Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by JediVision, Dec 24, 2019.
Very well said @DrDre
So, do you think this is true about the dialog in Episode 5 and 6? Do you feel like Han (and his dialog/interactions with others) is less of a sarcastic wise ass? That there aren't quippy one liners? If anything, I think there are more.
I was under the impression that Kasdan is responsible for a lot dialog for those films and it shows.
Case in point, in ESB, Han Solo is even more sarcastic, snappy, with his banter. Leia is there to match him word for word:
Leia: Would it help if I got out and pushed?
Han: It might.
The "buddy cop" type stuff that Lucas isn't into is on full display in ROTJ:
Han: How we doing?
Luke: Same as always.
Han: That bad, huh?
Luke: There's nothing to see. I used to live here, you know.
Han: You're gonna die here, you know. Convenient.
Luke: Just stick close to Chewie and Lando. I'm taking care of everything.
Han: Oh, great.
I get what you are saying, but clearly this "snappy" smart ass style of banter continued into 5 & 6.
I wholeheartedly agree with you. I am not trying to bash the prequels (as I keep repeating I love them and Lucas's vision). I am critiquing the dialog because I think it is at is worst in AOTC romantic subplot, and I think that might be a reason that TPM is (in many ways) now more highly regarded than AOTC.
This led to people stating that the PT dialog is no different than the OT style, which is clearly not the case. It is a different style...George Lucas said he did it intentionally. Also, you'll notice that, by ROTS, Anakin and Obi-Wan have developed a Lethal Weapon-esque buddy cop(Jedi) style of banter....which is on full display in the opening sequence when they rescue Palpatine.
The banter is evident in AOTC as well with stuff like the gundark reference and the aggressive negotiations quip. Very much in line with that "snappy" OT style for my money. Also for me the dramatic style of the fireplace scene and its dialogue is very much in line with something like the Luke and Leia conversation in Jedi where Luke talks of confronting Vader.
It's more complicated than that, I think. Lucas is both cool enough to remember how the Flash Gordon-style serials made him feel as a kid, and other kids like him, and wise enough to know how that material looks once you're an adult and you look at it more objectively. So I think he's at heart made movies that are aimed mostly at children and the child inside us (if we still have one), but that would look equally creaky if you're looking at them from a cynical, jaded, detached adult viewpoint.
And you can look at any SW movie from either perspective. Having said that, the PT actually makes a lot of important points about the nature of democracy that you'd be able to pick up on as an adult, but probably not if you're still a kid. They are important points because they condense the lessons of several thousand years of human history and somewhat reflect stuff we've seen in our lifetimes.
Yes, great democracies really can crumble from the inside when corruption and greed are allowed to run unfettered, and crooked leaders deceive the masses in order to abuse their power. It has happened before and it will happen again - thousands of years of history guarantee this.
What I am saying is that interview is only useful to show the fact that Lucas was always aware dialogues are not his strength since the beginning, nothing more. It doesn´t work to prove the dialogues in the PT are different than the ones in the OT by any means. Ultimately, Lucas´ writing style has always been very utilitarian as he himself says.
Regarding Solo, it is just a matter of how Lucas thought this Lethal Weapon-style dialogue was a better choice for Han Solo in Episode 4 (5 and 6 also) because of the character witty and smart ass personality. But it only works for Solo. I mean, do all the Jedi from the prequels sound any different than Obi-Wan and Yoda in the Original Trilogy? No, not really. The point is, there is no Han Solo type character in the prequels so there is no need for these action movie style dialogues, although Obi-Wan has a lot of "smart" one liners in the prequels also. Same with Han and Leia classic bantering in contrast with Anakin and Padmé extremely old fashioned romance. It is a matter of what is best for the love story he wanted to tell, classic (Han and Leia) or old fashioned (Anakin and Padmé).
I hear you....Lucas did not write the dialogue for ESB and ROTJ. That was Lawrence Kasdan....who did not write the dialogue for the Prequels. That's what I am getting at....there is a tonal shift between trilogies.
