Should Kirshner have directed ROTS

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith' started by mikadojedi, Jan 23, 2006.

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  1. mikadojedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2003
    star 4
    I can't help but think that Kirshner would have done a better job on ROTS. A better job than Lucas, Spielberg, or even occasional fan favorite Kevin Smith. HOw would Kirshner made ROTS different than Lucas. And should he have directed ROTS?
  2. OBIWAN-JR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2002
    star 6
    Nup.

    For me, ROTS is the best of the 6.
    George did a wonderful job.


    -JR :)
    Seagoat likes this.
  3. Achilles_of_Edmonton Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2005
    star 4
    Have you listened to the commentary on ESB at all? Kirshner has lost almost all of his marbles.

    He speaks likes he's 8 years old or something. Throughout the entire thing he mostly just gives you a play by play rather than describing the actual process of getting things done. He says things like "When we were in England, the actors were british." Really?

    "It's always fun to watch things blow up. Especially baaaad things."

    Yeah cuz blowin up good things just ain't no good, hyuk.

    I would be greatly concerned about his ability to direct himself to the bathroom anymore, much less a movie. Maybe 20 years ago, but not today.

    Besides I think you're missing the point here. ROTS didn't suffer from poor direction. It suffered from poor story telling. At least that's what all of my complaints and the complaints of most others seem to be geared towards.

    The lame portrayal of Grievous, the oddly quick turn of Anakin, the ridiculous method of Padmes death. These are story telling blind spots, not directorial failure. In the hands of Spielberg, Smith, Scott or anyone else, the movie would still have these problems if Lucas was never questioned, which was not the case in the OT but certainly is now. You think it's a coincidence that the better Star Wars films aren't directed by Lucas?

    He's a visionary, a business guru and a creative force but he needs a great deal of help translating it to the general public. The OT is the result of team symmetry in story telling whereas the PT is more of Lucas doing his own thing and then handing it off to the hired goons and saying, "here, give me this."

    ROTS was the best of the Prequel Trilogy to be sure but it still falls short overall in impact of the Classic films that started it all.
  4. barnsthefatjedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2001
    star 5
  5. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2001
    star 7
    That's quite an assumption and a heck of a lot of credit to the man who brought us The Return of a Man Called Horse, Eyes of Laura Marrs, Never Say Never Again, and Robocop 2. I'm not slamming him since I actually liked his take on Ian Fleming's Thunderball and enjoyed Robocop 2. But he's hardly a better replacement for someone like Spielberg, or even Lucas himself.

    No one should have made the penultimate Star Wars film other than the creator himself. Everything else would have been an interpretation and an imitation and not the same thing.
  6. Achilles_of_Edmonton Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2005
    star 4
    It could be said that the PT is an interpretation and an imitation of what the OT started, regardless of it's creator being in charge or not.
  7. Billy_Dee_Binks Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2002
    star 4
    ROTS was perfect the way it was. Great storytelling, great pacing, great cinematography, great action, great dialogue,....

    What is so special about the movie though, is the fact that they've packed so much into it that it feels like a whole journey. You should get the best sound system out there, and do like I did after getting the DVD:
    get up at 04:00AM and watch it. You'll appreciate the journey even more then. Simply brilliant movie.

    P.S.: Why does everyone praise Kevin Smith. His movies are mostly sub-par trash anyway. I mean, I just rewatched Mallrats and boy, what a piece of crap. From editing to pacing. Same for his more recent movies.
    Why so much praise? He's just your typical fanboy. I do like how he trashed the imdb.com and aicn.com by spoofing them with moviepoopshots.com.
  8. r8hitman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2004
    star 4
    Tarantino should have.:p
  9. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Of course not. For a start, the guy is far too old to be directing a highly technical movie like ROTS.

    Lucas did a fantastic job. I can't imagine anyone else directing it.
  10. Koto-Ogami Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2003
    star 2
    No, simply because of RoboCop 2. That movie takes a tinkle on its predecessor almost as bad as Highlander 2. Shouldn't Kirshner at some point said "This script is trash, these characters are trash, and this movie has nothing to do with what made the first great."? Shouldn't he have seen how dumb RoboCop looked on that motorcycle and said "Let's fix this!"? He didn't, because he was a director for hire and simply not that invested in the material, as far as I can tell anyway.

