PT Why Are The PT Films criticized? (catch-all thread)

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Seagoat, Jan 17, 2016.

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  1. Seagoat Music and PT Section Sentinel

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 5
    After reading a bit of a suggestion and seeing some common things going on in various threads in the PT section, I've conferred with heels and have decided to make this thread

    Now, I'm going to make it very clear - this thread is for criticizing the PT, not for bashing

    Criticism = I dislike this and here's why, and I'd prefer it this way
    Bashing = This is stupid
    Even worse = This is stupid and you're stupid if you like it/This isn't stupid and you're stupid for not liking it

    The key here is not just to list the things you dislike. Share why you feel as you do and if you wish, how you would have done it yourself. The last part is not to be confused with our other thread for PT rewrites - if you want to talk about how you'd do the PT in general, head over there. If it's about a specific criticism and/or a way you'd prefer it, it belongs here

    I'll say right off the bat that this thread has potential to prosper in either direction, so it'll have a firm eye kept on it. If we feel the thread has gone too far off track and the trolling goes on even after warnings, then this will be locked

    So in short - criticisms, not complaints. And as anywhere else, films, not fans. If someone disagrees with you, it is within their right, and neither should attack the other in any way

    With that in mind - enjoy!
  2. Evetssteve10 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2015
    star 4
    I'll bite and kick it off.

    This is a popular one but one that should have for sure been seriously considered by Lucas and could have had the biggest impact on the PT ( not counting filmmaking choices )

    Age Anakin up to 17-20. It serves the story in many positive ways and doesn't affect it in any negatives that I can think of. We get to connect with Hayden longer, it gives his and Padmes relationship longer to develop more naturally, the jump from I to II isn't as jarring, you don't have to rely on a child actor to shoulder 25% of your movie which is always a big risk, it allows for him to have more time to form a bond with Obi-Wan that the audience needs for later, it serves as a nice parallel to where Luke and Rey start off their journeys. And more?
  3. Seagoat Music and PT Section Sentinel

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 5
    Exemplary post of what this thread's intention is :)
    Evetssteve10 likes this.
  4. Colwyn Ren Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2015
    star 1
    [IMG]

    I dislike that when Qui Gon orders Republic Cruiser Captain to contact the Nemoidians, Nute Gunray is standing there in a perfectly centered bust shot against a wall as if he had nothing better to do but wait, (hope?,) the Republic cruiser was going to contact him.

    It would have been more immersive for me if this shot were treated in the more realistic way that Star Trek does it where they hail the other ship first, then a person in that ship chooses to answer the call and move into the field of view of the screen.

    As it is, this moment makes it feel like we are watching a junior high play unfold rather than watching real life events happening.

    It is disappointing to me that the writer and editor choose take this, what is in my opinion, lazy short cut. It is the first of many moments in the film where the viewer is forced to remember that they are watching a movie instead of watching, what George Lucas describes as, a documentary about the events taking place in the Star Wars universe.
    Last edited by Colwyn Ren, Jan 18, 2016
  5. darth elyk Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2015
    star 1
    Not enough on screen time for Anakin and OB1 to really show they were good friends. TPM they had zero to do with each other till the very end. AOTC they are together at the start and end, and spend a bit too much time to me bickering or complaining about each other. ROTS we finally get to see them at the start where it seems like they are friends. They both say they are friends/mentor/father figure/brother/etc, however it just does not come across well that those are true.
  6. DrDre Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2015
    star 4
    George Lucas has a tendency to put to much stuff in the background, since having the CGI toolbox available. A good example is the difference between the space battle in ROTS en ROTJ. I still think the latter is the best space battle in the saga, together with the iconic trench run in ANH. The ROTS one is just too cluttered to really make an impact. I think in general all the CGI stuff in the background tends to be distracting.
    Last edited by DrDre, Jan 18, 2016
  7. Empress Shatterpoint Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 2
    I have criticisms concerning some of the PT villains.

