Should Kirshner have directed ROTS

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

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  1. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    Tyrannus,

    Hey bro! :)

    I know what you're saying about older directors working into their 70s and 80s
    and so forth. David Lean was very old when he died, and he was well into
    pre-production on a feature film at the time.

    But very few films are as demanding and complex as a SW film.
    That's one of the reasons Kersh took so long on EMPIRE and went over budget.
    He had never come up against anything that big before. It's also one of the
    reasons he turned down doing ROTJ. He didn't want to do it again because SW films are
    very tough to do.

    The first one nearly killed George, and he was 32 and in good health.
    That's why HE didn't want to direct the next two.

    I just don't think Kersh should have done it.
    Lucas did a fine job of wrapping it all up.

  2. KILLER-CLONE Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2005
    star 1
    Given that you're the one who thinks he'd do a better job, i think it's up to you to tell us how.
  3. KILLER-CLONE Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2005
    star 1
    So ROTS was the penultimate SW film, huh?

    So when's the next one coming out then? Because i could've sworn AOTC was the penultimate SW film.
  4. Jedi_Master_Conor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 6
    it would've been interesting to see. the scene i'd be most interested in would have to be where padme runs out to meet anakin on the mustafar landing platform and the lead up to the duel. that would've been interesting to see how kirshner did that
  5. KILLER-CLONE Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2005
    star 1
    That scene is pretty damn fine as it is.
  6. That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2001
    star 6
    I'd be curious. Not because I think Lucas did a bad job, but just because I love seing different takes on things.

    Keep in mind, for everything added, we would've lost something else.
    Would we still have the exhilerating opening with the drum beats?
    Would we still have the Opera scene, or would it still be confined to the Office?
    Would we have the Ruminations scene?
    Would Order 66 be what it is?

    The scenes are they way they are now because of Lucas' direction. Nowhere in the script does it say, for example, "Haunting music echoes as we enter a hollow, dream-like sequence. Obi-Wan astride Boga rumbles down the cliff, the crying howl of the beast rising from the sinkhole. We cut to Mygeeto where a devastating battle is taking place. Ash falls like cold snow as Ki-Adi leads a charge. His command to charge sounding as though he is in another world..."
    Nope, it's more like:

    "Clones blast the Boga with Obi-Wan still atop. They fall.

    CUT TO: EXT - MYGEETO

    Ki-Adi leads a charge. His clones stop and blast him." etc.

    There's hundreds of ways to artistically interpret that scant peice of script.
    I'm not sure I'd want to risk losing those scenes...
  7. LordIsurus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 3
    No, George did a great job for Episode 3. And, for ESB, it's not like GL wasn't always in Kirch's ear and it's not to say Kirshner wouldnt have done a good job with Episode 3. But the scenes George shot were really fantastic. In an older thread, that scene Jedi_Master_Conor brings up, I had it listed as one of my favourite scenes. The view out to Anakin...seeing him lower the hood of his Sith robe, and begin to run was fantasic. I cant say why, but the pace, the moment, the emotion there was perfectly put together. NOONE else could have shot that scene and there are tonnes of scenes like that in RotS. Sure, there are scenes that didn't stand out as much, but the ones that do, are just perfect. Another scene for example....no dialogue.....Anakin in the Jedi Temple....Padme in her penthouse, and they look out at their city...the music...the calm before the storm. Breathtaking, even to the Sith Lord :p

    Isurus the White

    p.s. has there been a 'thank you George' thread yet? There should be
  8. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    And by the way, looking at the thread's subject line,

    it's correctly spelled "Kershner" not Kirshner.

    Yeah, I know I'm being picky, but a little respect please. ;)
  9. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Alfred Hitchcock also didn't believe in method acting. He just told people that their character was in the script and that the motivation was their paycheck. He may have not said it to everyone, but that was his belief. Actors who take issue with it are engrained with the notion of method acting. Lee, Jackson and McDiarmid have praised Lucas as he can get them without their needing intense discussion on their motivations.

