Saga Wipes and Cuts in the Star Wars Saga

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Samnz, Nov 1, 2013.

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  1. Samnz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    I think it's fairly known that Lucas started out as an editor and stated numerously that he basically directs from the editor's room (which is also a reason why he didn't direct too many films himself).
    I just thought it was interesting to dedicate a thread to wipes and cuts in the Star Wars saga.

    What are your favourite cuts/wipes? Why do you like them? Are there some you can't stand?

    I'd like to start the thread with two examples from AOTC because the movie is sometimes accused of "bad editing", which I agree with in parts, but which has also a share of great cuts and wipes.

    1.) That's one of my favourites:
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    - - > I always liked that the wipes in that scene goes up, which leads our eyes to the vastness of the sky (heaven) and I think that beautifully supports Cliegg's words "I know wherever you are...".
    Also note that the camera captures the mourners exactly when Cliegg finishes "...it's become a better place."
    That's beautiful.

    2.) That's another one I like a lot:
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    --> First of all, it's cool to see the focus on Anakin's facial expression. Secondly, I somehow like the fact that Anakin strikes to the right side of the screen while the camera subsequently moves to the left (in Yoda's room). That creates are really special atmosphere and feeling imo.
    Additionally, I feel it's nice to see that Anakin seems to be "hidden" from Yoda by the pillar in his room.
    Really cool wipe cut.

    Now...other favourites or negative examples?
    I'm looking forward to reading your answers! =D=
    Last edited by Samnz, Nov 1, 2013
  2. Alienware Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2013
    star 1
    Hah, while reading the opening post and coming across your question as to which are our favourite cuts/wipes, I knew exactly which one to mention first. Well, you ruined it for me, because you already put it in:). It's the one with Anakin cutting to Yoda in the meditation room.

    Otherwise, I didn't know about that quote from Lucas, but I think it's a great one. Those unique wipes and cuts make SW even more special for me. Plus, they really are very smartly incorporated in the movies.
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  3. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Nice thread, Samnz.

    There's quite a few I could talk about, but for now...

    [IMG]

    They almost went a little over-the-top with some of the wipe transitions in ROTS, but that seems to have been the point.

    This is quite a weird wipe -- very slatted, asymmetric, and noir-ish, with imagery from the attendant frames oddly juxtaposed. Look at the floating lamps, for instance.

    But the slight messiness of this transition (it's nowhere near as classically neat or elegant as most of the series' wipes) kind of gets you thinking, too. Basically, I think this transition speaks to how messed up things now are, symbolically, with the philosophies and behaviour of the Jedi and the Sith hopelessly muddied up. Indeed, in the above shot, the Sith -- a mirage in both cases (Anakin is still a "Jedi" here and Palpatine is the "good" Chancellor) -- are visually situated at the base of the Jedi Temple, as if, subconsciously, the Jedi *are* the Sith.

    Revenge Of The Sith
    Revenge Of The Jedi

    "The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way..."

    But, anyway, yeah, a very interesting wipe, I'd say, with a nice blend of colours and shading, and the kind of transition that suggests a tragedy hastening to reach its epic conclusion.
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  4. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    I don't think I have it in me to go through each film of the saga extensively, so I'll just focus on Revenge of the Sith, as it seems to be the one where Lucas went full tilt boogie with his use of thematic screen-wipes. Warning: some of these are almost too clever.

    [IMG] [IMG]

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  5. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    A few other random grabs from the rest of the saga altogether.

    The very first Star Wars wipe. And a graphically bold one, at that:
    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG] [IMG]

    [IMG]

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    [IMG]

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    Special Special Edition wipe:
    [IMG]

    [IMG] [IMG]

    [IMG]

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    [IMG]
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  6. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    :confused:Aside from one blooper, I'm not sure what's wrong with the film's editing. Perhaps you might expound?
  7. Samnz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    I was mostly refering to my impression that AOTC seems to be the film which is the most controversial when it is discuessed to whether or not certain scenes should have stayed in the film or been eliminated.
    Furthermore, I always thought that the moment when Anakin's hand is cut off seems to be happening too slow and I think this is an editing issue. The new montage at the end of the Yoda/Dooku duel for the blu ray has also caused some critism.
    That's it.

