Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by OBI WAN37, Jul 1, 2014.
What about a film like "Koyaanisqatsi"?
Mod Note: Ah, how is this relevant to the thread?
Other peoples opinions haven't affected what I think of the films. Theres nothing wrong with any kind of review or criticism as long as its contructive, and I find it interesting to see if any of their points match with my own issues with the PT. But they don't affect my enjoyment of them at all.
I'm in the bracket of fan that grew up with the OT and to be fair it was a much different time then in terms of its uniqueness (if thats a word), the cinema landscape in which they were released, its ability to surprise and the impact it had is something we will probably never see again with films. In the intervening years since ROTJ, the hype and expectation for TPM and the PT as a whole was at a real high and I wonder if whatever GL did would have matched that hype anyway? But one of the major players in terms of trolls is the internet, its an easy medium to get negativity out there, much easier than it was back in the days of the OT.
I had brought in a reference to a post in 7SA in which someone said that Lucas was inspired by silent movies when making the PT. That poster used the fireplace scene as an example of a scene that was meant to be watched for imagery and body language instead of dialogue. I said that I don't like silent movies and here we are.
I don't care about PT criticism, don't read them, and if I happen to do so anyway, I get a bit mad and go remind myself of how awesome they are.
No way they can ever shake my love of those films, but I do feel as if it's "dirty" and "wrong" to like the prequels.
Not at all. I still enjoy them, despite their flaws. People pointing them out to me doesn't matter, because I already see them.
Whenever I hear criticism of the PT I don't let it bother me or affect my love for the movies because I know why I love them, and nothing anyone says about that will change that. I've been a fan since I was a child and I will always be a fan of the entire Saga.
For me, I will consider well thought out criticism as I do feel the prequels were a squandered opportunity (sorry guys) but there is still plenty of good in them -- Ian McDiarmid, John Williams, Ewan McGregor, deep political plot, for starters. Just saying "they suck, heh heh heh" is not a valid argument. But if someone makes logical points, I can concede them, I'm a big boy I can take valid criticism of a film. Sometimes a well placed argument will get me to look at things from another perspective and even say, "you know what, you're right".
It's not like when I was 5 years old and I couldn't fathom Superman being stronger than Spider-Man, where the response is "nuh-uh, he is not!!!1!"
I wanted to post something like this but wasn't sure how to word it. Good job. I agree.
Like some posters have said, prequel bashing had only increased my appreciation for the prequel trilogy. I have tried to sort out just why it is that I feel more interested in the prequel movies and prequel era EU from the early to mid 2000's. In examining just why it was that I preferred the prequels, so I could provide counter arguments to the people who bashed the movies, I have seen that there are substantial reasons why I prefer the newer trilogy. Of course it is partially nostalgia, but there are more reasons than that why I like Star Wars to this day.
I saw the original trilogy on VHS tape before the prequels were released, and shortly after, The Phantom Menace. I wasn't very old when TPM came out, so I didn't understand much of the political dialogue at the time, something about the prequels I like now. The movie was just amazing to me at the time. It was the start of a new journey, with totally new characters, that would lead to the original trilogy. There was such an immersive fantasy world, with amazing visual scenes, mysterious characters, and wonder at where the story would lead, and what would happen in the following films. What helped to hold my interest in Star Wars were the books borrowed from the local library, which revealed more of the story of these characters and expanded the picture of the world in which they lived.
Today, I still marvel at the expansive fantasy world created by the prequel movies and EU, including the original story of the Clone Wars as told from 2002-2008. Everything from the many worlds of this universe, to the customs and rules of the Jedi Order, the political structure of the Republic and Palpatine's manipulation of its and the Separatist movement, to the variety of vehicles and other technology used by the characters.
I mentally took apart the prequels, and my intuitive feelings about them to see just why I liked them. To briefly summarize why I like the prequels, it is because they created a complex fictional world, that was structured in such a way that made the world seem believable. The various social structures of the world, that conflicted, and kept each other in balance added to this illusion. From the politics of the world and ambitions of politicians, to the strict monastic like Jedi, who were always striving for moral perfection and selfless service to the Republic and justice, to ordinary beings and clone soldiers, the level of detail you could see the world in was endless.
