Theory on why older fans love the OT, have some issues with the PT

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Deuspater, Feb 12, 2003.

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  1. Deuspater Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Ok, here goes. I've noticed that most people who do not like the PT seem to be older fans. Now besides some legitimate greivances against the PT (there are some instances of HORRIFIC acting; I don't even think the writing is that bad, it's the acting), I think there are some other reasons as well. I think when Lucas decided to make Darth Vader Luke's father, the entire nature of the series changed. Fans who were alive to see the original release of Star Wars and Empire saw what one could describe in a simple little expression as, "The adventures of Luke, Han, and Leia." Luke was clearly the focus of the series, the hero and main character. Darth Vader was the personification of evil, barely even a man. He was ruthless and cruel - the ultimate baddie, the ultimate antagonist. Luke and the Rebels fought against Vader and the Empire, and it was a straightforward good v. evil conflict. Then, when Return of the Jedi came out, all of this changed. (I think it's no surprise that many people who hate the PT think ROTJ sucked too). In ROTJ, the story became much more personal. It was about a son trying to reconnect with his father. Vader became more human, feeling regret and remorse. The bada$$ of Empire was gone. He was a contemplative and sad man. More than that, we see that he is not really all that powerful - he was nothing but a slave and pawn to the Emperor. I think a lot of people didn't like seeing their favorite villain turned into such a pathetic figure. And then, when Lucas decided to make the PT, it was a necessary result that Luke lost his status as the main character of the series. Anakin now is clearly the focus of the saga. His rise, fall, and redemption. Luke plays a pivotal part, but it is no longer uniquely his story, and this has aggravated a lot of fans. Also, the PT has continued the "humanization," if you will, of Darth Vader, showing him as a real person, who was once good but turned to evil. Older fans were outraged by the fact that Anakin was nine years old in TPM because it was so far removed from the ESB Vader. Vader's status as an iconic villain is somewhat lost, because not only was he once a good guy, he was THE good guy. It is my personal opinion that this is great, it makes for a more compelling character, but it has angered some people. I think these fans are right that the PT doesn't seem to have a "classic" Star Wars feel to it. The addition of the PT changes the OT in so many ways. I think some fans wanted the PT to be a kind of "directors cut" of scenes tacked on to the OT. Imagine the OT as a novel; these fans wanted the PT to be nothing more than an appendix to the Ot, providing some interesting background info but being nothing more than a supplement to the OT. Lucas has not followed that path. He fully intends the PT to be on an equal footing with the OT; he wants one, cohesive, 6-part saga, and he does not care if the original meaning or feeling of the OT is changed. Personally, I'm on Lucas' side. So I guess, to sum up what I'm saying is this: "The adventures of Luke, Han, and Leia" have become "The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker," and many fans can't stomach this. Sorry for being so long winded, hope this generates some good discussion.
  2. Darth-Horax Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2001
    star 6
    First of all, I was at the original releases of the OT, and I loved ROTJ and so far have no major issues with the PT. My main problem with the PT is the use of way too much CGI. It looks good at times, but come on, watch the OT and compare it to the PT. The OT looked so much better and more real. I think Lucas is relying too much on computers now instead of on actors and puppets. The explosions and things are ok, but some scenes just look fake. Obi Wan hanging from the assassin droid is one of those fake looking things I don't really care for.

    As far as the Adventures of Luke, Leia, and Han, I've always considered the SW Saga as the adventures of Darth Vader. Personally, I think it's great that we see the total transformation of Vader from a youth to the Evil Lord of the Sith we all know and love. Personification is great! It shows how people are not necessarily born bad, but get that way over time. There are so many undertones in the series that we would be here for years discussing them all. due to time constraints, I think it will suffice to say that the OT was superior, but the PT is not finished yet, and I will not judge the entire story line until I see all of it.

    I will always love SW, but to me, the OT is far superior.

  3. ArtisticJedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 1
    I think it is because most older fans grew up with the orignals and those are the ones they are used to. When the prequels came out they had very high expectaions. natually some were dissapointed.

    disclamer: don't get me wongo, i love all 5 star wars movies!

