Saga A Different Feel Between Trilogies?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by hanshotfirst87, Feb 25, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. hanshotfirst87 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2011
    I'd like to start by saying this isn't meant as negative toward the PT at all, as I really enjoy them (even though OT is my favorite). Now, is it just me or does the PT have a different feel than the OT and I don't just mean how everything's cleaner and neater I get the idea that the Emperor ran everything into the ground. It was like it had a completely different filmmaker to me and its the only thing that makes it hard for me to merge both trilogies into one saga in my brain. I have had a similar feeling about Indy 4 but Star Wars has always been really important to me (with Indy a close second and surprise Back to the Future trilogy a third lol) and I can't seem to put my finger on it. I hope on blu-ray that the feel more unified to me, sorry if this has been mentioned before or I'm ranting and making little sense here its just something thats been on my mind a long time.
  2. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Yes, I believe there is a different feel between the two trilogies. I also believe that was Lucas' intention. Don't forget . . . the two trilogies are set during different periods in the galaxy's history.
  3. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    This exactly.

    Someone on these boards, can't remember who, once made the analogy of the OT being like a classic car (say a '57 T-bird) and the PT being like a shiny new sports car. Yeah, there's a different feel, and I enjoy both trilogies for different reasons. I also think it's possible to see the seamless link that Lucas tried to create between the two in spite of the different feel.
  4. oierem Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    There is a different feeling yes, and that's what Lucas wanted: different kind of story, different atmosphere.... But each movie of the saga has also a distinctive and unique feeling to it, all of them are different in style and ambiance, which make it easier to accept the diversity of the Saga as a whole.

    And in my opinion, that's one of the strenghts of the saga :)
  5. hanshotfirst87 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2011
    I get what you guys are saying but it still makes it feel like two different series to me. it just makes it hard for me to look at it as one big saga I guess. However I do enjoy both for their own reasons. Also I did kinda get an OT vibe off TPM at times so it isn't constant I guess.
  6. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    That's the problem, the OT feel diminishes as the PT progresses.
  7. oierem Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    well, they are two parts of a big story. each part is different, but has a similar structure.
  8. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    I get what you guys are saying but it still makes it feel like two different series to me. it just makes it hard for me to look at it as one big saga I guess.


    I've never had that problem at all. There are scenes in the OT that reminds me of the PT and vice versa. If there are two scenes that strongly remind me that the two trilogies are part of one saga, they are:

    "A NEW HOPE" - Luke is standing alone, outside of the Lars farmhouse, watching the two suns set on Tattooine.

    "ATTACK OF THE CLONES" - Padme is standing alone, outside of the Lars farmhouse, watching Anakin ride away to find his mother, while the two suns set on Tattoine.

    These are two minor scenes, but they remind me of each other . . . and also remind me that mother and son share similar personalities.
  9. Obironsolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 1
    After all these years, I would have hoped to have been able to control my frustration when hearing that the two trilogies "feel" different, and that this is somehow a negative. At least the poster isn't bashing the prequels, so there's always that. However, as someone who was four when Star Wars was released, I can remember that absolute shock and awe I felt when I first saw the images of TESB, and how it looked and felt nothing like the original. The painting-esque quality, the color tones, the sheer scope. But that difference was always viewed as a positive. And then of course, when ROTJ came out, once again, the look and feel of the movie was very different than the other two. The use of obvious puppets (Yeah, I know Yoda was a puppet), the Ewoks, who obviously changed the look and feel, as did the very Earth like Endor environment. Even the actors performances were very different in style. Just watch Luke in ANH and ROTJ. Both great, but very different. And once again, the difference in styles did not hurt the trilogy, or hurt (most of) our abilities to view them all as one trilogy. The differences in looks and styles were mostly embraced, and we recognized they were three different films that worked together despite their differences.

    The prequels are clearly different, as the CG obviously creates a different look and feel. And each movie, IMO, is equally different from each other. But are they more different from each other and the OT than the originals were from one another. From my point of view, they are not. Certainly not enough to prevent them from being seen as from the same series of stories.

    If you take the shot of the torture droid moving in on Leia, a shot of the Falcon swooping into Cloud City, and a shot of the Ewoks dancing...they are just as different in comparison to each other as they are to Jar Jar, or Grievous, or the fight on Mustafar.

    The inability to see this lies with the viewer.
  10. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I agree that the OT films are each distinct from one another, Obiron. But I think that the look and "feel" of the PT is rather homogeneous (TPM stands out slightly from AotC/RotS, but not much). Thus we end up with:

    I
    (slight change)
    II
    (practically NO change)
    III
    (HUGE change)
    IV
    (distinct change)
    V
    (distinct change)
    VI

    The other "problem", as I see it, is that the OT/PT films most in common with each other in this respect are TPM and RotJ. And even then, they still have vastly less in common than any two films within a trilogy. The "feel" develops in production, not story, order, and the films with the LEAST in common are right where the trilogies bump against each other.

