LOTR, The Matrix, and the Star Wars PT: Which trilogy will stand the test of time?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by ElfStar, Oct 7, 2002.

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  1. ElfStar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 4
    Hello again everyone. Being encouraged by Quixotic-Sith, I am restarting the trilogies discussion thread. Due to the events towards the end of the last thread, Quixotic has stated that he will keep two eyes on this thread, as often as he can spare them. So that means no flaming.

    Really, I always wanted the other thread to be much more in-depth than it ever had the chance to be, so hopefully we will be able to do that now.

    Some ground rules:

    -If you want to post spoilers from the Matrix or LotR trilogies, please highlight in black so those who wish to remain unspoiled may do so. Spoilers for the PT, obviously, are just plain not allowed.

    -If you wish to bring up some other movie series, such as Harry Potter, you may do so, as long as you have some comparison to make, and aren't just saying "HaRrY pOTTer!!1 wOOt!!1"

    -This thread is designed to encompass comparisons in all acclipable aspects of the trilogies: technical, artistic, creative, etc. Comparisons in any aspect are welcome.

    -Obviously, you should try to post in an intelligent and friendly manner.

    So with that in mind, I will open the floor to discussion. Here's something I find an interesting comparison: The final duel in FotR versus the final duel in TPM.

    Both involve three-way fights that become short two-way skirmishes. Both involve baddies that's main purpose os to look mean and act mean, really.

    Personally, I prefer the FotR duel, and found it more involving. With Boromir, we are given his motivations earlier in the film, and we see his character develop. And so it succeeds in moving us when Boromir, despite being filled with arrows, still fights on for his friends.

    Compare this to Qui-Gon. While we are shown certain aspects of his character, we are never quite sure why he acts the way he does. Is he rebellious, or just rather flippant? What motivates him? Because we do not know, it makes him harder to relate to, and his death thus falls a little flat, IMO.

    Discuss. :)

    Quixotic-Edit: I wanted to highlight a few key phrases in Elfstar's opening message. The previous version of this thread yielded a lot of excellent discussion and brought in visitors from other forums, which is why I wanted it open again. That being said, if this descends into another flame-war like the last one, I will lock it and hand out bannings liberally. Keep it civil, keep it fun, and remember: they are only movies.
  2. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I think we do get insight into QGJ's motivation in that he is meant to "draw out the Queen's attacker." However, to me, that isn't quite as deep a motivation as Boromir has for self-sacrifice in LOTR (or, for that matter, Neo's self-sacrifice for Morpheus).

    Another bit of irony is that in both trilogies (PT and LOTR), the characters with the most depth are the one's that are killed (Boromir certainly has a lot more depth than Aragorn, and QGJ has more depth than any other character in TPM by an order of magnitude).
  3. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    I think that "Matrix", since the sequels have been delayed so long, has lost a great deal of the "shock of the new" that it had in 1999. The film's FX, after all, have been aped a thousand times, in film's such as "Charlie's Angels". A lot of the teens and college students who thought that the Matrix was "kool!" have probably grown up by now. Also, the film's shots of gun massacares and aircraft smashing into tall buildings is disturbing considering the tragedies after the film was released-Columbine and other school s, and of course 9/11.
    Also, most of the cast has not had a solid hit since the film came out, apart from Moss and Joe Pants in "Memento", and Weaving in the LOTR series...
    The prequels I think, will go down as a flawed but noble attempt to continue the STAR WARS story. But it probably won't replace the OT in the eyes of the pop culture...
    LOTR, as perhaps the best and most faithful novel adaptations ever made--compare it to other big-budget adaptations such as JURASSIC PARK,JAWS, and the Hannibal Lector films, which basically compress the novel down far too much, alter character relationships, and rewrite other aspects to make the films more appealing to the demographic.
  4. ElfStar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 4
    I agree that the characters that die have a lot more character developement than the ones that don't. I am hoping that the extended edition of FotR improves Aragorn's characterization.

    Yes, Qui-Gon was trying to draw out the Queen's attacker, but that's not really something that motivates him personally as much as it is an order that he follows. What I meant was that we never really see in TPM why he acts the way he does. Why is he a maverick? Interestingly, in AotC Dooku talks about Qui-Gon being disgusted with the corruption in the Senate. If Qui-Gon had stated something to this effect in TPM i think it would have greatly improved his characterization.
  5. SmoovBillyDee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    Personally, I hold that all three trilogies will probably stand the test of time, still be highly regarded by the next generation coming up. However, for different reasons.