Exactly my point. There is no Han Solo type character in the PT. That fact alone changes the tone/feel of the prequel dialogue compared to the OT. The back and forth dialog between Padme and Anakin contrasts with Han and Leia....thus, they ARE different.
Now, as far as Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the Jedi. I agree....their dialogue/style are the same tonally from the OT to the PT. The exception being Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan does have one liners and I love them. He is very 007 with his british accent and wry delivery.
And if and when he felt it was needed, he always had the option to bring in a script doctor or someone to rewrite some of the dialogue, after all it would only have been a few more thousand dollars for these movies that he self-financed. He'd only have been protecting his investment.
If he didn't it's because he knew it wasn't needed.
See above. To the extent that there are arguably some tonal differences, they reflect the different times in the two trilogies. One is showing the downfall of a once great and peaceful Republic, the other one is showing an era of.... civil war. Rougher times.
Absolutely this. I've felt since 1999 that TPM was, for all it's many flaws, still better than ROTJ. And as I said earlier, I feel each PT film gets better than the one before it. For me, ROTJ remains in last place of all the Star Wars films.
Has it, though? 'Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.' - that's Lucas, not Kasdan. Lucas has written some of the most widely quoted dialogue of all time - as well as coming up with entirely new words that have entered the vocabulary of the world such as Jedi and Sith, brilliantly exotic place names like Alderaan, Tatooine, Cloud City, the Death Star, memorable given names like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Jabba the Hutt, Darth vader. Any many more. Few writers have achieved as much. His flaws are many, but his high points are stellar.
I mean, there's that, and the fact that the SW universe simply wouldn't exist without him, no movie like it would ever have been made without George Lucas - or the Indiana Jones movies either - and the world would be a much drearier place for it. And yet, some people are still going on about this or that - yadda yadda yadda dialogue yadda yadda yadda acting - for more than 20 years after the prequels began, and treating it as though it was the worst crime against modern cinema.
I do wish those people could be instaported to an alternate universe where Lucas never existed, then they could at least live happy and productive lives.
I think the disappointment for many who grew up with the OT, and held it in quasi-religious esteem, was very raw when TPM came out. And Lucas had already alienated a substantial number of fans with the Special Edition changes. The critical establishment of the time the prequels were released also retained quite a few people who blamed Lucas for 'ruining cinema' by ushering in the 80s blockbuster at the expense of the character driven films of the 70s. Lucas himself was also something of an outsider in Hollywood - walling himself off in his ranch, seeming almost a reclusive Howard Hughes figure to some. And let's be fair - Lucas is something of an awkward guy. Not everyone enjoyed working with him - some actors especially didn't like it, and you get the impression he could hold a grudge. All this I think contributes to him not getting the credit he so clearly deserves as a creative genius. I suspect time will be rather kind to him.
This wasn't my experience at all, it was a blast to watch the OT with some new effects and in the biggest and most awesome theaters that were available in 1997 (with THX sound!). The prequels, starting in 1999, were the icing on the cake. I do remember some people did complain at the time about all the merchandise for Episode 1 - personally I didn't mind at all, but I could see how non-fans would find it exhausting. And most of all I remember the cinemas showing TPM around the clock - one of my many viewings was a 3 am showing after which I went to the nearest Target to look for more Ep 1 figures, then to Denny's for breakfast. It was so much fun!
Yes I can see some of your other points, which are valid, but I'll be honest, most of the time between 97 and 2005 I was just excited and super grateful that George had come back to keep working on SW.
You were, but I can speak to the experience of seeing many many people around who hated the special editions, and then hated Episode I as well. Yes lots of people loved it and it made a bunch of money ($806 million domestically, adjusted for inflation) but it was most certainly something that severely split the fanbase. And it was a fanbase that was already fractured by the special editions. And it cannot be ignored that MUCH of the animosity over the special editions was solely a reaction to George's decision to never released the unaltered versions of his films again. That was something he chose to do that poisoned Star Wars for a lot of fans. Then the Prequels came out and everything fractured.
You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.