    The RotJ/TPM thing could be perhaps justified as a bookend-y sort of thing, but RotS and SW should be far more similar to each other than they are. At the very least, RotS should have as much in common with SW as it does with TESB or RotJ, but that is decidedly not the case.
  11. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    What? Why? TPM and ROTJ are designed as natural book-ends for the saga (note, for example, the use of a child choir in the "celebration" themes that close out both movies). So, I guess I somewhat agree with you there, but as for this other stuff... Firstly, I would argue that Episode II looks and feels quite radically different to Episode I; I more or less see Episodes II and III as twinned, with Episode I standing some distance apart. Lucas accentuated the "digital" feel of SW with Episode II, switching to digital video and going from physical models to CG for all the ships (to give two pretty strident examples). Secondly, why on Earth should ROTS "have as much in common" with ANH as it (or ANH) does with TESB and ROTJ? ROTS is detailing a personal and galactic tragedy, while ANH is the chintzy fall-out to the big-scale events that have already taken place (and it is also a technically complex film made, of course, on a shoestring budget). Perhaps it would have been interesting to see a more basic ROTS, but that would not have paid off all the set-up in Episodes I and II, nor would it have been a salient use of all the lofty ideas Lucas had rattling around in his head (consider the epic confrontation between Yoda and Sidious, for example, or the Ophelia-esque parting shot of Padme in her casket), nor would it have even been a particularly moral use of his resources (with all the technology and craftsmen available to him, and all his personal wealth, a lot of which had been built up on the success of Episodes I and II, Lucas was practically obligated, I think, to follow-up with a big finish). On the other hand, there are subtle call-backs to ANH, particularly in the appearance of the Tantive and its white corridors (there is even a subtler kind of call-back associated with the Tantive, such as the casting of Jeremy Bulloch to play Captain Colton, with his very British dialect, recalling various bit players in the OT, and being a nod, of course, to TESB characters Boba Fett and Lieutenant Sheckil).
  12. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    The PT films are designed and directed more as classical, period pieces. So there is that difference, yes. But to be honest, I think all of the movies feel very different to the others. TPM is essentially designed and performed to the same criteria as ROTS, but both are very different in tone. Its same for the differences between ANH and ESB. In several ways, ESB and ROTJ are much more similar to any of the PT films than they are ANH.

    One shouldn't let these rather deliberate differences in style/tone spoil their perception of the flow or consistency of the saga, in my opinion. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters in this regard is the story. And for me, the story alone corresponds and flows both naturally and logically from TPM through to ROTJ (with the odd minor exception here or there - "your father wanted you to have this" etc.)

    The differences in the overall feel between the OT and the PT is also justified by the story. The PT focuses on and is driven by those within the establishment. The OT is mainly about rebellion, focusing on those outside the establishment. Visually, everything has become more bland (The Empire) and less-sleak/more worn-down (The Rebellion) as well, which is another logical progression.

    In all honesty, if all the movies looked and felt the same, despite the fact it wouldn't really make much sense given the progression of the story, it would likely not only create an alarming amount of monotony, it'd eventually imply the existence of a rather dull, one-dimensional world.
  13. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    That's a very good point.

    I agree that the difference between ANH and ESB is huge. If it wasn't for the same characters being in it, I'm not sure I would have felt any recognition. I always felt that ANH and ROTJ connected more, probably because of desert planet, Death Star, and jungle planet. ESB is definitely the odd one out.

    Agreed. This is my problem with The Lord Of The Rings. 12 hours in that universe is OTT for me, because there isn't enough variation. I love the first, don't really like the second, but I like the third. After the massively impressive establishing chapter, I find it hard to stay interested.
  14. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I'd say the major difference in feeling is knowing that ultimately, the heroes are going to lose this one. The OT was an inherently optimistic trilogy-even Empire really isn't all that gloom and doom, given as Luke didn't join Vader and we know that they're gonna go rescue Han-and I've never really fealt that the outcome was in serious doubt; you know at the end of ANH that the good guys are going to end.

