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Author Topic: Star Wars: The Thread Strikes Back  (Read 5877 times)
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DrThunder88

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« Reply #160 on: 03-18-2014 12:22 »

Terrible news.  I lost my Attack of the Clones DVD and can't finish watching it.

On the plus side, I can't finish watching Attack of the Clones
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #161 on: 03-18-2014 12:56 »

Terrible news.  I lost my Attack of the Clones DVD and can't finish watching it.

Is that a metaphor for 'threw it into the air and blasted it with a 12-guage'?
DrThunder88

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« Reply #162 on: 03-20-2014 06:11 »

No, I actually did lose the disc, but I must have subconsciously been trying to lose it.  There aren't that many places I would have had it.  I made up a flyer to post around my workplace:



That's why I bought used DVDs though.  Incidentally, when I posted a review, I mentioned that the disc I received had a few encoding errors or something that caused the skips, resulting in a total of approximately one minute of footage lost across the entire film.  I had to downgrade my rating because of it.  I wanted more skips.
Xanfor

Moderator
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« Reply #163 on: 03-20-2014 17:53 »

I don't think I've ever seen DrThunder88 so wittyvicious.
El-Man

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« Reply #164 on: 03-21-2014 12:36 »

He came down with a case of JarJaritis.
DrThunder88

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« Reply #165 on: 03-21-2014 16:04 »

An inflammation of the Jar-Jar?  Sounds disgusting and irritating...mostly irritating.  Though after much meditation, I reached the conclusion that I'd be willing to accept more Jar-Jar in the first movie if it meant less Jake Lloyd.


I may have missed it in one of the skips, but what were the separatists separatizing about?  I was hoping it would be made clear early in the third movie, but it hasn't been so far.  Did all of the constituent leaders harbor a grudge against Padme?  I'd believe that.  Of course, I'm only to the point where Anakin is sent to kill the separatists, so maybe it gets blurted out as he does so.

Was it all about the Senate being shit?  It was, of course.  Padme was shit, Jar-Jar was ersatz shit, and just about everybody who spoke of the Senate said it was shit, even Padme, who we already established was shit, hinted that she knew it was shit.  How'd they even manage to pass the emergency powers bill if they were so unable to act in the best interests of the galaxy?  It's not like there was some 9/11-style event that crystallized their galactistic fervor.  It's also hard to believe the only vote the emperor couldn't get to secure the passage was Padme's.  He was able to cloud the minds of EVERY JEDI EVERYWHERE but couldn't get the walking wardrobe or anyone else to give one more yea for the empire?  Come on!

Speaking of Pdame and unexplained antagonist motivations, I think that's what makes her such a horrible character.  She was clearly written as an advocate of peace (except when she fights the shit out of some aliens and robots), but because the motives of the groups she fights...and by "fights" I mean "peaces"...are never made clear, the idea of negotiating comes across as a token gesture in an attempt to characterize an uninteresting pile of flesh, Birdemic-style.  It's especially true with an opposing party that has apparently already reached its desired outcome.  What's common ground between not seceding and having already seceded?

Also, "Count Dooku"?  Really?  Was "Duke Dooku" not dignified enough?  My understanding is that he was a Jedi 10+ years ago, but then the emperor headhunted him and got him to do some subterfuge.  Though I would say it was not entirely clear to me whether it was Dooku or Palpatine deleting planets and ordering clones.  Then, when Dooku retired from being a Jedi, which apparently is a thing Jedi can do, he started a second career as an anti-Jedi.  Was he a count when he was a Jedi, or is it an elected title like "Queen" apparently is?  What is he count of, and could he, by creation or marriage, have become Duke Dooku of Naboo too?

Oh, and a thing about clones: why?  What happens to them when the war is over?  I mean, they are thinking beings, not mindless drones or hapless livestock that can be killed and eaten with limited moral qualms.  However it also seems like millions of like-minded soldiers suddenly having their units deactivated (lol) and dropped into the population would have major socioeconomic and political implications.  Did they get paid?  They had to have.  Their clone dad seemed to be a pretty payment-oriented guy.    Do they just stand as an army until they die?  Do the El Caminos just keep supplying the army with fresh fodder forever in an open-ended contract signed by a dead man who had no authorization to do so in the first place?
tyraniak

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« Reply #166 on: 03-21-2014 22:36 »

I also love how it takes palpatine almost 20 years to dissolve the senate
Javier Lopez

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« Reply #167 on: 03-22-2014 00:01 »

I also love how it takes palpatine almost 20 years to dissolve the senate

Or to build the Death Star when at the end of ROTS we see it in a quite advanced building state (estructure done, only internals remaining but main reactor and superlaser guts seemed in place)

I have said it before here i guess but what enfuriates me about the DS in ROTS is how deep Lucas wants to frak-up..

