Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by DarthTorgo, Apr 4, 2002.
"Should Lucas be writing his characters around his actors now?"
If episode I had been the first release, nobody would be complaining, because we simply wouldn't know better.
Oh trust me, I'd be complaining anyway, because it's obviously the waste of a potentially interesting character, as he goes onto the next film, whereas Qui-Gon doesn't AND he got much less development than the other two main figures, Padme and Anakin. Much less. One doesn't need to have seen 4,5 and 6 to see that. And it isn't going to fixed in the next films, of that I'm almost positive. It was his whole background setup and that chance is gone, it's not coming back again.
Yeah, and I'm really disappointed that Jira only got one scene.
Well, maybe Obi-Wan simply isnÂ´t supposed to be in focus!
Actually, I don't believe Mace Windu was written for Samuel L. Jackson. Didn't Lucas offer him Captain Panaka's role first?
Anyway, Qui-Gon was very important in the film, no question there.
"Actually, I don't believe Mace Windu was written for Samuel L. Jackson."
True, but because George eventually cast Samuel L. Jackson, he beefed up Mace's role in the next movie considerably.
"Well, maybe Obi-Wan simply isnÂ´t supposed to be in focus!"
We all know what Lucas was going for; "Did it work?" is the question, and in my opinion, ditching Obi-Wan for most of the film turned him into a weak and boring character.
Exactly, Darth Geist.
A good story and a good prologue have conflicting standards...
The only thing Lucas did wrong in my eyes is that he wanted too much of both worlds, the rounded storylines are forced. Yes, TPM could have been a better film, but it also could have destroyed the saga.
Did it work is not relevant to me, will it work is all that matters...
[blockquote]"It's the phantom in TPM, nothing in this film is what it seems..."[/blockquote]
Sorry... I understand what you're getting at, but I have a problem with justifying every weak dramatic choice that Lucas made in this movie by saying "It's the 'PHANTOM' Menace".
Sometimes, weak writing is just weak writing. And IMHO this was the case all too often in TPM, particularly where Obi Wan is concerned. I don't find flaccid characterization to be some act of genius simply because it's in a movie with the word "Phantom" in the title.
I didn't say genius either,
I just think it's inherent to TPM's unique (unprecedented thus disadvantaged) position in the saga, and to Obi Wan's character arch, which spans four episodes.
(And I think Lucas must have had white knuckles from restraining himself, but he did the right thing, mostly.)
I just don't think there's any payoff in TPM that results from Lucas purposely making weak dramatic choices about his characters. And before I get the standard "But it's just the introduction..." cop-out, IMHO it's ridiculous to suggest that an entire film be a virtual throwaway simply because it's the first in a series. And too much about TPM WAS fairly throwaway because Lucas refused to imbue most of his main characters with anything that was going to compel the audience to find out what happens to them next.
I'm going to see AOTC despite TPM, and not because of it. And that's not exactly what a filmmaker should be trying to generate in his audience, y'know?
Why make boring characters when you can just as easily make interesting ones? Lucas could have breathed life into characters like Obi Wan and Padme in TPM and STILL made the movie the perfect setup for the PT... and he chose not to. I refuse to believe he's dim enough to have done that just because he was using the word "Phantom" in the title of the film.
>>>>True, but because George eventually cast Samuel L. Jackson, he beefed up Mace's role in the next movie considerably.
I suppose Obi Wan's role is beefed up in AOTC because he cast Ewan MacGregor then?
The whole point of Obi Wan in TPM is that at the end of the film, he's taken on Qui Gon's responsibilities. From the start of the film where he won't even pull his lightsaber out unless he's got Qui Gon standing in front of him to the end of the film where he kills a Sith with his master's lightsaber, takes on his master's apprentice, and develops his master's conflict with the Jedi Council. Obviously, through Obi Wan, Qui Gon will still be relevant to Episode II's plot.
If we didn't have Alec Guinness to remember, or knew that Ewan MacGregor was a great actor, no-one would be complaining that the Obi Wan character was underused in TPM- everyone would be busy talking about how they were looking forward to seeing more of the guy who kicked ass in the end scene in Epsiode II.
