The beauty of the PT: Has love blinded me?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by StampidHD280pro, Nov 18, 2010.

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  1. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    This past weekend, I watched the entire Star Wars saga (including THX-1138) having taken what some might call a "heroic dose.":D
    During the hour-long build up to the TPM podrace, I thought that I should watch the movies this time with the intent to come up with some sort of advice for the prequel-bashers.
    I recieved not only the advice that the haters need, but myself and anybody and everybody.

    "YOU NEED TO FIND YOUR HAPPY SPACE." - a voice in my head
    Yeah, I did.
    "IT'S WORKING! IT'S WORKING!" - Anakin
    Yeah, it was.
    As I was stretching my body and aligning my spine, contemplating the nature of symmetry, I imagined the two trilogies as a lopsided pair of breasts. You know, (LARGE BOOB)(small boob). And it was SO BEAUTIFUL. Not perfect mind you, but beautiful.

    "Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful." *cue backwards guitar solo*8-}

    At some point in Attack of the Clones during one of the scenes on Naboo, I beheld in my minds eye quite literally a "jewel in a lotus" and I could feel myself controlling just how happy I could be, so of course I chose to make myself more and more and more and more happy (with no end conceivable). The way I did this was by simply enjoying the movie. Enjoying "Across the Stars", I even heard a piece of it in the fireplace scene that I had never even noticed before. And it was SO BEAUTIFUL. And I used to think that music was corny. :oops: The truth is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and happiness is infinite. Nothing is perfect. The trick is to love everything with great intensity. Everyone and everything is beautiful and deserves to love and be loved. Period.[face_plain]

    Now, since that experience, I've been able to find even more nuance in Star Wars and THX than ever before, and there will be many threads to come exploring this if need be. There needs to be a thread about FOOD in the saga forums, as it directly relates *hint*hint* to the heart of the story, and there also should be an entire thread about a/symmetry in the saga. Color needs to be looked at too. Padme being dressed in all-red telling her would-be attackers to "BEWARE" is blatantly borrowed from nature.

    But back to the topic at hand which is beauty.
    In Revenge of the Sith the following exchange takes place. (And you thought this dialogue was stupid, didn't you?)

    Anakin Skywalker: You are so... beautiful.
    Padmé: It's only because I'm so in love.
    Anakin Skywalker: No, it's because I'm so in love with you.
    Padmé: So love has blinded you?
    Anakin Skywalker: [laughs] Well, that's not exactly what I meant.
    Padmé: But it's probably true.

    So I ask you, has love blinded me, or have my eyes been opened? What do you think?

    EDIT: Oh yeah speaking of eyes, asymmetry, and undying, unconditional love. Padme says of a naked, one-eyed Threepio "He's perfect." I never knew just how beautiful that line was.:_|
  2. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Your eyes have been opened. ;) There is deliberate contrast in colors between the black-and-white Empire and the flowery colors in the PT, particularly in Padme's clothing.

    The exchange you mentioned, I think the dialogue is kind of corny but the look that Anakin is giving Padme as he watches her brush her hair is beautiful. [face_love]
  3. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    It feels orgasmic when you really, well and truly connect with something -- a person, an idea, art, science, mathematics, whatever. StampidHD280pro has taken his first step into a larger world. :p

    ABSOLUTELY! Great catch. I like the last line of dialogue in the exchange between Padme and Nute Gunray in that scene, too: "We will see". The Padme character delivers it as an admonition, and as something of a promise, but it's also a declarative statement about the fates of the characters (and somewhat ironic, accordingly), as well as a hint to the audience that they're on a journey rooted in scale and perception. It's even more delicious in light of an early line of dialogue in the next film: "The Dark Side clouds everything. Impossible to see, the future is".

    Yes. And no. Consider the interior of the Galactic Senate. Its stilted, grey hues (pods and podium) directly presage the machine greys of the Empire. In as many words, one could say that Lucas is saying, "The Empire already exists in the heart of prequel-land". Notice how this grey also taints the interior of the Jedi Council chambers (the chairs of the Jedi Masters).

    Contrasts are all over these films, too. Consider the way they begin. Still blue text against a black background, accompanied by nothing. Silence. A meditative start. And soporific wording: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away". Then a blast of yellow text, flooding the screen, yet rapidly receding into it, against a black background studded with specks of white, to the accompaniment of a trumpet blast that sounds -- and almost feels -- like an explosion. The best contrast of all is also the least obvious; at least, viscerally: blue and yellow are opposites on a colour wheel. Literally, if you invert the film frame and produce a negative image, the yellow of "Star Wars" becomes the blue of "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away", and vice versa.

