Prequel Script Writing quality: The whole debate

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Darth_Pseudomorph, Jun 5, 2002.

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  1. Darth_Pseudomorph Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 1
    Ok. Examples and arguments over the script writing of the prequel trilogy.

    I personally believe the writing comes nothing to the quality of the original trilogy, too many cliches, politically correct hog-wash, and historical recounting. But what are you're arguments, for and against. No offense should be taken...this is just good, intelligent debate on George Lucas's writing prowress.
  2. ADONIAH32 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 4
  3. Darth_Pseudomorph Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 1
    Really? Hmm...I didn't think of that. I thought it should go here. Well, if thats so, I'll repost it there.
  4. Vaderbait Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 6
    I think the PT writing is onpar with the OT writing. It's really the acting that is debateable. We have to give these actors time to sink in, which they've already done for me (except Portman, she's hot, but can't act).

    I think the big deal is that there is a heavier deal of political stuff that wasn't in the OT in the PT now. Just a change of material.
  5. hippie1kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 3
    What "politically correct hog-wash" is in the scripts. Not flaming, just wondering. Never noticed any.
  6. jedijake2 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2002
    The only thing that the prequels have lacked was a Han Solo type character. The wit and sarcasm that only Han can possess has been sorrowfully missed in Eps I and II.

    However, to make a meager attempt at reproducing a Han-like character would only make a mockery of Han Solo himself and would jeopardize his integrity. When all 6 films are viewed in sequence, Han's entrance needs to be a breath of fresh air. Just think. With all the talk of how evil Vader and the Emperor is and how good a pilot Vader/ Anakin is, it is an arrogant space pirate that foils the plan. Han is a unique character and needs to be preserved that way.
  7. JBFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    I agree Jedijake.

    Han Solo needs to remain as a stand alone character. To make a character in the PT to compliment every character in the OT would be bad storytelling. We should be thankful that Lucas's great imagination has allowed him to create whole new everything in the PT and its not just a re-telling of the OT as some wished it was.

    The PT is great, its a different time, a different story. When they are all seen together those who doubted it before will open their eyes to the truth: The PT is brilliant, and IMO has much much more complex and interesting story than the OT.

    Love Star Wars for what it is: great storytelling. The script can be as hokey as it wants, its in a galaxy far far away. How many times have you been called a nerf-herder, or a stuck up half witted and scruffy looking all in the same sentence?

    People seem to miss the whole point: Its in another galaxy. It should not feel like earth, nor should It have the same type of dialogue, Star Wars dialogue is unique, like it or not. It was like that in the OT and its like it in the PT. Many just hold the OT on too high a level to notice that it has the same faults.
  8. classixboy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    I don't really have a problem with the scripts of TPM or AOTC.

    I'm probably in a minority here, but I think that the dialogue in these scripts is intentionally stilted/stiff (however you want to characterize the "wooden" quality of the lines). I think that it's part of GL's whole aesthetic for these movies. I mean, how *can* an actor sound natural when he/she is talking about "the Force" or "the Sith" or a "droid army"? Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill certainly didn't seem natural when they delivered their lines in the OT, though certain people seem to be suffering amnesia when they claim that both the scripts and acting were superior in the OT. The stiffness of the dialogue and line delivery are part of an artificial quality which I think is and has been inherent in the allure of Star Wars. These are tales about Heroic people doing Legendary things. This is the creation of myth. And so the script should be as far from "natural" and pedestrian as possible. It is to the cast's credit that they can "play it straight" and actually take the material seriously. And it is a credit to GL that he can craft their performances into a film that takes itself seriously and simultaneously lampoons itself and a whole tradition of sci-fi serials. I think he *can* have it both ways.
  9. Padme Bra Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 1999
    star 6
    I think the writing in AOTC was light years ahead of anything in the OT. The plot and characters were so much more complex than anything thought of in the OT. I loved TESB but it was one big chase scene. AOTC was an incredibly intricate political thriller as well as a chillingly dark love story. AOTC's story beat any of the OT stories in virtually every way.
  10. augusto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 4
    I loved AOTC and to me it's second only after ESB and ESB wins simply because of the awesom "I am your father" revelation, which you just can't and shouldn't try to top.

    Sorry, but to me AOTC was a much more interesting and complex story than ANH & ROTJ
  11. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    Writing is more than simply dialogue. It is pacing, structure, characterization, etc as well. Dialogue is simply the most obvious element when you're watching.

