Can the trilogies be bridged?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by DarthMatter, Aug 4, 2004.

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  1. DarthMatter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2004
    star 3
    (I hope this is a saga topic, Seldon)

    The other day I was visiting a friend and watched the original ROTJ on video, skipping along the more stupid parts. I hadn't seen the film in years and years. Aside from the diabolical quality of video I had long forgotten, I couldn't believe the low quality of ROTJ itself, when compared to EI-EII. Don't get me wrong - I'm a fan of the whole saga - this is not CT bashing.

    I'm not just talking about the problems revealed by film transfered to video, which may or may not be fixed in the upcoming DVD release. I'm talking about the writing, the acting and directing itself, the little moments and choices made by performers for the camera. Now, I get that it was the early 80's, and there were no digital effects to be had, but what I'm talking about is the film's pacing, direction, acting, editing and overall thrust - I'm talking about the darkest, most serious parts here, not the ewoks - why was it so cheezy and hard to take seriously?

    Can these trilogies be bridged simply by designing a few starfighters and costumes in similar ways?? There is a distinct difference in quality, tone and talent between the PT and CT, with the PT being more fully realized, fully conceived, far better executed. Should I just think of the CT as "background material" for the PT?? What does this mean for the saga, when half of it is consistently high-quality, with the other half...so...not...??
  2. A-OK Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2004
    To be honest, I don't think GL is even going to try to bridge the trilogies.

    I think he's just happy to have one set of movies feel one way and the other set feel a different way. And I don't have any major problems with that.

    But I think he could've done it somehow. :p
  3. _dArTh_SoLo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 4
    Honestly, I used to think the same thing as you but after seeing the crisp picture quality of the ROTJ DVD RIP, they seem to flow together nicely. All they really need are a few establishing shots to bridge it all together.
  4. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    diabolical quality

    :D


    EDIT: I saw ROTJ a couple of days ago and I appreciated it more than I could remember. The whole thing is just so much more dramatic with the PT in mind.

  5. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I think that ROTS will have the perfect mix between the atmospheres of the two trilogies. I'm not worried about this at all.
    Also, it seems that with changes being made to the CT, the saga will at last be much more consistent.
  6. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    This is finally going to be one big movie. :)
  7. DarthMatter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2004
    star 3
    I think I agree with all of you, and I'm sorry if all of this sounded like FUD. If Lucas hopefully makes further changes to the CT for the DVDs, and if ROTS helps to bridge with sets and props, then the visual transition won't be a problem. I've even read some clever posters here who suggested that was part of the plan.

    However, I'm still concerned about the acting, most of which cannot be changed. If I compare CT/PT, there is a noticeable difference between them in the acting cues. PT acting is more focused yet aloof, and the length of the shots are shorter. CT acting is more conversational and sloppy, and the camera lingers on the actors through awkward moments. Of course these are generalizations, I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions.

    Maybe I'll feel different when the DVDs come out, and if the above poster is right, the picture quality will pass, if not be as good as the PT's. Also, keep in mind, I still haven't seen ANH or TESB in years and years, and I did FF through large bits of ROTJ in the original video version. Also, I've seen the CT films only a couple or three times anyway - I think I've only seen TESB twice, and once was in the theatre on release - because I always thought they were a little cheezy, whereas I've watched I and II dozens of times, seen all the documentaries, read the Prequel novels, etc.

    It was just such a letdown to "go back", from the bloches around Palpatine's eyes, to the Ewoks, to Jabba's palace, to the acting, and so on. I guess I'd never really seen directly how different these trilogies are. I sure hope the seemingly divided saga can be brought together as one film, or I'll be "gifting" those DVDs to someone...
  8. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    If Lucas makes the right connections and explains the right things in ROTS, I think the trilogies will fit together rather nicely. I don't think the issue here is so much as the visuals(sure, some FX shots do look outdated in the OT), but the story needs to match up. As the Saga stands right now, some things are a little iffy storywise, but that is to be expected at this point since the PT is not yet completed. With that said, I would rather wait till ROTS is released to pass judgement on this issue.
  9. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    This is worthy of discussion here, worry not.
    Interesting thoughts. In my opinion TPM and ROTJ are the weakest films in the saga. I love them all but that is just how I see it. I don't know how well they will fit. I guess we will know more once CT comes to DVD and ROTS comes out. I don't think it will fit perfectly but with a little imagination it should be okay.