Thanks Patrick! (no irony)
I have already seen hundreds of potential origins of patterns in TPM (I'm not kidding),
and yet I find another one: Obi-Wan's character arch is opposite to Anakin's one!
Anakin starts as a flawless superboy and goes downhill from there,
Obi Wan starts as an arrogant snot and goes uphill from there...
But let's get back in the ring...
I just don't think there's any payoff in TPM that results from Lucas purposely making weak dramatic choices about his characters.
Again, I couldn't agree more: the real payoff comes in the rest of the saga, direct and indirect. While TPM doesn't spoil the bigger drama yet to come, some parts of it will resonant throughout the entire saga, especially the OT.
Lucas was walking a tight rope with TPM, it's the foundation of starwars, literal.
Tiny cracks can make the top come down...
Again, why waste an entire movie this way, though?
Do you honestly think that the next two films will benefit from having empty, flat characters in TPM? And if there DOES end up being any benefit to it, do you really feel that it will be enough to make up for intentionally throwing away the first film?
Since Plo obviously donÂ´t think that TPM was wasted like you do, Russell, your last question was quite unnecessary....
Keep in focus what Lucas is trying to do,
He's not trying to top the OT, (Good for him, it's fruitless)
He's trying to enhance it...
The attempt alone I applaude and I give Lucas credit during production. If the endresult doesn't please me then I can always choose to ignore it, and the vintage OT feeling will still be there for me...
Don't get me wrong, I think TPM is and will stay the weakest SW episode, but I think it should be and I'm actually glad that it is (one has to be, so why not get it over with immediately?)
Agreed, Lucas might have been overprudent,
(and overcompensated that in parts that wouldn't hurt the saga)
But better safe than sorry, I say.
"Do you feel Qui-Gon's importance in the film is necessary?"
Uh... doesn anyone know exactly whaty that sentence means?
Qui Gon and Obi Wan were in the movie mainly to advance the stories of the two main characters - who actually spend most of their time in the background of the movie.
"Why make boring characters when you can just as easily make interesting ones? Lucas could have breathed life into characters like Obi Wan and Padme in TPM and STILL made the movie the perfect setup for the PT... and he chose not to. I refuse to believe he's dim enough to have done that just because he was using the word "Phantom" in the title of the film."
You have a point, Patrick. But then some people found Obi-Wan and Padme's characters compelling despite the lack of screentime or emotional interaction with the other characters. I don't believe every character needs a big emotional scene (like in most Hollywood movies) in order for the audience to connect with them. Characters can have hidden depths, too.
What Darth Homer said.
Obi Wan and Qui Gon are the "r2 & 3po" of TPM for me.
I'm not saying that a character needs "a big emotional scene" in order to be compelling or interesting. But at least give them something interesting to DO which allows the actor to show us who their character is. Padme at least had a decent amount of screen time... the fact that for reasons of her own, Natalie chose to mainly "phone in" her performance is another issue altogether. At least that character was given screen time.
Obi Wan was for all intents and purposes removed from the story for the entire middle section of the film. That was screen time where we could have seen something from Ewan which would have tied together the fragmented mess his character was throughout the rest of the movie. Not necessarily some big emotional moment (which he had at the end of the movie anyway) but something which will establish his character so as to add weight TO that big emotional moment.
And again, I don't see why it's such a fantastic idea to intentionally make Episode I a total throwaway. That, to me, just sounds like justification for Lucas having dropped the ball.
I agree completley, Patrick Russell. Why the hell am I even watching these prequels if they are supposed to have more boring characters than the OT? Why the hell am I watching this if it can't be as good as the OT? And doesn't this contradict Lucas's statement about the prequels being, "more interesting than what's out now" ? So far, he hasn't done a very good job of that.
I hate all this talk of Obi-Wan not having too much personality, not enough focus blahblahblah.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were there to show a Jedi Master and his Padawan iinteracting. And in that interaction, the Padawan is subserviant and the Master takes the lead, hence, why Qui-Gon is in the center. We learn of Obi-Wan later, quit whining.
Ciou-See the Sig