PT Your Favorite Prequel Movie and Why.

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by El_Machete12, Dec 21, 2012.

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  1. IBYM Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2014
    star 1
    Episode three has to be the best, you can just feel a dark atmosphere throughout the movie and everything eventually falling apart for the jedi. It still had some poor dialogue to be honest just like the previous two.
    Darth Dnej likes this.
  2. ardavenport Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    If I have to pick one (and the prequels are a set to me) ROTS for sure.

    I had to wait 28 years to see that big fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader and I was MOST happy to finally have it on the screen. :D:cool:
    Last edited by ardavenport, Feb 19, 2014
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  3. HevyDevy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    I'm bored. I feel TPM deserves the title of an underrated movie far more than it's "sequel" AOTC. It just seems more genuine and hearfelt, retains more of the Star Wars charm that seemingly lacked in AOTC, and doesn't care as much what preconceived perceptions you brought to it as much as AOTC. Discuss.
    Last edited by SithStarSlayer, Apr 10, 2014
  4. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Just my opinion...

    TPM is a purer, and in many ways, richer, kind of experience. AOTC is more estranged.

    I've come to figure that what hurts AOTC, in a deeper psychological sense, perhaps, is the lack of strong on-screen mentorship. In AOTC, Anakin and Obi-Wan clash, and Anakin and Palpatine get precisely one (brief) scene together. We might also include Yoda, particularly for the younglings scene, but he doesn't have a strong relationship with the main Skywalker protagonist, further distancing AOTC from a basic paradigm strongly in evidence elsewhere in the saga.

    In the other movies, there is always a stronger mentor, guiding the hero, saying and doing mentor-ish things. In TPM, it's Neeson/Qui-Gon. In ROTS, McDiarmid/Palpatine. In ANH, Guinness/Ben. In TESB, Oz/Yoda. In ROTJ, there's a nice split between Ben, Yoda, and Palpatine/the Emperor. As this breakdown indicates, the mentor doesn't have to be benign. The mentor simply has to interact with the main hero for a decent portion of time, and to register, to the viewer, as authoritative and wise.

    AOTC, then, can feel tepid, dry, and unsatisfying, since it refuses to play ball and fails to deliver the archetypal sophist-guidance motif which is a narratological, stylistic, and thematic conceit of the other films. Does this make AOTC "bad"? In the words of Anakin: "Not at all." In the words of Anakin. Hmm, yes, then. Maybe. Less effective on one level, anyway. And maybe more effective -- or more intriguing -- on others.

    Just a gentle rumination there. No hurt to persons or movies living or dead intended. But you know what? I still like AOTC. It kinda plays by its own rules. Its deviancy, in fact, is emblematic of its frustrated, young male protagonist, slowly straying from the "good" path, falling to iniquities of a certain remote and ambiguous nature.

    TPM, though, is a glorious cornucopia of light and shade, and a bold, vigorous depiction of a fictional galaxy "before the dark times, before the Empire." It works so well on those levels that AOTC is almost an irrelevance, despite containing and valiantly furthering so much of the "prequel" storyline. I like TPM's atmosphere a lot. The visuals, too, are very formal and assured, as if we're being presented with Star Wars for the first time and Lucas is working his butt off to make this movie count. It's like we're meant to remember every character, every environment, every design.

    Additionally, on a technical level, the cinematography of TPM is almost an order of magnitude better than that of AOTC's, and even superior to ROTS's. Again, that is not to say that AOTC and ROTS have poor cinematography -- far from it -- but TPM's has more sparkle and sheen, and a much grander sense of depth to it. I am talking technically: the frames of TPM often look three-dimensional. Check out the early scene of the Jedi in the forest with Jar Jar. Or the capture of Theed. The colours are shockingly rich and the depth-of-field gives a feeling of seeing back into the screen. These aspects are not as strong in AOTC and ROTS, due to the nature of the digital sensor and the lenses that were used. TPM is a real stunner in the visual department. It looks the most solid to me.

    The solidity of TPM, in fact, extends beyond the cinematography, lending the film an enduring quality that is arguably lacking in not just the other prequels, but all five sequels. By that, I guess I mean, the effect of the cinematography, combined with the setting, the characters, the physicality of the film-making (many practical sets and models in this one), the direction, and the centered, uncomplicated (but sophisticated) of the story. The Skywalker dinner scene is where this all hits a sweet spot for me. It's a bit syrupy, but it also has an authentic innocence, even a sadness, to it. And it's very picturesque, but in kind of an understated way (there are certainly flashier scenes in all the movies than this). I like the way the movie slows down and gathers a new, steady momentum in this scene. Somehow, I believe more in the characters here (which continues from this point forward), and the slightly surreal world in which they inhabit. Decent emotional beats, tan shades, Shmi and Qui-Gon, good acting from a child star. I dunno.... it just works.