    For some posts which raise similar concerns
    http://boards.theforce.net/The_Star_Wars_Saga/b10456/16267741/p1/

    I personally think this thread should stay open. I am only providing a link because their thoughts may interest you.

    -Seldon
  10. GrandAdmiral_Frank Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2003
    star 4
    I think it is possible, it will be bridged but not like we as fans will think of bridging the gap.

    I do not want to be expecting a whole lot of Vader, it will be cool but I do not want to create ROTS in my mind and then have it set only to be disappointed. I am just going to sit back and see what GL has to offer and accept it.

    For instance a lot of people seem disappointed with TPM, when I saw it at age 11 I loved it but now I have problems with it, but lately I am starting to think when I watch TPM that I not watch it trying to make changes to it because it won't happen. TPM is done and that is what we have for the first episode.

    The same applies to all the films. What I am trying to say for ROTS is though this is the film we will see Anakin fall in, do not expect too much or you'll be disappointed.
  11. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Good point.
    You also need to keep in mind that when ROTS ends, we still have 19 years to go until ANH begins, so it won't be as if everything neatly falls into place and sets the stage for the next episode.
    The Republic will have turned into the Empire, Anakin will have turned into Vader, major characters who are not in the CT will have died, the twins will have been born and placed in the care of their respective foster parents, so that will all be in place, but do not expect to see the beginning of the Death Star, the formation of the Rebel Alliance or Yoda's going to Dagobah, because it is not likely that we will see any of that.

    Acting-wise, I must disagree with you, DarthMatter. I think the acting style, as well as the directing style, is consistent throughout the saga.
  12. All_Powerful_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    star 4
    The prequels are designed as a self-contained trilogy in and of itself, and the second trilogy can stand alone, as well. Combined, they make up the full story of how good becomes evil and evil becomes good.

    With that in mind, I fully expect Revenge of the SIth to end on a very final note. With 20 years between III and IV, there must be something that stops the action between the movies so the Empire can slowly grow and build the Death Star while Luke and Leia grow up. Thematically and visually, I expect III to end the way VI ended, but only as a much darker version of it. If you look at the last shots of TPM and AOTC, there is a striking similarity in composition to the shots of ANH and ESB, respectively.

    I expect the last shot of ROTS to be no different. It must look like ROTJ's last shot, with Luke and his friends celebrating on Endor, or it must be the antithesis of that image. Either way, look for composition to play a big role. ROTJ's last shot is almost like that of a family portrait. I'll leave the rest to your imaginations.

    But, as far as briding goes, I don't expect a smooth bridge. Rather, when Episode III ends, we must have the world for Episode IV setup and fully fleshed out. The Empire must be in full control, Luke must be on Tatooine and Leia on Alderaan. Because that's the way Episode IV begins.
  13. DarthMatter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2004
    star 3
    Gee, good points everyone. Thanks for taking a moment to elaborate :)

    Lars Muul, I guess I'm not seeing it. Do you watch them all equally as much? Like I said, I've not really studied the CT like I have the PT, but even on first viewings, they don't seem even related in many places. I mean, the CT acting moments seem unpolished, and maybe that's the point which will come across when we can see them in 1-2-3-4-5-6 order...
  14. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I think you're on to something there, because I know exactly what you mean. Hamill, Fisher and Ford are a bit more casual in their performances than Christensen, Portman and McGregor. Maybe it's because they didn't know that they were about to create such a huge classic. Also, it might be because most of the latter trio are portraying characters that others have already introduced.
    Regardless of the reason, I think it fits the story that the characters of the CT are somewhat more human. The main characters of the PT are all politicians and Jedi. They aren't regular people. Anakin(beside Jar Jar and the droids) is the one who acts the most human-like. He is a human in conflict, though, because he's supposed to forget about emotions and stuff that make him human in order to be a Jedi.
    Leia is a politician, but she is a politician who has grown up with the Empire and on Alderaan, not Naboo, so it's quite a different matter.
    That's how I see it.
  15. Tokio_Drifter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2003
    star 2
    About the difference in acting between the PT and the CT, (I wrote this piece in an older topic), I believe this is done so on purpose by GL.

