Is it really Lucas' fault?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    As Ekenobi pointed out, exactly WHAT is Lucas' fault?

    Lucas wrote TPM and co-wrote AOTC. He created the story and directed the films as well as being involved in practically every stage of the creation of the films. I think both of these films are awful, mainly due to the bad script and a bad story.

    There is no proof, no evidence that TPM was a BAD movie. There is ONLY your opinion, and all that means is that YOU didn't like it.

    There is no proof it is a good movie. It's all subjective. Woohoo.

    And yes, I know that there are other people who didn't like it. Have you ever heard of the vocal minority? It's pretty much how political correctness came about, and the reason my kids can't celebrate Christmas in their schools.

    Whaaa? Vocal minorities stopped your kids from celebrating christmas at school but on the plus side the chances are that half the things your kids learn at school are the results of the work of vocal minorities, so I guess you have to take the rough with the smooth.


    And it's also what we have here; some people who LOVED TPM, a whole bunch of people who thought it was good, like the OT, and some people who absolutely LOATHED it, for whatever reason.

    Yes. I'm one of those people who loathed it. There are a lot of people who loath it. As you pointed out, they do so for a number of reasons, like the bad acting, bad dialogue bad storytelling etc etc etc.

    But it IS NOT because it is a bad movie, but rather because IT WAS NOT THE MOVIE THEY WANTED TO SEE AFTER SIXTEEN YEARS! That's all I, and many other people have been trying to say.

    Right, let me tell you something. My dislike of TPM has NOTHING TO DO WITH SIXTEEN YEARS WORTH OF EXPECTATIONS. You understand that? I wasn't even born when ANH was released. My dislike of TPM and AOTC has nothing do with my expectations. I dislike it because I thought the story was dull, badly structured and badly told, with shockingly bad acting and some of the worst dialogue I have ever heard.


    Now, before someone feels the need to tell me that I am wearing rose coloured spectacles and that the OT was the same, let me say that you are entitled to that opinion, but I disagree. I feel that the OT is superior to the PT in nearly every department with the exception of some of the SFX


    If you don't like the movie, that is your right, and there is nothing wrong with not liking it. But blaming Lucas because he didn't meet YOUR expectations, regardless of how right or wrong those exectations might be, is childish, and aren't we all better than that? I'd like to think we are.

    GL wrote ANH. I think ANH is fantastic. If I praise him for writing stuff I think is great, why is it childish to criticise him for writing stuff I think is rubbish?





  2. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    thanks monkey, happy new year to you too.

    ill just agree to disagree since you cant seem to get past the idea that TPM is a bad movie, and that (to use your logic) you just happened to be happy with it, for whatever reason, you probabaly had very low expectations, knowing that the OT could never be matched. just as you can blame me and others for not liking the movie, i can just as easily "blame" you for liking it.

    but in the end i still cant see how anyone can blame any person other than Lucas for their reaction to the film. its his story, his direction, his writing. so wether you like it or hate it, its his fault.
  3. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Let's keep things civil, on both sides. I'd rather not start 2003 with a banning.

    It is unreasonable to place blame upon the fans for not liking a film. By that logic, if an audience member disliked Spice World, Battlefield Earth, or Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, it is the fault of the audience member, who's expectations were too high. That's nonsense - these films were terrible: badly written, badly shot, badly edited, etc. There are objective means of assessing films as well as subjective experience. The difficulty lies in examining a film dear to oneself - I know I'd have a hard time looking objectively at The Usual Suspects, for example.

    I carried no expectations for the film beyond my *hope* that it would engage me like the OT did - I was spoiler-free up to the opening credits. I was underwhelmed with TPM, for very legitimate reasons: I disliked aspects of the plot (the "Chosen One" bit was unnecessary to the overall saga), I disliked the characterization of primary and secondary characters (e.g., how Lucas realized the characters of Amidala, Anakin, JJB, etc.), I disliked the plot devices he employed (e.g., "I heard Master Yoda talking about midiclorians. Tell me, what are midiclorians" = "Lucas introduced a funky new concept into the saga, and couldn't think of a smoother means of offering exposition"), and I disliked the introduction of "force antennae". These are all personal dislikes, but they stem from the very sources that GL chose to employ in scripting the film.

