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Reasons why TPM was better than ROTJ

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Blur, May 28, 2003.

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  1. Blur

    Blur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 11, 1999
    Well, I thought TPM was far superior to ROTJ (see my post in the Classic Trilogy forum for the reasons why I disliked ROTJ) - below are the main reasons:

    First of all, the realism of the Gungan/Battledroid battle was impressive, when compared to the Ewok/Imperial battle in ROTJ. I'm just focusing on the ground battle in both movies, not the space battle....

    * The Ewoks were not at all technologically advanced, and were basically using sticks, stones, spears, logs, etc. against highly trained Imperials, and they beat them. Two of the most ridiculous scenes were: when the Ewoks first attacked, and the Imperials scattered, visibly scared of a bunch of teddy bears - lame!
    Then, it was even worse when the Imperials all ran out of the Bunker, and were surrounded by the Ewoks, and they just...gave up?! Why didn't they start shooting? Ridiculous....(Anyway, the Ewoks were not believable as savage warriors - Lucas should've used Wookies. But, my problem with Ewoks is addressed in the other post).

    Whereas, in the Gungan/Battledroid battle, the Gungans got completely beaten, and gained no quarter. The Battle was great, and it was a good example of what happens when a technologically superior force goes up against a less superior one - and, the Gungans even had more technology than the Ewoks (the energy balls they threw).
    This battle made sense - the Battledroids had the Gungans surrounded at the end and would've possibly killed them if the Control ship hadn't been destroyed (which didn't have anything to do with the battle itself).

    Also, the Gungan/Droid battle LOOKED cooler than the Ewok/Imperial battle - the Ewok/Imperial battle was confused and I felt the direction was sloppy, kind of like a B-grade movie - but the Gungan/Droid battle was clean and clear - obviously the CGI had a lot to do with this, but a lot of things were going on in the background during the Gungan/Droid battle (unlike the Ewok/Imperial battle) - everytime I see it I see something I missed.

    * The Podrace sequence vs. the Speeder Bike sequence - The Podrace sequence was a lot more involved, longer, and had a lot more "eye candy" than the Speeder Bike sequence. First of all, there were a lot more vehicles involved in the Podrace sequence, there were external dangers (Sandpeople shooting at the pods), and again, the action was a lot clearer than what we saw in ROTJ, since it was out in the desert, instead of the forest.

    * The acting was a lot better in TPM - I felt all of the characters were believable, even Jar Jar - Harrison Ford's acting in ROTJ (as Han Solo), was very poor in comparison - the lame jokes ("Fly casual!", "Don't take all day", "Good - I hate long waits"), the "I don't want to be here" attitude.

    * The lightsaber battle in TPM rocked! It was definitely the best lightsaber battle I've ever seen in a SW movie, and probably will see - it was obviously very well choreographed, and I liked how it first went to both Jedi against Darth Maul, then Darth Maul kicking Obi-wan over the ledge, then to the energy screens, then to Qui-gon vs. Maul, then Obi-wan vs. Maul. Very tense, dramatic, and a lot of emotion was in these fight scenes.
    ROTJ, in the other hand, was a short battle in comparison. Luke wasn't even really trying to fight Vader until the very end, and that end battle lasted for less than a minute - not only that, part of the view of the battle was blocked by several pillars in the Throne room. The motivation was lacking here - Luke didn't really want to fight Vader until the very end, when he got angry, and we didn't really see any elaborate lightsaber moves, like we saw in TPM.

    * The Gungans Vs. the Ewoks

    The Ewoks were little teddy bears, and were in the film because Lucas wanted to get little kids to go see this and so he could make a lot more money.

    Though Jar Jar was universally hated by fans, I felt that he and the Gungans were more believable as warriors than the Ewoks (even though they got soundly beaten by the battldroids).
    I also thought it was cool that the Gungans were able
  2. Vaders_Clone

