Is it really Lucas' fault?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by ST-TPM-ASF-TNE, Jul 11, 2002.

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  1. augusto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 4
    It's amazing that one has to go to a Star Wars message board, and not be called a "true" Star Wars fan but an ass kisser.

    It's even more amazing that comments get personal not only with fellow posters, but with Lucas himself. It's not enough to say he has no taste, but his divorce is used for his lack of talent.


    If this is the state of Star Wars fandom, then I'm no fan at all. You might be correct after all.
  2. WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Go - Mer: Again, I point out exact points of order in my disimination of the Phantom Mess; Please feel free to point out every single good quality of the prequels.

    I am not saying you have to change your enjoyment of it. Just counter me with how you think its good editing, a good script, good direction and a good story.


    To me, all those points are weak and/or poorly constructed.
  3. Ree Yees Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2000
    star 5
    I blame GL because he is responsible for the films. But I think most of the fault lies with the way ILM have taken control of much of the movie. Listen to the awful audio commentary on AOTC, and weep. Listen to how they think they have made something very special by having Yoda's clothing wrinkle, and nobody (outside these forums) gives a damn about his clothing. Everything is flat, and the important things that made the OT so fantastic (not only special effects, but archetypical and loveable characters, character development etc)all miss in the prequel mess. It is just not impressive.

    I do not wonder how things are achieved in the prequels. There is no sense of mystery; it's just digital effects. Story-wise the same; there is no mystery (even though the storyline is supposed to be mysterious!), because the expositional lines are dreck.
  4. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    WSBurroughs, I can't find where you have said anything other than a lot of people agree with you that it's badly made.

    There is this recurring thing where you mispell it The Phantom Mess, but that isn't really a point is it?

    Care to point me to your "points"?
  5. WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Go Mer: I should have denoted that where ever I go in real life, away from the message boards, there is an alarming rate of (random) people who agree with me the prequels are poorly constructed films. Every single one of these persons bring up exacting, valid points of constructive critisisim in this regard.

    You, my friend, just reply that you think its good just because its got Star Wars slapped on the title. Please fell free to elaborate details why you think the prequels are well made. Enjoying a film is one thing, arguing that thats the only reason its a good movie .....?
  6. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    You, my friend, just reply that you think its good just because its got Star Wars slapped on the title.

    Well, this simply isn't true. As much as Go-Mer and I disagree, he does take the time to go through scenes and derive meaning from them (although I often disagree with such exegesis vehemently). I have yet to hear him say that something is good simply because it has SW in the title (although I can't recall ever hearing his opinion on the Xmas Special...)

    What I would like to see is a point-by-point from both of you to counteract the vagueries from you both.
  7. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    The Christmas special is great because of Bea Arthur. ;)
  8. WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Let's see; the Prequels are poorly made flims because, so far, neither episode has a main character. Phantom Mess focusus on either Qui gon, Jar Jar, Obi Wan or Jar Jar. Somwerhe along the way, Lucas interjects some brief moments with Anikin that barely further the story. This gives to rise weak story construction (and/or editing) that still leaves me confused regarding what the heck is going on.

    There is this Vauge notion the, equally vaugely proposed, trade federation, is, for some vauge reason, wanting to stir the hornets nest up on Naboo.


    The "virgin birth" still is so abusurd, I can clearly recall the 12:01am showing opening day: 90% of the audience groaned in discern and disgust. Whats the friggin point??

    The prequles, to date, do not even match up with the OT on many points: The so- called friendship between Obi Wan and Anikin is non existent in the PT. There is this silly refrence to the Sith getting their revenge - of which, Lucas has still failed to even bring that point up in Ep II. The prophecy of "Ballance to the Force" is not once mentioned in the OT. So why does Lucas feel to even bother with it in PT? Anikin is supposed to be a "great Pilot" according to Obi Wan in ANH, winds up being just a pesky kid in Phantom mess.

    Ep II, the sepratists are vaugely refered to with out any buildup. Yet, they are the pivot the clone wars starts over. There are so many vauge refrences that are overlookd by Lucas, its mindboggling that anyone can overlook them as "simple fantasy conventions".

    BTW: Lumpy! Grampa chewbacca is the man for "enjoying" Dian Carrol just by sitting in the chair - not needing one paper towel!
  9. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
  10. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    You could argue that Qui-Gon is the main character of Episode I, or that Anakin is the main character in Episode II, but you are right. They sort of have a few main characters that they focus on alternately. What is inherently bad about that? Is this just something you can't do with a story?

    Most of TPM is spent setting things up for the rest of the saga. So while it does have it's own resolution for itself with the taking back of Naboo, for the most part, everyone's story is just beginning. It isn't until Episode II that you start to see the important developments between all the characters.