    So much of the -great- storytelling elements of Sith would more than likely never have been created if George hadn't personally directed.
  11. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2001
    star 7
    Well it certainly couldn't be labled any sort of interpretation seeing as how it's coming directly from the source. I guess it could be said that everything we see on film is an interpretation of any director's vision, but that renders the definition useless.

    Then of course everything that came after the original film is an imitation of some sort so you can't just apply this to the PT.
  12. Achilles_of_Edmonton Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2005
    star 4
    They packed so much into it that it felt like a 2 hour preview. A lot of people I know fans or not, felt it cut too much.


    Blasphemy. Mallrats was awesome because it was funny as hell. You have to be of that generation to get the humor a lot of the time though. It's really just a matter of subjective taste. All of his movies become cult classics (except Jersey girl) for a reason. It doesn't matter if his editing isn't perfect. The point is to have a laugh and to enjoy yourself.

    Being a film maker, it's difficult for me to go to movies and forget I'm in a movie. Often we get so distracted wondering how they did that shot, or how this effect was achieved that we get displaced from the story.

    I never had that syndrome watching Kevin Smith material. I think all of these DVD commentaries and behind the scenes footage ruin movies for us. They steal all of the mystery behind everything and then when we go back to watch them again, all we can hear in the back of our heads is someone giving away all of the secrets to how they made their project.

    I think it takes the magic out of everything and creates a lot of cynicism we don't need.

    Some commentaries are funny. I really enjoyed Joss Whedons commentary on Serenity. I though he was humourous and fun. He said some interesting things about what they did to achieve certain looks and admitted some oversights but overall he didn't stain the movie by giving away the farm.

  13. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Wouldn't matter anyway. Last I heard, Kershner retired a few years ago. Besides, the film is fine. I never seen a difference between what Kershner and Marquand did and what Lucas has done.
  14. CJedi72 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 4
    Whether Kershner should have directed ROTS, or all PT movies will always be up for debate, unfortunately I think he was too old , and I don't think he'd have the drive to undertake a three year investment on his life.

    But I do think a different director & screenwriter would have made the PT, and ROTS better. If you read the SW insider 20th Anniversary ESB special, Kershner says about the early meetings, "Lucas, Kasdan, and I worked together to really bring the story together after the first draft was not to our liking. Lucas focused on the overall story, I focused on the characters, and Kasdan focused on the dialogue."

    It isn't about burying Lucas, but a more collaborative effort sometimes makes a better movie, Lucas is a great storyteller, no one argues about that. But even he admits he is the king of wooden dialogue, and you see some real stilted performances in the PT, that a different director may have gotten a better result.

    The thing about the OT and the PT, is the OT was more collaborative, Lucas only wrote and directed the original, and handed those parts off for ESB & ROTJ. For the PT, he wrote and directed all 3 movies, less collaborative. You guys take your pick, but thats why I like the OT better. To each his own!
  15. Philip023 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2002
    star 3
    I'm sure this will spark outrage and Fan venom but I'll say it anyway:

    ESB is recognized - outside of this forum - as the best or second best of all 6 films. AND moreover, it is recognized as perhaps the greatest sequel ever made, second only to the Godfather II.

    Kirshner brought greater character depth to the protagonists that were sadly lacking in the prequels. Whether he could have done a better job is speculation. However we probably would have seen this type of depth - particularly as it related to Anakin, Obi-wan and Palpatine.

    Consider also that Kirshner is old school SW. The blueprint that Lucas subsequently laid out for the PT is not the same one that was originally intended. The events of ROTJ were culled later afterh the original treatment. The emperor was supposed to survive, han was to have died and the ending was intended to be bittersweet. Luke was to take on the Emperor in 7,8 and 9.

    Similarly, the blueprint for the PT was supposed to have been greater depth in the origins of the Jedi and Sith.

    But, it cannot be helped but to wonder how it could have been. It is important to note that the most highly regarded and critically praised SW film also did not have Lucas at the helm. Food for thought.

