Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Obi-Wan McCartney, Feb 12, 2012.
New Essential Chronology
What is LoE??
Labyrinth of Evil
But I can't decide which one has more cannon. On the one hand I would choose Clone Wars because it is visual media. On the other hand The Clone Wars series has already De-canonized Clone Wars, so I might just give it to LoE
I know the PT is what it is, it is what we got and nothing we do or say (if you're on that side of the debate) will ever change that....
....but it is exactly this kind of endless need for dissection, analysis, speculation, stitching and sewing, that for some just barely holds water, that always comes back to confirm for me that the PT wasn't done quite right, with not enough attention to the mechanics that made the previous work, even if lighter fare, flow and operate much more smoothly. At least not in terms of SW films, never mind ANY type of film at all. There just isn't that much need for the same kind of viewer-operations on the OT. Why? Because they were more straightforward, character-driven adventure films, basically. Simpler, fun, headache-free! And that's what most of us are going on about, including Plinkett: these aren't the films we're looking for. This isn't the SW we felt we understood, expected, came to know and love, mostly as a guilty pleasure since it was just so simple and fun and moving.
Popping in and out of discussions like these over the years is really starting to nail this down for me anyway. Even if I couldn't have written a better set of films myself, I know in my heart of hearts that there was a great set of character-driven adventure films to be made here that wouldn't require so much intricate and, arguably, flimsy intrigue to keep the plot moving. I know, I know...even the ANH novel written hundreds of years ago mentions stuff about some guy named Palpatine who insidiously became the Emperor, but that was the novel! It did not need to influence the films if it had been determined that the way the OT worked so well did not require such machinations to be included. Or dumb down the same machinations, simplify them, I don't know. But as some are pointing out, yet again, above, the only way it all hangs together is by doing all sorts of mental gymnastics to get the Jedi's behavior to fit within some sort of hodge podge of duty, whim, stupidity, tradition, and I don't know what else.
While I think you have a valid point (at least to a point), I also believe it takes "mental gymnastics" to focus on all the perceived "flaws" of the films - and let's face it, most of the "flaws" have been debunked or quite well countered as "mental gymnastics."
PT tried to tell a more complexed story is a great idea, the problem is just that Lucas didn't tell the story well enough in the movies.
what flaws have been debunked? Please divulge...
Eh, just read this thread if you wish to know; I don't want to take the time to compile the info.
Well what was the point in the post then?
Apparently wasting my breath to try to meet someone halfway.
Reading through the thread will answer your question.
Look I'm all for a conceived debate but the answer was so vague. I'm not gonna read through the ENTIRE thread to understand the argument.
Debunked is far too strong a word. You could just as easily say that fans of the series make excuses for the flaws. I find that to be true often.
More fans create flaws of PT and blame it.
You see an agenda that quite frankly does not exist. At least not with me. I didn't go into those movies hoping to tear them down.
I don't hate them either. But they suffer from some pretty significant flaws.
I won't deny it, I wrote them in my own review, but something like RLM is not fair.
I think he exaggerates to make a point. His reviews are hyperbolic.
This thread is a mess of arguments from completely different viewpoints and alot of immature slander.
Feel free to start over without calling the forum Autistic, or that our members lack emotional intelligence. To avoid having your posts deleted in the future, please familiarize yourself with the rules of the JC. ~Sx3
Yep totally with you there. And the RLM review of all 3 films were spot on in every aspect. When I first watched them I found myself saying out loud, 'that's exactly what I've been saying!' I'm not going to delve deep in to them, but where he explains about the lack of TONE in the opening of ROTS with the Palpatine rescue is spot on (and very funny). And also where he adds the canned laughter to the balcony scene with Anakin and Padme is classic, had me in stitches.
The problem with RLM's "critique" is that the PT never tried to "tell a story in line with classic storytelling method of Joseph Campbell". Anakin was, for example, always supposed to fail in the end.That's not an classic hero's end.
If you criticize an apple for tasting like an apple because you really wanted to eat an orange, then your "critique" fails by nature.
Just one reply to your groundbreaking "observations" (because it really has been debated over and over again regardless of your cheap trial to invalidate those debates) and one question on my part:
No, Lucas didn't faill. Until now you were criticizing the PT as a whole. Suddenly, because your "point" demands it, you switch to an isolated view on TPM.