    It certainly is different, I admit that. But that's more of the script direction than Marquand's direction. Since both Han and Leia are on more even ground here, than in the last two films, the tension between them is less palpable. The humor isn't there with Leia, but it is there with Han. Not as intensely, but it's there. And yes, Luke does get more out of this. I recall reading once that Lucas directed the duel in ROTJ. If this is true, this is probably where Luke and the Sith get much of their focus. I do admit that Marquand probably wasn't the best director. Especially when the actors also confirm this. This was a factor, though not the only one, in Lucas' decision to helm all the PT films himself.
  10. SEPARATESICKLEROOK2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
    Absolutely not. The PT is far more kinetic, and i believe that is due to Lucas. No one could have done it better.
  11. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Kershner did fine with TESB. It remains the most fluid, layered, dynamic and involving of all the Star Wars pictures. It is also my favourite installment of the original trilogy (Revenge of the Sith is my favourite of the prequels and favourite of the saga). But, what many people conveniently overlook, is that Kershner was working with a meatier story, a punchier screenplay and a higher budget than was afforded to Lucas when he directed ANH. The visuals ended up being more beautiful and cerebral and the actors themselves were more comfortable in their roles and the demands of making a Star Wars picture. Topping things off, John Williams greatly expanded the musical palette of Star Wars with his seminal score. TESB had a lot going for it no matter which of the two men - Kershner or Lucas - ended up in the director's chair.

    I'm glad that Lucas got to direct the prequels. I think he was chomping at the bit ever since TESB, to be honest, but back then, it wasn't entirely practical for him to do so. He sure put that right! There are many moments of true visual and emotional power in the prequels. Could Kershner or another director have made a moment here or there ring with more authenticity? Possibly - but they might have rendered other moments inferior. Filmmaking is about trying to get from A to B but continually being re-routed and going from A, to G, to Z, to P, just to get back to B. In other words, bringing a story to the screen, especially one as technically and thematically complex as Star Wars, is a tangled journey that is hard to gauge quantitatively. I think Lucas did just fine.
  12. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    I agree with whats being said about possibly losing certain things if Lucas didn't direct ROTS. For instance, theres nothing in ESB to make me believe that Kersh could have come up with anything as moving or beautiful as the Ruminations scene. Or Order 66. Yes, you may have got a slightly better performance out of Natalie Portman or Ewan Mcgregor if Kershner had helmed ROTS, but you would have lost other things, too.
  13. mastersith69 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2005
    star 1
  14. Veloz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2004
    star 6
    No.. i think George did just fine with it :)
  15. El Kabong Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 1999
    star 3
    Nope - not a chance. Put simply, the man is not all that good. He got lucky with Star Wars, did a passable job remaking Thunderball and directed a whole bunch of crap otherwise. People, for god sake - he gave us Robocop 2! Thats a slightly lesser crime against humanity than Alien 4 was.
  16. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    I liked RoboCop 2. Though the script by Frank Miller was a lot better before it was filmed. Having read the novelization, certain things were done differently from the final film. Things that would've been better had it been left alone as it was and not as it came out to be. I don't know if that was Kershner's doing or Orion Pictures doing.
  17. Philip023 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2002
    star 3
    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

    Any time you get the best performance out of your actors, the end product will always be better. My assessment is that some (not all) of critical moments in ROTS suffered because of a lack of character depth. The one that stands out is Anakin's quick turn to the Dark Side.

    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.

    I think for the most part these are excellent scenes. One line that seems a little rushed is Anakin's "you will not take her from me!" line. But all scenes with McDiarmid in them are very well paced. These scenes are excellent because of McDiarmid's acting experience. The extent to which the actor is involved is another aspect - particularly as it relates to no tactile contact with his/her environment. The blue screen element often plays havoc with an actors performance (see numerous comments by Liam Neeson and MacGregor). And Portman's performance leaves something to be desired in all three films.

