Saga The Phantom Menace VS. A New Hope

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by skyrimcat9416, Dec 8, 2013.

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  1. Master Agoraphobia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 1
    Gotta give it to A New Hope.

    "But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters! :("

    Always gives me a good chuckle.

    Also, the short binary sunset scene is pretty moving.
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  2. CommanderDrenn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2013
    star 4
    Agreed on all counts.
  3. Carbon1985 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2013
    star 3

    I wasn't really defending ANH, as I would have done the same with TPM if someone would have unfairly compared it to ANH.

    ANH was made as a standalone movie, and it most enjoyed when watched like that or atleast part 1 of 3 of the OT. The reason I say that is look at the rankings in the Saga thread, as most fans who put ANH at the bottom of their favorites, are HUGE PT fans, so they are trying to watch ANH connecting it to the 6 movies, and it has the least amount simply because the story wasn't streamlined like it was when Lucas made ESB and starting thinking about the big picture and sequels and prequels. Hence why he added Episode IV in 1981 shows that now he was thinking on a grander scale now.

    If you notice most OT fans rank TPM at the bottom of their list, because they are expecting it to duplicate ANH, working as a standalone movie with a beginning, middle and ending, when it WRITTEN as part 1 of 6, and is supposed to be the starting of the saga and set everything up.

    That is why it is very tough to really compare SW movies, because each one was written in a different context. Its different then say The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, where they were all filmed together as one cohesive story going right from a set of literature written decades earlier.

    You can say you favor one over the other, as that is normal with any movie you see. There are so many variables as to why each SW movie is the way it is, that it all depends on which way you are watching it will determine what you are getting out of it, and what you are missing too from it.
    Last edited by Carbon1985, Dec 16, 2013
  4. Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    One of the reasons I wish they'd film the ST back-to-back
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  5. Carbon1985 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2013
    star 3
    It's interesting you say that because I am very torn when it comes to how the SW movies are filmed, and how the Lord of the Rings movies are filmed. Even though I love the SW movies more then LOTR, I will say that the LOTR movies work better as a cohesive story simply because they are all filmed together and the writing is pre-planned before filming.

    But in a practical matter, who has time to watch 3 movies in a row in one sitting? So in a sense, I sort of like the way the SW movies are filmed (more as 6 individual films that make up 1 long story), because I usually only watch 1 movie in a sitting. When I watch a LOTR movie, I sort of feel unfullfilled because I think the trilogy works best watching them all together, but I can pop in a SW movie anytime, and because they are more individualistic, it is more fullfilling because they can standalone despite being one long story.

    I hope that makes sense.
  6. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2013
    star 3
    ST back-to-back just because ANH works as a standalone movie? No.
    I think it's important for the actors to get older through the trilogy. Look Hamill in ANH and in ROTJ. He's older, more mature, you can see he's more experienced. The same with McGregor. Even Christiansen. LOTR was easier to film that way, the story was limited with Tolkien's novels. SW story gradually changed and evolved and for that it required time.
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  7. oierem Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 4
    That's interesting, and partly, I agree: the three LOTR movies are much more unified than the SW movies, which are tonaly very contrasting. (These contrasts are found within each SW film as well -think about the tonal shift between the two halves of ANH, or the five planets of AOTC). Personally, I find that uncohesiveness fascinating and it makes it more interesting and varied to watch all the movies back to back, whereas the cohesiveness of LOTR can be a bit boring at times. Yes, it's more unified, it's more cohesive, but it's less contrasting and therefore, more difficult to watch them back-to-back.
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  8. kane1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2013
    This thread makes me die a little on the inside. ANH was a cultural phenomenon and started the entire saga with a BANG. If TPM was the first movie there would be no saga (just take a look at how poorly it was received by critics and the public in general).
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  9. Samnz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    Yes, it was a cultural phenomenon (it was still heavily criticized by some). That doesn't save it from discussions, though.

    Apart from the shortcomings of "What If..." scenarios, yeah, let's take a look!

    ---> 79% of people who saw TPM in 1999 described it either as "good" or "excellent" or "one of the greatest". It was "poorly received" by a total of 4%.
    --> a total of 51 (only 1 point lower than ROTJ) with 15 positive, 15 mixed and 6 negative reviews.

    I wonder how many directors of films that were actually "poorly received" would celeberate to death with these results...

    Last edited by Samnz, Dec 18, 2013
  10. MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 5
    I like TPM, but to me, always and forever...