    I my self prefer the original trillogy. just cause
  4. Deuspater Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Good points, Darth Horax. I didn't mean to generalize. I know there are plenty of fans of the OT who like the PT as well. But there seem to be a siginficant number of people ("fanboys"? is that what there called, I'm not sure) who stopped like Star Wars after Empire came out. I guess what I'm saying is the PT does not exist solely to answer questions about the OT. It exists in its own right.
  5. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    (there are some instances of HORRIFIC acting; I don't even think the writing is that bad, it's the acting)

    Wrong. It was the dialogue (writing). NOT the acting, GL pretty much has most of the control of the acting. (With the exception of when Hayden challenged him on the confession scene - first time there was real tears in SW, supposedly). I actually like them both. I like ESB and AOTC the best, with TPM and ROTJ coming in close seconds. I'm sure I'm seen as a lightweight in the SW fandom of heavy duty OT worshippers, but...oh well. :)
  6. Deuspater Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Rhonderoo, although I agree that some of the writing is bad, I think better acting could have made the dialogue seem less bad, if you know what I'm driving at. I mean, Ewan MacGregor, Hayden Christensen, and Ian McDairmand I think gave great performances - but I want to vomit any time I hear something come out of Natalie Portman or Sam Jackson. This leads me to think it was more a problem of acting. But oh well, let the discussion continue!
  7. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I'll give you that Deuspater. :)
  8. KenKenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 6
    There is also another theory, located here. I believe this would actually fall in sync with your point of view, Deuspater.


    Personally I agree that it has something to do with the generational gap- the technology drastically has changed since the OT, and with that comes a more dynamic and colorful storyline, including new characters. :)




    Ken Kenobi- And you have a nice day ;)
  9. Darth-Mule Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2002
    star 4
    Here is my theory. I was 12 years old when I saw ANH during it's first theatrical run. In fact, it was my first PG rated movie. I had to beg like crazy to get my mom to let me see it. I was totally blown away. I was a kid and didn't demand a whole lot, entertainment-wise. I didn't nitpick about bad dialog or continuity errors the way I would now. You never see things they way you would through a childs eyes. With the PT, It was like a chance to relive some of my childhood. A chance to bring back that wide-eyed magic that captured me so many years ago. Not that I think the PT is bad or anyting, it's just that I think my expectations were way too high.

    I consider it an honor to have been able to experience the beginning of it all as a 12 year old.
  10. Deuspater Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Darth Mule, I think it's cool that you are honest with yourself about your expectations being to high. In fact, I think a lot of people view Phantom Menace in a totally wrong way. Look at it the way George Lucas does - the first part of a saga, designed for people who have never seen a Star Wars movie before. No preconceptions from the other films, no expectations. Just take it as it is on its face value, and I think you will enjoy it much more.
  11. muymaul Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 2
    Good points, Deuspater. I also think it has to do with the fact that a good number of the fans who love the OT, but hate the PT saw the OT as children/young adults. When one is that age, you don't see the plot-holes in a movie or the corny dialogue and you don't critique it as much. You watch it for the story and the adventure. That's why I love watching these movies with my nephews. They love them and think they are so cool.

    I also agree that some of it may have to do with the story being told. In the OT you have a much more "swashbuckling" adventure with the good guys overcoming overwhelming odds and defeating the bad guys. It's a story everyone can cheer for. The PT on the other hand has the good guys gradually being overcome by the bad guys without their really knowing it. There are a lot more subtleties and politics in the PT. This is a great contrast for those expecting the PT to be exactly like the OT.
  12. Malshabek Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 6
    I think the special effects in the OT were considered to be the best ever at the time. Years ahead of anything thus far. However, with the PT the special effects world has caught up. So they are thought of as typical or on par with today's current movies. Thats one of the problems some of my friends have with the PT.

    I'm probably one of the very few people that claim to like the PT more than the OT.
    I have my reasons. Most OT diehards either don't or refuse to understand when I say why I like the PT more. But I do. I always wished Lucas had the technology he does now when he made the OT.

    For the PT, the adventures of Han, Luke and Leia have been replaced by the adventures of Obi-wan, Anakin, and Padme. So the adventures thing is sill there, just not as prominent. And as far as villans go, I don't know about anyone else, but I got chills when I first saw Darth Maul in TMP. More than I ever got from Vader's first appearance.

    But, Star Wars is Star Wars and I'll always love all 6 movies no matter what. (Unless Jar Jar turns out to be Darth Vader. Then I'll have to hang myself.)
  13. Spike_Spiegel Former FF Administrator Former Saga Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    I'm with Darth-Horax. I am one of the last to see any of the OT in the theater (I saw ROTJ) and hence, one of the last of the first Star Wars generation.

    My biggest problem with the OT is not really story or character-driven (although I have grievances with Mr Binks), itz the loss of the visual flavor of the OT. For example, looking at the battle of Endor, you really believe that those ships are there because they are. They are actual physical models and to me, that gives them a high degree of believability.

