With AOTC/TPM Lucas pulls the rug out from under our expectations

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Jabbadabbado, Sep 18, 2002.

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  1. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    This is one of the many reasons why the Star Wars saga is so successful. On the surface, it can be enjoyed as a simple adventure film with a thin plot, but as you start to put more weight on the inner workings of the plot and characters, you discover that it can withstand a considerable amount of scrutiny.

    I agree with you, except that is why I don?t like TPM to a point. Any of the important details are obvious. Either that or they are not there. Like I said, to me, the Pally/Sid thing was obvious. (The Abstract that is so sad, your response to my post. True, but sad.) What else was there besides introductions and a simplistic stand alone story?

    With the OT and AOTC, I can not think too much into it, and get the story. Or I can think about it, and ask "wait a second, does this make sense?" and say 'yes it does if you think about it like this.' I could not think deeply about anything in TPM. That is sort of why I say it is a kid?s film because I was not, or can not do that.

    AOTC on the other hand. I need to see it more to really start looking deeply into it, but from what i read (the novel) and what i remember seeing, there is allot to think about. Allot to wonder. The Death Star plans are a good start (man that was cool in the theater, i saw them before they were made obvious, and I was telling my friend "Look"). Anakin, how evil is he truly.

    Now that I think about it, Lucas didn?t try to make TPM in that gray area. Wasn't TPM supposed to show the golden age before the Empire. Which is strange that it was meant to do that since the galaxy had slavery, death, a corrupt senate, ect...?
  2. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    I agree, Abstract.

    I think we were all (willing to be) blind to the deficiencies of the OT; let's face it, although I don't think the Ewoks were as bad as everyone thinks, 2 of the 3 OT movies had a Death Star blowing up. I mean, it's the end of this massive trilogy, and Lucas brings out the Death Star AGAIN?!?

    But it works, right? It's a convenient plot point, and we understand it.

    And I also agree that we really can't say anything for sure until episode III is over and the tears have stopped...

    Hmmm...I wish we could go back to 1981, and see what everybody thought of SW, and how the OT was going to turn out.

    Did anybody see the redemption of Vader happening?

    So how are we going to have the "rug pulled out from under us" in episode III?

    And I'll let that comment about HP slide, although I fail to see how anyone could put Harry Potter above LOTR...:)

    Just to respond to Enforcer's comment, I'm not sure I agree. I think the whole "Chosen One who will bring balance to the Force" was a PRETTY MAJOR plot point, and I remember me and my friends having a 5 hour debate (over beers) as to whether Luke or Anakin was the Chosen One.

    I was also fascinated by the whole midichlorian-thing - I was curious as to this scientific look at the Force.

    There's also the Living Force argument.

    The Master/Padawan relationship.

    The Structure of the Senate.

    The Sith can "reveal themselves to the Jedi." Where were they hiding?

    All in all, I thought there was much food for thought in TPM.

    -dust
  3. JediHPDrummer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2002
    star 3
    This Thread Kicks but. George Your doing an excellent JOB. And thank you george for inspiring me to do Film! And I'm proud of being a Star Wars GEEK DANGET!
  4. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    Garth_Maul,

    I agree. I can't see how George will be able to wrap this all up in a 2-hour movie without breezing over it too quickly. He has too much explaining to do and not enough film stock. I don't want a two-hour history channel-esqe film.
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Episode 3 has a huge burden. Lucas has to justify his PT characters and more than that his artistic choices for the PT's style of characterization. He has to give the Padme-Anakin-Obi-wan relationship more emotional resonance than it has had in the PT so far. We need someone to feel sorry for, someone to root for. If it's going to be Obi-wan and Padme, then Lucas is going to have to work to make us like them.

