AOTC - From a Writer's POV

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by DarthLascivious, May 23, 2002.

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  1. augusto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 4
    I don't remember any great artists having a high view of critics, nor admitting that they aimed their art to please critics. That's preposterous.

    "The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all."
    Mark Twain

    "Pay no attention to what the critics say; there has never been set up a statue in honor of a critic."
    Jean Sibelius


    "Critics are like eunuchs in a harem: they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves."

    Brendan Francis Behan
  2. Teta040 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 1
    You're a bit off the mark on that one, though, Abmccray. When you speak of the "critics" doyou imply Hollywood and the industry as well? B/c there is simply no such thing as an artist whois universally beloved by all 3. Speilberg is a case in point. Sure, he got some rave reviews for Raiders and Jaws and Schindler's List and Et, etc, but that critical praise came hard and late. All throughout his career there have been his very vocal detractors and criics, who ripped him apart for creating shallow, juvenile, and substandard work. Think of howlongit took him to get a directors Oscar, and how SPR was tunred down as best Picture. Can you say Empire of the Sun, Hook, Indy 2, A.I., Amistad, and The Color Purple anyone? And they panned Jurassic Park for being to much on the dinos and no characters or plot.

    Speilberg is my favorite director too, but he is far from perfect. It seems that heis oneof those people whohas to keep digging in the coal mine for that elusive lump of wealth. Wehn he's seen an awful lot of darkness, he finally finds it, and it outshines all the other lesser nodes, and makes them almost watchable.

    (and yes, I LOVD the tacked-on ending of A.I. showing American civilzation's ruins and the future archealogical race. Wonder ifthat sequencewould have made it in after 9/11 though.)
  3. Teta040 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 1
    PS. Just how would you re-edit Naboo? Tell me. I'm very curious that these people who think the love dialogue is crappy seem to have no viable alternative. They want the relationship to more like Han and Leia's with sharp, witty wisecracks. That is NOT GL's purpose here. Basically, he is trying to portray something that people have giving up on believing in these days: A "classic" love story. And I think that except for a couple of cringe-inducing lines in the fireplace scene, it works. To a degree. The narrative flow of arrival in the morning to day/picnic to early evening eating dinner to night by the forplace works very well, and is smooth. As for being on Naboo in the first place? OK, it MAY seem a little illogical to go home to the home planet, but I saw AOTC 5 times and that gaping plot hole never occurred to me. The audience is much focused on what will happen between them next. The whole purpsoe her eis to play up the whole "Romeo and Juliet" thing, to contrast the painful difs between the two. We needed to go back to Naboo to see what a wonderful life she had growing up, (that's the whole PURPOSE of her talking about the water)and then to come home to Anakin's dustball planet and dead former slave mother is devestating. (Having that scene from the novel put onscreen when Ani meets her family would have been nice and fleshed out the film a bit, but in the end, veiwed over time, it would have been overkill.)And from a plot POV, it is a nice little ironic play on the engaged couple going home to both houses to meet each other's parents. Seen from the POV of the whole saga, future generations watching the whole thing in order, after we know they marry, will find this heartbreaking. And besides, we have to know that Anakin felt really happy for a brief few days in his life. That's why such silly scenes as the meadow will in the future turn out to be heartbreaking as well. Youjust can't get this feeling zapping along a speeder through Baggar's Canyon. Sand is nice, but Paradise is so much batter.

    I will agree on one thing though: a serious argument was needed, not just on Naboo, but during the "confession" scene. Anakin collapsing in tears after a shouting match would have been much mkre effective than her simply comforting him.
  4. augusto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 4
  5. DarthGyos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 4
    I sincerely feel that Ep2 was poorly written. If you look at any of the original trilogy, the screenplay said alot using very little, but effective words. It was done right. I think that Lucas had great actors that did what they could with such poor lyrics. Examine the love between Leia/Han and Padme/Anakin. Ford and Fisher did a great job and they had fantastic writing. You bought it! Hayden did well given what he was given. Natalie's poor acting when it came to her tumble out of the Republic ship and pain when the creature slashed at her is proof of indecisive direction. All need to step up for this last film.
  6. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    Just a minor note, but in an interview (pretty sure it was Charles Taylor's 1999 interview with Kershner in Salon) it came out that the Han/Leia dialogue in TESB, when he's about to be frozen, was written (by Lucas) as "I love you" and "I love you too".