When you set a complex and engaging story within this world, the story of Anakin Skywalker, and his relationships with its political structure, the Jedi Order, and his personal relationships to individual characters within these structures, such as Obi-Wan, Padme, and Palpatine, plus his history on Tatooine before becoming a citizen of the Republic, you have created a story that can capture your imagination. The story gives you so much to think about. It so fantastic, but at the same time, the elements of the story are so familiar, (personal weakness, ambition, the various previously mentioned political and religious structures etc.) that we can mentally connect to this world. It takes elements of our own world that are so familiar, and projects them on a vision that expands our abilities to explore and build to their limit.
Examples of ideas to ponder about the prequel era world and story:
Throughout history, people have had an interest to travel and explore new places. The prequels show us a vast Galaxy to explore full of a variety of beings to populate it.
200 years ago, what was technology like? How much has it changed since then? Isn't it amazing to imagine what it might be like in 2000 years?
Given the complex personal situation of Anakin Skywalker, would you make the same choices he did? What do Anakin's personal weakness and disastrous choices made in desperation reveal about human nature?
What are your thoughts about making a clone army for purposes of serving the Republic in war? Was it ethical, or unethical to make sentient beings, with as much life and consciousness as anyone else, for the singular purpose to fight and die for the Republic?
I could easily list hundreds of ideas and go into more depth, but you see what I mean. There are so many questions you can ask, and so many angles from which to approach questions about the world and situations of the prequels. I never had the same amount of inspiration for thought from the original trilogy.
I think it's interesting that you mention the thought-provoking elements of the PT as your primary reason for preferring the prequels. They certainly tell a story which is far more complex (in both themes and moral ambiguity) and "grand-scale" than the OT. They are artistically very rich. I think those 'cerebral' elements provide objective reasons why nobody should be made to feel stupid for enjoying them.
Personally though, the fundamental reason I like them so much is purely subjective: emotional engagement. I was eight when I saw TPM, but I'd been aware of SW before that, and I did enjoy the spaceships, lightsabers, Darth Vader etc. And of course I was rooting for Luke and felt sympathetic to his struggles. But it wasn't until the PT that the Saga really gripped me emotionally, made me deeply identify with, feel and fear for the characters. And it wasn't just because I was older and understood the story better. TPM had me from the get-go, when I was young enough for the political stuff to go whooshing over my head. It's strange because it's kind of the opposite of a lot of the criticism of the PT --- that it's lifeless and annoys you or leaves you cold emotionally at best, that you can't identify with the characters, and so forth. And you can't always predict what will emotionally engage a particular person. People may say that Jar Jar and Lloyd's Anakin were pandering to the kids, but the character I instantly felt a connection with (despite being little Ani's age) was Qui-Gon.
The criticism contributed to my finding objective, intellectual reasons to love the PT, but it didn't affect my feelings for them one jot either way.
Missed this before. Since I wasn't directly named, nor my post directly quoted, no alert was generated.
First, anakinfansince1983's answer:
I asked anakinfansince1983 if she has ever seen "Koyaanisqatsi". That's all.
Threads often meander in different directions based on things that people randomly assert.
My question I actually see as relevant to the thread -- or an aspect of it --given that Lucas has 1) said he prefers to look at his own films as silent movies, and 2) cited "Koyaanisqatsi" as a film he considers himself capable of making or having made:
"After I did 'Graffiti,' my friends said, 'George, you should make more of an artistic statement,' but I feel 'Star Wars' did make a statement--in a more visual, less literary way. People said I should have made 'Apocalypse Now' after 'Graffiti,' and not 'Star Wars.' They said I should be doing movies like 'Taxi Driver.' I said, 'Well, "Star Wars" is a kids' movie, but I think it's just as valid an art film as "Taxi Driver." ' Besides, I couldn't ever do 'Taxi Driver.' I don't have it in me. I could do 'Koyaanisqatsi,' but not 'Taxi Driver.' But of course if the movie doesn't fit what they think movies should be, it shouldn't be allowed to exist. I think that's narrow-minded. I've been trying to rethink the art of movies--it's not a play, not a book, not music or dance. People were aware of that in the silent era, but when the talkies started they lost track of it. Film basically became a recording medium."
My own implication being -- in asking the question -- that people who dislike silent movies, or cinematic tone poems, might not get as much out of the PT as those who have at least some affection or appreciation for a key strand of film history and the filmic experience; and the very strand that has influenced Lucas and which he seems to love so much.
