SW: PT and The Godfather

Discussion in 'Star Wars Community' started by RevengeofDahveed, Jan 5, 2003.

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  1. RevengeofDahveed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2002
    star 2
    the following words, other than the first sentence in quotes, are by argybarg. just thought it deserved its own thread since he so eloquently and cleary expresses the problems inherent in the PT movies (particularly TPM):

    "The true test of a film's perseverance and replayability lie all in said film's appealing story."

    I certainly agree with this statement. Cinematography and special effects do nothing to help a movie if the storytelling is clumsy or flat -- and the storytelling in the PT seems both to me.

    The basic plot mechanism, about the senate and factions and embargoes and trade disputes and politics, is not only dull, it's presented in a dull way -- namely, by lots and lots of exposition.

    I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, not easily confused by plot details and fairly well-versed in the Star Wars world. But to me the overarching plot of the PT, whatever it may be, is unclear -- and, worse, I don't care, because in my memory it's a bunch of talk delivered in stilted language by indistinguishable characters.

    For a storyline to be dramatic on film, the basic conflicts have to be told in action: they have to be demonstrated visually, and not just talked about. That's what's missing in the PT: the flair for showing characters in conflict in broad, active strokes. Instead we get way too many matte screens of who-knows-what-planet followed by people talking, punctuated by the odd pointless fight or battle. It just doesn't add up to anything interesting.

    And Anakin's "descent into evil"? Which is, if I'm not mistaken, the point of the whole PT?

    Let me talk about a contrasting example first. Throughout The Godfather, we see Michael Corleone's descent into evil. He starts out as a quiet college boy who refuses to follow his father into the mob life. But bit by bit he gets sucked in.

    Now here's the key: Coppola portrays this descent in an interlocking series of dramatic episodes built around actions -- we see the conflict, and it's enthralling. You might remember every scene if you've seen the movie:
    -- Michael's father is shot and winds up in the hospital. When Michael figures out there will be another attempt made on his father in the hospital, Michael has to act fast: He wheels his frail father into a different room, then recruits a stranger to stand with him in front of the hospital and pose as hitmen. See? He adopts the pose for the first time.
    -- After his father's assassin is revealed, Michael volunteers to carry out the revenge. Remember the scene where his kills his two enemies at the restaurant? He had to get the gun that had been planted in the bathroom, walk out slowly, and shoot two men in the face. It was incredibly gripping because we saw him struggling with himself as he waited in the bathroom with the gun. We saw him turn into the killer, including pulling the trigger.
    -- Near the end of the movie he orders the death of all his enemies, and we see two scenes, back and forth: His words at his son's baptism, and all the murders he ordered being carried out. There it is on the screen: His veneer of good, and the actions he has ordered, edited right against each other.
    -- As the last image of the movie, Michael, who has just lied to his wife about being a mobster, is accepting the fawning attention of two men who kiss his ring and call him "godfather." He looks up at his wife, the only good person in his life, and the door closes on her. He has become the evil he feared.

    That is how a filmmaker paints a character's development in actions -- it's visual storytelling.

    Lucas used to know how to do that: When Vader pointed a finger and a man choked, we saw his evil in action; we felt it in our guts. When Yoda rode on Luke's shoulders as Luke trained, we saw Yoda casting himself on Luke's mind and body.

    Where is this kind of storytelling with Anakin? It's almost completely missing in these movies, which is why Anakin's "descent into evil" is so amazingly un-compelling. Yes, he kills a tribe, but that's the equivalent of Michael Corleone walking into
  2. RevengeofDahveed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2002
    star 2
    oh and argybarg if u have a problem with me reposting your words just pm me and ill ask the thread to be closed.
  3. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    I think TPM and AOTC are better than The Godfather.
  4. The Lurker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 1999
    star 4
    I agree with argybarg on all of the above except it was Connie's baby who was being baptized, not Michael's son ;)
  5. qui-gon-kim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2001
    star 4
    Sorry if this is so long, but I've been so disappointed with GL's laziness as a director and a screenwriter. He's let down his audience

    Let's not make sweeping generalizations here. He's a let down to YOU. There are many who are quite satisfied with his work in the PT.

    As for the GF analogy, I'd say that both are rather similar, both Anakin and Michael are motivated to turn to evil for love of their parents. Michael has no choice but to assassinate Sollozo and McClusky to protect his father's life. In TPM, we start to see that Anakin's close relationship to his mother could be a detriment to his training as a Jedi. In AOTC, Anakin starts having nightmares about his mother, which leads him back to Tatootine to discover the grusome truth. His mother is dead, and takes savage revenge on an entire tribe of Tusken Raiders, which clearly shows the first signs of Anakin's potential towards evil. He then resolves to seek more and more power so that he can better protect those he cares about. This, combined with his resentment towards Obi-Wan's treatment of him will sow the seeds of his fall to the Dark Side in Episode III.
  6. JediMasterEllic_Kier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 3
    Can't stand the Godfather. Over hyped and over directed.

    Comparing SW and The Godfather couldn't be sillier. The only things these two movies have in common is that the Directors are friends, and that they are movies.

    I too think that TPM-AOTC-SW-ESB-ROTJ are all better films than the Godfather.

  7. The Lurker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 1999
    star 4
    that may be true, but lucas's presentation of these events is wholey uninteresting.
  8. qui-gon-kim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2001
    star 4
    lucas's presentation of these events is wholey uninteresting.

    In your opinion.

    For me the Tatooine sequence in AOTC is one of the most compelling and heartwrenching moments in all the SW films.
  9. Ghosts_Of_Anakin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 6
    Bah!! You're comparing apples to oranges again. This is just like the old LOTR is better than SW threads. It's all based on opinion. I don't really care what you guys think, but, The Godfather trilogy is, by far, some of the greatest movies ever made(albeit Part III wasn't that good..).



    Let's go Giants!!
  10. DamonD Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2002
    star 6
    I'm looking forward to the future PT vs Mad Max trilogy thread.
  11. JediMasterEllic_Kier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 3
    ^^LMAO....now looking for it^^^
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