    For instance, the LOTR trilogy is sort of the high class, very well made, critcally acclaimed trilogy of the three. It is a story that people have grown up with, and now with screen versions so close to the books, it will do so again in two forms.

    The Star Wars PT will survive basically because, well, it's Star Wars. It's sci-fi incarnate. There's almost everything that you could want in a sci-fi movie. Plus, it rounds out the OT, which is already a classic.

    The Matrix trilogy is the shakiest of the three. Yes, the Matrix was great, but unlike LOTR or Star Wars, it has no real track record. The two formers were already established classics, whereas the Matrix is an upstart. But it has a ton of potential.


    - Smoov
  6. Menlu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2001
    star 2
    Of the three, I think, ultimately, SW will come out on top. Reason being, as Smoov already said, "well, it's Star Wars. It's sci-fi incarnate."
    SW is so rooted in Americana, that it's basically like mom and apple pie to many many Americans (and is becoming like that to many non-Americans, as well).

    LotR will be a close second. Right now, it's icy hot and hip. And while the LotR book series has been a beloved piece of literature since WW2, let's face it -- the average American is not an avid book reader (esp. of stories as epic and complex as LotR).
    So the appeal to the average, modern American of LotR is pretty much purely theatrical (even I admit, I prefer the movies to the books thus far). After the film trilogy ends its run, I see it remaining a movie classic, but not with the same staying power that SW has.
    Tolkien's trilogy will probably outlast Jackson's.

    Matrix is the wildcard, IMO. While the special effects are incredible, and its appeal to the modern movie-goer is high, it's really not rooted in anything like LotR and SW are.
    That being said, every epic trilogy begins with just one step.

    So, ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see . . .
  7. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The Matrix made the least money, but somehow it wormed its way deeper into pop culture iconography than FOTR. The downside is that the look and feel of The Matrix became tremendously overexposed. It's hard now to imagine anyone wanting to see "bullet time" ever again. Consequently, the Matrix sequels really can't rely on the visual idiosynchracies of the first film.

    On the other hand, ANH survived the constant pop culture references, the talk show jokes, the parodies. In the short term though it's hard to tell whether that kind of thing makes a film more timeless, or dates it.

    The LOTR trilogy I think is less burdened by mainstream attention. A lot of the public still has no idea what to think of FOTR. The film quietly built an audience and made a lot of money in the off season for blockbusters.


  8. JediJBC Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Personally I think LOTR is a pretty good adaption. But I do have some problems with it.
    I think some of the major action scenes such as Moria and Uruk-Hai attack should been shortened a bit.(Such as the falling stair bit)
    I do understand that keep the attention of the casual moviegoer there need to be pretty much action(and maybe I am a little too much purist), but I still think there was to much action.

    The weakest sequence in the movie is,IMO, the journey to Rivendell.
    First they meet Aragorn and after two mintes they trust him. They leave together with him.
    When see them walk a little. Cut to Gandalf/saruman fight. Then back to the Hobbits, and the battle at weathertop.
    Back to gandalf in danger at the top of Orthanc. Again cut to Hobbits meeting Arwen. Chase scene. And taht was all.
    The journey to Rivendell was a chance to show how the Hobbits becomes friends with Aragorn is kind of wasted.

    I still think its a graet movie though.
    And I think LOTR and will be the two to really stand the test of time, perhaps also Matrix( I like how its kind of a retelling of the Bible)

    Just now I believe LOtr is most popular.
    I think the slow middle part of starwars Ep. 2, wasn´´t someting many of my friends liked.
    ( the love story maybe)

  9. Padme Bra Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 1999
    star 6
    I think the Matrix will age the worst. It's mostly all style, centered around an FX gimmick that already looks dated and will look downright silly in 5 years. So will the slick trenchcoats and sunglasses. The Matrix was pure late 90's techno/cyberpunk. In a few years, Neo might as well be wearing bell bottoms and fighting to disco music.

    I think in the next few years the SW prequels will be more accepted into the SW story as a whole and SW will always be a part of pop culture. I think Jar Jar will garner a cult following. :p

    LOTR, I dunno. It's really not as popular out there among the "normals" as the internet geeks would have us believe. For better or worse, a lot of regular people know who Darth Maul and Jar Jar are. With the exception of Gandalf, I doubt many regular people could name or describe any character in LOTR.

    I'll say Star Wars.

  10. ElfStar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 4
    I don't know. Perhaps your friends are different, but most of my friends can name at least a few of the characters from LotR, such as Frodo, Gandalf, and Strider. And for what it's worth, they pretty much all loved it.