    It was Kershner who felt it would be more appropriate for Han to say "I know".

    Food for thought?
  7. Jedi Chikara Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 1999
    star 4
    Gyos, you have to be kidding if you didn't think that injury on Padme didn't hurt. I wince every time at that one.

    Regarding the "I know" line, I'm pretty sure Harrison Ford improvised that, and they decided to go with it. Anyone know for sure?
  8. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    Although I admittedly lack the intellect and insight exhibited by most of the people here, I'm happy I like the film just the way it is.
  9. abmccray Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 2
    Teta:

    Without going into a discourse on how to re-edit the whole thing, I'll give you the most obvious Naboo editing change - PLACE THE KISS AFTER THE ROLL AROUND ON THE GRASS SCENE! It makes no logical sense for the kiss to precede a "bonding" scene - especially since it would be more likely for Anakin to give and Padme to take AFTER they were more comfortable with each other.

    One scene shows them arguing about where to go and Padme treating Anakin like a kid - and then she lets him kiss/rub her? What the heck kind of editing was that?
  10. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Telemachos: Actually, Kershener did nothing of the sort. It came time to say the line, and Harrsion just played it by ear and ignored the script. Kershner thought it played out better and left it in, and Lucas agreed with him. But the line itself was never written down-- the actor came up with it.
  11. DARK_SCORE Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 4
    For evidence of the decision-making process during the carbon-freezing sequence on Empire, you really should read The Making of Empire Strikes Back paperback. It's brilliant. The author mic-ed up Irvin Kershner and you could hear how the director went about placing extras, lighting the set, choosing lenses and preparing his lead actors.

    The "I know" line was an ad hoc decision worked through by both Harrison Ford and Kershner. In the transcript, ypu can read how the pair came to the decision. At a screening of the dailies, Lucas queried the decision but accepted Kershner's interpretation and kept it in.

    A similar event happened during the making of The Phantom Menace. Liam Neeson ended a scene where he places his hand on Shmi's shoulder and she reaches up to touch his hand. It was a tender moment but, perhaps due to Lucas knowing that he would introduce Cliegg Lars into Ep2, he left it out.

    The Empire book is a fantastic read. If anyone is more interested in this whole chapter of events (it really is a compelling read), PM me and I will try and forward you the relevant pages somehow...

    el SCORE
    :cool:
  12. Auggie_Ben_Doggie Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 1
    >>>>The successful romance is the one based on equality, not the one based on youthful longing and immature ideas of love. I think GL is actively trying to contrast Han/Leia with Padmé/Anakin, and to make comment upon the natures of their romance. Anakin's love is based on the shallow appreciation of Padmé as an object of beauty, and Padmé's appreciation of Anakin as someone to take care of.<<<<

    It's amazing that more critics of the film don't understand the simplicity of that relationship for what it is.

    As far as GL's use of background for the romance between Padme and Anakin, one scene tells the whole story--the fireplace scene.

    Anakin is confesing his love for her ("We could keep it a secret"). Padme is trying to be the rational one.

    Placing Padme in front of the fireplace represents her vitality of life (perhaps even a representation of the light side of the Force?). There is a fire buring inside of her, an idealism she brings to the Republic as a senator.

    Contrast that with Anakin's background--dark, desolate. His soul is empty and he is doing everything he can to convince Padme to fill the void.

  13. HBMC_Kloon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2002
    star 2
    I give AOTC 10 out of 10, but I do agree with the original authors views (mostly).

    I am a writer myself, and what he said is true. The problems he showed were there, and the good bits he displayed were also there.