    I felt that Darth Maul and Count Dooku were poorly written, or actually, in Maul's case, severely underwritten. With Maul, he just has so few lines he does not manage to leave much of an impression. I don't see any glimpse of a personality. He just growls and that's it. I would have liked to see him be clever and witty and for him to have his own unique brand of villainy. I think that ANH's Darth Vader is a good example of a better executed antagonist. Even if he was pretty much a one-note at that point in the saga, he could pull of a deeply menacing presence with his silence, not only his words. I just didn't find Maul convincing and I'll say that I think that even General Grievous worked better for me than Maul.

    As for Dooku, well, I thought I glimpsed at some layers, but I didn't find him menacing or that much interesting either, and what could have been explored in more depth simply wasn't. I think it would have worked better if we were introduced to Dooku in TPM as some sort of Gui-Gon-like rebel who went against the Council(maybe he would have fought for Anakin to be trained, leaving room for some interesting tension between the two when they met again in AOTC). I think if I'd have followed his development from TPM to ROTS, I'd have been more invested in his story. Another somewhat related thought, I found the Dooku/Separatists 'mystery' of who is trying to kill Amidala rather flat.
    wobbits likes this.
  8. mrs-kylo-ren Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2016
    My general criticism is the lack of characterization, and explanation for all the details in the film (heck, even the non-details like 'major' characters. which is one of it's hugest problems.) The prequels presented really great ideas but didnt deliver on the execution. A lot of characters were introduced in bulk and frankly watching the films alone for the first time can be confusing as to what characters will really matter to the story. But tbh, I think the clone wars really fleshes out the characters we saw in the prequels. Watching it as a companion or before or after the prequels helps the movies make more sense, since a lot of details and characters were presented in the prequels but never really explained. Sadly what was done in the clone wars could not be done in just 3 movies, so the prequels could not deliver something that good. Some of this could just be biased because of the originals, that set such a high bar for the prequels with arguably good characterization, little subplots, and good amount of background characters (that weren't overwhelming). If the prequels only existed and the originals didnt, I would enjoy them a lot. But since the originals and prequels are so different a lot of fans get immediately upset at the prequels. Once again the ideas and the awesome side characters in the prequels were amazing, but you really have to watch the shows and read books & EU stuff to really get it.
  9. Jedi_Jade-Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 3
    I really liked the CGI, visuals, environments and music. And of course the pod racing. Otherwise, there's little about the PT that I like much. Out of everything PT, I can listen to the music endlessly. And I spent hours playing Episode I Racer....and its half the reason I resurrected my Windows '98 PC. ;) When the movies first came out, I so wanted to love the PT....but it just fell short in so many ways that I don't really enjoy watching them.

    I really wish George Lucas had paid closer attention to plot points in both the OT movies and novelizations. Such as where the Clone Wars, political state of the GFFA and Obi-Wan and Anakin's relationship is concerned. I just started re-reading the novelization of SW, but it paints a vastly different picture from what we got in the PT. An Empire that was good until Palpatine twisted it. Reference to Obi-Wan having had apprentices other than Anakin. I'm sure there's more, but I haven't gotten that far into my re-read just yet. Another example is when Leia tells Luke about her memories of their mother. I don't buy the PT retcon of how she can have that memory.

    There really are so many things I didn't like about the PT, its difficult to know where to start. From the over-reliance on CGI at the expense of story and character development...to clunky, poorly written dialogue....all the way to characters that lacked the depth of those from the OT. At times the story felt either too simplistic or too convoluted and relied too much on exposition. Too much telling, not enough showing to allow the audience to follow along. In many ways it felt like experiencing a moving painting set to music, rather than a trilogy of movies.

    It also didn't seem like it was set before the OT, tech wise. The ships, environments and tech all seemed more advanced than what we saw in the OT.

    I loved TPM when it came out, but it just seemed glaringly awful when I re-watched it recently. I just wasn't interested in the story or characters at all...to the point where I had a hard time sitting through it. I've seen the OT many more times, and I've never had that problem.

