PT A question for the oldtimers - did anyone actually enjoy the prequel trilogy?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Krivlos_Arkh, Feb 6, 2013.

?

I loved the OT and I think the prequels are

Great 37 vote(s) 58.7%
Awful 5 vote(s) 7.9%
Ok 21 vote(s) 33.3%
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  1. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    You posters make it hard to disagree - see what thoughtful analysis does?! :_|

    See, for space opera I automatically throw on the "suspension of disbelief goggles" and enjoy a fun ride. The deep philosophy comes from the discussion with fellow fans and "filling in" what space opera glosses over.

    So what if they don't address the morality of cloning soldiers? This isn't drama; it's space opera.
    So what if they don't go into any detail on the prophecy? There's enough to sustain a space opera, not a drama.

    And so forth.

    So pop some popcorn,sit back, cheer on the lightsaber battles and don't worry about "no sound in space" explosions. It's not meant to be taken near that seriously.

    Edited due to new post above:

    If I want to nitpick, that's my nitpick as well. SHOW not tell would improve the movies. But hey...
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Feb 11, 2013
  2. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Exactly. I enjoy Star Wars as exactly that. The PT isn't the great work of philosophical, symbolic story-telling that some seem determined to pronounce it as, its space opera with a pretty simple core message.
  3. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I'd say it's the annotated "philosophical, symbolic story-telling" - the deep stuff is "implied" and under the hood but there to explore *if* one is interested. You guys should read some of Cryogenic's and PiettsHat posts.
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  4. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Nah. I can understand the symbolism in terms of the films, but the philosophy is.... and, again I am giving my opinion, poor. Space opera yes. Great visuals yes. Great characters yes. Deep philosophically....no. But, i want this to be about what is good, and you summed that up in that post (#201)
  5. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I think we're closer than apart in our views, only one kenobi. But it's fun to explore/discuss with others of somewhat dissimilar tastes when the discourse is civil and thoughtful.
  6. Padmes_love_slave24 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2003
    star 2
    What I find most deplorable about some older fans (which I am) is that SOME are insistent in forcing their opinion down first time younger viewers throats. If someone has never watched Star Wars just shut the hell up and let the viewer decide which they decide they like or don;t, don't put pressure on someone to come to the same conclusion that you did, it becomes especially pathetic when some parents are insistent their family view things the same way. I am disgusted that some first time viewers were robbed of a chance to fall in love with Star Wars for a first time due to the over negativity coming from many in the media and older fans. Now myself I have said before and I will say again I never rank the films since I love all six equally, so please don't try infer in anyway I am not as big of a OT fan as some because I love the prequels because that theory is the most asinine stupid thought process and primitive
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  7. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I agree. And my son's favorite Star Wars film happens to be my least favorite one. That's OK; he's entitled to his own taste.

    The idea of telling a kid that "you're not supposed to like that" or "you can't like that" is mind-boggling. I didn't go to Kamino and create clones of myself, I had children.

    There was a video circulating on "How to introduce kids to Star Wars" which was really, really cool for the first several minutes until the guy narrating it started saying crap like "We pretend Jar-Jar doesn't exist" or "They'll tell you that Anakin is a hero but we know better." Please.
    Cryogenic likes this.
  8. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    You raise a good and interesting point -- as usual. It reminds me of an observation made by a French critic. I was first acquainted with that observation in the following thread:

    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/tpm-a-critical-darling-in-france.31216760/

    Here it is:

    i: Translation courtesy of TFN member Ord-Mantell70 on Sep 23 2010 at 8:31 AM:
    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/tpm-a-critical-darling-in-france.31216760/page-3#post-31273439

    ii: Remarks made by Pierre Berthomieu in French film magazine "Positif"

    iii: Larger extract can be found in the original thread (see "i" for direct link to post)

    As usual, Lucas is never given any credit for altering the dramaturgical hierarchy of the series with TPM; rather, this clever switch has simply been glossed over, and Lucas has instead been endlessly maligned.