That death star was perfect no NOT be the Death Star we see in ANH,but the maw installations prototype, wich the books stated existed as a prototype to short and test things before proceding to the final build..

Lucas had it perfect to say "no, thats the maw prototype." or simply "thats a prototype" , fans would asociate it to the maw ,and as a giant nod to the expanded universe .. but no.. Lucas had to specifically refer to it as the very death star we see in ANH "only that they took 19 years to build because they had to do it in secret and test things" ..

The same Lucas who specifically refused the appearance of TIE Fighters and Imperator class destroyers (the good old destroyers from the classic trilogy) at the end of Episode III because he said "oh the empire will have plenty of time to build TIEs and destroyers..no need to rush".. but then he rushes the fraking death star.. when the expanded universe said ISDs were allready in service at the end of the clone wars ??? but the death star was suposedly not started until like 5 BBY?
Svip

Space Pope
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« Reply #168 on: 03-22-2014 00:52 »

The Death Star scene doesn't bother me as much; by that point I've already become so disappointed in the prequels, that nothing can bother me in anymore.  It's just a weak lame-ass attempt by George Lucas to tie the prequels to the original trilogy.  But at least not as offensive as his special DVD editions.

As for the separatists, DrThunder88, they don't explain why.  Why do you need to know?  A bunch of planets are separating and they are led by Count Dooku!  STOP ASKING QUESTIONS.  Also, I wouldn't give much for European Mediaeval titles in Star Wars, it's just an attempt by Lucas to further on the fact that Darth Vader was often referred to as 'Lord Vader' in the original trilogy.  It seems as if Palpatine gives out these titles as he pleases.  But Vader isn't a Count, Duke or even King.  What gives?

But as you all state, the prequels makes off-handed lines of dialogue in the original trilogy make less sense.  It is easy to accept the line about the Senate being dissolved in Episode IV, until you see Episode III.  Luke's mention of the clone wars also made it sound far more interesting... until you saw it.

Speaking of clones; I admit I was originally under the impression that the Stormtroopers in the original trilogy were clones.  But only because my brother had been under this impression and told me.  But when you actually watch the original trilogy, this is never stated.  Leia's comment 'you are quite short for a Stormtrooper' might be an implied hint, but since Luke can fit the uniform, it might just be unusual.  You'd imagine that given the size of the Empire, they would have enough manpower to recruit Stormtroopers without the need for clones.

I mean, if the entire force of the Empire is clones (and we are excluding all the officers and whatnot, because they are clearly not clones), what the hell are all the people under their thumb doing?  They sure as hell aren't dying.  I'd fault both the original trilogy and the prequels for this.  It is never visualised the effect the empire has on the people in the original trilogy (nor is it even stated), and the clone war never seems to have an effect in the prequels.

However, the original trilogy does a fine job of establishing the Empire as a menacing organisation bent on getting its ways and protecting its regime in any way it can.  The fact that it has a Death Star helps implying these theme.  And that they blow up a planet.  It's also OK, in the original trilogy that we don't see the suffering of regular people, because they didn't have the budget nor time to go to planets where this would become clear.

This is also why the added scenes in the special edition at the end of Episode VI makes so little sense.  Why is Courisant and Naboo looking so fine?  Where is the damage?  Where is the people rising from the ruins of a tyranny?  If these were the conditions that the Empire allowed people to live in, why are they celebrating?  Of course, these are just off-hand scenes added at the end of Episode VI, so you can even miss them if you are not paying attention.

But it is a lot more offensive and stupid in the prequels.  The war seems to be merely an inconvenience having somewhere.  Like some sort of proxy war; there is no effect on society.  They go to parties, concerts, theatre, the Senate is fully operational and people seem to be living their lives just fine.  Why are anyone in a motivation to care?  It's not like wives of service men are angry that their husbands are sent off into a stupid war, because it's just a clone army.  The manpower of the entire Republic is never used.

There are very simple visuals the films could use to make the war seem more important than it does.
Javier Lopez

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« Reply #169 on: 03-23-2014 02:36 »


Speaking of clones; I admit I was originally under the impression that the Stormtroopers in the original trilogy were clones.

Actually they are suposed to be clones, a large part of them but not all and not from the same host..

I explain, in ANH a well known blooper is the stormtrooper who bangs his head against a partly lowered door.. then in ep.II when  Jango Fett escapes from Obi Wan in the Slave-I he bangs his head against the door as well (sound effect included).. in the audio comentary Lucas specifically says they did that to refer to the trooper in ANH as "its in Jango genes to hit his head"...

