Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by Bib Fartuna, Nov 4, 2012.
Which... kind of makes it funnier to me, honestly.
It was easily the most accurate thing RLM spoke on. Absolutely razor sharp.
Why did Padme fall for Anakin? What were the qualities he displays in the film that says "oh yeah, this is the guy for me." Okay, so there's a physical attraction maybe. But then Anakin proceeds to be
5. Slightly sleazy ("It makes me uncomfortable...*)
6. Willing to lie to everybody about their relationship
8. Meglomaniacal and Power-Hungry
Okay. I don't have a problem with Anakin being any of these things. Because this is the guy who goes on to be Darth Vader. I'd expect he's a little on the imperfect side to begin with. In fact its weird that George wanted to start with him being this perfect kid.
But what doesn't make sense is why Padme just fell head over heels for him. I mean what were the redeeming qualities where a senator is gonna say "Oh boy...this is really gonna level up things for me."
As RLM said...they fall in love in the movie because they're two attractive young people in beautiful settings and we're told that they're gonna fall in love.
And why is falling in love a "problem" for Padme? "We can't! I'm a senator!" The obvious thing, if you're a writer, is that Padme is the one wanting the relationship...who is trying to undo some of the Jedi "you can't ever love" programming on Anakin who's trying to be what the Jedi want him to be. She's not doing it because she's an evil temptress... but just because she likes the guy and she likes freedom and doesn't understand the dumb prohibition on Jedi love.
That leaves it open for a much better, more logical story arc. Anakin is trying to be this great Jedi, but he got a late start so its a little harder for him...even with all this 'chosen one' pressure. Obi Wan has brought him up with all this duty and responsibility Jedi teaching. Enter Padme...now a senator and impressed by the smart and handsome young man Ani has turned out to be. But she doesn't understand his aloofness. Meanwhile, Anakin is fighting like mad inside his brain to keep some control on his hormones and emotions. They get thrown together...and nature begins to take its course. She's a lawmaker who fights for liberty and freedom of expression...and is suddenly confronted with somebody who isn't free to love which she sees as a basic right. So while she's trying to pull Jedi Ani out of his shell, she doesn't know that she's unleashing a big explodey volcano of repressed emotions in one of the most powerful Jedi ever.
There. That paragraph basically fixes their relationship so that it makes sense in real human terms. Because what we get in AOTC is mostly convenient "this is so because we say so" logic from the script. It may be a story, but it doesn't resonate with how real people actually act. An incidentally my revised story up there does what George always said he wants to do: he wants the movies to rhyme with each other. Now the story above sort of mirror's Han and Leia's relationship...but in reverse.
Don't get me wrong, I love Star Wars....and I had a blast with the prequels...in a sense. But the fact that I love SW doesn't mean I don't recognize the flaws and kind of want something that hits closer to target. RLM destroyed the prequels not because they're just evil...but because they love SW too and in their case, they had some fun with throwing the elephant in the room on an surgical table and YouTubing the autopsy.
I think there is a correlation between how one feels about Anakin's character and whether one thinks the romance makes sense. Which is fine, because "I can't stand this guy so why would Padme fall for him?" is a logical response.
But Stoklasa uses stereotypes for the purpose of being sexist, obnoxious and degrading people who do not share his taste.
"It didn't work for me" is understandable; "all romances on film are supposed to fit these sexist stereotypes," not so much.
Can you give a couple of examples so that I'm sure I understand where you're coming from?
No, his argument was that the love scenes were written so horribly that they don't ring true AS love scenes. Neither character behaves in an intelligent way, male or female, in this storyline. They certainly don't behave in a realistic or human way that the audience can relate to or understand. Both characters (but particularly Anakin) display behavior that by all accounts should NEVER have resulted in a man and woman knowing each other for like a week and then deciding to get married. And if the plot doesn't ring true, then how can the audience be expected to believe it, or believe these characters? And if they can't believe it, they can't CARE about it. THAT was his argument.
