Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Bazinga'd
, Dec 14, 2017.
Based on the fact that you have ANH as #1 and TFA last, I think you would enjoy RO.
I probably will, just somehow never got around to watching it yet.
@Sith Lord 2015
Rogue One is definitely worth watching.
At least once. It's quite brilliant, you know.
Shock therapy would be first watching TLJ and next Rogue One. I'd bet you find the first one depressing and the second uplifting, although that's some kind of conundrum considering what happens to the cast in the first and then the second one.
A SW movie that's depressing? Wow... that's a first. Sure, ROTS can be pretty depressing as well, but at least it's a good movie. Now TLJ both depressing AND a bad movie? No one on this forum seems to like it, and it got the most votes for "least favorite" in this poll. Now I'm starting to get curious
I love TLJ, but then again, I like TFA better than any of the Lucas-directed entries, so TTFWIW
My least favorite? Interesting question. The movies of my "lower half" (TPM, TFA, TLJ and AOTC) all have significant weaknesses from my point of view, especially in terms of writing and characters. However, only TPM struggles to keep me entertained (on a Marvel level or similar). Anakin and Jar-Jar basically stumbling their way to victory always rubbed me the wrong way. The Darth Maul scene is spectacular, and I like the politics involved, but that's about it.
I've been thinking about this more and my mind hasn't changed. It's still TLJ. Which is now down to 48% on rotten tomatoes.
I was watching TPM with my son this week. The podrace sequence is so epic. He was just beside himself with joy! I don't think he ever loved watching anything so much. Say what you will about TPM but it still far better than TLJ.
I honestly think TLJ is better, but I do think that a lot of TMP hate is unwarranted.
FYI, I saw an interesting YouTube video that used the podrace scene as an example of how Lucas may not have been the best writer or character director, but that he was a master as using cinematography, effects, sounds, and other technicals to tell stories:
LOVE THIS! Great video. All the prequels have such imaginative amazing visuals. Much more CREATIVE than the sequel trilogy. Thanks for sharing this vid.
I enjoy spending any time in the Star Wars universe so even the weakest films to me are above 6.0 out of 10 films simply because of the best aspects, including craftsmanship and music and the best few scenes in each. With that out of the way my least favorite of the saga is AOTC by a wide margin. TPM would be close to it if not for the fact that I treat it more as a younger kid’s film that Star Wars parents can utilize when their kids are very young. So, for that reason I credit it differently and place it above AOTC.
AOTC is fan service-y to a fault and tries to take popular characters and shoehorn them or their parents into aspects of the saga that didn't need to happen. Boba Fett's dad is the one cloned who kills almost all of the Jedi? Really?! He was that special? Seriously? Jar Jar Binks gets left in charge of the Senate? We are supposed to buy this? An army of clones paid for somehow that comes with trillions of dollars worth of armor and weaponry that just keeps on building more and more without ever checking back in on the Jedi order itself for money or anything? And nobody in the galaxy hears of this happening ever when dealing with the Kaminoans? Really? And the entire thing is setup for the audience to buy from Master Sifo-Dyas, who no one in the audience knows about or cares about? How is that good storytelling? And people are complaining about a lack of backstory on Snoke? This guy setup the very thing that killed all of the Jedi. How is none of the really good stuff related to any of this on screen or in flashback of any kind so that it goes down smoother?
And when it comes time to pick up the clones there's nobody who does any thorough vetting or quality assurance on them or the original purchase order? "Hmmm, what's this bit of fine print here that says "install a mind control method where all of the Jedi can be killed if one says the words "Execute order 66?" Other than that... this freeclone army seems pretty convenient! We’ll take them!” Are you kidding me?
People think TLJ made Luke look bad for a crisis of faith near the end of his life. AOTC made the Jedi Order, and specifically Yoda, look more disorganized and unwise than a children's lemonade stand run by Jar Jar after too many drinks at Dex's 1950s-inspired Earth diner.
When the concept artists are the best part of any film, and the exterior CG world’s aren’t aging so great, then you didn't make the beautiful romantic drama needed to enrich the end of ROTJ and better sell Vader’s redemption the way it could have been had that romantic drama been truly beautiful and well-acted. You in fact cheapen it with visions of sand talk and haunted kiss lines that you never had in your mind before when seeing Annie and Luke smiling at each other. Your head cannon of their relationship was better than what it was.
When you don't make efficient use of your remaining running time in the entire PT to really setup Annie as the greatest villain of all time you put way too much pressure on most of that to occur in ROTS. The transition feels far more like a robot body guard who'd just been set to "bad mode" because he believes in some process to save Padme's life that's never explained at all.
