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PT Why does there seem to be a near-consensus that AOTC is worse than TPM?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by JediVision, Dec 24, 2019.

  1. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015
    I think that the main problem is the delivery. But this is probably the worst offending line, which would be out of place in almost anything lol

    Anakin Skywalker: From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven't thought of you. And now that I'm with you again...I'm in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you—I can't breathe. I'm haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me. My heart is beating...hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me...what can I do? I will do anything you ask. [pause] If you are suffering as much as I am, please, tell me.

    I mean this is just awful, utterly awful dialogue. It's so bad, it's probably good, in a humorous kind of way.

    This is a young guy, trying to profess his love for a young woman, but he just sounds like a complete oddball. There's awkward and inexperienced and then there is plain weird and hilarious. I'm not sure how Anakin thinks he is going to endear himself by making it sound as if he is having his fingernails removed lol
     
  2. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2015
    To you maybe. As I said it works perfectly for me. In fact that fireplace dialog (or rather monolog?) is one of my favorites in the entire saga, ditto the talk by the lake (yes, including sand) and on the meadow. :D
    Nope, the scene does a fantastic job in showing how emotionally torn and frustrated Anakin really is, with just a few lines. He was forced to suppress his emotions for 10 long years, towards his mother as well as Padmé. Now he finally has had too much and needs to vent, a perfectly human reaction. I have no idea if he was "trying to do" or achieve anything whatsoever. It never appeared to me that way. All he does is show his feelings towards the only person he really trusts. Well, he trusts his mother and Palpy of course, but one is kind of unavailable for a nice long talk, the other doesn't strike me as the type of person much interested in emotions. And Hayden does a terrific job in portraying just that kind of conflicted character. You can tell me how awful it all is as much as you like, but I bought it right the first time I saw the movie. Let's call it even, you won't convince me and vice versa.
     
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  3. jaimestarr

    jaimestarr Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 13, 2004
    So, Shakespeare is widely regarded as a master of the written word/dialog. George Lucas....that's not his forte. Lucas's genius lies in other areas. He'd be the first to admit this. Comparing Padme and Anakin's dialog to Romeo and Juliet hurts your argument.
    Do you know why Romeo and Juliet talk like opera performers in a operatic tragedy? Because they are. They speak to each other in a way that is consistent with the rest of the play, and consistent/appropriate to the era in which Shakespeare lived.

    Meanwhile, Anakin and Padme are tonally off in this fireplace scene from the rest of the movie (and Star Wars saga in general). That's the problem.


    Here's the thing....AOTC romantic dialogue is not done well. It doesn't come off as purposefully cheesy, melodramatic, or intentionally overwrought. It comes off as unintentionally corny.

    Ask yourself: Why would George Lucas want this important "forbidden love talk" to be intentionally corny or overwrought? What goal does that accomplish to have the characters come across to the audience less authentic than possible in order to sound "old fashioned"?

    You said they sound "medieval." I'm not sure about that. They aren't using any medieval dialect that I am aware of. They aren't even using high speech or fancy words. They are using modern english this entire scene.

    Again, Padme and Anakin are not speaking in sonnets in this film. I don't get the connection. The characters in Star Wars speak modern english...even when using sci-fi/fantasy jargon.

    I don't mind the romance. It's a good story and it works for me. I just think the romantic dialogue is a weak element in a movie that I love.

    Two things:
    -The dialog isn't new, different, daring, or unexpected. It's cliche, it is trite, it's overwrought. Meaning, what Anakin and Padme are saying (how they are conveying their emotions) are said in the most obvious/basic way that we have seen/heard a million times throughout different films, tv shows, stories, etc.
    Anakin and Padme say the most obvious love metaphors/cliches to each other. It's like they are reading hallmark cards on the big screen.

    -Secondly, I had not problem with a movie portraying Darth Vader as a young man in love. That was fascinating. It wasn't that he said/did romantic things....it's that it was done in an obvious inauthentic way.
    Again, compare the romance between Anakin and Padme to Jack and Rose from Titanic. Both couples are star crossed lovers, and young adults of a bygone era. Yet, Jack and Rose is much more convincing/authentic. Why is this? It's because of the tone and dialog of Titanic's romance dialog was consistent, and not trite.

    I say this not even liking Titanic as a movie. I certainly don't like it more than AOtC. As I have said, I love Episode 2 despite the flaws.

    I hear what you are saying. It was a fun time in Star Wars fandom. This still doesn't make these movies flawless to me, but I digress.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  4. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    You can say that again!
     
  5. I Are The Internets

    I Are The Internets Force Ghost star 9

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    Nov 20, 2012
    AOTC mainly doesn't work because of several central performances. Partially the director's fault
     
  6. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    Works for a lot of us! ;)
     
  7. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Personally, I think each prequel gets better than the one before it. I like TPM quite a lot, it's not the best SW film, but it's also not the worst. But for me (editing aside) AOTC is a better film. Sure it has issues, but most films do and most Star Wars films do. But I really enjoy quite a lot about AOTC. And the score is utterly fantastic!
     