    I think that the midiclorians don't jive with the mythology from which he drew the story - there is no parallel in myth that explains how the magic is done.

    The characterization is handled poorly - JJB's character, instead of clumsy, was slapstick. There are a host of movies that demonstrate that clumsiness doesn't necessarily equal slapstick. GL chose not to exercise restraint with many of his characters, turning them from archetypes into stereotypes. Unless satire is intended, that's poor writing.

    Many people think that Jake Lloyd was a bad choice to play Anakin, and I agree, because his performance, while decent at places, was very spotty. That drew me out of the GFFA and put me back in the theatre. Because I (and *many* others here and in RL) couldn't engage with the characters, Anakin and Amidala never became more than actors playing a role. I (and many others) didn't care about them because of the direction - that's a technical problem, and a bad one.

    Others in the know (i.e., filmmakers and people involved in the filmmaking process who post here) have problems with GL's editing and pacing; requisitie parts of the film that can be good or bad.

    All of these critiques - characterization, direction, editing, pacing, plot elements - are dependent upon approval by GL. He chose to give the go ahead to aspects of the saga that were slip-shod, divisive, and ill-conceived or poorly executed. The audience cannot be blamed for such mistakes. If they are, then Ishtar is a wonderful film, but only if you are the right kind of fan to appreciate its "brilliance." The same holds for Plan 9 from Outer Space, or Glitter.

    Yes, there are some critiques that are inherently subjective and reflect upon the particular viewer's expectations (e.g., "I wanted Chewbacca to be in the movie!"), but there are also objective criteria by which the movie can be judged (characterization, editing, thematic construction, exposition, direction, score, etc.). Cogent and compelling arguments have been presented here on these boards that do in fact demonstrate that the movie was subpar.

    There are also differences in "expectation" which ought not to be conflated. "Thematic expectation" seems to be what you are concerned with, and with that I agree. I had hoped that the PT would be set against the backdrop of the Clone Wars, in light of the emphasis that Luke places upon them in ANH. That didn't happen (and likely will not), so it would be unreasonable of me to say that the film sucked beca
  4. Jedi-Monkey Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2002
    star 4
    All of these arguments are dependent upon the idea that TPM is a bad movie. It is not a bad movie. It is a movie that had in your opinion, many things wrong with it. I myself saw very few things wrong with it, so how can it be a bad movie? Would this not mean that everyone who liked the movie had something wrong with them since they liked something that was so obviously bad? I don't think so.

    Was Titanic a bad movie? I didn't like it, that's for sure. But that was because I went in with expectations that weren't met. I was expecting an action movie, and I got a romance. But that doesn't mean it was a bad movie, only that I didn't like it. Is that James Cameron's fault? No. He told a story. Period. If I don't like that story, that is my problem, not his.

    However, in MY opinion TPM doesn't suffer from this problem. I went in expecting a mindless, fun sci-fi popcorn flick, and that is exactly what was delivered. I wasn't looking for deep character developement and convoluted storylines. Despite the pedestal we have all put the OT on, (yes, I am guilty of it too,) it also was chock-full of all the things I have seen TPM accused of. Was it mindless, summer popcorn-movie fun? Of this there can be little doubt. That's all Mr. Lucas was going for when he made it. Bad acting? May I humbly point you in the direction of Mr. Mark Hamill or Ms. Carrie Fisher? Even Harrison Ford was only showing brief flashes of what he would eventually become. By the way, Ms. Fisher's acting was far worse in TESB, and since that seems to be the favorite of most fanboys of the OT films, I would say there is an argument there that people like bad acting.

