How to Make the Love Story More Believable

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Binary_Sunset, May 18, 2002.

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  1. The Mentos® Strikes Back Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2000
    star 4
    I thought something was strange about that Tuskan confession scene, mainly Padme?s reaction. ?Oh Anakin, I love men who slaughter women and children!?


    Yeah. [face_plain]
  2. kittenmommy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2001
    star 3
    Padmewar McGregor wrote:

    Re: EMK, we must hang out with very different women, because all the women I know were instantly repulsed by everything Anakin did to woo Na, er, Padme. Most women don't like it when men throw themselves at their feet, gush their feelings at them, whine about their mentors, etc.

    I totally agree! He comes across as a creepy stalker - and it seems Padmé agreed, as she commented that he was making her uncomfortable. It's also clear that he has a real anger management problem. That's totally believable for the future Darth Vader (duh!) but I'm not sure that it's also believable that Padmé would fall in love a person like that.

    Here's my conclusion: the romance would have been more believable if both of them talked less. Lucas should have just let the two actors... act. Give each other looks. Share an accidental touch. Like that scene with the potato-fleas but without the aura of a tampon advert.

    LOL!

    (Or self-parody).

    My husband leaned over and whispered to me, "The hills are alive with the sound of music..." I was waiting for Natalie to break into song a la Julie Andrews!

    Spend more time on that intergalactic cruise and less in overtly "romantic" places like that lakeside retreat. Romance happens because of two people, not because of the pretty background.

    Yep. Maybe that's why the romance comes across as forced, contrived, and... well... unbelievable. At least in MY opinion. Naturally others will feel differently.

    Kittenmommy.
  3. SHAD0W-JEDI Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 3

    You guys have covered a lot of ground; I will keep my comments brief and hope I am not being too repetitious...

    What do I think might have improved the romantic angle? ...

    (1) A clearer sense of how much time was involved... as the posts make clear, those of us watching the movie had no clear idea how long Obi-Wan was on his mission, how long Anakin and Padme were together, etc. As silly as this may sound, this was NOT helped by Obi-Wan's relatively unchanging wardrobe nor by the perpetually bad weather during his visit ;)
    (2) Tough within time constraints, but I think we needed to see more of Anakin's GOOD side during his time with Padme. I am not going to quibble with those of you who have seen the movie ten times already, but the IMPRESSION I left with is that most of the Anakin/Padme scenes included at least one reaction shot of her looking surprised/offended/disappointed in him... his critiques of Obi Wan, his comments re dictatorship, his snippy comments about how HE was in charge of security, his slaughter of the Tuskens... I think the romance chafed under the need to show flashes of the character flaws that will cause Anakin to "fall". Would have worked better (time constraints aside!) if we had scene MORE of the charming Anakin early, and more of the suggestions of temper/pride/etc AFTER Padme was already in love. As it was, it seemed his character flaws kept coming to the fore DURING that crucial "getting to know you" phase - and it became hard to see how she was looking past those events.
    (3) For me, at least..some sense that the two had kept up SOME contact and some sense of affection. I realize this may be dated - does everyone use holograms in the SW universe? - but even some sort of contact by "correspondence" might have layed some groundwork.

    Shadow
  4. Charlemagne Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    I think Anakin DID creep out Padme during those scenes...

    George got the idea across in my mind that Anakin had no experience with women and that Padme liked Anakin but wasn't comfortable with his 'new feelings toward her'

    Anakin seduced her quite well

  5. Padmewan McGregor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 1999
    star 3
    btw, I would love to get a M/F ratio count going here. The "romance" from AOTC smacks of a 12-y/o boy's dream of how romance happens in real life. Then they get smacked down by the girl next door. Sure guys think the romance works great, because we have no friggin' clue what goes on in women's minds.

