Discussion on TPM - Just saw for the 1st time

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Daloten, Feb 19, 2005.

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  1. Wesyeed Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 4
    yeah definetley check out AotC although your two boys may not like some parts of it (yes, the love stuff). It's got lots of cool action and effects, some of ILM's best work in recent years. But watch out for some very wonky looking bits of CGI in the factory scene near the end though...lol.. those wont be in the next edition I hope.

    And don't worry too much about Sifo-Dyas. You'll know what I mean once you see it.

    Also, I just want to experiment here for a bit. Do your kids understand the concept of the 'force' from watching just TPM alone? It's something I've always wondered, whether it was meant to be looked at this way-how we aren't told what the force is until ep 4. How do fresh eyes see it?
  2. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    One other thing to consider; I'm 40. I've grown up intellectually and in my level of sophistication since I was 20 or even 30. I expect more from things now than I did as a teenager/twenty-something. I'm figuring that all you younger people will find this happens to you as well. I still love a lot of what I loved at that age, but in general, I want a bit more now.


    I think this prase somes it up the core of why you were dissapointed. You grew up.

    "Unlearn, what you have learned" As Yoda said. Check in those many years of adult hood for a ticket back to a simpler time.

    See my briliant quote on my signature.

    To expect Star Wars to be anything but itself is courting doom.

    Lucas... in perhaps a fit of wisdom, in fit of artistic daring... is attempting to take the same tone, and styles and themes. He is making them visually and trying to keep the storylines slim and trim.

    The fact that he addded the polotics in, got him nothing but "Long, Talking, boaring"


    Too often, moviemakers feel the need to add "Meat" to the story... thus loosing the message, meaning and context. Clint Eastwood Million Dollar Baby is a fine example of economy film makeing.

    The method of story, by his design, needs to flow quickly and easily. He added layers on layers into his work. If you know about foreshadowing, if you recognise the symbolysm and repetative themes... you enjoy it on another level.

    In fact... i will tell you this.. TPM was created with an eye watching it OVER and OVER agian. Unlike some movies, that tire out quickly when you watch it again. The Phantom Menance Lucas gives you something else to look at...something else to consider.
  3. Emperor_Dantius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2005
    star 2
    I just finished watching it again, and it can use some changes (the "yippie!" lines drive me crazy), but I still liked it.
    It was a pretty good way to start the saga.
  4. Bruce_the_Bith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2005
    star 3
    Mr. Daloten-

    I take great pride in my critical skills. Accusing me of not reading your comments is flat out ridiculous. Anyway.


    What I really don't get, though is this; I've read in several places that Lucas' intention was to make a movie for children. That's fine - I love some movies intended for that audience. But, if this is the case, why does so much of TPM's plot revolve around the very un-childlike topics of trade embargos, Congressional politics, votes of no-confidence, and general political intrigue?


    I read the above statement as you not appreciating Lucas' execution on one of his intentions, to make the film appear to children. In a word, you did not like how the movie seemed too "grown up".


    I see this film as a cop-out. I would like to believe that Lucas originally intended to make this movie much more serious in tone and mature, maybe as atonement for the looniness that took place in RoTJ with those damned Teddy Ruxpins. So he comes up with a very intriguing concept of political machination and quasi-religious Messianiac themes. But somewhere along the line, someone talks to him and convinces him that this will never sell. It won't sell toys, it won't sell video games, it won't sell Halloween costumes, nothing.

    Lucas then goes and re-tools the movie, coming up with Jar Jar, pod racing, fart jokes, and poop jokes.


    You should recognize the preceding quotation. If you'll allow me to sumarize: "This film could have been more serious (on par with a grown-up's intellect) but was reduced to trivial things such as toys and bodily function jokes." In a(nother) word, this film is too childish.

    With my earlier comment in this thread, as per your original guidelines:


    I'm curious to hear how people feel about these comments of mine. I know many will disagree - fine. I'd like to hear what you all think.


    I commented on your thread. I said that I do not see the validity of one using two opposing sides to criticize and judge the movie. You said that the movie was too worldy. You also said the movie was too kiddie-friendly. I merely wanted to know what your true frustrations were with the movie. Initially, you said you bought the movie for your kids. Given that, did they enjoy the movie? Heck, did you enjoy the movie? As a previous poster said, this movie must by viewed several times to fully understand it, and it must also be viewed as part of the whole picture (the other 5 films) to truly appreciate it. In the end, in the Galaxy, Far Far Away, during the events of what was chronicled on the Phantom Menace, many things both pertinent and not to galactic affairs were occuring. A young senator was rising to power, using nefarious and (dare I say) insidious techniques to do so (only in view of events for the next 50 years or so). A kid, greatly gifted in what some consider "The Force" was discovered, who happened to be a slave (not like any earthly slave ever known in our recorded history), who was very mechanically inclined. And a planet was beseiged by robots, and a primitive race fought that tyranny.