    I still wouldn't cut Naboo, even if only for Padme's black leather thing! :D

    BYE
  14. SHAD0W-JEDI Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 3

    I readily concede that GL faced a tough situation in Episode 2 ... there is a LOT of story to tell here. A LOT. That means, especially as regards the "human" elements of the story - which will inevitably be competing for screen time with the advancement of the "macro" story (Palpatine's continued rise to power, the clones, the Senate intrigues, etc)- that there is just little room for error. Every scene has got to hit its mark. If you are, by way of contrast, making a two hour romance, the failure of one or two scenes may not be crucial, but when you are trying to / compelled to distill a romance down to a precious few scenes...they really do need to "work".

    Let me also say, as I have elsewhere, that it is tough to debate whether something "works" or not. That is largely an emotional question - does the scene "feel" right to you or not? I realize writers regularly DO discuss such things, but I am sympathetic to how difficult such discussions can be.

    My take on what I would have changed... since there seems to be some annoyance about criticism without alternatives being presented....

    I would have found a way to SEPARATE the scenes of budding romance from the scenes where Anakin shows flashes of his slipping to the "Dark Side" - or at least, where he shows foreshadowing of his darker tendencies. This was one of my biggest sticking points...it seemed that in nearly every scene where we are to believe Anakin and Padme are... bonding... there is a moment where Anakin acts like a petulant kid, or shows bursts of ego, or discusses some nascent neo-fascistic leanings (all of which, arguably, have a greater significance to the audience than they would to Padme, since we KNOW this guy ends up being Darth Vader! - but you can't escape that when drafting the script, you have to work WITH it). And in many of these scenes, there are shots of Padme looking at Anakin with surprise, or disapproval, or at least giving him a searching, questioning glance.

    The combination of these two elements...budding romance and "Dark Side" outbursts... was something that I felt undermined the credibility of the budding romance. At the same time we are supposed to believe Padme is falling for this guy, we are repeatedly shown her seeming to have problems with elements of his personality, politics, and even maturity (although she praises him for growing up at one point). I think the reason the scenes so often played this way is that GL was again, up against it, time wise... he used the middle part of the movie, primarily, for developing Anakin's character, and he had two important themes going at once... the romance and the foreshadowing of Anakin's flaws. He seems to have tried to compress these two. I found myself skeptical of Padme falling for this guy, given that nearly every "tender moment" is offset by a darker outburst.

    This all comes to a head in the scene were Anakin confesses to his slaughter of the Tuskens...men, women and children. I think it is VERY important for the audience to believe Padme is already VERY much hooked at this point for her not to recoil in total revulsion, even if she felt SOME sympathy.

    SO - I would have had Anakin's "outbursts" come around others than Padme. Not because he is a hypocrite, or consciously hiding his temper, etc... but because different people do draw out different sides of our personalities. So, for example, have Anakin have his outburst re "being in charge of security" with Padme absent - have that comment aimed at her security chief, counselors, etc.

    Also... in real life, people are very unpredictable when it comes to romance (among other things!). Smart people make foolish choices, etc. BUT..in movies, we often demand a certain level of "logic" when it comes to romance. And in this case...Padme has been established as a woman who was ELECTED Queen of a planet at age 14...think about that. We (the audience) are not given the details of this process, but that is pretty amazing. This has to be one astonishing woman. In some ways, it would have been easier to have her be a heredit
  15. a. block Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 1
    I like reading what people think-on both sides with some not changing a damn thing while others thinking an overhaul, minor or major, would be better for the story.
    I would just like to add something that my dad's girl "friend" mentioned to me when I had a lovely dinner with them. She said she didn't like how she thought Anakin was already on the Dark Side at the beginning of the movie. I didn't consciously think about this but I think that I had the same sorta feelings. Now that I think about it, I think I would've preferred that Anakin be more like how Luke was in "Empire" in the sense that he started a good guy but then was tempted near the end, and also not have Obi-Wan chastise Anakin so much (it seemed he did to me). Then have Anakin showing off some darkness after the Tusken scene and have Obi-Wan get pissed off at him for flying to Tatooine and bringing the senator that he was supposed to protect to the very planet with the people that wanted her dead. I think the Obi Ani tension should've started in earnest after they get back together on Geonosis, not seemingly at the beginning.
  16. augusto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 4
    You missed the point, Anakin has not turned to the Dark side yet, specially not at the beginning of the movie. What you seem to say though is that maybe you would have prefered if he was shown more of a good guy, but then others would say that it's not "believable" that he turns to the dark side in part III. Catch 22.
  17. a. block Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 1
    I know he hadn't turned yet. I just would've liked a more parallelled character arc with Luke in "Empire". I could be wrong of course, just an idea.
  18. GullyFoyle Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 1
    I've enjoyed this thread, and thought DarthLascivious' post was generally well-thought-out.

