Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by sdj, Mar 3, 2002.
Just wondering so I can compare it to what happens in AotC. I know most of these things are not issues with the next film, but a few of them will be consistent.
I think the major drawback was that fans had 16 years plus the EU to form mental images of the prequels that TPM could not possibly match. I think many people were upset when that image wasn't on the screen, because they were basically counting on seeing it just like they imagined.
Other... a complete lack of emotional involvement.
I loved Jake, liked the CG, didn't mind JJ, don't really care about Midi's or Maul.
The only thing I would have liked to have seen woulda been a pic of Ewan in the upper left hand corner for the entire film. I can never get enough Ewan
Took too long to come out and gave people too much time to form their own ideas of how it should be
I would have chosen Other and put down that the screenplay was the biggest drawback but I decided that the option above was far more destructive to TPM than the problems I have with the screenplay.
Took to long et etc. Thats the biggest culprit.
Other. Script problems. Needed more talking and clear plot / character material, less "action and coolness for its own sake".
*sigh* so even if the film was the best thing EVER, people would be hating it bc of their own ideas. When will someone drop this?
This poll is bias as the author clearly just wanted to make that first point (check out its length) and seeing how many people agreed with him.
Why not elaborate more on each one? Like: "Making up a great villain like Maul and advertising him like hell only to give him a tiny amount of screen time"
"Excessive use of CGI which brought about CGI monstrocities like the Gungans and the two headed pod-race announcer"
"Midichlorians, which changed the way of the force and diminished it to Star Trek plot devices"
"Expectation: that fans expected something as good as the first two SW movies but, instead, got something worse than ROTJ."
Oh Hawk it's not like I get an extra vote or anything.
"When will someone drop this?"
The same thing could be said of every tired point YOU made.
I persoanlly don't fault anyone for not likeing something. But if you didn't enjoy TPM, why are you HERE?
So, I chose OTHER. My reason being, "There is nothing wrong with the film, people just love to complain about anything".
"What was TPM's biggest drawback? "
Star Wars fans.
Truthfully though, the thing I didn't like the most at first was the pacing - I liked it more the second time I saw the film.
Plus I though that JJ yelled and screamed too much in the bongo, but his "My no know" soliloquy more than made up for it.
Other, although several of the above looked good. And the one with making my own opinions may be right...but i said other, and here is why.
Not enough story, or it was too stupidly subtal. What happened that actually affected anything in the long run of the movie. Naboo got invaded, whopde do, it was free in the end. Yes, it embarased the TF, and that will probably come back in the next two movies, but it did not feel that well thought out. Things like the pod race and the underwater sequence were compleatly worthless. It is vaguly possible that that will change in the next two films, but i doubt it. Yes, the pod race got them the money for the parts for the ship for them to get off, but still. We can think of hundreds of other ways, allot of them better than endangering a minor for them to get the cash to get off the planet. All in all, the only thing that had that any ovious long term importance was Ani comming to get trained, Ani leaving his mother, and Paly working his way up in power. I will know for sure after the next two films, but I think that TPM could have been edited down to about five minuets and still explain everything needed for the continuation of the story (I could very well be wrong, and if i am, then that sort of explains everything and i would be wrong). Lots of little things, like the mids, the handeling of C3PO, Ani's acting (or lack there of. "Now THIS is PODracing."), Jar Jar being a compleat idiot to make the annoying kids laugh and drown out the dialoge which at times was not bad. Not enough bad guys, except for the frog men.
But the SFX were good....
Actually, there was allot good with the film. Almost everything on Coruscant. The big battles at the end minus Ani and JJ. Everything before JJ. OB! becomming a knight. The too short scenes of the senate and Paly.
i selected other. I chose it because I felt that George's directing was the main problem. I felt that he wasn't able to get real emotion out of his actors. Much of the dialogue seemed forced or strained. The acting in the other 3 movies seemed much more natural. That being said, TPM is still my 4th most favorite movie!
"What was TPM's biggest drawback? "
16 year wait.
"Things like the pod race and the underwater sequence were compleatly worthless."
"All in all, the only thing that had that any ovious long term importance was Ani comming to get trained"
Didn't you realize that the Podrace set Anakin free so he could be trained? It wasn't just about "ship parts" by the time the race started. And what is so worthless about fun action sequences?
Watched it again this weekend (my version of pacing back and forth waiting for AOTC to be released) and gotta say... TPM is SUCH a mixed bag.