    In my opinion, everything is corny. And not. It has been earlier pointed out, way back in an old thread on this board, that the scene of Padme brushing her hair is (perhaps unconsciously, accidentally and propitiously) referencing an old European poem, among other things. Look up "Lorelei" and "Lore Lay". The scene is also a nice riff on the Padme character and the idiom "letting one's hair down": in every scene prior and subsequent, the Padme character is shown with alternating hair styles that look like they're frozen in place; here, she is actively tending to it, almost whimsically. The Padme character also later brushes or strokes Anakin's mane during their desperate scene on Mustafar; the seductress having become a mother figure once more.

    Always so much to think about and discover ...

    And to answer the question: Yes. If you get too close to a luminous object, it always blinds you. Keep your distance and take breaks every thirty minutes. :p

    P.S. That was -- and is -- a beautifully (pun intended) laid out post, Stamp. One of your best. And maybe one of this forum's best. But that's irrelevant. I really enjoyed reading it, and when I was done, I had to read it again. Excellent citations and analogies. Witty, genuine and insightful.
  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    ok, I'll admit I had a belly laugh at the large boob/small boob thing. :p

    Nice post.[face_peace]
  5. ida_dida Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 1
    YES! Your eyes have been opened! good for you.Yeah, the PT is quite good...
  6. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    I shall watch this thread with great interest. :p Interesting points.

    Well said.
  7. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I also enjoy the hair-brushing scene. One of the only moments of honest emotional connection in the entire trilogy.
  8. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    As opposed to the honest emotional connections seen in the OT?

    Like in Star Wars, where, in the span of four minutes, Luke goes from mourning the death of his master, to cackling like Cagney as he blasts TIES, to engaging in cute little exchanges with Han over which one of them gets to nail Leia?

    Stuff like that really moves me.
  9. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    Cryo, you have no idea how much your compliments mean to me. Last year around this time I would never have imagined there was so much to the prequels let alone the gestalt that is the saga. But between you, Charles Grady, and that wacky MisterVader, I was given just enough question marks and clues to form the right questions. I'm so thankful for everybody here. I wouldn't have had this experience if I hadn't spent so much time with you.
    Appropriately enough, if it weren't for my concern for the haters I doubt that I would have gotten the answer I was looking for when I did. So thank you also the haters for hatin.[face_plain]

    A smart person a long time ago said "eat drink and be happy" so now I'm going to go downstairs, grab myself a Coke and watch The Clone Wars with my mom.:)
  10. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    The flow is debatable, but in isolation each of those three scenes absolutely resonates with genuine emotional connection between the characters. I buy into Leia's motherly consolation, Han and Luke's adrenaline feedback loop, and their later playful rivalry, just as I buy into Anakin and Padme's sweet romance on the balcony.
  11. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    I used to ask myself something similar--do I like the prequels because I like Star Wars, or do I like the prequels because they are "great films." Then I kind of noticed that something similar could be asked of the OT, or the EU or anything else Star Wars that came before the PT--do I like it because it is "great," or do I like it because I am the type of viewer who can appreciate adventurous space opera/fantasy stuff on multiple levels?

    Now I simply accept that my reaction is my reaction regardless of what outside opinion says. Many hate AOTC, and yet I find it might have the most emotionally moving moments of the entire cycle with the sequence that begins with Anakin embracing and bidding goodbye to Padme (who at this point, speaking of beauty, blends in quite well with the peaceful picture of the unblemished blue sky that serves as backdrop) and ends with Anakin's confession about how far he as fallen while striving to be a Jedi. And it extends outside of Star Wars too. Alien 3 is supposedly a train-wreck, and yet watching Hicks and Newt's "funeral" gets me in a manner that both Scott's technical masterpiece and Cameron's big action crowd-pleaser failed to achieve.

    For both of these moments I cited I honestly think my reaction is less one of "wow, this is filmmaking" than it it is, "wow, this is emotion." Maybe that's why I don't have to "forgive" the stuff that ruins the films for others, as that stuff barely registers in the face of the moments that matter to me. I'm not blinding myself. I'm noticing something else.