    And maybe, if you look at it mechanically, TPM is sort of meandering before the dinner scene, quite deliberately I might add, but in the dinner scene, it becomes clear that a sort of mythological parable or spiritual allegory is taking form. "He can help you, he was meant to help you." The strong close-up on Qui-Gon's world-weary, thoughtful face is the perfect way to end the scene, in my opinion, and I love the hopeful snippet of Qui-Gon's theme, and the sunbaked street transition, that immediately follows. This meditative, bucolic lament, combined with a religious quality, puts TPM ahead of the pack, I think. If this isn't a contradiction in terms, it's an embodiment of the spirit of the series -- or the underlying sensibility of the main story -- generally (if one is able to look past all the commercialism and crass profiteering, at least). It becomes clear with this transition that we're going to be spending a while on Tatooine. That this is no ordinary rock. That a sort of undefinable spiritualism and a longing for things that once were, or things that could be, is at the core of the films, beyond even the embedded ironies and critiques. There's a purity here that's very transporting. It doesn't take on a fuller quality until Luke stares at the suns, but again -- Tatooine. Something here that can't be cast off. The hearth and home of the whole saga.

    Obviously, I've written a lot about both TPM and AOTC elsewhere, so I won't bore the arse off you or anyone else who stumbles on my ravings, by going further. I like both movies, but I probably luxuriate more in the world of TPM. It'd be rude not to.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Apr 10, 2014
  5. julianzolo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2013
    AOTC is a real adventure movie, it really captures the Star Wars feeling, ep1 is boring
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  6. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 7
    Both have major flaws but I'll always prefer AotC.
  7. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Good point. In many ways, AOTC is the most adventure-some of the current six episodes, in my opinion. It's a colourful journey in five moments, five planets. I think it has the most expansive feel of any of the installments, and is pretty tremendous as a Star Wars "travelogue". It also has more the feeling of an epic novel. I by no means find TPM boring, however.

    By the way, I just wanted to make it clear... in my last post, I was responding specifically to HevyDevy who made a separate thread, but then SithStarSlayer decided to move that content here. Logical, perhaps, but now it looks like I'm off on a tangent (not unusual for me), when it was my express intent to build a response directly off of HD's assertions.

    I enjoy all the prequel films a great deal. If there's one sustained passage that blows me away, however -- just to add something different to the thread -- it's the last 45 minutes of ROTS.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Apr 10, 2014
  8. Samnz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    I definitely agree here.

    AOTC doesn't offer a leading, "father-ish" character. I think this is the most noticable consequence of Qui-Gon's death. Qui-Gon was the father-figure in TPM. He started out with Obi-Wan, "collected" first Jar Jar, then Padmé and Anakin at last. Qui-Gon also held them together. Suddenly, he dies and everyone is on their own.

    Two of them (Padmé and Jar Jar) go back to Naboo, the other two (Anakin and Obi-Wan) are left on Coruscant and you can clearly see that they're somewhat disoriented. Without Qiu-Gon, Obi-Wan doesn't quite know how to deal with Anakin. Anakin himself is unable to live a Jedi's life, seeking more liberal leadership. Padmé is confronted with a situation she has to solve on her own and with her own.

    There is just nobody who leads them, nobody to save them from doom.
    At least for one of them, Palpatine fills the gap that left Gui-Gon. At the expense of the others.
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  9. Darth Cyn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2014
    star 2
    Revenge of the Sith, by far, it's like the ESB of the prequels, dark, foreboding, and depressing, not to mention it embodies the OT better than AOTC and TPM, and has Anakin vs Obi Wan (best light saber duel in the saga, imo).
  10. HevyDevy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    Great post Cryo. Some re-enforcement of what i already thought but you expressed so well, plus a lot I hadn't thought of.
    Cryogenic likes this.
  11. solo77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2002
    star 5
    TPM > ROTS > AOTC (worst of all 6 SW movies, imo)
  12. Palpatine's P.A. Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2014
    star 2
    No single one of these films are great, but all have great features and the best elements of all 3 would make an amazing single film. Sidious+the saber duel in ep1, Dooku in 2, Vader birth+lava burning in 3
  13. DahJediMan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2014
    star 1
    I like TPM because of Darth Maul, pod races, and Qui-Gon!
  14. Rolf Larsen Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2013
    star 1
    I think episode III, because it has probably the best lightsaber duel in the entire saga (Obi-Wan vs. Anakin), and it just really is very emotional and awesome.
  15. Orman Tagge Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2014
    star 4
    The best movie is probably ROTS, just for the emotional weight it carries: I really do think that it sets up the OT very nicely, especially if you watch it in Machete Order.

    My favorite, though, has to be TPM. For me, Maul was fantastic, and it felt the most strongly like real Star Wars. I just loved it. Except for Jar Jar Binks. I hate Jar Jar Binks.

