Saga Attack of the Clones or Empire Strikes Back

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Force Smuggler, Dec 9, 2013.

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  1. Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 3
    Hmm, tough choice.

    ESB: Universally recognized as one of the greatest films ever made.

    AOTC: A cinematic abortion that's probably the low point of the already-low prequels.

    Which to choose, which to choose...Thankfully we have a decade of the Lucasfilm propaganda machine to tell us that all true Star Wars fans really do love the prequels and that they're absolutely of course just as good as the real Star Wars Trilogy. Otherwise what would all the fanboys do?
    TaradosGon and Carbon1985 like this.
  2. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Discovering and discussing themes, hidden details, finding answers to questions that haven't been answered and other things can be fun and I like doing it but not for a profession or going too far on what should be a simple thing is not my cup of tea.
    Carbon1985 likes this.
  3. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 6
    Anakin wanting revenge on whoever killed her, or blaming the Jedi for her death, would have actually made sense.

    As it was--I have no idea what the hell Lucas was trying to do, and the fact that it apparently needs a paragraph-to-page explanation because I didn't look at the moving images "correctly" or something, is ridiculous.
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  4. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    lol Was your Dad like an extra in the OT?
    -Jedi Joe-, Darkslayer, Samnz and 2 others like this.
  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 6
    Mine was part of the Red Squadron at Yavin.
  6. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Hidden details in Harry Potter for example is fun. Book 1 mirrors 7, 2 and 6, 3 and 5. Snape hates Neville because he lived instead of Lily etc. The whole reason Harry survived in King's Cross chapter is still a bit above my head but trying to piece that whole thing together works for me.
    Not everything ties into something else but a lot of stuff do. Sometimes its fun sometimes its not.
  7. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

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    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    I think film analysis can at times be pretentious. Aesthetics for me is pretty much a gut reaction. The way that Padme's death was intercut with Vader's "birth" worked. And pretty much my gut reaction while watching the film is either "I'm enjoying this" or "I'm not enjoying this."

    I can't really get sucked into the story if my mind is racing with "OMG, this is cinematic brilliance, the way that birth and death are cut together like this, and that in some ways Anakin and Padme are dying at the same time, though on the flip side, Luke and Vader are being born at the same time!!!!!"

    Nor do I think that the above example is particularly brilliant. It works, and really that's all that needs to happen.

    But yeah, that's something neat that can be discussed after the fact when I try to rationalize why I liked something. Not consciously something that goes through my head as I watch it for the first time.

    My favorite film is Jurassic Park, and I've seen that picked apart as being the theme of man's futility to control nature, blah blah, with some people looking at Jeff Goldblum's character (Ian Malcolm) like his words are those of God. Really, I get that theme, but totally disagree with it, yet love the film regardless, it's just a good movie. I'm sure many people watch the original Godzilla and think of it just as a good monster movie, and not a commentary on Japanese society and the fear of nuclear weapons.

    The Alien films are also some of my favorite films, and I've seen commentaries calling attention to bizarre sexual characteristics in the monsters. That when the creature first emerges it looks phallic, as an adult it almost has a more feminine physique, the creature is obsessed with breeding and abducts people to do so (and the people die in the process), and I've seen analyses saying that the films are horrifying because they are pretty much rape scenarios. And while females tend to be the victims in the real world, in these films there are largely male (though with a few women) casts that are subject to "rape" and being killed by a feminine alien that erupted out of a person's chest as some penis-like creature.

    My God did that all go over my head when I first watched the films. I thought they were horrifying because it was about a bizarre alien killing people in graphic ways and seeing people have aliens blow out of their chests in graphic scenes. I wasn't thinking "oh, well, as a male seeing another male get 'raped' by a feminine creature, this truly is an unsettling twist on the concept of violent rape."

    I guess it's kind of neat to see that stuff after the fact, but the movie succeeds even if it all goes over your head. It becomes pretentious when people begin to insist that if you don't like something, it's because you FAILED to interpret some kind of hidden theme as though the film becomes objectively good once you see it.

    I think Padme's death is one of the dumbest things in all of the films -- how she died, not how the scene was shot. It doesn't matter what theme, imagery, etc. someone tries to evoke for why her death is what it is, it's never going to get me to all of a sudden like that scene. I'm not going to all of a sudden awaken to some genius of George Lucas in this scene that I had never seen before.