    At some level, I think we'll all enjoy really seeing Palpatine and Vader in action, although it doesn't seem clear that the Jedi purge happens in Episode 3.
  6. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    I believe Lucas has stated that he is going to focus on four main characters. Anakin, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Padme. I think that lends creedence to alot of what has ben stated in this post.
  7. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Yes but remember AOTC was suppose to be a love story with very little action
  8. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    Well it will be once the Special Editions are completed. [face_mischief]
  9. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Razorback wrote:

    In the Star Wars universe the dialogue is not corny and that speech is not "wooden." That is how they talk and those are the words they use. The fact that many people can't get past the idea that this is a FANTASY movie based on one man's vision and that these same people apply their vision of that world into these movies speaks volumes about the ability of those persons to experience said FANTASY.

    You seem to be saying two things. One, that it is not valid to apply objective criteria to an artistic work, and that the only thing required for successful writing is that the writer himself is satisfied. (Not the most common view of literature, but there are those who would agree with you).

    However, you also seem to be implying that Star Wars dialogue can be objectively determined as good on the basis of two criteria: its style is consistent and its mannerisms are deliberate. These are indeed two commonly-agreed upon components of "goodness."

    However, I would argue that good dialogue also has natural, flowing sound to it, as opposed to sounding forced or stilted. (This is not to say dialogue must sound "like real people talk." Nobody talks like the characters in LOTR do, for instance, yet that dialogue seems natural and effortless to those characters). Good dialogue is also fresh instead of cliché-ridden; it shows us something familiar in a new way. In good dialogue, every line adds something to the work as a whole. There is an economy of words there that prevents the lines from sounding tedious or repetitive.

    I submit that much of the dialogue from the PT, and a fair amount (although less) from the OT fail these tests of "goodness."

    EDIT: Sorry, a little off-topic, although it does relate to some of Lucas' more controversial artistic choices.

  10. AgentCoop Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2002
    star 4
    Glad to see this thread's still going strong.

    Jango Fett was brought up a couple of pages back and it got me to thinking, so bear with me while I ramble a bit (again). Since I'm just throwing ideas out there and not trying to tie them to some larger point I'll just make a separate paragraph for each thought.

    Jango is a particularly interesting character with regard to the current discussion, because whether by accident or by design he is the very embodiment of a "grey" character. This is because he is not so much immoral as amoral. Although those two words are often used as interchangeable, they in fact describe two very different moral attitudes. Whereas the immorality of a character like Palpatine can be seen as evil, Jango simply takes an extremely cold and pragmatic view of the world to the extreme. I have no doubt that he simply sees himself as being practical. I don't think he's trying to be flip when he describes himself as a "simple man trying to make [his] way in the universe". I think this is how he really perceives himself.

    So where do the Jangos of the world fit into society? Do they serve a function, however distasteful it may be to the rest of us? Jango certainly seems to play an important role in the Republic's downfall, not because of his politics but because of his status as someone who is for sale to the highest bidder. In a way, the Republic almost seems to reward him (until his death, of course) for his actions in the larger scheme to dismantle it from within. Think about it: He has a nice place to live, his own ship, freedom to come and go as he chooses and Lama Su hints that he has been paid a great deal of money to act as the clone's template. Contrast that to Boba Fett in the OT. Although he is genetically identical to Jango, he fares far worse under the auspices of the Empire than Jango does under the Republic even though one would expect the reverse to be the case. Although he is well-known and feared as a (presumably well-paid) bounty hunter, I hardly think most of us would choose Boba's life over Jango's. Boba seems almost entirely dependant upon Jabba The Hutt and the Empire for employment, and lives at a much lower level of society than Jango. To see that Jango is more successful than Boba, one need only compare Jango's spotlessly shiny armor to Boba's dirty and dented ensemble. So to me it's an interesting choice that Lucas is making with Jango. To an extent, Jango was included as a response to the positive fan reaction to Boba Fett over the years but I think that Lucas may also have taken it as an opportunity to make the Fetts fit into the larger statement that the PT is making. By including the genetically identical Fetts in each of the different societies seen in the OT and the PT, Lucas seems to be saying that their kind is always around. They are present in every society and at every stage throughout history. Perhaps I'm reading too much into things, but does it not say something about the Republic that Jango is able to function so successfully within it?

