but that's fair enough. What I do have a problem with is arguments like:

I'd say that the fact that it's a Star Wars movie makes objective criticism pretty irrelevant. These movies aren't to be judged on quality of acting and script, rather they should be celebrated for that particular feeling that only Star Wars movies can invoke.

I mean, what? According to that logic, George Lucas could have released a video of him wanking into Darth Vader's helmet, bunged the "Star Wars" title on the front, and it would have been brilliant. Because - hey- "quality" doesn't matter, and nor do acting or script. Surely the evocation of certain feelings depends entirely on the script, acting and overall quality of the film; those things are all intertwined. The only way they can be separate is if you're prepared to swallow any old crap, as long as it's got the "Star Wars" label on it.

The argument that people's views of the OT are being skewed by childhood nostalgia makes no sense either. When I was a kid, I loved Masters of the Universe far more than I did Star Wars, but I have no desire to sit through it now. I can see all the flaws in it: simplistic repetitive plots, crude animation, and so on. Why would I have lost the rose-tinted specs when watching that, but not when watching Star Wars? Because the OT are actually well-made films, with plenty to offer both kids and adults. Unlike the NT.

Having said all that, just to re-emphasise: I have no problem with people enjoying the films. Just with some of the ridiculous arguments being wheeled out to defend them.

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I saw this yesterday, and was immediately struck by a huge, gaping plothole that doesn't seem to have been mentioned so far. Obi-Wan was at the birth of the twins, knows their names, knows where they've been taken. Yet come ESB, he describes Luke as "our last hope", only to be told by Yoda "No, there is another". He's just forgotten about being present at the birth, has he? Perhaps when Lucas inevitably goes back to fuck with the OT yet again, he could have Yoda say "No he's not you stupid old bastard, he's got a twin sister that you helped to deliver. 850 years younger than me, yet going senile you are". That just typifies the laziness and self-indulgence of the new trilogy.

To be fair, it was slightly better than the last two, but that's not really saying much. The Obi-Wan/Anakin battle was quite good. It certainly didn't make Ep I and II worthwhile though, which was what I'd been hoping. Really, the new trilogy is pretty much indefensible except by the line "Oh, but it must be great, it's Star Wars", which is possibly the worst argument ever.

Well, Leia and friends are being held captive by Vader at that point, so maybe he just assumed she are done for. Yoda has more faith in her. Or something.

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I always thought Yoda's comment was about the last Jedi hope, rather than the last Skywalker. Maybe Obi-Wan, whilst knowing Leia, did not know about her potential strength with The Force, so he thinks that Luke is the last hope. Obi-Wan has followed Luke's progress closely on Tatooine, but may not be aware of Leia's fortunes so much.

CJ

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I saw this yesterday, and was immediately struck by a huge, gaping plothole that doesn't seem to have been mentioned so far. Obi-Wan was at the birth of the twins, knows their names, knows where they've been taken. Yet come ESB, he describes Luke as "our last hope", only to be told by Yoda "No, there is another". He's just forgotten about being present at the birth, has he? Perhaps when Lucas inevitably goes back to fuck with the OT yet again, he could have Yoda say "No he's not you stupid old bastard, he's got a twin sister that you helped to deliver. 850 years younger than me, yet going senile you are". That just typifies the laziness and self-indulgence of the new trilogy.

To be fair, it was slightly better than the last two, but that's not really saying much. The Obi-Wan/Anakin battle was quite good. It certainly didn't make Ep I and II worthwhile though, which was what I'd been hoping. Really, the new trilogy is pretty much indefensible except by the line "Oh, but it must be great, it's Star Wars", which is possibly the worst argument ever.

Yoda was just putting him right, reminding him.

You know how Yoda talk works.

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To be fair, that was mostly bridging work in the series, it [Clone Wars] didn't have to do a whole lot of character development or plot pushing.

Of course, it did do a fair bit of character building, but it wasn't changing the characters overtly through these big key life-changing events, it was just a chance to get used to the characters as they are.

I don't understand your point here. For a start, take Grievous: his entire character and place in the trilogy is the work of Clone Wars. I bet Lucas only green-lit him. Even if he 'invented' the character (doubt it - he's got 'Genndy' written all over him) it was Clone Wars that gave him the palce in the scheme of things, his scary posture, scary voice and uber powers. His fight with the Jedi at the train station is better directed and more focused than the Obi Wan vs Grievous Guards fight. In Clone Wars he's scary and unstoppable. In Episode 3 he sounds like a Welshman trying to an bad Indian accent. Badly. And he's a pussy. Yes, I know Mace twatting him knocked his confidence, but for that, see point 2.

Secondly, character arcing is much more effective. I was far more convinced watching Anakin battle with his dark side when rescuing those warrior-cat-men-things than I was in any of the prequels: he tries to do good, but ultimately goes too far to easily achieve a goal (attacks the mutants before thinking of other solutions, force crushes the Techno-Union bloke) although his heart is often in the right place. Just him saying (and i'm paraphrasing) "I don't want to hurt you....but I WILL defend myself...." said more about his character than a million petulant "I HATE you!"s ever would.