    So you see, to any casual observer, many themes that many different age groups could find something of, add intrigue in this story. You can take from it what you will, but I urge you, if you wish to critically analyze this story, to watch it again and again, and take the whole saga into account! I think you might enjoy what took place after seeing the other two flicks.

    Sincerely,
    Bruce the Bith
  5. Daloten Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Also, I just want to experiment here for a bit. Do your kids understand the concept of the 'force' from watching just TPM alone? It's something I've always wondered, whether it was meant to be looked at this way-how we aren't told what the force is until ep 4. How do fresh eyes see it?


    Interesting question. I asked them what they thought the Force was/meant. The 8 year old said that basically, it's like a magic power. My 6 year old looked at me like "what's wrong with you, Dad?" and said, "it's the Force." Seems that to him, it was simply a fact to be acceptaed and not pondered over. My 8 year old regarded it like magic powers or super powers.

    They haven't watched only TPM - we have the OT DVD's, so they're familiar with the Force form those. Their favorite Force scenes are the ones on Dagobah when Luke is learning how to use it.

    I think from talking with them and answering their questions and observing them as they watch the movies, that they have that wide-eyed sense of wonder that most of us had watching these movies as kids. It's tough though to get any kind of answer to philosophical or critical thinking type questions from kids their ages.
  6. Flying_Swordsman Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2005
    star 1
    Why does everyone think beating slaves is a common thing? When people used to own slaves, they never beat them just for the fun of it. They didin't want them injured and waste money on healing them, and less work could be done, etc. The best advice is treat your slaves good and they will do better work.
  7. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    I think it's quite interesting and potentially more disturbing that in Star Wars slaves don't look particularly like what we expect slaves to look like. They look like normal, every day suburban kids. They even carry backpacks.

    It says that all of us are slaves. We, who think we are free, are really owned and used as slaves. A very THX 1138 type message, eh?
  8. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Are you in college by any chance?

    :p

  9. Daloten Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Why does everyone think beating slaves is a common thing? When people used to own slaves, they never beat them just for the fun of it. They didin't want them injured and waste money on healing them, and less work could be done, etc. The best advice is treat your slaves good and they will do better work.



    You're right. How foolish of me. Now that I've looked into it, slave owners in the U.S. used to give their slaves candy and prizes. Most slaves got 3 days off each week to rest up. Usually, a trip to Disney World was planned for the slave's kids each year. This was a long-standing tradition that went way back to the Pharoahs in Egypt. The Israelites actually were happy to be slaves to the Pharoahs, but they left when the Pharoah stopped giving them so much candy and cut back their days off to only two a week.

    Also, those stories of slave traders bringing over slaves in those horribly overcrowded ships and throwing slaves overboard in chains are all lies. They really used to sing happy songs as they sat around and ate cookies and played fun games. Slavery was fun.
  10. DECO_DROID Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 1
    great points, bruce the bith -- would like to hear daloten's response to your last post...

    anyway, the most interesting part of this thread to me is WHY daloten never saw tpm before now?!? we've got a guy who apparently loved the ot, seeing anh multiple times -- so when 1999 rolled around, what happened? you had to be hiding under a rock to not know about episode 1 back then. i mean, i remember working in an office with guys in their 40s and up, that were talking about it. so that's one thing i'm curious about...

    another thing to point out -- you're seeing tpm for the first time... on a television screen. come on. you've got to cut an effects movie some slack when you're seeing it the first time on a tv. now i apologize if you happen to have some kind of killer home theater room with a 60" plasma screen and state-of-the-art surround sound, but somehow, i doubt it. most people don't have one of those. the fact that you didn't see this film in a proper theater probably dilutes the first time impact of the movie by 20% or so. i mean, some movies are just meant to be viewed in a theater (and if possible, in dlp!!!) tpm is one of them. i think you would have a greater appreciation for the sheer beauty of it.

    so as somebody already suggested, go buy aotc. and see it on the best audio/video system you have available -- a friend's if necessary! there are certain scenes that are just amazing! it would be a shame to not get the full impact with the second installment as well...



  11. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    Long time, no see, DECO_DROID.