    (So, too, of course, more often than not, have any that have rallied to George's defence, often finding themselves victims of the ad hominem retort, and speaking up only to see their views shouted down, mocked, marginalized, or ignored).

    This disjunction -- to me -- correlates with the thematic framework of the prequel trilogy and also scales with AOTC's inherent jarringness. It very much *is* like we go from I to II missing a piece.

    OBI-WAN: You mentioned growth acceleration...

    Or as it is aptly lampooned in Sith's opening sequence:

    ANAKIN: We lost something.
    OBI-WAN: Not to worry. We are still flying *half* a ship.

    What goes on in AOTC should be that much more discordant, in my opinion, than usual, because the film itself has this coiled, claustrophobic, serpentine landscape: its tensions and its transitions do jar and unsettle a little, in my view, and that, to me, feels like half the point.

    It's like some mass effacement of history. AOTC has us deliberately playing "catch up" as we struggle, a bit like Anakin, to find our breath in this bold new world of shape and colour; the character's restrictivity and sense of doubt/confusion/disillusionment, is, in part, our own.

    When you stare into the abyss, it stares into you...


    You're too kind. Thank you, VS. :)


    That right there. That should be on a t-shirt.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Feb 11, 2013
  9. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    I generally try to be an amiable sort, but the attitude to which you both refer sets me off every time I read it.

    In fact, I was shouted down on a comic book-related forum for pointing out the sheer lunacy of a specific father, who boasted of having withheld the PT from his young children. Ah, the desperate measures taken by grown men who don't feel the new space wizard movies compare to the older space wizard movies. :rolleyes:
  10. Darth kRud Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Why not let kids watch? It was obviously made for them so they can go buy toys ;)
    V-2 likes this.
  11. SHAD0W-JEDI Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 3
    While I understand the objection to the incident with the children coming so soon after his "fall" - I guess most of us would suspect that the more likely path would involve a series of much smaller forays into evil, rather than a huge one right off the bat! - the scenes of Anakin's fall remain very powerful (IMHO) and the fact that so many find it hard to watch, repellent, etc, is in some ways a testament to how effective it is. Someone, elsewhere, commented that, in that scene, Lucas really wants to show that evil is NOT "bad-@ss", not "cool", not glamorous, and wow, did he do it. It is one reason, I think, that so many comment that they can't see Vader the same way after ROTS (Funny how we react to movie violence, depending on what we are shown... Vader was a willing participant in the destruction of an entire planet, after all, but the way it was portrayed, that was just typical "super villainy", in a sense!).

    As to Anakin's tears - again, just for me, Anakin's moment of reflection on Mustafar is also very powerful. As I recall it, he has a moment to pause, and reflect, and I saw in those tears that there was JUST enough of the "good Anakin" left to suffer for what he had done.

    One reason I DID enjoy the sequels is that I think ROTS is a very powerful movie - it packs a real emotional punch.
  12. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3

    First, my argument was not that Anakin SHOULD have been older but that it was POSSIBLE to have an older Anakin and still have much the same story.

    Some here seem to argue that an 15-16 year old Anakin couldn't have been a nice, caring, helpful and overall good person in TPM. I don't understand why.

    Others seem to argue that a 15-16 year old Anakin leaving his mother, who is still a slave, CAN'T be worried about her, CAN'T miss her. An older Anakin, after having bad dreams about his mother for a while, finds her tortured to death and she dies in his arms, this Anakin will not react in bad way or feel terrible or might do terrible things out of grief and rage.

    This older Anakin can't become obsessed with stopping death and not allowing himself to fail again.

    My argument is simply this, you can achieve the same overall story, with much of the same emotions involved, with a slightly older Anakin. Lucas WANTED a younger Anakin and that is his choice and he can do what he wants.

    BUT there is no absolute rule that says that an older Anakin CAN'T work in much the same way. Wheter or not an older Anakin would have worked BETTER is hard to say as we don't have that movie.

