PT Perspectives on The Phantom Menace

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Darth_Zandalor, Mar 11, 2013.

Moderators: Bazinga'd
  1. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    Jar-Jar is a screw up, he's the biggest screw up of the Gungan race, but it does work into one of the themes of the Star Wars flicks, that the smallest person (Luke, some random Ewok, Anakin Skywalker being the only human that can race pods) can have the biggest effect on the galaxy. But Jar-Jar does it by still screwing up it. He even takes out a battle droid tank on his own, by awkwardly juggling it and hitting the driver completely by accident. I see him less as a slapstick character but more of a wry ironic way. He's bad at life but he manages to win anyway, mostly because he stumbles his way into heroism.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Mar 25, 2013
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  2. Jcuk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    No that's not how it was intended to be watched. If that were the case Lucas would've made E1 1st. What you talking about PT haters prejudice for? Did I mention that? No I didn't so don't use it as an excuse to start crying about crap and trying to get like minded people to reply to your post saying 'yeah I agree!

    **EDIT: Reported for flaming. It is possible to have this debate without directly insulting fellow posters. Play nice :)
    Last edited by Yoshee, Mar 26, 2013
  3. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Sigh. George Lucas has said MANY times that he intends that the Star Wars Saga be watched in it proper chronological order. Did you know that the number 1 comes BEFORE the number 4??
  4. Jcuk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    Well, to me, that just seems utterly ridiculous. The PT is a back story it isn't the sagas starting point. Finding out Vader is Luke's father just becomes a case of, 'yeah well I knew that anyway' where's the impact? Where's the 'No way!?? Moment of it? Chronological order means nothing in Star Wars. It's not like a book. If that's the case why did he start with Episode 4? Because he didnt want the audience to know about the Vader/ Luke story arc. It adds weight and meaning and drama to the whole saga. IMO.
  5. Jcuk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    To find out just what I'm talking about go and watch the clip on YouTube of the kid watching the 'no, I AM your father' moment. Says everything.
  6. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    Yeah, this thread could become a flame war about proper viewing order pretty quickly. That aside, Menace was just not necessary to the story of the PT any more than the PT was necessary to the story of the OT. In exactly the way that we didn't have to learn anything else about Vader to appreciate his sacrifice at the end of Jedi, we didn't have to learn anything else about Vader to appreciate how he came to be a Jedi.
    Jcuk likes this.
  7. Blur Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Re: Jar Jar, IIRC the reason he got banished to the surface of Naboo is because he was an inept, clumsy fool; I don't see someone like Tarpals (who appeared extremely competent, intelligent, etc.) getting banished. Going along with this, Jar Jar was not supposed to represent the Gungan people as a whole; he was the outcast, the mistfit, etc. And, yes, he was definitely the comic relief & the butt of jokes in the film, but IMHO he wasn't over-used & definitely didn't dominate the movie. There were so many things going in in the film other than Jar Jar: The trade blockade, the initial appearance of Obi-wan & Qui-gon, the escape from Naboo, meeting Anakin & his mother, the Pod Race, Darth Maul's appearance on Tattoine, Anakin's leaving his mother to become a Jedi, Coruscant, the Jedi Council, the superb Duel of the Fates, the final space battle, the various elegant & elaborate costumes of Amidala/Padme, the intentional confusion re: who Padme was, the great ending parade/celebration, etc. I just think fans tend to focus on Jar Jar since he's an easy target...

    I also see Jar Jar's foolish antics as even somewhat necessary in a way, in order to off-set the disturbing tone in the film. IMHO, TPM is the darkest film in the Saga (yes, IMHO even more than ESB); it seems to end on a positive note, but there is an underlying darkness that's obvious if you're paying attention, i.e. the scene between Mace & Yoda at Qui-gon's funeral, Palpatine saying to Anakin, "We will follow your career with great interest", etc.
    Last edited by Blur, Mar 26, 2013
  8. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    I get that, I really do - but I just think it felt like a little too much overkill... Or, it did for me at least. I absolutely loved the scene in the Bongo, his frustration at Qui-Gon is hilarious - but by the time the Battle for Naboo came - I'd just grown tired of just how much of a disaster he was at everything!