The deeper notion here is that there is a lot of hostility and contempt toward these films in different ways, and much of it seems to stem, in part or in whole, from an ignorance -- even a willful ignorance -- of the kind of things that drive Lucas as an artist and a human being. How, for example, is one meant to enjoy Shakespeare (at least to his/its fullest), if one dislikes archaic English or iambic pentameter; or is opposed to stories involving treachery and betrayal?
At the very, very least, I was trying to get a dialogue going; or at least have my question answered. Just a gentle inquiry about a film that Lucas seems to have been impressed by; and which appeared at the tail-end of the making of the OT. In other words, maybe it shaped some of his thoughts and feelings about the PT (the term "Koyaanisqatsi", for instance, means "life out of balance"). My question wasn't answered, by the way... but never mind.
@Cryogenic Fair enough
I agree. I roll my eyes whenever someone says that anyone who doesn't like ESB is just "stupid" But constantly moans about science and politics being a focus of the PT. And I like that there is no clear villian or Protagonist. Rather than the OT theme of "Da good guyzzz are gunna whoop der bad guyzzz butzz!!!! Yoda is a God!!!!!"
Constructive? This isn't candyland, it's the film business. If a reviewer doesnt like a movie he has every right to tell you why it was terrible. It's not the reviewer's responsibility to tell someone how to make a movie better, all they need to do is say what they thought of the movie.
I think you missed the point, which was mainly directed at Internet trolls (which the OP is about) not film critics. By constructive I mean when someone actually gives their reasoned opinion instead of generic comments like the PT sucks because GL destroyed my child hood. Basically when people just follow the crowd.
To me the whole nitpicking thing is lame, and makes many sw fans look bad. I think in time the PT was finally getting some respect until the Disney sale, then the trolling n nitpicking returned. To me all 6 films match up n fit well together. Never been a fan of the OT vs PT chats. I will say the fighting n arguing has killed my interest in the new Disney movies though. Many fans are under the impression that the new Disney movies will be more OT n less PT...but all 6 films are in fact Star Wars..and Disney should be making more Star Wars movies not more OT movies. Im also a gamer n have lots of interest in Battlefront 3, but all they keep showcasing is OT planets, this sort of thing turns me off as well. Where is Naboo, Kamino n Mustafar? Id like this sort of thing to stop. It was cool the Clone Wars had their show n now the Rebellion will have their own show. Just wish the favoritism would go away.
To answer your question, I feel that the movies have lost some of its appeal, and that the flaws are more apparent as time passes. As a film buff, I knew enough that the Prequels were somewhat poorly written, poorly acted and poorly directed movies ever since the first viewing. Having said that, I also feel that the movies are justifiably loved and hated. To say that there's nothing good about them is completely ridiculous, though. Sure, you can say there's plenty of crap, but most of it is good storytelling that a little more editing could improve. There's no point in arguing if the movies are either good or bad, anyway, because at the end of the day they're still Star Wars films, whether you want them to be or not. I, for one, am hoping that Lucasfilm will want to go back in the Prequels' archives and re-cut these films so they're better movies. But I know that will never happen.
As somebody who loves all six films, I will be the first to admit that the prequels had some pretty glaring flaws. The most irritating to me is all the forced attempts to tie things in with the OT that just didn't work well and weren't necessary i.e. Jengo Fett, the separatists designing the death star, and Yoda meeting Chewbacca on Kashyyyk being the most obvious. However, a lot of things that bothered OT fans don't seem to bother me. I really think the PT was destined to fail for a few reasons. The first being expectations were so high and people who grew up with the OT had over a decade to speculate and imagine how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. Fans had epic expectations of a caliber that would be impossible for George Lucas to deliver on and still appeal to a mass audience. Secondly, it was a story that everybody already knew the outcome of. There was simply no way to recreate the suspense that fans had in 1977-1983 when seeing the original trilogy for the first time when you already know what is going to happen. Third, the PT was made primarily for a general audience and to hook a new generation of Star Wars fans. It wasn't made to be a nostalgia trip for those who were children in 1977 and therefore was never going to bring back that magic. Lastly, I think much of the prequel-hate is a matter of bandwagon-mentality. Looking back on it, leaving the theater after seeing all three prequels, almost everyone was amazed by what they just saw. Then they went home and got on the Internet.
From what we know about the upcoming sequel trilogy, I am hoping they do right what the prequels did right and learn from the mistakes. It seems like they are doing a lot more to entice the original 1977 fans. That is a good thing, but the new trilogy should go in its own direction while paying homage to the past and not try to be a remake.