    ElegantWeapon writes:
    First of all, George says this is a Love Haiku. Not a full blown love story.
    All the more reason why every single line, delivery, nuance is so important. In novels you can waste a few pages. In a haiku, you waste a syllable and the artistry is gone.
  6. Corusca-Gem Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    What made it less beleivable may have been the edit and the good acting. Let me explain. The first time I saw the film, I noticed primarily Anakin's anger during the confession, and not his guilt. Thus thoughts like wouldn't Padme hightail it out of there were crossing my mind. On second viewing I did notice the guilt after the anger as he collapsed, and his tears before he spoke may have been out of guilt, or else they were for his mother. His good acting of the hate part was so powerful that I didn't really catch the guilt part. It was sort of jarring. On my second viewing, the guilt was more apparent to me. There is a second viewing thread that suggests that almost all enjoyed the film more the second time around.
    In the extended scene that was filmed, the guilt was shown more in the later part that was cut out. The full cut would have shown us more guilt, and so we would see that Padme saw more of it, increasing her feelings of sympathy for him. Anakin was focused more on the anger part in the edit that we saw.
  7. Corusca-Gem Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    Also - what were Padme's real choices here?


    Leave Anakin after his confession. - Does neither him, her, or anyone else any good. Also breaks his heart even further.

    Turn Anakin in - Apparantly what he did on Tatooine was not against the law. Not sure though. And who on Tatooine would she turn him in to? The Hutts? A death prison? Would she really?

    Go to the Jedi for help. - Although it is possible they could kick him out. Although they perhaps could help him.

    Stay with him and try to help him. - She chose this due to her love of him.


    Also -

    The galaxy was falling apart around them. Tramatic events do make one live for today.

    Mabye more time did pass.

    They almost died a few times.

    He is remorseful.

    She does care for him.

    She is confused, caught between her feelings and his act, which was out of character for him up to that point.

    She feels bad for him. His mother just died, he has no father, he seems unhappy, and now he needs help big time.



    All reasons why it may not be as unbelievable as it was at first glance.



  8. shadow01 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    Qui Gon Jinn84, I like your point. To answer your question, Romeo and Juliet knew eachother for a little less than a week. Padme and Anikan knew eachother for around 10 years, they just never really saw each other.
  9. Padmewan McGregor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 1999
    star 3
    Corusca-Gem, you make it sound like standing by Anakin necessarily meant marrying him. There are other choices, you know.

    Romeo and Juliet is not necessarily a love story. Neither is AOTC.

    There are more shades than black and white in this world.
  10. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    You know how I make it more beleivable?

    I beleive in it.
  11. QuiGonJinn84 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 1999
    star 2
    In the end the question is intent. Does Lucas intend us to believe that these two are the strongest couple there ever was? I do not think so.

    It is rushed purposely, you get the feeling that they are rushing into things. When Padme confesses her love you get the feeling that she is doing it out of the desire to do so and not the need to do speak the absolute truth. Do I think they love each other? Yes. I think they have a strong bond - but they go into it quickly and this leads to tragedy.

    Anakin will lose Padme somehow - his love being more of the obsessive nature than a rational nature makes it so that he will grow more angry by losing her. He will blame it on the Jedi. If they were stronger he would be stronger, he loves her because he wants to, he just lost his mother and she fills the void nicely. She loves him because she wants to as well - he just lost his mother, she fills the void nicely - she likes that.
  12. Riley Man Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 1999
    star 5
    I agree with QuiGonJinn84.

    The bottom line for me is I don't believe we are meant to think they are truly in love -- only that they think they are. If that wasn't Lucas' intention, then he failed, but for me he would've failed in a good way. If it was his intention, then we are likely to see Padme realize at some point in Ep.3 how unwise a decision she made, and this entire debate will go away.
  13. JediDugan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2001
    star 1
    You can all talk your talk, but I seriously doubt anyone of you really would be happy if GL had developed the love story any more than he did. The complaint already is (although I disagree with it) that AOTC, and the prequels in general are too wordy with actions scenes few and far between. Again, I doubt most of you really wanted to see more romantic scenes. You wanted to see more fighting, spaceships, etc. This is exactly what GL gave us...An absolute brilliant balance in this movie. I recently rewatched ANH:SE and can say with certainty (afer seeing AOTC 4 times in 3 days) that AOTC features the best performances ever in a Star Wars film. They are almost too good. And most of the best acting is done by Hayden and/or Natalie during romantic scenes (or at least scenes when they are "together"). Anakin's performance during the "Confession", and Padme's during the "Love Pledge" are their best in the film.

    My point?