    Could you elaborate on the weak story construction and editing, I didn't notice that. I am also not confused by the plot. The film specifically tell us in big bright yellow letters that the reason the Niemodians are blockading (and then invading) Naboo is because they are protesting the taxation of trade routes which were recently imposed on them by the Galactic Senate.

    Shmi cannot explain where Anakin came from, they never say she was a virgin. Anakin is a mythological hero, and mythological heroes usually have a unique origin. Hercules for example, was fathered by a God. I can see you not liking it, but does the very concept equal bad writing? I didn't think there was anything wrong with it.

    You say you don't see a friendship between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and I am saying it was there. I honestly don't understand how you can say it's missing.

    That silly reference to the Sith getting their revenge is the basis for the entire saga. Why should he have to repeat it in Episode II? Why would they mention the prophecy in the classic trilogy? After the way the prequels end, I could easily see Yoda and Obi-Wan giving up on the Prophecy. Anakin was supposed to save them and yet he ends up almost wiping the Jedi out completely. It certainly wouldn't have been a good idea to bring that up to Luke. As for why he brought it up, that's what the story is about. The beauty of it all is in very end, the prophecy turns out to be true after all. To me, this is top shelf stuff. What makes it bad in your mind?

    Maybe if you watched ?The Phantom Menace? instead of ?The Phantom Mess?, you would see that Anakin Skywalker was portrayed as the only human who can pilot a pod, and the only pilot who manages to get inside the Trade Federation battleship to blow it up from the inside. In Episode II we see more of his piloting skills in the Courscant Chase. How could you even pretend they didn't show us Anakin as a great pilot? It's like telling me Darth Vader's Lightsaber was green in the OT.

    I didn't see anything wrong with the portrayal of the separatists. It was all pretty straightforward to me. As shown in TPM, the government is shown to be ineffectual because of it's own red tape. Count Dooku, a former Jedi breaks away from the Jedi order and forms the Separatist in an effort to bring what he sees as necessary reform to the status quo.

    What do you mean by: There are so many vague references that are overlooked by Lucas, its mind boggling that anyone can overlook them as "simple fantasy conventions".?




    The Holiday Special is good for showing people how bad the prequels could have been if someone else takes over for Lucas.
  11. WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    First off, I sincerly belive that the Holiday special is a superior SW installment over the PT.

    "Good writing is where you want the good guys to win and the bad guys to die. Bad writing is where you want everyone dead."

    Samuel L. Clememns.

    If you are to set up a huge saga, there should be one main character that you focus on. Focusing on a character that gets killed totaly detracts from the storyline.

    The virgin birth concept for Anikin is bad writing because it just seems so abusurd and unbelivable. Espicially knowing the outcome in the OT. Proof of this has been stated b4: opening day, an audible groan of disaproval from the majority of the audience does not connotate positve reaction. Totaly unnessacary.

    The "friendship" between Obi Wan and Anikin in ep I:

    Qui gon: "Obi Wan Kenobi; Meet Anikin"\

    Anikin: "hi" (offers his hand out for a handhake)

    Obi Wan" (takes his hand) "hello"......

    ep II;

    their "freindship" is strained from the beginning. Do I need to totaly recap any moment between them?

    Meanwhile, back on Naboo, ok, so there was a setup in the opening scroll. That was it, no other refrence was made. Then we just have a bunch of reactions to Amadala saying she will not go to war. War is bad. No negoitating the points of the taxes or the blockade. Just "war bad". ...Then, she changes her mind, that war is inevetable on her planet as she runs away - asking for somone else to help her fight - but still not wanting to fight. Comes back home to suddenly shooting first, asking questions later.

    Biggest leap of faith here is the people of Naboo themselves: where are they? If this is supposed to be a political intruge story, why not follow the points of order that should be furthering the story. Not slumping about with a pesky kid and a bumbling, irritating waste of CGI. If there is a battle with the people of Naboo, why don't we see them? Are there actualy people of Naboo suffering? I did not see one resident of Naboo suffer. IF this was another smoke screen set up by Darth Sidious, there should have been some hint of that. Instead, all we see is some whinny, tree huggin hippy dippy "princess" rant on and on that "war bad". This is not a real leader of a planetairy governement, just some teeny bopper with a wardrobe entrorage.

    Even though we all know the story, this does not mean you just let the characters "walk" through the "danger". PT films, so far, are directed with the notion that everyone knows they will come out allright. We know who will die, who will live. But we wont give the illusion that some of the characters went through life threatining situations.

    Now we come to the Sith and their "revenge". When constructing a story, if you go out of your way to make a point - i.e. said "sith revenge", there should be some sort of back story. Which leads to a payoff at the end. Its "mysterious" and vauge. It should also be the primary thrust of their actions againts the good Jedi. This in turn, lends to some character definition. A bunch of actors, spweing out lines is not character.