    In my view, a younger Anakin had drawbacks and these are some of them;

    1) The character had to be recast in the next film. Recasting can work but imagine if Mark had played Luke in ANH but in ESB he was replaced by William Katt. Or Harrison Ford played Han Solo in ANH but in ESN he was replaced by Kurt Russel. You can replace actor and this happens fairly frequently but it in some ways forces the character to be re-introduced to the audience.

    2) Many relationships were not developed, like Anakin/Obi-Wan, they met but that was mostly it. Or Anakin/Padme, they met and talked a bit but not much more.

    This forced those relationships into AotC and thus they had less time with them and to me, they felt somewhat “Forced”. Too much had to happen over too short a time.

    3) Anakins presence in the group becomes a logical problem after Coruscant. Padme and the Jedi are going into a war zone, they know this. And yet Anakin tags along and no one questions or comments on it. Finally, after quite a bit of fighting, Qui-Gon tells Anakin to stay in the cockpit, as there it is safer. Wouldn’t it be safer back on Coruscant or back at the Gungan hideout? Qui-Gon’s actions seem odd, he knowingly takes a small boy into a war zone and not just any boy, the Chosen One. Wonder what Qui-Gon would think if Anakin wound up dead from stray fire in the battle?

    4) Yong Anakin meant that there had to be a long time period between EP I and II and again many things have to be re-introduced to the audience.


    As it is, things works reasonably well but AotC in part and RotS most especially feels rushed. A lot has to happen over a short time period. The story in the PT is more complicated and the characters are more complex. A simple story can be told quite quickly, with a minimum of set up. A more complex story takes longer and things needs to be set up a bit more.

    In closing, I know and understand Lucas motives for a young Anakin but I think that the overall story and character beats could have been made to work as well with a slightly older Anakin. Do I know for SURE? No since that would require going into an alternative universe where Lucas cast Anakin as an older character. But so far I have not seen any evidence that says that having an older Anakin is IMPOSSIBLE or would have meant that the PT would not have worked.


    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
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  13. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    "Guess you really weren't the Chosen One after all."
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  14. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    [
    Last edited by Ingram_I, Feb 12, 2013
  15. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    A familiar criticism that I’ve never understood. Not one iota. Not only does the transition ring true, it may very well be the single most authentic example of real-life, basic human development ever depicted in this silly, six-part space opera. I mean, lets just step back for a moment and look at this matter-of-factly. The Phantom Menace presents a maternally raised prepubescent Anakin as a naively virtuous, happy-go-lucky tike who sees the world with big eyes and, upon Qui-Gon’s arrival, instinctively seeks a kind of father figure approval. He’s a happy kid; outgoing, talkative, inquisitive, enthusiastic. He chats up a pretty girl Padme comfortably, without the slightest hesitation. He’s the prototypical, all-American boy as re-imagined in a Star Wars movie, who likes toys and robots and racecars and adventure. Easy character to understand. When revisited ten years later in Attack of the Clones, Anakin is now a hubristic, angst-ridden teen. Aaaaannnd this is lacks credibility how?

    Seriously, did I not just describe the most basic transitional characteristics of young adult life? Is this not one the most universal axioms of growing pains evident throughout every race and culture the world over, throughout all of human history? Spend the day at any elementary school and you’ll see at least a dozen Episode I Anakins running around the playground and raising their hands eagerly in class. Spend the following day at any high school and you’ll see at least a dozen Episode II Anakins sulking in the hallways, testing authority and embarrassing themselves when courting their secret crush. Do we really need narrative points to connect the two? Is the nature of Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones not self-explanatory? He’s a teenager; of course he’s going to come across equal parts awkward and confrontational. People act like Lucas reintroduced the character as Hitler incarnate. No, he simply borrowed from real life and projected it up on the screen in broad strokes, as he’s done with every other character in these films. That said, the determining factors of teen Anakin’s particular personality are clearly established in The Phantom Menace: a boy taken from his mother, from hearth-and-home, and subjected to a (questionable) orthodox that a) shuns such yearnings and b) is deeply suspicious and, in turn, insensitive to this new, status-threatening "chosen one" embodiment. Thus, the seeds are firmly planted, the psychological variables laid out in full. The Anakin we se in Episode II makes perfect sense.

