PT What do you LIKE about the prequels

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by WhiskeyGold, Nov 17, 2013.

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  1. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Wow, HD. That's a pretty nice, compact way of describing it. :)

    Well, they're more "storybook" -- the visuals -- in TPM, aren't they? The film also tends to use a lot more daylight scenes and avoids some of the more complex grid / noir lighting of AOTC and ROTS. Ship designs, to pick on one design aspect, are also more organic (curved) and less militaristic (pointed or blocky) in appearance than in the later episodes. And the strong presence of Naboo, combined with Jar Jar, and the humble slave life of Anakin on Tatooine, work in tandem to give this film a more bucolic, wholesome quality. As Ingram_I has noted, the pre-race, Tatooine portion of TPM, in particular, functions a bit like a Sunday school play, further giving the film more of an innocent, happy, Easter-like vibe. The film was even promoted in its iconic teaser trailer as coming out in "Spring 1999", which might as well be a second sub-title. Easter occurs in Spring, of course, and both are associated with rabbits, and Jar Jar, as has often been said, is a bit like a "cartoon rabbit" (a clear ancestor of Jar Jar's is Roger Rabbit from Bob Zemeckis' 1988 film -- itself featuring a prominent noir tone than becomes more important for the PT, as noted, in AOTC and ROTS). Heck, I'm thinking outloud here, of course, but even the bubble barriers of the Gungan city, and later, their shield, as well as the bubble canopy of the N-1 starfighters, are a bit juvenile -- kids like bubbles, don't they? Pageantry, too: lots of regal heralds that announce new vistas (Boonta Eve, the dual reveal of Coruscant -- dark and light -- and the closing celebration). There's a lot of suitably "non-threatening" stuff in TPM juxtaposed against edgier details, meaning that even the lighter stuff is tinged with a darker quality. Yet it's the lithesome aspects of TPM that are particularly memorable (or grating -- depending on one's POV).

    Yes, according to a Gallup poll conducted in 1999, Qui-Gon was the most popular character -- and he seems to have remained that way:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/3757/public-gives-latest-star-wars-installment-positive-rave-reviews.aspx

    His absence in AOTC is lamentable, but I think, as you sorta just acknowledged, that's kind of the point. Qui-Gon was clearly portrayed as a sort of "father figure" in TPM (he even assumes the "head" position at the dinner table at the Skywalker residence), while Shmi is the archetypal mother, and the younger ones gather around him. His death breaks a whole series of bonds and new ones are awkwardly (deliberately) established in AOTC. I mean, from this POV, Anakin is somewhat incestuously pursuing his "sister", and his nervousness around Padme -- especially when he mentions how he imagines Obi-Wan would disapprove of him levitating the fruit -- is like a measure of how he knows he is going against this sublimated relationship ... and violating the sanctity of the bond with his original father (Qui-Gon). With Qui-Gon absent, the galaxy can indulge itself; there is no saner, wiser voice to admonish these family members or hold them in check.

    Interesting. The way I see it, Maul is actually a mirror hiding in plain sight for Obi-Wan. The clue is Obi-Wan's hair (yes, dodgy wig included). It clearly parallels the thorns on Maul's head (Maul also being something of a Dark Christ -- there is some vague precedent for this in Christian lore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrowing_of_Hell ). Observe how similar in height and build the two are when they are dueling each other in strict isolation in that sealed-off chamber at the end of the laser-gate corridor. They even assume similar snarling facial expressions. And at one point, Obi-Wan leans right into Maul, peering deep into his face, only for Maul to knock him back into the pit -- it is like Obi is being denied a closer look at his own mirror, lest he discover the truth too soon.

    "Hidden darkness" and with those quotes -- yes! A good way of putting it. I'm now rather charmed by that sagely (or not?) advice of Qui-Gon's: "Don't centre on your anxieties". Hmm, cores, centres, spheres, power generators. I wonder what it all could mean?

    Anyway, yes, Anakin and Shmi are great characters. I feel I'm about to inadvertently return to that "centre" quotation again, but when you get right down to it (oh), those characters are really the core (oh, oh!) of the entire movie -- their bond is the bond that lights the stars. It also lights the torch-paper of Darth Vader. A murderous destiny awaits.