    In the PT, CGI is extremely overused and I really hate that. I hate being pulled out of a movie because my mind is saying "Wow, cool CGI." Truly good CGI (like AOTC Yoda and Gollum)are those whom you forget are CGI. If you can identify the CGI, its not doing its work. There are whole scenes in the PT that are completely CGI and just feel like a computer game, losing that old OT feeling to them.

    Don't take me wrong, I love the PT. I screamed like a kid at the opening of both movies and will probably line up for hours for EIII, but I also think that the OT is a better set of movies.
  14. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Personally, I can't even pretend to evaluate the OT on its own merits. I was 6 the first time I saw the big DV on screen, and boy, did he make an impresssion. He was a worst nightmare, more terrifying than anything I'd ever imagined crawing around in my closet. For that reason, the victory at ANH's end was all that much sweeter. It was a catharsis in a deep, psychological sense.

    How can an adult expect to replicate an experience like that? I just can't compare movies I've seen as an adult with things I saw first as a young child. It's like trying to compare the merits of a stranger vs. those of your mom.

    For this reason, I've pretty much stuck to evaluating the PT on its own terms. Overall, I like it. Thinking in purely critical terms, I can say that the IMAX cut of AOTC was probably better than ROTJ.

    Emotionally, however, no movie is ever going to affect me the way SW did when I was little. Does that make the PT a bit of an "ugly stepsister?" Probably. Does this fact have anything to do with the PT films' actual merit when compared to those of the OT? Nope.
  15. Deuspater Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2003
    I agree with all you guys have been saying, especially the youth factor. To this day, "Batman" is one of my favorite films. I first saw in a movie theater down the shore when it came out in the summer of 1989, when I was six years old. It still effects me in this incredibly powerful way, even though it is by no means a perfect movie. As far as the CG goes, I agree that sometimes it goes a little overboard. The OT effects truly were revolutionary for their day, and still are quite convincing. Like Spike said, because there is an actualy SOMETHING there, even though it's only a model, it looks real. Then again, I think the battle on Geonosis in AOTC was phenomenal. But back to my theory... like I said, I was born in 1983, when ROTJ came out, so I have no memory of the original releases. I think maybe that makes me more open-minded to changes.
  16. DamonD Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2002
    star 6
    I think people will always have more of a resonance with the films and related media that they had when they were young.
  17. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I am also a part of the First Star Wars Generation.

    For me it is the acting. Any actor can take the script and deliver it well even if it's not written well. Portman did better in AOTC than TPM and hopefully will do better in EPIII.

    In TPM there was the "WHOOPIE" factor. Even as a child I did not care for this in a movie even if it had a kid in it.

    AOTC was much better overall to me, Ewan shines as an actor in this. Coruscant rules, suttle hints and easter eggs all over the place, just a good flick all around. I sort of agree about the CGI, it still has a bit of a cartoon look to it in comparison to a physical model. But many of the visuals in AOTC were awsome.

    The chemistry of the OT cast was great, the PT seems to lack this in most respects.
  18. TheParrotIsDead Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    I think the age thing is the biggest factor. In the same way that you can reminisce about, say, watching Transformers when you were little and think "Man, what a cool show" you wouldn't sit and watch the cartoons that are around today. The same goes for most of us who saw the OT when we were little and thought they were the greatest movies ever, we've kept that image in our heads to where nothing can measure up to it.
  19. DamonD Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2002
    star 6
    I guess I'm just a little bit odd since I love all 5 to bits, having grown up with the OT. I don't think I'm in the majority.
  20. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I grew up with the OT, and my general dissatisfaction with the PT has nothing to do with the "Vader" issue, although I do disagree with his character arc.

    Regardless, my opinion of the PT is more generalized than that one particular element. I believe that the OT and PT have similar kinds of strengths and shortcomings; I happen to believe that the PT has less of the former and more of the latter. I find I can't identify with the characters; I find I don't really care about their plight, so I'm not particularly dismayed by their failures or excited about their victories. I dislike the cartoonish qualities of the PT - I think that it suffers from the "massless" problem of CGI. I think the characterization is poor, and that the movies suffer from literary and mythological shortcomings.

