AOTC - From a Writer's POV

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

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  1. Darth XXX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 1
    It's been two years since I've posted anything on the discussion forums. Just for kicks, I decided to make a visit, and I found this thread to be very interesting. While I have not read everyone's posts, here are some of my thoughts on the +/- of Episode II.

    One, I think its better than the Phantom Menance. There's more action, more romance, and in general more to think about after coming out of the theater. It answers alot of questions, specifically how the Sith were able to wipe out the jedi. We can see now just how sidious set things in motion between getting elected supreme chancellor, staring an all out war, and acquiring emergency (dictator) powers. Obviously a few details need to be worked out in Episode III, but we get the idea. Also, Episode II answers the question - why did Anakin turn? For years, the "he was seduced by the dark side" line was very vague. We now know that his eventual fall from grace will stem from the anger he feels after losing those close to him, much like Luke almost turning in ROTJ at the idea of his sister being harmed by Darth Vader. Again, details to come in Episode III, the groundwork was put in place in Ep. II with Shmi's death (my guess is Anakin's fall will have something to do with padme).

    soooo, what did i not like? several things. one, star wars from my perspective is much like a shakespearian tragedy, very similar to macbeth. In order for a tragedy to hit the emotional chord of the audience, the tragic hero must first be a HERO. Yes, Anakin's struggle between good and evil is necessary for the story, and it gives his character depth. But is he a hero? I would say no. In the beginning of the movie, he was a brash, reckless, and often selfish jedi padawan, and by the end of the movie he was a brash, reckless, and often selfish jedi padawan (minus an arm). To be honest, I was almost pleased when Dooku beat him - it was like watching some young punk getting his butt kicked.

    I think the most difficult thing here for Lucas as a storyteller is the fact that we already know Anakin will become Darth Vader, and therefore in order to make that transition believable, we have to see him being reckless and killing sand people out of revenge - in other words going towards the edge of the dark side. And that's fine. But bring him back from the edge. In ROTJ, Luke says "I'll never turn to the dark side", and you believe him. If Anakin had said by the end of AOTC, "I might turn to the dark side", i would have believed him too. But that's not good for setting up the tragedy. I was betting on coming out of AOTC with at least the smallest hope that Anakin would not become Darth Vader. If I did, Lucas would have done his job as a writer perfectly (giving me hope even when I know there shouldn't be any). But that didn't happen. So far, everything I've expected to see about Anakin Skywalker has been shown - a brilliant young jedi on the way to becoming Darth Vader.

    The second thing I'm not really getting is the relationship between Obiwan and Anakin. Honestly, I don't think they like each other. Obiwan scolds, Anakin whines. They were not together nearly enough, in Ep 1 or Ep 2 combined, making their climactic battle in Ep 3 not so climactic, and their rematch in Ep 4 less important. One of the very best parts of ANH is that wonderful sense of history you feel bewtween Obiwan and Darth Vader - when that mysterious music starts playing after Ben hears the name Obiwan. After watching Ep1 and Ep2, my question is - what history? Yes i know there is another whole movie to develope this, but much more attention should have been given to their friendship, because we already know they hate each other for 4 episodes!! (3-6) This is one of the reasons I thought Quigon was a unnecessary character in Ep1 (flame away). Yes, Liam Neeson was an awesome jedi knight, but taken as a whole, his contribution to the series is fairly small. I think Obiwan should have been the one to discover anakin and push for him to be trained. It makes his mistake that much more compelling.

    The Romance: Yes the dialogue wa
  2. JediHPDrummer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2002
    star 3
    Hey Hey guys. I got a good point to point out. Darth Shade(member of force.net) wrote a review on Empire Strikes Back as if the PT came first and the OT came last. I just love how he did his review. Because it shows that if ESB came right now we would complain complain complain. Just because they comparte it. LEt's just say the PT came first, people would not know that padme and anakin would fall in love Would they no. Getting anakins arm cut off would be a huge huge wow! but now we have the OT. See we see saw these movies back in the day and when we watch them now we dont critisze it as much because the picture in our mind is still the one that left the theater 20 years ago. Im not trying to diss the OT or saying theat AOTC doesnt have flawas because it does but doesnt every star wars movie have some. People are overly critical sometimes. Watching a movie isnt like passing a kidney stone. But some people think that, I just wish people can give George lucas a break. Yeh he isnt the best writer but he can tell a story, darn good one too. And yes the screenplay to ESB was wrote by him whoever said it wasnt. He got help from Kasdan. So heres the review that Darth Shade put. I find it amusing and great.
    And man did it suck!! George Lucas has lost his touch... big time! Now I grew up on the original trilogy; as a kid, I used to dream of being just like Anakin Skywalker--even after he turned to the dark side. I grew up with him, as well as the other characters, and I was also stunned by the complexity of this galaxy far far away. Episode 3, easily the darkest in the saga continues to be my favorite--you do not get more dramatic than Anakin's turn to the dark side--how awful that we had to wait 20 years before we got the next installment!!