And Lucas shouldn't have been concerned with pleasing people, that's a recipe for creative and artistic travesty. But there are certainly decisions that baffle the mind of most rational, reasonable people.
And it also bears mentioning that as far as pleasing people, the numbers don't lie.
RT Audience Ratings
A New Hope: 96%
Empire Strikes Back: 97%
Return of the Jedi: 94%
Phantom Menace: 59%
Attack of the Clones: 56%
Revenge of the Sith: 66%
The Force Awakens: 86%
The Last Jedi: 43%
The Rise of Skywalker: 86%
I take 3 things away from those numbers. First, the audience/fan response split between Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace is huge. Almost 40% less. Second, on topic for this thread, AOTC does indeed have a slightly lower audience score than TPM, which seems to indicate that people do generally find it to be worse. And third, holy CRAP people seriously hated the Last Jedi (which I absolutely loved).
Of course none of these things matter all that much. If we love this or that, that's all that matters. Personally I love all nine Saga films. Sure some more than others, but even the weakest Saga film (Jedi) is still a good movie and an enjoyable watch.
Some minor concessions might have been made *cough cough Jango cough* along the way....
Yeah like releasing the original unaltered Original Trilogy.
Lucas co-wrote the dialogue for TESB and ROTJ, just as he did for AOTC and ROTS. (And there are persistent rumors that Carrie Fisher did a dialogue polish on TPM's script, though all parties have officially denied it.) Some of the dialogue is his, some of the dialogue is the co-writer's, and some of the dialogue is the co-writer's modification of Lucas's dialogue. Lucas may have internalized the criticism of his writing abilities, but he isn't actually a terrible writer. Even his clunky, stilted rough drafts are strangely readable. He's definitely a better writer than the average person. How many hit movies have you written or co-written?
There is a tonal shift in the sense that the prequels, by necessity, feature more characters who are reserved and formal. But there's also plenty of humor and banter in the prequels. Lucas said he wasn't trying to go for one-liners like in the Terminator movies, but the popularity of Prequel Memes would seem to indicate that some pretty quotable dialogue ended up being written anyway.
Oh dear. I thought some of Han's dialogue, especially in ANH and around the first half hour of TESB was a bit clunky. And the dialogue for both Han and Leia in ROTJ . . . yeah, rather questionable to me.
AOTC sucks. Yeah TPM is really bad, but in my opinion Episode 1 stills wins because it has more heart...(?) I don't know how to put this in words, but I can't stand AOTC cringey dialogue (I hate sand). The acting is the worst there is in Star Wars. What the hell was going through George's mind when he cast Hayden?! The action scenes are not very good too. The entire Curuscant chase takes too long, the battle of Geonosis is like watching a PS2 cutscene and Yoda fighintg is nonsense.
I'm sorry, it's my opinion and it's really bad.
I have some homework for you. Post a screencap from a PS2 cutscene that looks like a scene from the Battle of Geonosis.
I mean the visual effects didn' age very well. Looks fake.
I think they looked exactly the same in 2002 as they do today, which is to say, very good.
They look perfectly fine to me.
I mean, I just watched the 9-movie marathon at the theater last month. It was a beautiful experience -watching all 9 movies with a deeply appreciative audience, and great theatrical sound and projection. In my view, the PT was definitely the highlight of the marathon, and everything in it looks and sounds as gorgeous as it did when the movies were originally released. I wish the most recent movies could have looked half as good, but they aren't nearly as imaginative visually or inventive as the prequels - they just chose a lot of locations that for the most part look totally Earth-like. The PT was far more imaginative in giving us fantastic works that looked like nothing from our dreary everyday reality. There was a lot more imagination in designing the vehicles and the aliens.
“I hate sand” is one of the most quietly effective moments of characterization in the series. Love that exchange, how even in the midst of the beautiful surroundings Anakin is in, just bringing up his past in a casual manner rings of a much deeper pain.
I guess, though, he could’ve cut to the chase and asked if Padme had a boyfriend, a cute boyfriend. Or allude to dirty hands.