    Of course, the books have already stood the test of time, so the LotR movies have a great advantage in that as long as the books are remembered, the films will too.
  11. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The Tolkien books will have the longevity of "The Three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Cristo." 100 years from now they'll still be popular stories. But that also means that Jackson's films may not survive as the definitive version of the trilogy. LOTR already has three filmed versions. In 60 years, the number could be up to six or seven.
  12. Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    I think they all will. We still have to wait for the Matrix to come out to know this, but if it was a as good as the first it should be right up there.
  13. Darth Euro Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 1999
    star 4
    "But that also means that Jackson's films may not survive as the definitive version of the trilogy. LOTR already has three filmed versions. In 60 years, the number could be up to six or seven."

    Personally I think PJ's LOTR will be seen as the "original" adaptation (if there is such a term) :), and the previous ones forgotten. Why? Because the previous two adaptations of LOTR have both been incomplete. Baskhi covered half of LOTR, and Rankin-Bass' ROTK covered one third. Once PJ completes his trology, this will become abuntantly clear to everyone. It is also the first live-action adaptation.

    Will there be more and perhaps better adaptations of LOTR in the future? It wouldn't suprise me at all. But it won't happen for another 15-20 years or so, I think. And being first "real" (complete and live-action) adaptation does give PJ's LOTR an extra edge in becoming a classic, IMO. But who knows...
  14. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Some random thoughts:

    First of all, from someone whose worked in the theatre industry for the better part of a decade, christams is actually the busiest time of the year, it is in no way the off season.

    I like the Matrix, but it under any real examiantion of the story it makes little or no sense. There's alot of bad pseudo philosphizing that's only paid of with a never ending action scene, a good one though. Why couldnt the agents jsut morph into neo and kill trinity in the S&M club? But I still like the movie and look forward to the sequels, they are to notch popcorn films.

    LOTR: I actually think that the harry potter films are better adapted in that they stay the most true to the books while still remaining engaging films. I really enjoyed FOTR, but I was bit a let down, I agree that the pace is a bit to frantic if you are use to the books. I also know that what works on the page does not always translate to the screen. My biggest gripe is with the hobbits and there portrayll, the film rarely if ever feels like it is from their point of view, which is the core of what makes the books good. I would rather have lost the extensive prologue at the beginning, and have that info explained to Frodo by Gandalf, Bilbo or strider in fragments throughout the movie, thats a minor thing though. I think Mckellan's gandalf is a vision, as is Mortensens strider, I think his character is the most improved fromt he novel, as is borimir. In general the plot is much better in the film, its evident to me while reading he books, that while tolkien was quite the writer he was most definitly making up the story as he went, especially in FOTR. There is no foreshadowing,a nd the plots omoves ina very: "and then, and then, and then, and then... etc" sort of way. All three books climax in the middle. Whats nice about FOTR, and what I expect from the sequels, is the way PJ seems to have lovingly prepared them, he seems happy to be working on the films, as do the actors, and it comes through in the performances. You can tell they are fans of the novels. Which brings us to...

    GL. I don't beleive that he's a fan of his own series. Not anymore anyways. I'm often isloated because i like TPM but adhore AOTC, but to me, despite TPMs flaws, its still a fantasy adventure film, where as AOTC made SW modern, it made it an action film, a jerry bruckhiemer film. Inspite of what GL claims, he pandered with that one, he was hurt by the negative reaction to TPM and it shows, jar jars reduced role, Jango the most matrix like SW character, the gratitius purposeless action, Natalie's torn shirt, sports bars, ridicoulous jedi battles, and above all yoda fighting. Before AOTC SW films never felt like they needed appoval, it was as though SW would exist even if nobody watche dit, but for hte first time it felt like GL was trying to rope us in.

    To me the flaws of TPM are its missed oppurnities to move the story elements that must happen in order for the oT to make sense, I don't think ANakin should have been 9, but I said to myself, ok GLs gonna do this different then we thought, a bit more colour, I can see where he'd going with this though. I defended TPM to many, and I thought AOTC would be there to back me up, alas it was not to be.

    The PT are not really prequels or sequels. The OT is a classic bit of story telling and the PT should be view as an adaption of that piece, just as PJ adapted LOTR. But I never feel like GL loves or even likes SW anymore, I just get a sense of "ha ha, look at me, you all thought I was nuts, but now look what I can do, and nobody can stop me, and you whiny geeks who think you know about SW, you don't! I'lls how you what SW really is!" Thats the thing, GL doesn't want to be a geek anymore. Where as someone like PJ is a self admitted geek. And it helps his work I think. He's obviously a great filmmaker to, but with that sort of subject matter, geekiness counts. PJ had to love LOTR to make it, he'd be crazy if not. Why waste 6 years of your life (maybe even more) countless hours, and the whole of your still budding repu
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yep. Just finishing the saga will be an amazing accomplishment. By the time he finishes the DVDs for RotK, Jackson will have spent the better part of a decade on his trilogy.