    As to the matter of Jango's motivation for wanting Boba in the first place, I think this is simply more of his pragmatism at work. He does not want a son so much as he simply wants to carry on his own life, and a clone makes much more sense when you look at it that way. For him to reproduce naturally would require him to "dilute" his own genetic material with someone else's, but a clone is (of course) an exact genetic copy of himself. Furthermore, his motivation for wanting to keep his own genetic makeup intact is the same reason he was chosen as the clone army's template in the first place: He's made of strong stuff. He and Boba are like cockroaches in that they can survive anything. No matter how unpleasant they may be to the rest of us, they are survivors. How successfully they survive has a lot to do with the society and times in which they live, but they will survive just the same.

    Maybe I'm overanalyzing and most of that stuff isn't there and isn't even supposed to be, but I thought I'd toss it out t
  11. Leto II Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2000
    star 6
    Very interesting observations, there, AgentCoop.
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Lucas seems to make no moral judgments about Jango at all. The movie doesn't say he's bad or good. Again, this is an interesting artistic choice. Lucas does not go out of his way to make the audience hate Jango. At the same time, the movie doesn't go out of its way to make us like or sympathize with Obi-wan.

    But this approach has consequences for the audience, and one was that I felt no emotional investment in the Jango/Obi-wan fight. The only point of interest is that Obi-wan can't defeat Jango, but Mace kills him easily, so in my mind I checked off the fact that Lucas wants us to believe Mace is a more powerful Jedi knight than Obi-wan.

    But again how interesting is that bit of trivia when I have no vested interest in Obi-wan's character?
  13. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    I could not think deeply about anything in TPM.

    I agree to an extent, but this is primarily because The Phantom Menace is the introduction to the saga. It's there to lay the ground work that will give the rest of the story its deeper meanings.
  14. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    But again how interesting is that bit of trivia when I have no vested interest in Obi-wan's character?

    I find it strange that you find Obi-Wan to be such an uninteresting character. I find that I identify with him (and Qui-Gon in TPM) far more than any other character in the trilogy.

    While everybody (well, males anyway) can see themselves as Luke--the world weary teen who whines to his parents--I think we'd all rather be Obi-Wan--good-looking, clever, smart, resourceful, and an absolutely kick ass fighter when the need arises. This is why Obi-Wan is my favorite character in the saga right behind Qui-Gon Jinn. I look at them and think, if I were Jedi, that's how I would like to be.
  15. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    "Perhaps I'm reading too much into things, but does it not say something about the Republic that Jango is able to function so successfully within it?"

    Well, by that time the Republic has become corrupt and is rotting from within.

    In some cases, the time of the prequels are more dangerous and threatening than the Empire. The PT era is silent and deadly. People are largely in denial about things.

    By the time of the Empire, the rebellion has openly challenged this system.

    The OT time period is more idealistic in some ways. People have decided to take action.

    The Empire is like the end point of the Republic.
  16. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    Where would we be with out this therad. I love it, love it, love it.

    Also I can't think of any thing else to say that has not already be said. Man that sucks. :(
  17. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    I agree with Durwood - Obi-Wan is the coolest Jedi.

    The type of guy who has so many cool things about him that you want to hate him, but you can't, 'cause he's too charming.

    My girlfriend hates Anakin with a passion - not for the acting or anything, but just b/c he's a whiny punk kid. I can understand that - but I can sympathize with Anakin sometimes...the fireplace scene is awkward, but who wasn't when they were 18 and they thought they were in love for the first time?

    I really don't think the dialogue is as bad as everyone thinks.

    Or maybe it is, but do we speak any differently? Sure, when you're typing stuff in, you can "talk" how you want, but in casual conversation, we get a lot of "oh my god!", WAY too much usage of "like," "cool", et cetera.