    Yes, TPM benefits greatly from a theatrical viewing.
  12. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    Also, those stories of slave traders bringing over slaves in those horribly overcrowded ships and throwing slaves overboard in chains are all lies. They really used to sing happy songs as they sat around and ate cookies and played fun games. Slavery was fun.

    Like I said, man. We're all slaves.

    But then, I'm an amateur conspiracy theorist. So the "invisible slavery" of TPM is interesting to me, as it calls people in the audience (especially school-age kids) to question the realities they live in. I believe it is deliberate that Lucas decided to very plainly give li'l orphan Ani a contemporary American backpack as he walks away from his slave life on Tatooine. He may have escaped one form of imprisonment at the relatively benign hands of Watto (which are actually much less benign than we're led to believe, as he's conintinually put into extremely life threatening situations by his master in the form of pod racing), but he's walking right into another one as he becomes a Jedi student.

    We all must question what we learn, what we are taught, and what we are explicitly schooled in. Especially children.
  13. Daloten Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2005
    anyway, the most interesting part of this thread to me is WHY daloten never saw tpm before now?!? we've got a guy who apparently loved the ot, seeing anh multiple times -- so when 1999 rolled around, what happened? you had to be hiding under a rock to not know about episode 1 back then. i mean, i remember working in an office with guys in their 40s and up, that were talking about it. so that's one thing i'm curious about...

    another thing to point out -- you're seeing tpm for the first time... on a television screen. come on. you've got to cut an effects movie some slack when you're seeing it the first time on a tv. now i apologize if you happen to have some kind of killer home theater room with a 60" plasma screen and state-of-the-art surround sound, but somehow, i doubt it. most people don't have one of those. the fact that you didn't see this film in a proper theater probably dilutes the first time impact of the movie by 20% or so. i mean, some movies are just meant to be viewed in a theater (and if possible, in dlp!!!) tpm is one of them. i think you would have a greater appreciation for the sheer beauty of it.

    so as somebody already suggested, go buy aotc. and see it on the best audio/video system you have available -- a friend's if necessary! there are certain scenes that are just amazing! it would be a shame to not get the full impact with the second installment as well...



    There's a simple reason I hadn't seen TPM until just a few weeks ago. I had been really disappointed with ROTJ way back when it was first in the theater, and the reviews that TPM was getting were really turning me off to the whole thing. It seemed at that time that Lucas had decided to make a movie geared towards an adolescent age group. That's fine - it just didn't appeal to me any more.

    Now that my kids are older and can watch a movie like this and follow a plot, I did finally see it. It wasn't as bad as some people made it out to be, but neither did I think it was all that great. I'd rate it fourth, after ROTJ, ESB, and at number one, ANH.

    About your idea that I lost something by seeing it on the small screen, I agree with you to a point. Visually the movie does not have the same impact as it would in a theater. But my issues with the movie have nothing to do with the visuals or special effects. My issues are purely with the directing and story. And yes, I will see AOTC as well as ROTS.

    I hope that people don't think that I'm hating on this movie or anything. It's just that I wanted to discuss things that I hoped/thought could be better and to see how other fans (I consider myself a fan) felt.

    There has been a lot of interesting dialog here and I appreciate the overall high level of quality. It's nice that this hasn't devolved into a juvenile flame war.
  14. Hudnall Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2004
    star 5
    nm..

    Daloten - this almost hopeless for you. I'm sorry. Some fans do sympathize. I think you make a valid point, so do many others.

    Unfortunately, some fans cannot accept that anything STAR WARS can possibly be less than perfect. Unless you've got good debate stamina, this conversation will probably only aggravate you.

    Welcome to fandom -
  15. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    "Welcome to fandom...

    ...Kitty Pryde. We hope you survive the experience!"

    Sorry. Couldn't resist.
  16. Wesyeed Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 4
    Be sure to purchase the next edition of TPM. It'll be even better.

    (Prays to Jesus, Anakin, Moses, Muhammad, Zeus, Re.. other holy figures)
  17. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    I think the thing of it is, Daloten, you have to take certian things with a grain of salt.

    Lucas when for the mythological aspects on two counts here: Lowly birth (slavery) and a no father birth (Universe birth child: Ie Zues and Herculese.

    The challenge for him is to present how slavery would work Star Wars without condeming Anakin to a "Ah.. so that is why he is EVIL! It was how he grew up." To potray Ankin in a abusisive slave situation would have given Anakin an exuse for turning to the Dark Side. Lucas didn't want it to be a cop-out.