    A New Hope IS Star Wars!
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  11. FRAGWAGON Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Good thoughts bouncing back and forth here. Particularly between HB and Cryogenic.

    Regarding emotionalism in Star Wars, each episode manages these moments in an understated, quick and breezy manner. This saves the impact for the big moments, which explode like Death Stars.
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  12. Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Funny. Your post makes me die a little on the inside.

    Also, Roger Ebert said the exact opposite:
    "If it were the first "Star Wars" movie, 'The Phantom Menace' would be hailed as a visionary breakthrough. But this is the fourth movie of the famous series, and we think we know the territory; many of the early reviews have been blase, paying lip service to the visuals and wondering why the characters aren't better developed. How quickly do we grow accustomed to wonders."
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  13. only one kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 4

    I don't really, even understand what that reviewer is saying. If it had been the first wasn't. It wasn't a break-through. AND..the characters are important to the story line. The original Star Wars worked because it was visually stunning, yes, but also because the story engaged the audience and because the characters engaged the audience - so there's not much of an argument made if what you are suggesting is that...'characters not up to much, story not up to much but... did you see the visuals' (and that is what Roger Ebert says there amounts to)
  14. Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Read the whole review.
    My point is that (like Ebert says), if TPM had been the first on it would have been a visionary breakthrough, unlike kane1138 who said there would be no Star Wars if TOM would have been released first.
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  15. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 5
    It's meaningless, hypothetical rhetoric. Ebert was simply trying to put things in context, but there simply isn't any real context in which TPM would have been the 'first' movie. The context which does matter, however, is that of the late 1990s - when garbage like Independence Day and Godzilla were having great fun with all the visuals and not bothering with decently developed scripts. Anyone remember these posters?

    [IMG] [IMG]

    I think Ebert was just pointing out in his review that TPM wasn't, at least, the same as the truly moronic blockbusters being cynically churned out at the time. It doesn't really have any bearing on a comparison between SW/ANH & TPM.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Dec 19, 2013
  16. FRAGWAGON Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    It wasn't the same. But years of pop critics Jedi mind tricks have done their damage.
  17. gezvader28 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 5
    TPM just doesn't work .

    it has some good elements , and I think Lucas worked hard on it , but too much of it is just plain bad , I don't give a damn about the characters , the story sags constantly , and even with all that expensive action in the last 20 minutes it never gets exciting , and too much slapstick .
    Just doesn't work .

    great score tho .
    Sarge likes this.
  18. Komodo9Joe Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2013
    star 1
    There isn't a single problem with the Trade Federation nor are there several levels to it. So don't try to be verbose to come off as more intelligent; I was going to reply to your earlier post, which unfortunately got many likes, but I suppose I'll start here.

    The "villainy" is clearly implied throughout the movie. Governor Bibble states that the "death toll is catastrophic," and that's not necessarily "written off as being fake," especially since the Viceroy later states to the Governor that "your people are starving, and you Governor, are going to die much sooner than your people." So if you're actually true to your words and "get the value" of implying, you should be able to derive tons of value from the plethora of scenes that imply "villainy." Nevertheless, you don't need to be shown the explicit murder/starvation/confinement of the people to understand the villainy of the Trade Federation. The Trade Federation invades Naboo, subjugates it under a military dictatorship, and proceeds to overthrow the current head of state. Just the first two are clear attacks on a country's sovereignty, which are outright acts of war. The Trade Federation is given plenty "villainy" for their actions and one only needs to see the blockade, followed by the subsequent invasion, military occupation, and deposing of the Queen to understand Amidala's plight and resolve to seek the Republic's help.

    Way to not watch the movie: all of these "points" are easily refuted by what's explicitly in the film. The Trade Federation isn't meant to be a threat to the protagonists on Tattooine, hence Qui-Gon's reason on why they should land there. On Tattooine, the tension was about if the protagonists could get the parts they needed to repair their ship and head off the planet. And Anakin is pertinent: Qui-Gon senses something special about the boy and has his instincts later confirmed when he runs a midichlorian test. Furthermore, Qui-Gon never expressed any interest/knowledge on betting on pod races before he met Anakin and realized that the boy could provide the solution to their problem.