    Anyway, it's true what ObiHaveKenobi said- there is no way Lucas can do a good job with synthesizing every issue in the PT into a 2 hour film. Therefore I think he should go the LOTR route and make it 3 hours long. Kids WILL stay awake for it; it's Star Wars, the last SW movie ever. (at least, it better be)

    Can I indulge in some episode III speculation w/o losing the thread? (don't worry, I'm going to be spoiler-free for Episode III)

    What exactly does Lucas have to tie up?

    -what or how Anakin turns-->can it have something to do with Padme? Will Palpatine tell her Obi-Wan killed her or something, to feed both Anakin's love for Padme and his resentment towards Obi-Wan, to make Anakin mad enough to kill his master?

    -How the Jedi die?-->well, my brother and I originally thought that one of the Council members would be a traitor after TPM, b/c there was NO WAY 2 Sith could wipe out 1000s of Jedi. Using 8 billion droids to kill the Jedi was a novel approach by Lucas, I didn't see it coming, and I think it pissed a lot of people off to see Jedi dying in the arena.

    Generally, I subscribe to the theory that public opinion will turn against the Jedi, thanx to Palpatine, of course.

    -What else remains?--->Ah, yes - the nature of the Force, Why Some Jedi Disappear, and the "I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" line. I should start a topic on why it is not any power of Anakin's that make the Jedi Ghosts! Disregard what he says on Tatooine, I'm telling you.

    So, what else is there?

    I remember Lucas saying (or I thought I remember him saying) that the PT will have an "I am your father" surprise. If so, he's leaving it until the end (and don't tell me it's that Palpatine=Sidious or that Mace Windu is a traitor; it's gotta be big.)

    How exactly could he surprise us to that extent? (Vader is Luke's FATHER?!?)

    I have a feeling (and it's an apprehensive one) that Lucas is going to put some spin on the series that we never saw coming...

    and it could make or break the PT. If it works, in time we'll see the PT on the same level as the OT. Or close.

    If it fails, it's going to disintegrate whatever credibility the PT already had...

    Sorry, I got on a roll there.

    Longest...post...ever.

    -dust
  18. Merkel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2002
    star 1
    Could you please tell where did you read that Luca's quote syaing that there will be a major plot twist in Episode III?
    If it is true, it makes even more anxious for Episode III.
  19. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    (Peeks into thread)

    Is it still impossible to critize AOTC in any way without being labeled as a "basher"?
  20. sdj Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 4
    Well what Jabba is doing is the right way to do it. He's respecting other opinions. being open to others ideas, showing willingness to change his views and offering others insight that could help their viewing experiences of these films. Sure he's questioning the films and Lucas but he's not damning anyone for liking the choices. He's actually convincing me that Lucas has made serious mistakes that didn't have to be made and I'm a hardcore fan of the prequels that thinks they are superior to the OT in many ways. So even I am willing to change my views...believe it or not I'm not a zombie accepting anything that has Star Wars on it...I just look at it from a different point of view.

    So you don't have to love the new movies but if you're going to talk on these boards you should offer at least one of the things I listed above. I used to skip over most posts that were written by Jabba because I thought he didn't have anything to offer but now I think differently.

    That's all some of us want from these boards.
  21. Obi-Can Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2002
    star 3
    New Here, great thread. Very thought provoking. I'm still reading all the great posts just wanted to respond to the following post that really struck me.

    They have turned their religion into a science, where one's "religious worth" as it were is quantified with a blood sample analysis. Their younglings are trained how to follow the rules but not why, and when faced with someone who demands to know why (Anakin), the system is unable to handle it.