    The prequels are different. Even with zero prior knowledge of the OT (and there are people out there like that, believe it or not) that the good guys are losing is quite clear by the end of AOTC. We find out that the war is some kind of conspiracy hatched by Sidious and Dooku, big, gaping holes in the competency of the Jedi are established (way, way worse than being skeptical about the Sith returning), our boy hero from the previous film goes on a murderous rampage and then decides he doesn't need to follow one of the primary rules of his chosen profession, we find out that the entire Republic governmental system is utterly ignorant of the true nature of the Confederacy. Yoda even tells us that Geonosis wasn't a victory-because now the war will begin.
  15. Eternity85 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2008
    star 3
    I agree as someone said, that it was intentional by Lucas to make the PT this way. But its also definitely a result of the new technology that Lucas really wanted to test. Lucas used this movie in part as a way of experimenting with CGI; something that is clearly reflected in the movies.. just a little to much IMO.. The feel is different, but this is in many ways also a positive thing..
  16. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    Well here you're sort of implying that the way the PT was written, it was merely designed to demonstrate or test the advances of the available special effects. I don't think that's entirely true. Almost as much as he did with the OT, Lucas wrote the movies he wanted to make, and tailored as best he could the available technology (or should I say the conceivable possibilities) to meet his demands. When TPM's first draft was written in 1994/95, many of the things that would be achieved were simply not possible - much like in 1973/74 when he wrote the initial drafts of what would become ANH. Even at the storyboard meeting with ILM in 1997 (as seen in 'The Beginning' documentary), John Knoll remarks about the end battle scene - "we dont have a real good way of doing that right now", to which Lucas responds "well thats the challenge". Lucas' own agenda in this regard really never changed from the 70's. He's always wanted to tell the most expansive story possible. Star Wars is a story/world with such a limitless amount of possibilities, it really demands such an agenda. To do anything else would almost be cheating your audience. Obi-Wan and Anakin could have had their duel in Episode 3 inside a factory, on a studio set with very a simple design, and barely any special effects required. But if the technology allows you to show something far grander, why not do it? The filmmaker is always trying to sell the world - a sense of verisimilitude to the audience. In the case of Star Wars, they have to believe such a fantastic, alien universe exists - even more demanding given that Lucas wanted the PT to illustrate a more prosperous time. And CGI is simply a tool that allows a filmmaker a much grander, more affordable way of doing that. These days, pretty much whatever your imagination can conceive, you can shoot.

    I for one don't think Lucas has ever utilised ILM like his own personal department store - studying all available technology and implementing it into his script simply because its there. Mostly I think he's just let his imagination run wild and then seen how much of it he can actually achieve.
  17. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    I love this essential aspect, too. Lucas bumping into limitations and seeing how far he can push things. That's something that's often overlooked or claimed as the opposite: Lucas pushing hard and actively seeking to expand what's possible. Some have claimed that Lucas was lazy with the prequels "because he could do anything". But he really couldn't. Yet that stretching of the possible is ever-present. Tellingly, I'd say, whenever a character uses the words "not possible" or "impossible" in Star Wars, it's in what I would identify as a pregnant moment. Lucas -- and Spielberg -- are the people they are, with the success they have, because they think like children and refuse to accept the mundane, the commonplace and the existing order. That's not only my take. My dad met Ben Kingsley at a function five or six years ago and Kingsley told him that Spielberg approaches cinema like a child: without fear or prejudice, always believing something incredible can be pulled off. When you look at the careers of Lucas and Spielberg, to say their mentality has borne fruit is an understatement. They have very strong convictions and they know how to follow their bliss and provoke astonishment and wonder in others. They deal with subjects with strong roots in Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as real-world horror and cruelty. They have great satirical spirits. And they absolutely embrace technology like a child opening its presents on Christmas Day. They're pretty remarkable people. If art does thrive on limitations, it's arrogant to assume that they're not up against them every time they make a movie. They even set limitations for themselves. For example, Lucas kept the prequel budget(s) relatively modest for films of this complexity, and he locked himself into set release dates. The films had to be made for a certain amount of capital and they had to be made within a certain amount of time. That takes acumen, discipline; and an amazing self-belief that you can pull it all off, three times running.
  18. Eternity85 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2008
    star 3
    What i really meant to say was that this was a perfect opportunity for him to explore state of the art technology; and i feel that he maybe got a little carried away, IMO. In a way the PT didnt have the same "real life" feel as the OT had, where in the original films i found it easier to "buy" the world that was presented to us, the audience; this was also one of the reasons that made SW stand out among all other Science fiction movies; i think maybe people found it easier to relate to the OT Star Wars world.

    I love the PT, it just feels a little different, at times. Though thats only natural; in the 70`s and 80`s there were no such thing as blue - or green screen. They had to shoot in real locations, and so the actors would naturally blend in with the environment. Human actors can sometimes look a little out of their environment when its computer generated.

    But im still happy the PT turned out as it did. It brought in a multiple of new dimensions to the SW universe, and that was amazing..