    Sepratists... who are they? Are they related to the so-called Naboo's? Why are they seperating from the Republic? Just because someone makes a refrence to them in a few meetings, does not justifiy their existence in the story. When you tell a story, if you introduce characters, ideas or actions, its to connect and further the whole story. this has not happned yet....

    I would have loved to watch the Phantom Menace. There was nothing menacing. Nor were there any phantoms.



  12. WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    P.S. Bea Aurthur singing in the cantina is a close second.. Lumpy is the Wooke for me!
  13. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    WSBurroughs: First off, I sincerely believe that the Holiday special is a superior SW installment over the PT.
    />
    WSBurroughs: "Good writing is where you want the good guys to win and the bad guys to die. Bad writing is where you want everyone dead." -Samuel L. Clememns.
    />
    WSBurroughs: If you are to set up a huge saga, there should be one main character that you focus on. Focusing on a character that gets killed totally detracts from the story line.
    />
    WSBurroughs: The virgin birth concept for Anakin is bad writing because it just seems so absurd and unbelievable. Especially knowing the outcome in the OT.
    />
    WSBurroughs: Proof of this has been stated b4: opening day, an audible groan of disapproval from the majority of the audience does not connotate positive reaction.
    />
WSBurroughs: The "friendship" between Obi Wan and Anakin in ep I:

Qui Gon: "Obi Wan Kenobi; Meet Anakin"\

Anakin: "hi" (offers his hand out for a handshake)

Obi Wan" (takes his hand) "hello"......

ep II;

their "friendship" is strained from the beginning. Do I need to totally recap any moment between them?
/>
WSBurroughs: Meanwhile, back on Naboo, ok, so there was a setup in the opening scroll. That was it, no other reference was made. Then we just have a bunch of reactions to Amidala saying she will not go to war. War is bad. No negotiating the points of the taxes or the blockade. Just "war bad". ...Then, she changes her mind, that war is inevitable on her planet as she runs away - asking for someone else to help her fight - but still not wanting to fight. Comes back home to suddenly shooting first, asking questions later.
/>
/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>
Go-Mer-Tonic, Dec 11, 2002 at 10:45 PM
#88
  • Jedi_Waster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 2
    Great post WSBurroughs!

    I read through all that, finding myself nodding and yelling out the occasional "you're so right!"



    "Is it any more absurd than Hercules being fathered by Zeus? Or is that "bad writing" too?"

    You're joking here I'm sure. Tell me, do you believe in god? (I'm genuinely interested)

    The reason why it doesn't sit well is that all of a sudden Darth Vader, the scourge of the galaxy, is actually the messiah. It's just lack of originality. SW is SW, it isn't an allegory or biblical tale. Its a fairy tale. SW has a great story because it was simple. Now it's been unnecessarily complicated because GL wants it to be 'greyish'.

    "there would be nothing left of her people's way of life"

    She says this yes, but we don't really feel it. We don't see the people of Naboo suffering, we don't see these concentration camps. We can just as easily presume they're sent to holiday resorts than nazi style camps. (Concentration camps were 'invented' by the British to control the Dutch Boers in Southern Africa - they don't necessarily mean Jew camps like Auschtwiz)

    As for the title... The Phantom Menace only rings true to the audience, but not to the characters in any way. Yes, there's a brief allusion to this menace by Windu's "mysterious warrior was a sith" line but as this is never expanded upon in AOTC (ten years, and they've done what?). The characters remain oblivious to this phantom menace, and Sidious' presence was only indirectly felt (and never revealed to the republic).

    Bottom line? Crap title. Crap plot. Crap movie.

    (with a few good bits here and there I suppose)
  • Jedi_Waster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 2
    Great post WSBurroughs!

    I read through all that, finding myself nodding and yelling out the occasional "you're so right!"



    "Is it any more absurd than Hercules being fathered by Zeus? Or is that "bad writing" too?"

    You're joking here I'm sure. Tell me, do you believe in god? (I'm genuinely interested)

    The reason why it doesn't sit well is that all of a sudden Darth Vader, the scourge of the galaxy, is actually the messiah. It's just lack of originality. SW is SW, it isn't an allegory or biblical tale. Its a fairy tale. SW has a great story because it was simple. Now it's been unnecessarily complicated because GL wants it to be 'greyish'.