    Episode 4, A New Hope, was in many ways a victim of its own hype. True, it didn't live up to the originals, but I still thought it was an okay movie. Probably the thing that annoyed me the most was Obi-wan lying to Luke. It was TOTALLY against his character; the obi-wan I grew up with would never lie, not even to protect someone from the truth. Also, killing him off was a bad move. He was my favorite character, and his potential in this new franchise was amazing.

    But this latest installment, Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back (what kind of lame title is that?) was a stinking pile of rubbish, with an isolated moment or two that brought back memories of the old glory days of Star Wars. Let me begin with the few things I liked.

    1. I like Han Solo. He's probably the only good actor in the whole thing, apart from Sir Alec Guinness whose character gets reduced to nothing more than a cameo where he does his best Ewan McGregor impersonation.

    2. Darth Vader is still an awesome villain who is put to far better use in this one than the last time around. I loved the way he kept killing Imperial Officers. He?s still not as cool as Count Dooku, though.

    And that's about it. There were moments here and there that were enjoyable, but they were quickly lost and forgotten. And now, on to the bad...

    1. Why oh why did they create that whole sub-plot at the beginning where Luke gets abducted by the ice creature? It was uninteresting, slowed the forward advancement of the plot down pointlessly, and besides, we didn't even get the see the darn thing! And why the heck didn't it just kill Luke in the first place instead of leaving him unconscious with his lightsabre conveniently beside him? It's unbelievable plot-holes like this that pull me right out of the movie, and this movie is full of them!

    2. The Battle of Hoth was okay, but I constantly found myself wishing for the epic battles of the Clone Wars. It was just a by-the-numbers battle, lacking any sense of danger or excitement. And why on earth would the empire bother sending down those dumb clumsy walkers when they could have just blasted to rebel base from orbit? Or they could have sent down fighter craft to take it out. And how convenient that the rebels just so happened to have those cable things installed on their craft.

    3.
  3. Tar-Jinn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 1
    Fitten trim

    About Padme being in denial, reiteration

    In TPM, Lucas introduced us to Naboo. A formal society that puts a great deal in the visual part of things, especially demanding the monarchs to behave accordingly. We have those really formal dresses and make-up on Amidala's face, the way she speaks etc.
    And we are also introduced to Padme, the girl under those gowns.

    Now, in AotC, I feel that he is simply using things he developed in TPM. Padme still controls her voice, but does not control what she's wearing. I mean, look at her fireplace scene. Look how it LOOKS and listen to what she says. That, I believe, IS denial.

    And to all, here's how I see the romance scenes:

    Re-Introduction
    Anakin's been dreaming about her for those ten years. So he's naturally calling her Padme, thinking perhaps that nothing's been changed. Well, things ARE different now. For one thing, she does not defend him to Obi-Wan, merely acts as a politician.
    And well, she sees he's trying to be smooth, and doesn't manage to. She inadvertently bruises Anakin's overblown ego.

    Amidala packing
    Well, in addition to learning something about Amidala and Anakin, he's flirting with her, obviously making her uncomfortable. And he's calling her M'Lady, but in a teasing way.

    Leaving
    This scene is so short... basically, to me, it shows that the two can coexist without killing each other or Anakin being obsessed with her.

    Ami/Ani on the cruiser.
    Well, it's a classic case of an innocent (innocent? Why would Padme wish to speak about not being able to do things that you want?) conversation gone wrong. Anakin again starts to romance her, and again makes her uncomfortable. So he backs off.

    Ami/Ani walk to the palace.
    Exposition on Amidala again, and perhaps something on her motive in AotC. And Anakin isn't behaving obsessingly, for once (only telling that he followed her political career). Well, to me it just shows that he can compliment her intelligently. And observe how she isn't uncomfortable this time.

    Ami/Ani in the Palace.
    This, well. He tries to challenge Ami's position on her territory: her home planet, her former palace, in front of her Queen. Why would she be worried that she's hurting his feelings?
    She's simply trying to put herself over Anakin's overprotectiveness. She is powerless as she is now, away from Coruscant; she doesn't need yet ANOTHER Jedi (after Qui-Gon and Yoda) to tell her what she is to do.

    First kiss.
    Well, a pretty natural talk on her part (but again, she doesn't mention anything about her life as a politician) leads to a kiss. Now, one thing. Observe the dress. We're starting to have denial.