    Personally, I've always liked some of the very antithetic cuts in this film. The cut from Obi-Wan observing the Clone Army for the first time (which is kind of dark and fatefil) to the naive and paradisiac meadow picnic is an example.
  8. oierem Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    The problem when people criticise the editing is that two things are mixed up: the actual content of the movie (which scenes are in and which scenes are out) and how the content is presented (the actual editing of a scene).
    Personally, I never understood the criticisms towards the editing of AOTC (even the "blooper" you mention -which I assume is the cut from Tatooine to Geonosis- is something that I find interesting), and most of the criticism is normally directed towards the scenes which were or weren't included (Padme's house, the droid factory...).
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  9. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2013
    star 4
    I really don't notice these at all. I guess, after reading this post, I can appreciate the 'cuts and wipes' more thoroughly. It does, however, look really odd to see a floating Sidious head above the Temple.
  10. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    I've long been a staunch supporter for Lucas' often ruthless evisceration of his own material, leaving the cutting room floor red with blood, so to speak. Especially concerning the lengthier talky scenes that were meant to elaborate character arc/conflicts or background plot exposition in a more conventional manner, I was always grateful he gave so much of it the axe, both in favor of the films' tempo and in turn allowing the audience to infer such drama from the streamlined narrative that remains, and its visual-musical presentation.
    I always thought that moment was given slight pause intentionally. That whole duel is almost waltz-like or, better yet, flamenco in style and pacing, and it seems as if Dooku all but trances Anakin at the instant he maims him. Or maybe Lucas simply wanted to be extra deliberate in the visual report, pulling away from the more abstract shot-flow to a wide master so the youngest of audiences could understand what happens. The blooper to which I was referring is when Obi-Wan first throws Anakin his saber but then, in the following wide shot, is mysteriously out of frame entirely. It's just one of those things. Every movie has 'em.
    Yeah. Definitely. I once wrote up elsewhere a rather indulgent shot-by-shot analysis detailing the scene where Anakin bursts into Padme's room, slicing away the bugs, and where Obi-Wan dives through the window onto the courier droid. If I recall, it all happens within ten carefully placed-and-timed shots that wonderfully illustrates both visual clarity and kinetic motion, and how Lucas overall is a superior action director in terms of staging and editing.
    Last edited by Ingram_I, Nov 6, 2013
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  11. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    First of all, wonderful stills, Ingram.

    Ooooooooh, yes. The dialogue plays right along, too.

    LAMU SU: Magnificent, aren't they?
    PADME: I don't know.

    Good point.

    Ditto.

    I like how that cut emphasizes the skewed similitude of the journeys of the two Jedi brothers.

    They're both burrowing further and further into a craggy nightmare -- and, symbolically, they're on planets that "are less than a parsec away".

    I also like how Obi-Wan is framed looking down at the Separatists. Hmm, separation (that is not so separate!)! Anyway, before I distract myself with a fresh tangent back there, why I like the shot: the wipe (I also like how Obi-Wan glances back at the camera; as if aware that he himself is being watched). I'm too lazy to post it right now, but it might be one of Lucas' best, as it visually expresses a key saga motif: Obi-Wan "watching" / "looking down" / "disapproving" of Anakin like a paternal skygod.

    Oh, and... sneaking. Obi-Wan and Anakin are both shown spryly prowling alien territory in which *they* are the aliens / impostors. Just as Obi-Wan sneaks around that Geonosian structure, so does Anakin lightly run across the Tusken camp*. The Jedi are invaders here (Darth Vader). Massacres both personal and galactic follow.

    *Also think how that contrasts with the staid "walking" scenes earlier in the movie. The Jedi transition from calm bureaucrat-monks to feline little spies / stalkers traipsing in places far beyond their home base.