    My belief on the love story is essentially the same, and I'll venture to say that the scene where Anakin confesses to Padme about the Tusken Raiders is the most important scene in the film-- it's the first time we hear Anakin use the word "hate", but it's also the scene where we have to "buy" Padme's love for Anakin.

    The biggest crime Lucas committed in this scene was cutting the end of it-- after Anakin starts sobbing, Padme kneels to comfort him, and the scene ends. However, it was supposed to continue, with Anakin telling Padme that he felt remorse about killing them, that he was so angry. Padme tells him that he's only human, that feelings like anger are only human.

    RIGHT THERE is where the love story becomes believable, because right there Padme is telling him that she feels the Jedi's suppression of feelings is not natural-- that Anakin should be allowed to feel anger and fear, because to do so is to be human. So with that statement, we believe she could love him, because his giving in to his feelings over the death of his mother make him more human, and thus more able to emotionally bond or emotionally connect with her.

    But Lucas cut that bit of dialogue-- perhaps the most important in making the love story work! Aaaarrghh! There were some very frustrating moments in this movie, some would be unforgivable if this weren't the Star Wars universe!
  19. QuiGonJinn84 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 1999
    star 2
    Shadow-Jedi - I disagree. I think the way Lucas developed Anakin's character and the romance at once works very well. Those glances that Padme gives Anakin are not meant to be glances of disapproval. They are glances of growing adoration.

    The problem with the love story is not in the Naboo scenes, its in the Love Pledge. When Leia declares her love before certain doom its completely believable. When Padme does, its almost out of the blue. Padme shows compassion for Anakin, I buy how she comforts him after the slaughter, I buy how she grows fond of him. I just dont get this feeling that she is confessing her true feelings by the love pledge. I see how she is falling for him, I see it in her eyes, and her reactions to what he is saying, but I dont see WHY. There is no motive for her and there is no proof that she is really holding back. Anakin kisses HER - she lets him. Anakin grabs HER and rolls around in the grass - she lets him.

    The only thing that she initiates prior to the pledge is the hug that she gives Anakin - but we dont get to feel the compassion behind it. The audiences mind is thinking more about what is going to happen with Anakin then realizing that Padme just initiated something with him for the first time.

    The important thing however is that by this time the audience does realize they are enamored with one another. It is apparent. Yet by the time the love pledge comes there hasnt been much about their love in 30-40 minutes.

    There are two ways that I think the pledge could have felt less out of the blue.

    1.) Add at least one line where we see WHY Padme is falling for Anakin.

    2.) Completely redo the conveyor belt scene - make Anakin save her life at his own risk. It can still be as tense and all but make it so that Anakin is rushing to help Padme instead of just fending off the machines and bugs getting in his way. He goes to save her, finds her and gets into a situation where he can save her at the risk of his own life. He sacrifices himself and saves Padme, just as he is about to be killed Artoo saves the day. Anakin then comes away from whatever it was and is exhausted. Padme doesnt care at the moment, he just saved her life. She runs to him and throws her arms around him to kiss her, when - Jango Fett and the destroyers surround them. The next scene is the love pledge where they get to finish the moment that Padme initiated on the conveyor belt.

    It may be a bit cliched but it could have worked. Instead the conveyor belt scene just feels like an action set peice that is there for thrills instead of furthering the story and it does not flow into the love pledge scene at all.