    Picnic.
    Well, we come to the whole point of the Naboo scenes: Padme's having fun! She isn't even treating politics seriously! Even the fact that she's a Senator is a tease now! After some time away from Coruscant she finally loosened up!

    Dinner.
    See the dress. And again they are flirting and just plain having fun.

    Fire.
    See the dress, the same as the one in the previous scene. (Denial.) He's telling her things which basically are - foreshadowing, I guess? But at the last moment, the rational Amidala kicks in.
    And Anakin, just as he told her, respects her decision for a bit of the film.

    The morning after the nightmare.
    This bit, I believe, shows that Padme is a bit changed now. She knows her life is in danger. She knows that Tatooine is a hive of scum and villainy. And yet, she decides to go there with Anakin. Having her go there out of her own free will is much better than forcing the Senator Amidala the politician to go there... I think.

    Tatooine.
    Well. Tatooine is probably memories of their first meeting. It is seeing Watto say that Anakin is grown up. It is seeing that even Shmi moved on with her life and is married. It is - perhaps - remembering that Qui-Gon said that strict adherence to codes is not necessary. It is "The Queen will not approve." "The Queen does not need to know."

    It is basicall
  4. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Fitten:

    I'm afraid I find your response skewed and more than a bit unnatural.

    While yes, people have many sides and act diffently depending on the situation... in a narrative structure, it is INCREDIBLY unusual to cut from a scene of two people playfully happy and flirting to a scene of the same two people in an argument WITHOUT SHOWING what has caused their change!


    Only if the change is incredibly drastic. Like I said, most of what goes on are not overly serious rows. To talk of Padme being 'creeped out' is using rather strong language. She's uncomfortable, nothing more. Her body language and delivery themselves show that it's only a transitory response. To say we have to continue to show her being creeped out allows for no assumed 'offscreen' change to the character. And by this I do NOT mean major themes, but simple expected mood changes. If Anakin is annoyed in one scene, it would not make sense for him to still be annoyed hours later, not unless you were making a point of it, which Lucas shouldn't be. Just because Anakin becomes Darth Vader doesn't mean everyone has this constant, overbearing sense he's going to become someone nasty.

    This continue sinto thier 'spat'. The fight is about nothing serious, and it's really Anakin who has the problem, not Amidala. She asserts control, expecting it to already have been relinquished by Anakin to her. In his view, it hasn't and he instigates the fight to try and regain control. In essence, he is the one with the problem. He apologizes. Like I said, he's the one who should come out of it with hurt feelings, not her, and he has a higher agenda as we've seen in all the previous scenes.


    And how can I tackle your "Padme's in denial" ??? Except to say that where you 'see' denial, I see an inconsistantly -written character.

    And as I said I don't think its inconsistent at all. Applying your logic to the character would be like saying Han is inconsistent because he shows up unexpectedly at the end of ANH to save Luke.

    This is because Han is in denial of his feelings for these people, which is indicated by his last words. Padme is also in denail, indicated by her phrasing in the fireplace chat. In fact, the fact Padme is in denial is more evident in the dialogue-- though perhaps that's a weakness rather than a strength. Her dual feelings are largely presented up to the firplace chat as body language... but then, so are Han's.



    Note: even if Lucas is trying to present Amidala as "in denial", he's certainly executed poorly, you might agree?

    No more really than in previous Star Wars epsiodes. I think it's the depth of feeling as written that is executed poorly, not the way the romance itself works.


    EDIT: I was a hired hand: paid to write a "typical slasher flick." Like Han Solo, I was in it for the money (but unlike Han, I didn't end up with a coccaine snorting princess). When you get paid $ to write a script, just send me the link on IMDB.com, I'll be sure to compliment your originality

    I recently won the writers of the Future contest...does that count? ;)
  5. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    soooo, what did i not like? several things. one, star wars from my perspective is much like a shakespearian tragedy, very similar to macbeth. In order for a tragedy to hit the emotional chord of the audience, the tragic hero must first be a HERO. Yes, Anakin's struggle between good and evil is necessary for the story, and it gives his character depth. But is he a hero? I would say no. In the beginning of the movie, he was a brash, reckless, and often selfish jedi padawan, and by the end of the movie he was a brash, reckless, and often selfish jedi padawan (minus an arm). To be honest, I was almost pleased when Dooku beat him - it was like watching some young punk getting his butt kicked.