    One place I feel that the PT suffers is in characterization....in terms of development and consistency. Padme Amidala seems like a strong, smart, independent young woman in TPM....yet she says nothing when Anakin confesses he slaughtered Tusken men, women and children? And she basically becomes a pregnant window dressing by the time you get to ROTS? The contrast is even more evident during my most recent viewing of the PT, since I went TPM, AOTC, TCW movie & series, and then ROTS. Padme in TCW seems closer to the Padme in TPM. Quite honestly, the reason why I love TCW and don't like the PT is because the characterizations are better. I can see TCW Anakin as a flawed but redeemable Jedi who falls but is redeemed. I don't see that in the PT. In the PT it seems more like a sociopath (in terms of both the lines and delivery)...and that type of person isn't redeemable at all. In TCW, Padme has moments where she is afraid of or concerned by Anakin's behavior....which I don't remember seeing in the PT. She doesn't seem to react much at all during his more disturbing moments in the PT.

    A couple minor issues are that it seems too contrived that both Palpatine and Padme both come from the same planet. And having Padme as a senator is a bit too much, since it means that Leia and Luke both stepped into the same jobs as their parents. I know that happens in RL, but it just doesn't add much to the Skywalker family backstory IMHO.

    And then there's the midichlorian thing, which seems to rob the Force of a lot of its mystery and mysticism. Also not a fan of the whole Chosen One thing nor the rule of non-attachments. Seems to me like relying too much on external factors to drive Anakin's fall vs internal factors. It seems to me that SW, ESB, ROTJ and TFA are much more character driven movies than TPM, AOTC and ROTS are. And by no means are SW, ROTJ or TFA perfect...they have their flaw. The only one that seems perfect to me is ESB...it just has everything going for it, and it comes of flawlessly (and its not even my favorite Saga film).

    Another point I have an issue with is comedy. In the OT, the funny moments were situational...while in the PT they felt more forced and childish. I liked Jar Jar more when I saw the PT the first time. Now he seems like a walking, talking forced comedic moment.

    Just to narrow things down a bit more....to me the PT just seems empty and soulless, kinda like the portrayal of Anakin in the PT.

    There's a part of me that'd love it if the PT was remade...but I know that wouldn't be fair to those who love the PT. I still have TCW and fan fic. Though the reason I didn't get on board with TCW sooner Older actors, a different backstory and character for Luke and Leia's mom, and keep in mind some elements from the novelizations that hint at what happened before.

    I don't 'hate' the PT....its more that I'm massively disappointed by them. Oddly enough, they don't stand the test of time as well at the OT does for me. I still enjoy those movies as much as I did when I saw them as a kid. The PT, not so much. I was planning to rewatch everything Star Wars before each new Saga movie....now, I think I'll definitely rewatch the OT and new ST movies (and probably TCW and Rebels). But I just didn't enjoy the PT enough to watch them every year, or even every other year.
    Nate787 likes this.
  10. Diego Lucas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2015
    star 3
    The prequels have some interesting parts in the paper, but in the end, it was really poorly direction, some strange characters (jar jar), strange performances of great actors, the best characters or die early (Darth Maul) or poorly written (Conde Dooku), sometimes when i see clone wars (the 2003/2004), i see how the prequels should be in the beginning, it's a amazing series.
    Last edited by Diego Lucas, Jan 18, 2016
  11. {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2015
    star 5
    More scenes with Padme and Anikan.

    I felt like that there were good scenes for what we had but there needed to be just a little bit more scenes with them to actually determine their relationship.

    Like the bed scene from the deleted scenes where Padme talks about her ideals and passions. We And I would have like to see more of Naboo being in peril as she had stated many times.

    Another note are the fights. While awesome, I did not understand why Kenobi got rekt in every fight he was in(Aside from Grievs and Jango) seems like he had a hard time standing on his own. EDIT: That was more of a complaint, sorry.