When you setup the mystery of the clones around Boba Fett's dad's DNA for fan service reasons, and then put the whole mystery on Sifo-Dyas, and expect fans to believe that this entire operation was paid for up front somehow and ongoing for years with none of this leaking out from anyone else who does business with the Kaminoans, and none of them ever checking in, or updating their greatest clients, and invent a situation where an entire army can be explained that easily you just introduced the largest plot contrivance in Star Wars history and pinned it all on somebody the audience doesn't know about or care about.
Then there’s the Deus Ex Machina moment of the Jedi Army coming in on Geonosis. Sounds fun on paper but those outdoor visuals seem to age worse and worse every year. That run in the sand moment with Padme getting up and jogging really hammers home how unintentionally silly this film feels at times. That honestly feels like a kid with a camcorder learning how to make movies. It’s here where a lot of Lucas fans, including me, had to wonder a little if Lucas had lost his touch and stayed away from directing and writing too long.
AOTC needed great mystery writing. It got tween mystery fan fiction. When you combine all of these things with dialogue and acting well below even made for TV movie standards, including some moments that aren't all that out of step with Tommy Wiseau's dialogue or acting in The Room you just haven't made a compelling feature film drama. You made a concept art and CG demo reel from a script that feels more like a Wookipedia entry than a dramatic, moving and emotionally engaging feature film. The screenplay and many of the performances and dialogue are well below not only the OT's standards but even some hallmark movie and videogame cut screen standards. I honestly don’t think the script for AOTC would be greenlit as a script if you substituted out the familiar Star Wars names and looks for less known names or looks because the screenplay itself has major issues that would have Robert McKee pulling out his hair.
Thankfully ROTS made the PT a more worthwhile experience beyond just filling in the exposition blanks like some pop up video. ROTS is very easily the best PT film but that’s a topic for a different thread.
No prob. Glad you liked it.
@Ender_and_Bean , I agree about AOTC and the Jedi Order, and TCW made them look worse: instead of it making the Jedi look like people who set up a lemonade stand after too many drinks, it made them look like Internet trolls who set up a lemonade stand after too many drinks, and randomly added spice to glasses of lemonade just for ****s and giggles.
As far as TLJ and Luke, I’ve read a few posts indicating that Luke is responsible for everything from Han’s death to Starkiller Base to the Kennedy assassination, so I’d say TLJ did make Luke look bad to many. Personally I just thought Luke had a ridiculously out of character and yes, panic moment, especially when seeing his vision as opposed to Kylo’s.
@Sith Lord 2015 : See Rogue One. See it several times.
AOTC? You’re criticizing that much(why the emphasis?)it for pandering to the fans when Boba and Jango never constantly winked at the camera(metaphorically or practically) or make up 80% of the film?
Well, that wasn’t actually anywhere near the single biggest aspect of the criticism. I just started there. I didn’t get into specifics but the fan service goes beyond Boba and Jango. In many ways it made the universe seem smaller. Right down to Anakin visiting his step brother’s homestead and us meeting Lars and knowing Luke would later live his whole life here. Seeing the early plans of the Death Star. Having the Tusken raiders be the ones who killed Luke’s grandmother. Having Padme’s clothes rip to show off her midriff. Basically everything with C3PO. Previously, they were able to work 3PO into decent plots that mattered. Here it’s just fan service. Even all of the Jedi arrving and dropping down like Navy Seals feels fan servicey and like wish fulfillment knowing they won’t be around much more. Might as well have one huge sequence of sabers. A lot of the film feels like this, “Okay, we know ROTS is going to get super dark and that the Jedi are going to die so how much stuff can we squeeze in that fans would want to see before that?” Things just feel shoehorned. Part of that is that the single line of the clones in the crawl of ANH and later spoken by Obi-Wan sort of forced this whole elaborate Dias-inspired clone army setup in the first place to need to be explained. Something as big as it though probably should have been setup better into TPM and continued on through all 3. This is the film where tying up loose threads takes precedence over telling the best story possible that one would probably write from scratch had there not been so many things that he felt still needed to be explained or that fans would want to see before Star Wars was (nearly) over.
But like I said... it’s not the fan service stuff that bothers me as much as just how spectacularly bad the romance fails and just how brutal the acting and much of the dialogue is. There’s no getting around it. It makes it difficult to suspend disbelief. Almost every choice Anakin makes seems wrong in delivery and Padme isn’t much better. It really feels like they’re reading it off cards at times. Like they didn’t rehearse. If they don’t buy what they’re saying it’s hard for them to sell it. And every cut back to Kenobi, who rises to the occasion and actually makes the clunky lines work, only makes their scenes seem sillier and honestly a little bit like Tommy Wiseau’s The Room at times. These are attractive people and yet the backgrounds seem to draw the eye and heart in more.