    Vaders_Clone Jedi Master star 1

    Dec 29, 2002
    As far as I'm concerned, RotJ was one of the best movies ever out of the saga. Now, I enjoy TPM also. And if i had to choose out of which one i enjoyed the most, well, ROTJ would win hands down. But you did bring up some interesting thoughts though. First the difference between the battles...of course there is a difference, i mean, the gungans had an understandable language. They were less primitive, and a totally different species. Does this make the ewoks lame? of course not. Just a species in the heirarchy of star wars, man. They were a more evolved species than the ewoks. And the battles that took place, the gungans were fighting machines who acted upon command, and had no thought process. The ewoks fought against humans in armored suits. Humans think and therefore the battle was less "gorey," they actually had brains. Second, the podrace/speeder thing, okay, the podrace was done with computers and so they could make it longer, the speeders were not. There was a difference in speed, and the idea behind them was totally different. I don't think this is comparable. The acting, well, personally i think Harrison Ford did a pretty good job. Have you ever considered it was GL who wrote the script and they were doing the best with what they had. I mean, TPM had Jar Jar Binks... now come on! And now, the big one, the lightsaber duels... Vader could not fight as fast and do all the spin moves that Maul, Qui-Gon, and Obi-Wan did in TPM, because it's physically impossible. Personally, my first reaction to the lightsaber duels in TPM and AOTC was that they spin way too much. NOw, the speed and everything is great for adrenaline. I did enjoy that!! Also, Maul's reasoning behind the aggression in his fighting is different than vader. Maul hated the jedi and was taught to be like that. His only intention was to kill both of them. Vader was not trying to kill Luke, just disable him or try to get him to get angry and give in to his aggression, which almost worked, but luke was too smart for that and threw away his saber and was attacked by the emperor himself.
    Now, the biggest reason why i believe that TPM is not better than ROTJ is this: TPM is the beginning of a Saga, a tale. GL had to raise to high expectations. ROTJ is the end of the saga. It is action packed but still brings the story to an end. I don't believe either one is better but that they are rather two equal ends of an awesome story!
  3. MetalGoldKnight

    MetalGoldKnight Jedi Youngling star 4

    Jul 31, 2002
    For the most part, RotJ is more or less equal with TPM in terms of quality. However, the final Vader/Luke/Sidious scene was VERY well done, as was the space battle accompanying it, and these things help raise RotJ way up to the level of the other 4 Star Wars movies rather then floating at the bottom like TPM.
  4. AdamBertocci

    AdamBertocci Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 3, 2002
    However, the final Vader/Luke/Sidious scene was VERY well done,

    This is an interesting comment.

    I've never heard OT Palpatine called "Sidious" before just out of the blue like that. :eek:

    Rick McCallum loves you!
  5. -_-_-_-_-_-

    -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 28, 2002
    It is only natural that certain films in the saga are going to be more well received, or liked more/less by a variety of people. This is merely another case of that. I, myself, liked TPM more so than ROTJ, but in turn I think every film in the saga serves its purpose rather well in the overall scheme of things.
  6. DarthVegas

    DarthVegas Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 18, 2000

    Doesn't even come close.
  7. AdamBertocci

    AdamBertocci Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 3, 2002
    While I think ROTJ was better than TPM, I also think that certain things in TPM were better than ROTJ. I shall list those here.

    ? Acting. Hamill was a good whiny farmboy but does not convey the nobility or presence a Jedi needs. He is the best of the three main heroes in ROTJ though: Harrison Ford is phoning it in by now (although to an extent it reflects his character changes, which I think were well-chosen); Carrie Fisher's spunk is beginning to burn out. TPM's acting is a mixed bag too, but Liam and Ewan's greatness outweight Natalie and Jake's badness (not by a big margin admittedly!)

    ? Cinematography. Why didn't Peter Suschistky come back? :( He made ESB's visuals vibrant. Alan Hume brings nothing good to the party; ROTJ looks like a frickin' TV show. TPM, on the other hand, is one of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen, bursting with life and beauty.

    ? Locations. The only truly interesting locations in ROTJ, IMHO, that we hadn't seen before, were the Death Star throne room and Leia's cleavage. TPM on the other hand has a thousand discoveries.

    ? Handling of 'dead character of annoying race'. I'd rather see a couple of dead Gungans lying on the battlefield in shots that accomplish other goals rather than waste time with Corpsey the Dead Ewok.

    But ROTJ has Salacious Crumb. Best. Character. Ever.

    Rick McCallum AND Howard Kazanjian love you!
  8. black_saber

    black_saber Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 4, 2002
    I would agree that the Gungans were much better Worriers then the Ewoks.
  9. Blur

    Blur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 11, 1999

    AdamBertocci, you bring up some good points - even though you say you liked ROTJ more than TPM, you do bring up other reasons (other than mine) why TPM was better than ROTJ.
    I completely agree with all your points, including the cinematography - very sloppy in ROTJ; again, it looked like a B-movie; whereas in TPM it was practically perfect - very good shots of interesting scenery. In every way, I felt TPM was a lot more "polished" than ROTJ.

