Do you feel Qui-Gon's importance in the film is necessary?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by DarthTorgo, Apr 4, 2002.

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Do you feel Qui-Gon's importance in the film is necessary?

Poll closed Mar 22, 2012.
Yes. 160 vote(s) 69.0%
No. 63 vote(s) 27.2%
I have no idea. 9 vote(s) 3.9%
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  1. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    No, PMT99... people aren't just griping for the sake of griping. Had Qui Gon gotten less screen time and Obi Wan gotten a decent amount, we wouldn't be complaining about Qui Gon not getting enough screen time, because he is not an ongoing character in the PT. Had he gotten the same amount of screen time as, say, Obi Wan in ANH, it would have worked just fine because he gets killed off... he's not one of the PT's main characters as Obi Wan is, therefore he doesn't NEED more screen time than Obi Wan.

    As for the "certain point of view" cop-out... that SORTA worked the one time when Lucas had to fudge some important plot points based on the fact that he didn't write them into the original Star Wars back in '77 (since he felt it likely that he'd just get to make the one film).

    This is a totally different situation now, and constantly invoking the "certain point of view" gimmick in order to justify incidents of lazy screenwriting in the PT reminds me a lot of a little kid pounding on a puzzle piece, trying to get it to fit in the wrong spot in the puzzle.
  2. PMT99 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2000
    star 4
    "Had Qui-Gon gotten less screentime and Obi-wan had a decent amount, we wouldn't be complaining about Qui-Gon not having enough screentime, because he is not an ongoing character in the PT."

    Darth Maul isn't an ongoing character either, yet people are complaining about how he didn't have enough screentime. When Obi-wan dies in ANH, he's no longer an ongoing character for the OT since he doesn't have much to do except give Luke directions on how to find Yoda.

    I would like to tell you why Qui-Gon had to be in TPM but it would be considered an AOTC spoilers.

    "constantly invoking the "certain point of view" gimmick in order to justify certain incidents in the lazy screenwritting of the PT reminds me alot of a little kid pounding on a puzzle piece, trying to get it to fit on the wrong side of the puzzle."

    Just like what the Jedi are doing when they are trying to connect certain incidents and perpetrators to a certain individual named Palpatine.
  3. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    "I would like to tell you why Qui-Gon had to be in TPM but it would be considered an AOTC spoilers."


    Woah, now hang on a second there. I'm not saying "Qui Gon shouldn't have been in AOTC", I'm just saying that his role shouldn't have overshadowed Obi Wan's. But I'd be willing to bet that even if Qui Gon hadn't been in TPM, the same basic dramatic development that you refer to in AOTC could have been accomplished.

    Again, Lucas isn't reporting on historical facts, he's writing a story. And the beauty of writing is that EVERYTHING is possible. ;)
  4. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    It's also very easy to rearrange a film's structure or make "improvements" in hindsight. But how many people faced with nothing more than a blank page (and a few notes) could have done a better job than Lucas did in creating TPM and it's new characters, worlds and themes?
    The way I see it, TPM was our only chance to see a Star Wars film where Lucas had sole creative control over the story. Even on ANH he got other writers to polish the script and he had to limit his vision for the sake of the budget. A "100% Lucas" Star Wars film may not have been a great idea, but it was an interesting experiment at the very least. The stories of AOTC and Episode III will be the collaborative vision of Lucas and Jonathan Hales. Whether this will give all the disappointed fans what they crave remains to be seen.
  5. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "It's also very easy to rearrange a film's structure or make "improvements" in hindsight."

    That's the real trick when it comes to screenwriting; you have to be your own worst critic, and drudge up every single flaw, because if you don't catch 'em, someone else will.
  6. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    It's not "could any of us have done a better job?" so much as it is "Lucas himself could have done a better job."

    Or, barring that, he could have acknowledged his own shortcomings as a writer and taken on a cowriter for TPM. (He didn't even write the original Star Wars script without help from friends, y'know...)

    But, to answer the question straight, yes... I think there are a number of people on this very site who could have written a better TPM script than what Lucas settled on.
  7. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    But a better PT? (and coherent saga)

    maybe...

    But that's what we can't judge right now...
  8. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Certainly AS GOOD a PT if not a better one, sure.

    I mean, wouldn't it automatically bring the PT up a few notches if all three movies were top-notch rather than (optimistically speaking) two great films and one comparatively weak one?

  9. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    *sigh*

    that's what we can't judge right now...
  10. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    You can jeer at TPM's face-value (which is really all we can do right now), and I'll be the last to disagree that it isn't a great example of topnotch filmmaking.

    But don't underestimate the values it will have for the rest of the saga, you'll be surprised. No I don't want my Obi Wan instant superhero, I want TPM to work in all five forthcoming episodes, especially the last one.

    And there lies the real limitation: TPM can't blow the load of the PT, while the PT itself can't blow the load of the OT.

    Nevertheless, it has already expanded and enhanced my view on the OT, and I don't see it getting any worse with episodes II & III.