    Now, slavery isn't the same in every society. Some treated the slaves far more humane than others. Certian African area, the slave was part of the family. In America, they were treated like workers at best, and like animals at worse.

    Slavery in a tecnicologically advanced society isn't going to be exactly the same. To OUR eyes it looks more comfortable. And we might even be tempted to take it...

    A home is provided a home, Steady employment. Not much different than most Americans existance. An apartment and a job with a boss.

    Except... Imagine that Your boss could demand your kid run the NASCAR races everyweek so he could bet on someone else?

    The boy is working in the shops instead of gaining an edjucation. Or playing.

    He is forced to participate in a dangerous race...and the mother cannot object.

    He wears a transmitter that will explode if they try to escape.

    His motherless is powerless to protect him.

    Anakin has dreams of being a Jedi and traveling to the stars.

    Yes, Anakin wasn't beaten.. yes Anakin wasn't dirty and ragged and malnurished.

    But the only true requirement for slavery is the lack of freedom.. the lack of choice.

    So yes, Anakin had a loving mother and friends like Kister to balance things out.

  18. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    Unfortunately, some fans cannot accept that anything STAR WARS can possibly be less than perfect. Unless you've got good debate stamina, this conversation will probably only aggravate you.

    I seem to remember something about a "film/fan" discussion rule here in TPM. Help me out here, you know the one I'm talking about, Hudnall?
  19. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I don't think it's that some of us can't accept the idea that TPM is not perfect.

    It's more that we don't expect it to be perfect, so we aren't "let down" when it isn't.
  20. AnakinBrego Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2004
    star 3
    i loved this film from the first time I saw it, while everyone else around me hated it. :(
  21. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Not everyone, just a few loud people.

  22. Lukecash Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    I remember a CNN interview outside of the Phantom Menance. A fat twenty something, with his face painted like Darth Maul, was talking about the movie. A bunch of frat boys types were standing around him. When they asked him if what he thought of the film...he responded "Dissapointed"

    The frat boys around him said. "No way! You got to be kidding me!"


    Lucas himself once said "I know I am going to make a lot of fans upset by making Anakin this young...but that's the story." He went on to explain if Anakin was any onlder, then the seperation from his mom would not be as great or as effective.
  23. AnakinBrego Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2004
    star 3
    I remeber that interview from Lucas too.
  24. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I was there opening night at my local AMC 30, and everyone left the theater talking about how great TPM was.

    There was one guy (I think he might have been a little drunk) who was literally swinging on a light post, whining about what Lucas had done to his childhood.

    Everyone else looked at him like he didn't know what he was talking about.

    FF a week later, and it was like suddenly everyone remebered they weren't supposed to like TPM or something.

    Never under estimate the power of peer pressure and the desire to fit in.
  25. Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2004
    star 4
    *shrugs* I think TPM has plenty of problems. Not as many as AOTC has, but they're still there. Most of them have to do with the way some of the storytelling is done and some acting nitpicks here and there. That didn't stop me from liking the prequels. In fact, for all of its problems, AOTC is my favorite movie thus far. It's all about personal choice.


    Yes, Anakin wasn't beaten.. yes Anakin wasn't dirty and ragged and malnurished.

    Hmmm...both Shmi and Anakin's clothes are in pretty poor condition, and for a ten year old, he's awfully small for his age. (You could blame that on the age of the actor, but within the context of the movie, it's an eyebrow raiser.) If you take a good look at the "dinner" they have in the dining room scene, that's an rather meager supply of food. I wouldn't say they were starving, but necessities were obviously in scarce supply.

    Something I always found interesting was the line Anakin has as we pan back to him in the shop scene. We catch the end of a piece of dialogue as he's talking to Padme:

    ANAKIN : ...wouldn't have lasted long if I weren't so good at fixing things. I'm making my own droid...

    If that's not a disturbing sentiment for a 9 year old to throw around, I don't know what is. I didn't expect Anakin to be utterly ashamed and not mention his slave heritage simply because he has no other lifestyle experience, but he does show obvious upset to being referred to as one, so he is more than marginally aware at the problem of their situation. I agree with the sentiment above - slavery doesn't have to be physically abusive to cause suffering. Imagine trying to live your life without many of the freedoms you take for granted.

    I wouldn't argue the point, as I think you have a perfect right to your opinion and have some valid statements, but that was the one thing I didn't think Lucas didn't "cop-out" on. He had an opportunity there to make Anakin and utter victim, give him an excuse to be bad, and he didn't. I thought it was fairly balanced, if subtle.
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