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Better acting in PT or OT?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by AdamBertocci, May 15, 2003.

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  1. DamonD

    DamonD Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 22, 2002
    This might be helpful. Nai posted it in the AOTC Defense Force thread, from an interview with Carrie Fisher in the lastest SW Insider.

    "[Reviewers] go back and they judge the new films against the old. The new standard becomes the first three films, and I suddenly get wonderful reviews. I promise you, the first reviews were terrible to begin with, so they are just doing the same thing again. Who knows what will happen with time? Certainly no one else is doing visually what George does, and if he's setting the standard and is being judged against himself, then hallelujah! The bigger the target, the bigger the artillery, so they should back off. It becomes personal sometimes, and [some critics] are really enraged. I don't hold much in that tactic. I don't go by what they say about this stuff." - Carrie Fisher

  2. Krash

    Krash RSA Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 11, 2000
    SKYWALKER HERO: Anakin vs Luke
    Nothing against Mark Hamill, but I was a believer in Hayden's ability to act after "Life as a House". Hayden brought all the "weaknesses" that lead to Darth well as signs of some "like father like son" traits (including the whinning)
    ADVANTAGE: Anakin

    Harrison Ford may be one of the greatest action heroes ever, but this was some of his early work. Ewan's Obi-Wan has to be both part a mirror of Alec Guiness' character (done very well) and show some new aspects to Obi-Wan
    ADVANTAGE: Prequels

    TOKEN FEMALE: Padme vs Leia
    Love Natalie (we share the same birthday) as an actress, I think she's one of the more talented people (in her age group) around. But Carrie Fisher brought that "spunky" nature of the "I'm not a damsel in distress...I'm a distressing damsel" that we all love about Leia
    ADVANTAGE: "Somebody has to save us kids"

    ALIEN COMPANION: Jar Jar vs Chewie
    (this is difficult) While Ahmed Best brought a very good performance, his was more for the other actors' benefit (he was only on set for rehearsal)...meanwhile Peter Mayhew conveyed emotion and subtle details through his eyes and subtle body language (shield door scene in ESB)
    ADVANTAGE: Let the wookie win!

    WISE OLDER JEDI: Qui-Gon/Mace vs Obi
    Liam Neeson was wonderful as Qui-Gon, he goave you the impression of the "father figure" both Obi-Wan and Anakin needed. However, Sir Alec Guiness...from the moment he pulled back that hood and said "hello there" was 100% jedi
    ADVANTAGE: Classic

    SITHLY BAD GUY: Dooku vs Vader
    While Christopher Lee has played some classic villians (who else gets to say "dark lord" in 2 different movies) Darth Vader is still the icon of bad guys everywhere.
    ADVANTAGE: Classic

    Temuera Morrison got a chance to not only provide some backstory...but give a "preview" of what made Boba Fett such cult favorite in EU
    ADVANTAGE: Prequels
  3. ShaakRider

    ShaakRider Jedi Youngling star 2

    Nov 14, 2002
    To me, the acting in the OT is plain and simple, just as the main characters. Maybe this is one important reason why most people can appreciate the OT. The PT, on the contrary, is subtle and complex.

    That's a good point. While I don't think teh OT acting was better, I do think that it served better it's purpose than PT acting. I don't blame the actors though, I think the problem is that complex characters need more careful characterization and directing and th PT lacks both imo. I mean ppl say: oh, SW isn't about acting and dialogue. It can be correct regarding the OT's rather simplistic story and archetypal characters, but hey, PT is claimed to be a drama and a portrayal of a more intricate world. It does need quality dialogue and acting.
  4. vampire-jing

    vampire-jing Jedi Youngling star 3

    Oct 10, 2002
    I mean ppl say: oh, SW isn't about acting and dialogue. It can be correct regarding the OT's rather simplistic story and archetypal characters, but hey, PT is claimed to be a drama and a portrayal of a more intricate world. It does need quality dialogue and acting.


    I think the problem is that complex characters need more careful characterization and directing.

    And editing, IMO. GL cut too many stuff to conclude the movie in 2 hours, It hurt the actor's performance. Natalie is great in the "extended arriving on Naboo" scene, as well as Hayden, but due to the poor editing, they are less than great in the "arriving on Naboo" scene.

    Since the storyline and characters of PT are way more complex than OT, it's not very wise for GL to stick to his old style, I guess.