    Even if he'd shown some promise during the battle... Showing a sign of bravery and actually intending to do something and fulfilling it, it would've given him some much needed character development and been a lot more satisfying than simply messing up but getting positive results. But hey, thats just my opinion - I won't try and change yours :)


    Yeah, I didn't shell out much about an instance where Tarpals is banished... It could be for a noble reason, or alternatively he could've been there for another reason - scouting, maybe? I'd just love to see an alt. Version with a different Gungan, and Tarpals always stood out to me :) - I'd love to see what a huge impact it would've had on opinions, if nothing else! Jar Jar, though a great divider of opinions was/is a SW Culture force of nature - and it'd be interesting to see the shift in PT hate had he been done differently!

    Also, I get that he wasn't supposed to represent the Gungans but unfortunately, there are a lot of fans who write them off because of Jar Jar, when they could've easily shone more as a race. I personally think they're great, but so many others don't and I think its a shame is all, but I guess this is less of a criticism of Jar Jar and more that there wasn't enough time devoted to the race as a whole.

    Don't get me wrong, I get that the movie needed comic relief - particularly without Threepio and Artoo present throughout - but there was just a liiiittle too much at times, and it was a touch too juvenile too - during scenes where it wasn't as welcome... The Tatooine meal scene? The nature of the dialogue just didn't warrant Jar Jar thwipping his tongue around for relief. Just a little less and I'd be happier!

    Anywho, as I said in my original post - I can tolerate Jar Jar, sure he has his issues and flaws but he doesn't destroy the movie for me - I guess I just wanna see more of the Gungans and a bit less of the slapstick messing up.

    Anyway, there's no point in any of us complaining because we're stuck with him whether we like it or not! ;)
  9. HevyDevy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    I can handle Jar Jar for the most part, I wish he wasn't in the final ground-battle though. At least we had the spectacular final duel intercut with it, Jar Jar's antics in a supposedly serious battle are usually the only scene in TPM I fast forward. Like others have said he creates an interesting contrast to characters such as Qui-Gon, I think it was just too much for some people.

    TPM... it is probably the most underrated in the saga IMO. (Btw Blur makes an unusual observation that TPM is the darkest in the saga. I've never really seen it like that, but one of things I do love about the film is the irony you get when you watch it with ROTS and the OT). I don't want this post to degenerate into another of my AOTC bashes, but I prefer TPM Anakin to his AOTC incarnation. Maybe they went a bit too innocent with his portrayal (they probably should have left his scene fighting Greedo), but we have five other episodes to see his darker side. I think people would have complained either way, too good and his turn comes out of nowhere, too bad and you don't relate to or sympathise with him. I'm generally happy with Anakin's portayal in TPM, but I can see why some moments are mocked (freed from slavery and he says "Yippee?"). Lucas was doing something important with this film that I thing goes underappreciated. If you start the Clone Wars in Ep1 we can't get a true sense of what the Republic was like in a peaceful period, although I admit this in itself is a contradiction because when we get to TPM the Senate has already started becoming corrupt. Maybe we would have to go back further to see a truely balanced state, I don't know.

    The characters are really symbolic. Qui-Gon as the movie's dominant mentor (ie. compared to Sidious in ROTS and Obi-Wan in ANH. Luke interestingly becomes his own Master in ROTJ).
    Obi-Wan in his younger days. A great introduction to Palpatine and Sidious. Anakin and Padme innocently meeting before we could ever see them as the tragic lovers they become. Shmi is a far more important charatcer than it seemed in 99, she really grounds Anakin and shows us a side of him you wouldn't expect to be shown watching the OT. The "cloak" that the Trade Federation are the bad guys, where we later see they aren't as intimidating as Anakin and Palaptine become. I'm not very good at explaining it in words, but there is rich symbolism and imagery in these movies. A random example; a water based planet (Naboo) for an age of innoncence starkly contrasts the hellish lava-planet Mustafar 13 years later.

    The music is on par with the OT, I think this is what I'm going to really miss with the new movies, but I'm still looking forward to them. Duel of Fates almost makes the movie, but all six movies have a great score. It's one of the reasons I put ROTS on the same level as the OT. The saga is a truely dramatic space opera.

