Less Glamorous Cast = More Audience Appeal?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Community' started by Empress Fett, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Empress Fett Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Do you think part of the reason why more people prefer the original trilogy's characters to the new one's is because the old trilogy actors are more ordinary looking and thus easier to relate to?

    Ewan McGregor --- handsome and clean-cut even with a beard
    Hayden Christensen --- tall and so good-looking, he could be a Calvin Klein underwear model
    Natalie Portman - very beautiful with a refined face and good figure

    None of the above have any major facial or physical flaws.

    Harrison Ford --- handsome, but in a roughly-hewn sort of way: big nose, scruffy-looking
    Mark Hamill --- short; cute in a boy-next-door kind of way (does this phrase even exist for guys?)
    Carrie Fisher --- pretty in an average sort of way; face can look a tad horsey sometimes (I used to think she was the most beautiful woman ever when I was a kid, btw)
    Empress Fett threw 6-faced die for: 5 Total: 16
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  2. Crystalia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2013
    star 4
    In my opinion, the OT lot are a lot more easier on the eye than the PT lot.

    So in my opinion no as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
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  3. Bazinga'd SWC/PT/ Spinoff Manager -Destroyer of Spam

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    I think you need to look at more than physical appearance when determining "glamorous appeal". For instance the OT cast was far and away more relatable to teh audience than the PT staff. Conversely, one could argue the PT had more lookers than the OT
  4. Darth_Furio Belated Monthly Winner - Streak for Colours

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    Apr 17, 2008
    star 7
    You'll also have to account for when the films were made. This generation of Hollywood actors are for the most part really into how they look.
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  5. Pensivia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    Interesting idea presented in this OP.

    My take: Although I agree with Crystalia that determining exactly who has the most "glamorous" appeal is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, I agree with the OP that, overall, the OT main characters are somewhat less glamorous-looking than the three PT ones mentioned.

    However, in Carrie Fisher's case (comparing directly to NP), that might be somewhat due to the difference in costuming between the two characters. With the exception of her slave bikini outfit, Leia's clothing is really downplayed and not particularly eye-catching, thus possibly making her seem less "glamorous" than she might otherwise...even her medal ceremony gown at the end of ANH is much simpler than most of what Padme wears. (Note that I'm not criticizing either choice in any way--as a woman, I love the fact that Leia is a female character who is not constantly "sexualized" in terms of her clothing--with that one notable exception, of course[face_laugh], which I also don't mind for the purposes of that scene and in fact even appreciate, as she does look absolutely terrific in it!). But I also love all the interesting "glamorous" costume changes that Padme has...).

    As far as the less glamorous/more glamorous factor being the cause of more or less "audience appeal," I sort of doubt that as well. I enjoy the PT, but among those who don't and who say that they don't find those characters compelling enough, I think (based on posts I've seen around the JCF), their feelings are more due to ways those characters are presented in the story (dialogue and performance issues, etc.) rather than the looks of the characters.

    Also, even people who don't like the PT overall often praise Ewan McGregor's performance as Obi-Wan and say they find that character appealing (even if they feel that he was not used well enough or in the right way in TPM and AOTC). And among Ewan's devoted female fan base in particular, (of which I am a member[face_love] ), I don't think his striking, more "glamorous" good looks are ever considered as something which prevents those fans from connecting with his character.

    Just my two cents:), but as I said, I think it's an interesting question.
    Last edited by Pensivia, Jul 30, 2014
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  6. Samnz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    Yes, I do think that's possible.

    I especially think that a lot of the complaints about Anakin/Hayden are, in part, due to his looks. Young males (and also older ones) tend to show a certain defence reaction and anomosity towards "pretty" movie characters, especially when they are adored by certain females in a certain way. That can also be seen with movie series like Twilight or teen stars like Justin Bieber. I think that might have led to that dreadful exaggeration of Anakin being "whiney". I mean, come on, Luke was just as whiny for two films and nobody complains. It might also be in part due to Anakin becoming Vader (and idealized constructions of that monster character), but I also think that Hayden Christensen and the teen media coverage he got at the time was contributing to the reaction of a certain part of the audience.