  12. ILuvJarJar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2008
    star 6
    Your eyes have opened.

    The Star Wars saga is made up of 6 films, obviously. Most people only like 3 (sometimes 4) of them. But you have now understood how important and beautiful each and every one of the 6 films are. Star Wars is now complete to you. ;)
  13. JRoll Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2010
    star 1
    For many years after ROTS I tried watching the Saga 1-6, and it just didn't work for me, so I went back to tried it 4-6,1-3, and now I appreciate the 6 movies again. Now this post is not to say that 1-6 doesn't work for many here, I am just saying that as an oldtimer, 4-6,1-3 works for me, and I will tell you why:

    I can still watch each movie in the context I saw them, yet as I watch another episode unfold, I don't have to worry about how the story will jive when I get to the OT since I have already watched them.

    -I can still watch Star Wars first, and appreciate it for that standalone movie where nobody was related to anyone, and the story was just a magical fairytale with a beginning, middle, and ending.

    -I can then watch Empire & Jedi in the context of Lukes story and his quest to redeem his father, along with the rebels vs empire, and Leia's memories of her mothers are in context of 1983. :p

    -I can then watch the PT as just a great backstory that rounds out the OT, and fills in all the dots that I wondered after 1983. By watching the PT AFTER the OT, I can watch it as a trilogy not have to worry about the big picture if some parts don't jive, because TPM is the beginning and ROTS is the end.

    In the end, we all watch the movies the way we can enjoy them, and for me I found the way that lets me enjoy the PT but doesn't compromise the OT in the process.:)
  14. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Yeah I've become a 4-6 1-3 person too.
  15. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    How often does everybody actually sit down and watch these movies? I watch them once or maybe twice a year, and it's been literally a few years since the last time I watched ANH.
  16. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    Back when I was eight, nine, and ten, I used to watch the trilogy somewhat obsessively. On weekends in particular. In college, me and my buddies watched 1-6 the day Revenge of the Sith was released. Then in the spring of 2009 I moved into my own apartment, started spending more time alone, and it became somewhat of an OCD-like ritual. I've probably watched all the movies at least a hundred times since then. So like, every day for a while there, no exaggeration. But I haven't watched them for the past week, thank god. I think I was definitely looking for answers in the saga, and I finally found one.
    When you watch Star Wars and THX as often as every day, you begin to see parallels in newer movies. For instance, WALL-E is kind of like a kids version of THX in many ways. Wanted (2008) mimmicks Star Wars pretty closely in some ways, even though the final lesson being preached in that movie seemed to me to be "If a man smites you on one cheek, smash him on the other." Needless to say I found that movie in particular to be pretty disturbing. Hancock uses the severed hand trick from ESB and AOTC pretty brilliantly, using it to convey imbalance.
    But yeah, in spring 2009 I wasn't satisfied with the prequels at all. I figured a large part of it had to do with that fact that I hadn't watched them nearly as many times as the original trilogy. Now that my view counts have kind of evened out, I think I may have been right.
  17. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Yes. With each passing year, I see more of SW in other things. In art, in life, in history, politics, in other stories; even in more esoteric fields that don't appear (superficially) to have any connection to SW at all. This is the measure of obsession. It may also be the measure, or *a* measure, of GL's epic mind, which I do believe he possesses or has been gifted (depending on your cosmological perspective). Another cool movie link: one can view Greedo missing Han as a reference to the key scene in Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" where Ma-Samuel Jackson is almost killed (indeed, in his view, should have been killed), attributing his survival to "divine intervention". Thus, Han's importance in the narrative is unconsciously expressed as him being "saved", and this pivotal moment in ANH is linked to a piece of "exploitation" cinema, which has been designed to feel trashy whilst threaded all the while with profundity. And this change was effected into the fabric of ANH several years after Tarantino's opus arrived. Of course, that's turning your framework on its head (seeing aftershocks in other films, rather than noting backwash into SW). I still think it underscores how connected things are, however.