    On padme's death: I would agree with you on most points. The material with which an actor is given is part and parcel of the performance given. Ultimately, Padme somehow "losing the will to live" (as if her existence was intrinsically tied to Anakin) fails because it goes completely against what we know to be her character. Rather, Anakin should have bee completely responsible for her death - whether that was physically ending her life or killing her by mistake.

    I quite liked the duel ? it resounded with a visceral ferocity that gave weight to the interpersonal drama that was being played out in the physical engagement between these two characters. If anything, I felt the sequence could have been a bit longer and more expansive.

    The ferocity of the duel is present. However, it doesn't necessarily display the drama or significance of the duel between Yoda and Sidious. Perhaps this was out of expectation but Yoda's efforts to make one last lonely effort to correct things was unexpected and was filled with drama and desperation. That the galaxy hinged on the battle taking place in the senate chambers is poignant - the concept that Yoda tried to end it; that Palpatine vanquishing him resulted in Imperial rule and oppresion is quite stirring. Whereas the Duel while spectacular leaved little to the imagination with the exception of how it actually ends.

    On ESB: the praise that is heaped upon ESB inside and outside of this forum (if it matters) is due in large part to the story itself. Of course, we cannot forget that ESB benefits from one of the greatest plot twists in film history. This adds to the films drama which left so many people wanting more at the end. The last 30 minutes of the film are probably the best with ROTS coming in second or third (depending on how much of a purist you are). Insert a better dialogue between characters and the added depth of the protagonists and antagonists, it makes for a more emotionally charged film. Although, I will concede that the end of ROTS leaves the SW fan in an emotional trainwreck.

    Again we will never know for sure. However the added depth that might have been given had Kirshner been at the helm could o
  18. Tyranus_the_Hutt Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2004
    star 4
    I know what you're saying about older directors working into their 70s and 80s
    and so forth. David Lean was very old when he died, and he was well into
    pre-production on a feature film at the time.


    I believe Lean was hard at work on an adaptation of Conrad?s "Nostromo," which he had planned to be film in 70mm, at the time of his death.

    But very few films are as demanding and complex as a SW film.
    That's one of the reasons Kersh took so long on EMPIRE and went over budget.


    From my understanding, that production had a number of setbacks, including technical malfunctions, prop difficulties, the untimely death of a crew member, and so on. Needless to say, there were countless difficulties, and depending on whom you choose to believe, producer Gary Kurtz was supposedly held responsible for the mismanagement of the production.

    He had never come up against anything that big before. It's also one of the
    reasons he turned down doing ROTJ. He didn't want to do it again because SW films are
    very tough to do.


    Most of Kershner?s pre-ESB films were considerably less ambitious in terms of their technological scope ? in other words, modestly-budgeted character-driven pieces ? and so the enormity of ESB?s production likely proved daunting to the filmmaker. What Kershner brought to the picture ? as others have already noted ? was a particular attention to character nuance and performance, two qualities which aided the picture immeasurably.

    The first one nearly killed George, and he was 32 and in good health.
    That's why HE didn't want to direct the next two.


    That?s true. The process of making ANH proved to be so strenuous that Lucas decided it would be best for him to hand over the reigns to other filmmakers, and just oversee the production instead of managing the specific mise-en-scene.

    I just don't think Kersh should have done it.
    Lucas did a fine job of wrapping it all up.


    I agree.

    Any time you get the best performance out of your actors, the end product will always be better.

    Generally speaking, this is true. In some instances, a filmmaker chooses to coach an actor into a deliberately specious performance, such as Keir Dullea?s work in "2001: A Space Odyssey," to generate a certain effect. The "Star Wars" pictures, while not exactly distinguished by their acting, do benefit from more soulful characterizations, particularly in an ambitious project such as "Episode III," in which the story requires the actors to carefully negotiate some complex emotional terrain, the likes of which is somewhat, though not entirely, foreign to this franchise.

    My assessment is that some (not all) of critical moments in ROTS suffered because of a lack of character depth. The one that stands out is Anakin's quick turn to the Dark Side.