    According to David Tattersall, a favourite saying of Lucas' is, "More slates than takes". You've also just given a new meaning to that blood-red carpet in Palpatine's office. Palpatine, the ultimate editor: "Wipe them out, all of them." As Lucas himself has said, he really finds his films in the editing room. In "The Making Of ROTS: The Final Chapter", he actually likens himself to a sculptor, saying that the movie is "in the marble" and he's just doing his bit to set it free. On the prequels, he obviously engineered an elaborate situation where he surrounded himself with dozens of super-talented people and gave himself tons to work with, winnowing down until he had, if not perfection, then something pretty molded and sublime.

    Well, maybe a bit of both. The film sorta needs to return to "reality" -- a term I use very loosely -- at that moment and effect a more staggered rhythm, so it's a useful aid: turn the lights on, then slow the film down by holding a shot (and forcing a character to keep still) for a moment. But yes, Dooku also seems to have the ability to induce sleep in his opponents (one more "sentence", if you like, in a ginormous "sleep paragraph" that Lucas constructs in AOTC). I would guess that this is Dooku's way of being chivalrous: remove the boy's forearm because he's in no further mood to fight (and maybe running out of gas -- witness his private exhaustion thereafter), but at least put the poor urchin to sleep to numb his pain. Ironically, this action (when contrasted against Luke's conscious scream) seems to see to it that Anakin doesn't recognize the cost of violence / limb loss. It could be considered, therefore, one in a symphony of "violent but well-meaning" (paradox) gestures that sends Anakin to the Dark Side.

    Obi-Wan: The Jedi Who Wasn't There

    OBI-WAN: It ought to be here, but it isn't.*

    ^^Shape(letter)shifter, too.

    OBI-WAN: In that case, be extra careful.**

    *Why ought something ought to be?
    **Be careful of ... extras? There are quite a few in that nightclub.

    Yes, that was a sharp analysis. And as I recall, you used phrasing like, "a thousand layers of cinematic intrigue", or somesuch, and between that and your analysis itself, I think you more or less nailed the brilliance of Lucas' concise, elegant visual style. And on it goes.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Nov 6, 2013
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  12. Samnz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    Absolutely. I agree.
    There is also an inconspicious cut in the fireplace scene that I'm very fond of. There is a moment when they cut from a wider shot of both characters to a close-up that focusses on Padmé just at the same moment when Anakin approaches her slightly. That really helps to convey how uncomfortable Padmé feels right now, imo, and it also makes us feel uncomfortable as the audience. People complain so much about the awkwardness of the scene but I just think that cuts and moves like this really show that it was all intentional (I'm also conviced that Portman's body language acting is underrated in that scene).
    [IMG] [IMG]

    Two other cuts I like (non wipes):
    - Amidala: "I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war." ---> Droid War Ships approaching the planet.
    - Awaking Anakin (in Dooku's hangar AOTC) ---> Awaking Padmé (in Geonosian sand)
    Last edited by Samnz, Nov 8, 2013
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  13. oierem Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    If imagine that the thing Padme has around her neck is Darth Vader's arm, it is a very effective cut :)
  14. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    From the horse's mouth:

    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/...nes-of-aotc-discussion-thread-mirror.9293150/

    (Excerpts originally posted by Nightowl -- derived from the book "Star Wars: Mythmaking - Behind The Scenes Of Attack Of The Clones")

    George Lucas: It wasn't that the writing of it was so difficult. I'd done a bit of writing a love story in American Graffiti, so writing wasn't the challenge. The challenge was that I wanted to tell the love story in a style that was extremely old-fashioned, and frankly, I didn't know if I was going to be able to pull it off. In many ways, this was much more like a movie from the 1930's than any of the others had been, with a slightly over-the-top, poetic style -- and they just don't do that in movies anymore. I was very happy with the way it turned out in the script and in the performances, but I knew people might not buy it. A lot of guys were going to see this movie, and most guys think that kind of flowery, poetic talk is stupid -- 'Come on, give me a break.' More sophisticated, cynical types also don't buy that stuff. So I didn't know if people would laugh at it and throw things at the screen, or if they would accept it. Let's face it, their dialogue in that (fireplace) scene is pretty corny. It is presented very honestly, it isn't tongue-in-cheek at all, and it's really played to the hilt. But it is consistent not only with the rest of this movie, but with the overall Star Wars style. Most people don't understand the style of Star Wars. They don't get that there is an underlying motif that is very much like a 1930's Western or Saturday matinee serial. It's in that more romantic period of making movies and adventure films. And this film is even more of a melodrama than the others.