Also while all republic troopers were Jando clones, they didnt kept cloning only Jangos forever... after the Republic turned in the empire they opened the ranks and trooper corps to enlist normal people, and they began also cloning the best soldiers/pilots.. so its a combination of many diferent hosts clones and normal enlisted people..
Curiously in the coming Rebels series they said they were going to adress the stormtrooper enlistening issue and hinted that they were taking the "not all of them are clones" aproach.. wich could be interesting



Quote
This is also why the added scenes in the special edition at the end of Episode VI makes so little sense.  Why is Courisant and Naboo looking so fine?  Where is the damage?  Where is the people rising from the ruins of a tyranny?  If these were the conditions that the Empire allowed people to live in, why are they celebrating? 

Why would them be in ruins or visibly tyrany? Coruscant would simply transition from republic to empire, Naboo acording to expanded universe sources had a rougher transition but still not involving a war or something.. i would be changing the administration to a more dictatorship.. hard to show that in a couple of 10s shots.. wich only show the celebrations to bring down the regime

Quote
But it is a lot more offensive and stupid in the prequels.  The war seems to be merely an inconvenience having somewhere.  Like some sort of proxy war; there is no effect on society.

Yeah.. even in the CloneWars 3D series they failed misserably to bring that.. they dedicated entire eisodes to Padme bitching about how misserably and wrong war was and how much missery was bringing to the people, but they totally failed to show that.. they still lived in aparent luxury and what few regular people was seen they didnt seem to be much bothered about the wars... only they shown some planets who were directly under attack or invason
Svip

Space Pope
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« Reply #170 on: 03-23-2014 10:26 »

This is also why the added scenes in the special edition at the end of Episode VI makes so little sense.  Why is Courisant and Naboo looking so fine?  Where is the damage?  Where is the people rising from the ruins of a tyranny?  If these were the conditions that the Empire allowed people to live in, why are they celebrating? 

Why would them be in ruins or visibly tyrany? Coruscant would simply transition from republic to empire, Naboo acording to expanded universe sources had a rougher transition but still not involving a war or something.. i would be changing the administration to a more dictatorship.. hard to show that in a couple of 10s shots.. wich only show the celebrations to bring down the regime

No, I mean in Episode I, it is implied that the trade blockage is causing a crisis on Naboo.  We don't see it in Episode I, but surely it should have left some damage, right?  Those ruins/that damage should have been neglected under the Empire, and thus remained.  Same goes for Coruscant; the Clone Wars should have had some devastating effects on Coruscant and those should have remained throughout the cause of the Empire.

Rather spend money on military than housing.
Tachyon

Space Pope
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« Reply #171 on: 03-23-2014 16:28 »


Sorry, but I don't see how even a severe trade blockade leads to "ruins" or any visible damage.  What am I missing?

Svip

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« Reply #172 on: 03-23-2014 17:24 »


Sorry, but I don't see how even a severe trade blockade leads to "ruins" or any visible damage.  What am I missing?

In fact, neither do I, but the film implies it through speech that there is a crisis created by the trade blockage, that apparently has the people suffering.  But we don't see their suffering, we don't even get the feeling that Naboo is lacking in anything, in fact.  Perhaps if Naboo was in a far worse state to begin with, it might have.

Imagine: Naboo had undergone a civil war before the trade blockage that had left many cities in ruin (a very severe civil war).  However, as the episode begins, Naboo is finally at peace under a new constitution, whatever (it is actually not important which side won).  But to rebuild Naboo, they need material from other planets.  This would make the trade blockage far more severe and damaging in a sense.

Of course, nothing as sophisticated (even if rather simple) happens.  We are just told there is a crisis.  But I am not bothered that there is no visible damage in Naboo, just that there is no actual crisis.  It bothers me that the Clone War is merely an inconvenience.
Javier Lopez

Urban Legend
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« Reply #173 on: 03-23-2014 18:32 »

What i understood is that the beard guy coment about people dying was as Obi Wan said a trap to make the Queen come out of hiding so they can capture her and force to sign a treaty (a treaty we never ever are explained what is, what does, etc)

and that Naboo just surrendered without any fight..

tought the games and some EU sources sugest that there was fighting somewhere else.. Theed (the capital) just surrendered.. wich is just one of thousand things that made the movie lame (lack of any coherence, what was the goal of all that blockade and later invasion? what did the federation win with the agreement with Sydius ... why the Queen is .. oh god i cant take it anymore)
DrThunder88

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« Reply #174 on: 03-24-2014 10:46 »
« Last Edit on: 03-24-2014 11:45 »

But Nute Gunray told Beardy that the people of Naboo were starving.  Did he mean that the Trade Federation just stole all the planet's food and the Naboos would die of starvation in 3-4 weeks?  I guess the Nabooze could have been unable to produce their own food, and the blockade could have stopped food imports earlier, but that just confirms my suspicions that they were a race of Eloi who should have been put under the guardianship of the Gungans by the Senate.  What an opportunity the film missed to tell a fable about how "advanced" civilizations and "primitive" civilizations could learn to coexist and ultimately become stronger together.  I use quotes around "advanced" and "primitive", but the Gungans did have blue goo ball-throwing and bongo technologies.  That said, the civilization with spaceships is usually the advanced one.