    Ah, but here's the thing: by your words, neither is MacBeth tragic. What makes MacBeth a hero early on in the play? That he won a battle? Anakin does this and more-- and we in fact see him saving lives, Obi-Wan in particular. The opening scene with Anakin and Obi-Wan is very, very important and shows a key nature of thier relationship, one that was perhaps not emphasized enough as the story went on, but was stil there. Anakin loves who he loves and saves those he cares about.

    What does MacBeth do? He kills because his wife tells him to. Does he save lives? If he does, we never see it, it is at best alluded to. MacBeth makes a simple and hard to excuse grab for power; the fact he was a good man is spoken of before this, but it is never really shown. This is all right, I suppose, because the play itself is about different things. However, it does not make the play overly tragic... in fact, it makes MacBeth hard to work as a tragedy at all. The main protagonist of MacBeth is, as written, hard (though not impossible) to identify with. Harder than Hamlet, harder than King Lear, and harder than Anakin.

    Most people use MacBath when comparing Shakespeare's tragedies. It's really not advisable: MacBeth's identity as a good person is only spoken of vaguely in the first half of the first act, and he does few visible good deeds on the stage. In fact, all he doe sis win a battle. Anakin trumps him several times over for good deeds in AOTC. Just because it's Shakespeare doesn't mean the comparison is qualified, or even that it's infallible.
  6. dmodog Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 1999
    http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=7009762&replies=0

    you people should read this thread. it's a really great thing he wrote called the nature of the negative criticism. it has a lot to do with what you guys are talking about.

    definitely read it.
  7. ObiWanJane Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 1999
    star 4
    I'm a professional writer. I noticed on a very basic level, AOTC has some poorly-written lines!


    "....without first consulting myself or the Council." (obviously, he should have said me)


    "I wish I could wish away my feelings...." (if one can't wish something away, why wish for it at all?!)


    "We'd be living a lie -- one we couldn't keep...." (How does one "keep" a lie? I think she meant to say "....a secret we couldn't keep even if we tried.")


    :)
  8. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Oh, that's for certain: the dialogue was untrained. One would think Johnathan Hales would have provided a better sounding board. I'd have changed a lot of the dialogue, though not the overall story.
  9. a. block Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 1
    I believe somebody mentioned that he/she thought that AOTC was more artist than Empire. Please inform me because I believe that Empire is vastly more artistic, I almost find something new everytime I watch it. I ask because I would very much like to see some of this.
  10. Darth Scooby Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 1999
    star 4
    nice to be back vert (sorry, that was a response from about 4 pages ago) And yes, I had forgotten about the blasting of 3PO. Still...aw heck, I forgot what the hell I was getting at yesterday anyway.

    One or two points about other things:

    Anakin telling Padme about the massacre is just fine. Again, she shows the appropriate amount of horror, but falls for the remorse he shows and remembers him as that little boy who was huddled and cold on the floor of her starship crying because he missed his mother.

    Anakin doesn't have to tell Cleig or Owen. In fact, it's best he doesn't. They obviously find out later, as something like that can't be kept too much of a secret - a hundred or so dead Tuskens lying out in the desert - someone's gonna find them and the Lars' are gonna put 2 and 2 together. This is the basis for the line in ANH where he's afraid of Luke following in Anakin's footsteps.

    As to the relationship between Obi and Anakin, I think it is safe to assume that, since they've been together almost constantly for 10 years, they have grown close. I think there is also some underlying resentment on Obi's part, of both Anakin being the chosen one (small c, as in chosen by Qui gon) and his being much more powerful (as clearly shown in the first meeting with Padme, where he scolds Anakin about learning his place).

    In ESB, the love story between Han and Leia never worked for me. It came out of left field, as there was not even the slightest hint of it in ANH. Don't tell me the discussion that Han had with Luke in the falcon ("what do ya think, someone like her and someone like me...") was forreshadowing. It wasn't. He was just teasing Luke because he realized he liked her. The only way that anything could have developed between the two was in the 3 years between ANH and ESB. And of course, none of this is shown. So please, criticism of unshown events that we're supposed to take as fact is unwarranted if it isn't consistent.

    I can believe that Obi and Anakin are close, because I know they've been together, almost exclusively, in a master-padawan relationship for 10 years. I have a hard time believing Han and Leia's closeness because it's been 3 years and they were lumped in a big group that included Luke, the original target for her affections.

    I'm sure I'm missing stuff I want to say, so I'll be back. Oh, and to the person who posted the parody review of ESB, while some of the points were quite valid, most of them were perceived problems created by the making of the PT, thus proving the points of those who suggest that Lucas is ruining the OT by making the PT. I am not an ESB worshipper (it's number 3 or 4 for me in terms of SW films), but I must say it works well in the overall story arc.