    And I think as far as hidden themes go, Star Wars is remarkably shallow. Which is not to say that it's bad. A film like Jaws is classic IMO yet really has no brilliant message or theme or imagery, it was just well shot and acted to create suspense and horror. The Star Wars films were great adventure films. They were executed brilliantly in that regard. They were fun. But IMO when it comes to anything deeper than that, Lucas' attempts were mediocre or passable at best, made irritating when Lucas tries to apply deeper meaning to some of the most basic things.

    For instance, I know there was a quote floating around regarding choking being Vader's preferred method of torture not because, you know, it's a slow, horrifying way to go when you can't breathe. But because "the Force is in the breathe" or something ridiculous like that.
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Dec 11, 2013
  8. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 6
    I like Jurassic Park as well, but the only real "theme" (to use the term) that I took out of it was "Don't **** with science." Man attempting to control nature fits in with that though.

    As far as Malcolm, I'm envisioning him saying "I hate being right all the time" as the voice of God. And doing a sequel to the George Burns movie.

    IOW totally on board with that idea.

    Padme dying as Vader rose might have worked better for me if I could get past the idea that the reason she died is so ****ing idiotic. But I can't.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Dec 11, 2013
  9. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

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    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    @anakinfansince1983

    With Jurassic Park I really think the only "themes" to be taken are all derivative re-wordings of the one single theme that you point out.

    Malcolm being the "voice of reason" that nothing is predictable in a complex system (Ellie couldn't predict which way the water was going to roll off her hand, the dinosaurs began to change sex despite being "engineered" to all be female, the dinosaurs adapting to eat lysine rich diets to circumvent the lysine contingency [this is mentioned in The Lost World], or how the obsession with commercialism is bad, nature "selected dinosaurs for extinction" and humans shouldn't mess with that, etc).

    And most of the message is something that I just don't agree with strongly. I don't think cloning is bad, I don't think that systems are as unpredictable as Jurassic Park makes them to be (birds are technically dinosaurs, so physiologically I don't think the science behind engineering a dinosaur would be like taking a shot in the dark), nor do I think the logistics of keeping a dinosaur in captivity are all that different than keeping most other animals in captivity.

    I love Malcolm's character, though I disagree with the beliefs the character pushes. But that reality is not incompatible IMO no more so than that Palpatine is my favorite Star Wars character despite being Space-Hitler. I found the character entertaining and interesting, despite disagreeing with the character's views.

    And for me anyway, in the case of Jurassic Park, the film still stands as an excellent film for me regardless of disagreeing with the theme presented and the message pushed by Malcolm's character.

    In the case of Star Wars, something like the Death Star I strongly assume is meant to mirror nuclear weapons. The idea of making a demonstration of incredible destructive force and using that fear to maintain order. That's essentially what the US did. And I'm not going to try and spark a debate on the ethics of using nuclear weapons, but I'm sure of the millions of Star Wars fans around the world, many fans fall on either side of that argument. Some can see what the US did to Japan as necessary but still be opposed to what Palpatine is doing. I'm going on assumption, but I'm guessing Lucas falls solidly into "nuclear weapons are all around terrible" camp. But whether or not you believe in the message Lucas is pushing, I don't think that in any way tarnishes the film.
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Dec 11, 2013
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  10. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    star 4
    That's not a case of the sexual imagery 'going over your head', it's simply not necessarily registering on an immediate, conscious level - nor does it need to. Deconstructing the imagery in such a fashion is perfectly worthwhile, as it explains why the scenes were frightening on a gut level, but the real purpose was to make them frightening. Appealing to the subconscious is simply another way of getting a point across.
    If you were scared and horrified, job done. If you want to probe further on later viewings, such methods by which the filmmakers made the film scary and horrifying are there to be discovered, but it's unlikely that such discovery will enhance the visceral impact, it's more likely to appeal to the intellect.