    It might not be as consistent as we were used to after the OT, but it's damn close. There is a somewhat paradoxical aspect to TPM; it thrives on being part of a greater vision (all six movies), but can be much more fulfilling if you go in without preconceived expectations. I think it really is worth suspending disbelief that this is the same galaxy, the same force that exists in the OT. They don't contradict each other, they just provide different perspectives.
    Darth Venator likes this.
  10. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Well of course it would seem ridiculous to you, since you already hate the PT.
    No, he started with episode IV because (as he has stated in interviews) he didn't have the technology available in 1977 to make Episode I. Also, he created Star Wars, and if he said the proper viewing order is I-VI, then that is the order to view it in.

    Said nothing to me. Barely even looked surprised. Also, go look at the thread "I-VI Marathons with SW Virgins"

    No Star Wars film (or ANY film) was "necessary" it is pure enjoyment.
    In any case, I will continue to show anyone who has not seen Star Wars, the PT first - as George Lucas intended.
    But yes, we actually have another couple threads for this particular discussion.
  11. Seagoat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 4
    Why do I always agree with you on everything you say? xD
    Andy Wylde and Jarren_Lee-Saber like this.
  12. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Its possible that we have the same Star Wars backround (being introduced to it in our late teens or early adulthood, making nostalgia non-existant).

    Or you're secretly my younger brother.

    Or you're my twin brother who I don't know about, because The Force :D
    Andy Wylde, Darth Venator and Seagoat like this.
  13. Angelnumber25 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2009
    star 1
    The Phantom Menace holds a special place in my heart as well because it got me into Star Wars. My dad took us to see the 1997 re-release of the original trilogy, but while I thought it was cool, it didn't "click" with me. TPM did. I think it was more because I found the whole thing with the Jedi Order fascinating. Sure, there are some really annoying parts, and the film in some places really has too much going on for its own good, but I really don't find it to be that bad of a movie overall. When I went back and re-watched the original trilogy, of course I enjoy those more, and they're better movies, but I really don't know why the prequel trilogy gets all the flack it does (except for AOTC haha). It was probably all the hype, and some really bad screenwriting and dialogue doesn't help, but I watch the prequels often, and enjoy them.
  14. Samuel Vimes Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    I disagree.
    First, if we take this reasoning to it's logical conclusion then that means that Lucas made ANH with the INTENT that NOONE should see it. Back in 1977 noone had seen EP I-III so they should not see EP IV and instead they should have waited.

    Second, there was no Ep IV back when ANH was made. Of the various drafts that had numbers you'll find Ep I or Saga one. Even the first drafts of ESB had episode II on them. Lucas plans, as far as what he said in interviews back then, was a trilogy starting with ANH and possibly ONE prequel film. Then this changed many times over the years.
    At some point there were five prequel films, then we had the trilogy of trilogies plan and so on.

    Third, the lack of technology is not an excuse. The overall story in TPM could have been told back in the late 70's/early 80's. Sure Jar Jar would have been guy in suit. The TF droids same thing. But the story was possible to tell.

    So to sum up, Lucas made the first film as a stand alone film with potential for sequels. Then it was a much bigger hit than he ever could have dreamed of and his plans changed and changed again and again.
    Also of all people that have seen all six SW films, a large majority have seen them IV-VI, I-III so that way obviously works and works quite well.
    Lucas can say that his prefered way is I-VI and I have no problem with that or those that prefer that order. But to say that the films were made with the INTENT to be viewed that way is false because if that was true then they would have been released in that order. When Lucas made ANH he had no idea that he could make even one prequel film, much less three of them. So the film was made accordingly.

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor
    Jcuk likes this.
  15. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    It comes down to this: do you believe that a story is always told best with no flashbacks, that you should always begin right at the start and follow things through with the characters?

    If Lucas is demanding people watch it I - VI, then in a way he is going against the very storytelling principle that served him so well when ANH was first released: in media res, that the best or a good way to start telling a story is in the middle of the action. ANH throws us right into the middle of a battle, with a brief exposition that sets up the principal players right away. And it's tremendously engaging for those reasons. Right from the start our interest is caught as much by "What the hell is happening here?" which forces us to ask what's going to happen next. And that's the prime requirement of a storyteller, right back to the legend of Scheherezade: you have to make the audience want to know what's going to happen next.