    That's where I'll use the word "genius" for the first time, and that's where you'll probably still call it "half-assed", so I guess Obi Wan was right after all when he said that it all depends on our point of view...
  11. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 4
    Without Qui-Gon in the film I could have gone even blinder!
  12. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    LOL!! Well, I really don't think TPM was in any danger whatsoever of "blowing the load" for the PT. It would have had a long way to go before that even became a remote danger.

    A writer would have to be pretty unconfident in his abilities if he felt that the only way to ensure that chapters 2 and 3 of his story were up to snuff was to make a half-hearted attempt with the first chapter so as not to "overshadow" the subsequent ones...

    I guess I have a little more faith in Lucas' potential than that.
  13. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    I won't enjoy TPM as much as the rest of saga,
    but I will enjoy the rest of the saga more because of TPM...

    Yeah, I guess I'm nuts.
  14. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    That's my point... why not deliver a movie which IS as good as the rest of the saga and which also includes the elements which add to the saga overall.

    You're not saying that TPM absolutely had to suck in order to get the job done, are you?
  15. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 4
    No, he's not saying Episode I had to suck. He's saying that the first chapter of a story usually just sets up the premise and then you get to the exciting parts later on.
  16. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    ...it's not a Basher ...it's not a Gusher ...it's Duckman!


    I'm sure you have your list of OT favorites, there must be a difference somewhere...

    The flaws I see in TPM are in it's execution, not in it's story...

    I imagine the saga like flying thru a sphere of mist:

    there's a transparant outter shell (I & VI, the prologue and the finale)
    a dim inner shell (II & V, the foreshadowing and the regression)
    and a dense core (III & IV, the downfall and the resurrection)
  17. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    "No, he's not saying Episode I had to suck. He's saying that the first chapter of a story usually just sets up the premise and then you get to the exciting parts later on."


    The thing is, though, this isn't a book... it's a series of movies. It's one thing to have a book where the initial section is slow, leading up to the main action in the story. It's something completely different to waste an entire MOVIE by making it an introductory throwaway.

    Just because Lucas sticks an episode number at the beginning of each of these films does not mean he should be putting less effort into the first film as if he were writing a book... a book doesn't require that you pay the full purchase price every time you turn to a new chapter. When you make a film and charge people 9 bucks to see it, you can't just say, "Well, nothing much happens in this one, but gimme your money anyway and I promise that you'll enjoy the NEXT one."

    I'm going to see AOTC because of the OT... were TPM the only SW film out there, I'd be waiting to maybe catch AOTC when it ran on cable.
  18. Obi-Gon_Jinnobi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2001
    star 3
    All this is about is a bunch of Obi-Wan fans complaining he didn't have enough screen time.

    But since he was in every SW movie(in one form or another), I think he had enough screen time already.
  19. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    Or name one other first episode of a six part coherent multi-generational movie saga that is better than TPM?
  20. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Once Upon a Time in China. (Technically, it's nine parts, but the first is still widely considered to be the best.)

    On the subject of books, many books use the first chapter as a hook to grab the reader and provide a strong incentive to keep reading. Ideally, the author wants the reader to keep turning pages, enthralled and constantly wanting to know what happens next--as opposed to flipping through while mumbling "Are we there yet?"
  21. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    ****!

    I should have added the word science fiction after all, but I didn't wanna exaggerate it...
  22. DarthTorgo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2002
    star 4
    Good points made by Darth Geist, Naw Ibo, Patrick Rusell, and, well probably some other people I can't think of right now.


    Wasn't the PT supposed to be about Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda (and that's why he showed them at the end of ROTJ)? He's done a piss poor job of 2 out of 3 so far, and he's done a mediocre job with 1 of them ( but that's for another thread).
  23. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    You seem to know a lot about drama Darth Geist, what do you think of the (fictional) structure where the climax lies in the middle of the saga?
  24. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    I prefer to spend most of the story (anywhere from four-fifths to nine-tenths) building to the climax, then quickly bring things to a close.

    The benefits of telling a story in this style apply to almost any genre you can name (with the occasional exception of surrealism). No matter what the story, what moves the story forward is conflict (in one form or another); the climax resolves the conflict, and thus brings the story to a suitable conclusion. Anything that happens after the conflict has been resolved (besides whatever denoument may be neccessary to tie up loose ends) seems superflous, and can often leave a film or novel floundering for the right place to call it quits.

    Shakespeare molded almost all of his plays on this structure; Hamlet ends with a barrage of showdowns, Macbeth's finale culminates in a powerful and personal duel, Henry V's final act delivers the battle the rest of the play has built toward, and Romeo and Juliet brings all the play's previous conflicts together in one last bittersweet tragedy.

    None of these stories dwelt on their characters or settings for very long after the resolution of the situation at hand; they had no reason to.

    If a story plays its trump card too soon (in the form of its biggest scene, surprise, or what have you), then it inevitably runs out of ammo soon afterward, leaving the audience to wade through weaker and weaker material until it finally gives out with a whimper. That, in my opinion, is far from the ideal way to keep the audience engaged.

  25. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    the PT itself can't blow the load of the OT

    Thanks, Darth Geist!
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