    Don't get me wrong. I love the OT, and ANH is still, after all these years, my favorite movie of all time. I can still sit and watch it at any time, no matter how recently I have seen it. But for all that I enjoy it, it is still a simple film. It was fun, and had no pretentions about being otherwise. Between the summer of 1977, and summer of 1979 with the various re-releases I went and saw it 21 times. I couldn't get enough of it mostly because it was simple escapist entertainment that let me forget about other things in my life. (Although at the time I was only 7 so how much could there have been that was going on?)

    I firmly believe that critics have it all wrong, what with acting and writing and such. The only criteria I use for judging a movie is did it make me forget my regular life for a couple of hours. The reason is unimportant. It could be an engaging story, thoughtfully drawn-up characters, mind-boggling special effects or even just a bunch of pretty girls takin' their shirts off. The reason doesn't matter, only the result. I enjoyed Judge Dredd. I loved Starship Troopers. And y'know what? I didn't think Battlefield Earth was that bad at all. I own the DVD, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Am I somehow stupid or inferior to those who didn't like it? I don't see how. And I also didn't think Ballistic was all that bad. It was an action movie, period. I did not see Spiceworld because I did not see anything in the trailers that looked appealing to me.

    You know why it seems like there used to be better movies? Because people didn't used to analyze every little aspect of a film. People used to just go in a watch a movie, and not pick it apart frame-by-frame. It's just supposed to be entertainment, but I think somewhere along the way people lost sight of that, and that's a shame. How many times has George Lucas said that the inspiration for these movies, (or at least for the original Star Wars,) was sci-fi serials like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers from the 30's and 40's? And how often did those have deep plots and characterization? They didn't. They were simple entertainment and they were fun.

    I think another thing that a lot of people here don't realize is despite all the money that these films have made, the vast majority of the population do not look at them the same way those of us who call ourselves fans do. That's why despite the minority of people who hate
  5. Punisher Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 1998
    star 4
    TPM wasn't Lucas's fault... it was The Phantom Menace's fault.

    Sorry, but after 7 pages (NO, I DIDN"T read all of them.), I figure that is the only "correct" answer.

    Don't blame the filmmakers, blame the film.
  6. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    7 pages? For me there are only 4 pages of this thread :confused:
  7. Hell_Sith666 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2002
    star 1
  8. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    Well that's weird.

    All my life I've hoped for a thread beyond 7 pages, and when I finally do it, I have no hopes of seeing it 8-}
  9. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    That's a "posts per page" issue - I only have 4 pages because I changed my defaults.

    And Monkey, it seems we're talking past each other. If my argument is predicated upon the statement "TPM is a bad movie" (which it isn't; rather it is predicated upon the opposite of what your argument seems to be predicated upon), your argument is predicated upon the idea that there can be no objective criteria by which to judge the technical and literary merits of a film. That seems to be the only means by which your argument can work, since you remove all objective standards and use subjective experience as the only valid metric. The problem is that you don't seem to consider that someone can like a bad movie. I own a copy of Plan 9 from Outer Space and Bride of the Monster - I enjoy watching them, *and* I know that they are bad movies - poorly written, poorly acted, poorly edited, poorly directed, etc. Under your argument, if I enjoyed the film, then there is no way that I could make the statement "I enjoyed a bad movie." That's incoherent, because as a logical extension of that, we must elevate Spice World, Cool as Ice, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Turtles Through Time to the level of Citizen Kane and Casablanca.

    And you can repost your comments as many times as you like - I understand what you are saying, and I disagree with you.
  10. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    monkey, you need to...