    * * *


    Now, regarding Padme's body language...

    It's interesting you cite that close-up, specifically...

    It's kind of an in-movie rhyme / gag with Obi-Wan wriggling in the cockpit of his Jedi starfighter in the asteroid /ring sequence above Geonosis. The linking element is the silver headband.

    No idea what it means, though. My mind truly draws a blank on this one. The visual rhyme is rather fascinating, though.


    (Alright, alright, I do have some ideas -- but I'd rather not disclose them for now).



    In this scene and several surrounding ones (the picnic scene, Jango's apartment), my eye is drawn to the chrome / silver-ware in the background. Just love stuff like that.

    I rather dig that black square on the wall, as well. In truth, however, I think it's more of a rectangle, but keeping with the "square" idea for a moment...

    http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/kazimir-malevich/black-square-1915

    http://wtfarthistory.com/post/8171511238/why-is-it-art

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazimir_Malevich


    There is also a clear transition / progression here -- from Amidala's haloed hairpiece (broken circle surrounding a spheroidal form (i.e., her face)) to the TF ships (same shape), in orbit of Naboo, from which the landing craft depart.

    The bit I really like comes after: when one of those landing craft is shown touching the ground. The central portion of the landing craft is manifestly in the shape of a heavy boot. The image is of a boot firmly pressing into the flat earth. It's reminiscent of the famous George Orwell quote, "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever". Only, SW depicts an imaginary past, and the boot doesn't continually stamp on a face but lightly presses down: perhaps a measure of how political and personal transfigurations (in GL's eyes) actually happen.

    Yeah, yeah, I'm zooming away to never-never-land again, but I like how the image described above crystallizes the themes of TPM; and maybe the saga generally. In one of many (and, it seems to me, misguided) criticisms of the film, people have protested that it isn't clear if the inhabitants of Naboo are dying or not, and is the loss of trade for a few days really that bad? But I think Amidala really spells it out in a later scene on Coruscant: "By the time you have control of the bureaucrats, Senator, I fear there will be nothing left of our people, our way of life." It's a projection into the future of possible genocide, I suppose -- loss of people leads directly to destruction of a way of life -- but it also seems to hint that what the Trade Federation is actually doing is assaulting the Paganistic spirit of Naboo (also symbolized, if you like, with the brief spell of tree-flattening shown as part of the invasion), shattering their cultural bonds by way of planetary penetration / rape. THAT's what is really at stake in TPM: dignity / composure / peace of mind. THAT is the "tragedy" of Naboo, the tragedy of Darth Vader. It's psychological (inner) more than it is physical (outer). This conflict drives the story. Think of it more abstractly if you like: art under attack.

    ^ The paradox is that this meta-theme precisely requires art to depict it -- it is the art -- to begin with.

    There was a similar interlinking between Dooku's solar sails unfurling and Anakin re-awaking in the hangar (close-up of his head resting against Obi-Wan's legs), but I think this has been re-edited and garbled in the Blu-ray release. Look to the DVD to see how these events were originally counterposed.

    Anyway, again, to go off on a slight tangent, I really like the image of Padme in the sand. Note the concertinaed imprints in the sand she left in her wake as she rolled down the hill. They look a bit Gungan-esque to me. Kind of an art-piece made in the process of calamity (Padme's fall -- at least, crudely put -- symbolizes the inherent clumsiness of the use of clones / the political situation). In its own way, a small commentary on all art (or that which deals with tragic themes; which, from a certain POV, is all art).