    LOTR will have a unique place in motion picture history. There just aren't that many nine hour films out there. Even the best of the great tv miniseries didn't have the budget or production values to come close to the epic quality of Jackson's LOTR.

    Frankly, the PT doesn't really hold together as a 6 hour plus film. The difference in narrative style between TPM and AOTC makes it clear that we're watching two separate films. The PT as an artistic whole has no basis for comparison with LOTR. Star Wars as a six part saga has much more in common with "Roots" than with LOTR. Star Wars is a far-flung multi-generational saga of a single family caught up in history. But its narrative goals make it difficult to think of as a single artistic work. There's nothing to be gained by watching Star Wars as one big movie. In fact, looking at it as one big movie makes Star Wars look less successful.

  16. Nrf-Hrdr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2000
    star 4
    Assuming Jackson's LOTR as a whole fulfils it's potential artistically and commercially, the chances are it will always be considered the definitive live action adaptation of the books, if only because I doubt another straight live action LOTR adaptation would ever be a commercially viable project - what reason is there to assume a mass audience would want to spend another 10 hours watching films they've already got perfectly decent versions of?

    It's highly unlikely the '39 version of The Wizard Of Oz will ever be usurped in the public consciousness by a remake, and I'm guessing it'll be the same with PJ's LOTR.
  17. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Yes viewed 1-6, it makes littel or no sense.

    A lot of people slam Harry potter, but when you read those novels, you can tell she (JK Rowling) really has planned out the entire 7 part saga. If htey can keep the same cast for the whole of the 7 films, and not pull a joel schmaucher, then I htink the 7 part harry potter saga will be quie something when its done. In many ways JK.R followed a similar pattern to ANH, slain parents, unknown powers, mean aunt and uncle, kindly old mentor, secret enemys from the past.

    What she maintains, and GL has lost is the sense of discovery. THe PT feels like "the never ending story" if you took out all the scenes which shows its a kid reading a book. The same analogy can be drawn to the princess bride. Fanatasy depends on the Neophite character, the stranger in a strange land. The ordinary shmuck who has no conception of the world they are entering. The audiences guide, and companion. This was GLs gravest error, and to some extent IMHO, PJs as well. I think LOTR could have benefitted a bit from really centering the story more into Frodo's perspective. The first act does not in my estimation set up the hobbits as the key characters as well as it could have.

    But who are we in the PT? Who shall we root for, whos hall we despise? Who shall we pity? Imagine the wizard of OZ if it was jsut another typical day for dorthy? Take out the reporter from Citizen Kane, and just play his life through from start to finish. Remove D'artangan, and Ishmael, and Edward Douglas, and L. Willard from the equation. Why not? Because they are essential.

    John Cleese once said that the key to good comedy is not watching someone act crazy and silly, but watchign someone normal watch someone go crazy and act silly.



  18. Green_Destiny_Sword Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2001
    star 4
    They will all stand the test of time but I don't see them all being watched that much if we are talking about over 20 years from now.

    I think the Matrix will age the worst. It's mostly all style, centered around an FX gimmick that already looks dated and will look downright silly in 5 years. So will the slick trenchcoats and sunglasses. The Matrix was pure late 90's techno/cyberpunk. In a few years, Neo might as well be wearing bell bottoms and fighting to disco music.


    Well, I'll still gladly watch Al Pacino in his bell bottoms, dancing and fighting to disco music with Michelle Pfeifer anyday [Scarface].

    Saying the Matrix is dated is like saying to someone in their 20s, Breakfast club is dated and therefore no longer watch it. It embraced and captivated a lot of kids. In fact I would put Matrix behind Harry potter and Pokemon in terms of just pure shock, jaw drop factor for youngsters. Additonally, like the other sagas, it has widespread demographic appeal. And it's fanbase is global. Many people try to assert that it's just f/x and gimmicks, ignoring the many philosophical, religious and social elements of the movie's storyline. Believe me, if someone is going to tell me that Jar Jar Binks is a Campbellian archetype, then the Matrix is a doctoral thesis!! It blew TPM away. No contest. So did FOTR for that matter.

    And as for it losing steam, the recently released teaser trailer got 20 million downloads in a week. So I think the excitement about the film is still there.