  8. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

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    Oct 30, 2015
    Count me in ;)
     
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  9. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    Agree. The love theme struck me as something very different for a SW movie, and it has grown on me a lot over the last 18+ years...
     
  10. Bee Bee

    Bee Bee Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Since its been a hot topic on here lately - A big part of why the romance didn't work for me wasn't even just the dialogue (which I didn't care for) but was because I still have no clue why Padme fell for Anakin. Aside from looks, what is there for her to be attracted to? He has a miserable personality, is incredibly immature and whiny, is a self-admitted child murderer, and during AOTC they spend like what, a few days together? It makes Padme seem completely irrational and creepy (like a babysitter dating a kid they watched over years ago).
    On a more positive note, I absolutely adore the Across the Stars theme. Probably my favorite theme from the prequels, John Williams must have been on musical steroids composing for these movies.
     
  11. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011
    You are incorrect.

    "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." -- George Lucas, Mythmaking: Behind the Scenes of Attack of the Clones

    Lucas knows the dialogue is pulpy and corny, and he intended it that way. Apart from being a bit more flowery and poetic than usual, it's the same as it's been in all the movies. People have been saying the same thing about the dialogue in these movies since the very first one, and George has always had the same response. From a 1977 Rolling Stone interview:

    Some of Mark Hamill’s lines are pretty corny.
    There is some very strong stuff in there. In the end, when you know better, it sort of takes a lot of guts to do it because it’s the same thing with the whole movie – doing a children’s film. I didn’t want to play it down and make it a camp movie, I wanted to make it a very good movie. And it wasn’t camp, it was not making fun of itself. I wanted it to be real.

    Even though Harrison Ford’s character, Han Solo, is right up to the edge of camp, very John Wayne-ish.

    He goes as far as I let anybody go.

    “I been from one end of this galaxy to the other, kid..” But he did pull it off.
    [Laughs] It fits in his character. Harrison is an extremely intelligent actor and we balanced on a lot of thin threads when we went through this movie. And when you’re doing it you never know when you are going to jump off the other side, which is one of the things like with the score. There were a lot of little discussions about if this or that would make it go too far, would it be too much. I decided just to do it all the way down the line, one end to the other, complete. Everything is on that same level, which is sort of old-fashioned and fun but going for the most dramatic and emotional elements that I can get.


    The only difference is that, for whatever reason--be it the cultural atmosphere or the desire to appear cool by slagging the new movies or whatever--people were less willing to put up with it in the prequels. So we get these same old excuses trotted out, "Okay, yeah, people may have thought the dialogue was corny and bad in the originals too, but the dialogue in the prequels is even worse and actually bad." No. I watched all of them when I was a kid, without preconception. I know good dialogue and bad dialogue, good acting and bad acting. It's all the same in the Star Wars movies. There's no appreciable difference. You changed, not the movies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  12. Togruta

    Togruta Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2010
    AotC is actually my favorite of the PT. It seems like the most rewatchable, probably because its tone is inbetween TPM and RotS; not too light, not too dark. But I also like this feeling of variety I get from it, of developments, emotions, environments, action, and mystery. Things are unfolding and intermixing together in AotC, and I like that about it.
     
  13. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    Exactly. Absolutely, 100% right on the money.

    Lucas is way too sophisticated in his knowledge of cinema not to have done this on purpose. He knew what he was doing and why he was doing.

    And for me, having been able to watch The Adventures of Captain Marvel on video even before the prequels came out, there was never any doubt about which parts of the SW movies are straight-up homage to that kind of old-fashioned serial. It's almost like Lucas is winking at you with every line of corny dialogue.

    It was a bit of that, but possibly many of the people who'd been young kids with the OT kinda expected the movies to grow up with them, instead of staying movies that are mostly aimed at a younger audiences, and made with those younger audiences in mind, and not aiming to please a bunch of jaded and more cynical young adults.
     
  14. jaimestarr

    jaimestarr Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 13, 2004
    First of all, you say only skim past my posts. I posted quite a bit on this thread....so do me a favor and make sure you are caught up, because some of what you are saying...I've already addressed. Cool? For example. I love the prequels and it's not about bashing them.

    Secondly, this is an from an interview Lucas did with Empire Magazine , in which, Lucas completely debunks your claim that the PT dialog was written in the same way/style as the OT dialog. I will bold the relevant bits in case you just wanna "skim past my post" as you claim to do.

    Interviewer: The other stick everyone likes to beat you with is that you can't write dialogue...

    Lucas: I'd be the first person to say I can't write dialogue. My dialogue is very utilitarian and is designed to move things forward. I'm not Shakespeare. It's not designed to be poetic. It's not designed to have a clever turn of phrase. On the very first film, I had Bill and Gloria Hyuck (American Graffiti screenwriters) go through and do a dialogue polish on it. And that ultimately came down to maybe a dozen lines, where they added a snappy retort. After a while of working in the medium, I decided that wasn't ultimately essential to making the movies. So in the last few movies we did not try and be clever with the dialogue. I just wanted to get from point A to point B. This film doesn't lend itself to that sort of thing because it's not about snappy one-liners.