    Oh, well. Guess I've strayed from your original visual thesis. My apologies.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Nov 8, 2013
  15. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    " Most people don't understand the style of Star Wars. They don't get that there is an underlying motif that is very much like a 1930's Western or Saturday matinee serial."

    Two things to say to this. First, if you are aware that most people don't get it, and presumably that would include the majority also of fans, then isn't that a little self-indulgent?

    Secondly, I think most people do get it, but that this is distinctly non-genre (in terms of matinee material)...I don't think I've heard anything like the dialogue in matinee. Stylistically it jars with Star Wars, imo.

    Claiming that "most people" "don't get" something is a signal of the self-indulgence of the creator and also, frankly, a little insulting. If someone thinks it doesn't work it isn't because they don't get it, it is because, for them it didn't work.
  16. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    I do tend to look at AOTC -- or maybe TPM -- as Lucas' most self-indulgent entry.

    That said, the Western and the Saturday matinee serial were once mainstream, crowd-pleasing genres.

    What Lucas is saying above, therefore, isn't all that radical.

    Well, it depends on your conception of "Star Wars", doesn't it?

    QUI-GON (PT; first movie): Your focus determines your reality.
    OBI-WAN (OT; last movie): You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.

    Plus, in the above, Lucas twice acknowledges the "extreme" of AOTC:

    1) "In many ways, this was much more like a movie from the 1930's than any of the others had been, with a slightly over-the-top, poetic style -- and they just don't do that in movies anymore."

    2) "It's in that more romantic period of making movies and adventure films. And this film is even more of a melodrama than the others."

    And then, as I'll keep emphasizing, there is none other than Jar Jar Binks himself, given a major presence in TPM: the bedrock of the prequel trilogy.

    It might be because they don't "get" it, actually.

    The reactions to Jar Jar are a prime example, in my opinion.
  17. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    First off, and I'm sure I've mentioned this before, I think that you write so eloquently and passionately on this subject that I find myself wanting to agree with you. Seriously, I enjoy your posts and you write things that sometimes make me go back and watch certain scenes. All that aside...

    It depends upon what you mean by "get". If we think of, for example, a comedian; he tries out a joke at a gig and it falls flat. Does he decry the audience's ignorance, bewail that they don't "get" it? Or does he accept that they're not getting it is possibly a sign that it wasn't a very good joke?

    You might say...its art and art sometimes has to push the boundaries...to which I would respond that, this artist is expecting people to shell out mulla to pay for his art and make him a nice tidy profit atop that. Making a film for cinema is as audience driven as the art of a gigging comedian in that sense. If "most people" don't "get" it then it is likely poor cinema, in the way that a joke that most people don't "get" is a poor joke. Doesn't matter how clever it might be, most people not getting it is still a reflection on the product, not the audience.

    That is what I mean by self-indulgent; there was nobody over-viewing his product with the power )or balls) to say "What....the...". "Most people don't get" is the quintessence of self-indulgent.
  18. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Well, thank you very much, OOK. :) I do appreciate all compliments.

    True.

    Hmmm, well, it's a bit of a faulty analogy. I mean, they could do both, couldn't they, or neither? Similarly, they might publicly choose to say nothing, while privately believing that the audience is a bit on the fickle side; yet still change their material and/or work on their delivery. And, at the same time, if their very livelihood depended on audience placation to that extent, they'd be compelled to alter their act or risk unpaid bills and the total destruction of their reputation. A comedian's art relies more heavily on relational aesthetics, from a certain POV, than does a filmmaker's. They can't be directly compared.

    We have to be careful of arguments like this, though, because they always presume that the art didn't work / didn't speak to people, when, clearly ... it did. I mean, even though AOTC was the lowest-grossing of the prequels at the box office -- just as TESB was the lowest-grossing of the OT in theatrical terms -- it was still a roaring success, financially speaking. It seems that most of the jokes and emotional beats within AOTC hit their mark; even if the tide of Internet opinion today attempts to tell a different story. Beyond that, I often ask myself, when these topics come up, "When, exactly, is George Lucas allowed to create a more personal Star Wars movie?" In production order, AOTC was the *fifth* SW movie: the fourth sequel to a film series Lucas himself conceived and developed (at great personal cost). Five films in and Lucas must still put all his personal eccentricities aside, according to this well-worn line of argument, and have the crowds eating out of the palm of his hand? See, I don't buy that. I think, by the prequel trilogy, the man had earned the right to personalize his movies through the new technology at his disposal and explore a more subjective side to his art, rather than putting the audience first and constantly admonishing and censoring himself. And it's only what all artists do, ultimately -- yes, even the crowd-pleasing ones: please others by pleasing themselves.

