PT Red Letter Media and other Prequel Reviews

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Obi-Wan McCartney, Feb 12, 2012.

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  1. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Which is ultimately tantamount to an appeal to majority and means nothing. I'm referring to him because it's his review.

    And that, again, is simply wrong on several levels. There is no requirement to do only what is "necessary", whatever that means. The midichlorian content does not further explain the nature of the Force itself, other than in establishing that it has a will and can become unbalanced. What it further explains is the nature of how users connect to the Force. It should not be construed as killing whatever one might have found special about the Force as presented in the OT, because it takes none of that exposition away and mostly avoids describing the Force itself.

    We'll have to agree to disagree. I think film criticism that dispenses with fact to such an extent is of questionable value.

    Which is a strawman in this context, because my argument hasn't been predicated on any EU sources.

    You seem to be trying to have it both ways, and it's not working. If we take him seriously when he says "I don't like things that are different", we're missing a funny bone or two ( also known as the "I was just joking and you have no sense of humor" defense ). Yet somehow "I don't like when Star Wars is different" is no joke at all - it's called fair criticism. It is nothing of the sort. It is only a resistance to new information. That in itself does not constitute meaningful criticism. It merely illuminates the nature of the so-called critic.
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  2. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    I don't think I'm trying to have it both ways but who knows. I just see his "don't like different Star Wars" as a legitimate since he has the entire decades long phenomenon to go on. It isn't resistance to new information exactly. I mean, I suppose it is, but for very legitmate reasons. You try to receive the new information in a way in which you were "trained" by the previous information but it fails to communicate on that level. You then to fight it and it stops feeling like something you want to do...in this fictional universe.

    But yes we'll have to agree to disagree. I'm all out energy on this aspect of the topic.
    Last edited by sinkie, Oct 13, 2012
  3. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    I actually like your reasons for liking it! Just for me, I don't like that much science in a Star Wars story. But if it enhances it for some, it sounds like a great idea! But for me it belongs in another film, no offence against science!

    There are lots of films I like a lot, and documentaries and theories, that include or are science that I find fascinating. I just guess for me liking a story that focuses less on it, gives you a fantasy world that pleases the imaginative side is a unique thing when it works!
    Last edited by sinkie, Oct 13, 2012
  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    @sinkie : I agree with you, sort of. I love science, but the whole midichlorians plot line drove me nuts. But then again, my attitude towards any "will of the Force" is the same as Han Solo's: no mystical field of energy controls my destiny, it's all a bunch of simple tricks and nonsense.

    I'm not opposed to the idea of some people being Force-sensitive and others not, but I don't like the "Chosen One" prophecy. As far as I'm concerned, neither Anakin nor anyone else was "destined" to do ****, they made choices, plain and simple.
  5. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    I don't know how anyone wouldn't think, besides having a spiritual connection to the Force, it was also a genetic requirement, too. I've always thought it made sense that you would have to be born Force sensitive in order for you to use the Force, and that means you were born with something that made you special. If that wasn't the case, then what was the point of Obi-Wan and Yoda counting on Luke and Leia when they could have trained anyone else?

    The whole midi-chlorian deal was to explain why Luke was able to use the Force and why Han couldn't. Like I said before, this is something that isn't really new to me, because I always felt it had to be both spiritual and biological.
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  6. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    Exactly! You've hit the nail on the head. In the OT there was never any explanation for why there were so few people who could use the force and so many who couldn't - not even a "non-scientific" one. And that was basically a loose end that the introduction of midichlorians helped tie up.
  7. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    But he is wrong because it doesn't add anything complex at all.

    And Anakin's simply demonstrating some force abilities, no matter how strong, might not have been enough to warrant introducing him to the Jedi council especially given the fact that, as Qui Gon would have been well aware, he was already considered far too old to begin the training. By introducing the midichlorians and the "chosen one" prophecy, Lucas gave Qui Gon a believable motivation for not only taking an interest in Anakin but for being willing to defy the council to ensure the boy's training.
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  8. Sistros Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2010
    star 6
    wow, looking back on yesterday's posts I apologise for my typos, it's amazing anyone could understand what I wrote :p (quiting for quote, persions etc)

    DarthVenger: I see your point and agree that it was obvious some weren't force sensitive in the OT, I think my problem with Midichlorians isn't a Religion vs Science (I personally don't see why the two can't co-exist but thats just me) but more it diminishes the point Yoda was saying about being able to lift an X-wing

    with the midichlorians added it would make sense for Luke to retaliate "you may have more force potential than me, more midis"

    if he knew about them
    Last edited by Sistros, Oct 14, 2012
  9. ObiAlKenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2012
    star 2
    I don't want to become the bad guy of the thread but I don't see the big deal about RLM's reviews. They are purely for entertainment purposes. I agree with a lot of his nitpicking of The Phantom Menace, but his views of AOTC, ROTS, Star Trek FC and the latest Indy don't make me enjoy those films any less. Yes, some of his humor is childish and dumb. But, he does make some good points when it comes to the film's style and certain points about plot, character, etc. Just take it with a grain of salt and enjoy the prequels (except TPM, kidding).