If you look at the PT as a whole, then Anakin is very clearly the protagonist.
If you lookt at TPM in isolation, it can be debated whether it's Qui-Gon or Amidala. I'd say it's Amidala because the film's central conflict stands in direct correlation to her planet and her actions and choices. She is confronted with the invasion, she manages to flee and gain help, she has to make pivotal choices that change the situation (e. g. forming an alliance with the Gungans) and ultimately lead to the liberation of her planet, which resolves the conflict.
Concerning the "kid": Anakin definitely has an arc in TPM. He starts out as a slave who encounters people that open him the prospect to change his life. He creates a chance to realize that prospect by winning the podrace. He has to make a choice whether or not he wants to go that path and ends up as a Jedi Padawan and freed from slavery.
If RLM discusses "whether or not the prequels manages to tell a story.....", then why does he have to rely on stereotypes of all sorts and insults to make his "points"?
I don't think anyone here has disputed that the original Star Wars film is a classic example of Joseph Campell's monomythic storytelling. However, what many (and this is the case for myself) dispute is that the prequels fail because they do not perfectly adhere to every facet of the monomyth. In that, we will have to agree to disagree. You yourself bring up a great example of a popular work that I regard as rather horrible despite its adherence to the template you describe -- Twilight. Following this structure is no more a guarantee of success than deviating from it is a guarantee of failure.
The prequel trilogy does utilize elements from Campbell, but it also acts to subvert and contrast many aspects of the OT for thematic, character, and plot relevance in order to deepen the issues that are presented throughout the saga. The Clone Wars are a striking example -- being a manufactured war fought at the behest of politicians and corporations with mass-produced armies and no concept of fraternity. The Rebellion, in contrast, then, is noble; it is the story of a band of citizens -- of oppressed people -- rising up together and overthrowing a dictatorship through the strength of their bonds. When you examine the conclusions of both of these conflicts (in ROTS and ROTJ respectively) this point is further brought into focus.
One doesn't need to "mock" classically structured films in order to diverge from them. The prequels follow a similar structure to the OT (such as by having Anakin face similar choices to Luke) but subverts or twists many of these classic elements because the intention behind them is different and the contrast can work to reinforce the OT, rather than simply rehashing it.
Again, though, storytelling does not have to follow one clear and linear path. Nor is it bad if it deviates. It is possible, for example, to have the villain of the story be the protagonist. Or to have few truly "heroic" characters. You can also create a story in which a villain actively promotes the hero in his quest to kill him instead of opposing him, as is the case for the classic monomyth. It's certainly possible to tell a good story without adhering to tried and true story structure, though there's nothing necessarily wrong with doing that either.
Padmé and the situation on Naboo, for example, plays a similar role to Leia in the OT -- it is her planet being in danger which initially sparks the plot. Likewise, Jar Jar's transition from not wanting to get involved to being dragged along and helping to lead the Gungans against the armies of the Trade Federation is a similar character arc to Han Solo learning faith. The difference, of course, is that the protagonist of TPM is Qui-Gon Jinn rather than Luke. Qui-Gon himself doesn't have an arc within the film, but he is a character that is central to the story in that he establishes all the relationships between our subsequent three main leads. Also, Qui-Gon serves as an example of a character who is defined most powerfully by his absence in the story -- of not being there when he is needed. Having him play the role of protagonist and then cutting him down greatly augments that reality in the subsequent films.
Additionally, the prequels were conceived (unlike the OT) with a clear endpoint in mind. Thus, the character arcs are freer to continue across all three films. Han, for example, has a wonderful character arc in ANH, as you note, but is largely static in subsequent films. When it comes down to it, you certainly have the right to prefer ANH's story structure to that of TPM's, but not all of us do. And our differences of opinion do not reflect a lack of understanding of the principles of storytelling.
Premise: I enjoy the PT these days.
That being said, it takes not mental gymnastics to focus on the flaws. The flaws, to those who percieve them, are bold as day.
Because he's using comedy to get his point across. And you usually find that comics tend to be intelligent people. If his review had been stoic and serious it would've been mind numbingly DULL. Just like the subject matter everything he relates is true, and if your a PT 'lover' then don't watch them.
Comedy, or just mockery?