    More later, to be sure. :)
  11. Sbuck143 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 1
    Telemachos -

    Rereading the thread, I see your posts are ones I mostly agree with and are , as you say, not really changing the plot or the storyline. My posts were more for the people talking about cutting out Naboo entirely, having Anakin lie about the Tuskens or tell it to Owen instead, etc.

    The point I tried to make above was that most are trying to improve the screenplay & dialogue in a way that makes more sense, works better, etc for *adults*. The implication is that Lucas forgot to do something or didn't do something right. All you need to do is watch this movie with a child and you'll understand where Lucas' focus was. Anything you change that makes it more adult-ish directly moves it away from those who it is really intended for.

    The love scenes, while their order could be improved, is done in a way younger people can relate to. First-love interactions are always awkward, heavy and uncomfortable and Lucas nails it perfectly. The only thing I find fault with in this aspect of the movie is the editing.

    I'm almost done with novelization, and anyone who thinks a "believable" love story isn't in the plot of AotC already obviously hasn't read the novelization. It's there and it's pretty good. With the simple non-deletion of the family scene on Naboo, I think Lucas quenches a lot of what we are talking about here. In fact some of the awkward fireplace dialogue was contextually tied to this scene. That dialogue was cut out when the family scene was taken out, and that fireplace dialogue suffered for it.

    The love story exists in an excellent believable format in the novel. I think George just hacked the heck out of it :)

  12. DarthSkeptical Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2001
    star 3
    While I hope to respond more fully to this thread, I'd begin by disagreeing with the seemingly universal criticism of the love story. As I've said in other places, comparisons with ESB are completely inappropriate. We may like Leia and Han more but that's because they are almost definitionally easy to appreciate, especially if you have American sensibilities. Leia and Han are rebels. And we're inculcated (as Americans) to like rebels. Liking royalty?s harder. Padmé is infinitely more complex, because she makes an actual transition, whereas Leia in ROTJ is essentially the same person she is in ANH (albeit with a smokier voice). Padmé, though, has to grow and change?and her starting point is harder for audiences to relate to as well. If Leia is a kind of sexy Samuel Adams at first, Padmé is more of a compassionate Elizabeth I. She has an almost virginal leadership quality about her, fully in defense of the status quo. But as the status quo itself shifts, her position becomes one of rebellion, and her chastity melts with her regality. She adapts to the situation at hand to go into territory she was never trained for. She?s left, ultimately, with more innate goodness than good sense. Thus you?re left with this compelling mixture of decisiveness when she doesn?t really have enough information to define a good decision, regality when there?s no longer a place for royalty, and compassion when the events (from the audience's perspective) dictate skepticism. Her role with Anakin is thus a mirror of her love for her people: she?s protective, optimistic, and nostaligic. She loves him because she?s at once marveled by his powers and understanding of his flaws. She instinctively knows there?s a place for her in his life. She marries him because it?s the proper expression of love. And that?s harder stuff to immediately like than the classic American romantic paradigm that Han and Leia represent. I give all credit to Portman for being able to create a character which is actually considerably more complex than Leia. One of the main reasons I want to see Episode III has nothing to do with the larger issues of transition to Empire, but rather to witness Portman?s transition to tragic hero.

    And the dialogue of the love scenes clearly helps define the characters as set forward above. To me, one of the lines that's gotten the most criticism is one that made me think, "Lucas really nailed it." When Anakin goes into his diatribe against sand and then apparently awkwardly contrasts her "smoothness" against that sand, I was blown away. Not only did Lucas evoke images of the sandstorms in TPM, he also conveyed the sense that Anakin had few truly happy memories from youth save for Padmé. Simultaneously he showed that it was an awkward and almost obsessive love that wasn't really based in an equality of personality so much as a dream of beauty. She's as much a mysterious "angel" to this Anakin as she was to Jake Lloyd's.

    As for there being no sense of "danger" which brought them together, in the same way that we saw Leia and Han develop, I'd again have to respectfully disagree. The danger in these movies so far is mainly political. It isn't really a hot "war" until the last frames of the movie. The clever thing that Lucas does with the picnic scene is to foreshadow Anakin's true political leanings and contrast them against Amidala's, while at the same time moving the romance along. The peril of central importance to Padmé is precisely dictatorship itself, not the outcome of a single battle or even a war, and therefore that discussion happens (perhaps unbeknownst to Amidala) at a moment of extreme danger.

    The problem, I think, for many conventionally minded critics (and I use that word in the best possible sense), is that this love story is entirely unconventional. We've had love stories before between a hero and a heroine. We've had love stories between an adult, deliberate enemy and an adult, definite heroine. Lucas' essential writing task was to create two people who are none of these things.
  13. JBFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    I loved reading the first post...great Idea for a thread...however I may sound like an @$$ with my following comments.