    The more people on the net that flame about him.....it just makes him more infamous and well known.

    My two cents.
  10. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    He can make all the nitpicky points he wants, I don't really care, those points are the way he saw the films and he's entitled to do so.

    My issue with him is that he's sexist, racist, and just generally an ass to anyone who disagrees with him, when he makes his points. He could easily make his points without behaving that way--there are people on this message board who do so, and are fun and interesting to have discussions with.

    And the pushback against people who don't find his childish and bigoted manner "entertaining" is ridiculous. People "don't have a sense of humor" because they don't find sexism, racism, and playground behavior funny? Really?

    Even if I agreed with him completely, I would not want him to make his points that way, because it would make people on "my side" look bad.

    You may have a point there, but I think the fandom he created preceded the pushback by a long shot.
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  11. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    I think you've brought in a great nuance to this debate because I have realized in the past myself, that there was the hint it was genetic, especially by the time ROTJ rolls around. I do think that "being born" with more potential was definitely there from the start.

    But it is the emphasis that midichlorians place on that aspect that I think changed, for some, their relationship to the concept.

    Before it was a looser connection, one that could bounce around in your head and relate to all sorts of untested, unfounded (but fun!) assumptions about destiny, inheritance, character and yes genetics. But it never had to come down firmly on one side exactly. In fact, the very loose/undefined nature of it I think allowed to speak in a more ancient way. It played on our ability to think of inheritance as much more "god given" and "destined" even while it also spoke of energy fields and eventually "I have it, my father has it....and my sister has it". In some ways its quality does seem to have more to do with fate, being chosen (again without quite coming out and saying it and shifting the emphasis once again to the words "Chosen One"), being of a regal lineage (Kings were born and not made) etc. It therefore created a different universe for us to lose ourselves in and "believe" despite the lack of evidence that such things could exist. And it also allowed it to stand in much more naturally as a metaphor for quality of character and believing in yourself. Nothing prevented it all from staying in play.

    Midichlorians and Chosen Ones all pulled one aspect to the fore and solidified it, locked it down. This altered our relationship to it, for better (for some) and for worse (for others).

    As others have pointed out, the mere fact that Kenobi and Yoda had every opportunity and reason even to tell Luke about midichlorians and did not is irritating. To me it feels not very well thought out, kind of like he didn't really ask himself what including their mention would mean and how it would reverberate through the other previously established works. If someone can offer me up a reason Luke wasn't told about them, I'm all ears, but I have never found it to be something obvious anyway, something I could have gleaned from the films themselves.

    My dislike of the storytelling aside, it is this locking down and solidifying and shifting of emphasis that most irks me about the PT I think. Of course the PT's challenge was to "give us more insight" while maintaining the power of the OT. It had to balance that with the original mechanics of the OT and how it actually didn't just give us imaginative things for us to experience but depended heavily on our own imaginations and history and familiarity with myth, stories, religion etc going into overdrive in order to gain an energy and mystique and power that roped us in for decades. The PT has this too, but I just feel some of the major "locking down" it does undermines this (Fett, clones, midichlorians, Chosen Ones, heck even the fact that Anakin is Vader, Yoda knowing Chewbacca, it is all now official and not up for speculation on the playgrounds of our minds).
  12. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Like I said, it has to be both: force sensitivity = biological and faith = spiritual. You must be both in order to use and summon the Force, but you must have complete faith in oneself in extending and excelling in your abilities as a Force User .

    Here are examples why it is both aspects that make one be capable of becoming a Force User and why someone must learn to not lose focus, and therefore faith, in using the Force:

    1. Anakin was able to fly podracers at a young age before knowing or learning about the Force, but only through Qui-Gon's teachings and faith in himself did he win the Podrace.

    2. Luke was able to fly skyhoppers at a young age before knowing or learning about the Force, but only through Obi-Wan's teachings and faith in himself did he manage to destroy the Death Star.

    3. Anakin had to believe in the Force and accept that death is a part of life, but losing his faith in it, he ended up losing his family and friends.

    4. Luke had to believe in the Force in order to do things that he never thought he could, but in the end, he managed to keep his faith in it which saved himself and his friends.

    Notice the similarities? Lucas subtly mirrors everything in his saga, which is why these movies are more genius than some of us think.
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  13. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    I have been made to see over the years the "genius" of the films, they do contain a lot that is clever as heck! But I rarely feel the package supports and transmits that cleverness effectively.
  14. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    Ah, but isn't the best art intended to be pondered and have hidden meanings and subtleties not obvious right from the start?

    I can't be the only one who finds it more gratifying that the more you watch the PT the more you get from it.

