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

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

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  1. Clonetrooper1000 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2003
    star 3
    gez: "In the PT Obi, Anakin and Padme are the main characters, and their relationship with one another in TPM is woefully underdeveloped" ----- "Even for the secondary characters its a mess - R2 and 3PO are introduced and developed brilliantly in ANH, but in TPM their scenes together don't add up to much at all."

    This really just goes to show that you have slightly misunderstood the PT and it is also proof that your expectations of narrative structure from the OT has caused you to expect the same in TPM. This is what you have to avoid.

    TPM is not supposed to develop the relationships between those you have mentioned. The fact is that if Lucas intended to do that, then he would have done.

    You must remember that TPM (like ANH) sets up the characters, but it more importantly focuses on the origins of many of the saga's major players, forcing possible serious relationships to the next chapter. You must also remember that Qui-Gon is without doubt our central character in the overall film, and Lucas has chosen to focus on his relationships to Obi-Wan and the Jedi Council. But at the same time Lucas has established connections between the other characters that will ultimately take off in Episode II.

  2. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    We all get out of entertainment what we want.........if it is really that troubling to you....then perhaps it's time to log off and try a new form of entertainment.....


    Ahh, evasive, aren't we? :p

    Just remember......Obi Wan and Luke never explained what the Clone Wars were all about in ANH. The audience was left to speculate......


    According to your rationale, they didn't have to explain the Clone Wars, as that scene was about Obi-wan explaining the Force, the Jedi Knights, and the death of Luke's father.

    As opposed to TPM, where, what you said the scene was "about" did not answer any of its own questions.

    It's backstory that can be argued inconsequential to the current plot......(and be careful before responding......you may need the Sith to be explained or the history of the Jedi Order explained.....but only because you "expected" it to be done after viewing Eps. IV through VI first.....)


    We didn't need the history of the Sith or Jedi explained because we "expected it" after viewing the Classic Trilogy. As you said, the purpose of the Phantom Menace as the first part was to properly introduce as much as possible so the audience can be familiarized with the characters and why they do what they do. Why do the Sith want revenge? Why do they know the Jedi arts? Why were they nearly extinct for a millenium?

    None of these questions got an explanation, but the Force got an unnecessary explanation with the addition of Midichlorians. Knowing what we know, the Force already has an explanation later on in the series, yet we get another one that diminishes the impact of the first.

    That, my friend, is the shoddy storytelling of the PT. Notions are introduced and never expanded upon, while ideas that, if the are already not familiar will be later on, are explained more than necessary.
  3. gezvader28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 4
    This really just goes to show that you have slightly misunderstood the PT and it is also proof that your expectations of narrative structure from the OT has caused you to expect the same in TPM. This is what you have to avoid.

    well I was referring to what the author of this topic said about similarities between ANH and TPM.
    I did not have 'expectations' of the narrative structure of TPM, but I did expect to see a good dramatization of the new characters. You point out that QGJ is the central character, fair point, but again I was responding to the description the author of this topic gave.
    But I take your point - QGJ is the main character, let's look at it in those terms, he's a good character, similar to Obi in the OT, but that's all. QGJ's relationship with Obi isn't particularly interesting, nor are his problems with the council. I agree that the film introduces us to various characters and plot elements, but that's about all it does - introduces us to them. Where's the drama, where's the chemistry/friction between these characters?

    For me there's very little in it thats worthwhile.

    g
  4. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    Not only that, but with QgJ being the main character that dies in the first chapter, it sorely hurts the rest of the trilogy. His was a presence that is missed, and in his place, the minor characters of the first chapter have one movie to grow and develop and be ready for the closing chapter. TPM was indeed a complete waste, characters are stunted and notions introduced before are abandoned and forgotten.
  5. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    Why do the Sith want revenge? Why do they know the Jedi arts? Why were they nearly extinct for a millenium?

    Conversely,

    How did Princess Leia obtain stolen data tapes without the military watching her every move? How did Kenobi become a general of a supposed Clone War? How did he end up on Tatooine? How did the Empire overthrow the Old Republic? How did the Emperor come into power? How did Kenobi lose Vader? When and what was the last presence to which Vader referred to on the Death Star? How was the Jedi Order swept away? What was the Emperor's motivations and methods for destroying the Jedi?

    See what I'm getting at........