    But here, it's just a sweet bond between mother and son. All their scenes are good, but I'll just focus on the departure scene as it's where things are brought into sharp focus. "What does your heart tell you?" could be a cheesy line in another movie, but in TPM, when you see how things will unfold, it has real depth. I sense, like a lot of sons, Anakin actually took his mother a little for granted, and almost built Threepio in apology -- a measure of his guilt -- at not being around for her more; Threepio, then, is the mechanized form of Anakin's denial. The departure scene is therefore sadder as Anakin is forced, if only momentarily, to face up to deeper truths.

    And people say these movies have no blinking depth and no emotion???

    Your focus TRULY determines your reality!

    Ya. Many people still haven't wrapped their heads round it -- or so it seems.

    Sidious' introduction is cool, but Palpatine's is even cooler. I like the way his hologram flickers and falters, garbling his speech, suggesting the hollowness of his words. That observation was one I first encountered in the Lard Biscuit analysis: http://www.lardbiscuit.com/lard/ilovetpm3.html It's even cooler, in a way, if you notice that the hologram sort of bends and ripples before it fizzles out, suggesting that there *is* a truthfulness to the language Palpatine speaks, but it's rather serpentine and may not be found exclusively in the domain of spoken words. Well, I guess I just wanted to talk about that blasted hologram, at last!

    It's cool to see Amidala's fancy costumes and all the handmaidens milling about -- those visuals alone give TPM a lush, civilized feel that marks it in stark contrast to the other movies. Put ANH on and then watch TPM straight after. The difference is shocking. You can understand that some of the antipathy to TPM must be because it's so different. The basic grammar of the film may be similar, but the feel and flow of the film are entirely different.

    Notice, for instance, how almost everyone sports hair/head extensions? Jar Jar enshrines the motif with his ear flaps, but also Qui-Gon (long hair), Nute with his crown, several of Amidala's head-pieces, Mas Amedda in the Senate (tentacles), even Anakin in his pod (check out the fabric which descends from the back of his racing helmet). They all look, well, Jar-Jar-esque. Or Jar Jar looks like them. That signature motif alone communicates a certain regality here that is massively dulled down in the other movies. I mean, in ANH, I don't think anyone appears that way -- another strong contrast between TPM and the original movie that spawned all the madness.

    I did also mention statues and figurines to you the other day. Palpatine has several in his quarters. Anakin has some in his bedroom. There don't appear to be any about in ANH. And what about the opera scene in ROTS? Generally, there seems to be a lot more "art within art" in the prequels, and some of it quite elaborate, like the podrace (the whole thing, including the flag parade). Maybe this is too baroque for some people's tastes, and they just wanna see Han blasting some stormies as he runs down a narrow corridor, trading wisecracks with Leia, but I'll be damned if this doesn't open the galaxy up and provide inviting counterpoints to the original films.

    Thanks. It's the SW universe equivalent of "paranoid fiction": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_fiction

    At least, that's my opinion and I'm sticking with it.

    It is quite a romantic and yet profoundly un-romantic and weird sort of a film. More than the others.

    Anakin meditating. Well, when he gazes on the yin-yang formation, or has a chance to, we're not allowed to see it at that point. In the wide shot of Anakin meditating, the formation is blocked by a pillar -- symbolic of so much that is obscured or only hinted at in this rather Byzantine movie.

    Sneaking. Shown right after Obi-Wan sneaks through that Geonosian structure and eavesdrops on the Separatists. Meanwhile, Anakin literally, well, DROPS ... and THEN sneaks. Anakin gets down and dirty while Obi-Wan stays removed and remote. Ditto the droid factory. Our first glimpse of it is via Obi-Wan (and he/we "hear" it before we "see" it), but all Obi-Wan does is look over it, with the hint of an arched, disapproving eyebrow-furrow forming. He's too aristocratic for this proletariat factory nonsense, but the fumbling youth of the galaxy -- Anakin, Padme, and the child-like droids -- will haplessly stumble upon and fall into that abstract nightmare. We see the same motif elsewhere, such as in the pursuit of Zam, where Anakin tussles with Zam directly on the roof of her speeder and is violently flung off after forcing it to crash-land, while Obi-Wan calmly pilots their original speeder down for a snug and dignified landing befitting of his noble lineage.

    The landscape of AOTC is amongst my favourite. There is also a kind of underrated, offbeat humour woven throughout.