    And I don't think you can adequately separate out what reflects on a product vs. what reflects on an audience. The word "product" implies a consumer. The two are bound up. Yet they are distinct to some degree. It's messy to go looking for that dividing line or to arbitrarily impose one with matters like this, IMO. A further fallacy here concerns the word "audience". It assumes an amorphous glut of minds all blurred into one consciousness; or no consciousness. In reality, however, audiences vary according to age, gender, socio-economic backgrounds, and personal differences; each variable allowing for a variety of responses and opinions. Along the same lines, I'd also add that it's impossible to please everyone all of the time. There are times that an artist will fall afoul of the mob; or, more accurately, in this case, perhaps, a mob that develops some time after the fact. I don't think it can be helped. What matters, ultimately, is whether the artist remains true to themselves or not. And I think it's pretty clear that Lucas is proud of all six movies to date. In that sense, mission accomplished: he went on a big journey and he emerged the other side, happy and healthy, and, arguably, a fuller, better human being because of it.

    I don't wish for this to sound like a personal attack, but I'm a little weary of sophistry that attempts to blame the artist when it could just be personal issues that just happen to be shared by others. In other words, it feels therapeutic to find people who think and feel the same way you do -- about anything, really -- and this sense of relief can mutate into some falsely-exaggerated objective standard. In no time flat, people can start to believe that they're right and the fault lies on the other side. They become entrenched in what began as a personal misgiving toward something and ends in an all-consuming conviction that they have the truth while nothing but falsity enters in from elsewhere. We all need to watch for that in our lives. It requires near-constant vigilance (but not so constant that we turn into neurotics, I guess).

    I know this has been a bit of a long and tedious answer, but basically... Lucas has his reasons for saying what he does. His comments, I agree, might be a bit sweeping, but I think he articulates stuff that he feels needs saying: stuff that might be a bit "taboo". It's not kosher, as your reaction attests, to knock people for "not getting" something, and while it may be a little harsh, I think there is something to be said for shining a spotlight on the genetic makeup of Star Wars, since many people seem to want it to be something other than what its own creator always felt it should be. Y'know, if you go back and watch the original film, there's a lot of fun, trashy humour in it, and I could argue -- though, at this point, I think we need a new thread -- that AOTC is really the same thing, just seen through a fresh prism. That seems to be Lucas' own view: yes, AOTC might be a little more oddball, but it goes by the same basic grammar.

    Too many balls at this point. :p

    OBI-WAN: Oddball, do you copy?

    That's definitely a fallacy (what you just said).

    Just put on the ROTS DVD commentary -- I was listening to it the other day for the first time in a long while (refreshing) -- and there are several points where the issue of people disagreeing with Lucas, or Lucas with they, is brought up. Rick McCallum, for instance, admits he was very opposed to the Artoo/elevator stuff in the first act, and only came round to it once he saw the completed film. Later on, a more trivial example is given concerning the heat haze coming off Padme's ship as it lands on Mustafar: George was, apparently, quite reluctant to allow for much of an effect, but some of his artists had a different view and ultimately swayed him. To finish with an outsized example, Rick McCallum and Rob Coleman also questioned Lucas on Jar Jar back during the making of Episode I, but like everything, Lucas was running the show, so Lucas got his way, but the fact remains -- people questioned Lucas over stuff they had concerns about (and sometimes, he listened; sometimes, he didn't).