    For me the movie is a flawed gem. I love the story and I love the characters. I believe that Anakin and Padme love eachother - but Im not moved by their love for eachother. I should feel elated that Padme gives in to her love for Anakin, but instead I feel awkward at the scene. The characters are well developed, the overall plot is well developed, but as a movie it doesnt come together as well as it should. The movie will be better if Episode III is the absolute masterpiece it could be.
  20. SHAD0W-JEDI Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 3

    Jinn, there are many elements of this discussion which are, I think, almost immune to argument (for example, how a scene makes you FEEL...) but I have to respectfully differ with your idea that the glances I mentioned in my post were signs of growing affection, etc, as opposed to disapproval.

    When Anakin goes on about how HE is in charge of security, etc, and Padme shoots him a look and tries to "calmly" explain that perhaps this is a case where he should defer to her expertise re Naboo... I really can't see how that can be interpreted as a look of "Isn't he dreamy?" ;) Look also at the others in the room at the time...this is cleary one of those "Oooh boy... embrassing moment here" situations, with Anakin swaggering a bit.

    Similarly... when Anakin discusses some neo-Fascistic sympathies (and again, I readily grant, that since we KNOW he becomes Darth Vader, we don't necessarily see it quite as Padme does)... I don't think Padme's reaction is one of approval or attraction.

    I think, with respect, that the context of the looks, as well as the looks themselves, are clearly looks that contain disapproval, or suprise, or concern, or a mix of the above...

    Shadow
  21. QuiGonJinn84 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 1999
    star 2
    I agree about the 'I'm in charge of security..' look - but that isnt a scene where Anakin is trying to express any feeling for her. Whats interesting about the scene...perhaps the only thing interesting about the scene...is how Anakin quickly backs down. He never even backs down to Obi-Wan, watch how he surpresses his pride almost spastically.

    But the looks Padme is giving Anakin during the dictator scene are meant to be looks of inquistiveness and shock - until she realizes that hes just trying to push her buttons. How about the look during the freighter scene, or when Anakin leans in to kiss her, or when he says 'I like one or two of them, but Im not sure about one', or when he says he has to go find Shmi.

    I know its just a matter of how an individual feels during much of these scenes, but its also a matter of intent. I dont think Padme was supposed to be displaying her disdain for his words except for during one or two scenes.
  22. DARTH_ONION Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 1
    this post is one of the most intelligent and well reasoned on this site.

    cut naboo, anakin and padme's relationship could have been great. a nice action set piece on tatotwee involving young jabba would have intensefied their relationship.

    wouldn't it have been great to hear the queen say "i love you" just before there death sentance, and have anikin say "i know." maybe not...

    no wonder lucas hasn't had a girl friend fifteen years, if this is his idea of love. and ode to romaneo and julliet, doubtful. more sunset beach.
  23. DarthMalifluous Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 2
    I'm actually surprised that there is any dialogue at all in the "love pledge" sequence before the monster arena battle. Lucas seems to be overstating the obvious within his script (he often feels it's better to hit the audience over the head with a hammer than leave things to chance). Imagine the scene without any dialogue whatsoever. You've got Padme looking at Anakin in new found love. You've got the confused look of Anakin who is unable to reconcile her previous argument for them not falling in love and this slowly turns to a recognition on his part. She leans in, he responds and viola! Actors are supposed to act and Lucas should let them. We go from clunky, cheesy dialogue that Anakin has to say earlier on in the movie, to a deeper understanding of the situation.

    Just my opinion.
  24. Fitten trim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 1999
    star 4
    DarthMalifluous, I commend your "no dialogue in the love pledge scene" idea. One twist that immediately came to my mind was if this happens, she should lean in to kiss him! as oppossed to him leaning in to kiss her.


    Anywho, at different points in this thread, people have mentioned that we need to view the 3 PT movies as is one tightly written movie. ie. Lucas has a master plan. Sadly, I don't see how this could be possible. For further evidence that Lucas is making this up as he goes along, please read this page at the official site.
  25. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    The point you made about Naboo being the most obvious place for a bounty hunter to look for Amidala was true, however only if they had KNOWN Padme left Courscant, which no one except Anakin, Kenobi, handmaidens, and Typho knew. No one else knew she had left Courscant, so Naboo was effective enough for the time being. Other than that, good post, I always like the well thought out and conceived ones.
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