    And last, the jedi temple. There needed to be more scenes seeing of what its all about. Like seeing people train, study and their daily life. But I guess it wasn't enough for 3 films.
    Last edited by Ezon Pin, Jan 18, 2016
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  12. {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2015
    star 5
    Face it, this thread will end up turning into a PT complaint thread one way or another...
  13. Colwyn Ren Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2015
    star 1
    All people have to do is use the format:

    1. I dislike this.
    2. Here's why.
    3. I'd prefer it this way.

    It's not too much to ask. I'd personally prefer to see this pinned and have all of the comments that don't use this format automatically deleted and see the thread stay open.
    Last edited by Colwyn Ren, Jan 19, 2016
  14. Darth__Lobot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2015
    star 4
    I actually think this would be interesting in the OT forum also. Of course the entire thread might end up just being suggestions for Ewok replacements :)
  15. cubman987 PT Book Club Host - PT Trivia Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2014
    star 5
    Well said, I've always felt this way as well. I think the whole "chosen one" story is why Lucas decided to have him be younger but that was never really a big part of the movies after Episode I anyways, so scrapping that and having him be around Luke's age in ANH would have been the better choice.
    Evetssteve10 likes this.
  16. Darth__Lobot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2015
    star 4
    I completely agree with aging Anakin up but that's already been covered so I'll mention the entire concept of the "prophecy" and the "chosen one"

    I think both of those elements were thrown in to try and make the story seem more "epic" even though they were completely un-needed (the story was already plenty epic enough IMO)

    There's some great threads on this in the saga forum... but basically the entire prophecy bit if true removes a lot of character agency (makes Luke's decisions kind of pointless, Yoda fighting the emperor pointless, etc).

    Personally I would have left them out as I feel the story is stronger without them (this includes leaving out the virgin birth stuff).


    I actually interpret the prophecy as a false one myself when watching the films as I think that's the only way everything really makes sense.

    - I assume Shim is either not telling the truth about Anakin's father or doesn't remember (memory loss/mind wipe/etc) who the father is for some reason
    - I take the prophecy for a false prophecy (I think it's pretty clear that Yoda doesn't really buy it either). In the end Anakin fails and it's Luke who redeems him by doing what he could not. The Jedi were also flawed and following a false prophecy helped lead to their downfall. The Emperor also fuels this by playing upon the Jedi's belief in the prophecy when he turns their supposed "Chosen One"
    - I assume all the exposition about the "force" taking an active role in events is simply a false belief of the jedi (that's certainly something we see in the real world as well).
    - I also assume that the jedi really don't understand midi-chlorians at all. It's more evidence of their hubris that they think they can distill the force down to a blood test

    I personally find the movies much more enjoyable when taken from this point of view. In the end it's Luke who is able to throw off the faults of the sith AND the jedi
  17. {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2015
    star 5
    H
    hopefully. This is a really good thread for the PT fourm.
  18. SateleNovelist11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2015
    star 4

    I had thought about that once. Thanks for sharing.

    And I agree with Darth Elyk said. Anakin and Obi-Wan should have gotten along more in AOTC to show that they were good friends. Also, Ezon Pin is right. We needed more scenes of Anakin and Padme with a realistic romance.
  19. Darth__Lobot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2015
    star 4

    I personally feel this is another consequence of starting Anakin out as a child. Lucas basically ran out of time, which is why (IMO) ROTS is so packed full of stuff.
  20. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 7
    I agree about Anakin being older, however I could suggest one way Lucas could have done it as it is and still make it work:

    Since Episode One was the first one in the Saga storyline, make Little Annie's TPM journey as a bit of a prologue to the film proper.
    Make a true epic film with an prologue before the crawl about 10-15-20 minutes with Little Annie and the jedi finding him on Tatooine as it basically stands now and then jump into the present tense with the opening crawl and an older Hayden-Anakin and Obi-Wan.