    This is all simply my opinion on the matter - I know I can't change what exists, and that GL has complete artistic control over what is included and excluded; but my disappointment with the new movies isn't simply reducible to simple as simple as the humanization of Vader.
  21. muymaul Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 2
    Well, DamonD, I am with you. I also grew up with the OT and love all 5 films and the story they tell.
  22. DarthMatthew Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    Yep I'm also someone who grew up with the OT, and my favorites of the series are now The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, although I love them all. I'm 30 and I love all the things that alot of (although not all) die hard fans around my age dislike about the PT....Jar Jar Binks, CGI, the acting etc etc.
    In fact I feel the PT adds an amazing amount of depth and dimension to the OT making me love the OT even more then when I was growing up. :)
  23. Deuspater Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Yeah, now that I think about it, the age thing definitely has something to do with. For instance, I hate the part in Phantom Menace where the water speeder almost gets eaten by all those fish. I just thought it seemed so stupid. But then, I remembered ESB, and realized that having the Millenium Falcon almost get eaten by a giant worm in an asteroid is no less stupid. By the way, Quixotic Sith, I'm curious - what is it about Anakin's character arc that you don't like?
  24. OLLIEVARR Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2002
    star 1
    I think there are some great comments here. I generally tend to agree that the generational gap is mostly responsible for dissatisfation for the PT. I mean, if you are anything like me, you had YEARS to watch the OT and "create" you own back story scenarios for the events leading to Anakin's fall. Of course it will be a bit of a shock to see it on screen and have it NOT be what you've imagined for years.

    However, I cannot blame ALL of the dissatisfaction (perhaps I should say all MY dissatisfaction-- I know not everyone dislike the PT), on overly high expectations. I do have a few theories on why many OT fans kind of turn up their noses at the PT-- myself included.

    This sounds crazy, but... GL is the problem, I think. Fot the following reasons:

    1) I've NEVER thought that he was a good writer. I've always thought that ANH was the worst written of the OT films. Low and behold, GL wrote that one (I think). I used to thik of him as a good story conceptualizer, but I'm not sure about that anymore. At any rate, the level of control that he has commanded on the PT in regard to writing has, IMO, given rise to some BAD dialogue.

    2) I think he's directing the PT into an emotional no man's land. We all have seen the key actors in the PT give GREAT performances in other films. Natalie Portman, for instance. Why not here? I get the feeling that GL is directing all the emotion out of them. Why? Could it be that he views the PT universe as a complacent era? It looks pretty beautiful to be complacent. Is it that he believes the heros should have tight reign on their emotions? Probably, but then why are they constantly telling themselves to "feel, not think?" I think he must view the Jedi as being disciplined to the point of being Vulcan like, but as we all know from Star Trek, a Vulcan is only fun to watch if there's someone looking at him saying, "Hey, stop being a Vulcan!" In the PT, it's as if GL is directing everyone to be Vulcans. That's no fun. If what I read above about Hyden having the "fight" GL on the issue of crying in the confessions scene is true-- that proves my point.

    3) It seems to me that GL's drive has left "story" and moved to "innovation." That's fine. It's not just fine; it's GREAT! The problem is, if this is the case, he needs to get someone else to handle "story." This is what I mean. When he was young, it seems to me that he wanted to tell great stories with film. He had trouble telling stories because the film-making needed to ne inovated. Therefore, he became a master innovator. He started all sorts of companies to change the way films are made. He's been doing this type of work for a long time. Now, I think he is STILL trying to do innovation work-- instead of telling stories.

    Let me present a comparison that I'm sure will make EVERYONE gag. Get ready. Here it comes...

    Peter Jackson.

    GASP!

    Yes, Peter Jackson.
    Think of how HE is making LOTR. Everything is hyper detailed. His concern is convincing his actors and the audience that the STORY and the world of the STORY is REAL. All the actors say that the detail in EVERY aspect of the film was unlike any film they had done before. You could pick up an extra's sword and translate the elfish runes on it. If he wanted to film Edoras, he went to a mountain range and BUILT a REAL Edoras. He needed Bag End; so he went to New Zealand and BUILT a REAL Bag End. He would sit in it and say, "I'm INSIDE the REAL Bag End!"

    Now, look at how GL is making the PT. The actors are in a 8 ft tall concrete room for nearly every scene. IS GL concerned with helping his actors tell a story? I don't think so.

    Don't get me wrong. I like the PT. I've FORCED people to watch the PT. I've gone to peoples homes with copies of TPM and AOTC under my arms.

    But... I think there are REAL reasons why some of us are dissatisfied.
  25. Deuspater Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2003
    I agree with a lot of what you said, Ollievarr. I love the PT as well, but I have always admitted there are some instances of really bad dialogue. But it's just not enough to ruin it for me - I still love it. The colors, the action, the foreshadowing - it's all great. So many awesome scenes - Palpatine announcing the Grand Army of the Republic, the Clone battle, Schmi's death, the "confession" scene. It's all great. Often people say that they can't identify with the PT characters. But I can certainly identify with Anakin. He is a good person at heart. He knows that bad guys never play by some rule book, and that if you want to really conquer evil, good must not be afraid to flex its muscles when necessary and break the rules. I feel that way about a lot of things in life.
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