On the one hand, the saber fights, the political scheming, the interactions between Qui Gon and Watto... great stuff.
On the other hand... well, I reckon I don't really need to go through the litany again as to what held it back IMHO (BUT... I will. Too much Jar Jar, Obi Wan reduced to a glorified extra, putting the character of Anakin into the hands of a nine year old kid with limited acting ability even by SW standards, CGI effects taking precedence over story and characters in too many cases...)
I still think that Lucas would have been much better off going with one of the major strengths of the OT... that is, basing the first film of a trilogy on a Kurasawa film. THIS time I think that since he was looking to introduce the Jedi, he'd have been wise to base a large part of TPM on Seven Samurai. He still could have worked the whole TF/Sideous thing in, but in a somewhat different story framework.
Let's face it... TPM wasn't exactly the strongest story in the world, as evinced by Lucas' grafting recycled OT sequences onto the film throughout, suddenly gutting Obi Wan's character halfway through the screenwriting process and then having NOTHING for the character to do, etc. Most of the important points (the machinations of Palpatine and the Sith order, the meeting of the main characters, Anakin's separation from his mother, etc.) could have easily have been worked into a Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven type scenario, and it would have provided a more cohesive framework for the story. (I'm sorry... the "Phantom" thing only goes so far, and I have to draw the line at using it to justify the scattered, milquetoasty, cobbled-together story that Lucas came up with.)
But that's just my opinion...
Alright. First of all, I would like to state plainly and clearly that I like TPM. I am not a basher. However, there are things that bugged me.
1.) There should have been more Obi-Wan. Based on the OT, he seems to be a major player in the PT, but he is not in TPM. It drives me crazy because Ewan McGregor is such a wonderful actor as well.
2.) There was no sense of threat throughout the movie. I never felt in danger for any of the characters. By expanding Darth Maul's role in the movie and showing how deadly our vauted sith lord is/was/could be, the effect of fear would have been greater, and George could have used that with Anakin.
3.) Now, appreciate Jar-Jar, he was funny, pleasedon'tkillme...however, it was getting to be to much in the end battle, when he was jumping around like a psyco. He should have come into his resposiblity more and been more serious during the battle, therefore adding to the seriousness of the situtation.
That is all. Thanks for letting me vent.
The pod race...yes, it looked cool, and it kept me on the edge of my seat (even though there was no doubt who would win) but (and i will check where i heard this, someone else back me up please) someone described it as the center peace of the movie (if i am wrong, again, tell me) but they are right. There were too many little things that just had to work out to make the race in there, too many little things wasting time so it would fit. Yes, it got Ani off the planet...well, as i said that there were other ways to get the parts for the ship, there were ways to get him off the planet (prety much the same ways).
It was fun and cool, but also a waste of time. The story as is though, needs it. It is not the cause of the faults, but is an effect of other faults in my opinion. You cant just take the pod race out, the movie would then be undenibelly bad. But in the structer was diffrent (and if my opinion better) then the pod race just would not fit.
This is all my own opinion. The race was cool and i still love to watch it, and it was fun, but it is like saying some kids movie like Hunchback, which had some cool shots, is just as good as...well, the OT.
<<Watched it again this weekend (my version of pacing back and forth waiting for AOTC to be released) and gotta say... TPM is SUCH a mixed bag.
On the one hand, the saber fights, the political scheming, the interactions between Qui Gon and Watto... great stuff.
On the other hand... well, I reckon I don't really need to go through the litany again as to what held it back IMHO (BUT... I will. Too much Jar Jar, Obi Wan reduced to a glorified extra, putting the character of Anakin into the hands of a nine year old kid with limited acting ability even by SW standards, CGI effects taking precedence over story and characters in too many cases...) >>
Patrick Russell, I agree with you AGAIN. I liked the things that you mentioned, but I hated the things that you hated. The reason I chose was not enough Obi-Wan, although several others were close behind, like, "Too much Jar-Jar."
Although I think TPM was just a few rewrites away from true greatness, I have to agree that the 16 year wait did as much harm as anything else.
If TPM had been released in 1986, or even the early nineties, I believe we would have seen a very different reaction, probably more positive, from both critics and fans. Of course, we'll never know for sure.
Got some general responses for a few comments.
1) We didn't need the pod racing scene-it wasted time.
Not really-this scene was supposed to show Anakins flying skills and coolness under stess full times. Plus it kept a lot of people on the edge of their seats...especially when Anakin stalled out in the begining.