    The rush to get to get to to Coruscant is also made clear by the protagonists. Padme expresses her worry on the whole situation multiple times to Qui-Gon: "Are you sure about this? Trusting our fate to a boy we hardly know?" Qui-Gon also confides to Obi-Wan on the urgency of the situation, tersely stating to Obi-Wan on his comlink: "We're running out of time" after hearing Obi-Wan's report on Governor Bibble's holograph about the many deaths occurring on Naboo. Right after this, the films cuts to Darth Sidious and Darth Maul where Maul thrillingly states "at last we will have revenge," signifying a very real threat coming to our heroes.

    I've lost track here of the amount of incorrect alterations you made in that paragraph. I suggest that you also put that dusty TPM disc back in--or for that matter, get a copy of the movie and watch it--before issuing a whole bunch of statements that the film clearly explains.

    I'm looking forward to this next part: tearing down the sacrosanct status that the OT holds where shoddy acting and incomprehensible characterizations are, contrary to popular belief, very, very, present.

    Great list you have there: ANH really does deliver some wooden acting and tension-free scenes, right? Let's go over the first two examples you stated and see how well our suspension of disbelief can hold up.

    1. Luke finding his family dead.
    The scene was simply unbelievable. Luke hardly reacts to the death of both of his stepparents: he merely looks onto the ruins of his home with a mildly stoic and wistful gaze. And from there, the whole incident is completely dropped and forgotten, never to play a crucial part in Luke's training or even be referred to ever to again. Compare this to AOTC where we actually do get to see the traumatic effects losing loved ones has on a person. Anakin clearly shows his pain after losing his mother Shmi, distantly looking off as he holds her in his arms, unable to fully absorb what had just occurred until it slowly trickles in. Furthermore, the scene is constantly shown to scar Anakin from the scene where he pathetically kneels before his mother's gravestone to the scene where his innermost desires of power to save those close to him are laid bare before Padme, ultimately breaking down and sobbing. His mother's death and the effects it had upon him are again shown referred back to in ROTS, adding more to his character, Now, back to ANH, we have a relatively indifferent Luke who seemingly erases the entire tragedy behind him. It doesn't even come up on Luke's time on Dagobah where he learns of the Dark Side and how it draws upon immense pain and suffering. Nope, Luke just waives the whole incident behind him.

    2. Finding the remains of Alderaan
    This is a perfect example of a complete absence of tension in a scene. The Death Star just moved in and destroyed an entire planet within seconds. And that's it. If the purpose of the scene was to show the Empire's military might, then this could have been done in less extremist yet still potent feats. Tonally, the ability to destroy an entire planet reeks of hyperbole and relieves a scene of any potential tension. One begins to wonder why another person didn't duplicate/replicate the Death Star's laser beam if a super laser was known to exist that could destroy whole worlds. Why didn't the rebels architect a similar weapon after acquiring the plans of the Death Star? Whenever you have something extremely and unrealistically overpowered, it opens a huge can of worms.

    Do you want to know why the above scenes are riddled with incredulity and convenience? Because ANH is George Lucas' first hand at the Star Wars saga where the problems above were swept under the rug and smoothed over because of the Star Wars' "old crowd" and the colossal impact the film had made on them and on a larger scope, the filming industry. That's fine and all but whereas ANH has a certain "rawness" to it, TPM resembles a well-oiled masterpiece. Perhaps I'll tackle the entertainment aspect of the two films later on: another area, which is unusually never brought up, where TPM trumps ANH.

    I realize that a large portion of the OT crowd do not enjoy the PT as much for nostalgic reasons--not a bad instinct at all. However, when this spawns into molding criticisms on the PT, the ending results are clearly shown to be weak and entirely, probably purposefully, ignorant of the actual events of the PT. Conclusively though, as far as objectivity can go with Star Wars films, the OT is not even in the same stratosphere as the PT.
    Last edited by Komodo9Joe, Dec 22, 2013
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  19. Samuel Vimes Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    First the reason I don't enjoy the PT as much as the OT aren't due to nostalgia, I simply find them to be rather average on the whole.

    But to your ANH point.
    In case you missed it, the DS isn't special just due to the Super Laser but also through it's huge size.
    When Obi-Wan says "That's no moon, it's a space station." Han says that it is too big to be a space station. When the rebels later attack, one pilot amazed at it's size. "Look at the size of that thing!"
    So it isn't just about being able to build a SL but a huge station to have it in.
    Second, to utterly destroy a planet seemed to be something totally beyond the Empire's ability before the DS, again if we consider what Han says.
    So not only is the SL something new but also stations this big.