  10. Heavenly_Angel

    Heavenly_Angel Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 29, 2003
    one thing for sure, the picture/cinematography is MUCH better, and the story seemed more interesting, too for some reason. the special effects are awesome, and so on. :)
  11. Vaders_Clone

    Vaders_Clone Jedi Master star 1

    Dec 29, 2002
    WEll, cinematography will look different because there have been advances in the field! Also, a lot of scenes were computer generated, so you can't go wrong on cinematography with computers. (well, i'm sure someone can..)
  12. Blur

    Blur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 11, 1999

    Good cinematagraphy shouldn't have anything to do with the age of a film. ANH and ESB, both of which pre-dated ROTJ, were much more impressive in the way they were shot, scenery, etc.

    Some other movies older than ROTJ that have great cinematography include: "The French Connection" (1971) and "Blow-up" - I'm sure there are others.

    The Cinematography in ROTJ was, for lack of a better word, sloppy!
  13. hawk

    hawk Jedi Knight star 5

    May 3, 2000
    The Gungan/Droid battle is the WORST battle in the series. It is just a big cartoon show with too much JJ fumbling around.

    The speeder bike chase was much more involving than the pod-race and actually changed the conditions of the strategy. Luke/Leia -> jumping-> Luke and Leia separate -> ducking and weavin -> blasters -> falling -> crashing ->raming -> lightsaber
    The pace and the editing ans snappy. Meanwhile, the pod-race was drawn out and boring and involved a list of looney tune including the worst: Ben Quadrinaros. How much more fricken baby cartoon can you get?!

    But ROTJ is the third weakest SW film after TPM and AOTC.

  14. BobaFrank

    BobaFrank Jedi Youngling star 5

    Jul 17, 2001
    I love TPM but it's nowhere near the caliber of ROTJ.

    Its the finest finale to a series ever and is one of my most favorite movies of all time.

  15. Bookedout

    Bookedout Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 7, 2002
    TPM and ROTJ are the bookends of the saga and I feel they actually have a lot in common, especially where the Gungans and the Ewoks are concerned.

    In TPM we begin with the Gungans, personified by Jar Jar, as an innocent, primitive and somewhat (opinions vary here) annoying race. Their battle heralds the beginning of conflict in a galaxy that hasn't seen full scale war since the beginning of the Republic.

    Fast forward to ROTJ where the Ewoks, personified by Wicket, signal a return to primitive, albeit somewhat annoying (again, opinions vary here), innocence. Their battle signifies the end of the Empire and a return to the balance of the force.

    Thematically and stylistically I think they compliment each other quite well. I love them both.

    Just my two cents.
  16. appleseed

    appleseed Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 5, 2002
    Nice observation, Book. I like TPM and ROTJ about the same. While I feel TPM looks quite a bit better, I think ROTJ has some of the most emotional scenes in the saga. Everything with Luke and Vader, and Luke/Vader/Palpatine, is just brilliantly written and directed. Some of the acting in TPM is not great, but the action scenes more than make up for it, and Liam and Ewan are just great. It does seem to me like ROTJ fans are much more likely to enjoy the prequels. I think it's because the prequels are very much the Skywalker family story, wheras the originals had both Luke's storyline and Han & Leia's story. But I always cared more about Luke than I did Han, and that's probasbly part of why the prequels work for me.
  17. -_-_-_-_-_-

    -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 28, 2002
    Am I the only one who loves how Luke slices the front of the speeder bike off with his lightsaber? It's great.
  18. Bookedout

    Bookedout Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 7, 2002
    "Am I the only one who loves how Luke slices the front of the speeder bike off with his lightsaber? It's great."

    I love it too! And don't forget the way he deflects the laser bolts just prior to cutting of the front of the bike! That is one of my favorite sequences from the movie. When it was first released, that was considered hot Jedi action and is still really cool. However, TPM definately raised the standard for Jedi action and shows that Luke, although he had come a long way, was still relatively young as a Jedi.

    I also think that Lucas has somewhat toned the emotional level of the prequels down (the Tusken slaugter confession would be an exception) so that when viewed as one saga, the story will build to an emotional crescendo by ROTJ.
  19. padawanskywalker

    padawanskywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 16, 2003
    Because there were more Jedi. 8-}
  20. Squiffins

    Squiffins Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 21, 2003
    For my tastes, ROTJ wins hands down, though there are some interesting points as to why someone might prefer TPM.

