Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Feelicks, Feb 19, 2013.
I actually prefer the PT to ROTJ but I don't hate it by any means.
Don't agree with the others - they're too stoic and typecast, you might as well drag Tom Hanks, Al Pacino or Jack Nicholson in for other roles - but Forrest Whitaker could have been a terrific Jedi Master. There's an almost Yoda-like quality to a lot of his performances, particularly in Ghost Dog, which he could have drawn on. It's very easy to picture him in the Jedi Temple, musing over what's being discussed, occasionally having a word in Yoda's ear. Maybe not necessarily Mace Windu, but he'd have fit in somewhere.
Jackson did an adequate job as Mace Windu - particularly considering that the Jedi in the PT are actually meant to be somewhat arrogant and closed-minded - but the character could have been so much better. Let's face it, he was only cast in the role because he was at his peak as a movie star & actually asked publicly for a role. He wasn't a token black actor - Windu was originally intended to be an alien:
I disagree a bit. I didn't really like Jackson's performance in the PT for a while, but now when I watch them I think he's awesome.
He does represent the arrogance of the Jedi and their close mindedness.
He has to play the role as somewhat unlikeable for us to buy that Anakin will acquiesce in his murder at the hands of Palpatine.
However - in terms of delivering the lines, he's probably the best actor to watch in the PT.
His delivery of 'This is the clue we need to unravel the Mystery of the Sith!', 'This Party's Over!', his sudden realisation and immediate resolution that action is needed 'We must move quickly if the Jedi Order is to survive.' and 'I sense a great deal of confusion in you, young Skywalker - there is much fear which clouds your judgement.'
Those are real high points of the PT for me. He doesn't get loads to work with, but I believe him totally in the role, he seems utterly committed to it.
This is getting way OT, but just to add to this converstion: SLJ was spot-on in the role as Mace Windu - very good acting on his part, and I found his acting very restrained (when compared to his roles in Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, etc.); i.e. the role just further illustrated his versatility as an actor. Even though he didn't have a large role in TPM, I thought he represented the officious, staid Jedi very well. Liked the larger roles the character had in Episodes II & III.
Also, it should be noted:
SLJ would almost certainly not have been in the PT if he hadn't gone out of his way to ask Lflm for a role; sure, he was already a well-established & well-known actor by the late '90's, but he was also apparently a huge SW fan from way back.
The purple lightsaber was SLJ's "creation" - apparently purple is his favorite color, and he specifically requested that his lightsaber be this color in the films. If not for this, I'm guessing all of the lightsabers would have been the standard red, green, and blue. (note - the SLJ character also wears purple in the film Unbreakable)...
Indeed, unfortunately they aren't. Nothing is perfect...
The only positive aspect of the Ewoks is that they didn't speak English. That would've been nightmarish.
In fairness to Jedi, its the third movie of a trilogy, and for some reason, the third installments of most good trilogies are the most inferior. I can't explain why, other then maybe you can only make movie magic so many times before it loses its luster, or that maybe the creator just ran out of original ideas. If you watch Jedi with a grain of salt not expecting it to be the greatest movie in the world, its a very good sequel in that context.
I honestly don't know why.
It's my second favorite Star Wars film. The action, the battles, and that climactic Battle of Endor.......
I know some people dislike it because of the whole "Empire being brought down by teddy bears" concept, but it was all good. It's definitely not the weakest of the originals; I don't even consider there to be a title like that for any of the original trilogy films. Now, the prequel trilogy is another story.........
I definitely think on a spectacle level ROTJ is the best of the OT. However, the reason I consider it either 2nd best or weakest of the OT is because of: the retread Death Star, the plodding Endor scenes (before the battle), and the weaker characterizations of Han Solo and Princess Leia.
I think it has the best opening and best climax of the saga, but some of the middle story is kind of floaty and not as engaging as I'd like. The Jabba rescue is a thrilling swashbuckling rescue with its own Star Wars flavour, and the Throne Room scene is perhaps some of the best in the entire saga. Don't even get me started on the kinetic large-scale dogfighting in the Death Star sequence.
The Ewok scenes before the shield generator aren't terrible by any means, they just feel as though the film is stuck in a stand-still, waiting for the heroes to regroup and plan their next move against the Empire. In a narrative, that kind of thing stalls the story.
I really think the Ewoks are the major problem. I mean, I think many OT fans (who favor the OT over the entire PT) definitely favorite The Empire Strikes Back as the best in the Franchise, but I have to say ending the serial with another dark toned-movie, would leave a bad taste in the mouth, because when you close a story it's arguably more successful to end it on a happy tone.
This is why I think the argument that RotJ wasn't original enough is a little absurd, because since ANH was designed to be a Stand Alone as well and so it kind of ended on a happy note with the Death Star being destroyed, RotJ had to mimic that formula to bring a good feeling.
I loved RotJ back in 83, and never heard complaints about it until I checked a few fairly obscure web sites. This is in contrast to the PTs which I also saw in Theaters, and I heard people cursing after the movie, and I even remember a scene in AotC where Yoda jumped up with a lightsaber doing a flip to confront dooku. Everyone in the theater either broke into hysterical laughter (as the dialogue prior set a comedic tone for the ENTIRE theater) at this point or they started throwing their popcorn at the screen. There were at least four to five dozen people asking for their money back after the movie ended.