    This whole acting thing is based upon one of the main theme's trough out the saga. If we want to be free, we have to work together, as a whole, for mutual advantage. The PT is a tragedy. The darkside is stronger (quoted by GL) and people are more stiff and afraid to show who they really are. The OT presents us these much more 'wild' or 'loose' characters who 'live', argue, scream; they show their good and bad sides without being ashamed of it. The emotions which are forbidden in the PT, are brought out in te OT.

    ?Regardless of the reason, I think it fits the story that the characters of the CT are somewhat more human.?

    I agree completely.


    Regarding the subject of this topic; yes, the trilogies will be bridged, if you want them to bridge of course :)
  16. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    "The emotions which are forbidden in the PT, are brought out in te OT."

    Very well put.
  17. DarthMatter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2004
    star 3
    Tokio and Lars, I can see what your saying, but think on this: One of the big themes of the films is to show how the democratic, and thus more free, Republic, is overtaken by a dictatorial, less free, Empire. Of course the Jedi go from being stoic and super-serious to embracing their emotions, but the trillions and trillions of other people would have experienced the opposite effect - a tightening of control by emperial forces, and a gradual reduction of freedoms and happiness.

    So, comparing Padme and Leia, for example, gives the opposite results intended. Padme should be fun loving and unaware of the emotions in herself and Anakin until it's too late (except that her character is not about that, of course). Leia should be solemn and serious, rather than wise-cracking, teased out of it by Han Solo. Here is another example of how the acting doesn't seem to fit. We can buy Padme's seriousness, because it's given to us in the films that she has a bleeding heart for the suffering of others. But in Leia's case, there is nothing (I can recall) in the films, script or acting, which gives her any motivation to be wise-cracking - in fact, given that she's a senator and on a deadly secret rebel mission, she has every reason to be stoic and super-serious. Most of her sarcasm even comes after Alderaan is destroyed, confounding things even further.

    In contrast, I can buy Han's character just as it is, since he's an outsider, but many of the others seem to perform their parts just like Harrison did, and it doesn't fit the large themes of the CT. It's passable in ANH, but certainly not by the time of ROTJ. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. I never fully bought into the CT films, but the PT films are so polished and each emotion so appropriate to what has happened, that the films are way more believable and satisfying as sci-fi fantasy works...
  18. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Well, that's the beauty of it - how the characters seem to be what they shouldn't be. When they live in the time of the Republic, they're at the end of it(without knowing it) and they've become pretty stiff and maybe even bored with how things are in the galaxy. When they're oppressed by the Empire, though, they put their sorrows aside(for the moment) and put on a more hopeful spirit in order to endure it.
    To put it simply - They don't know what they have until they lose it. It's perfect, IMO.
  19. DarthMatter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2004
    star 3
    Yes, it's a perfect explanation, but where in the scripts/films is it made clear?

    Though, maybe it's because we're basically following rebels in the CT, which would be "looser" people, as they are in the Prequel novels CoD and DM:SH. Maybe that's it and I'm just not getting it, but it really seems to me that Lucas changed the tone in the trilogies more than the story demanded, because he got better as a writer/director. But maybe late next month, when I can watch the new DVDs, I'll think differently...
  20. Tokio_Drifter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2003
    star 2
    'Well, that's the beauty of it'

    Lars, you said it man, talking about the beauty of the human paradox


    Darthmatter, don't you feel Lucas has created a circle this way, a full, paradoxal spectrum, where, within, all the opposites are brought together, and eventually united?

  21. DarthMatter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2004
    star 3
    Tokio:
    "don't you feel Lucas has created a circle this way, a full, paradoxal spectrum, where, within, all the opposites are brought together, and eventually united?"

    Yeah, I can see that, and very well said, btw. I think I've got to wait until the DVDs come out, then I'll post what my reading is on this point, maybe. This leaves the bridging issue, which will just have to wait until ROTS is released...

    *sigh*
  22. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    You really have to wait for ROTS to judge this.
    You also have to realize the amount of time before the trilogies.
  23. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I'll wait for the DVDs too. It's just that.... I CAN'T WAIT!!!! :D
  24. jakbar316 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2004
    star 4
    The one thing that really sticks out is the on screen displays in the various starships. Look at Obi's Jedi starfighter and the Slave I in Episode II. Super crisp red vibrant displays. Then in the OT in the falcon, x-wings, and TIE's, we get a screen display that looks like an atari game. Those should definately be fixed.
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