  5. sellars1996

    sellars1996 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jun 19, 2002
    The acting is really the same in both. Given the limits placed on the actors by Lucas and the genre, hardly anyone would deliver a critically acclaimed performance, and no one would do any better than the actors selected by Lucas have done.

    I've seen it raised here and in a couple of places that the OT is more accessible to people because it is clearer who the good guys and bad guys are in the OT. The PT is more subtle and delves into a lot of different shades of gray. People might think the acting is worse in the PT because they don't like the stories as much, just like some people are convinced that Mark Hamill and Hayden Christensen are terrible actors because they don't like the characters (whiny or self-centered, etc.).

    I would agree that the editing of the PT films has hurt the perception of the actors' performances in some instances. Seeing the deleted scenes in TPM and AOTC gave the films more depth and let some of the acting shine through more clearly.
  6. Krash

    Krash RSA Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 11, 2000
    But as a dircector, GL has to make the tough decision about such things as running time. In a story as grand as SW, some things have to be trimmed to the allow for more time. All the fans wouldn't mind if GL made a 3 hour TPM and AOTC; but it would turn away a large portion of the general public. Since everyone seems to obsessed with box office numbers, and SW fans alone aren't going to be able to generate the kind of money we expect a movie like SW; it has to have some kind of mass appeal to be successful, and that includes anappropriate running time.

    For all the people who bash the acting in PT, as well as the direction they recieve, it's my belief that many people aren't happy with the fact that GL's vision for PT doesn't match their own ideas. When years of speculation are answered, not in your favor, that doesn't mean "it sucks"
  7. gezvader28

    gezvader28 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 22, 2003
    I really don't think that putting back the deleted scenes would help any. Look at the deleted scenes on AOTC, the scenes with Padme are more of the same - dull. We've had over 4 hours of the PT now, that's plenty of time.

    For me the only thing that could save Padme's character from being irredeemably dull is if there's a big twist in Ep.3 and she turns out to be ....well someone less boring!
    Maybe I'm being too unkind, but couldn't she at least have a sense of humor?

  8. Tatooine_Fireman

    Tatooine_Fireman Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 16, 2003
    I think the acting in both the PT and the OT served their purposes, and a few stand out, like Ian McDiarmid, Peter Cushing and Alec Guiness, who were/are very experienced actors at the time the movies were made.

    Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford did a very good job in the OT, it's hard not to like those characters, they're funny and have real good chemistry together.
    Natalie, she is indeed a bit dull, but not "terrible" as some people like to call it.

    Ewan mcGregor and Liam Neesan did good jobs, Qui-Gon Jinn is the model-Jedi to me, just by the way he looks.

    Mark Hamill was also very good, i think he doesn't any credit for his work.
    He played the dreaming farm boy perfectly in ANH, just check out the deleted scenes from ANH at Toschi Station and the deleted Biggs scenes, and you'll get what i mean.
    In ESB, he is teriffic. One of the reasons we believed Yoda was alive, was because of Mark's interaction with the puppet.
    I must admit that Mark's a bit dull in ROTJ, but that's because his character has changed so much. The war and the responsabilities ( not spelled correct, i know) that comes with is powers. he was great in the Palpy, Vader scenes, IMO.
    Hayden is just perfect as Anakin. nothing to say about that.

    I think Jar-Jar more of a character then Chewie, but Chewie is just...Chewie!

    Jango or Lando? I really don't know. Lando is a real, believable character, instead of suit of gadgets.

    it's hard to make a choice...
    as i said, there is, IMO, no need to compare
    the acting in the PT with the OT, 'cause it serves its purpose. Really good.
  9. _dArTh_SoLo

    _dArTh_SoLo Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 11, 2002
    ok I watched ESB for the first time about three weeks ago and let me tell you....the acting is ATROCIOUS! ROTJ too!

    I honestly just realized how horrible it is. For anyone to pan the prequels and praise the OT is just beyond me.
  10. PalpatineAntikristos

    PalpatineAntikristos Jedi Youngling star 3

    Oct 6, 2002
    You have 494 posts, and you had never seen ESB until recently? I can only imagine how many posts you'll have once you see all the movies.

    P.S. - I envy you watching one of the OT for the first time, even if you thought the acting was bad. Ahhhh, your first step into a larger world.
  11. First_Stage_Lensman

    First_Stage_Lensman Jedi Youngling star 2

    Feb 23, 2003
    It's not the acting as much as the editing. But overall the OT had a livelier cast with snappier dialogue.