    I also think Lucas did a fine job using the first act to balance-out the tone of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship. They banter playfully then they argue; Anakin oversteps his kohai boundaries when interrupting Obi-Wan; Obi-Wan listens with sincerity as Anakin speaks of his troubled dreams; the both of them behave like typical brothers (one markedly older than the other) when debating politics and, moments later, in pursuit of Padme’s assassin. Even bits of action -- Anakin catching a falling Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan catching Anakin’s lightsaber -- gesture their symbiotic chemistry. Depicting them as frictionless hug-buddies is neither interesting nor does it tell a story. I don’t know why people had such a hard time assimilating the genuine dynamic that Lucas gave us instead. And, yes, Anakin Skywalker as a whole throughout Episode II is indeed a punk. At times. He also proves dutiful and loyal despite his angsty grumblings and, at one point, accepts with a streak of utmost maturity the decision for he and Padme to put aside their shared feelings for a greater responsibility. Does that not count for anything? When Anakin returns from his reasonable (not to be confused with justifiable) rampage against the Sand People, he doesn’t strut around like, "Yeah, I slaughtered me some natives. It was pretty neat. What’s for lunch?" but instead breaks down in front of Padme, utterly ashamed of his actions.

    I think people get confused and further carried away with exaggerations. They criticize the Anakin character, post Episode I, for not being sympathetic. He’s not supposed to be. It’s about the difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathizing with Anakin means agreeing with him; approving his actions as deemed justified. That makes no sense, or, alternately, I can only imagine the kind of disturbed individual who would feel this way. In any event, that was not Lucas’ intentions when telling these stories. We are, however, invited to empathize with Anakin, to identify intellectually with the core emotional state that defines his behavior. And, really, what is their NOT to identify with? Being, or at least dealing with, a petulant youth is hardly a foreign concept. Not knowing what to say to a girl, or how to say it -- saying too much, coming on too strong -- is a bridge that just about every guy has been forced to cross at on point in his life, likely during his early years.

    And yet critics have reacted to Anakin’s character like he’s some kind of alien glyph. I just don’t get it. I for one had no problem approximating his feelings of distrust, resentment, over-confidence, frustration, maternal loss, pressure from obligations etc., especially since I understood the varied circumstances, both internal and external, that were the cause, as presented narratively and cinematically. Adding to all of this the thematic conceit of the Dark Side as a mythic, fairy tale amplification, I likewise had no trouble accepting Anakin’s transformation into a fantastical agent of evil. I mean, fúck, this isn’t some docudrama or a Robert Altman film. Anakin becoming Darth Vader is no more or less believable than Darth Vader turning against the Emperor, all of which is executed in a rather simplified, storybook fashion; not with realism but lyricism. Maybe that right there is the prime discrepancy, where so many have cynically rejected the stylized melodrama of these movies with a hands-thrown-to-the-air, "Pfft, whatever!" dismissive attitude.
    Last edited by Ingram_I, Feb 12, 2013
  16. Samnz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    Wonderful post, Ingram_I.
    I also think that the roots for Anakin's change are clearly emphasized by TPM - the slavery, his caring about others, being separated from his mother at age 9 and what makes different from the other Jedi. And I think it's quite natural that there is some tension between a student und a teacher. I think you see Anakin's and Obi-Wan's affection for each other in AOTC and it finally unfolds onscreen when they are freed from the student/teacher relationship in ROTS.

    Personally, I never found Luke's change from TESB to ROTJ very plausible. Don't get me wrong, I adore Luke's character in ROTJ but I just don't see where his sudden self-confidence and maturity come from. He was devastated by Vader's reveal at the end of TESB and yet had suddenly made peace with that truth when ROTS began.
    Maybe another poster noticed things I missed that explains his change?
  17. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Perfect post, Ingram_I. Well put & well said.