    Although I would have preferred that the grotesquerie which seemed to characterize the Palpatine-Windu confrontation had been contained, the sequence in which Anakin finally commits himself to the Chancellor is not one that I find to be entirely problematic; Christensen finds most of the right notes to portray Anakin?s psychology during this passage, and the moment in which he kneels before Sidious, almost literally collapsing underneath the weight of his own conscience, is skillfully managed by the young actor. My complaint about Anakin?s turn to the Dark Side pertains almost specifically to the fact that there isn?t enough of a clearly-defined emotional trajectory for us to follow in the sequence itself, one that would bridge the moment of submission to the "Order 66" montage in a more cogent psychological fashion. This is more of a narrative or screenwriting flaw, I imagine, and less of a deficiency in performance on the part of Christensen.

    I am particularly fond of the following excerpt, taken from Ty Burr?s review of ROTS, in which the writer defends Christensen?s (maligned) portrayal of Anakin:

    "Is Hayden Christensen a great actor? Not even close, but you could argue that a great actor might have done t
  19. MasterP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2003
    star 7
    Should Kirshner have directed ROTS

    No. Episode III is fine the way it is. Except it.
  20. emporergerner Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2005
    star 4
    After watching Empire of Dreams documentry it states that Kirshners greatest quality is that he portrays the characters personality very well. And in my opinion ESB has the greatest character portryal, than in any other SW film.

    So maybe if they had Kirshner do the Character dialog or scenes that really focused on the character.Would really have added character depth to ROTS.




    Emporer Gerner Dark Lord of the Sith
  21. redsabreanakin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2005
    star 5
    No I do not. Kirshner made a fine film; one of the best in the saga. Does this make him a terrific director? No? look at his other work, not exactly what you would call "great works of art"; and don't believe for a second that Kirshner did this all himself. Lucas was around.
  22. stormcloud8 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 4
    Before I say anything, let me say that I think Lucas pretty much hit a home run with ROTS and there is no need for anyone else to have directed it.

    In terms of Kirshner improving the acting side of things...I think Hayden Christensen is a pretty bad actor who has a truly annoying voice and delivery. This was present in Life as a House, AOTC, and Shattered Glass. That being said, I think he did a great job in ROTS, aside from only one or two lines that didn't work for me. So I think Lucas did about as good of a job making Christensen work in this film as anyone else could have. A good director isn't going to make a bad actor into a good actor. You can only do so much.

    As far as Portman, I thought she was pretty bland in TPM and AOTC, but she really was much more interesting in ROTS. So again, Lucas did a great job getting her to do what she needed.

    I think Samuel Jackson was again pretty bland, and he could have used some spicing up. And Ewan McGregor was dull on one or two lines, but aside from that he was fantastic. McDiarmid had some campiness to the role, but I think Lucas intended that. These are minor things.

    Overall, the acting in the film was fine, there was emotion and drama and a real buzz to the feel of the movie. I really don't know what Kirshner could have brought that Lucas didn't already.

    I think George Lucas got exactly the film he was looking for. And almost exactly the film I was looking for. He deserves all the credit in the world for it.

  23. yoshifett Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2004
    star 5
    I don't think anyone but Lucas could really have handled that special effects bonanza properly anyway. Not even Jackson. Definitely not Kirsh, bless his heart...
  24. COMMANDER76 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 4
    Lucas' direction in ROTS is second only to Kirshner's in TESB....

    I hope that settles that:p
  25. DUGGY Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2005
    star 4
    really anyone who thinks ROTS is not at least as good as ROTJ , is seriously dilluded. Lucas get's knocked when he is Bad and he still get's knocked when he is really good. and ROTS is easily in the top 3 of all the SW films . if you think that the Ewoks are any different from Jar Jar and that they still make ROTJ better than this movie well then i guess you just don't get it. cause they sink the great ship that is ROTJ.and they prove the OT is not this perfect thing that people like to think. it had a flaw as great as Jar Jar was to many people. this is a SW movie in the finest tradition. the problem is that way too many people think SW is theirs and they are very passionate about what they want. only the reality is it is HIS and he does what he thinks works. and millions agree.
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