    My point is that the romantic story was done as well as can be done in a Star Wars film and really made the fights and battles and skirmishes mean something when you know the characters are fighting for something other than their lives (in this case LOVE).

    Padme and Anakin's relationship is rushed because it is designed to be rushed. People complain about the "Fire Side" scene, and how the dialogue is so weird and creepy. Well it's supposed to be weird and creepy. Look at Padme in that scene. She's squirming as much as we are in the audience. Anakin's obsessed, he's laying it on too thick! Remember, Anakin is Darth Vader, he's a bad guy. He's obsessive, she's a slightly uptight lonely senator- he's taking advantage of Padme's vulnerabilities. She's confused love with sympathy (which happens BTW, I'll bet 30% of all marriages are based on sympathy-and they all end in divorce).

    This is why the ending is bittersweet (and also the best ending in the saga). We're happy to see them together, yet at the same time we all know something isn't quite right.
  14. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    I enjoyed the Love Story and I wouldn't change anything. Anakin and Padme's romance begins at the head of a great war that changed the SW galaxy. In war things are rushed. Padme gave into her feelings because she saw that life is short and bad things happen. *The Arena where they all nearly died, the shocking sudden death of Anakin's mother, Obi-Wan and Anakin's duel with Dooku where Anakin lost his arm and could have died* Padme wanted to take joy in what she's got before it's gone. Anakin has been in love with her since he first laid eyes on her. He knew through the Force that Padme had a special place in his future right off. It was only fitting I thought that they got married in Aotc at the end. It was wonderful. A true world-wind romance!
  15. Riley Man Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 1999
    star 5
    I'm glad most people seem to get it. :)

    And looky what I found here: http://www.starwars.com/episode-ii/news/2002/05/news20020508.html

    Portman is particularly satisfied with the burgeoning romance her character experiences. "I like that she comes from a place where everything is rigid and formal, so uptight. It's such an interesting place to start from in a love story, because you have to melt her to get her in a place where she can be vulnerable. I think the first film, the mask-like façade was a really wonderful place to have continuity from because you can see she's had this formal rigid upbringing and that changes when she meets that young stud."

    "He's not too bad lookin'," she laughed. "He has a passion and intensity that's similar to hers. She's a fixer -- she's someone who thinks she can fix the world and then she sees this young man who's very damaged and broken. She sees he's not beyond repair yet and it's attractive to her to be able to bring him out of that."


    Looks like Portman understands how it's all working out too!
  16. son_of_the_tear Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 5
    << btw, I would love to get a M/F ratio count going here. The "romance" from AOTC smacks of a 12-y/o boy's dream of how romance happens in real life. Then they get smacked down by the girl next door. Sure guys think the romance works great, because we have no friggin' clue what goes on in women's minds. >>

    This is a fairy tale. FAIRY TALE. And intergalactic fairy tale.

    SW was never anything but a fantasy. A myth. A fairy tale.

    If you read any of the classic fairy tales or legends or myths, romances are like this.

    There is a reason I like SW. Because it is as far away from real life.

    G-d, Han and Leia's romance was rushed and not developed too well. It came out of the blue. I accepted it because it is fantasy. A fairy tale.

    This ain't "Love Story", folks.



  17. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4

    I totally concur son_of_the_tear.

    I used to get mad at threads like this.

    Now I'm just bemused.

    [face_laugh]

    I've always found in working with George that it's a good idea to correct his scripts BEFORE he spends 115 million dollars shooting it HIS way. He's so self-centered!
  18. SHAD0W-JEDI Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 3

    Hmmm... as often happens in these discussions, the intensity of the responses from the "other side" tends to nudge one even further in the other direction...

    Look, no one is suggesting that AOTC should have been a two hour love-fest...;) And I think any number of us have noted that we have to cut the film-makers a certain amount of slack, given time constraints, the scope of the overall story being told, etc.

    BUT... that doesn't mean that we have to "believe" a romance between Padme and Anakin just because they TELL us to.

    I think the Han/Leia 'romance' actually is a PERFECT contrast. It came off as MUCH more believable, even if it too had a certain lightweight element to it. Look no further than the moment Han and Leia have to press pass one another in a cramped passageway for a clue as to the kind of chemistry missing from the Padme/Anakin situation. We can clearly see Leia developing increasing affection, admiration, and yes, ultimately, love for Han, despite all his bluster and bravado (which are quite different from arrogance and mass murder!).