    AOTC is easily the worst of the three, and it was only redeemed by Christopher Lee existing.

    Also, why not add a poll in the OP?
  16. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    First let me just say that I'm not a big prequel fan. Not here to bash, but I do like this question.

    The Phantom Menace. Of all the prequel movies, it felt the most like what Star Wars is all about. There was an authenticity to it, with real and computer effects; and a sense of adventure, even if it wasn't executed very well. It also felt like it had the most effort put into it, whereas I felt AOTC and ROTS felt more like a checklist of things that had to be accomplished to get to ANH.

    The podrace was one of the best scenes of the saga, when taken in and of itself. It was overly-long and didn't really contribute much to the plot, but wow - it is amazingly well put together. It looks real, it sounds fantastic, and it's actually kind of thrilling in a trilogy that, to me, is devoid of thrills. I just watched the podrace again last night on YouTube and thought it was great.

    It's interesting in that, while it was the first prequel film, it actually holds up the best. AOTC and ROTS, effects-wise, unfortunately suffered from the fact that they were some of the earliest films shot completely on digital, so they looked like video games. It wouldn't really be until Avatar when a totally digital film would have its CGI look really, really good. AOTC and ROTS paved the way for that, but their effects suffer for digital and CGI not having caught up to one another yet. Unlike TPM, where it was shot on film and had a great mix of practical and CGI effects.

    TPM was also the first Star Wars movie I ever saw, so there's a lot of nostalgia there. As a 10 year in 1999, it was fantastic, and opened the door to all of Star Wars for me. It's disappointing that I don't think it's a good movie anymore, but I will always appreciate it as my first Star Wars experience.
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  17. fl00dsm0k3 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
  18. Darth Bradius Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2014
    star 1
    Most to least favorite here:

    ROTS
    I love Anakin's story in this film. It's deeply psychological and personal. The sense of tragedy and destiny colliding really makes it sing in an Empire Strikes Back sort of way. I enjoy all of the performances here, and Hayden really does it for me in this one. When I think of Luke's confrontation/conversation on Endor before they go to see the Emperor Revenge of the Sith resonates in that scene very well. "You don't understand the power of the dark side. I must obey my master." & "That name no longer has any meaning for me." Vader not mentioning Padme to Luke really works as well in that it almost seems as though in the 20 years that Vader has had to contemplate his failed faustian bargain to save her that obsession with saving her has turned to acceptance that he indeed killed her and is indeed a monster. He's a broken Sith soul by ROTJ, and ROTS is the root of it all.

    TPM
    I've mentioned it in another thread, but I'll say again that I fee like this one is like George's Star Wars take on the Wizard of Oz. There's a fantastical quality to it that really gets me. It's beautiful, lush, crammed to the edge of every frame with world building and that's a compliment for sure. When I think of GL I think of his pseudo-docu style from THX and Graffiti (much love to those genius films) but here he shows a deft hand at crafting classical but compelling compositions and a knack for some really wonderful and sometimes very subtle camera movement that develops the tone of the scene. The pacing is fantastic for the most part in my opinion and I'm always shocked at the end that it's only a little over 2 hours long. There are legitimate gripes I have about the flaws in this movie (Anakin*Anakin*Anakin), but I think the one thing that is completely unfairly criticized is the political and senate stuff. I've re-watched this movie a couple of times recently and I love Padme pleading her case and Palpatine chirping in her ear. I could go on. I haven't even mentioned Qui-Gon, my favorite Star Wars character of them all. Lots of great stuff in this movie. I saw it in the theater 12 times and loved it more and more every time I watched it.

    AOTC
    Big flaws and all, I still enjoy this installment, but definitely less than the other two episodes in the PT and like a lot people here (not all of course) it's my least favorite Star Wars flick. It's uneven and strange... and that appears to be why some adore it so much. I get that and I respect it. But for me it really suffers from some of the things George was doing for the first time, what with his new fangled digital cameras and such. My favorite thing about this movie is the stretch of story that runs from Anakin and Padme going to Naboo to bond, Anakin having the dream about his mother and then Padme following him to his own homeworld to see him suffer his mother's death. Some of the execution in the romance could be done a lot better for sure, although I do really like the scene by the fireplace where Anakin professes his love. It feels like real, overly-passionate teenage romance. But in the end I think it's some expert plotting to have Anakin and Padme visit each other's home worlds and to have Padme see Anakin suffer a tragedy. It helps me to buy their romance in a way that some of the dialogue just cannot. On the other hand the duel(s) in the hangar I gotta give the lowest marks of the saga, and it might have to do with the fact that it's the only duel in the series that feels like anything less than the fate of the galaxy is at stake. This scene feels rushed and like something from Star Wars the live action TV show (if there was one on like the CW or something). I love the lightsabers in the dark, but some of the shot choices and the flatness of the environment just doesn't do it for me.