    "there would be nothing left of her people's way of life"

    She says this yes, but we don't really feel it. We don't see the people of Naboo suffering, we don't see these concentration camps. We can just as easily presume they're sent to holiday resorts than nazi style camps. (Concentration camps were 'invented' by the British to control the Dutch Boers in Southern Africa - they don't necessarily mean Jew camps like Auschtwiz)

    As for the title... The Phantom Menace only rings true to the audience, but not to the characters in any way. Yes, there's a brief allusion to this menace by Windu's "mysterious warrior was a sith" line but as this is never expanded upon in AOTC (ten years, and they've done what?). The characters remain oblivious to this phantom menace, and Sidious' presence was only indirectly felt (and never revealed to the republic).

    Bottom line? Crap title. Crap plot. Crap movie.

    (with a few good bits here and there I suppose)
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    If you ask me, crap attitude.
  • Samurai-Jack Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2001
    star 2
    As far as writing TPM didn't Lucas ask for help? At the time the people he asked coultn't help because of prior comitments.

    I am sure he will go back and fix things in the TPM: Special Edition.

    What happened to Frank Darabont? I remember reading in Cinescape that he was asked to write the prequels in '94 or '95. Why wasn't he brought in to help Lucas?
  • WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Jedi Waster: Thanks for the backup man!


    Go - Mer; so its back to name calling to prove your point? Is that the best you can reply with?
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I don't know if you noticed this, but I spent a great deal of time discussing your post point by point. After the time I spent on that, I didn't have time to properly address Jedi_Waster. But I will. I certainly didn't call anyone names.

    Is this where you choose to leave this discussion? You don't want to address -any- of the things I brought up?
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Go-Mer (before): "Is it any more absurd than Hercules being fathered by Zeus? Or is that "bad writing" too?"

    Jedi_Waster: You're joking here I'm sure. Tell me, do you believe in god? (I'm genuinely interested)
    />
    Jedi_Waster: The reason why it doesn't sit well is that all of a sudden Darth Vader, the scourge of the galaxy, is actually the messiah. It's just lack of originality. SW is SW, it isn't an allegory or biblical tale. Its a fairy tale.
    />
    Jedi_Waster: SW has a great story because it was simple. Now it's been unnecessarily complicated because GL wants it to be 'greyish'.
    />
    Go-Mer (before): "there would be nothing left of her people's way of life"

    Jedi_Waster: She says this yes, but we don't really feel it. We don't see the people of Naboo suffering; we don't see these concentration camps. We can just as easily presume they're sent to holiday resorts than nazi style camps.
    />Jedi_Waster: (Concentration camps were 'invented' by the British to control the Dutch Boers in Southern Africa - they don't necessarily mean Jew camps like Auschwitz)
    />Jedi_Waster: As for the title... The Phantom Menace only rings true to the audience, but not to the characters in any way. Yes, there's a brief allusion to this menace by Windu's "mysterious warrior was a Sith" line but as this is never expanded upon in AOTC (ten years, and they've done what?). The characters remain oblivious to this phantom menace, and Sidious' presence was only indirectly felt (and never revealed to the republic).
    />Jedi_Waster:Bottom line? Crap title. Crap plot. Crap movie.

    (with a few good bits here and there I suppose)
    />/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>
  • Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    No. People'e expectations. Lucas is following his story. Not everyone's idea of it.
  • DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "Why? and Why? What, is this the 11th commandment handed down from the almighty himself? Where did you get this idea? Why should he only focus on one main character when he sets up a huge saga? How does focusing on a character that gets killed detract from the story line?"

    its called having a protagonist. it is about the most basic and most important element of storytelling there is. the protagonist is someone for the audience to relate to.

    if you are fine with the lack of a protagonist then i truly dont know what to tell you and it really seems like you are just excusing this MAJOR PROBLEM because anything Lucas does is ok, merely because its Lucas, and he can do no wrong in your view. there is no other logical explanation.
  • Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    And who was the main characters in the OT? There were three maybe four characters at a time. So who was the main characters there? Seems the PT is following suit to me. I think it is possibke to have more the one main character. OT has more then one.
  • Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    But Qui-Gon is the protagonist of TPM, and Anakin is the protagonist for the entire saga.

    He has 2 protagonists, not no protagonist.

    If you are happy missing out on how well TPM is made, then that's your choice I guess.
  • WSBurroughs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    The ONLY protaginist in the OT IS Luke Skywalker. Its fairly easy to spot. Not one of the OT films bounces around its focus on character. Everything relates back to the protaginist in each situation in the Luke Skywalker story. PTs bounce around in story and/or dialouge with the focus, its absurd and pointless.

    Please tell me why I have to accept crap? Its not my expectations that have been let down, its my senseabilities and intelligence that has been let down as a film goer.

    Go - Mer: There is no tension on Tattioine. Just a bunch of actors spweing out vauge refrences to vauge notions of a vaugely refered to group that is vaugely suffering.
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