    AND... again... I keep returning to the problems with the film using Padme for repeated reaction shots to make sure we "don't miss" Anakin's slide to the Dark Side. It is a tough sell that this smart, sophisticated "older" woman is falling for this guy precisely at the same time she is being repeatedly brought up short by his arrogance, petulance, brattiness - and then, by his slaughter of men, women and CHILDREN, for goodness sake! It is one thing if they had presented her as being in love with him, deeply, and THEN having her head slammed up against these jarring character flaws. It is another to have her encounter these flaws precisely DURING their courtship! There were MANY more shots of her reacting negatively to Anakin than there were of her expressing admiration or pleasure, to any significant extent! It simply doesn't come off as credible that she falls in love with this guy precisely AS she is being disturbed by his leanings towards fascism, self-absorption and violence!

    Did this "ruin" the movie for me? No. Is it somewhat understandable? Yes. Could it have been improved, and thus strengthened the entire narrative? I think so.

    Shadow
  19. IamZam Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 4
    I think that is why it works and why it was done the way it was. This isn't a pure love story where they run off to the sunset, and are doomed by outside forces because everyone is against them. They feel they are "in love". But it is a circumstancial thing. He is obsessed with her, and emotionally distrubed. She is inexeperienced in matters of the heart, and has been in the service of others all her life. Now circumstance has brought them together, she is feeling many other things that are disguising as love. Why else would they rush off to get married right away. If it were true honest love it would wait, they would find away to put each other first. IN reality they are putting themselves first. They are betraying everything they each stand for. They are making a big mistake and are doomed. WE as the audience know it. This is about much more than a normal boy meets girl falls in love and rides off to never never land. They don't look close at each other, they ignore thier better judgement. They are leading each other astray. When ever one tries to go back the other one leads them away.

    He wanted to Obey Master Windu, she led him not too. She didn't put up and resistance when he wanted to go to Tatooine. Her words say no no no, but her actions, expressions and even her style of dressing are saying yes yes yes. This is a very complex situation. It will be part of what leads to his down fall. As Lucas has said. He can't let go of things. He couldn't let go of his mother, and he won't be able to let go of Padme when the time comes.

    They both have the responsibilites of adults and the intellect to carry them out, but emotionallly they have been protected and sheltered. They are not fully adults, and they are no longer children. Their new feelings are overwhelming, exciting, and scary. It is not a happy occasion when they get married. They feel in love, because they have been thru so much, but deep down they both know they are making a mistake that will have a heavy price tag, yet part of them doesn't care. Its them against the universe, which is actually a very common literay theme, and what will eventually be their downfall. (Why does three years suddenly seem so long).

    I have read some people that hate it. I have a feeling they don't get it. If you read the book it makes much more sense. Unfortunatley for reasons known only to the Great Flannel man certain scenes that I think would have enhanced it, have been cut. (SE me smells perhaps?) When one reads the novel, one gets much more insight into what movitvates Padme and why she falls so quickly and suddenly for Anakin.

    Having done a simliar stupid thing in my youth, (though not with nearly as disasterious a consequences) I can totally relate in many ways to her character. And even if he wasn't destined to be Vader, it still wouldn't stand a chance.
  20. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    I think the Han/Leia 'romance' actually is a PERFECT contrast. It came off as MUCH more believable, even if it too had a certain lightweight element to it.

    After you've seen AOTC several dozen times over the course of 15 years, I'm sure you'll be saying the same thing about Anakin and Padme's romance.

    I guess the real question is, did Han and Leia's romance feel natural the first time you saw the film? Honestly, I can't remember because I was 8 when I first saw it at the drive-in and I've seen the film countless times since then. I also view their romance as it fits in with the saga and not how it stands on its own in ESB.

    I'm sure within the context of the saga, in time, Anakin and Padme's romance will seem natural as Han and Leia's.
  21. Bud Frescoe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2000
    star 3
    son-of-the-tear said "G-d, Han and Leia's romance was rushed and not developed too well. It came out of the blue. I accepted it because it is fantasy. A fairy tale."