    Let's look at the duels from the other Star Wars films:

    ANH - On the Death Star, framed beautifully by the blast door frame like a movie screen within a movie screen, as if giving Luke a cinematic view of his mentor's heroic death.

    ESB - The ironically hellish carbon freezing chamber. Science stations. Over the core of Cloud City while the wind howls angrily. Breathtaking and epic.

    ROTJ - In the Emperor's Throne Room against the backdrop of the final confrontation between the Rebels and the Empire. A fitting end to the saga.

    TPM - In the Naboo palace reactor core. Duel of the fates, the heavenly columns of light reaching upward like lightsabers themselves, and the hazardous pit below. Not to mention the laser doors, the cherry on top of this inventive and unique treat. This is my favorite setting for a lightsaber duel ever.

    ROTS - On Mustafar, the last stronghold of the Separatist Alliance and the birthplace of Darth Vader as we know him in the OT, mangled and disfigured over a pit of fire and brimstone. Damnation for his sins on an operatic stage. Brilliant.

    AOTC - In an under lit hangar. Not much else to say here I'm afraid.
    Last edited by Darth Bradius, May 26, 2014
  19. bigtukker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2012
    star 2
    TPM

    There's a lot of subtext in there, which I like.
  20. Jair Crawford Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 2
    ROTS is my favorite movie in the entire saga. Did it have it's flaws? Of course. But despite those flaws, the movie always keeps me on the edge of my seat, like no other movie has.

    TPM comes second in the PT, and 4th in the saga, behind ROTJ and TESB, respectively. As wild an crazy as the movie gets, it has a nice flow to it, and I've found it to be pretty engaging. I also have a pretty high Jar Jar tolerance compared to most. lol I would have wanted to get a more crisp performance out of Lloyd and Portman if I were the director. But this isn't something that keeps me from enjoying the movie.

    AOTC comes third in the PT, and last in the saga for me, behind ANH (don't kill me, I have my reasons. lol). I still enjoy this movie quite a lot, but in the middle of the film the plot moves soooooo slowwly... And I think that George and Hayden Christensen went for what comes across to me as a sort of awkward angle in portraying Anakin Skywalker. I don't think that was their intention, but it came across that way to me. That said this movie is still very enjoyable, and I must say the scene where Anakin is burying his mother on Tatooine is one of the more emotionally potent scenes of the saga.
  21. FRAGWAGON Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Very good assesments. I would say Lucas was going for "awkward Anakin", though Hayden didn't really want to. Mission accomplished.
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  22. Kato Sai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2014
    star 4
    Revenge of the Sith.

    It deals with the fall of a hero and how even love can lead a soul to sinister ends.
  23. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 7
    I don't call what Anakin felt love.
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  24. Alienware Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2013
    star 3
    Revenge of the Sith.

    Tough to explain why I put it above the rest, because all of the other five (or two for this thread) are awesome, but here goes.
    I just love the tragedy of it. It starts out so optimistically with our Jedi heroes rescuing the situation on Invisible Hand. But then, after Anakins dream, I can just feel a darker vibe taking over and Williams' subtle change in score is spot on. As for Anakins much debated fall to the dark side, I have no problem with it and I feel that Hayden delivered. You could say the love of this movie has blinded me. :D And then the final hour of the movie is just a great ride for me. Yoda vs. Sidious is probably my favourite encounter of the saga, though of course not as emotional as, say, the final duel on Death Star II. But we get to see the two ultimate practitioners of the Force battling it out in the heart of the Republic - love it. And I think the ending ties really nicely with Episode IV and OT overall.
    Last edited by Alienware, May 28, 2014
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  25. TheFoot Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2011
    star 2
    I kind of agree. TPM hadn't completely gotten away from Star Wars, while still having a lot of really new stuff people hadn't imagined before. It has those moments that make me cringe....but I think the story taking place so far in the past kind of makes it its own stand-alone adventure.

    AOTC is where things got murky and just. I dunno...the storm-troopers being clones of...Fett. Fett being a kid clone...Dooku came out of nowhere...Yoda using his lightsaber....all those Jedi in the arena together...that awful anakin/padme love story.... <--- all this stuff just to set up the Clone Wars and get anakin with his girl.

    ROTS is the most fun to watch of all the prequels, but I still don't like things about it (didn't like anything Grevious...he was just a time-waster, as was Dooku), and even though I liked Kashyyk, all that stuff was ultimately pointless...it was just where Yoda happened to be at the time...nothing more.

    So while I think ROTS is the better movie....when I FIRST saw TPM I liked it way more than when I first saw ROTS. I think by the end of the prequel trilogy I just thought "what was the point of all that", so ROTS still left me feeling a bit uneasy. But with TPM so much of the story hadn't been told yet so they could have still done anything...it was still fairly exciting.
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