    And no, it doesn't show proof that the critics have it in for Lucas. Its just a very good film.

  16. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Just cause there was a blue print doesn't mean that it won't change. Lucas was always changing the story, even when he had the blue print. Lucas only hired Kershner because he had to run ILM and get the financing going. And that it wasn't as fun as it should've been. That's the only reason he bowed out of the chair. And Lucas didn't want Kershner to tear up his DGA card, much less have to keep paying off the fines for it. There aren't too many good directors out there, who were capable of doing what Kershner did, much less be willing to quit the DGA. So, because he had fun with TPM, he did the others. Plus, he didn't have to worry about hiring a non-union director. As to the scripts, need I remind everyone that Kasdan approved of TPM's script and didn't feel the need to get involved. He also hired Jonathan Hales to work on AOTC and apparently hired Tom Stoppard to help on ROTS. Unless that last one was debunked on the DVD.
  17. PrinceEspaaValorum Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    No. In the SW INSIDER, when discussing the ESB DVD edition, he answered the question to whether he liked the PT (this was before ROTS)? He said not as much as the OT. Why? Well, not bc of the script, acting, dialogue, or SFX. But bc Yoda got angry in AOTC, whereas in the OT he did not in the OT. Then Kersh conceded that it was GL's vision.

    Well, he is right. It is GL's vision. The characters in the PT or more complex psyschologically. And anger is natural, as Padme explains to Ani after his contrition for killing the Sandmen. But it is obsessive anger, giving too easily to anger, lack of compassion, allowing anger to turn to hate either bc of fear (Jedi Knight Anakin) or out of ideologially and selfish manipulation of the Force (Sith Lord Vader) that is wrong. And for the record, Yoda did get angry in the OT. Skywalkers can be such frustrating students.
  18. Koto-Ogami Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2003
    star 2
    Kershner's direction isn't what lead to Empire's critical success, it was the story and the way it expanded the concepts of the original: if Vader hadn't revealed himself to be Luke's father in Empire it would -not- be held in the high regard that it is. Kershner certainly deserves credit for getting the performances from the actors and muppets, but without the story the acting means nothing.
  19. Tyranus_the_Hutt Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2004
    star 4
    I can't help but think that Kirshner would have done a better job on ROTS. A better job than Lucas, Spielberg, or even occasional fan favorite Kevin Smith.

    That is a rather large assumption to make. As RolandofGilead has already pointed out, Kershner is not above making a bad film; while he has made what are arguably two masterpieces ("Loving," and "The Empire Strikes Back"), he is also responsible for some wretched pictures, such as "S.P.Y.S" and the aforementioned "Robocop 2." In addition to that, Kersh hasn?t made a big-screen feature since 1990; for all of those who felt that Lucas should have honed his filmmaking skills somewhat before returning to the director?s chair to helm "The Phantom Menace," what about this? Ultimately, there is no guarantee that a Kershner-directed SW picture would be any better than or worse than the Lucas versions we received, regardless of what you happen to think of them. I fail to see how Kershner and the oft-invoked Lawrence Kasdan somehow hold the key to the supposed "greatness" that is so obviously "lacking" from the PT (and what is Kasdan, the guy who "should" have scripted Episodes I-III, doing now? He?s only writing and directing such "well-received" items such as "Wyatt Earp," "Mumford," and "Dreamcatcher").

    HOw would Kirshner made ROTS different than Lucas. And should he have directed ROTS?

    1) I don?t know; and 2) no.

    The lame portrayal of Grievous,

    I get the sense that Grievous would have been more widely accepted if it weren?t for the fact that he was characterized in a "cowardly" fashion. I don?t profess to have any deeply-rooted adulation for the figure, but I imagine that Lucas didn?t the character to be infused with a more prominent antagonism that might overshadow the more weighted Palpatine/Anakin dynamic.

