Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by SaberJedi2, Nov 8, 2012.
Your attitude is noticed, you know. It's been noticed!
I wasn't talking about normal pickups. I'm talking reshooting huge sections of red tails with George directing, because the original cut of the movie was a complete disaster and the director abandoned the film to work on other projects.
That's why Rick went bye bye without any good bye or announcement he was silently replaced.
Rick McCallum's favorite film was Empire. Check out the archived quotes from the 20th anniversary issue of Star Wars insider. He thought it was "dramatically bold." I wonder how many tmes he used the word, "bold" ?? lol
There are many reasons why I was disappointed with ESB in 1980 and why I still think it's wildly overrated. If there wasn't such an intense and intolerant cult obsessed with it I might be more forgiving, as I am toward the other 'episodes'. But the fact that so many people think ESB is as literally good as an action/fantasy movie can get has reached critical mass.
A few issues:
1. ESB doesn't continue and expand the story of ANH, it completely reboots the SWU. Vader wasn't Luke's father until GL started writing ESB. Was it a brilliant idea? Yes. Was it in the back of his mind somewhere as a possibility: looks that way. But it's a completely new direction for the story. ESB is more the prelude to RotJ than a sequel to ANH. ESB spends most of its run time resetting the story dial to 1, as if ANH had never happened: the Rebellion has reaped no benefit from destroying the DS, they are back on the run; Luke has apparently not grown at all between films, he's the same after his journey from farm boy to war hero as he was before; Han is the same character we met in Mos Eisley, his journey also meant nothing; Leia is just as we left her - losing her world, her father, even winning a major victory, had no effect on her whatsoever; the Imperials are still arrogant and careless, missing obvious oversights and simply not doing a thorough job, even after they lost the DS. ESB spend about 1/2 its runtime laboriously reestablishing characters we already understand and sympathize with from the first film, except Kersh lacks the buoyancy and visual flare of Lucas.
2. Missed opportunities (this is the fault of Lucas's story but Kersh did nothing to challenge it, I guess he was just another Lucas "Yes Man"?): We open on Hoth, where almost nothing happens. There are no great character scenes here, just more of what we saw in ANH; Han & Leia bicker, 3PO and R2 bicker, Han bickers with anonymous rebels and Leia bickers with commanding officers. It goes on forever at a maddeningly slow pace. We learn nothing new about the rebellion, it's just a generic set of anonymous "freedom fighters" who are there to get blown up by Imperials. We learn not one new thing about Leia, Han, or anyone else. ESB could have opened with the battle and nothing would have been lost that doesn't get repeated umpteen times throughout the movie. After wasting its time on Hoth the movie goes on to waste a lot of time running in circles. What's the point of the Bounty Hunters? They are introduced with a lot of fanfare but they all disappear except for Boba Fett, who finds the MF right away and proceeds to do nothing more than wait around for Vader to hand Han over. Instead of having Han and Co. fighting off one Bounty Hunter after another, with a cool Fett hanging back waiting for the last chip to fall, driving our heroes into a corner they can't get out of, we simply have Han & Leia hiding, indulging in more badly written flirtation and bickering, until they escape and pretty much randomly decide to try Bespin. What happened to all the other Bounty Hunters? Why even show them? Why does Boba need Vader to initiate a search for a mark he's probably already looking for on behalf of his employer, Jabba? Why does someone like Lando accept the first offer the Empire makes to him, why does he have a change of heart? You can speculate all you want but show me where it is in the movie. Show me the great character writing for Lando, show me where the relationship between Han & Leia matures. These are all missed opportunities for good writing and strong character scenes. What we get is a pretty good imitation of a snappy, breezy, Hollywood movie from the 1940's. Then there's Yoda, who simply repeats what Obi said in ANH, there's no real expansion of Force knowledge, no Jedi history, Yoda doesn't even mention the Sith (already invented, just unnamed). Those are the best scenes in the movie but I'm still disappointed by how repetitious and narrow in scope they are. Those are all places where the film really could have expanded and explored the characters, story and universe, but it doesn't.
The truth is that Kasdan polished the script up as best he could (and he did a cracking good job) but ESB is no deeper than any other SW movie, and a lot of the depth people perceive is illusory, it's what they're bringing into it. RotJ actually does more to develop the characters and move the story forward. And it looks a whole lot better than ESB, and "feels" more like SW to me.