    I could also imagine that Natalie Portman's "flawless" appearance might have contributed to the notion that Padmé's a "flawless" or "perfect" person, and therefore "boring" as a character. I've heart that complaint a lot of times and just can't get it in line with my own perception of the character, based on the character's actions and decisions, which I just don't see as "flawless" or "boring". So I do think Natalie Portman's "beauty" could have played a part.

    Ewan McGregor, on the other hand, is a lot more "down to earth handsome" and Obi-Wan didn't provide a lot of target. We also can't deny that Harrison Ford's appearance did contribute to Han Solo's popularity. Ford, much like McGregor, just has that slightly "rough beauty", which also tends to be more appealing to males. They were never the "pretty boys, who are adored by teen girls". They are considered handsome in a much more masculine way.

    On a more personal note: I could also imagine that my dislike for Leia's character is in part, albeit a small part, due to the fact that she's never portrayed in a beautiful feminine way. She is either looking absolutely unimposing or ridiculously sexual (bikini), imo. That's certainly not the main reason for my perception of her character, that's a result of her lousy characerization (imo) and tendecy to react like a robot, but I can admit that her visual appearance might have contributed.

    In short: I think we can hardly deny the fact that the appearance of an actor does affect the perception of the character. That's in part why a casting is done in the first place. However, it's almost impossible to say in which capacity the more or less "glamorous" casts had an effect on the audience. Who knowns. Perception is a complex thing and certainly doesn't stop at the visual appearance of a character/actor/person.
    Personally, I absolutely think it's possible.
    Last edited by Samnz, Jul 30, 2014
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  7. Pensivia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    Those are some great points, Samnz, especially about the "teen girl admiration" factor to the media coverage of HC at the time. Maybe that gets all tied in with people dismissing him as just an "emo" kid, etc. Also the point about NP as being perceived as more "perfect" and hence "boring" in her beauty/attractiveness.

    Makes me rethink my post:p ...which happens a lot around here, btw. My initial thought of the top of my head will be one thing, then I'll read a totally opposite point of view that's expressed well and I'll think, "yeah, maybe that's right..." Fun stuff!
    Last edited by Pensivia, Jul 30, 2014
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  8. Empress Fett Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2014
    I will note that the biggest reason why the PT characters are hard to relate to is because of poor character development/wooden acting. But, it also seems pretty plain to me that perceived glamor plays a factor. Take a look at this candid of the OT cast:

    [IMG]
    If I passed them in a college campus, I wouldn't bat an eye. A few notches above average-looking, yes, but still normal, everyday people. I wouldn't feel intimidated or out of place at all if I were to mingle with them.

    I think it's common knowledge in the film industry that casting too perfect-looking or glamorous people can detract attention from the movie. It's interesting to note that some of the most famous movies of all time (movies that are famous because of the plot, story, and the drama/interactions between characters) do not have especially outstanding looking actors. Usually, they are average to slightly above average in looks. Take Alien for example. On the other hand, there are a ton of movies that are remarkable only because the lead was super attractive. Cue Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
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  9. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    This is very subjective topic. I don't agree with the OP hardly at all. I think it has much more to do with personality, traits, manner, and experiences regarding how someone relates to a character or not, perception is a key factor as well.
  10. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5

    Do NOT rethink your post, Pensivia. Speaking as a "non-fan" of the PT, I thought your points were dead-on. You kinda nailed my viewpoint, actually. And personally, I thought your argument seemed a lot more valid than Samnz's. That's not an insult, Samnz, I just didn't find your arguments to be true for me at all. For instance, Natalie Portman's appearance had absolutely *nothing* to do with how I didn't like or connect with her character. I can say this with confidence, because before the PT even came out I was actually pleased with her casting. I had seen her in other movies and thought we were going to be in for a treat. But alas, it appears she had decided to "take a break from acting" for the duration of the PT trilogy. And I had other issues with her as well, but again, Pensivia kinda covered it for me.