I might also add that the characters were so badly written that they don't FEEL like individuals in the first place, so the argument that "none of us are individuals" simply doesn't carry weight because the characters haven't been properly defined AS individuals. They give wooden deliveries of wooden dialogue and somehow expect that makes them seem like individuals to us - they don't. And - his greater point - because they don't feel like real people, their relationship doesn't feel believable. Whereas - also his point - if you contrast it with Han and Leia's romance subplot it's a whole different story - those two characters feel like individuals, and their behavor is appropriate to those characters as defined, so I BELIEVE that relationship.
One can be offended by his gender-based humor, or even offended by his accusations against the prequels themselves, if that's honestly what you feel. It's as much your right to feel that way about him as it is mine to feel positively toward him. And if you DO take offense, then please let me extend my sincere apologies; I'm not enjoying them to see people being offended, just to have a laugh or two and an insight or two. But do you feel anything he has to say at ALL has any validity? It doesn't have to be regarding the prequels; what about his review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Or of Avatar? Or, simpler still, did he make any point at any time in any review that you CAN agree with, that you feel DOES have some validity? Something that makes sense to you despite the "humor" that in your case would otherwise cloud the point he's trying to make? If not, fine, just say as much. But if yes, I'm simply curious. Hope you'll indulge.
Also..very important to note...I liked Anakin. He was a brat and a showoff teenager...which is great. He would be. So there's not a correlation at all. Its nothing to do with my perception of Anakin...its my perception of Padme's intentions toward Anakin. For one thing, she's pretty paper thin as a character to begin with. That doesn't mean "you don't like her!" it means..well...there's not much there. But where was the moment when you saw "oh..this is where she's warmed up to him"? There isn't one. You just sort of see them looking at each other and emoting now and then. Then suddenly she says "I truly...deeply...love you." She's known the kid for like three days! And in that time he's advocated facism, disobeyed his bosses, dragged her to a dust planet, and murdered kids.
I mean..emotions are emotions...but there has to be some kind of logic to relationships.
I'm going to email you a beer for this statement. You nailed it.
Plinkett does what he does for views, simple as. He's a 10 year late bandwagon jumper who injects gross humor into points already brought up for years and years by SW fans. He does nothing more than beat a dead horse.
If he tried to point to nitpick at the issues in the OT, and we all know there were some, he would loose all his respect from his 'fans'. Just think about that for a bit.
Why does Leia love Han? They could barely stand each other in ANH, he's obnoxious towards her in Empire, doesn't respect her personal space... The only reason is because he's attractive and played by Harrison Ford. And it's maybe the most obvious cliche in the OT (intentionally so, I suspect). It works mostly because of the chemistry between the actors (did they really have an affair on the set of ANH?).
Actually, I think it would be good to bring up what I feel to be Stoklassa's masterpiece: it's in the third segment of his Revenge of the Sith review and is a chapter entitled The Language of Cinema. In it, Plinkett engages in a piercing discussion about the composition of a frame, and about how such things as the positioning of a camera, of the actors and sets, can determine what that composition looks like. He is arguing for the presentation of cinema as art, and why that is important. Are these things we know as film freaks already? Of course they are; it's that he has managed to break it down into its essentials so that anyone can understand why we take these things seriously as we do. I grant (as does Plinkett himself) that it's a little unfair to compare Revenge of the Sith to Citizen Kane, but the purpose was to illustrate the difference between films where people truly pay attention to such things and films where they don't.
I would argue that if people see that one segment alone, then they can assess whether Stoklassa is truly contributing something to the discussion of film or not; I believe he truly is. What do you think?
Not "Plinkett", who is a character..but the guy who does the voice has spoken to these points.
They actually started doing this as just fun little critical essays with the ST: TNG movies, which they found really bad. (So do I.) They didn't really do them "for" anything or expect anything...but after a couple of years online, people started finding them and liked them a lot. 'Cause they're really, really funny.
Then the people who were liking them said "Oooh you gotta do Star Wars next." So they started with Episode I, and a bunch of people who are really successful in Hollywood saw them and thought they were genius, so they retweeted them...and then they started getting millions of views. He "does what he does for views"? Well...okay. But you say that like that's evil. Like the rest of YouTube are videos that are put up for humanitarian reasons like solving world hunger or curing Bieberism.