    And the rebels clearly don't have anything near as much industrial capacity as the Empire has.
    They have small bases and fairly few ships. Even if they wanted to build a DS on their own, they haven't the resources to do so. Also, the rebels just got the plans to the DS, how would they be able to build their own DS in a space of a couple of days?

    And would they even do that if they could?
    I doubt it. The rebels need popular support. If they were to use the same methods as the Empire, that support would go away. And I highly doubt that Leia would ever be fine with the rebels blowing up planets in retaliation against the empire. The DS is a horrible weapon, I can't see the rebels using such a weapon.

    As for TPM being a "well-oiled" masterpiece. I very much disagree. I don't hate the film or think it is a bad film. But is far from being a masterpiece to me. The plot has several contrived elements in it.

    First, why did the TF just remove their blockade? We are never told why and Padme and Qui-Gon are not aware of it. So their plan to got back to Naboo seems like suicide as they would expect to face the same blockade they barely got through last time.

    Second, why did Qui-Gon bring a small boy into a war zone? Going to Naboo and then into the palace would be very dangerous and Qui-Gon would be aware of it. He clearly didn't expect Anakin to fight and said that once inside, Anakin should find a safe place to hide.
    Wouldn't Coruscant be a lot safer? Or back at the Gungans hideout?
    But Anakin has to be there and so he is, regardless whether it makes any sense or not. And none of the other characters react to Anakin being there or say that he should stay behind because it is dangerous.

    Third, it was very considerate of the TF to leave the Naboo fighters fueled, armed and ready for take off. Right in the same palace they control. And how did Padme know that these fighters hadn't been destroyed or dismantled? It would be a very sensible thing for the TF to do. And the auto pilot for the fighters had apparently been programmed to fly up to the TF ship. How did that happen?
    Anakin climbing in there and starting to randomly pushing buttons was far too much of a contrivance to me.

    Fourth, Qui-Gon had other options than using Anakin on the race. Once Watto refused, he could simply have gone to another dealer, one not Force immune. There he could have used his republic credits and bought enough goods and parts to cover the cost of the part he needs. He could even buy enough so that he could have bought Anakin off Watto. But we needed the race so it must happen. BTW I did like the race, it was well done if a bit long.

    One by one, these things are not a big deal but when taken together the plot starts to become contrived to me.

    Pacing, ANH is slower yes and it makes sense given that movies in general were slower back then.
    But I find that ANH's pace works better than TPM's and the first time I saw TPM, I felt that it was actually slower in parts and it almost started to drag.
    ANH has a quick, action packed start and then it is quite slow in the Tatooine parts. Then once they leave Tatooine the pace picks up and the tension increases bit by bit. So a slow build up and then the tension increases bit by bit until the final climax, the DS battle.

    TPM's pace is more scattered. It has a bit of action at the start and then a slower bit on Tatooine. Then an action packed race and a quick glimpse of Maul. But then the pace slows down again on Coruscant. This is were the film started to drag a bit for me. There are important things going on but the characters all seem so distant and uninterested that I began to loose interest myself.

    We get some action again back on Naboo but the four way fight didn't fully work for me. The ground battle was hampered by silly antics, the attack on the TF ship both felt contrived and none of the pilots made any impression on me. Padme in the palace worked well. The Maul fight was again well done but lacked dramatic punch. Maul was not very interesting as a character. He was just there to look cool, fight well, kill Qui-Gon and then die. Also there was not much build up with him as a very deadly foe. He had one quick fight with Qui-Gon, little else. Ex. in the first Matrix film, the Agents and esp Agent Smith had been seen as almost unstoppable and Smith kicked Morpheus behind when they fought. So when Neo decides to stand and fight, we know how capable and deadly Smith is.
    To me, what makes a good on-screen fight isn't just the fight it self but the build up.

    I can understand and respect Lucas trying new things and having a more complex story but to me, it didn't work as well. I felt that Lucas was trying to outdo the three way fight in RotJ with a four way fight but it didn't work nearly as well.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  20. sharkymcshark Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2013
    star 3
    I actually don't know why I'm responding to this because around the time you referred to TPM as a "well oiled cinematic masterpiece" (good mixed metaphor there) I thought you were being disingenuous, but nonetheless here goes...

    I'll start by stating for the record that
    a) I was there at midnight for the release in 1999
    b) I own TPM on VHS, DVD and bluray
    c) I was there for the 3D release in 2012.