    As for the OP, I think that's an interesting discussion. But again, as someone mentioned earlier, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You call the OT cast a "notch above average looking," and I'm just like: "wha-?" :eek: Especially in the case of Harrison Ford. Oh. My. God. "Notch above average-looking"? For you, maybe. For me? Looking at Han Solo in the OT is like watching PG-rated porn. =P~

    Okay, now this is just funny ( @Samnz on Leia):
    If you took this sentence and instead applied it to *Padme* it would pretty much sum up my view on that character nicely. Except for the appearance part. ;)
    Last edited by Yanksfan, Jul 30, 2014
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  11. Pensivia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    Eh, I dunno...I'm often easily persuaded, Yanksfan:p

    But here's one thing I know (from some of your other posts as well) that you and I absolutely have in common 100% of the time:

    I've never fully recovered from the period in the mid-80s when my teenage bedroom walls were covered with wall-to-wall Harrison posters:p (Though I actually think he looks his absolute drop-dead gorgeous best as Indiana Jones and as Deckard in Blade Runner. As handsome as he was in the OT, I wasn't crazy about Han's hair, esp in ROTJ...but that's a minor point:p )


    Also, I'd like to note that while I thought Samnz's post was a good one, I disagree with him in that I've always liked Leia as a character!

    Edit: And, even though I enjoy the PT films, I do find Natalie Portman's performance rather robotic (for the most part) up until ROTS, when I thought she did a better job (esp in the Mustafar scene in particular).
    Last edited by Pensivia, Jul 30, 2014
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  12. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5

    Ha ha, for me? Harrison Ford at his *absolute prime* would be a toss up between ESB Han Solo or "Raiders" Indiana Jones. I mean, come on, it's just *ridculous* how hot he is in those movies. But I agree, he looks really, really good in Blade Runner. I like really good. :)

    Ah, what were we talking about again? ;)
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  13. Pensivia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    Ah, yes, ahem...sounds like a topic for my beloved "Hottest SW Male" thread:p
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  14. Empress Fett Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2014
    I concede that I was probably wrong about how I rated Harrison Ford. He is pretty gorgeous, but I probably never really noticed because Mark Hamill used to be my teen crush. So, probably a little bias showing itself in this area. Though, strangely enough, I didn't think of Mark as the epitome of good-looking either, even when I had the hots for him. He just had something I liked. That boyish exuberance.

    Nevertheless, Harrison Ford has more of that rough, man's man kind of good looks. I wouldn't call him especially glamorous. He looks better in his Indiana Jones getup than a suit and tie. Hayden Christensen is more of the male model type.

    Okay, so I was wrong about Harrison Ford. But Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill (who played the true lead character of the OT) are everyday-looking people.
    Last edited by Empress Fett, Jul 30, 2014
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  15. Bardan_Jusik Mand'alor - Manager of the EUC, SWC and Spinoffs

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    Double and triple posting is considered spam @Empress Fett. Use the edit feature to add to a previous post in order to avoid double/triple posting.

    [IMG]
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  16. Empress Fett Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Done, but I don't know how to delete the extra posts.
  17. Bardan_Jusik Mand'alor - Manager of the EUC, SWC and Spinoffs

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    You can't, but I'll take care of that for you now. Thanks.

    [IMG]
  18. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5

    Nah, stop it. Carrie Fisher was adorable, and Mark was a legitimately cute guy (although I admit, the blonde-haired/blue-eyed look really isn't my type). They're definitely very attractive people. I'd do 'em. ;)
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  19. Empress Fett Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2014
    I never said they weren't attractive. In fact, I did say that when I was younger, I had a crush on Mark and I thought Carrie was the most beautiful woman ever. But Hayden and Natalie are clearly more glamorous in Hollywood terms. (I still like Mark and Carrie better, by the way).
    Last edited by Empress Fett, Jul 30, 2014
  20. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5
    You said they were "every-day looking people" and "just a notch above average." I'm saying, I disagree. They're better looking than that.

    Natalie is more glamorous in the PT than Leia, that's true. But how is Hayden? He's just dressed in Jedi robes the whole time.
  21. Empress Fett Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Hayden has the face and build of a Calvin Klein male model. He doesn't need to dress up to look good.