And as far as the original trilogy, he's answered that question a hundred thousand times now: They're not going to do the original trilogy because the OT was awesome. They did the PT because...well, lots less awesome.
Leia loves Han because under the scruffy surface is someone who overcame his selfishness and came to their aid when he had no reason to apart from the fact that in his heart, he was a good person. Leia saw Han grow as a person...and he did it for her. He could have flown off rich and free, but he came back to do the right thing.
Han loves Leia because she's on the opposite end of his social spectrum, but when she asks him to stay he is surprised that this high-and-mighty princess could see something of worth in a criminal pilot. He finds that he wants to be a better man because of Leia. He sees for maybe the first time that Leia is more than a royal title...she doesn't mind doing the work, getting dirty, shooting bad guys. She's the damsel in distress who isn't really in distress at all. Han loves Leia because its through her that he sees something he never really saw before...a future.
They love each other because they grew as characters together, and we believe it because we see them both grow and change, too.
Now...I answered your question. Answer mine: Why does Padme love Anakin?
Where was Anakin's growth after he murdered a bunch of kids in a desert? Where was his growth after Count Dukula ( ) cut off his arm? The info we might get from books and comics don't count....because when we saw Han and Leia fall in love we didn't have books and comics to fill in the gaps.
So in the movies...why do they love each other apart from just being together and being young and pretty?
@IsoBanValian I'm not saying it like that, I'm saying it because I hate them lol.
They won't dare touch the OT, there are flaws, especially Return of the Jedi, that they could exploit in the exact same manner they've done to the PT. They won't dare though, it will alienate their fanbase. It's simple bandwagon jumping, or reviving a dead horse to beat it dead again.
I find it interesting that the "OT" has become retconned into a sound bite - a one-note, indivisible success story - as though there are no differences in quality between the films.
Actually, Stoklassa has begun touching the OT; he recently produced a commentary track for ANH that is every bit as hysterical (to me) as anything else he's done, even though he likes the film he's talking about this time. And he's every bit as quick to point out what he feels are mistakes made, even though there are far less of them than in the prequels (according to him). I don't think it's done anything at all to alienate the fanbase; if anything, they're happy to receive new material. It's still every bit as insightful to me as anything else he's done.
When Anakin first met Padme, he saw an intelligent woman who ruled a planet (or as he believed, was the handmaiden to one who ruled a planet) and who was kind to him. Anakin rarely if ever got kindness from anyone in authority other than his mother. But Padme--she looked at the uncovered droid he had built from spare parts and called it "perfect." She was horrified that he and his mother were slaves; that reaction might be normal for us but it was new to him. On her ship, she alone noticed that he was sad because he missed his mother. Everyone else in his life degraded him for that.
Fast forward ten years and of course Anakin remembers her for what I mentioned above. Padme served her term as Queen and is now a Senator. To everyone else in her life, except her family, she is "Senator Amidala" with all the trappings and demands of that title--which is of course important to her, it is her life's work, but the deleted family scenes in AOTC address that Padme is lacking a chance to just be a woman. Anakin gives that to her; he could not give a rat's ass that she is an important Senator and in fact would have loved her just as much if she really had been Padme the Handmaiden. It was obvious in the Naboo scenes that they had fun together and enjoyed each other's company. One of my favorite scenes in that film is Anakin riding that shaak and then messing with Padme's mind by pretending to be hurt after he fell off; and she playfully smacked him for scaring her.
And I'm not sure where you're getting "three days" and "one week" from as far as a time frame: Lucas is purposely very vague about the time frames of his films. The one exception that I can think of is ROTS, which he said takes place over nine days, but you couldn't get that just from watching the films, that was mentioned in an interview.
@IsoBanValian, this is one of the stereotypes that Stoklasa puts forth that I can't stand.
I understood why and how Anakin and Padme fell in love. Am I not part of "the audience"? I'm not the only one who understood it either. Who the hell does Stoklasa think he is, that he can speak for "the audience" as a whole?
He didn't get it, that's fine, but the only person he has any business speaking for is himself.
That's a matter of opinion; I disagree. I've seen people behave a hell of a lot worse than either Anakin or Padme did, who get married and stay married.