    But it's all the same to me. Not much difference to speak of. Anyhow, Liam Neeson and Ian McDiarmid get my award for best performances in the Saga.
  12. appleseed

    appleseed Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 5, 2002
    I feel like it's a toss-up. To me the "OT" consisted of Ford and Fisher yelling at the top of their lungs and Hamill kinda carrying it. I think in the "PT", Portman and Christensen are a bit flat at times, while McGregor carries it. I do wish they had given Padme a sense of humor, although I do like her character, but something tells me Episode III is not gonna have many laughs in it....
  13. AdamBertocci

    AdamBertocci Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 3, 2002
    I feel that Harrison Ford is the OT's biggest liability acting-wise, which is ironic considering he ended up the biggest star of them all.

    With the exception of Blade Runner, he just plays the same darn character over and over again, never particularly well. I never get the sense he's more than just a handsome fellow paid to act excited.

    Rick McCallum loves you!
  14. khairul_azwan

    khairul_azwan Jedi Youngling star 1

    Aug 9, 2002
    i think the ot has the advantage of better script and writing if only for the fact that the pt feels forced and predictable, dictated by the ot. still, the credibility of the ot acting overall is proven by the fact that we still see the ot actors for the characters they portrayed in the movies. mark will always be luke, carrie will always be leia, and you still go to fords movie cuz you liked either han or indy, right?

  15. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    I have a whole thesis on this subject in [link=]this thread[/link] :)
  16. yodaschum

    yodaschum Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 9, 2002
    I have to say that the I enjoyed the OT cast a whole lot more. One of the things thats missing from the prequels is the sense of family that the OT had. I don't get the same sense of love, friendship and bonding from the PT cast as I do from the OT. I am biased when I say Harrison Ford is the best actor of all the Star Wars movies, as he is my favourite actor of all time. However, at least Han Solo was a hero with some great one liners, which is more than I can say for anything in the prequels. Hammils Skywalker is also a great hero of mythic proportions. No one forgets Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Dath Vader, Princess Leia. Those characters will live forever and some of the credit must go to the actors who played them. Anakin, so far played by Jake Lloyd and Christensen makes no impression on me. Padme a little, if only for the fact Natalie Portman is an attractive girl, however her performance is droll, and for the most part she looks like she'd rather not be there. Anyway, its easy to bash the prequels, its harder to bash the OT. The prequels are so rotten from the script up, you cant really blame the actors. Ewan McGregor is given crap to say like "blast this is why I hate flying". Harrison Ford on the other hand is given cool, witty stuff to say like "Everythings fine in here, had a slight weapons malfunction, situation Normal... Boring Conversation Anyway!! Luke we're gonna have company!!". Wether he changed the dialogue or not it doesnt matter, he turned it into a funny, exciting scene. Anyway, who'd you want to sign your photo - Harrison Ford or Ahmed Best?
  17. jediart

    jediart Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 16, 2001
    I agree with YODASCHUM.

    I like all things STAR WARS ,
    But the OT is by far the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  18. AdamBertocci

    AdamBertocci Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 3, 2002
    Anyway, who'd you want to sign your photo - Harrison Ford or Ahmed Best?

    Depends which one it was a photo of ;)

    Aw, c'mon! I think the comparison between THOSE two is a little unfair. Ahmed Best and Peter Mayhew, okay, fair comparison.

    As for who I'd want to have sign my photo -- since I already have one from Ewan, I'd have to go for Harrison Ford. ;) (But if I didn't, I'd pick Ewan... just 'cause at the end of the day I'm more of an Obi-Fan than a Han fan.)

    Well, THIS was a tangent.

    Rick McCallum loves you!
  19. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    Well seeing as how Ahmed was also in a production of STOMP which I like, I'd go with Ahmed.
    He also seems like a nice guy and very easy-going.
    He can't help that the part he's being payed to play is an idiot.
    Frankly I'd like either his or Mayhew's.
    From what I've read by Mayhew on these very boards, he's a swell guy too :)
    As for Ahmed or Ford, I agree that's an unjust comparison.
    One's a Hollywood mega-star who's autograph is worth a LOT and the other one is an up-and-coming newbie in the film industry who's first character was met with mega backlash.
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