    There are several levels to it, so let me break it down for you.

    1. They aren't ever shown as serious antagonists
    2. The Queen and the Jedi never really treat them as serious antagonists.

    There you go. Two levels. One 'in universe' so to speak (to do with the way the characters in the film interact with one another, for those of you playing along at home), and one to do directly with audience perceptions.

    I was going to make a pithy remark about catering my post to a lower reading level next time but reading it back it uses plain English to get across a rather simple set of points, so I don't know what your issue is.

    Good antagonistic start though.

    It literally is. The scene basically cuts from that message to

    Padme: We should go back.
    Obi Wan: It's a fake.

    Good, because I seem to recall literally saying in the post you quoted that the audience didn't need to be shown any direct killing or similar.

    This brings us to the reason that I said there were "several levels" to the Trade Federation problem. The two levels of a) characters interaction with one another in the story and b) interaction with the audience play off eachother here.

    First I'd point out that saying "the death toll is catastrophic" and "your people are starving" are not actually implications. They don't point to any conclusion that is not specifically stated. These statements do not imply that bad things are happening on Naboo, they merely state that bad things are happening on Naboo. Again, no villainy is actually implied.

    This brings me back to one of my bug bears about the PT - too much telling, not enough showing. Padme escapes from a pristine Theed, messes around on Tatooine for a bit, receives a message about how the "death toll is catastrophic", messes around on Tatooine a bit more, finally gets to Coruscant and then returns... to a pristine Theed. All we've really got is the one garbled transmission from Sio Bibble, which, again, was written off as a fake by Obi Wan.

    That said, the quote from you above about the Federation being shown to invade and depose Padme is spot on - we're shown explicitly that this happens. However, for the audience the problem is that

    a) that's basically all we're shown
    b) despite your assertions, no further villainy is actually implied, and
    c) the momentum of the film completely dies when they get to Tatooine because Padme and her merry band don't appear that fussed about getting to Coruscant fast

    means that the audience isn't really compelled to think that the Trade Federation are a serious threat to the wellbeing of her people, because she's not acting like they are a serious threat to the wellbeing of her people.

    Later in your post you question Luke's reaction to having his family killed, saying that all he does is stare into the middle distance for a bit, and then get on with life and never mention it again. The entire second act of TPM makes me question Padme's reaction to having her planet invaded and (apparently) having her people subjugated.

    You seem to have problems with comprehending the point I was making. Obviously the Trade Federation aren't a threat to the Queen and her party on Tatooine. However, the Trade Federation are still ostensibly busy subjugating the people of Naboo, which as I've pointed out the Queen isn't really shown to give enough of a fuss about to ask if perhaps there was a quicker and more convenient way to get to Coruscant than having a slave earn his freedom and their right to buy a part for an engine through a race that's happening in a few days if he can fix up his vehicle in time.

    The issue with the Tatooine sequence is that the tension moved away from the Queen trying to get off Tatooine as fast as possible to get help for her people, and became a story about freeing a slave through allowing him to compete in a race. On its own it would have been an interesting enough tale, but the fact that the Queen seems content to do that for a few days instead of any of the other quicker ways to get transport that the Saga had previously established suggests to the audience that whatever is happening on Naboo isn't as important as freeing this one slave, which in turn undermines the entire conflict driving the film.

    The fact that the Jedi are content to mind trick Boss Nass out of transport but aren't content to do that on Tatooine is basically a glaring plot hole.

    I never said that he did so I'm unsure what this is in reference to. I did say he became involved in a pod race though, which is objectively true.

    Regardless of what the characters actually say about it it doesn't make it compelling or believable storytelling. Going about attaining your goal in a drawn out and slightly convoluted manner cannot be remedied by every ten minutes pointing out what a rush you should be in and then not doing anything to remedy this.

    It's bad film making.

    Your list, which I omitted for space, has some very accurate observations about the lack of emotion shown by the actors on ANH. I'd add to that, though you did sort of tangentially mention it, that Leia doesn't seem anywhere near as affected as someone should be if their entire planet, family and friends were destroyed.

    There is a very good reason for this.

    It is because as good a storyteller and universe builder George Lucas is, he is not a good director.

    Why did Leia show more emotion when Luke was lost in the snow on Hoth and Han went out to save him, or when Han was frozen in carbonite at the end of Empire than when Alderaan was blown up? Because George Lucas is not a good director (and Irvin Kirshner is).