    As for power... well, you know, I'm glad that no-one really had the power to overrule Lucas. Hitchcock, Lean, Fellini, Bergman, Kubrick. These are some of cinema's greatest auteurs. The idea of art by consensus is quite repugnant to me. Maybe it works some of the time, but I wouldn't want it to be the only way that films of even a "populist" kind get done. George Lucas, in my opinion, remains underrated in this capacity. And in several others.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Nov 8, 2013
  19. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Perhaps you missed the very important part of what I have been saying. What makes his statement seem self-indulgent. They were his own words remember. I don't object to the argument that suggests some may not "get" it. But when you say that "most people" don't "get" it.....then surely you have to reflect upon yourself?
  20. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    From Lucas' POV, it's "most people" -- and why not? Star Wars has often been damned with faint praise as art. All Lucas is saying, there, is that the stylization of the artwork is often not seriously considered. Sometimes, people glance over it, briefly, when making this point or that, but in general, they tend to critique / malign the series, or a particular film within it, without much deeper consideration of the stylistic motifs involved. Lucas is advancing the notion that, for all their popularity, there's a deliberate artifice to the SW movies that goes ignored / unappreciated in broader culture.

    Of course, you could just read that as rationalizing from Lucas. That's just as valid. After all, the man has endured a lengthy series of attacks on his films and been decried as a sell-out, so remarks like that are a way for Lucas to strike back at his critics. He said, she said. I wouldn't be one to go as far, even with all my Lucas-love, as saying the man is above that kind of behaviour, purely as a subliminal defence mechanism. I think he has tended, in some of his remarks on the series, to fall into a slightly unfortunate, generalizing view of both the films and responses to them; whether for this reason or others. Yet I also think he speaks more truth than not.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Nov 8, 2013
  21. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    I have. In fact, the purple prose featured in both Episode II and III is not only reminiscent of the of soapy "love talk" from B-serial Westerns, but even vintage Hollywood melodrama in general, from Gone with the Wind to numerous Douglas Sirk films of the 50s.
    Wow. Could not disagree more. The deferring love stories within the saga carry with them their own particular tones -- Hawksian vs.Harlequin -- that best appropriates their own particular storied content: the characters in question; their natures, circumstances and the themes that motivate them. And the love story between Anakin and Padme is certainly it's own thing, exclusive to the prequel trilogy. Yet, If you momentarily zapped said love birds into the original trilogy, regardless of the change in setting or the energy of those films, the romance between them would logically be no different than what we actually see on screen as is. Vice versa if watching Han and Leia, from the context of the original trilogy, together in a prequel film ...Han would still talk and act like Han, Anakin would still talk and act like Anakin. My point here is, it's a difference in story, not filmmaking sensibility. The overall stylistic envelope is Star Wars across the board.
    Except, such has not been the general criticism of these films.
    StarWarsVerses likes this.
  22. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Back on topic, please people
  23. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
    star 4
    I think Lucas is a fantastic editor, although it often seems to me that many of the complaints about stiff acting are less a result of the performances given by the actors and more a result of the way dialog has been trimmed in the editing process. There are times when I can feel those trims and it makes the scene play somewhat more awkwardly than it probably would have otherwise, but I also respect Lucas's reasons for doing it that way, as well as the sheer boldness of those choices.

    As for a transition that sticks out for me, people have mentioned the one from the clones to the meadow, but I'd like to add to that the next wipe from Anakin and Padme rolling in the meadow back to Kamino with the Aiwha rider flying up out of the ocean leading to Obi-Wan's tense confrontation with Jango. It's as if the emergence from the water represents waking from a beautiful dream into a living nightmare where conflict and war are imminent and unavoidable.
    Last edited by Mystery_Roach, Nov 12, 2013
    Samnz likes this.
  24. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    Personally, I think the PT acting performances suffered mostly from George's vague/detached directing style, but the editing is a massive factor. Though with George, the distinctions between directing and editing tend to blur...

    The cuts have an effect, but so do the CG manipulation of characters' movements and placement on the screen, the lack of physical interaction between characters (eye contact, emotional responses, empathy), as well as between characters and the environment.
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