    In response to a couple of the points Blur made:

    1. The lightsaber battles-- Yes, the one in TPM was certainly better choreographed and provided more adrenaline rush, but it was also rather meaningless. Maul was just a "bad guy." He had no depth. The duel between Luke and Vader had much more tension because of the emotions involved and what was at stake.

    2. Ewoks vs. Gungans-- I don't care for either of them to be honest. I guess I prefer how ROTJ handled the ewoks' presence simply because Wicket didn't tag along throughout the entire adventure. But you're right, it is kind of dumb that the Ewoks could beat the imperial army. But, then, it's also kind of dumb that Anakin accidentally blows up the droid control ship, allowing the gungans to "beat" the battledroids.

    I guess above all else, though, it's just a subjective thing. For whatever reason, I'm more entertained when I watch ROTJ. Maybe the cinematography and special effects aren't up to par, but it's just more fun to watch, in my opinion.
  21. Ree Yees

    Ree Yees Jedi Youngling star 5

    Apr 6, 2000
    Special effects up to par? The space battle in ROTJ is 100 times better than the Gungan battle of boredom.
  22. Blur

    Blur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 11, 1999

    I will agree that the space battle in ROTJ was far superior in effects/complication than the space battle in TPM. The scene in ROTJ where all the tie fighters fly toward the falcon at once is pure SFX genius.

    But, you can't really compare the space battle in ROTJ with the ground battle in TPM - they're both completely different types of battles. The ground battle in TPM was, as I stated above, far superior to the ground battle in ROTJ, which, frankly, was very poorly-done.

    Plus, you can't base a movie on just one scene or several scenes. Sure, ROTJ in parts was great - the whole infiltration of Jabba's palace (other than Han's lame attempts at jokes), the sail barge battle, and the space battle around the DS II were great.

    But so much of Jedi was poor that it didn't matter - the acting was a reason others have mentioned. Harrison's Ford's acting is almost painful to watch, it's soooo BAD! He was a lot more believable in ANH and ESB; it looks like he was just going through the motions in this one.
    By contrast, I felt the acting by all the principals in TPM was great. The Jedi were very serious, Anakin was very earnest, Jar Jar was a fool (like he was supposed to be), Amidala/Padme was the headstrong queen, Maul was the evil bad-a**.....
  23. MikeSolo

    MikeSolo Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 6, 2002
    I think that TPM and ROTJ are both great movies. Ewoks were my favorite part next to seeing Jabba the Hutt. One of my favorite parts in TPM was when Obi n Qui Gon go visit the Gungan city then they get chased by the sea monsters great stuff.
  24. Call_Me_The_Dude

    Call_Me_The_Dude Jedi Youngling

    Jun 11, 2003
    The sad thing is so much of ROTJ's problems stem directly from the actors. Harrison Ford was oviously phoning it it just for the paycheck. Carrie Fisher was coked out of her skull. Only Mark Hamell was trying and he just isn't that great of an actor, and yet he was trying to carry the whole cast.

    TPM on the other hand had some excellent actors in Liam Nieeson and Ewan McGregor. Unfortunately they have have to make up for a monotone Natalie Portman.

    I just don't get actors. If they don't want to be there, or can't emote effectively, then step aside and get someone who can.
  25. lorn_zahl

    lorn_zahl Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 19, 2002
    Carrie Fisher was coked out of her skull.

    :) lol

    I don't think TPM even compares to ROTJ. The GunGan battle was the worst battle in starwars history IMO. Who cares about a bunch of Jar Jar's fighting some lame robots? Oh and its all cgi, so it looks like a computer game cut scene. When ever I watch the movie I get the urge to hit my keyboard.

    Whereas the Endor/Ewok battle is authentic. Its real. Theres real people fighting and that fact alone puts it way above TPM. IMO.

    Then, it was even worse when the Imperials all ran out of the Bunker, and were surrounded by the Ewoks, and they just...gave up?! Why didn't they start shooting?

    Well maybe its because there was an AT-AT's guns pointed right at them, rebel commandos with there sites on them and Ewoks with spears at point blank range. Sure they could shoot a couple Ewoks, but they'd get stabbed to death. Something armies accross the ages have retreated or surrendured because of.

    (During the Boer wars, The Boers would retreat every time the British would feign a bayonet charge)

    Also, If I remember correctly, Chewie turned the tied of the Endor battle by hijacking an AT-AT, now if that didn't happen.... do you think the Rebels would win? I don't think so.

    and as much as you can discount the Rebel commandos, they did have a part in the battle even though its not shown onscreen. Its debatable, but alot of stuff happens offscreen.
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