    And FYI, there will be NO BULLET TIME in the sequels. The Wachoswki Bros. have employed new f/x for the sequles. I saw the matrix revisted DVD and Joel Silver said the f/x of the new sequls will not be able to be copied.

    But again, I don't see any of these movies leaving the public consciousness anytime soon. They're just too big. They will all in that regard, "stand the test of time." But I still don't think that any of these sagas will be that popular in terms of young people watching them 20 plus years from now. Except for old geeks like us forcing this stuff on our kids.
  19. qui_gon_jinn_83 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2002
    star 1
    In the end I think Star Wars will come out on top with LOTR following closely.
    Matrix will fade into the shadows of these two giants! I have foreseen it!

    Harry Potter is interesting, I don`t think it will be considered a classic. Why? I have no idea! I really liked the film and thought it was very entertaining.

    I think the PT trilogy will be very well regarded about...5-10 years after Episode III has been released. I think it will sink into peoples minds and slowly make itself part of modern culture, just like the OT.

    LOTR is a very good film. However, as a Tolkien freak, I just nitpick this film to pieces. IMO the things that were changed from the books...well, I just don`t like them. It`s a great film, if you don`t compare it to the books...If you DO compare it to the books (like me) the film is crap.

    And again, this is all IMO!!!!
  20. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Absolutely, Rebel Scumb. As an audience, we need a proxy inside the movie, someone with whom we can readily identify, who explores the film's universe for us, while we watch. The PT films never provide that kind of character, and so leave us feeling dispassionate about the story's unfolding.

    The Matrix did an excellent job exposing its world through Neo's eyes. We have his curiosity to know what's really happening. The Matrix is sophisticated enough that it's even possible to identify with Joe Pantoliano's character, with his disenchantment and sense of isolation, with his desperate yearning for comfort and luxury.
  21. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Exactly, its still a pretty shallow film IMO, but a good shallow film. A well drawn sharply configured story, where we are involved in what is going on and the characters motivations make sesne.

    Nobody's motivation in the pT makes sense.

    "Saying the Matrix is dated is like saying to someone in their 20s, Breakfast club is dated and therefore no longer watch it."

    I don't think Matrix will ever reach true classic statis, becuas eother then visuals it hasn't brought anything new to the table. Not that its bad, but its basically just anime mixed with SW. But who knows, if the sequels are fantastic then perhaps it wil endure.

    Well I agree that old films have merrit, but most people do not, there are plenty of people who will not watch a film just becuase its black/white. I know plenty of people who love movies but won't watch anything from before 1975.
  22. BobaFrank Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2001
    star 5
    The SW PT will stand the test due to its name.

    The Matrix trilogy is very good but will fall into the cult following/underground genre as time passes.

    Now, before I say this I want everyone to know that I like the PT.

    But, the LOTR trilogy is the best trilogy going today. Its not better than the OT but certainly is better than any trilogy out today. Every aspect from story and directing, to emotion and SPFX it is as solid as they come. The OT is the ONLY trilogy I like better.

    Also, there are other trilogies that might need mention. X-Men and Spiderman.
  23. One-with-the-Force Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Shouldn't this be in the Misc. forum?

    anyway, I'd have to go with LOTR. After people memorize the action scenes in the Matrix they'll get bored of it. Star Wars will die because fans like us will completely analyze the movies until there is nothing else to see.

    The LOTR trilogy is more of adventure film that most audiences appreciate.
  24. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Yes i think the oT is better then the LOTR movies, I think the LOTR books are the equievelant to the OT.

    I think the thing is that the PT really didn't need to be made, it would be like making a trilogy of films about Isildur and Elrond and the original defeat of Sauron. It enriches the actual story, but there's too much plot and not enough story for it to make an affective movie. I guess thats the thing, the PT is all plot and no story.
  25. Green_Destiny_Sword Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2001
    star 4
    I think all of the analysis of the LOTR is very good. And a very good analogy about Elrond/Isidor and the PT.

    But again, I think people are understimating how popular the Matrix is. Next year is going to be pretty crazy. And to those who say it shallow, I still don't see why. It is so funny that people say it's "anime mixed with SW" or "kung fu meets cyberpunk." The movie is more like Plato meets Buadrillard meets Kendall Thomas. Was it really that hard to see the deeper symbolic value in the film?

    Harry Potter is interesting, I don`t think it will be considered a classic. Why? I have no idea! I really liked the film and thought it was very entertaining.

    See again, statements like these make no sense to me. The HP phenomenon is huge! It's global. It IS a classic. At present. And the fact that these are books you can find on elementary and junior high school shelves across the world ensures people will know and love Harry for the next century.
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