    Now that we're getting the SW ST another bookend could now be done because ROTJ is no longer the end.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Jan 19, 2016
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  21. {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2015
    star 5
    I'm gonna shoot for another one. The films should have been longer or needed to have 4 films.

    Seriously, going from lloyd to hayden detracts the audience. While I didn't quite mind it and I was fond of it, it wasn't AS effective as I would have lt.

    Honestly, with 4 films, you could have the TPM as the prologue, the next movie with Hayden, AOTC then ROTS. That way, we have 3 movies to interact with Hayden. Or make the movies longer. We needed some more time with the villians of the PT. I'm kinda okay with Maul but Dooku, Jango and Griev needed like 45 more minutes in the movies(those guys were very interesting, more interesting than the OT villians).

    D*** dawg, Thats my main criticisms with the PT. Length and time. The PT's universe is SO giant and complex, we needed a whole lot more time with it to have a broader understanding. I was fine what with we got but there just needed to be more context.
    Valiowk, Tonyg and Force Smuggler like this.
  22. museinwoodenshoes Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2015
    star 4
    He should have made four films. I know, there are convincing reasons to keep the story restrained to a trilogy, especially regarding how all six films are constructed, but I have never been able to shake off the impression that Lucas wanted to do more. The prequels tell a fantastic story that is nothing short of epic in its scope and I can see why he made the decision to concise certain elements, but a story of this scope could have done with one more. Another thing is that I always had the feeling that he was holding himself back. In all three films there are tidbits where you can see him eschewing the realms of what an American audience sees as traditional filmmaking; it's the most obvious in ROTS. And yet he succumbed to tradition for whatever reasons. Maybe to him it was exactly how he wanted it to be, but I just wish he would have said "to hell with it".


    And last: He wrote himself into one gaping plot hole with Leia remembering her mother. Force or no Force. I adore the way ROTS played out and while it works well on it's own it gets muddy in context with ROTJ.

    post scriptum @Ezon Pin great minds and so on
    Last edited by museinwoodenshoes, Jan 19, 2016
  23. Stoneymonster Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2002
    star 4
    Here is something that I think was intentional, but for me didn't connect:

    The PT is the story of Gods and Monsters. Royalty, Politicians, Generals, Elite Warriors and mystical super wizards. Thus, the way the characters are written are generally aloof, distant and somewhat monotone. They aren't relatable, because you *shouldn't* relate to them. The dialogue and style of line delivery reflect this in my opinion.

    For some this is a strength of the PT, for those who want to see a more "epic" or classical presentation, I get that.

    For me, coming off the OT, it was stark, jarring, and didn't connect. I didn't want Anakin and Obiwan to be Gods, I wanted them to be fallen heroes, flawed humans.
  24. Qui-Riv-Brid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2013
    star 5
    I would agree that you are essentially correct.

    I find them relatable but on those terms meaning it's not trying to be the same as before which is something some can't get a grip on.

    The PT is about the fall of the gods. The OT are human heroes.

    I like both approaches.
  25. museinwoodenshoes Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2015
    star 4
    To me the notion that characters have to be relatable or even sympathetic to a certain degree has always been puzzling. One of my teachers once said that this a very american take on what is considered to be good filmmaking. Now I do not dispute that having characters who are easily relatable, like in the OT, is an enjoyable experience. But I do not have to connect to a character to make a film a pleasurable experience for me.

    To be frank I enjoyed the PT characters more and to me at least they were nothing but flawed. The whole bunch of them was and that was what made them more interesting to me and enhanced my experience. But, I understand why this can also prove to be problematic.

    To me the PT protagonists were a lot more like the heroes of classical times and less than what Campbell presents in his monomyth. That does not really correlate with our contemporary notion of what a hero should be. Luke is more in that line and this is what makes him more likable and makes it easier for us to connect with him.
    Last edited by museinwoodenshoes, Jan 19, 2016
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