    Samnz, I see what you're saying re: the contrast between the uncertain (though brave) Luke in ESB & the calm, cool, and collected Jedi Knight/Master?! in ROTJ. I don't think there's anything that specifically explains this; however, IIRC the time period between ESB & ROTJ is a full year. Though it's obvious Luke didn't visit Yoda on Dagobah during this time, if you read the 1996 novel Shadows of the Empire (set during the year between ESB & ROTJ) it looks like he was helping prepare/put together the rescue of Han Solo from Jabba The Hutt (even if you don't feel that SOTE is canon, obviously he was spending time putting together the rescue operation). I'd like to think that during this time Luke was also working on meditation, becoming more "Jedi-like", etc. (this was also mentioned in SOTE).
  18. Padmes_love_slave24 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2003
    star 2

    Really nobody needs your attempts at humor, I am tired of new people visiting the boards who contribute nothing constructive. Star Wars has and always will be movies made for FAMILIES, toys and the selling of toys will always be a big part of Star Wars and if you think their is a correlation between film quality and the amount of toys that are being sold than you are beyond hope. I'll bet you that their is no way that Disney doesn't try to make as much money as possible marketing to families with Star Wars merchandise and they would be fools not to with such a high demand for certain products. I realize that some people have resentment that Star Wars is made for families and characters that are not as adult oriented often catch the scorn of many fans, such as the ewoks, and Jar Jar, I say freakin get over it!!!! Star Wars will always be family movies and if you have a problem with that and you are angry they are not being made by someone like Tarantino(who I am a huge fan of) than Star Wars is not for you!
    Last edited by Padmes_love_slave24, Feb 12, 2013
  19. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    I don't hate the prequels, but I think they are seriously flawed. The story had potential, the execution wasn't very good. The Palpatine story arc was the best feature IMO, and the one I enjoyed the most. There are things I do like in them. But, flawed is the word that best describes my overall feelings on them.
    Darth kRud likes this.
  20. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    Flawed is how I'd describe pretty much all of my favorite films. For me the barometer isn't whether or not something has flaws-- no movie is perfect, even the stuff that's unlucky enough to recieve the burden of hyperbole and the expectations that come with it (lord knows nothing's kept potential viewers away from "Citizen Kane" over the years than the hollow ring of it being called "the greatest film ever made"). Instead, the measure of a film's success is whether it's able to make you overlook those flaws, and for me that's definitely the case with the Prequels.
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  21. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4

    I suppose what I'm saying is that they are flawed to the point that I can't overlook it. I think they just aren't very well made as a whole.

    I think EP III works much better than the other two.
    Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin, Feb 12, 2013
  22. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    For me at the very least they're on par with the originals, albeit in different ways. ANH is the only one that really gets the right balance out of all of them. With ESB I'm occasionally unnerved by the simplistic script and the hammy acting, and on ROTJ I'll admit I wish the cinematography was a little finer and the story didn't rehash ANH quite as much (who knows how it would've turned out if ILM could've done "The Imperial Planet" to Lucas' standards back then). With the Prequels, the only issue I have sometimes is the muted acting, which works okay for the story it's telling, but is certainly a valid aesthetic complaint if you have it. Visually, cinematically, they're second-to-none for me (or at least, second only to anime).
  23. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    I think Empire has the strongest script of all six, and by a wide margin too.
    Darth kRud likes this.
  24. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    It's the dialogue that kills it for me. The Han & Leia stuff especially-- "laser brain" and "who's scruffy lookin'?" are some of the only dialogue in the series that ever make me cringe. Structurally the script is interesting, but I prefer the ambitious scale to the Prequels a little more. They might've needed more of a bit of polishing and doctoring from a more experienced screenwriter, and it's too bad that none of the friends Lucas sought out for help thought he needed their assistance.

    ESB has a great script, but I still like the funkiness of ANH a little more. His "American Graffiti" co-writers helped him there, and it brings out some spontaneity that none of the other films have. ESB, good as it is, has an archness to it, a contived old-Hollywood sense of things. Which isn't bad, but I like the "live" feel of ANH.
    Alexrd likes this.
  25. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    I can see that. I think ANH is also a very well done movie. It's place in history is no accident.
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