    Cryogenic, great post!
  19. ShakTeeth Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2011
    star 1
    Yes, there is a different feel between OT and PT. I personally love it that way, because it makes Star Wars seem like a huge universe, a not a small contained story that follows only one theme. I view Star Wars as a whole universe filled with different stories and ideas, and all 6 films really go well with it. PT and OT are simply different flavours from the same brand of super awesome tasty chocolate.
  20. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Which one? ;) [face_whistling]

    In response to your own, I will say that the visual opulence of the prequels -- especially TPM, which has a story-book quality (hint: "Dinotopia") -- willfully gives SW a far greater canvas on which events not only play out, but can play out. In one's mind's eye, one perceives each particular event, and the story as a conglomerated whole, as having a more epic quality because of this. Just as you say that the grungy, gritty feel of the originals makes those movies feel more credible, I would say that the historicity of the prequels makes these movies feel more believable. It's apples and oranges. If anything, I now see the originals as having more of a jaunty, skittish feel, with numerous call-backs to the ridiculous grandeur of the PT (one very blatant example: the Naboo celebration scene in ROTJ's victory montage is actually a shot from TPM flipped (laterally inverted) with some of the elements changed -- but same matte painting and cloud formation, same buildings with the same flowers, almost the same everything; a blatant recycling). One can also say that the added colour and complexity of the prequel trilogy mirrors our own reality, with the unprecedented influx of technology and social change bringing people and memes together and generating change with staggering speed. This is not your grandfather's world.
  21. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Yeah! It's funny how people often equate the technological possibilities with bad filmmaking. I've never heard anyone suggest that it's a negative that authors are able to write whatever they can imagine. But somehow the art of film seem to be stuck with a different set of rules in some people's minds.
  22. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    Well thats not in fact the case. Green/Blue screen was often employed on the set of the OT. You can see it in the many 'behind the scenes' docs (though it wasn't used on the scale it was for the PT, granted). How else are you going to shoot the Millennium Falcon cockpit shots which look out into space without the aid of a blue screen? As Lucas once said, its all an illusion anyway. None of its real. How you create that illusion doesn't really concern me (be it a camera or a computer) as long as it has an appropriate sense of reality.
  23. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    "Asteroids don't concern me, Admiral". :p How that illusion is created is very important to me. I want to know how things get done. And I think the way things get done -- and discovering how they get done -- adds tremendously to one's appreciation of a given work of art. It's also what science is predicated on: wanting to push through the shroud of ignorance and recover more about the inner workings of the world. In Star Wars, it's a philistinic position to not care, in my opinion, because the films are, or strike me as, ravenously metafilmic. For instance, Luke messing around with that model skyhopper in ANH, our first foray into the cineverse of Star Wars, is framed against a larger model of the craft in the background, which we can only partially see. This is Lucas hinting at how the optical effects were done (with physical objects at different scales and changes in perspective implying motion). There are tons of cool things like this in the movies. I know where you're coming from, however. In order to invest in this fantasy-reality, we also need to be able to suspend our disbelief, and if we're too hung up about this or that effect, we're not fully engaged: "Feel, don't think". Yet sometimes, of course, we very much need to think in order to make sense of, and have sensible reactions to, our own experiences, what we're told by others and the fabric of reality itself.
  24. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    While understanding the techniques employed can give one a greater appreciation of the filmmaker(s), it doesnt neccessarily help one engage with the film. I would argue, the more you know, the more that has the power to disconnect you from the reality the piece is trying to portray. A person who knows Christopher Reeve is dangling from wires in Superman wont feel the same sense of verisimilitude as another who has no idea. Though I think you acknowledged that. And I see other side of what you're saying too. Its actually a little hypocritical of me to say I don't care what methods are employed (I clearly do because I've voluntarily researched the making of the films so much I often know exactly the methods that have been utilised - so yes, I do care how these movies were made). However, what I probably should have said was, how that vision is created shouldn't need to concern us. Whether its an actual model or a computer generated model, both are essentially as fake as the other - neither are the thing they are purporting to be. It either has the ability to make you believe in it or it doesn't. No method is more definitive than the other in theory, nor should one be biased against a particular method for the sake of it. If it does the job, it doesn't matter. The OT isnt better than the PT simply because it used more model work and less CGI, for example. I sometimes get the sense people think thats the case. What they are actually saying is they prefer the OT to the PT because it used good model work and the PT used bad CGI. And thats a fair argument. However, I would disagree that the CGI in the PT was any worse than the fx used in the OT, but that comes down to personal opinion. You either feel it looks fake or you don't. The agenda against CGI is a nonsensical one as far as I can see though, just as it is the growing agenda against 3D. People seem to let bad examples of either corrupt their judgement of the whole concept. So much so that you end up with hollow arguments from people who believe that although the PT looked great, it was worse than the OT or contained far less substance because it relied too heavily on CGI.
  25. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    I've been skeptical of people's ability to judge effects fairly ever since a SW fan told me how obviously CG the spaceships looked in TPM. The scene in question was done with models. In other words, this guy saw a CG ghost because he was told it was there, not because he could tell the difference. The practical models looked "obviously CG" to him.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.