    1.raise your expectations

    and

    2.stop trying to shift the blame off of Lucas. as you said, even he thinks he is responsible for the films.
  11. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    Jedi-Monkey, your last post contains all the same old tired, worn out "reasons people don't like TPM" arguments that I've heard a billion times before:


    The "You didn't like it because your expectations were too high" argument:

    Why do you go to see any movie? Because you expect it to be good, right? you see something in a trailer somewhere and you say something to the effect of, "That looks pretty cool!" So you go into every single movie you ever see with 'expectaions'! And it is NATURAL when a movie does well, and is loved by millions, that the expectations for that movie WILL BE HIGHER!!! That's simply human nature and there's nothing you can do about it. If you do not like the movie you just saw, IT IS BECAUSE YOUR EXPECTATIONS WERE NOT MET! You don't like the movie, FINE! no one is arguing that you have to like it! Your opinion is noted, and accepted. But the question of this thread was not 'Who liked TPM," it was "Was it really Lucas' fault?" and to anyone with even a basic grasp of reality, the answer is "NO."

    Now, as I read through that again, I did notice one little thing that I would like to fix here. When I said that it is natural when a movie does well, and is loved by millions, that the expectations for that movie will be higher, I meant the expectations for any sequels or other works based on that success will be higher.




    The "Gee, stop over analysing the film" argument:


    You know why it seems like there used to be better movies? Because people didn't used to analyze every little aspect of a film. People used to just go in a watch a movie, and not pick it apart frame-by-frame. It's just supposed to be entertainment, but I think somewhere along the way people lost sight of that, and that's a shame.


    The "You didn't like it because things didn't happen the way you thought they would" argument:

    As fans we have become perhaps too close to the story to be objective anymore, so when something doesn't go the way we expected it to, we immediately start looking for someone to blame.


    The bizarre "Not liking TPM is just one sign of how society has changed for the worse since the OT was released":

    This is a symptom of what our society has grown into in the last 20 years. What with all the therapy and TV talk shows and prescription drugs for every little perceived ailment we might imagine, people are used to finding someone other than themselves to blame for every little thing that doesn't go the way they want it to. No one is willing to take responsibility for themselves anymore. Blaming someone else has become second nature to us.



    Not forgetting the ever reliable "The OT is just as bad, you just don't see it because you have put it on a pedestal" argument:

    I went in expecting a mindless, fun sci-fi popcorn flick, and that is exactly what was delivered. I wasn't looking for deep character developement and convoluted storylines. Despite the pedestal we have all put the OT on, (yes, I am guilty of it too,) it also was chock-full of all the things I have seen TPM accused of. Was it mindless, summer popcorn-movie fun? Of this there can be little doubt. That's all Mr. Lucas was going for when he made it. Bad acting? May I humbly point you in the direction of Mr. Mark Hamill or Ms. Carrie Fisher? Even Harrison Ford was only showing brief flashes of what he would eventually become.


    Now, I have a question. Why do people who liked TPM feel the need to explain away why people didn't like TPM instead of just listening to the people who didn't like TPM and taking on board what they say????????? I have never tried to come up with some ridiculous argument to explain away why people liked it. I just listen to what they say and believe them. So Jedi-Monkey, how about extending the same courtesy to us?

    I didn't have high expectations of TPM. I'm not criticising GL because TPM was a good summer popcorn movie. If he'd managed to deliver on that level I'd be very happy with it, but he didn't. I thought the film was incredibly boring. Incredibly[/b
  12. Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2001
    star 4
    Talk about arguments? How about:

    the "your inner child had died" argument?

    the "you went into TPM intending to hate it" arguement?

    the "you're too blinded by nostalgia of the OT to watch TPM objectively" argument?

    the "you didn't turn off your inner critic when you saw it" argument?

    the "you're incapable of discerning a story was so subtle and sublime" argument?

    *rolleyes*
  13. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    Daughter_Of_TheForce, I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to address those arguments once Go-Mer-Tonic sees this thread.

    ;)
  14. Punisher Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 1998
    star 4
    I suggest a new tactic, what about the "Shove the same old arguments up your exhaust port"?

    All PT ULTRA defenders, sit down and watch the OT and the PT... IN ORDER! Ep.1 to 6, remember, you will be missing Ep.3... DO NOT PANIC!! THIS IS TEMPORARY!! EP.3 HASN"T BEEN MADE YET!!
    See if the quality doesn't increase concerning storyline, acting and overall viewing pleasure.