CW also fleshes-out more Jedi, giving them space to breathe and show their compassion. Biglime hates Windu in the prequels - fair enough. But in Clone Wars you see a man who has turned to bureaucracy because he fears his own anger and power. CW shows this in a few brief scenes and using sparing facial expressions - the mark of a good director. His crushing of Grievous's chest and his reach to the sky to try and force-crush an entire space ship says more about him than some long, boring speech about Anakin not being good enough to be on the council of Jedi. Dooku's speech to Grievous, in a handful of lines, shows how these big, fearsome Sith are actually cowards at heart who try and win by manipulation rather than direct action (he says something like "break a Jedi mentally before you bother fighting them. If you haven't managed this, run away".

More action. Fewer words. Better characterisation. I just think it's better all-round, and that Lucas wastes screen time on unnecessary plot points and poor script writing moments when he could be telling the tale more directly and visually, like you do (as you mention about the Pod Race sequence).

Still, this is just my opinion.

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I don't understand your point here. For a start, take Grievous: his entire character and place in the trilogy is the work of Clone Wars. I bet Lucas only green-lit him. Even if he 'invented' the character (doubt it - he's got 'Genndy' written all over him) it was Clone Wars that gave him the palce in the scheme of things, his scary posture, scary voice and uber powers. His fight with the Jedi at the train station is better directed and more focused than the Obi Wan vs Grievous Guards fight. In Clone Wars he's scary and unstoppable. In Episode 3 he sounds like a Welshman trying to an bad Indian accent. Badly. And he's a pussy. Yes, I know Mace twatting him knocked his confidence, but for that, see point 2.

Secondly, character arcing is much more effective. I was far more convinced watching Anakin battle with his dark side when rescuing those warrior-cat-men-things than I was in any of the prequels: he tries to do good, but ultimately goes too far to easily achieve a goal (attacks the mutants before thinking of other solutions, force crushes the Techno-Union bloke) although his heart is often in the right place. Just him saying (and i'm paraphrasing) "I don't want to hurt you....but I WILL defend myself...." said more about his character than a million petulant "I HATE you!"s ever would.

CW also fleshes-out more Jedi, giving them space to breathe and show their compassion. Biglime hates Windu in the prequels - fair enough. But in Clone Wars you see a man who has turned to bureaucracy because he fears his own anger and power. CW shows this in a few brief scenes and using sparing facial expressions - the mark of a good director. His crushing of Grievous's chest and his reach to the sky to try and force-crush an entire space ship says more about him than some long, boring speech about Anakin not being good enough to be on the council of Jedi. Dooku's speech to Grievous, in a handful of lines, shows how these big, fearsome Sith are actually cowards at heart who try and win by manipulation rather than direct action (he says something like "break a Jedi mentally before you bother fighting them. If you haven't managed this, run away".

More action. Fewer words. Better characterisation. I just think it's better all-round, and that Lucas wastes screen time on unnecessary plot points and poor script writing moments when he could be telling the tale more directly and visually, like you do (as you mention about the Pod Race sequence).

Still, this is just my opinion.

*Applause* :blink:

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Surely the evocation of certain feelings depends entirely on the script, acting and overall quality of the film; those things are all intertwined. The only way they can be separate is if you're prepared to swallow any old crap, as long as it's got the "Star Wars" label on it.

The argument that people's views of the OT are being skewed by childhood nostalgia makes no sense either. When I was a kid, I loved Masters of the Universe far more than I did Star Wars, but I have no desire to sit through it now. I can see all the flaws in it: simplistic repetitive plots, crude animation, and so on. Why would I have lost the rose-tinted specs when watching that, but not when watching Star Wars? Because the OT are actually well-made films, with plenty to offer both kids and adults. Unlike the NT.

couldn't have agree more.

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All that sounds quite good. Are the Clone Wars cartoons worth getting, then, or is it a real die-hards only thing?

More accessible than the films, even. In CW series one, there's hardly any talking - it's all about action. In series two, theres some more talking as it leads directly into Episode III, but it's not convoluted at all and explains alot of what's going on in the film (kidnaping Palpatine, Anakin's transition to the dark side, more Dooku).

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All that sounds quite good. Are the Clone Wars cartoons worth getting, then, or is it a real die-hards only thing?

I've only seen the first series and it's really good. Really energetic storytelling, really stylish animation. I got more out fun of it than the prequels anyway...

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I would think they believe that the son of Skywalker would be the powerful one, as in many cultures the male child is held in higher regard than the female, or it could be they believe the force is stronger in Luke than his sister. Maybe they think her strength in the force is not great enough to face up to Vader.

Or more likely he thinks she was obliterated along with Alderaan.

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I don't understand your point here. For a start, take Grievous: his entire character and place in the trilogy is the work of Clone Wars. I bet Lucas only green-lit him. Even if he 'invented' the character (doubt it - he's got 'Genndy' written all over him) it was Clone Wars that gave him the palce in the scheme of things, his scary posture, scary voice and uber powers. His fight with the Jedi at the train station is better directed and more focused than the Obi Wan vs Grievous Guards fight. In Clone Wars he's scary and unstoppable. In Episode 3 he sounds like a Welshman trying to an bad Indian accent. Badly. And he's a pussy. Yes, I know Mace twatting him knocked his confidence, but for that, see point 2.