    The other aspect is that the PT is built with a lot of allusions and images that go right over one's head unless you've seen the OT first, or don't work as well if the story's told chronologically. Anakin's weird goggle-eyed glasses in the Podrace work a hell of a lot better as a callback to Vader's appearance in the armour; Qui-Gon being cremated on Naboo when you might have otherwise expected the Jedi Order to take custody of his body for interment at their Temple also doesn't have a lot of impact unless you've already seen the end of ROTJ first. Viewed in order, the constant images of Palpatine in high armchairs, Vader-esque masks, Yoda's references to clouded futures, the Chosen One, etc, etc, seem cheesy. You're more inclined, watching them in order, to say to yourself "Why the hell doesn't Palpatine start ordering chairs from Ikea instead of the Big Overarching Armchair Company?". Or, as Samuel_Vimes noted above, the impact of Vader being Luke's father is much lessened if the films are viewed in order. Watched with I - III as a flashback, the natural reaction is to project the present onto the past -- to ascribe what you see in the PT as motive for events in the OT rather than seeing the OT as just repetition. It's a powerful difference.
    Jcuk likes this.
  16. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Since the creation of TPM, Lucas has said in intends everyone to watch it in that order. That's all. I have no issues with people watching it in another fashion.
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  17. Jcuk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    Your wrong and that's the end of it.
  18. Samuel Vimes Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    Since TPM was created a long time AFTER ep IV-VI, those films were NOT created with the intent to be watched after the PT. So his claim is odd. He could say he prefer them that way or that they work better but intent clearly does not apply.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
  19. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    The viewing-order thing -- in general -- is such empty, pointless drivel. You know why?

    1) We're stuck with the viewing orders we ourselves watched the films in. We tend to generalize our experiences to others, as if there is something morally deficient about alternative paths through life (even over things as simple as which order to watch a bunch of space wizard movies in).

    2) You can only watch the films totally ignorant of what's going to happen once. As soon as that is over, you can get on with the business of re-watches, which can happen in any order whatsoever. This will constitute the majority of your time with the Star Wars movies.

    But for that, I guess there *is* something sacred to how you experience something for the first time; but it's not something that can really be ring-fenced off. Life is clumsy. You have to just dive in and go for it.
  20. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    HMV did a series of posters where Writers/Actors/Directors chose a quote that inspired them.

    With the viewing order argument considered... George Lucas' choice of inspiration is very poignant :p

    [IMG]
    StarWarsVerses likes this.
  21. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    DDAAAAYYYUMMMMM!!!

    Where can I get that? Did HMV ever print any for sale?
  22. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    @Cryogenic You couldn't buy them over the counter unfortunately... They used to do a service where you could trade accumulated points for stuff but I never managed to grab a Lucas one, would've needed to spend truly horrifying amounts to get the points! - I ended up with cheaper valued ones of Tarantino and Matt Groening. Though I got a pack of postcards which included the Lucas print - but its teeny.

    And just to make this that liiiiittle bit worse... HMV went into administration and have now closed!

    I guess you could try and find a hi-res version and see how much you can enlarge it by in a picture editor, then order a print?
  23. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Ya... the enlarging trick. When all else fails, there is certainly that.

    Cool story. And it kinda puts it into perspective: George Lucas remains an iconic, highly-acclaimed film-maker.

    If not, why would his poster, in particular, be so relatively expensive?

    I didn't realize HMV had closed; I thought they were still in administration AKA hanging by a thread.

    Kind of an overrated, over-priced shop to begin with, but I digress.

    Thanks for the response.
    Darth_Martus likes this.
  24. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    (1) I don't contend there's anything morally deficient about watching the movies I - VI. My contention is that they work better as a piece of art when you view them in the order of release, i.e. IV - VI, then I - III. Lucas himself knew full well that it's during IV - VI that the most interesting stuff happens, the stuff that's easier to come to grips with, which is why he chose to make IV first. It's not like he went to his producers with six potential scripts and said "Pick one that you'll allow me to make." He deliberately chose to make IV first. I - III all appear to have been built assuming the viewer had watched IV - VI, first, not the other way round.

    (2) You can rewatch in any order whatsoever, certainly, but viewed as a whole -- as I said above -- the allusions, repetition of imagery, and story elements work far better with a OT, then PT viewing than a chronological sitting. Viewing the OT first renders the PT a tragedy because you know what's going to happen - it makes Anakin an even more tragic figure, which is what the series intended; viewing the PT first renders the whole thing largely a generational saga with nowhere near the emotional punch it otherwise has.
    Last edited by Saintheart, Mar 27, 2013
    Jcuk and Captain Tom Coughlin like this.
  25. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    Agreed, 100%
Moderators: Bazinga'd