Phantom Menace? It Meant Nothing!....Wrong!

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Stejo-Miwar, Jun 5, 2003.

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  1. Stejo-Miwar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2003
    star 4
    Forget about all the other Star Wars films for a moment, and when you watch 'A New Hope' it is just a space fantasy film with cool characters. You're not aware of any twists and plot points, you just watch and enjoy. Then the 'Empire' was released and this is where Star Wars touched the hearts of us hard-core fans. We where introduced to one of the most famous film quotes of all time and I'm sure you don't need me telling you what it is...Then, 'Return of The Jedi' was released and again, more twists and plots where introduced to us.
    My point is, a lot of people slagged Phantom Menace off because it didn't really do anything. When in my opinion it was just like 'A New Hope', it served as an introduction of characters which like 'A New Hope', we watched and enjoyed. Then only when we have seen Episodes II & III, will the 'Phantom Menace' mean anything, just like the 'Empire' and 'Return of the Jedi' did for 'A New Hope'.
  2. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    There are two primary differences between TPM and ANH though:

    1) TPM suffered from 16 years of fan anticipation and expectation that it was impossible to satisfy everyone. Because of that, it split an already existing fanbase.

    2) TPM failed to have the same emotional resonance within popular culture due to the dillution of spectacle and the event picture. In short, it was no longer something new and hip.
  3. Darth Kruel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2000
    star 4
    The Phantom Menace was the start of the triology. The Phantom Menace, Darth Sidious, is chilling out and causing havoc in secret and sooner or later he's going to reveal itself. The Phantom Menace meant everything, and as Mr. Lucas stated in the February 1999 of Vanity Fair magazine, that it was during the events of TPM that the Republic was derailed. It's about how the Republic and the Jedi were before the reign of Palpatine and how the Republic and the Jedi meant their demise because of him. It's about a maverick Jedi coming across a slave boy who has the ability to be the greatest Jedi in history. It's about a Queen who is being hounded by a ruthless organization to make their invasion of a planet legal, and who is convinced to sell out the Chancellor of the Republic for a new one. The Phantom Menace was very important and was far, far more than some chain ov events that took place.

  4. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    Allow me to add a third difference:

    3) The audience failed to realize that the Lucas created TPM with the intention that the audience would not, and more importantly, should not have a priori knowledge of the climax to his six-part saga.

    Unfortunately, because the entire world was tainted with having read the final pages to his magnum opus, on either a subconcious or concious level, many inappropriately drew parallels and comparisons between the two stories. They took the fun out of being swept up in a story. Instead, they tried to play god connecting the dots between what was flashing before their eyes and how it serves continuity of their most cherished saga. (Or worse, how it may NOT serve continuity such as the presence of Qui Gon, or Yoda and Jedi Council sitting on their rumps in public)
  5. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    3) The audience failed to realize that the Lucas created TPM with the intention that the audience would not, and more importantly, should not have a priori knowledge of the climax to his six-part saga.


    Hardly. The PT has relied heavily on our prior knowledge of the OT. Lucas has placed "references" in the PT in an effort to keep us watching. "Hey, I know this is Episode I, but keep watching; Vader comes in Episode III...look Vader reference..."
  6. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    Those references are teasers for people like you who would otherwise feel insulted by Lucasfilm Limited if they did not acknowledge the fact that the only reason these stories are even being presented is because of the loyalty (read: money) that had accumulated over time.

    Lucas does not care whether or not you ultimately like his approach. He has a vision, and he will see it through to completion his way.

    For future generations, that means virgins to the Star Wars mythos will see his saga as it is intended chronologically.
  7. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    Watching the movie without prior knowledge of the saga would leave "Star Wars virgins" wondering who the heck this master Yoda guy is, and when are we going to meet him. Just seeing as how he's never really introduced, I think Lucas is taking for granted we've already seen ESB. I mean, seeing as how his original introduction relied on the fact that nobody would ever believe a Master Jedi looked like Yoda, it would be odd that in TPM "Star Wars virgins" are supposed to just assume that the little green puppet is the Master the Jedi had referred to earlier on in the movie.



    Interesting idea making prequels to some of the most watched films ever for people who haven't seen them. Oh, but we're talking about future fans again. I've always wondered why Lucas cares so much for the enjoyment of future generations of fans and so little for that of the current one, or past one (that made him so insanely rich). Of course, it could be that it's easier to say you're aiming for a target audience that doesn't even exist yet when dismissing criticism. Another fool-proof excuse..er, response to anyone who doesn't like what he's doing.
  8. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    Watching the movie without prior knowledge of the saga would leave "Star Wars virgins" wondering who the heck this master Yoda guy is, and when are we going to meet him. Just seeing as how he's never really introduced, I think Lucas is taking for granted we've already seen ESB.