    And isn't it just ... EPIC? Kind of an overused word today, but isn't it? :p

    Lucas goes Shakespearean and fuses Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello into a vertiginous pop fugue (Anakin has traits of all three protagonists). The visual landscaping, meanwhile, is more like Botticelli, with deft Spielbergian wit throughout. Very exacting call-backs to the previous movies, and call-forwards to the following (or, er, also preceding three), in some ways, make ROTS the richest of the SW canon. It gets weirder when you think that other movies which Lucas was involved with kind of allude to it. In "Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade", for example, Indy's father, Henry Sr. (played brilliantly by Sean Connery, of course), asks in one of many amusing scenes, "What happens at 11 O'Clock?" -- and the answer to that is ROTS (it starts at almost precisely eleven hours in, if watched in production order). Or even more succinctly: "War!" Very rich -- and fast-moving! -- film in which Lucas seemed to throw virtually every remaining idea or allusion to some forgotten or half-remembered thought in. There is even a kitchen sink, as pointed out in the commentary track, in the opening shot. And what about that whole opening sequence? It begins in Coruscant's upper atmosphere (kind of like how AOTC starts) and that zone seems to play host to a lot of fey nonsense. But there's darkness, too. When they crash back to the surface, everything seems okay, but we know that things are "off" -- and the tragedy is about to snowball. I love that speed, that density, and how ROTS is basically several types of movie (but then, aren't all the SW movies?) rolled into one. Few films deliver more.
  2. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    @Cryogenic: Most tl;dr posts are unbearable to read... that, was not.

    (one fan to another)
  3. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Why, thank you very much, Sx3. :D [face_party]
  4. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
    Anakin turning to the Dark Side
  5. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    The Phantom Menace -- I liked finally getting to see other Jedi and see the politics of the Republic. I enjoyed much of the time spent on Tatooine. And I think the lightsaber fights with Maul remain some of the best in the saga -- with more energy than those of the OT, but less over the top like the Anakin and Obi-Wan fight of ROTS.

    Attack of the Clones -- Loved the sequence in the asteroid field and how they handled the sound of the seismic charges. The shot of Palpatine and senators on the balcony overlooking the departure of clone troops while the Imperial March plays is one of the best shots IMO across all the films.

    Revenge of the Sith -- Palpatine, Palpatine and Palpatine. I felt like Ian McDiarmid stole the show. I liked how Palpatine went about turning Anakin and making Anakin question whether or not he could trust the Jedi. And I pretty much liked *almost* everything about the film from Mace confronting Palpatine onward. I loved the ending after the last spoken word in which there is only music and we see the funeral of Padme, Vader on the bridge with Palpatine and Tarkin, and the delivery of Luke and Leia to Tatooine and Alderaan respectively. I loved seeing Yoda and Palpatine finally come to blows.
  6. -Jedi Joe- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2013
    star 1
    I liked how it was its own trilogy and wasn't just a [Removed] of OT throwbacks. Look, I know the PT has its flaws but if it conformed to the expectations of the OT purists it would have been absolutely dreadful. The OT is the OT and the PT is the PT, and hopefully the ST will be the ST, but JJ Abrams has me nervous.
    Last edited by SithStarSlayer, Nov 19, 2013
  7. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    But will the ST feature an AT-AT, or IG-88?
    Ugh. Don't remind me. STID blew.
    Andy Wylde and Big_Benn_Klingon like this.
  8. Zer0 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    Everything Ewan does, ever.

    Watching them again makes me wish there was more space action though, there isn't much.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  9. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    I love that the PT is not morally black-and-white. I love the PT's complexity and ambiguity. And AOTC is not my favorite movie in that particular trilogy, it is tied with TESB as my favorite STAR WARS movie.
  10. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    Nice. (and I said that as "Nneyesss") It takes a pair to pronounce Episode II as equal with Episode V, here or anywhere. But I think I might have you beat: Attack of the Clones is not only my favorite Star Wars film; it's tied as one of my two favorite films, period.