    the oddly quick turn of Anakin,

    I respect why many don?t like this component of the picture, and although I don?t know that Hayden is afforded enough of an opportunity to really portray the complete arc of Anakin?s internal psychology, I think his character?s submission to Palpatine does make a certain amount of sense. Lucas spent much of the expository-laden first hour cultivating an ambiguous political milieu in which all of the various factions involved in the Republic appeared, from a certain perspective, to be intrinsically flawed; this is an angle that Palpatine exploits in his calculated seduction of Anakin, and given the larger context of Skywalker?s emotional trajectory, his final allegiance with Palpatine does appear to be grounded in a modicum of cogency. To reiterate, yes, I do think that the passage in question could use some embellishment, but it is effective overall, particularly with the tone poems which "bookend" Anakin?s pledge to Palpatine, involving the "Ruminations" scene, and the Mustafar walkway segment, both of which enable us to empathize with his conflict.

    the ridiculous method of Padmes death.

    I tend to agree with you on this one, Achilles; the specific nature of Padme?s death did not work, exactly, although it could have if only Lucas had woven more of a fully developed arc into his script, one which anticipated this development. I do, however, admire KnightWriter?s "Symbiotic Relationship" theory.

    These are story telling blind spots, not directorial failure. In the hands of Spielberg, Smith, Scott or anyone else, the movie would still have these problems if Lucas was never questioned, which was not the case in the OT but certainly is now.

    You think it's a coincidence that the better Star Wars films aren't directed by Lucas?


    You mean "Star Wars" (1977) was actually directed by Gary Kurtz?:p ? Please, don?t take offense ? I?m just being silly.

    In seriousness, I don?t understand your point; earlier, you had indicated that the weaknesses of ROTS were firmly ensconced in the storytelling, not the actual filmmaking. Now, it would appear that this conceit has been undermined by the implication of the above remark, which suggests that there
  20. Philip023 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2002
    star 3
    Certainly, you can?t compare the stylized acting in a SW picture with the method brooding of Lee Strasberg or Al Pacino in "The Godfather, Part II," and this helps to illuminate a truth of sorts, which is that criticism is relative, not absolute ? different criteria must be used to gauge the relative merits/debits of a given film.

    Which is precisely the issue at hand and why ESB stands out. Certainly you cannot compare the performance of any actor in Godfather II with any performance in ESB. They are completely different in probably all respects. Certainly no one can compare film-making between Godfather II and ESB. Two completely different films exercising different elements and styles of film-making. However the question at hand is whether Kirshner could have done better.

    Like you I would say that it remains to be seen either way. Kirshner's body of work is not overly impressive. But it is also perhaps illusory to compare Kirshner with Lucas. Lucas is NOT an actors director. Kirshner was. Whereas Lucas' strength is technical in nature, Kirshner added characterization into ESB as he should have. After all, it was the middle part of a 3 part series - most of the character depth is likely to be found here.

    Thus the question should be whether this added depth could have helped ROTS. Probably, particularly in the instances of Anakin's turn or Padme's death..or perhaps even during the Duel or the genocide committed by the Emperor.

    Most criticism heaped upon TPM was that the brevity of the film intruded on the story itself. ESB is not immune from criticism, nor should it be. No film should be. But the universe is SW here and as we are so prone to compare and critique all that is star wars, the only film (save ANH) that truly stands out as a lasting pop culture icon is ESB. Recall all the comparisons of the Empire with the old Soviet Union. The attachment of SW during the mid-late 80s on missle defense.

    The affection given to ESB is that sequels tend to diminish the original product. ESB showed that to be false. With Kirshner at the helm and Lucas performing technical duties (Lucas admittedly hated England - the weather, the food) it is often demonstrated that it is the best film of the 6 in terms of story and acting.
  21. brook_33 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2003
    star 4
    Aside from the over-excessive Visual EFfects, I think that Lucas was the man for the job.
  22. CJedi72 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 4


    The one thing the director is responsible for is the actors performances. Compare the three OT movies, Marquand did the worst job.

    Lucas got very good performances out of the big three Luke, Leia, and Han in ANH. They were funny, and the chemistry is great. The characters don't go into too much detail, but that is the way the story is, general.

    Kershner one up'd them, Han Solo steals ESB, that is his movie. Leia is great to as her and Han bicker in the millenium falcon, and really make a small side plot romance very believable. Luke is very good next to a damn puppet!