    I found the dialogue varied. Some of it was good, some servicable, and some downright bad. Not too many lines warranted a "downright bad" for me, but there were a few.

    I felt the film's pacing suffered from a lack of development with the Shmi subplot and a lack of things to do and subtext in the Anakin/Padme romance. Tightening and fixing both areas by having Anakin & Padme bypass Naboo and head straight to Tatooine to search for Shmi would have greatly helped both areas.

    There are a number of loose ends and areas that I'm surprised Lucas is spending so much time on, but I'll wait till after Episode III to see if they pay off. I *do* remain surprised at how much TPM still feels like a prologue, instead of Episode I, and I have my doubts that Lucas will be able to satisfactorily pull off all the events that need to happen in Episode III with maximum dramatic impact. Hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised come 2005.
  12. JBFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    I agree with PB and Augusto.

    People hate new things and cant admit when a classic has been beaten.

    Hayden's performance in the garage blows any performance away in Star Wars history. THe plot and story are so great that it makes ESB look pale in comparison. ESB WAS a big chase scene, and while that is what that story is supposed to be, hence the Empire Striking Back...it is not as brilliantly thought out as AOTC. It's political story is just amazing, and if people saw the love story for what it was, a story of obsession, then people would love it as well....its hard for people to see things through GL's eyes, but let me tell you, when you do, its one hell of a ride.

    In the words of Harry Knowles. "if you are one that doesnt like AOTC, well then it sucks to be you" - if people just understood this movie the way it was meant to be understood, you would all agree how superior it is. It makes Anakin's 'boring and awfully writen fireside monologue' mean something when you realize that he is one emotionally obsessed and troubled young man. Its hard for some to connect to these characters cause they want every line to connect to earth-like dialogue. Look at it "from a different point of view" a different light.

    One day, one month, one year or maybe 20 years from now, it will finally click to everyone how the OT did to the world: Star Wars is still and will always be the most imaginative and brilliant feat ever accomplished in cinema history.
  13. jedi-jeff Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 3
    I also agree that so-called corny, cheesy, and cliched dialogue is deliberately used in these films and it is not because GL is a bad writer. After all Star Wars is based in part on thoose cheesy Fash Gordon serials which also had very corny dialogue.

  14. prof_frink Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 1999
    star 3
    I personally believe the writing comes nothing to the quality of the original trilogy, too many cliches, politically correct hog-wash, and historical recounting. But what are you're arguments, for and against. No offense should be taken...this is just good, intelligent debate on George Lucas's writing prowress.

    And this is how you want to start this debate? With these 'intelligent comments'?

    Sometimes I wonder if people actually watched ANH/ESB/ROTJ before posting these inane comments...
  15. classixboy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Telemachos: kai su, to moi teknon?
  16. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    Very clever, classixboy. ;)

    I agree with your point about arch dialogue... up to a point. Personally, I feel it requires a very delicate balance of good-humor, the knowledge (as an actor) of what you are actually saying (and how goofy it can sound), and your place in the grand picture. In the OT, I felt Harrison Ford often was the closest at nailing the mark with this sort of performance. In AOTC, Christopher Lee, grand master of genre films that he is, knocks his dialogue out of the park.

    Again, personally, I think that dialogue is the least of a story's worries -- particularly this sort of story, where the emphasis is on grand gestures, operatic feeling, and visual bombast. The nitty-gritty of it all is the underlying structure -- the foundation of the whole house. If there are chinks in the foundation, the walls will sag.

    In this case, it's a little hard to make an absolute final comment on the structure and plot, because essentially we're only 2/3 of the way through. However, IF (and this is a giant if) Lucas feels the need to adjust the OT (beyond simple visuals) to "fit" the PT, then I would consider that shabby writing as a whole -- or at least lazy writing. :)
  17. JBFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    I agree...?