    ...Why are you guys looking at me like that?
  11. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
  12. Ichor_Razor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2004
    star 3
    The precursors to the Star Destroyers, TIE Fighters, Stormtroopers, etc. along with things like the Jedi in their prime.
  13. Skelter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 1
    Seeing what the Jedi/Sith where capable off with the force.
  14. Jono612 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2013
    For me, I loved seeing the ways of the jedi council and the uprising of the sith. I love how they showed Anikans transition to the dark side. In general sound effects, lightsaber duals and visuals are great, and to be honest I dont see why people dislike them. And also Qui-gon is awesome in TPM!
    Andy Wylde and Jarren_Lee-Saber like this.
  15. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    What do I like about the prequels? Everything I could possibly remember to write wouldn't be enough. But I'll try to describe my feeling from about 11-12 years ago. The first SW movie I saw was TPM. In 1999. I knew nothing about SW, I just saw a review in newspapers and thought it would be interesting to see it in cinema. Then I bought the DVD, public TV broadcasted the OT just before AOTC and I filled the gaps. But when the AOTC came out, it became much more complex and better than I imagined. Not only because of Anakin's slow path to the dark side, but also because of all the revelations along the way, why Luke called Owen his uncle and Beru aunt, who was Boba Fett, the DS etc. The same situation was with ROTS, it became much better than I imagen it would. It was like present which you knew what it was, and when you unwrapped it, it was something much better. And what's the best of it, they still manage to surprise me, eight and a half years after ROTS came out.
  16. darthfettus2015 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2012
    star 3
    the picnic scene should have been a great scene but in my eyes ends up being my least favourite scene in the entire 6 films. I nearly always skip it now. I love the waterfalls, I actually dont mind the dialogue that much but just wish oh wish oh wish he did not have to ride the stupid, horrible cgi creatures
  17. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Holy Sith Korriban!

    What a good way of describing it. =D=
  18. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    What I'm trying to say: I like everything about the Prequels! ROTS is my favorite movie of all time, and the Prequels as a whole are my favorite story told on film to this day.
  19. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    1. The lightsaber duels were awesome.
    2. Ewan McGregor was great as Obi-Wan, who was well-done as a character.
    3. The visuals were great.
    4. I like the general storyline of Palpatine's rise from Senator to Chancellor to Emperor.

    I fall more into the camp of people who liked the prequels but felt that it had far more potential. My disappointment is more in what it could have been than what it was.
    Carbon1985 likes this.
  20. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Nice, Darkslayer. Nice.

    Story. I used that word in my first post.

    But an even better word might actually be: JOURNEY.

    I think whether you love the prequels, hate them to your core of your being, or fall somewhere in-between, most would agree that there is a journey being enacted here -- and quite a lavish, weird one at that.

    Being taken on a journey, for better or worse, is the best thing a film can offer a viewer, I think. And the prequels certainly take me on one. They have done, already, and it seems to lengthen and complexify every time I dive in for another watch.
    Darkslayer and Jarren_Lee-Saber like this.
  21. DARTH FATHEAD Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2013
    maul
    jinn
    sidious
    yoda v dooku
    mace v sidious
    little else
  22. Carbon1985 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2013
    star 3
    I am not saying this disrespectfully, I don't understand how the PT story is your favorite story told on film, because its an incomplete story? Wouldn't your favor story be the 1-6 story because that is the complete story?

    I can understand if someone said the OT story was their favorite story, because that was made as a complete story, as many people thought in 1983. Even The Original Star Wars can be your favorite story as that is a standalone movie, but the PT is only half of the story and needs the OT, and that is why I don't understand how only the PT story is your favorite?
  23. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Maybe he means the political story? The downfall of the Republic? That, in and of itself, is a pretty complete story that basically shows the rise of a dictator. Granted, the OT does have some political elements, but they aren't really necessary to conclude the PT's.

    I've found that, as time has gone by, I increasingly enjoy the political story of the PT because I see so many parallels in real life -- my frustration with the US government in particular. The gridlock and pettiness that Congress exhibits convinces me more and more each day of the legitimacy of the PT's story.
  24. Carbon1985 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2013
    star 3
    I was assuming he was talking about Anakin's story (which concludes in the OT), but you could be right about the political story. But even that is incomplete because Palpatine rise and fall essentially mirrors the political story, and you need both trilogies to see it all the way through. Heck, Episode 7 will mostly be about the rebuilding of the republic, so the political story is not done yet.....:)
  25. Merkual Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 4
    I like the performances by Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Lee,

    the PT was at it's best when it concentrated on the mature elders like these,
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