I also cut about 17 of first 103 minutes of The Phantom Edit.  It's not very professional with some pretty noticeable cuts, but it still holds up pretty well.  Mostly it's more unnecessary Anakin crap. 
Svip

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« Reply #175 on: 03-24-2014 17:12 »

The number of missed opportunities in these films are staggering.  And I am not talking far out concepts or completely unrealistic to do ideas, I am talking very basic storytelling ideas, that in and of themselves might not seem particularly brilliant in the context of everything, but they certainly would have lifted the prequels up higher.
DrThunder88

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« Reply #176 on: 03-27-2014 09:37 »
« Last Edit on: 03-27-2014 09:40 »

I finished Revenge of the Sith the same way I finished Attack of the Clones.  When my exercise time ran out 10-20 minutes from the end, I just decided to not bother watching the remainder.  The rationale that ran through my mind could have just as well been applied to the entire prequel trilogy: "What's the point?  I already know how it's going to end."  At least with The Phantom Menace, things were so batshit stupid that it filled me with ersatz interest.  Attack of the Clones just elaborated unconvincingly at length about things that were better not explained (or at least could have been better explained by a more competent filmmaker), and Revenge of the Sith just tied up the loose ends needed to transition into the original trilogy (some of which needn't have been tied up at all).  That said, the bombshell winner of the coveted "Best Movie of the Prequel Trilogy" Award goes to the Phantom Edit, with reduced levels of Anakin!

I really hate the whole Padme/Anakin relationship.  Not only is it a ghastly portrayal of people, love, and human conversation, it actually detracts from Anakin's inevitable turn to the dark side.  I get that the movie is trying to foist a "road to Hell..." theme onto the story, but it's just not needed.  This is a dude who scythed through an entire tribe of sandpeople to avenge his mother.  He doesn't need an additional temptation to go to the dark side.  He is there already.  The one aspect of his life that should be stabilizing to him is sold to us as destabilizing.  Could you think of the things he'd do if that stabilization was taken from him, maybe in a way he blamed on the Jedi?  There are so many ways a love story could have been incorporated in the plot that wouldn't suck that the actual sucking strikes me as intentional.

Speaking of that, did Anakin actually cause Padme's death by Force-choking her, or does her death bank on her losing the will to live?  When that line was barfed out, I lost the will to continue watching.

And the Yoda fight: fuck you.  I knew seeing that would be terrible.  I missed the one at the end of Clones, but I sort of knew it was there.  It's disheartening to see him fight with a laser sword.  Even Palpatine's horribly misguided laser sword use was less soul-crushing than Yoda's.  The worst part is that there are hints that Lucas knew Yoda's real strength was in the Force, but the only way he seems to know how to show it is by having him throw heavy things.  He started out okay, clonking the red guys and shoving the Emperor, but then out came the laser sword and unconvincing fencing ensued.

I really am disappointed in the quality of the fight choreography in these movies.  The Plinkett reviews nailed it on two separate points.  First, the fights should be about the characters, not the laser sword swinging.  These, for the most part, were not.  Second, Samuel L. Jackson looked horribly out of his depth in the fight scenes.  He was out of his element for most of the trilogy, but he really looked awkward swinging his laser sword.  Everyone did though.  Every supporting Jedi looked like any given YouTube amateur.  The mains, on the other hand, looked the most polished, but, as pointed out by both Plinkett and "The (Totally) Phantom Menace", it still doesn't look like a fight.  Even the fight in A New Hope seemed more like a guy fighting for his life just long enough to accomplish his mission.  There's a viscerality and intimacy to sword fights that makes them interesting in film, but that element seems to be totally lost in these movies.  I get that most of the goons being cleanly cleaved by laser swords weren't actually there during filming, but just how effortlessly they were mown down made it seem less realistic than a grown man who is wearing a robe and swinging a glowing wand at a quasi-sentient shoe tree should be.

While I'm on the subject of adults embarrassing themselves with laser swords, did you guys see this?



Was a triple Lutz the most intimidating way to get Palpatine out from behind the desk and force the Jedi back?  It's not even an attack really.  In the next shot he is shown winding back to actually make contact and stab a dude.
ShepherdofShark

Space Pope
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« Reply #177 on: 03-27-2014 15:36 »
« Last Edit on: 03-27-2014 15:38 »

I saw that shit. I have no time to make a fully agreeing response so I'll settle for:

Respect for ranking TPM as the best (of the shitquels). There are few of us out there.