    The Star Wars saga is governed by a type of storytelling called "en medias res" which means "in the middle of things". The audience is dropped into the saga that's already in motion. The audience is injected into a galaxy that does not need exposition because the proceedings are taken for granted by its inhabitants. The audience is just lucky enough to be along for the ride. That notion is essentially what makes sagas and myths so powerful. The human element that defines who we ultimately are is inserted and interweaved within a grander set of themes. Those grander sets need not be fully described for they only provide the backdrop. They are the abstract wooden and curtain settings of a stage play constructed behind the actors that dance.
  6. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    In terms of dramatic punch, LucasCop, the hows are less important than the whys.
  7. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    His was a presence that is missed, and in his place, the minor characters of the first chapter have one movie to grow and develop and be ready for the closing chapter.

    Which, again, further proves my original assertion that the OT fanbase does not understand in the least that Star Wars is a saga of SIX episodes. Lucas makes no conscientious decision to close all plot threads with the end of the PT. It is ultimately one story. Some people refuse to accept that goal. Heck.....one might argue the story is neverending.....ROTJ is just the final episode of the Skywalker myth.

    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.
  8. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    Nitpick.

    WHY did he end up on Tatooine? WHY did the Empire overthrow the Old Republic? WHY was the Jedi Order swept away?
  9. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    How did Princess Leia obtain stolen data tapes without the military watching her every move?


    Not really, you're only covering up fallacies in the Prequels by naming "fallacies" in the Classics. Even then, those questions you asked (except for the way Leia got the plans for the Death Star) are not raised in the movie, those are things that "could" have been explained in previous chapters, according to your logic.

    How did Kenobi become a general of a supposed Clone War?


    Obi-wan's being a general is of no consequence. Unlike the Sith and their needing revenge, which is what supposedly their "motivation."

    How did he end up on Tatooine?


    How he got to Tatooine? He must have flown in, we see they have that technology.

    How did the Empire overthrow the Old Republic?


    Your mentioning the Republic is proof that you're reaching, as the Classic Trilogy mentions nothing of a Republic or anything that came before the "dark times." For all we know, "the Empire" could have been an empire all along that was once good.

    How did the Emperor come into power?


    The Emperor is an emperor, that doesn't require much logic.

    How did Kenobi lose Vader?


    Obi-wan says Vader was "seduced by evil," at the time, it could have been simply meant that a once good man named Darth Vader had a change of heart and saw how much fun evil can be.

    When and what was the last presence to which Vader referred to on the Death Star?


    As a "former pupil of his, he would know Obi-wan's presence.

    How was the Jedi Order swept away?


    Well, first of all, they're an Empire. I think they'd have the resources to take care of some Knights. Not only that, but one of their own had betrayed them, so that was an added card in the deck of the Empire against the Jedi.

    What was the Emperor's motivations and methods for destroying the Jedi?


    We don't know if it was even the Emperor who ordered the destruction of the Jedi. At that time, we could assume it was Tarkin or some bureaucrats who use the word of the "Emperor" to do their bidding. We saw it could have been apparent when he gave someone like Vader an order, and Vader obeyed.

    See what I'm getting at........


    Not really. What I see is you tossing general questions from ANH to act as a smokescreen to cover for the lack of answers to some more specific questions asked about TPM.

    The Star Wars saga is governed by a type of storytelling called "en medias res" which means "in the middle of things". The audience is dropped into the saga that's already in motion. The audience is injected into a galaxy that does not need exposition because the proceedings are taken for granted by its inhabitants. The audience is just lucky enough to be along for the ride. That notion is essentially what makes sagas and myths so powerful. The human element that defines who we ultimately are is inserted and interweaved within a grander set of themes. Those grander sets need not be fully described for they only provide the backdrop. They are the abstract wooden and curtain settings of a stage play constructed in the back behind which the actors dance.


    The thing is, when we're tossed into a world like that in this fashion, with the in media res we need a guide to teach someone and answer questions the audience might ask. That was why it worked in ANH, Luke Skywalker was as much of a stranger to the Galaxy as we were, and he asked the same questions we wanted. So when they were answered for him, they were answered for us.

    That isn't the case here with TPM. Not only do we NOT have a guide, but we have no one really asking any questions on behalf of the audience. The end result, a bunch of nonsensical and unnecessary dialogue that we don'
  10. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    Even then, those questions you asked (except for the way Leia got the plans for the Death Star) are not raised in the movie, those are things that "could" have been explained in previous chapters, according to your logic.

    The simple point being that you did not impose your expectations on what the OT was to accomplish (unlike the PT) because you understood the concept of "en medias res".