There’s just not enough active antagonism taking place either for much of the film (until closer to the end) and that combines with a lot of weightless CG moments that sort of overstepped what was possible to make super convincing back in 2002. The outdoor arena scenes in particular have aged very poorly to the extent where they feel more like the Space TV Channel movie FX you’d find from one of their productions a decade ago. The CG ambition in some ways makes it feel more dated than the OT does now. It feels very soulless and weightless with a lot of movements that don’t look right. The droid factory in particular makes any complaints with Canto Bight seem downright unfair. When you combine a really bad romance with really bad dialogue and really soulless and unconvincing acting and a lot of soulless and weightless CG it becomes hard to care about actual stakes. When Padme declares she loves him it isn’t earned. It should be this era’s “I love you. I know.” It’s community theatre instead sadly. :-(
Anyway, I’ve done my venting which is the point of this thread. I’ll just leave it at that. Despite all this I still watch it for the moments I do like and as I said I love ROTS.
Judging acting performances and actors is complex business and completely individualized. Also, the genre and type of film should influence the actors performance. For example, Laurence Olivier, by most accounts a brilliant actor, doing a Richard III, Shakespearean type performance in a SW film would most likely turn out horribly.
Or Marlon Brando, one of my favs and well respected as an actor by many, mumbling and pausing his way through the role of Anakin would be unintentionally hilarious.
Imagine Katharine Hepburn playing Padmé. KH is brilliant, but that would be funny as hell.
Casting is the key, not necessarily how great an actors' reputation is or whether they are method trained or whatever.
For me and many others, the casting of Natalie and Hayden is perfect for those roles in a SW film. There is a charm to their performances too that fits in perfectly with the performances set up in the OT and ANH in particular. Remember, to many a non SW fan, the acting and dialogue in ANH is ridiculous, sub par and laughable. I know this because I have witnessed this response first hand when screening the picture for people.
I've just never understood how the performances in ANH can be lauded and appreciated while the performances in AOTC can be reviled and denigrated. I just don't get it as the actors use the same type of acting techniques and possess comparable skill levels as performers and are reading the exact same type of lines, written and directed by the same director.
Obviously it is subjective and there is no right or wrong way to see it, everyone is entitled to like or dislike whatever film or performer or artist, whatever; there is however, at a basic, fundamental level, very little difference between the acting performances and skill levels of the performers in ANH and AOTC. Imho.
And edit to add, I love the actors' performances in all of the SW films, including ANH and AOTC. They are all beautiful, brilliant, and talented people.
The difference there is that ANH wasn't written in a manner where Mark had to convincingly sell a romance. Attack of the Clones did. It devoted half of its plot to it and jumps back and forth between Obi-Wan's detective/noir elements (Which play better) and Anakin and Padme hanging out.
Absolutely casting is important and no doubt not everyone was ideal for such a complex and important role as Anakin. Christiansen had the looks of an A-list Hollywood leading man who'd be in top films for a long time but the acting chops just weren't there. He's relegated to B-movie content for producers who are casting him largely in the hopes that his name will draw some Star Wars fans to their works. Portman is beautiful on screen in the PT and we've seen her acting much better before and after but she really struggled win the the early aspects of the PT and in particular AOTC. Perhaps because of George's infamous lack of acting guidance and direction. I thought both were a bit better in ROTS and their acting there doesn't bother me as much.
I found some of Luke's squeals and smug expressions awkward in ANH but nothing to this extent. AOTC needed a romance for the ages essentially given how much of it is about that. The two look great together, and physically anyone could obviously see how they'd be attracted to one another, but it's very hard for a lot of people, including me, to buy the lines they're speaking to get there and that's a huge problem. Some people are bothered by the slightest plot hole but if I feel like the actors don't believe what they're saying and none of it feels convincing it removes all of the stakes and the drama and the tension. Their performances were up for Razzy awards this very same year. It wasn't that these moments were only being noticed in retrospect. Even at the time a lot of people were shocked at how awkward and stilted they were and how close it all felt to like a teen trying to direct a romantic short film with the friends on his street, only with much better looking people and a some amazing sets and locations. Same for weightless CG that overextended itself in an era where it was better to still show some restraint in that regard until technology had reached the peaks of today.