[grammar edit]
Svip

Space Pope
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« Reply #178 on: 03-27-2014 17:02 »

He didn't rank The Phantom Menace as the best; but rather the edit of it.  I agree with that sentiment, actually.  Episode II and III in ways ruin the original trilogy, whereas Episode I is so pointless and stupid, that it doesn't matter.  And if you cut away all the Anakin shit in it, it actually becomes bearable.
JoshTheater

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« Reply #179 on: 03-27-2014 17:40 »
« Last Edit on: 03-27-2014 18:19 »

Let's face it, the original trilogy isn't that insanely amazing either. Don't get me wrong, the prequels are terrible terrible films, but I don't think anybody would obsess over how terrible they are if it weren't for what is in my opinion an over-glorification of the original trilogy. I mean, A New Hope is good but overall somewhat sloppy, and Return Of The Jedi is honestly kind of awful. The Empire Strikes Back is the only legitimately great film of the six movies.

They were incredibly innovative and their influence on the history of film is almost unmatched...but story and acting-wise, I wouldn't call any of them masterpieces. So obsessing over how the prequels "ruined" them seems a bit silly to me.

Edit: Oooh look at me I'm so anti-establishment...
Svip

Space Pope
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« Reply #180 on: 03-27-2014 19:02 »

Oh yeah.  We all know that.  If the prequels weren't part of Star Wars, they would be passable bad films.  And they much more likely would have tanked at the box office, because they did not have an incredibly popular franchise attached to their name.

Bad films don't bother me.  Bad films that attach themselves to franchises/films I like/love do.

But make no mistake, JoshTheater, none of us are calling the original trilogy a masterpiece.  But it was pretty good.  Particularly in the context of when they were released.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #181 on: 03-27-2014 21:33 »
« Last Edit on: 03-27-2014 21:35 »

I'd agree with that. Some refuse to admit they're anything less than perfect examples of sci-fi and storytelling in general, though. I'm not saying anyone here is like that though...just trying to stir the pot. wink
Svip

Space Pope
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« Reply #182 on: 03-27-2014 22:00 »

I think another problem with the prequels is that we have begun viewing the original trilogy far better than it really was.  I agree that Return of the Jedi is kind of awful, but it has some pretty good scenes and moments.  The scene with Luke and the Emperor makes up for most of the terribleness in the film, in my opinion.

I mean, the original trilogy was good.  And definitely films I'd watch again, I can bear watching Episode VI, because you sort of have to in the context.  But I'd admit, I wouldn't watch it if it wasn't for Episode IV and V.

But I think it is not dissimilar to the new Star Trek films.  It's not that Star Trek (or Star Wars) is brilliant in every way, it is just that it appealed to some of us in very unique ways.  Star Wars for its grandeur and Star Trek for its nerd streak.

The new Star Trek films are not bad films, they are just not really Star Trek films.  In fact, they are more Star Wars films.  Which is why I am pleased to learn that J.J. Abrams is directing Episode VII.

Of course, it doesn't help that the Star Wars prequels that they are pretty terrible terrible films.
DrThunder88

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« Reply #183 on: 03-28-2014 09:20 »

There's a much more clear threat from the antagonists in the original trilogy as well.  Maybe that more than anything makes them better stories than the prequels even though they may not all be great stories per se.  I suppose totalitarian regimes are antithetic enough to modern Western values that setting someone up as a dictator (or emperor) is enough to get the audience against him and his underlings, but the original films went beyond that to actually show the empire's ruthless evil.  By the end of act 1 in A New Hope, the empire has already dissolved the Senate, disrupted an apparently diplomatic mission, killed some innocent dudes, and tortured an attractive White woman.  At the same point in the prequels, all the evil conspiracy had accomplished was invaded an undefended planet with no apparent loss of life save for a few trees, futilely attempted to kill two Jedi after killing their ship's crew, and blasted a bit of Naboonian technology as the mains attempted to run an apparently legal blockade.

Incidentally, I find getting rid of the talk about the treaty, trade route taxes, and the legality of the blockade in the first movie takes away absolutely nothing from the plot.  If nothing else, it makes it better.  The Jedi would then be in a position to force a resolution to the blockade if it wasn't perfectly legal, the invasion crisis could not be suddenly resolved by the young and naive Padme buckling under pressure and signing the treaty, and there's no confusion as to how the trade route tax played any role whatsoever.  All we need to know is the Federation is a big, evil business with an army of robot Pinkertons (who inexplicably suck) and a simple business plan:

1. Acquire Naboo
3. Profit!

I suppose that corporations weren't necessarily the bugbear in 1999 that they have been since Enron and more recent financial debacles and the rise to prominence of private military corporations.  Still, such entities are not entirely unrepresented in the halls of movie antagonism.  The emperor could still be controlling them, but he could be the trustee of a blind trust that owns a majority stake in a number of companies that themselves have enough stock in the Trade Federation to elect their own chairman.  It'd be sneaky but legal, and it wouldn't rely on bogus Force powers or complete stupidity to explain why people don't seem to realize that they're doing stupid things in the movies.  I get the feeling that's sort of what the movie was going for, after all a viceroy rules in the place of a monarch and Knute Gunray calls the emperor "My Lord", but with the fast and loose rules on royal titles in the movies, I assumed "viceroy" (and the fact that everyone styled him thuswise) just meant "leader", specifically a foreign leader.

Maybe the biggest problem with the prequels is that they had every opportunity to be great and just weren't.  The originals were a hassle to make and still came out okay—better than okay in some respects.  Now, given the budget and technology Lucasfilm has amassed, the end result is that, at their best, they're no better than what came before.  Of course, I don't think they were anywhere near as good as the originals using any metric anyone could agree upon.  Maybe the acting was better, they were certainly more acclaimed going into filming.  The director says, "flatter, more lifeless!" and the cast member says,
Code:
I WILL NOT CONDONE A COURSE OF ACTION THAT WILL LEAD US TO WAR.
UnrealLegend

Urban Legend
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« Reply #184 on: 03-28-2014 09:53 »



It's been something like 7 or 8 years since I've seen ROTS, but this gif doesn't exactly make me want to watch it again. Did they hire amateur circus performers to do the choreography?
DrThunder88

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« Reply #185 on: 03-28-2014 12:40 »

No, they hired choreographers to do their amateur circus performance.  They actually used that bit as one of the menu bumpers on the ROTS DVD.  There are so many things he could have done there that don't involve flippy, laser sword nonsense, but that's a running theme of the movies or at least my critiques of them.
Tachyon

Space Pope
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« Reply #186 on: 04-07-2014 22:00 »


Begun, it has! (filming for Ep VII)

JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #187 on: 04-08-2014 22:28 »
« Last Edit on: 04-08-2014 22:31 »

Here's an interesting video that argues that while terribly executed, the prequels are actually pretty bold thematically. I agree for the most part, although whether Lucas really planned it that way is debatable.
totalnerduk

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #188 on: 04-08-2014 23:01 »

This thread has made me want to watch the prequels again with a notepad and pen so that I can start composing the mother of all longposts about exactly what I like (almost nothing) and dislike (almost everything) about them.

Sadly enough, I never bothered to buy them on DVD, so it's probably not going to happen. I could probably find a cheap enough copy on Amazon, but I don't want to do this badly enough to spend money on it.

Which sucks for anybody who wanted to read that longpost (probably nobody), but won't really have any impact on the world at large (much like the prequels themselves).
DrThunder88

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« Reply #189 on: 04-09-2014 07:20 »
« Last Edit on: 04-09-2014 07:22 »

Here's an interesting video that argues that while terribly executed, the prequels are actually pretty bold thematically. I agree for the most part, although whether Lucas really planned it that way is debatable.
I don't think it was intentional since the prophecy seemed to change between movies 1 and 3, and Lucas himself said that Vader fulfilled the prophecy by killing the Emperor and dying at the end of Return of the Jedi.  Also, the notion of bringing balance to the Force doesn't make much sense.  It sort of sounds good, like a desirable state of equilibrium, but all we know about the Force (other than the midichlorians, natch) is that it has a light side and a dark side.  Would the Jedi really want to offset the good side with bad, especially if they thought the Sith were extinct?

Retrospectively, maybe the Jedi were trying to prevent the prophecy from coming true.  Maybe Qui-gon and Obi-Wan were trying to save Anakin by training him to be a Jedi.  I mean, were the Jedi just going to let that little midichlorian cannon loose when there may still be Siths all up in that galaxy?  He'd have to be destroyed or otherwise de-Forced.  Instead of taking the opportunity to avoid the prophesied "balance", the rogue Jedi seal its inevitability.  That would at least make Qui-gon look less like a boob for defying the Council and give Obi-Wan a better reason for agreeing to train Anakin instead of turning him over to the rest of the Jedi.  That might make it less a deconstruction of the prophecy narrative and make it more of a self-fulfilling prophecy narrative.

Also, I said earlier that Palpatine's embarrassing spinny, laser sword leap was to get him out from behind a desk.  On closer examination, there was no desk.
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« Reply #190 on: 04-09-2014 13:45 »

I wonder if he went into whatever that room was precisely so he could do that spinney attack:
"My Sith sense is tingling, the Jedi are on their way!... oh man, I have a great idea, I'm going to surprise the shit out of them! XD"

I'm sure the spinney attack is legit move in some form of lightsaber kata...
Tachyon

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« Reply #191 on: 04-09-2014 17:54 »


It was probably just an inside joke by one of the rendering interns on another.  Imagine their horror when Lucas wanted to keep it!  <much angst> "Noooooooooooooo!"