    Similarly, Luke's hand being cut off in ESB has been referred to as 'castration' by GL and others - that doesn't mean the audience was meant to reflect upon the scene in such a way when they first saw it, or even on later viewings. It's just an analytical way of referring to the impact the act of Luke's dismemberment has, by striking at a subconscious fear.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  11. Team Padme Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Also, something I love about AOTC is how it has that mystery to it in the beginning.
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  12. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Mod edit: No personal attacks
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Dec 11, 2013
  13. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    This abbreviation caught my eye in the boozer this evening, and I couldn't resist:

    [IMG]

    As it turned out, this new beer from 4 Pines was fantastic (highly recommended for our Aussie users - a rich, fruity flavoured amber/ruby ale, with a cheerfully higher than average alcohol content of 5.4%) and given the lack of a poll on this thread, can also stand as my vote.
  14. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    Oh, AOTC. The first 10 minutes - Padme returning to Coruscant, an assassination attempt, discussion in Palpatine's office and Obi-Wan and Anakin as peaceful as ever. The last ten minutes - first great battle of the Clone wars, confrontation with Dooku, acknowledgement that the Sith are behind all of this, Begun the Clone war has and Anakin's and Padme's marriage. What a journey that is! Between this are romance, revelations, mystery, conspiracies, revenge, return from death and one big Jedi showdown at Geonosian corral. Star Wars at it's best. And that bold decision to write the romance scenes in thirties style... I bow to master Lucas.
    TESB is the most human and the best acted SW movie. It's very personal, focused on Luke's growth as a Jedi and Han's and Leia's relationship, and it's very spiritual which makes him very unique in the saga. It remains the only movie without any significant event (on galactic terms), and yet it does it's purpose so well. Vader shows us how deep to the dark side he's willing to go by turning his son and Luke chooses death over dark side. Powerful message.
    These are very strong movies, one with the whole galaxy changing, the other with the characters changing. But still, my preference lies with AOTC. Two young, lonely people in the middle of big turning events find love that'll seal the fate of themselves and the galaxy.
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  15. Pensivia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    This is a pretty easy choice for me. There are definitely parts of AOTC I enjoy quite a bit (Kamino scenes, the Geonosis battle once the Jedi arrive, the Dooku-Anakin and Dooku-Yoda duels), but some of the Anakin-Padme romance scenes are real drawbacks for me. I find ESB great all the way through, with the Yoda scenes and the Luke-Vader meeting among my very favorites out of the saga as a whole. So, ESB all the way!
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  16. ObiAlKenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2012
    star 2
    I can't believe there is even a thread called this.

    The Empire Strikes Back of course.

    All three prequels combined do not match Empire.
  17. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    [IMG]
  18. Han Burgundy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 2
    @Darkslayer, are you really that surprised? ESB is considered to be the best in the saga, and one of the best films in general, by A LOT of people. I mean a huge, huge swath of the population that has seen Star Wars views ESB as the pinnacle of the series.

    Within the bubble of this forum, where there is a much, much more even distribution of opinions on the saga, it's easy to forget how legendary of a film ESB is to a lot of people. That's why, even though I enjoy AOTC quite a bit and think its an overall underrated film, I don't get angry when I hear people who don't think it even touches the curtails of ESB. That's a film that simply has a level of cultural penetration that AOTC will never have.
  19. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 6
    I suppose I need to face palm all the people who like ROTS, since I don't agree with them.
  20. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    Also, @Han Burgundy

    I have no problem with people saying the like ESB more. I just hate the way a lot of people saying it. That's what the facepalm was for. You can say you like ESB better without calling AOTC, which a lot of people like, a "cinematic abortion."
  21. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    are you telling us what to say?
  22. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    [face_laugh]No I'm saying don't be a *****
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  23. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    So am I a ***** if I think any movie is a steaming pile?
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  24. Odolwa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2013
    star 3
    I liked AOTC except the "Obi-wans going to kill me" and love scenes, It doesn't deserve the hate it gets. But ESB is a much better film, Plus a lot of people grew up watching it so it has a place in peoples hearts. Personally ROTJ is my favorite, followed by ESB and ROTS
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  25. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3


    But there is a point being made here, first by @anakinfansince1983 and really expanded upon well by @TaradosGon - its a point I've addressed previously but not put as well as the two combined responses (and your own here). Whether there is a deeper theme or not is irrelevant as to whether or not the film/scene/act worked for the viewer.

    The argument that someone doesn't 'get it' misses the point that if you have to 'get it' in order for it to affect you then...it is the art that has failed.
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