    As a related example of this, I'd highlight the reaction of Leia to Alderaan being blown up that was left on the cutting room floor: She simply says "And you people call yourselves humans?" and stares sadly and angrily into the middle distance. Hardly the most convincing or moving reaction, to the extent that Leia's reaction to her planet being destroyed was almost entirely omitted. I can't remember where I saw that cut scene - I believe it was on one of the many documentaries about Star Wars. Either Empire of Dreams or When Star Wars Ruled the World.

    If you listen to or read any interview with cast members from the various Star Wars films you learn two things about George Lucas as a director - the first is that he's not a particularly good writer of dialogue ("You can write this stuff George but you sure as hell can't say it" - Harrison Ford), and secondly that he sticks dogmatically to the script. These are essentially the perfect conditions to allow for wooden and unconvincing performances.

    However, as true as what you said is, it doesn't really undermine my point in any way - the conflict that drives the story is still very well paced out, regardless of how bad the acting is in certain bits. This is largely down the fantastic editing of Richard Chew, Paul Hirsch, and Marcia Lucas.

    Finally, let's not go into some of the appallingly bad acting that featured in the PT because it just about tops anything terrible in the OT.

    While nostalgia plays a role, I'd argue that the reason that the OT is generally preferred is that ESB and ROTJ are better directed than any of the prequels, and ANH told such a simple and in many ways small scale story that Lucas's limited directing skills couldn't really bring it down that much.

    They compare very favourably to the three films where he had free reign to do entirely as he pleased and no one really seemed keen to question him. And yes, I am aware that one of the things Lucas wanted with the creation of 1977's Star Wars was to be able to have absolute creative control over a film free from studio interference. It just seems that back then he was much more willing to defer to people more competent at the different roles involved in making a film than he was with the prequels.

    Also, you appear to have used a word longer than two syllables. Clearly you know that your argument is weak and have decided to be "verbose" in order to compensate.
    Last edited by sharkymcshark, Dec 23, 2013
  21. Komodo9Joe Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2013
    star 1
    Ah, how I was hoping you would respond. The only thing that is comprised of multiple levels here, sharkymcshark, is the complete ignorance of the events in TPM and egregious rhetoric that's signified in your own reply to mine. So I'll be happy to systematically break down your post again.

    Right off the bat, a misquote. "Well-oiled masterpiece" not "well-oiled cinematic masterpiece." With this type of faulty start, I "don't know why I'm responding to this ... but nonetheless here goes":

    That turns out to be even more of a shocker after reading this post.

    Your first point is subjective, vague, and incorrect since defining serious, strictly in terms of denotation, equates to solemn, stern, or sincere. And all three takes of the word reasonable describe the Trade Federation that a) take their orders and carry them out seriously b) provide a serious threat by means of owning a formidable, mechanical army and c) are clearly delineated as the primary opposition to the protagonists.

    Your second point however, is easily refuted in the film where, the heroes consider the Trade Federation genuinely hostile towards them, i.e. the definition of an antagonist. Qui-Gon remarks upon choosing a destination to land upon, their need for a respite strictly lying outside the influence of the Trade Federation. On Coruscant, the Queen and Senator Palpatine also state, in very layman terms, I might add, the "seriousness" of the problem presented by the Trade Federation.

    And instead of actually making a "pithy remark,"--pith by definition meaning concise and succinct--you provide a long-winded explanation of why you didn't make a "pithy remark." Great way to signify your aversion to being unnecessarily verbose.

    I agree, if this comment is taken to refer to my elaboration upon the "antagonistic" nature presented by the Trade Federation.
    Er, no. The scene "basically" cuts from the holographic message, to Obi-Wan's warning to the Queen not to reply, to then his question to Qui-Gon over the comlink: "What if the people really are dying?" implying that there might very well be truth in Sio Bibble's message, regardless if it is simultaneously being used as bait.

    Great, because with your flat-out admittance here that the audience "didn't need to be shown any direct killing or similar," causes your earlier sentence, "the first is that we're told that bad things are happening on Naboo, and not shown" to be robbed entirely of its worth. So the gratuity of such scenes dealing with "killing" is now in consensus.

    Get your "levels" straight. The two levels here are inconsistent with what you wrote above on antagonism.