El-Man

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« Reply #192 on: 04-10-2014 00:56 »

Annakin (TPM): "I'll try spinning, that's a good trick!"
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« Reply #193 on: 04-10-2014 01:01 »

I wonder if he went into whatever that room was precisely so he could do that spinney attack:
"My Sith sense is tingling, the Jedi are on their way!... oh man, I have a great idea, I'm going to surprise the shit out of them! XD"

I'm sure the spinney attack is legit move in some form of lightsaber kata...

If I'm honest, I'd probably crap my pants if someone did that spin "attack" in front of me.

Of course, Samuel L. Jackson probably has that happen to him all the time.
DrThunder88

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« Reply #194 on: 04-10-2014 02:46 »

You've seen how much flippy, jumpy, laser sword nonsense went on in those movies.  I assume that soon after children learn to stand around and absorb blaster bolts by barely moving their Slashy-Puff Juniors, they learn about CGI-assisted aerobatics.
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« Reply #195 on: 04-10-2014 16:48 »
« Last Edit on: 04-13-2014 20:21 »

Having borrowed the prequels for the express purpose of criticising them, I decided that it would only be fair to first make a list of what I'd enjoyed, or felt was done well.

I sat down with a pad and paper, then proceeded to skip through most of the films and jot down some overall impressions about what they did right:

The music. It's just as thematically appropriate, powerful, and listenable-to-for-its-own-sake as it was in the original trilogy. This is probably partially because they've re-used the music from the original trilogy for a lot of the prequels' run time.

The ships (especially the Jedi starfighters, Star Destroyer precursors, and the various silver space-yacht-things that Padme jaunts around in) are lovely. The ground vehicles, not so much.

The opening battle scene of Revenge of the Sith (up until they get out of their starfighters in the command ship's hanger) is pretty decent, and very reminiscent of the stuff in the original trilogy.

Palpatine's overall subtlety as a bad guy was lost on me originally. Skipping through and watching only the scenes with Palpatine in gave me a better handle on exactly how much of the overall plot of the prequel trilogy was actually masterminded by him. Which was nice, up until I ruined it by watching some of the scenes where it could all have been undone by blind chance. For a mastermind, he relied an awful lot upon characters who spent a lot of time almost getting killed before they could really hit that one point where they'd be really useful to him. But there was some thought put into his puppetmastery of many of the pivotal moments. A little of that comes through in the films, and it's largely a good thing for them.

This time around, I didn't think that the diner scene was too ridiculous. Nor was I cringing too badly at Jar-Jar's antics, voice, and overall presence (thanks to liberal use of the fast-forward button). The fact that these films can be fast-forwarded on DVD is a huge positive.

Yoda's voice wasn't as jarringly annoying as I remembered (although he's still a poor piece of CGI for most of the run time of the trilogy), and I enjoyed Samuel L. Jackson's character much more when taking into account the fringe-lunacy fan theory that he was secretly working to destabilise the republic further so that he could end up in the seat of ultimate power, which explains why his reaction to Palpatine's scheming and his desire to execute him rather than allow him to stand trial were so pronounced.

The speeders in the third film, the shots of Naboo, Alderaan, and Coruscant, were all very nice. If nothing else, the Star Wars prequels have some really nice scenery porn.

To compile a full list of everything I disliked about each film, I'm going to have to watch them again at some point with a finger on the pause button and a larger notepad.

An observation did occur to me in the meantime though.

Yoda is a fucking terrible Jedi mentor. He trained Dooku (who became a Sith), Dooku trained Qui-Gon (who defied the Council constantly), and Qui-Gon and Yoda trained Obi-Wan ( who was a bit of a cocky upstart in the first film, ever so slightly arrogant in the second one, and a pretty awful teacher for Anakin by the third one). Yoda's influence on all three of them is supposed to have been pretty defining, and his influence on Anakin is also defining (albeit through Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, rather than directly). So how come they all turned out to be shitty Jedi?

Qui-Gon handled the whole TPM affair rather badly, and in his rush to confront Maul (rather than charging in, shouldn't he have waited for his padawan to act as backup?), he ended up being overmatched by a superior foe. For which, he paid the ultimate price. His blind faith in Anakin being "the chosen one", his stubbornness in the face of the Council, his bold assumptions on Tatooine, and his cavalier attitude to things like betting his spaceship on the outcome of a race all smack of a recklessness that is not unlike Anakin himself in ROTS.