If the Pod racing wasn't there-people would have been complaing about his flying a fighter later in the movie.
And-this is a very important point. This was Qui Gons way of proving that Anakin was indeed the chosen one. That's right. What better way to bring to the council a boy, who with no force training-can do a envent that no human have the reflexes to do.
There wasn't enough obi wan
Wow-I didn't realize the movie was supposed to be centered on our young padawan. Obi was wasn't in the bacground- he provided a good foil for Qui Gon and helping showing the different points that exsisted in the Jedi Council.
But still-Once they reach Tatoonie...it's anakin show. It is more important to the story to show Qui Gons fight for Anakins training-then to see Obiwan -do something.
Let's face it... TPM wasn't exactly the strongest story in the world, as evinced by Lucas' grafting recycled OT sequences onto the film throughout, [/blockquotes]
What Lucas did was called a reacurring motiff. It isn't recycling anything-it's visual clues that direct a person to think symboliclly. For example- obi-wans/ mauls fight overe a long shaft. Its a symbol for dagerous change in the Star Wars universe. Compare that with scenes in ESB and ROTJ. You will notice that the theme of life choices and pits have multiple meanings. as Most of the important points
(the machinations of Palpatine and the Sith order, the meeting of the main characters, Anakin's separation from his mother, etc.) could have easily have been worked into a Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven type scenario, and it would have provided a more cohesive framework for the story. (I'm sorry... the "Phantom" thing only goes so far, and I have to draw the line at using it to justify the scattered, milquetoasty, cobbled-together story that Lucas came up with.)
Wich is funny, because this movie-more than ANH, is based on Hidden Fortress,another one of the famous japanees Samuri movies. Two knights attempte to smuggle a princess through hostil territory to the capitol. Sound familiar? So in fact, George Lucas DID do those things and attached it to a Samuri movie.
Granted, Lucas threw in Ben Hur in the middle(this is supposed to be Anakins tale as well). But the over all story arc works pretty well. IMHO
There wasn't any real threat
Hm...let me see. The title: The Phantom Menance.
No, no ghosts in this SW movie. Let's see, a the Sith Lord manages to begin to seriously splinter the republic, rides the wave of sympathy to the higest office in the galaxy, and becomes aware of the potential threat of the Chosen one.
And all the while, a queen takes his advice, the jedi knights have no clue he's in their presence-even when they Realize there IS a Sith Lord out there. and there is not one of you out there, who didn't knowingly chuckle at the line Palpy delievered to Anakin. "We'll be keeping an eye on your career."
An Sith Lord has just quietly obitained his goals...and people are cheering. If that isn't a threat-then I don't know what is.
With TPM what we ultimately get is an obviously collaged effort, the basis for the movie's demonstrated lack of cohesion that is at the heart of many peoples criticism. With the use of digitally-based new filmmaking technologies (as any creative tech) there is the tendency to become engrossed in the tools and capabilities offered, and to lose sight of the functions they are supposed to perform. Anyone who has witnessed the behind the scenes documentaries on TPM can attest to this, with GL micromanaging each scene. Without some perspective, these filmmaking techniques become self serving. Perhaps if the film had been given more time to gestate, and GL could have put some space between himself and his processes, things might have turned out differently. I think he must be aware of this, looking back, and based on the volumes of criticism launched at TPM by obviously caring fans. I anticipate that having acclimated to these new creative possibilities, GL's AOTC will seem less dominated by them and will be utilized more in the service of story, character and mood. There I said it...
Is there A New Hope? Anyone?
Actually, I've never had any problems with the film... not enough to search for the biggest drawback.
But, everyone has their opinions and their hopes for the films. You have to expect some disappointment. I mean, you know the film is coming. Therefore, you imagine how you want to see it. And you begin speculating what it will be like. That is where you tumble. GL does not know everything we want and expect. He is writing his story and he is trying to bring it to us as fast as he can and as fast as technology will allow it. So, no. I see no real drawbacks. Just satisfaction.
From the words of the Producers, "You are the audience, I am the author! I outrank you!"
"Phantom Menace" does not mean "phantom plot".
The thing was so badly cobbled-together in places that it's a wonder the story held together at all. And I'm sorry... Obi Wan may as well have been an extra until the last 15 minutes of the movie. When the comic relief has a part that's significantly larger than one of the main characters of the trilogy, there's a problem of balance.
It could have been worse though... Palpatine could have gotten up in front of the Senate and sung "Let The Eagle Soar"!!