It has caused me to evaluate the prequels more thoroughly and I have realized that I love them more than I did before. It has made me realize that there are extremely annoying people out there with arrogant opinions thinking they are a beacon of facts while everyone else are wrong. It's just movies but these people act as if it was a serious political issue!
One shouldn't waste their time on them, you just can't reason with that kind of people. If anything the prequel whiners only affect their own reputation negatively, they come off as annoying, disrespectful and close-minded (Red Letter Media for an example). I want to add another word but I'm sure my comment would be deleted! I seriously question the personality of prequel haters (and of original trilogy haters as well).
So the only way the criticism has affected me negatively is the disappointment of knowing there are such pathetic people out there. There are movies I don't like either, but I move on. You won't find me crying about those movies saying they're a waste of time, wasting 15 years of whining about them. My tip to prequel fans is to ignore the haters and their criticism. You shouldn't surround yourself with such negativity, that's all. Don't let them drag you down to their level of misery.
In my case, I think the level of annoyance some people feel about "trolls" doesn't even compare to the level of disappointment I feel towards the PT.
I was 14 when TPM came out and I was overjoyed to be alive for the first Star Wars movie in 16 years. Even the fact that we were getting new Star Wars movies theatrically released was a dream come true for me. I never, ever thought I wouldn't like (or at least enjoy) these films, I even remember thinking that if presented with a mediocre product, I would take something away from it and cherish it for ever.
I was very wrong. I think the term "flaws" doesn't even apply. As if the problems with these movies were isolated situations in an otherwise decent product. In that way, the originals have tons of "flaws". For me, the PT is just completely wrong as a movie experience. The main characters aren't even characters, there's nothing really there. Obi Wan? Yeah, great casting choice but he's a doo good jedi with horrible dialogue and no real reason to empathize with, no arc at all. The same with Padmé.
Still, I think these movies (specially TPM) have great isolated elements. Qui Gon, Palpatine, . . . . can't think of anything more at this point.
The problem is with the movies as a whole. They leave a worse aftertaste than doritos. Storywise, they are confusing and unappealing. The only character arc is Anakin's and his presence is plagued with horrible dialogue and subpar acting. Visually, they look way too fake and overdone as if these movies had an agenda to prove that CGI was the way of the future or something, to the point were an exposition scene about Kamino turns into a scene at a diner with a character that looks like something out of the 90s Lost in Space movie . . . and don't get me started about those Pod Racers designed by Hannah Barbera.
In conclusion, my beef with these movies is that they don't work as movies. Forget Star Wars for a second, let's just talk about these three "space adventure" movies. They fall apart on their own, it's not even that they don't live up to expectations or they "don't feel like Star Wars", the problem is much deeper and fundamental.
Respectfully, this is just a humble opinion by yours truly and not meant to upset anybody.
At first, when i found out that the prequels were hated i grew distant from the prequels and watched more of the OT. To be honest i still enjoy the OT more then the PT , but i have grown to like the PT again. Reviews of the PT like the RLM reviews i haven't watched much of, but stuff like that does't effect me much at least not anymore.
I didn't realize until I was older that the prequels were even disliked. I loved the OT, and always felt that the prequels were just a window into the history of how what we saw in the OT came to be. I always viewed them as one and thought everyone else did the same.
I was 13 when Episode 1 was released, and I enjoy the prequels to this day, though to me they aren't infallible like the O.T. In the 90's for my peers, being a Star Wars fan was not "cool" like it is today. People constantly trolled my fandom, but it didn't affect me at all because I connected with those movies on such a high emotional level that I didn't care what anyone thought.
The same goes for the kids who grew up watching the prequels and are being trolled for loving them; and really for anyone who is a fan of something not considered to be mainstream "cool." Haters gonna hate.
Thats what kinda kills my interest in the new movies. It doesnt seem like more Star Wars, it just seems and feels like a cash grab. GL wasnt making the PT for Fox, he was making them because he wanted to, Fox was just lucky enough to be involved. Disney took their money so they could use the Star Wars brand. Its one thing to make stories based in that universe, but to piggyback off of what GL did, just seems lame to me. People think Disney will do to Star Wars what they did for Marvel and hey they just might, but making episode 7 8 n 9....I dont see what story can be told in 3 movies to quote unquote extend the saga.