    Your mentioning the Republic is proof that you're reaching, as the Classic Trilogy mentions nothing of a Republic or anything that came before the "dark times." For all we know, "the Empire" could have been an empire all along that was once good.

    On the contrary, Obi Wan refers to the Jedi Knights as guardians of peace and justice before the Dark Times, before the Empire. Tarkin refers to the Emperor's closure of the Senate as his last act of wiping out the last remnants of the Old Republic.
  11. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    No, it is independent of media en res; the specific questions that needed answering in ANH were answered. The rest are commonsensical questions that can be pieced together independently.
  12. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Back story is only relevant when it directly feeds into a character's motivations, and when those motivations directly figure into the chain of events that composes the plot. "Why does General Stryker hate the mutants so much?" is a relevant question; "How and why did he become a general?" is not.
  13. Clonetrooper1000 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2003
    star 3
    Loco_for_Lucas: "Not only that, but with QgJ being the main character that dies in the first chapter, it sorely hurts the rest of the trilogy."

    Thats amazing foresight for someone who is judging a trilogy that has not even been completely released. And considering Qui-Gon will probably still hold a major importance in Episode III then I would have to disagree with your foresight. However, I do agree with gez that the character of Qui-Gon is interesting and his relationship with OB1 could have been better.
  14. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    No, it is independent of media en res; the specific questions that needed answering in ANH were answered. The rest are commonsensical questions that can be pieced together independently.

    Yeah.....like the Sith are re-emerging to overthrow their archnemesis - the Jedi Order because they're bad dudes and they like to do bad things.......such as......take over the galaxy and declare a New Order.....as will be shown in Ep III.

    The Emperor wipes out the Jedi because he's a bad dude and the good dudes might figure out he actually is a bad dude.

    You see.....it is YOU who are stretching. The details turn out to be inconsequential to the myth being presented. If you feel it is, again, I argue:

    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.
  15. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    My argument against Qui-gon is, after Episode III (if he even has anything to do with it other than a name dropping to justify his even being in the story at all), he is not mentioned; and in EPI, he was given a larger part that was needed. He took the story and everyone else was made into minor characters. Now that he is dead, the minor characters from the first part have to rush to grow and develop; which explains the chatty hour and twenty minutes of AOTC. Characters had to be reintroduced and we had to be reaquainted with them, all in the span of an hour.
  16. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    Why.....what's the rush.....perhaps you are being tainted by what you may know about how the first three episodes are going to come to an end?

    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.
  17. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    "Obi-wan's being a general is of no consequence. Unlike the Sith and their needing revenge, which is what supposedly their 'motivation.'"


    Wrong. Palpatine is calling all the shots. His motivation is to rule with absolute authority. He's simply filled Maul's head with ideas of bringing back the former glory of the Sith (which WAS explained in the Jedi Council scene when they talked about the Sith being extinct for a millenia.).


    "Your mentioning the Republic is proof that you're reaching, as the Classic Trilogy mentions nothing of a Republic or anything that came before the 'dark times.' For all we know, 'the Empire' could have been an empire all along that was once good."


    Ummmm...


    "An elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire." -Ben Kenobi, ANH


    "General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire." - Liea, ANH


    "The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away." - Tarkin, ANH


    From these comments we can come to the conclusion that the Jedi Order served a very live and very functional Republic not too long ago, and that the Emperor has only recently come into power and has turned the Republic into the Empire.
  18. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah.....like the Sith are re-emerging to overthrow their archnemesis - the Jedi Order because they're bad dudes and they like to do bad things.......such as......take over the galaxy and declare a New Order.....as will be shown in Ep III.


    If it were that simple, then yeah, I'd buy that too. But the element of revenge was introduced and there is no mention of WHAT IT WAS THEY WANT REVENGE FOR.

    Besides, you're the one that's jumping around to other chapters and saying this will verify that; when you're saying that we should view TPM as its own story. I did, and these questions came up from the story, and they were not answered at the end of the story.

    And about Episode III, you don't know any more of what will be shown in EPIII than I do. I'm basing my judgement on what I saw on TPM alone.

    The Emperor wipes out the Jedi because he's a bad dude and the good dudes might figure out he actually is a bad dude.


    Like I said, if that were the case, I'd be fine with it.

    You see.....it is YOU who are stretching. The details turn out to be inconsequential to the myth being presented. If you feel it is, again, I argue:


    I'm sorry, but your quick reference answers can't help with what you're arguing. There were specific questions asked and they were never explained, and they were for the most part abandoned. It has nothing to do with any expectations at all, it was merely shoddy storytelling and sloppy writing on Lucas' part.
  19. LucasCop Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 2
    If the Sith were just bad guys that cause trouble, then yeah, I'd buy that too. But the element of revenge was introduced and there is no mention of WHAT IT WAS THEY WANT REVENGE FOR.