    I know you said the fanboy in you loved the movie and it was great entertainment...however...master george draws the line there.

    its people like this who disect every part of star wars that george shakes his head at...its just a movie...a fantasy tale of good vs evil.

    If you like it fine, if not sorry, but when it comes down to it, its all a saturday morning serial.

    Simply put, they dont make movies like they used too...you will never see another movie like the OT...movies arent made the same way. Its a different time, a different audience..with new tools etc..

    accept the prequels for what they are and enjoy the ride or get off the rollercoaster.

    Thats all i can say...

    however i think you are quite gifted in your evaluation, but to me it just shouldnt apply to star wars.
  14. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    JediHPDrummer, thanks for posting that review. It would be funny to see how the fans would have reacted if the episodes had been released in chronological order. I'm pretty sure ANH, ESB and ROTJ would have received a lot more criticism. Maybe it would be an interesting experiment to show the whole saga in order to kids in the future and see if they prefer the first half or the last half? :)

    But to get back on topic, my only real problems with the script for AOTC is that the romance relies on too much corny dialogue (Lucas should have let William's beautiful score do most of the talking) and Obi-Wan and Anakin aren't really shown as the "good friends" they should have been. Obi-Wan is far too strict with Anakin in parts, and Anakin only seems to respect and care about him because he is his Master, no more.
    As for the other complaints, I don't agree that Dooku should have been shown earlier. One thing I love about the film is how the mystery is sustained throughout the story. The mystery of the clones and the mystery of who exactly Dooku is and why he is leading the Separatists. I think revealing everything up front would have been far less interesting.
  15. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I believe somebody mentioned that he/she thought that AOTC was more artist than Empire. Please inform me because I believe that Empire is vastly more artistic, I almost find something new everytime I watch it. I ask because I would very much like to see some of this.

    Indeed, AOTC is MORE artistic than Empire.

    What themes do we essentially have in Empire? Not much more than the standard hero's journey. ESB has little social commentary, it's all personal. How friends and family relate to one another, and a rather large statement about the nature of evil being close to the nature of good at the end (I am your father).

    But AOTC has much more than that, especially in the order we're seeing it in. For one thing, it has a historical commentary: the use of an assassination that accompanies the onset of war is very close to how WWI began, though that assassination was more causal to the war. There's also the whole issue of whether we should arm ourselves to begin with.

    This leads into the political commentary, far more meaty than Vader's one line of brining order to the galaxy (though that line in ESB is very well inflected by JEJ). We have the scene in the medow between Anakin and Amidala, VERY well written on the nature of democracy and dictatorships, and how those cynical over democracy easily slide into the ease of accepting a dictatorship. Anakin's whole view of politics is completely consistent with who he will become as Vader: he is NOT a politician, but desires a system where things get done, and will support someone that stands for that system. This is where his sympathies truly lie, and there's a whole commentary on those sort of people in this section, of which there are many. Not to mention the commentary ont he weaknesses of democracy.

    The symbolism is quite rampant. Naboo is the dream world-- someone here commented that Tatooine is the place where dreams come true: not really. Naboo is where lofty dreams come true, where the most impossible goals can be reached, be they romantic or heroic. Tatooine, in contrast, is a lonely place of destiny, and destinies are not always very positive. Tatooine is the much darker place thay again serves as the TRUE center of the galaxy as Arrakis does for Dune.

    Not to mention the entire bit with the clones. It is so extremely chilling when you see 3P0 get into line with all those robots, yet it's played for laughs. But when you realize that 3P0 is an always has been Anakin's avatar-- his stasis reflects Anakin just as much as the lightsaber colors he holds-- it's just as disconcerting as the 'Stuck in the middle with you' scene in Resevoir Dogs. Here we are laughing at 3P0, but think for a second what we see: his head, cut off-- his headless body walking perfectly into sync with all the other robot heads, almost WILLINGLY. The head of the enemy is put on 3P0, and 3P0's on the head of the enemy. The wires of good and evil are crossed. Worse, they have become indistinguishable. 3P0 even begins saying things that are 'evil'. It's very much like the bit from Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' where all the children are on the conveyor belt, destined for the meat grinder.

    The clones reflect this too. All white and surrounded by white. A place that looks even more Angelic than Cloud City: but here there are things going on even MORE subversive and MORE artistic. Lando was just a man pushed into doing things he didn't want to, and little time was spent on his situation. Here we get a very decent look at people who take pride in creating an army...an army for the Republic. They seem very much innocent. And yet, do they not question why the Army is being created? And then there's Dexter Jettster's comment earlier on-- those cloner attitudes depend on how good your manners are AND HOW BIG YOUR POCKETBOOK IS.