    Hmm.....kinda like the reference of Zion in The Matrix yet it was never shown at all throughout the entire film. Did the Wachowski's just imply that we really should see The Matrix Reloaded before the original because, after all, we can't appreciate what Zion really is until we see an orgy or two first?

    It's called dramatic storytelling. Just the implication

    "But Master Yoda said I should be mindful of the future."

    is enough for the audience to realize that there's some wise Jedi dude in a far off land who seeks to provide answers to his underlings' concerns and inadequacies.

    I'm sorry you failed to come to grips with Lucas' skills and intentions.

  9. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    No need to be rude, especially when you're wrong.

    That analogy is completely off. They refer to Zion as the last city in the real world, so when they eventually go to a city in the real world we pretty much know where they are. In TPM they refer to Master Yoda simply by name, but then and go to meet an entire council of Jedi Masters. A "Star Wars virgin", and I mean somebody who has no prior knowledge, has no way of knowing that the little green fellow is the aforementioned master. Why couldn't Mace be Yoda? Or maybe another Master who previously trained Obi-Wan? Because we've seen ESB, and Lucas knows it.


    And while I recognize that common civility and manners are held with little or no regard among so many here, but if you talk to me that way again, don't expect a response. Not that I think you'd care anyway.
  10. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    The first Jedi Council scene has no intention of exposing an individual Jedi, but rather expresses a communal "knights of the round table". The audience may imply that one of the masters is the aforementioned Yoda, but it is inconsequential to the story at hand. The audience may imply, further, that the principle speaker of the council is this Yoda to which Obi Wan had referred - and they would be correct - but nothing is gained from that knowledge at this point in the story. Ki-Adi-Mundi was never referred to by name. Neither was Mace Windu. If watching the saga in chronological order, their lack of identity in this scene should equally disturb you. Why might Lucas choose this method? Perhaps because their identities are inconsequential to the plot of TPM.

    Yoda is not referred to by name in the script until he grants permission to Obi Wan to train Anakin. It is there that it was planted the relationship between Yoda, Kenobi, and Anakin.
  11. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    "The first Jedi Council scene has no intention of exposing an individual Jedi..."


    No, not exposing, it should be introducing one of the most important characters in the saga - if this was the movie we were intended to see first. But it's not.
    Look at the introductions of Vader and Obi-Wan in ANH, or Yoda in ESB. They are clearly being introduced in a dramatic fashion because they are new important characters we've never seen before. In TPM Yoda is referred to like a character we already have knowledge of - because we do. When he's first seen he's given no introduction of any kind, he's THE Jedi Master, and we don't even get his name - because we already know who it. And GL was aware of that in making the film, and acted accordingly.


    Watching these movies in order I - VI, with no knowledge of the story or characters only serves to undercut much of the drama and intrigue of the OT. "No, I am your father"? Yeah, we know, we watched three movies already about that. "Yoda?" Yep, we know, the little guy going through your stuff is the master. Dramatic and creepy first appearance of the Emperor? Seen him already. Mysterious Bounty Hunter? Nope, angry kid in hand-me-downs. Luke has a sister? Yeah, we know.

    Most of the appeal of the PT in the first place was to see the origins of Vader, the greatest screen villain ever (no matter what the AFI says!). Watching them in order just wouldn't be as interesting , or as fun.
  12. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    To each his own, but you are imposing your vision of how the PT should have been written and suggesting that Lucas' is inferior. I will never accept that until you submit, rewrite, and have one of your stories produced by Hollywood. Sorry.

    The implication of such a mild introduction to the Jedi Council is actually a creative way of revealing how the main characters are immersed in a world far greater than the audience may have presumed. That is the essence of a saga. Stories upon stories upon stories upon stories.

    The audience does not need nor should it expect a grand introduction to Yoda because, at this point in the narrative, there is no hint as to where the saga is going. Yoda - despite having the highest midichlorian count on record - is no more important than Sio Bibble, or Ric Olie, or even Jocasta Nu in AOTC. His role has not even begun to take shape. By injecting an introduction - complete with John Williams violins, reverential bowing, and resultant close up of Yoda's response - would be inappropriate and would stick out like a sore thumb. It really is too bad for those OT fans because his introduction is very much muted. It speaks volumes. From a virgin's perspective, he turns out to be just another guy in a large universe. It isn't until the plot has begun to unravel that the real players, heroes, and villians behind the saga begin to take shape.
  13. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    LucasCop

    There are two primary differences between TPM and ANH though:

    1) TPM suffered from 16 years of fan anticipation and expectation that it was impossible to satisfy everyone. Because of that, it split an already existing fanbase.