    Ehhhh...it's not rocket science.....The Jedi wiped them out over a millenium ago. Mace did not believe they could have returned without them knowing......What more detail is required?

    ?[face_plain]

    -The Emperor wipes out the Jedi because he's a bad dude and the good dudes might figure out he actually is a bad dude.

    Like I said, if that were the case, I'd be fine with it.


    That was actually an argument for the lack of exposition in ANH. Why did it not bother you then? But now it does (when clearly it will be described in Ep III).

    ?[face_plain]

    I'm sorry, but your quick reference answers can't help with what you're arguing. There were specific questions asked and they were never explained, and they were for the most part abandoned. It has nothing to do with any expectations at all, it was merely shoddy storytelling and sloppy writing on Lucas' part.

    Ahh....and the classic basher argument: Obviously the creator of the saga could not do any better at telling his own story than the diehard OT fanboy. A little hurt by expectations are we?

    Putrid.

    And my "quick reference answers" have come over nearly six or seven years of observing the mentality and opinions of fanatics who can cherish a thing so dearly since childhood and then turn on it like a dime.

  20. JKBurtola Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2003
    star 4
    Loco_For_Lucas:

    I'm sorry, but your quick reference answers can't help with what you're arguing. There were specific questions asked and they were never explained, and they were for the most part abandoned. It has nothing to do with any expectations at all, it was merely shoddy storytelling and sloppy writing on Lucas' part.

    But the point is they do not need to be explained.
    When I first saw TPM, and I heard about this revenge the Sith would have on the Jedi, I didn't think it mattered all that much...all it established is that they have a history with the Jedi and that they are the bad guys. Did its job if you ask me.

    Just like ANH which mentioned the Old Republic, the Clone Wars, the Jedi Knights etc, you didn't question all that because it was helping you establish the background.

    TPM did the same job as ANH, you are just putting a different focus on TPM because you don't like it.
  21. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    Ehhhh...it's not rocket science.....The Jedi wiped them out over a millenium ago. Mace did not believe they could have returned without them knowing......What more detail is required?


    Do we know the Jedi wiped them out though? Wasn't there a theory that they killed themselves off into extinction? It is the duty of the opening chapter of the story to answer those questions before moving on.

    That was actually an argument for the lack of exposition in ANH. Why did it not bother you then? But now it does (when clearly it will be described in Ep III).


    Yes, there are chapters before CHAPTER FOUR that will explain it; but are there going to be chapters before CHAPTER ONE that explains questions then?

    Ahh....and the classic basher argument: Obviously the creator of the saga could not do any better at telling his own story than the diehard OT fanboy. A little hurt by expectations are we?

    Putrid.

    And my "quick reference answers" have come over nearly five years of observing the mentality and opinions of fanatics who can cherish a thing so dearly since childhood.


    In other words it's the standard "blame the fan, not the movie" defense. I've seen people saying the same in the Matrix thread, and in less words too. Big deal. ;)
  22. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    "Yes, there are chapters before CHAPTER FOUR that will explain it; but are there going to be chapters before CHAPTER ONE that explains questions then?"


    And what about before you knewe there would be prequels? Apparently you didn't mind it too much back then...
  23. JKBurtola Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2003
    star 4
    Do we know the Jedi wiped them out though? Wasn't there a theory that they killed themselves off into extinction? It is the duty of the opening chapter of the story to answer those questions before moving on.

    Well since the Sith want revenge on the Jedi, it is safe to assume the Jedi were the ones who wiped the Sith to near extinction.

    Really you're asking questions that don't matter in the grand scheme of things.
  24. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "Obviously the creator of the saga could not do any better at telling his own story than the diehard OT fanboy."

    Are you suggesting that George is infallible?

    "His motivation is to rule with absolute authority."

    That's his goal, not his motivation. What convinced him to strive for that goal?

    True to his Flash Gordonian predecessor, Palpatine has always been evil for evil's sake; he's evil because the script says he is, not for any organic reason.

    (Interestingly, the first ANH draft went so far as to specify that his moustache was evil.)
  25. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Argghhh... Not his motivation... Correct. [face_blush]


    Well it's fairly obvious that Palpatine is sadistic and power hungry. His motivation is the lust for power that the dark side produces. It's as simple as that.
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