    What else? The changeling: the fact it can change shapes is symbolic of the nature of the situation, that things are not as they seem. That is the reason Zam is a changeling...not becuase it has anything to do with the immediate plot, but becuase it describes the entir
  16. Tar-Jinn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 1
    Ergh, Gonk.
    Aren't you reaching a bit in there?

    How is Naboo the planet of dreams? How is living in a formal society (see Amidala in TPM) precisely dreamy? What kind of dreams comes true on Naboo?

    Why is 3PO Anakin's avatar? They meet like - once - in the OT?

    Tipoca looks more "laboratory white" than "angelic white" to me (not to mention that the Visual Dictionary says it is in fact very colourful... to the Kaminoans, that is.)

    Anakin finds out that Zam is a changeling because he saw/sensed that in that speeder! And the only reason she is one is probably because if Lucas had the lines go only: "I think he is a she." "Then be extra careful", he would probably be accused of male chauvinism in addition to racism!



    On Tatooine as planet of dreams coming true, and of destinies:
    ANH: "I want to leave this planet" ----> Luke leaves the planet.
    ROTJ: Luke finally at least starts behaving like a Jedi.

    And, TPM, which is what I was mainly referring to.
    TPM: "I want to win a podrace." ---> check
    "I want to be a Jedi." ---> AotC, the way Padme sees it, check
    "I am naked!" ---> AotC, C3PO has coverings, check
    "I think I will see you Mom again." ---> AotC, check

    And those random Tatooine repeating tidbits, like:
    "He seems to be carrying a message from/to an Obi-Wan Kenobi."
    "Where are you going?"
    blue milk ;)

    And try to think of both this, and Padme in AotC simultaneously:
    Qui-Gon's talk before the podrace, about letting go and trusting instincts.
    Qui-Gon's gambling, demonstrating that strict adherence to the code is not necessary.
    Qui-Gon's doing a very reckless thing, putting his faith in that little boy... and winning.

    And try to see the Watto conversation in AotC from Padme's point of view:
    Watto is now different.
    Little Ani isn't that little anymore.
    Even Shmi moved on and married.
    Seems like she is the only one who's going nowhere!

    This is what I meant. Just little funny tidbits, here'n'there.
  17. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Ergh, Gonk.
    Aren't you reaching a bit in there?

    How is Naboo the planet of dreams? How is living in a formal society (see Amidala in TPM) precisely dreamy? What kind of dreams comes true on Naboo?

    Why is 3PO Anakin's avatar? They meet like - once - in the OT?


    Actually, this has all been postulated before me. Go to the Ivory Tower threads started by Jedi Galadriel to read up more about it.

    But Naboo is definately a planet of dreams: I mean, look at the place, it's a paradise. It is also about the only planet not dominated by a single environment. There is grass, but also lakes, swamps, cities and other places. Anakin in fact speaks of it fondly, like a dream, and he associates Naboo with Padme. Also, most of the positive goals are achieved on Naboo: Anakin becomes a hero, Obi-Wan becomes a Jedi Knight, Anakin woos the queen (all right, he doesn't accomplish it, but he gets pretty far). I mean, 'Lake Retreat'? Compared to the other places of the entire saga this is the place dreams-- good dreams-- are more or less made of. The only place comparable to it is cloud city.

    As for 3P0 being Anakin's avatar, this is very apparent. Sure they barely see one another-- but what has that to do with anything? Avatars are not necessarily in contact with thier 'gods'. I mean, just look at what's there: 3P0 refers to Anakin as the 'maker'. 3P0's states mirror how Anakin progrsses: in TPM, 'naked' and without protection. In AOTC, grey/silver, indicating he is now protected, but of a different state then the final one-- not to mention all the business on Geonosis as 3P0 is getting his head cut off and replaced just as his Maker is being pinned and trapped by technology, the very arm that will be artificial by the end of the film. Then later, 3P0 becomes gold-- anakin becomes Vader. Gold in amny ways can symbolize greed (note what Lucas has to say about gold in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when they are looking at the many cups for the holy grail, and how the woman with Indy seems to remark out of nowhere ;It would not be made of gold'). And yet 3P0 still has that one leg that is NOT gold-- telling how not all of Anakin is quite Vader. And then, in ESB, 3P0 is destroyed: this in the long run symbolizes how Anakin's persona of Vader is shattered in ESB. You might say ah, but doesn't that come in ROTJ? Not really. Vader in ROTJ is markedly different than prior to that. He's a lot less hateful and a lot more morose, clearly fighting a battle with himself that has been going on since ESB.