    Stamp, my man, this is an essay that you of all people might get something from:

    http://canopycanopycanopy.com/4/star_wars__a_new_heap

    It took me a long, long time to fully warm to TPM, a shorter while to embrace AOTC, and almost no time at all to adore ROTS. For me, the PT is layered like an onion, starting with the last shot of ROTS and moving backwards. That is, the last shot of ROTS is a blatant homage to the OT (and THX), and all that is good and pure, romantically speaking, about those films, in my opinion. Well, everything's a homage, but that shot is an outright deification. As you track back in narrative time from that shot, you find a stranger and stranger world, until you're back at the beginning of TPM and its line about "the taxation of trade routes". Then, when you roll the film forwards, if watched with this weirdness in mind, things manifest in very odd, yet shapely, timely, fascinating, edifying ways. When I was mentally at that stage, I began to comprehend SW in a totally different light. I'd alwasys struggled somewhat with TPM and parts of AOTC, but then everything began making ingenious -- even frightening -- sense.
  18. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    Exactly. Sometimes I think that our conscious minds have been conditioned to find and eliminate problems, and that it gets in the way of the unconscious desire to see the good in things. Or something. IIRC, you're the one who says that the medal ceremony at the end of ANH makes you teary-eyed to this day. To get that kind of reaction from a movie you've probably seen a dozen times, you have to just let it move you, and not think too hard. Upon reflection, I see not only happiness in that scene, but also enormous pride.
    For the first time last weekend, I truly enjoyed the new 2004 ending of ROTJ, basked in its "kumbayaa" glow, and just decided to be happy about it and accept it. I noticed just how proud of himself Hayden Christensen looks in those shots, and how much more fitting that expression is to the saga compared to Sebastian Shaw's kind, almost bittersweet performance.
    If these forums are any indication, being happy with something is unusual and quite an accomplishment. You should be proud of yourself.
  19. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Leia gets over Alderaan pretty quick too.
  20. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
  21. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    There was a time when my appreciation for TPM felt as alienating as, say, being a Wiccan in South Carolina. At first, I found myself craving a social network; in lieu of this, I had no choice but to be sustained by the only truly integral relationship that exists in matters of art (and faith, I suppose).

    Now personally, I find Anakin's simple ?Are you an angel?? query as heartbreaking as anything in cinema, right up there with Joseph Cotten's ?You used to believe in God? from The Third Man and the ?milk and strawberries? lamentation from The Seventh Seal. Despite every critique I've heard of the scene in question, I think it's absolutely perfect. Even beautiful?-the philosopher's stone to understanding the personage of Anakin Skywalker.
  22. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Now I want to watch TPM again. [face_love] It's been awhile.

    The "Are you an angel?" scene is one of my favorites in the saga. And yes, that line is simply beautiful and beautiful in its simplicity.
  23. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    I love "Are you an angel?" too.

    Get with it. :p For me, for many years I probably averaged one or two months between viewings of any of the SW movies. But for the past year or so, since my son became interested, we usually watch one episode per weekend... which is just fine by me. :)
  24. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, figure I might as well give my opinion... :p

    Yeah, the PT is beautiful, both visually and thought-wise. I've long thought that George's strange obsession with 135 or so minute run times actually crippled the movies-sure, it prevents the films from being ridiculously long and loaded down with extraneous scenes (I'm looking at you, The Two Towers) but IMO it also prevented alot of themes from getting the space they really needed. We're dealing with some really weighty subjects in the prequels just from the political point of view-freedom vs. security, the rights of man, and degeneration of democracy, to name a few-and these sorts of things need time and space to really get the full point across, I think.

    Although the lack of running time to fully wander around in these topics is one reason why the prequel EU has generally turned out to be above-par (not always, but a pretty fair amount of the time); George introduced all these high-thinkin concepts and then didn't really fully explore them, so the authors/comic book writers took the ball and ran with it, and as a result we have Shatterpoint, the ROTS novel, and Labyrinth Of Evil, plus the old Clone Wars comics.
  25. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    But back to the topic at hand which is beauty.
    In Revenge of the Sith the following exchange takes place. (And you thought this dialogue was stupid, didn't you?)

    Anakin Skywalker: You are so... beautiful.
    Padmé: It's only because I'm so in love.
    Anakin Skywalker: No, it's because I'm so in love with you.
    Padmé: So love has blinded you?
    Anakin Skywalker: [laughs] Well, that's not exactly what I meant.
    Padmé: But it's probably true.

    So I ask you, has love blinded me, or have my eyes been opened? What do you think?

    EDIT: Oh yeah speaking of eyes, asymmetry, and undying, unconditional love. Padme says of a naked, one-eyed Threepio "He's perfect." I never knew just how beautiful that line was.




    If you want an example of how love is blind, how do so many SW fans take the time to complain about the "bad" dialogue in the Prequel Trilogy - especially between Anakin and Padme; yet deliberately blind themselves from the "bad" dialogue in the Original Trilogy?

    How do they do it?
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