    I agree......watch the OT then get back to me.

    let me refresh your memory:
    "I was going to Tashi Station to pick up some power converters"

    "See to it personally commander there will be NO ONE to stop us this time"

    "Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way" - "No reward is worth this"

    "Comon! You want me to stay cause of the way you feel about me" - "Yes your a great help to us your a natural leader" - "No thats not it. Comon...uhhh...." - "Your imagining things" "Am I?..then why are you following me, fraid I was gonna leave without giving you a goodbye kiss?" - "I'd just as soon kiss a wookie" - "I could arrange that. You could USE A GOOD KISS"

    "Your a good fighter Solo, I'd hate to lose you"

    "Send three squads to help" commander from ROTJ

    there are tons more examples.....you can dig them up yourselves I am sure.
  18. augusto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 4
    I too miss "Han Solo", but my favorite was always "Skywalker". Now I'm more interested in Anakin than Luke, as Anakin is just a much more interesting character played by a really good actor (not trying to put Mark down).
  19. classixboy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Telemachos: you are absolutely right about Christopher Lee. He is a master of this kind of acting, and Lucas knew *exactly* what he was doing when he cast him as Dooku. As to pacing and the structure of the story: I'm not so sure that a chink in the foundation will bring the whole house down. Take Dickens as an example (sorry): a novel like "Little Dorrit" is exquisitely complex and intricately plotted, but not without its loose ends and clumsy narrative devices. A cooperative reader forgives those shortcomings, though, in favor of appreciating the whole grandiose, gaudy architecture of the story. That's how I view the increasing complexity of SW movies. But you are right to caution us from assuming too much about GL's scheme; we are only 2/3 of the way through this PT.

    JBFett: Thank you for collecting those truly horrible and wonderful lines from the OT. They brough a smile to my face, especially "There will be NO ONE to stop us this time." Classic.
  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I believe we are too close to the prequels to see the films in their true form. It won't be until my generation's children become teens that the films are seen in a different and more positive light.

    I think the PT films are more layered, with a greater depth to them. There's a ton going on that we don't see on screen, but that doesn't mean it's not there.

    When it's all said and done, I think people will view the prequel films as positively as they do the original trilogy.

  21. Rikalonius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2001
    star 3
    JBFett I think you have been awfully deprived if you think Hayden's performance in the garage was "awesome" I have seen High School drama that was more convincing. Hayden isn't a half bad actor, but awesome he is not.

    AOTC was a special effects granduer. I was happy to see it digitaly, and I did like the movie. But I wrestle with the FACT that it could have been so, so much better. And becaue I do love the whole SW saga, I'm disappointed at being burdened with that afore mention knowledge.

    Since the debate is prequal script writing I'll give you my synopsis of how I thought it should have been written.

    Anakin: Leaves the moisture farm on Tatooine at age 16, under protest from his brother, to join the newly forming alliance that is seeking to fend of dictactorship.

    Obi Wan: Meets Anakin when Anikin helps Obi out a bad situation with his brilliant flying. Recognizes his fore potential and tries to instruct him because the galactic war has suspended Jedi training.

    Padme: Meets Anakin when he and Obi Wan help her escape to Coruscant. Then help her defend her planet (I guess I leave Naboo in there)

    Jar Jar: Does not exist

    C3PO: Assigned to Padme as her personal protocol droid and passed down to Bail Organa after a memory erase. Sent with Leia on Tantive IV.

    Artoo: I guess he can start off standard equipment on Padme's starcruiser. Kept around because he saved the ship in battle.

    I don't feel like going on... I'm just going to rewrite the whole thing and wait till Lucas dies, then submit my story board to Fox for a remake.
  22. augusto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 4
    I read better stories than the one above in my 4th grade English as a second language writing class. :)

    Nah, I like the Republic being secretly being taken over and then wham it's an Empire angle Lucas is going with.
  23. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I've seen the most amazing range of opinions on this issue.

    There are some who think the romantic dialogue is an ingenious invocation of courtly love.

    There are people running loose in this forum who have compared the writing to Shakespeare.

    I happen to believe that a committee comprised solely of second-graders with ADD could have written better dialogue. I wouldn't be surprised if 8 year olds ultimately have a better grasp of young love than George Lucas.

    The issue is impossible to argue.


  24. prof_frink Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 1999
    star 3
    Well if it isn't Mr. Negativity Himself, King of the bashers - Please welcome - all the way from the TPM forum - JABBA-DABA-DOO!

    Seriously - what is your damage? You hate TPM, you hate AOTC - move on, do something else, go outside, it's summer time...
  25. augusto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 4
    LOL. And I was just getting ready to go to sleep :)

    Golly a lot of people pay money to see this poorly written 2nd grader crap. What an acomplishment!
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