There are some things I didn't like about the prequels, not enough display of the Anakin/Obi-Wan friendship for one thing, and I don't remember all of Stoklasa's particular points nor have I seen his other reviews. But honestly his manner is so horrifically obnoxious that he offends me even when I agree with him. And it's not about his opinion of the prequels; I've had some good discussions on these boards with people who can't stand the prequels but don't behave like obnoxious ***holes about it, i.e. they don't call those of us who liked the films "stupid" or accuse us of not having taste. That and the "women want X in a man" statements are offensive.
I listed a couple of them, one being that he's purposely rude to people who disagree with him.
The sexism: He assumes that the only thing Anakin would care about regarding Padme is "Is she hot?" Seriously? Thank goodness he's wrong, because I've always preferred intelligent men to men who have more **** cells than brain cells. He also assumes that "women want men who are assertive." Really? Was Stoklasa a woman in his past life? Who is he to make a blanket statement about what all women want? He also claims that "women like to talk about themselves and don't care what you have to say." That's nothing but a load of bull****.
My question: Will this torch-passing induce Plinkett, Simon Pegg, Patton Oswalt and the rest of the borderline-pathological critics to finally remove the pins from their Lucas voodoo dolls? Or do I have to be subjected to another decade's worth of screeds?
Which would be kind of like Anakin saving Padme's planet for no personal gain.
Come on, you know the answer to that one.
See, I can understand peoples' gripe about the relationship. It was awkward. There's no doubt about it. But to say there wasn't any connection is just plain wrong.
Um, you know, misquoting someone in that manner doesn't help anyone's arguments, whether you agree or not. I didn't say "sexist" or whatever it was that was bleeped out here. Just making sure there are no misunderstandings as to my statement.
I was trying to add to your statement and I went about it wrong. I apologize.
Okay, I'll admit...that was a good swing at making us understand what you see in the Anakin/Padme relationship. One good point you brought up is that there's decent reason to believe that he sees her as more than a senator and she sees more in him than a Jedi.
But the final problem with why that doesn't work for most people is simple: really big fans bring more to the movie than people that aren't really big fans. We go in with pre-loaded ideas on whats going on, and we read more into it after we've seen it. In the case of Anakin and Padme, there's not a whole lot that's made explicit on the screen, and we have to draw a longer bow than we should to get to the love story making sense. But like I said, you made some good points.
When I said "three days", I'm not using a 'timeline.' I was just speaking to indicate that its obviously some short amount of time and not being literal. What I mean is that its not 3 months or a year. Its a short span.
But as for the rest of your post, it basically boils down to "I don't like them, the reviews are stupid and sexist." Well, okay. That's your right of course. But from my point of view its not evil and sexist to say that there are some general things we can expect from women and from men when it comes to relationships. Sure, life is made interesting by the exceptions to these rules of thumb...but when you're writing a fictional story about fictional people and you want an audience to relate to them, you have to give them something understandable..some kind of common ground to latch onto. Is that stereotyping? Sure, sometimes it is... "nerdy guy is nervous when talking to girls" or "shy girl is fascinated by football jock" or "handsome guy is popular with girls in college"....if you'd call that all stereotyping you'd be correct...but its also a starting point for telling a story that humans can relate to. Stories start somewhere.
Finally, I'm not saying that Anakin and Padme are 0 on a scale of 1 to 10. I'm just saying...and lots of people have...that it wasn't all that great.
By 2015, Plinkett will be long forgotten.
Lucas will be 3 years retired; Disney/"Lucasfilm" will no doubt make overtures to heal fan relations; a whole new generation (plus the original) will be hyped for EVII; TCW will probably close after Season 6, killing even more negative feedback. The whole disgruntled fan-rancor thing will be beyond dead. The idea of a 75 minute bashing of TPM will seem absurd - as absurd as it truly is.
Nah, he'll be known for original work by that point.
I think you've pretty much nailed it beautifully. I second this.
Well, with one exception. I don't think it will be absurd. I think it will just be a funny, fondly remembered oddity of when Star Wars was very different. It will lose its zing, but be harmless.