To be honest, I think TPM and AOTC would benefit from brand new re-renders of the same environments that were digital just being touched up with better CG that's available today. One of the reasons Jurrassic Park aged so well is because Spielberg still used a ton of practical effects back then and also kept things in the dark quite a bit. Lucas wanted to showcase advance and it was admirable but the outdoor bright sunshine of Geonosis has aged really badly to the extent where it feels worse than a video game cut screen. They have all of the elements required to update and improve. Add some more gravity and weight to things and improve the textures, and lighting specifics, and movement on some of the CG creations that were still in the infancy of motion capture, and update with some more detail and I think a lot of the soullessness from certain visuals and action scenes would be removed. Given how reliant AOTC was on CG at the time I really think that an update could make a huge difference there.
All of the bright sunlight stuff needs a ton of work:
And even some of the darker stuff looks really unconvincing:
These things look worse in motion.
Unfortunately the same stilted/wooden/unconvincing/unnatural acting that bothers me and so many others would remain but that would be a Special Edition update I could get behind and would look forward to seeing.
The Last Jedi is the only Star Wars movie genuinely dislike.
The Last Jedi has many, many flaws, as do several other Star Wars movies. However, the way in which Luke Skywalker was used - and I do mean used - is unforgivable. Not only does the way his arc was constructed purposefully demean the character, it also conveys contempt, hostility and loathing for a generation of people who see/saw Luke as their hero.
Even though he atoned for his mistakes, realized his issues, in a smaller scale version of his own father atoning for things much worse, and became the Luke of legends at the end and will likely help rebuild the Order with Rey by providing her guidance in IX as a more pleasant Force Ghost into the future?
He didn't end the film where he started. He had an arc. Johnson provided more than just a simple, one-dimensional support role where he would become the Luke version of Alec Guiness in ANH and nothing more. He realized that Luke was at his most interesting during his struggles and when he was helping young audience members learn lessons and overcome mental hurdles. I'd always wondered if the biggest reason Luke had been able to snap out of his original dark side daze in ROTJ had to do exclusively because it was his dad so I was very keen to know if he would ever have dark side daze moments like that again in his life and how he would handle them in a different situation. The first time it ended happy for him would it a second time? Unfortunately not but he learned from it and gave us Luke fans one more life lesson about repressing guilt, instead of facing it, and the dangers of blocking everyone close out during times of struggle, and the dangers of projecting our own issues onto others, and for that I am very grateful.
“Always looking on the horizon”-Yoda.
This was a flaw for Luke and in the end he looked at the horizon once again of the sunlight and died.
He was a dreamer and that is probably one of the things that helped him eventually reach his Light side potential but there's a time to dream big, and to think about how to solve grand problems (contemplate the Lew'el philosophy of the Tide and where it differs from the Jedi and Sith perspective on the Force and whether a new Light side movement might replace the Jedi if it was removed from the Chess board ) and then there's a time to realize you're daydreaming and thinking big because you're avoiding the biggest problems affecting you personally right in front of your nose.
Luke grew up, lived, and died a daydreamer. I suspect George Lucas will too.
I have to concur. Yoda's criticism had been that Luke was looking at the horizon and neglected to reflect on his inner self. However, for me the scene had a "Rosebud" character (Citizen Kane), i.e. it gave me the impression that Luke wished he had never left Tatooine, should have stayed and become a moisture farmer, instead. Sad.
I always find people's problems with AOTC so interesting because while I know the movie has a lot of problems from a writing standpoint and a lot of the CGI doesn't hold up, I still think it's so fun to watch. (The jump from some of the CGI in AOTC to the opening sequence of ROTS is pretty crazy to me)
Phantom Menace has the same kind of problems, but other than the podrace, it's just not as fun to watch for me.
for me TLJ.
also i've seen TFA 3 times and the last time left me completely cold. For me these last two are basically The Godfather Part 3
I just don't think Attack of the Clones is a particularly good or interesting movie. The editing is really sloppy and makes the movie drag throughout the first half, the dialogue between Anakin and Padme is completely stilted and awkward (far past the initial point of them appearing as bumbling teenagers in love), the CGI has shown its age, the acting isn't very good outside of Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid, the worst duels in the saga, and Dooku just feels like a wasted villain considering it is Christopher Lee and they barely flesh out who he is. Luckily there is The Clone Wars series that fixes most of these issues. There are a lot of things I like about the movie though - some beautiful color work, decent shots, a gorgeous score, and Across the Stars being one of my all-time favorites. But this one would probably be the one I would skip if I had to.