    When was the last time you watched the OT? 1983? The romance is set up in in ANH quite well. Han's VERY FIRST comment to Luke about Leia is "Wonderful girl. Either I'm going to kill her or I'm beginning to like her." For the rest of the Death Star sequences, Han and Leia CONSTANTLY insult each other, which, as any fool knows, means that they are attracted to each other. After the escape from the DS, Han says to Luke "Still, she's got a lot of spark. What do you think kid, a princess and a guy like me?" Han is teasing Luke, but he is also revealing that he definitely has an interest in Leia. Let's not forget that Han WINKS at Leia during the medal ceremony on Yavin, and she smiles back. Jump ahead to ESB, and Han turns off his communicator just so he doesn't have to talk to Leia. If these are not obvious lover's spats, I don't know what are. How in the world can you claim that the Han and Leia romance "comes out of the blue?"

    Compare that romance with the set up of the Anakin/Padme romance in TPM (which is a non-set up because anakin was still wearing underoos at the time). The Padme/Anakin romance is not set up well at all.
  22. dxbari Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2000
    star 1
    As much as I cringed the first time the "love" dialog in AoTC hit my ears. After repeated viewings/listenings, I'm finding it a lot easier to get used to than Jar Jar.

    That's all.
  23. Padmewan McGregor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 1999
    star 3
    Yes, I acknowledge that this is not a "love story;" I have repeated that over and over again. It is somewhere between "spring break lust" and "the Graduate."

    Yes, the "romance" is rushed. That is fine. This is a love that should not happen. The real problem here is that there is not much tension throughout the relationship. Everything is too in-your-face to make it believable. It reminds me of Schmi's switcheroo in TPM: "He can't be in the pod race. It's too dangerous." "Please?" "OK."

    Do I want more dialogue??? No, no, no, no! If anything, there is far too much dialogue in AOTC. Lucas doesn't seem to trust his actors to act, so he stuffs them full of words, afraid they'll do something not of his bidding. Give them enough words and they can't go astray, right? Wrong. The romance needs less dialogue. If Padme is experiencing lust for Anakin, that is something best seen, not said.

    Re: Fairy Tale Romance. I accept that most stories in history have "unbelievable" romances. Heck, try watching Snow White -- less than a century old -- sometime and try to tell me Snow White and the Prince are meant for each other. So blame ESB (and ANH) for setting my expectations for how Star Wars would treat relationships -- as 3D, not as 2D fairy tale stories.

    Half of you are defending the story as "realistic" and the other half as "meant to be that way." At least accept that there are naturally those of us who feel the contradiction these two opinions represent and don't like the results.
  24. SHAD0W-JEDI Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 3

    I think it needs to be said that the fact that this is a love that 'should not happen' actually RAISES the bar, not lowers it!

    In falling in love, let alone marrying, Anakin is tossing away at least ten years of Jedi training, promises, etc. This is clearly not something taken lightly by him (or he would simply leave the order and pursue his romance with Padme!). He is all too aware of what he risks by pursuing this relationship...

    Similarly..Padme, who is presented as even MORE level-headed in many ways, realizes the consequences of this relationship. Consequences for Anakin, for her, for both of them in terms of duty and responsibility to their Republic at a time of grave crisis.

    And yet..they go ahead anyway. SO it is all the more important that their love/lust for one another be developed as overpowering, overwhelming...not LESS important.

    Shadow

    ;) Who'd have thunk it... the "major" discussion re a SW movie concerns romance?
  25. son_of_the_tear Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 5
    Set up well in ANH?

    Please.

    Everyone and their mother thought she would end up with Luke. Before Lucas changed his mind after ESB, he was setting up the romance between Luke and Leia. He knew this, he stated that. Me and my female friends rag on each other all the time, doesn;t mean we like each other in that way.

    It was not set up at all. And that is my own opinion right there. It came out of the blue.

    And yes, while in TPM, Anakin was only 10, remember, she was only 14. They were both babies. But you saw how Anakin felt about her and you also saw how she cared about him, in a more motherly sense. Which is the way she still cares about Anakin as a dult, which is why it is a doomed romance. She sees him as the little boy she has to take care of and well, he sees her as what is missing in his life, attachment.

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