    2) TPM failed to have the same emotional resonance within popular culture due to the dillution of spectacle and the event picture. In short, it was no longer something new and hip.

    Allow me to add a third difference:

    3) The audience failed to realize that the Lucas created TPM with the intention that the audience would not, and more importantly, should not have a priori knowledge of the climax to his six-part saga.



    And allow me to add a fourth difference:

    4) TPM wasn't very good.



    Stejo-Miwar

    My point is, a lot of people slagged Phantom Menace off because it didn't really do anything.

    I don't think I've ever seen that criticism before, but you are correct when you say that TPM did introduce a lot of new characters, and set up a lot of important points for the rest of the prequel trilogy/saga.


  14. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    To which I refer you to my three reasons as argument.

    You may not like TPM, but you are here on these message boards denouncing TPM with all of your heart because of one, solitary reason: the phenomenon that ANH had become provides you that opportunity.

    Otherwise, you would have turned TPM off your radar map back in late May of 1999 and moved on to other things beyond this deprecrating behavior.
  15. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    "...you are imposing your vision of how the PT should have been written and suggesting that Lucas' is inferior."



    That's not at all what I'm doing, in fact that's not even remotely related to what I'm doing. You seem to be determined to make this about me personally because you're taking my comments as attacks on GL, (see Basher's Sanctuary for that), which isn't the case.
    I'm pointing out that in fact Yoda was given a good introduction - when he was introduced in ESB. To do it again would be redundant, because we (the audience) have already seen ESB.
    For TPM forget the melodramatic entrance you describe, if I'm an unspoiled viewer I'm just looking for a name. Really think about it for a moment. If you've never seen anything of Star Wars before TPM, at the beginning you get the name Master Yoda, but who is it? Why would an apprentice quote this Yoda to his master? Is he another Jedi? Maybe the founding father of the order? A Confucious like figure from the past who's word they live by? We don't know at all. When they meet the Council no names are given to Yoda, Mace or anyone else so we don't know who they are, forget their importance or station in this world, just a name to know who we're dealing with. Not getting his name to go with the face would be an inefficient way to intro Yoda no matter what you think his role is. But that's my point - He isn't being introduced in TPM - he was already introduced in ESB. And GL writes and directs the movie with that as an assumption.



    Like I already said once; if a "Star Wars virgin" (awful term) watched these movies in episodic order, the PT dramatically undercuts the OT. It would be like watching Memento in chronological order - not as entertaining.

    EDIT : fixed typos
  16. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    LucasCop

    To which I refer you to my three reasons as argument.


    Well 1) doesn't apply to me because I'm only twenty years old and I only saw ANH about...five months before TPM, 2) doesn't apply because I could care less whether something is seen as being "cool" or not and 3) doesn't apply because I'm aware of the fact that GL intends TPM to be the first part of the SW saga and thus viewed first (I think it was the EPISODE I bit that tipped me off)

    :)

    You may not like TPM, but you are here on these message boards denouncing TPM with all of your heart...

    Just a quick correction, I'm not doing it with "all my heart", and I think "denouncing" is a bit melodramatic...

    ...because of one, solitary reason: the phenomenon that ANH had become provides you that opportunity.

    Otherwise, you would have turned TPM off your radar map back in late May of 1999 and moved on to other things beyond this deprecrating behavior.


    Err, there's a lot more then one reason for my being here. The "Ric Olie = the next Wedge Antilles?" thread is worth hanging around for, and lets not even mentioning the "Bashers' Sanctuary", filled as it is with some of the funniest, smartest, and down right sexiest posters on the world wide web...

    ...and the most modest too.

    [face_laugh]

  17. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    And with one fell swoop, JenX, you have lost whatever credibility I may had awarded you in the past.

    All along I thought you were here on these boards to send a message of "enlightenment" to others who did not share your opinion. Instead, you just get your jollies off spamming here and there.......that's fine for you, but I don't need that from you......

    No need to argue with you anymore! Sorry......

  18. Cometgreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 4
  19. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    *looks up*

    Speaking of spamming...

    :p ;)
  20. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    Why would an apprentice quote this Yoda to his master? Is he another Jedi? Maybe the founding father of the order? A Confucious like figure from the past who's word they live by? We don't know at all. When they meet the Council no names are given to Yoda, Mace or anyone else so we don't know who they are, forget their importance or station in this world, just a name to know who we're dealing with. Not getting his name to go with the face would be an inefficient way to intro Yoda no matter what you think his role is.