    I don't expect the movies to LOOK better, because of film stocks, VHS vs DVD, etc. ;)

    If you can honestly say that the PT so far, is superior to the OT then, I'll.....

    DO SOMETHING! [face_devil]
  15. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    They are not superior, they´re on par with the OT. Why? Because they are all part of the same film!
  16. Punisher Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 1998
    star 4
    Don't you mean they ARE THE SAME FILM?

    (More or less, GL has almost mirrored every scene/theme from the OT in the PT, so I'm expecting someone to get unmasked and frozen in carbonite.) [face_laugh]
  17. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Yes, I mean they are the same film.
    Very funny....

    :)
  18. Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    I think both of these films are awful, mainly due to the bad script and a bad story

    Which means it is not Lucas' fault. You just did not like it. He created and its telling his story the way he wants. You do not like. Fine. Not his fault.
  19. Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    ill just agree to disagree since you cant seem to get past the idea that TPM is a bad movie,

    What does he have to get past? He liked the movie so what? You did not so what? No need to get on him becuase he likes something you did not. I loved TPM and thought it was a great movie. Do I have to get past somthing too? Geez. It is our opinion!
  20. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    He created and its telling his story the way he wants. You do not like. Fine. Not his fault.

    This is just..bizarre. What difference does it make if he is making it the way he wants? Do you want to try reading..oh, I don't know...ANYTHING that I've typed in this thread? Do you understand that I'm not saying that GL failed to tell the story he wanted? I'm not saying that GL failed to tell the story he wanted to tell...I'm saying that the story he told sucked. It was a bad story, badly written and badly acted.



    Now, if you are telling me it's incorrect to criticise GL for making a film I didn't like then it follows that it is incorrect to praise GL for making a film I do like.



    Hmmmmmm....



    No, I'll say it again. GL wrote and directed ANH. ANH is fantastic. I don't get up and pat myself on the back because I enjoyed the film. I give GL all the credit for ANH. Therefore, when GL writes and directs a film that I think sucks...guess what? Yep, I blame him.

  21. Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    Well JenX that is still not his fault. You just did not enjoy it. I and others did. So I guess you can say it is his fault that others and I enjoyed it. I just do not think there is any fault at all here. On anyone's part. Some liked it. Some did not. Taste differ. No one's fault there. To each their own. A filmaker puts something out there. THere will be those who like it and those who do not. That goes with all movies. The filmaker did what they wanted to do and released it. And I am sure they are usually satisfied with what they put out, liked or not.
  22. Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    By all means criticise away. You have every right to criticise. I just do not think it is anyone's fault you do not like a movie. It is just a person's taste in movies.
  23. BlackPool Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2000
    star 4
    Perhaps the word fault is bad choice because it implies that a mistake was made. Since a movie experience is relative as mentioned before and factually speaking there is no right or wrong how can Lucas have made a mistake?

    Perhaps the question should be something like: If Lucas gets the credit when a movie is well recieved, should he also get the credit when it's not recieved well?

    Now whether or not the PT is being recieved well is a debate for another thread. But the answer to the question is just a matter of common sense. If you like the PT then Lucas deserves your praise. If you don't like it, then Lucas deserves your critisism. It's that easy.
  24. Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
  25. JohnWilliams00 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 4
    George Lucas has openly admitted he doesn't like writing that much.

    GL has said he doesn't work that well with actors.

    GL has said he's more of a movie fan than a Star Wars fan.

    GL has said the dialogue is supposed to be sub-par and cheesy, to mimic the 1930s serials.

    GL has said, quite often, the movies don't have to be that good, just "good enough."

    GL has said that audiences like a roller-coaster ride, and that a deeper story is not necessary for these type of films.

    Geez, with all of that, it's no wonder the past two movies, created by Lucas himself, turned out the way they have. [face_plain]
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.