    I think that Lethal Weapon-style dialogue is overused, it's a necessary aspect of high action films where you have to have the smart retort. You have to say "I'll be back baby" and stuff. It's not my style. It takes away from the integrity of the movie. In the first film, the characters were of that nature, especially Han Solo. I have to tell you when Anakin gets older, he's more in that mode and there will be a lot more of that thing going on. In this one, there's not. It's not a formula. There was no place for that kind of thing in this particular movie. I'm aware that dialogue isn't my strength. I use it as a device. I don't particularly like dialogue which is part of the problem.

    So, as you can see from the mouth of George Lucas himself, you are incorrect.

    A. Writing dialogue is not his strong point, nor does he enjoy it.
    B. The dialog in the OT is more modern/hip snappy than the PT. This directly refutes what you posted.

    So, either George Lucas is a doublespeaking liar, there are several interpretations to this topic, or you are wrong in this instance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  15. G-FETT

    G-FETT Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2001
    It's weird because when AOTC was released the general consensus was that it was a pretty big step up in all directions over TPM.

    I guess time chances perceptions but for me I still prefer AOTC to TPM but I adore ROTS.
     
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  16. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 13, 2014
    Oddly my reaction to seeing AOTC for the first time was how a lot of people felt about TPM. Today I think AOTC is the better movie.
     
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  17. Lee_

    Lee_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Nov 3, 2012
    TPM was just too kid friendly. It was like SW mixed with Disney. I don't hate it, but it will likely always be the least of the SW movies. AOTC, with romantic statements about sand and all, is clearly better.

    The cheesy stuff with Anakin and Padme was meant to be that way- that's what the love stories in the stuff that influenced Lucas were like.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  18. Lee_

    Lee_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Nov 3, 2012
    I think ROTS actually deserves to not be spoken of in terms of the rest of the PT. It always gets lumped in with the other 2 movies, but it is much better; really good film.

    oops, sorry for double post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  19. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    That's how I have felt about it ever since it was released, and I love it more because of it. [face_love]
     
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  20. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

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    Nov 28, 2015
    I actually find TPM and AOTC to be better than ROTJ. The ambition is more clear, and I think they have much more well-executed moments.
     
  21. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 13, 2014
    ROTS is a really good film. I was a bit sad that the movies were over just as George Lucas found his stride with both the story telling and the new technology.

    ROTS is so good it elevates TPM and AOTC to a higher level. The contrast of tones between the TPM and ROTS makes the prequels so much more tragic. The events of ROTS show what really was going on in AOTC. ROTS reframes the prequels to take on greater meaning and emotions.

    Look at the neckless Anakin gives Padme in TPM and the new meaning it has after ROTS.
     
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  22. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 6

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    May 10, 2001
    I'm not sure I would say he "found his stride" with ROTS; I think he knew what he was doing with all of the prequels and always had a good idea of how each would vary in terms of tone and pace. In hindsight I feel it makes sense why each of them had to be like that so that they would all complement each other and show how things got progressively worse....
     
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  23. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 10, 2011
    You'll be happy to know that I didn't skim this post. I just stopped reading after the first paragraph.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  24. DrDre

    DrDre Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 6, 2015
    I've come to believe much of these discussions are sort of beside the point. For years I was hung up on comparing the PT to the OT, how the dialogue was worse or different, or how the acting was worse or different, or whatever to the point, that I couldn't see the wood for the trees. Lucas is not the greatest writer of dialogue, nor is he the greatest director of actors, but you know what? He doesn't want to be. He doesn't care, whether you like his dialogue or not. Lucas is a visual storyteller. The dialogue, and the performances are in the service of that. I think the PT represents Lucas at his most honest, stripping away the stuff, that he feels may make you popular, but to him didn't add much to what he was trying to achieve, whilst keeping the elements he considers the most important in telling his story. This may make these films somewhat less accessible to some than the OT, but these films are unique in the sense, that they are blockbusters, and simultaneously extremely personal. Every filmmaker has strengths and weaknesses. Rather than continually harp on the weaknesses (which I have done ad nauseum in the past), we should look at the complete package, because that is what makes a filmmaker like Lucas unique. The PT is Lucas saying, this is my vision, unfiltered, warts and all. He's not afraid to show his weaknesses, because those are part of who he is, and he doesn't feel, he has to apologize for it. He's not trying to win a popularity contest. He is presenting his story, and his vision, take it or leave it. I think once you get past the comparisons, expectations, and what not, there's such a rich universe to be found in the PT.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  25. Kururu

    Kururu Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2007
    You know that excerpt from the interview Lucas did for Empire Magazine is dated from September 1999, right? So when he says: "In the first film, the characters were of that nature, especially Han Solo..." he is talking about Episode 4 and mostly about Han Solo´s one liners and when he said: "So in the last few movies we did not try and be clever with the dialogue. I just wanted to get from point A to point B..." he is talking about Episode 5, 6 and 1.
     
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