    Interesting that this contemplation would not even enter into the mind of a new audience as they would only be accepting what is being presented before them in a span of two hours. They don't have 16 years to go through their Bantha Tracks back issues, Star Wars RPG game book, etc... to envision these possible scenarios.

    A Master Yoda provided counsel to Kenobi. Anakin has a higher midichlorian count than he. Fast forward to Coruscant, the center of the galaxy. Qui Gon is compelled to discuss the emergence of the Sith to a council of Jedi Masters. Clearly the center of all things Jedi. Who but Jedi Masters are discussing the issues. One of them seems to lead the affairs. What relevancy does the fact that the little green guy is this Yoda? Why do we need to know who Yoda is? Will he defeat this Darth Maul for them? Does it matter?????

    As far as TESB's introduction, his role in ANH was no where to be seen. The OT generation has had no exposure to this green fellow, but Obi Wan clearly makes it necessary for Luke to find Dagobah to complete his training. Why should Luke trust this little frog unless he proves to Luke his strength with the Force?

    Besides, what about the introduction to Yoda in TESB is inappropriate if the saga is viewed in sequential order?
  21. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    LucasCop

    And with one fell swoop, JenX, you have lost whatever credibility I may had awarded you in the past.

    I'm crying Justin Timberlake a river as I type :)

    All along I thought you were here on these boards to send a message of "enlightenment" to others who did not share your opinion.

    JenX: Enforcer of enlightenment on Star Wars bashers and gushers alike.

    Err, no. I have no idea where you got that idea from. I'm not arrogant enough to believe that my opinion of TPM is more "enlightened" then anyone elses.

    Instead, you just get your jollies off spamming here and there...

    Strange. You asked me a few questions and I answered them. Directly responding to you = spamming :confused:

    No need to argue with you anymore!

    Stranger still. You came up with three points which didn't apply to me, incorrectly told me I only had one reason for posting here and then totally misread my motives in posting on this board. Not much of an argument.

    Sorry......

    Apology accepted :)


  22. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    The typical audience does not need to second guess every single element of a story.

    Is the story leading the audience in a direction that a major revelation is at hand as to the identity of Yoda? Instead, his identity is implied to be at the Jedi Council. If not, there would be need for further expository dialogue as to this Yoda fellow having even less midis than this new Ani kid.

    Nitpick to the extreme......I can't take it.....

    Still.....if I were writing TPM, I would have had Qui Gon mention Master Yoda's name up front.....but that's just me......
  23. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    1) TPM suffered from 16 years of fan anticipation and expectation that it was impossible to satisfy everyone. Because of that, it split an already existing fanbase.

    The very existence of TFN is because of ANH's phenomenal success........And you...JenX....are still here because of this simple explanation. Your unrelenting banter and ill will for fans who actually do appreciate the story as is is testament to how powerfully influential (read: sexy) the fanbase rift has become.

    Without THE PHENOMENON, you would never have bothered to continue contributing to this site.
  24. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    LucasCop

    The very existence of TFN is because of ANH's phenomenal success........And you...JenX....are still here because of this simple explanation.

    That's one reason why I'm here. It's not, as you previously stated, the "solitary reason".

    Your unrelenting banter and ill will for fans who actually do appreciate the story as is...

    LucasCop, please stop trying to tell me what I think or feel towards other people, because your guesses are way off. I feel no ill will whatsoever for fans who like/love TPM and AOTC. I'm really happy that they have two new SW films to enjoy.

    And your "16 years of fan anticipation" theory doesn't apply to me, as I've already pointed out.

    Stejo-Miwar

    Forget about all the other Star Wars films for a moment, and when you watch 'A New Hope' it is just a space fantasy film with cool characters. You're not aware of any twists and plot points, you just watch and enjoy. Then the 'Empire' was released and this is where Star Wars touched the hearts of us hard-core fans.

    I think ANH is a great film in and of itself. It's got some really nice plot twists and unexpected moments (Obi Wan's death was shocking!). It touched my heart.
  25. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    The very existence of TFN is because of ANH's phenomenal success........And you...JenX....are still here because of this simple explanation. Your unrelenting banter and ill will for fans who actually do appreciate the story as is is testament to how powerfully influential (read: sexy) the fanbase rift has become.

    Without THE PHENOMENON, you would never have bothered to continue contributing to this site.


    Funny thing is, without the phenomenal success of ANH, there would be no TPM either, and none of us would know who George Lucas was. He'd be working in his dad's hardware shop, working a powersaw cutting plywood for Old Man Henderson's new patio.
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