Nope. Anthony Hemingway worked with GL and Ben Burtt on the final cut. They both decided to try and maximize the potential of the movie by highlighting the action aspect.
Lucasfilm: "The story that is circulating about production on Red Tails is completely inaccurate. George Lucas and Rick McCallum are very pleased with the work Anthony Hemingway did directing the film and additional shooting that is scheduled to take place was built into production before it began, as it is on all our films."
That's not what the term "reboot" means.
You're a tough nut to crack, I'll give you that. One day we'll cross paths & I'm so going to give you a hug.
3. It's almost impossible to find a movie that is as much fun to watch.
Cool, free hugs! I like when I earn free hugs after making Doctor Zhivago references.
Clearly you've never seen John Waters' Pink Flamingos.
These two points are strengths, IMHO.
On the first point, the way I see it, ANH was a fun standalone film, whereas ESB had to reframe the story as part of an epic saga. Without ESB, the whole thing would collapse into episodic space adventure; what ESB manages to do is lay the groundwork in order for ROTJ and the PT to exist. The material in ANH had to be deepened for a saga to develop, and it's to ESB's credit that we're discussing new films 32 years later.
On the second point, like I said, the bulk of ESB exists in subtext, and it's here that you feel your unconscious mind get a tickle. And yes, a lot is probably projection, but good art gives the imagination room to soar. If everything is laid out for you, you end up with a lifeless and flat experience that fails to engage.
Well it's fine of you to acknowledge that but whenever anyone suggests the same for the PT there's always someone (or a half dozen) to jump up & say it's not there. SW works mostly by means of suggestion, allusion, and subtext (much of which is delivered on a purely visual level, which is what makes GL such a unique filmmaker). Since it isn't really to be found on the surface of ESB, I think that goes a long way in illustrating how these films are to be "read"; but I personally think that ESB is more lacking in this "invisible" content than any of the others. What it does have is pretty common for well made mainstream Hollywood movies; that's why I don't find it as interesting as a GL or a SW movie as the others. [/quote]
There's nothing unique about George Lucas's visual construction. It's very good to be sure (or it was at one point), but the fact that he tells a story visually is actually fairly common in the world of cinema. I'm not sure how to continue this conversation other than by saying "I disagree" because you haven't presented concrete examples of this supposed lack of subtext, but I do have to take exception to the notion that ESB is in some way more in common with mainstream Hollywood movies than any of the others. If anything, in terms of its structure, pacing, and themes its the furthest from Hollywood of any of them. Of all three films its the one that has most in common with a fairy tale, and I think to some extant the closest to achieving what Lucas said was his goal with the Star Wars movies.
I'll be the first to admit the PT is full of "suggestion, allusion, and subtext"--I've written quite a bit on this topic. In fact, the PT is very sophisticated in this regard, and people often level criticisms based on very superficial readings.
For my money, however--and this is purely personal preference--the themes dealt with in ESB just resonate more strongly with me than anything in the PT.
1. The hugs are for you being such a stick in the mud.
2. Can't remember, but I have seen The Room. Now that's fun.
For the new movie:
Han: You are tearing me apart, Leia! I'm fed up with this world! Oh hi, Luke.
Now that I can respect
Yeah okay, but without the sex scenes please.
My Leia's great when I can get it.
Oh come on, man. Where the heck do you think its appeal comes from with so many people? This can't possibly come as a surprise.
I thought they just dug the wub nub dancing before mean, mean Lucas ruined the wub nub fun.
Aw, see, now you're doing it on purpose.
No no. This is me being sincere. Let's get real here for a sec, you know?
If we were being real about this subject (which... ugh), I would say that I don't think most fans who prefer ESB have used the word subtext in their life. Just my opinion. Their explanation would involve repeated use of the words "grim" and "dark," with perhaps a dash of "edgy."
Now I'm not denying ESB's subtext. But if you're argument (in a "50 Million Elvis Fans can't be wrong" sort of way) is that they are unconsciously picking up and digging on the supposedly almost subliminally nuanced subtext, then that's hard to counter with data, right? Personally, I find that I never hear about the almost religious, fanatical preference for ESB outside of geek conversations (and yes, I would include stuff like IMDB). I genuinely think its akin to a cult movie phenomenon.
Maybe, but it pleases people at the moment of truth. Boil it down: Empire simply hits people where it counts.