    You seem to have literally fooled yourself, probably in an attempt to evade clear-cut facts, into thinking that an implication is not really an implication. Bibble's lines imply of the general suffering taking place on Naboo, offering statements on particular pressing problems. These "bad things" are a result of the implied villainy of the Trade Federation that goes hand in hand with the implied suffering occurring on Naboo. Furthermore, the way Governor Bibble is escorted away by battle droids implies martial law which is another clear act of villainy. And, this whole post here does not even touch or attempt to refute my original post articulating the implied villainy caused by tyrannical rule.

    ...Ok, yeah, I don't think even you understand your position anymore. Earlier, you admitted that "showing" in those instance were gratuitous, effectively null and voiding any points based off of showing. Thus, this entire section here crumbles.
    Yeah, I'm seriously believing that point B in your preamble is a lie. Go watch the movie again if you don't think Padme explicitly negatively reacts to the planet being invaded. There was even an entire scene where she forlornly looks out the window as STAPs and ATT's roll in, powerless in stopping the coming subjugation of her people.

    You seem to be suffering under the problem of carelessly watching a movie, allowing clearly portrayed scenes to blow past you, and then professing criticism and misunderstanding from a woefully incorrect recollection of the movie. And the second act is not about the Queen sulking and mourning over the goings-on at Naboo; who'd even want to watch that, especially considering the fact that Padme's sadness is earlier shown and obviously understood?

    Really, the bulk of your paragraphs take issue with things that aren't supposed to be taken issue with. On top of that, the things you list are very clearly portrayed. Padme is highly concerned about her world on Tattooine and is never shown to be "content" with her current position. That's entirely an unsupported and tremendously wrong statement you keep passing off and trying to build problems off of.

    Also, your usage of red herrings is hardly elusive. The tension shifts to getting off Tattoine not of "freeing a slave" which while ultimately a byproduct and secondary goal, is not the overarching tension of the second act. I'm sorry to know that your tense over the wrong things, but it's hardly surprising ... go watch the movie again.

    Did everybody read what this guy said above? Yeah, seriously, go watch The Phantom menace again. There's an entire scene devoted to Qui-Gon failing to perform a mind trick on Watto before he comes across Anakin and changes his methodology on acquiring the T-14 hyperdrive. Plot hole indeed...

    Truth is objective, so you're now being verbose and redundant.

    It's not convoluted; a four year old could understand the bet taking place.

    It's called bad film watching: go watch TPM again.

    Now we seem to be getting somewhere. Addressing the next part though is going to derail the conversation, so I'll pass on taking the bait. But I will state that you do make a few salient points; this was surprising after reading what it was preceded by though.

    Here's an apt use of a classical comeback: "You wish."

    Whether or not one harbors nostalgia towards the PT is not something to "argue." Nostalgia will often play out in some form when ranking off of preferences. But this is something I'd go into in that other thread, recently opened, that discusses the nostalgia of the OT-ers.

    Is this sarcasm? It certainly emitted an ironic laugh from me. I've appeared to use a word longer than two syllables, huh? You've appeared to write a novella showcasing a person's ignorance on a movie when they proceed to talk about a movie after seemingly not knowing 2 minutes of it.

    Reminds me of RLM and his crowd.
    Last edited by Komodo9Joe, Dec 23, 2013
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  22. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    That's great 'n' all, but if you actually believe that:

    a) TPM conclusively shows "bad film making", and
    b) the PT is filled with "appallingly bad acting", and
    c) George Lucas is a lousy writer and director,

    why, oh, why, have you lined this guy's pockets several times over?

    I think Chris Nolan's films are pretty overrated, and Peter Jackson's, too, so I don't own anything by either one of them. Even then, I wouldn't call them bad filmmakers, however.

    What could possibly have driven you to keep voting with your wallet, parting with your own money, and personally gesturing, "More of this, please, George! More!"?
    Jarren_Lee-Saber and Komodo9Joe like this.
  23. sharkymcshark Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2013
    star 3
    You seem to be labouring under the assumption that I don't consider the Trade Federation antagonists. They very obviously are.

    They're just not very well developed or effective, not helped by the fact that the Nemoidans are basically played as puppets and comic relief.

    All of which makes the Tatooine portion of the film even more baffling.

    My point, going back to the original post you quoted which fortunately got so many likes, was that it needn't be shown if it is implied. The film is flawed as it was neither shown nor implied.

    They're the exact same levels I referenced earlier.