    Tipoca looks more "laboratory white" than "angelic white" to me (not to mention that the Visual Dictionary says it is in fact very colourful... to the Kaminoans, that is.)

    Well, what the visual dictionary says doesn't really matter because it's not concerned with what Lucas is doing as a filmmaker. And besides, labratory white IS supposed to be angelic white. I'm pretty sure that's why hospitals are designed the way they are, to give people the impression of healing. It would certainly be depressing if a hospital were painted in black, wouldn't it? White is there so patients will feel thier demise is NOT going to happen. So in a way, the two are the same.



    Anakin finds out that Zam is a changeling because he saw/sensed that in that speeder! And the only reason she is one is probably because if Lucas had the lines go only: "I think he is a she." "Then be extra careful", he would probably be accused of male chauvinism in addition to racism!

    Ah yes, but that is also the reason it is Anakin on that speeder and not Obi-Wan. It could easily have been the other way around or written that way. The point is not the logistics, which the writer can change at whim, but what is the result of the logistics. Who gets to make that final remark. As for your last bit, I don't really understand it, and I don't really think it has much relevance in what he was doing. Saying 'I think he is a she' is a good line in terms of sexual equality, but again, either Jedi could have made that comment. Lucas wrote everything
  18. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    UP! I want comments! :D
  19. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    I think that sort of visual and thematic analysis can be applied to any of the other films as well. It's interesting, but I don't see how it fits into the discussion at hand.

    We're talking about the essense of basic storytelling... fluidly driving the plot forward through dramatic conflict between characters while cleverly working in needed exposition in a way that the audience isn't aware of it. A scholarly essay such as the one you just wrote, while intriguing and valid, is an "after the fact" examination of themes, not the stuff of the actual story.

    To put it another way: I think you're dragging the cart before the horse. :)
  20. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Ah, but like I said, refer to the Ivory tower thread. This stuff was being bantered around long before AOTC. Years before, in fact.
  21. Ded-Man Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 2
    But the themes are the story, in a lot of ways.

    I think a lot of mythy talk is lost around here sometimes.

    I fondly remember the ivory tower thread, however.

    Great ideas, gonk.
  22. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    Excellent post, Gonk. I think with some films the themes are actually more interesting than the immediate story.
    For example, one of my favourite films is Edward Scissorhands. The plot is very simple - basically a reworking of Beauty & the Beast or Pinocchio - but its the themes and symbolism that really stuck with me. It examines everything from the nature of being an outsider to the danger of conformity to the lonliness of artistic individuals.
    I think the PT is the opposite of the OT in that regard. The classic trilogy was more about an exciting surface plot, whereas the prequels seems to have much more going on under the surface.
  23. bed_speling Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2002
    star 1

    I like Fitten Trim's take on the love story (two pages back). It was well written and logically structured. I found its diagnosis persuasive.

    After reading Fitten Trim's take I thought I had been persuaded, until DarthSkeptical's post higher up on this page made me do a momentary 180-degree turn.

    DarthSkeptical wrote "The problem, I think, for many conventionally minded critics...is that this love story is entirely unconventional...Lucas captures exactly that ambiguity and leaves us saying "Something isn't quite right here."

    DarthSkeptical's take on the love story had me thinking. But I concluded that for it to work that way more things need to be introduced into the movie to signal to us that "something isn't quite right there". Perhaps the background could have been designed in an off-beat way to signal the discomforting 'not-quite-rightness' of their love. But as the movie stands, the backgrounds were typical love story cliches (rolling hill, fireplace). The writer has to get the 'not-quite-right'-ness just right for the love story to acquire the necessary disturbing resonance.

    I enjoyed reading this thread.


  24. Darth-Murder Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2001
    star 1
    Excellent thread. I wonder just why they decided to include Naboo? Because they liked filming there the last time? Why didn't George realize how unnecessary it is?

    I guess it has to do with the cut scenes: Padmé's family. Scenes which actually enhance the unbelievable love subplot. Afterwards, when George decided to cut these scenes, it was impossible to not include Naboo anymore.

    BTW, if Anakin had taken her to Tatooine immediately, the Panaka line "You can't take a royal highness there, the Hutts are gangsters" would be cooler.
  25. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    I think Naboo was included because it's the most romantic planet in the galaxy. Much easier to fall in love there than on that dirty old Tatooine :)
    Plus, it was nice to see how things had changed there since TPM, such as Gungan being allowed in the royal court. Lucas could have had Anakin and Padme falling in love while they were being chased across the galaxy, but I welcomed the breather that the Naboo scenes provided, since Obi-Wan's plot was almost all action.
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