    Sure, it's a different approach to the simplistic nature of the OT but different doesn't automatically equal bad (unless you're a republican,of course ;))
  15. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    Oh no, not necessarily bad, only bad for those that appreciated or saw a uniqueness in the way it was. I don't think anyone who is criticizing such an approach in Star Wars thinks that no work of art or entertainment should have such complexities and levels and subtitles. Those would simply be different works, asking you to experience them in a certain way. Lucas could have created a different universe for example in which to tell such a story. Again, I acknowledge it was his choice to take the franchise in this direction, but for me it takes away something unique from the previous work by adding this new level of subtlety.
  16. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    But how does it change the fact that the OT is unique? Would not making more of the same have made it less unique?
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  17. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    Unique unto itself. More of the same, maintaining what created a holistic (more or less) tone and world, distinct from other similar works (sci fi, fantasy works). I think some people like myself who don't like the PT are complaining that it ruptured that "whole" and morphed into anything from "something new" to "something that feels like it has two distinct flavours" that some enjoy and some don't. So more of the same, on paper, might sound like a negative, but when it furthers the internal uniqueness of a fantasy world then it is a good thing IMO.
  18. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    The thing is, I don't see as vast a difference as you seem to. The two trilogies have different flavours but they're not a million miles apart like, say, gin and red wine. They're more like Budweiser and Miller. As I said before, when I first sat down at the cinema to watch TPM it really felt like Star Wars. Sure the furnishings were different but it still felt like home.
    Last edited by Mnhay27, Oct 14, 2012
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  19. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    See I guess that might be what ultimately could distinguish different branches of the fan base. Those that see it as only slightly different (two different commercial beers) and those that do feel it is more like beer and red wine. I found myself thinking the latter in your above analogy. Both are alcohol, both with a similar content but I can sure as heck see and taste the difference. Or, if we want to stick to beers, one is flavourful amber beer from a microbrewery, the other tastes a bit boring, bland, with maybe even some flavours in that seem out of place. In any case, I do often get the feeling that it comes down to how people experienced it in the first place and what their tastes, personality, background, etc are and the fusion of all those things. It is complex. And perhaps the appearance of unity in the fan base in the early years gave everyone the illusion it would always be that way, and that sense of unity and fraternity was a part of the joy of the early experience. That is why I usually focus my commentary on how, at the very least, the experience of Star Wars is very different now and the possibility of experiencing it the same way as I did (without the PT etc, without these larger differences of perception even) is obviously being lost. And of course, as one who loved it that way, I champion that experience. Doesn't mean I think everyone should see it my way, or even go back to that way, it is really ultimately just testimony to that experience of it. Something along the lines of reading how people experienced other films when they first came out, anything from say the Arrival of the Train at La Ciotat by the Lumiere brothers to the first color or talkie film to any other film as it was received in its day. So add to this disappointment the fact that even the OT as it was then is also being altered into non-existence and you've got a pretty complex problem for those that wish to speak about and access that original experience.
  20. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    They're both cheap nasty beers? :p

    I'd almost say that one is a good pinot noir and the other is a nice cold flavorful seasonal ale.

    Which one I prefer, depends on what I'm eating.
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  21. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    LOL I'm afraid I'm a man of unsophisticated tastes. [face_laugh]
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  22. Mnhay27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    I think part of the problem is the passage of time and the people we grew into. I honestly think that had TPM been released a few years after ROTJ instead of 16 years later it would have recieved the same universal acceptance. The thing is that the prequels could never wow as much as the originals because a) we weren't kids anymore and b) the special affects weren't as revolutionary because, whereas ANH came almost out of the blue, in those intervening years between ROTJ and ANH we'd watched the evolution of CGI and what not. So, less impressed by the spectacle, people ended up concentrating on the flaws in the story in a way they'd never done with the originals even though many of the very same flaws are there.

    I think we all kind of expected lightning to strike twice, which was unrealistic when all is said and done.
    Last edited by Mnhay27, Oct 14, 2012
  23. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    This is probably at least a part of the problem. Would have been nice for lightning to strike twice or at least have a near miss any way! [face_dunno]
  24. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    A bit late, here, but I take it as midis determine your potential; training activates it, so that a person with more midis could be "weaker" than a trained Force user (and perhaps "faith" plays a role as well).

    Say Han Solo had almost as many midis as Anakin, heck, say Jar Jar, too. Let's say Obi-Wan barely squeeked by with enough to get into the Order. In canon, Obi-Wan will smoke both of those two.
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  25. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    That's the way I look at it as well. I've often heard it lamented that Anakin never does anything that amazing despite the fact that he's the "Chosen One" with so many midichlorians. But I'd say that's kind of the point. His is a story of wasted potential. Kind of like a gifted child in school that burns out or becomes a drug abuser. While Obi-Wan's more of like the above-average kid that studied hard and eventually succeeded, just as an analogy. What's tragic in both examples is that Anakin (or that gifted child) could have been so much more.

    Just as an aside, but in regards to the prophecy and "destiny" -- I don't think either concepts remove choice or free will. A destiny, the way I look at it, is merely a purpose or a meaning to your life that you have been given the opportunity to fulfill. But whether or not you do so is up to you. You aren't guaranteed success.
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