Obi-Wan was less reckless, but made up for that by being an arrogant control freak. Throughout AOTC and ROTS, he assumes that he knows best (and is shown to be wrong multiple times), dives into trouble (literally, if "into trouble" and "through a thousandth-floor window" mean the same thing) without stopping to plan it through, and sets a terrible example for Anakin (with whom he agrees when he should argue, shuts down summarily when he should listen, and rarely even asks for an opinion. Isn't the idea of pairing up a Jedi Master and an apprentice that they should work as a team?).

I think we're all aware of the innumerable faults which Anakin displays, and Dooku doesn't really do anything on-screen that doesn't speak of some egregious character flaw. They're not just shitty Jedi, they actually become Sith. Yoda is the worst Jedi Master - all of his pupils are in some way directly involved with Anakin Skywalker's eventual descent into ruthlessness, darkness, evil, and ultimately the iconic mask of Darth Vader.

Luke Skywalker is the only Jedi we see in the saga who was trained by Yoda without ending up suffering either death at the hands of his enemies, or falling to the Dark Side.

For all his much-vaunted wisdom, Yoda is quite clearly a little green fucksack to whom nobody should look for training. They'd be better off asking Palpatine to mentor them - at least Palpatine's a card-carrying villain rather than simply being incompetent.

If I get around to actually making a proper list of complaints before I get sidetracked by something else, expect that post to be long even by my standards.
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« Reply #196 on: 04-10-2014 20:14 »

That reminds me of a little thing that bothered me about the Phantom Menace.  Somewhere near the start of the third act, Qui-gon tells the Council that Obi-Wan is headstrong, but that's not really ever shown in the movie.  He has a few sarcastic quips when faced with Qui-gon's decisions, but they are about the situations rather than his teacher's orders.  I never got a sense that he was determined to get his own way.  He was as apparently obedient as a pupil could be.  If Obi-Wan's character had been rebellious in TPM, it would have made more sense for him to continue Qui-gon's defiance in training Anakin.  Or, if everyone recognized that Obi-Wan was a square egg throughout TPM, it would have made the decision to train Anakin after Qui-gon's death more shocking and indicative of a change toward being more roguish.

I also kind of liked the opening of ROTS.  It was reminiscent of the battle in ROTJ, and undoubtedly intentionally so.  I was sold on it up until Anakin decides to go back and help the clone pilot.  If he went back to save anyone, it should have been Obi-Wan, foreshadowing Anakin's willingness to do stupid shit and abandon his duty to higher causes to save the main characters he cares about.  If he'll do stupid shit for any clone of a Tom, Dick, or Harry, then he's more malleable for evil than the Emperor deserves.  That sort of implies I think the way in which the idea of him turning evil to protect his loved ones is presented isn't stupid and is worth saving in the narrative.  I don't.
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« Reply #197 on: 04-12-2014 07:48 »

I also kind of liked the opening of ROTS.

I kind of hated it. I found the entire battle far too busy, it was hard to focus on the visuals and I couldn't decide what to pay attention to. The idea of packing a missile with 'buzz droids', cute little robots that disassemble an enemy's ship rather than an explosive warhead is utterly ridiculous. And don't get me started on the orbital mechanics and capital ship maneuvers.

I probably would have loved it if I was still a kid, that's the right audience. But I did try so hard to like it...
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« Reply #198 on: 04-12-2014 12:38 »
« Last Edit on: 04-12-2014 20:42 »

With stakes so low that there's nothing to care about, it's best to have lots of things to look at!

Agreed on the buzz droids.  I couldn't remember if they came before or after the clone-saving scene.

EDIT: I did find my Attack of the Clones DVD last night.  I'm not sure how to feel about this.
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« Reply #199 on: 04-12-2014 13:06 »

I could accept the buzz droids if they were a way to get through shields where explosive warheads will be defeated.  But nothing of that sort is implied; no ship that small has a shield.

I think the prequels in a sense suffers from the same thing that The Matrix sequels suffer from: Too little plot to justify their length.

I know most people hate The Matrix sequels, and with good reason.  But what is more tragic is the fact that there is actually pretty interesting and decent plot hidden underneath, a lot of it is just covered in crap and filler and stupid subplots to fill time.  Had The Matrix sequels been one film, it could have been great.

In essence, had the Star Wars prequels been one film, it could have been better.  So much of the films are so boring.  And often you don't know what's going on; had all the plot of the three films been condensed into one film, at least Lucas would not have been forced to fill out all the missing plot points with nothing make sense.

Having just watched "The Best of Both Worlds", I realise that you can do a plot where every piece of action propels the story, where every scene makes sense and furthers the plot.  In addition, you can apparently create an enemy that we understand, and moreover, characters to care about.

What a shame the TNG films were so terrible.
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