    ROTJ, Han & Leia give subpar performances. They are more subdued, and the humor between them is lacking in the movie as it was in the previous two movies. True, their characters were beginning to change, but overall Han & Leia are not nearly as good as the first two movies. Luke on the other hand steals the show, as the throne room scenes he is great in, but everyone has said that Lucas directed those scenes. So Marquand really did an average job with the actors.

    Watch the OT again, Darth Sinister, and let me know if Han & Leia's performance in ROTJ is nearly as good as ANH & ESB?
  23. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5


    Irvin Kershner is now almost EIGHTY THREE YEARS OLD.
    That is way too old to be doing something as strenuous as directing
    a major feature film.

    George did a great job on ROTS. It's a masterpiece.
  24. Tyranus_the_Hutt Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2004
    star 4
    Which is precisely the issue at hand and why ESB stands out. Certainly you cannot compare the performance of any actor in Godfather II with any performance in ESB. They are completely different in probably all respects. Certainly no one can compare film-making between Godfather II and ESB. Two completely different films exercising different elements and styles of film-making. However the question at hand is whether Kirshner could have done better.

    It?s really impossible to know; would a more actor and performance-oriented filmmaker have produced a better film? I cannot say. I very much appreciate the picture as it now stands, so in that sense I don?t look for what could or could not have been improved. Others, who may dislike or even loathe the film, will feel differently. I will try to address my personal feelings on this matter below.

    Like you I would say that it remains to be seen either way. Kirshner's body of work is not overly impressive. But it is also perhaps illusory to compare Kirshner with Lucas. Lucas is NOT an actors director. Kirshner was. Whereas Lucas' strength is technical in nature, Kirshner added characterization into ESB as he should have.

    You make some excellent points, Philip; Lucas is more of a technically-inclined filmmaker, whereas Kershner appeared to be less interested in the ebb and flow of effects work and more singularly concentrated on motivation, human nature, and performance. I imagine that a director of Kershner?s capacity for instructing actors could have been largely beneficial in some specific instances during the PT, and yet there are scenes within ROTS that are as accomplished and well-performed as one could expect, given the parameters and nature of this material. I am thinking, specifically, of passages such as Palpatine?s discussion with Anakin at the Opera; the confrontation between Padme, Anakin, and Obi-Wan on the Mustafar landing platform; the wordless "rumination" scene; Palpatine?s revelation to Anakin within the corridor of his chambers; Obi-Wan?s emotional plea to Yoda to send him to kill Sidious, rather than Vader; the immolation scene; and so on. In this film, Lucas and his actors really identified the specific emotional beats that needed to be played in order for this tricky material to function properly, and for the most part, I think they succeeded.

    After all, it was the middle part of a 3 part series - most of the character depth is likely to be found here.

    Indeed, ESB is often compared to the second movement of an opera, in which the transpirations deepen tragically and gather a sort of epic resonance.

    Thus the question should be whether this added depth could have helped ROTS. Probably, particularly in the instances of Anakin's turn

    That development could have used some additional embellishment, as I have previously indicated; I don?t necessarily have a problem with Christensen?s performance here, but the actual material with which he is given to work is somewhat, though not wholly, insufficient.

    or Padme's death.

    I don?t fault Portman for this; as portrayed in the film itself, Padme?s death was a bright idea that didn?t quite work as intended ? the entire notion of her character "losing the will to live" felt artificial and tacked on. I don?t, in principle, have a problem with a character doing something that is "against their basic nature" as long as it is properly contextualized; Lucas failed to feed a convincing thread into his narrative that would anticipate this development. Even the "Symbiosis" angle, which I appreciate on an intellectual level, is more difficult to discern, only because it leaves the viewer grasping; if this was Lucas' intent ? and it could have been, for all I know ? he would have been well-advised to draw a more clearly defined arc connecting these ideas, and thus making Padme?s death seem plausible, rather than arbitrary. However, I feel that the scene itself functions in a dramatic sense, which redeems the conceptual shortcomings that exist beneath the surfa
  25. jwebb1970 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2005
    star 2
    I get the feeling from his various posts on various threads that Philip023 doesn't like ROTS that much. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you.
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