Secondly, character arcing is much more effective. I was far more convinced watching Anakin battle with his dark side when rescuing those warrior-cat-men-things than I was in any of the prequels: he tries to do good, but ultimately goes too far to easily achieve a goal (attacks the mutants before thinking of other solutions, force crushes the Techno-Union bloke) although his heart is often in the right place. Just him saying (and i'm paraphrasing) "I don't want to hurt you....but I WILL defend myself...." said more about his character than a million petulant "I HATE you!"s ever would.

CW also fleshes-out more Jedi, giving them space to breathe and show their compassion. Biglime hates Windu in the prequels - fair enough. But in Clone Wars you see a man who has turned to bureaucracy because he fears his own anger and power. CW shows this in a few brief scenes and using sparing facial expressions - the mark of a good director. His crushing of Grievous's chest and his reach to the sky to try and force-crush an entire space ship says more about him than some long, boring speech about Anakin not being good enough to be on the council of Jedi. Dooku's speech to Grievous, in a handful of lines, shows how these big, fearsome Sith are actually cowards at heart who try and win by manipulation rather than direct action (he says something like "break a Jedi mentally before you bother fighting them. If you haven't managed this, run away".

More action. Fewer words. Better characterisation. I just think it's better all-round, and that Lucas wastes screen time on unnecessary plot points and poor script writing moments when he could be telling the tale more directly and visually, like you do (as you mention about the Pod Race sequence).

Still, this is just my opinion.

What I mean is that it's built around showing us the characters and who they are, whereas the movies seem insistent on showing them changing without every giving us an opportunity to become familiar with them. For example, the vast majority of Anakin's screen time in Episode III is spent trying to show his transformation, but we'd never been given a feel for who he actually was beforehand. Whereas the Clone Wars series was really about introducing and letting us learn the subtleties of the characters.

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What I mean is that it's built around showing us the characters and who they are, whereas the movies seem insistent on showing them changing without every giving us an opportunity to become familiar with them. For example, the vast majority of Anakin's screen time in Episode III is spent trying to show his transformation, but we'd never been given a feel for who he actually was beforehand. Whereas the Clone Wars series was really about introducing and letting us learn the subtleties of the characters.

Despite enjoying Episode III, I find it odd that the prequels missed out the real meat of the Clone Wars. On the Clone Wars DVD there's a bit with Lucas saying something like 'The Clones wars is an incredibly important part of the history of the Star Wars universe but you don't really get to see it in the movies. It's a fertile ground for storytelling'.

So why on earth didn't he show it in the movies?

Episode I should have begun roughly where AOTC did (with maybe a few flashbacks to when Anakin was a little kid to show us how lovely and cute and innocent he once was), Episode II should have dealt with the Clone Wars and Anakin's descent, giving them more time to deal with the climax in III.

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Extra backstory's always good. Even the apparent inconsistencies aren't bad, keeps you thinking.

Yeah.

Honest to God, the prequels, and SIth particularly, have SAVED the ending of Return of the Jedi.

You know, when Vader just all of a sudden went: Evil? Nah!

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Yeah.

Honest to God, the prequels, and SIth particularly, have SAVED the ending of Return of the Jedi.

You know, when Vader just all of a sudden went: Evil? Nah!

You're right, it does make more sense when you realise just how he wound up being a Sith lord- in a far more pitiful way than expected. Even the bits in A New Hope where he's being bossed around work more.

There's quite a good bit I'd forgotten in Empire, when Vader talks the Emperor into trying to get Luke on their side, and then makes another "we'll over throw the emperor and you can rule the galaxy alongside me, we'll make things good" attempt when he finally does catch Luke. That makes you really realise just why Vader's playing the role he is; he really does think that the Emperor's evil.

I've just had a realisation about one of the nitpicks people have- that Luke was taken to Tatooine to be raised by the Skywalkers, and retain his name. When you think about it, that at least explains how Vader knew Luke was his son. He may well have left him alone so that the Emperor wouldn't consider Luke a threat, and Luke would recieve Jedi training in preparation for overthrowing the old codger.

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I'm telling you. The prequels have changed Vader from being "KEWL BAD GUY, DOODZ" to something else completely.

I no longer want to be wearing that mask. That's quite something.

Well, exactly. For all their flaws, the prequels have a hard core of really quite important (and brave) storytelling.

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I guess its because we see exactly how much of a puppet of the Emperor Vader is going to be for the next 18 or whatever years. We always knew he was subservient to him, but I didn't think he so totally made him his bitch.

I had always assumed we would see Vader join the Emperor much more freely and on his own terms, rather than being outright tricked into it.

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Yeah.

Honest to God, the prequels, and SIth particularly, have SAVED the ending of Return of the Jedi.

I agree. In contrast to The Matrix Revolutions, which ruins Reloaded, and Kill Bill 2, which ruins Kill Bill 1, the Star Wars prequels actually make the original trilogy better.

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