    The first, that we the audience aren't shown that the Trade Federation are serious antagonists (and their villainy is neither really shown nor implied) is to do with the direct perception of them by the audience. We're shown that they invade, and that's it. It'd wrong, but it's not atrocious. Padme flees a pristine Theed, and returns an hour later to a pristine Theed.

    The second, that the Queen and her merry band don't take the fastest way off Tatooine, is to do with the way characters interact with eachother in the film.

    Two levels to portraying an antagonist.

    Again, you seem to have misconstrued what an implication is - Bibble and the Queen being escorted away, and seeing the pilots sitting guarded by battle droids are literal pointers to martial law, not implications. Unfortunately martial law is not inherently villainous in itself, or I'd argue not inherently villainous enough to lead to an implication that terrible things are happening on Naboo.

    Again, I said showing or implying. Either.

    Neither actually happens effectively.

    Even if we accept for the purposes of this exercise that that's an appropriate way for her to react to the invasion of her planet and her being deposed, it doesn't alter the fact that then we're shown that she spends pace destroying days messing around on Tatooine.

    It kills the flow of the film.

    By your own admission she looks pensively out of a window for a few seconds.

    She's dealing pretty well with this whole deposed, having to flee her planet, and the (apparent) horrible suffering of her people thing.

    By tagging along with the 'let this slave win his freedom and our hyperdrive component in a race in a few days if he can fix his vehicle before then' thing it is effectively implied to the audience that she is not that fussed about getting to Coruscant as fast as possible to get help.

    Why is this an implication? Because her actions suggest something that is not explicitly stated.

    The point is that by the logic that the film earlier established if they were in a rush they could have gone anywhere else and told someone to give them a ship, or to allow them to exchange a working ship for Republic credits. The film already established that they weren't shy about mind tricking people out of vehicles in an emergency.

    Which goes back to my original point - if they were willing to mind trick Boss Nass but then play Watto's stupid games instead of going elsewhere well then they mustn't be in that much of a rush, right?

    I've tried in these versus threads to stay away from in universe nitpicking, but I'd argue a film ignoring its own established logic and characteristation is a fairly glaring flaw.

    That much is true. Well played.

    This multiquote malarky is hurting my head so I'll just try to clearly restate what my issue is.

    The Tatooine part of the film entirely kills the pace of the plot because it appears to me that they don't try and find the fastest way to get off the planet and reach Coruscant, and instead get involved in a saving a slave/podracing side story as a very contrived means to fixing their ship. This entirely diffuses any tension that the Federation invading Naboo and the Queen's escape had created up to this point.

    The fact that the Queen doesn't seem that fussed about this suggests that nothing that bad can be happening on Naboo, otherwise she'd be in more of a rush to get help. I'd assume that we as the audience are not meant to think that Padme is particularly callous or uncaring, so this in turn makes me question the antagonists.

    We're not shown them committing any villainy beyond the coup. A coup, as you rightly pointed out, can be seen as an act of war. However, it does not necessarily entail a humanitarian crisis. Trying to backdoor in urgency by having people saying "We're suffering in X Y or Z way" but then not showing or even implying it, or having the protagonists respond to it in a reasonable way, is poor film making.

    Despite convincing myself somewhere along the line that I can pick the flaws in a film, I don't consider myself an auteur and own and have enjoyed a wide variety of films of varying quality. Also, while I do think George Lucas is not a good director or writer of dialogue, I do enjoy the Saga.

    As for why so many times, well in my defence the only time as an adult I gave my own money was for the 3D release, which I went to with a large group of university friends because anything is fun with friends, right?

    The home media versions were all presents from relatives, and in 1999 I was fortunate enough to have the most awesome uncle a school kid could could want who got tickets through his work.
  24. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    I had a feeling you'd go down the "presents" route. Your relatives are so taken aback by your undying love of all things prequel that they simultaneously managed to buy you the VHS cassette, the DVD, and even the Blu-ray -- despite these products being separated by twelve years?

    Cool that your uncle got tickets in 1999. I've always had to pay for anything Star Wars-related from my own pocket. And money has always been tight. Good if you can it free, though, I suppose.

    Seeing a 3D release of a maligned Star Wars film with uni friends thirteen years after its original debut? Sounds like you or they were quite keen. Must be all that horrible film-making that drew them in.

    This saga has had its wicked way with you, then.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  25. windu4 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    Just when you think you've seen everything....
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