    Besides, I think that most people have a ridiculously low opinion of the looks of average people. Most actresses and actors look like average people, just with professional makeup, good lighting, and maybe a better diet.
    Last edited by Empress Fett, Jul 30, 2014
  22. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5

    Okay.

    But now you lost me. On the one hand, you're saying you're not talking about "attractiveness" but about glamour, on the other you're telling me about Hayden's "male model" looks. And then how most actors are average-looking, except for the help of wardrobe and lighting, etc (BTW, you're not wrong), so I'm not really clear *what* exactly your point/argument is. It seems to be going back and forth.

    In any event, I think my point was already made. As far as I'm concerned, the OT cast more than holds their own vs. the PT cast in the "looks" department (In Harrison's case, he blows them all away), and "glamour"-wise, I don't see much difference between the males. As for Padme, she clearly had more costume changes than Leia, but I don't think that's why I was turned off by her (I actually thought some of her outfits were kinda cool). So, I guess that's where I stand on the issue. If I totally missed your point, than I apologize.

    @Pensivia --another thing we have in common: Ewan McGregor. Have loved that dude since "Trainspotting." I'd dare say he's number 2 on my list, with only Harrison Ford beating him out for number 1. ;)
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  23. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2006
    star 2
    I agree that Hayden's looks probably contributed to the hate. It's not just from men though...re-examining my one-time disgust with his AotC performance (it was long time ago, I'm converted now!), I'm sorry to have to say that I was subconsciously prejudiced against taking him seriously as an actor because of how pretty he is. But I think Anakin's superlative beauty is for deliberate storytelling effect (ie, he had everything going for him, and he ended up as a pasty, disfigured and pathetic monster), it's not gratuitous or (wholly) aimed at selling the movies. He's supposed to look godlike. He's semi-divine, ridiculously gifted in every way, etc etc.

    Good point about Natalie as well.

    But as for Ewan, I actually don't think he's good-looking in the Hollywood sense at all. And personally I don't find him good-looking even in a "down-to-earth" way (though I see how others might). He's charismatic and he gives Obi-Wan an intensity and forcefulness of personality that is pretty magnetic, but it's got nothing to do with his looks, which are really very average. I think maybe people who find him attractive (and I'm one) confuse the source of the attraction as being his looks when it's actually a non-physical charisma.

    So there may be something in there, seeing as to how Ewan generally draws the least flak amongst the main leads.
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Jul 30, 2014
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  24. Empress Fett Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Attractiveness and good looks aren't mutually inclusive. If a person has charisma and an appealing personality, he can be very attractive even without looking especially good. When I talk about glamor, I mean that the person either has very perfect-looking facial features and body or is dressed or presented in an impressive/imposing way. While nobody is perfect, none of the PT cast have any major facial or physical imperfections. This isn't the best example, but it's the best I can think of at the moment -- Carrie's nose is a bit bulbous, but Natalie's looks so perfectly chiseled it could have come from a plastic surgeon's office (not saying it did). Just minutiae like that.

    Most actors indeed look average, but a small number are super good-looking. Lindsay Lohan and Shia LaBeouf, for example, are average, while Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Redford were well above average and super glam. I used to think that Carrie Fisher was prettier than Natalie Portman, and then I realized that I just found her more appealing because of her spunky personality, more expressive face, better acting ability, and better-developed SW character. Natalie is technically more perfect-looking.
    Last edited by Empress Fett, Jul 30, 2014
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  25. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5
    I understand that, and I absolutely agree. But you were talking about "passing them [OT cast] on a college campus" and not giving them a second look. Which would imply you're talking purely about physical looks. Charisma isn't always obvious in a passing glance. That said, when you bring "charisma" into the equation, then I absolutely think the OT wins. (Except you, Mr. McGregor--you know I love you!)

    Ah, okay. I guess I see what you're saying. And perhaps you're right, maybe--in a small way--that added to the overwhelming feeling that the PT characters were not very "relatable" to audiences. But I think to solely pin it on looks would be a bit too simple. And it almost feels like a PT fan scrambling to come up with an excuse for their lack of popularity. There are a ton of factors that come into play when one talks about their personal dislike for the PT. The main one being, at the end of the day, maybe many of us just didn't think they were very good movies.