Now, this was just my theater, and it was only my experience, it is not a made up opinion and it is not meant to offend. It is simply describing events I witnessed completely unbiased. This is not meant to offend, I understand and do believe that every theater was probably slightly-extremely different in their reactions to the movie.
That said, I loop back around - becuase this entire argument is meant to mean that the weakest part of RotJ is the Ewoks. The Ewoks where the first sign of what was to come later (IE Very kid friendly material) and this is what made the PT worse (again, in my opinion, it is not meant to offend, please OH please don't be offended) and it was one of the very same elements that went on to make the PT significantly worse than the OT. (again, in my opinion, it is not meant to offend, please OH please don't be offended)
Not only I think ROTJ is the weakest in the OT, but it's the weakest in the whole saga.
First, I'll say that all the scenes on the Death Star are great, Anakin's redemption has much bigger dimension after the PT and I don't mind another DS at all.
Now, secondly... The beginning resolves that whole unnecessary subplot of Han paying Jabba. Chewbacca (pretty much useless character in the OT) again is a prisoner (third time in three movies). Leia is in gold bikini, so basically is trivialised as she is no longer character developed. I don't really mind Ewoks, but the thing is, Palpy himself said that there are his elite troops on Endor and the way Ewoks crush them is simply... Childish. Amateurish (in terms of filmmaking). Laughable.
Also, Luke suddenly goes dark has no sense (to me), Palpatine's seduction of Luke also has no ground, he has nothing to bring him to his side. And there's illogical characters advancements. Han and Lando are generals (Lando's been in the Rebellion for six months), Han leads the mission on Endor... And that applies to the whole OT, for example, in TESB Luke is the one who leads the group on Hoth. Why, how, why we don't see an example of his leadership... But that's another matter.
All in all, I like ROTJ, it is a great movie, but in terms of Star Wars movie, the worst one. For me, that is.
The irony about ROTJ is I loved it more then ESB when I was a kid growing up. I remember seeing ESB in the theaters in 1980 and it was much too dark for me as a young kid compared to the Original SW. But I remember walking out of ROTJ in 1983 and ranked it as my favorite, mostly because I loved that Luke was kicking butt the whole movie and I waited 6 years to see who this Jabba the Hutt was! Probably around HighSchool, I rewatched the Trilogy again and that is when I realized how great ESB was and how much inferior ROTJ was.
I was shocked reading Simon Pegg's autobiography last night when he wrote that George actually considered ESB as the weakest of the OT in an interview he gave.
WHAT?!?!?! Was he just deliberately trying to annoy the fans? I like ANH the most but I know that ESB is widely condsidered the best. It was also made by a great director who Lucas admired.
It's considered the best now- but it received quite a bit of criticism at the time.
The thing is to me at least - the SW movies don't work very well on their own, particularly ROTJ. If you view one, you NEED the other five to truly grasp the saga as a whole story.
I certainly hope that I still feel this way after the ST.
Or, in the case of Return of the Jedi, you only need to see Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back to grasp it.
The original film worked excellently on its own. George claims that was the idea. you get dropped in the middle of a Sat matinee series, get quickly up to speed and enjoy it.
Whatever. I was 9 in 1977 and it made just enough sense to be perfect.
No, you really need the other five for it. Otherwise you won't recognize Anakin's ghost. Or understand why they're ghosts in the first place. Or feel the same urgency during Anakin's redemption. Nor the same feeling of victory during the celebration.
It's a very precarious balance, this saga.
I agree with you, but only if the person is watching the 2004 or 2011 special editions. In the Theatrical version of Jedi, there is no planet celebrations and Sebastian Shaw.
You mean the non-canon versions? True... but those don't matter anymore.
It all depends on which age group you talked to back in 1983, and also 1980 as there were many ESB haters at the time. I was 10 years old when Jedi came out in 1983, so everyone my age loved it, because we were too young to realize the Ewoks were lame.
I do have older brothers and their friends (they were in highschool in 1983) and they all hated ROTJ. They laughed at the Ewoks, and thought Lucas was grasping at straws making Luke and Leia sisters after he had them smooch in ESB. Those same people also thought ESB was overrated too, as most of my older brother's friends too this day are just Star Wars '77 fans. They think ESB is a good movie, but they just don't feel the original needed another sequel, and they kind of roll their eyes at Darth Vader being Lukes father, while every one of my friends thought it was the greatest plot twist in the world.
I have always contended it depends on which age you see the SW films and that sort of determines the context in which you view the films. Not sure of your age, but every kid my age (born in the early 70's) loved all 3 SW movies and we are the generation that really propelled SW to what it is today. Every person I know (born in the mid 60's) who were in highschool when the sequels came out still contend that the sequels are overrated, and Lucas should have stopped in 1977.
It would be a pretty interesting book to write about the pyschology of different SW fanbases.
Don't matter anymore? Those were the versions that became international phenomenons and made Star Wars sucessful in the first place.
They're non canon.
Yeah, I think that the Palpatine/Sidious-is-invincible aspect of the PT ultimately hurt the overall saga, because it makes his later defeat sort of come out of nowhere* or looked forced, so to speak.
*granted that Vader/Anakin turning back from the dark side was unexpected