    I think this is one of major themes and differences between the Force philosophy in the PT and the OT. IMO the PT demonstrates the over reliance of the Jedi on science. They seem to be losing their intimate knowledge and relationship with the force because they base it on science rather than spirituality. They take blood tests to measure if someone should be trained as a Jedi. They give tests to measure their Psychic abilities. This to me makes it less of a religion than an Institution, such as the FBI or CIA, where recruits are tested for intelligence and physical abilities.

    In the OT, Yoda and Obi-WAn speak of the Force as being a feeling, a relationship between yourself and the energy surrounding you and within you. They seem to have a very loving and intimate knowledge of the power outside themselves. They use their feelings to decide another's emotions and motivations. It is a much more spiritual philosophy that we are shown.

    I would speculate that this over relaince on science by the Jedi is the reason that their force abilities are declining.

  22. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    I've had similar thoughts, Obi-Can.

    I think maybe you've gone too far, though. The reliance on science, I would say, does make them less in touch with the Force.

    I thought the midichlorian argument was to show why Vader (in the OT) isn't THAT much of a house, considering he's the Chosen One.

    What I mean is, the less midichlorians, the less Force. Vader=more machine, less Force, not as strong as Anakin.

    That's my take.

    As far as the psychic tests and testing for midichlorians go, how do you expect them to find infant Jedi recruits?

    The only reason Qui-Gon felt Anakin's presence on Tatooine was that he was unprecedentedly strong in the Force.

    Otherwise, I'm not sure how they'd find recruits - wait for parents to come to the Council, saying "I think my baby might be able to use the Force - she's levitating her blue milk bottle!"?

    And ferelwookie,
    I think there's been quite an excellent critique of Lucas and the PT in this thread (although I still think it's funny that no one critiques the OT). People seem to be fair to both sides.

    We have been blessed in the past day or so to write on this erudite and compelling thread, that has somehow stayed civil. And topical.


    -dust
  23. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Well what Jabba is doing is the right way to do it. He's respecting other opinions. being open to others ideas, showing willingness to change his views and offering others insight that could help their viewing experiences of these films.

    Yes, Jabbadabbado is going to win "Basher of the Year" at this rate! Instead of the whining and bitching that often passes for "criticism" on these boards, Jabba has raised the bar by respectfully and thoroughly explaining what he likes and doesn't like and specifically tells us why, and the rest of us have stepped up to challenge and followed his example making this possibly the best thread I've ever participated in on these forums. I wish we could e-mail it to movie critics around the world and show them what criticism is really all about!
  24. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Uh, I can get people's opinions on a new topic?

    I'd like to discuss Lucas' attachment (or should I say non-attachment) theory in greater detail, but I dunno if this is the place.

    If you think it fits here, then that's fine with me. Otherwise I'll start a new topic on it.

    -dust
  25. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Durwood wrote:

    While everybody (well, males anyway) can see themselves as Luke--the world weary teen who whines to his parents--I think we'd all rather be Obi-Wan--good-looking, clever, smart, resourceful, and an absolutely kick ass fighter when the need arises. This is why Obi-Wan is my favorite character in the saga right behind Qui-Gon Jinn. I look at them and think, if I were Jedi, that's how I would like to be.

    Oh, me too--and I'm female and everything. Also, Luke was my favorite when I was a kid. I'm just not a Princess Leia or a Padmé--and Star Wars is a wee bit shy on female role models if those two don't work for you. ;) That's not a complaint--just a comment. Young girls can get things out of male role models too.

    ferelwookie wrote:

    Is it still impossible to critize AOTC in any way without being labeled as a "basher"?

    I sure hope not! I agree that adults who can't see Star Wars through the eyes of childhood--who can't find anything exciting or interesting about modern fairy tales--are kinda sad. However, adults who can't see Star Wars through the eyes of adulthood--meaning in a thoughtful, discriminating manner--are a bit scary.

    GARTH_MAUL wrote:
    I still think it's funny that no one critiques the OT

    To tell you the truth, I think a lot of the same criticisms apply. But this is the AOTC forum. :)
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