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Is the PT really all that bad?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by rvtv, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. MandoChip

    MandoChip Rebel General

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    While I agree with certain complaints and criticisms regarding the PT, I think their is plenty of stuff to like, and as someone who grew up watching them, I adore them despite their flaws.

    Revenge of The Sith is so freaking enjoyable, I love that movie, I love Menace and Clones too...but to a much lesser extent.
     
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  2. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    There is alot to like, but I would say for me that the portrayal by Anakin was a real deal breaker. Hayden just never worked as Anakin for me, whether it was his acting or Lucas writing of the character. That is a HUGE obstacle to overcome for a viewer, as it's no different than not buying Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, etc, as Batman. If you can't buy Ben Affleck as Batman, it's real hard to love the newer Batman films.

    The ironic thing is that TPM has gotten alot of hate since 1999, but I think it's the movie that holds up the best of the PT simply because it's the only movie where Anakin is not the main protragonist. TPM is sort of a standalone movie (from a certain point of view) and really feels to me the one PT movie that felt like the OT in terms of style and look. I read an article years ago (I can't remember who wrote it) and they talked about how Lucas really took the criticism of TPM to heart and AOTC and ROTS are MUCH different because of that (for better or worse).

    TPM focuses more on QuiGon and really the whole galaxy and gives every one (Palpatine, QuiGon, Kenobi, Anakin, Padme, etc) equal time simply because it's setting up the narrative. The Anakin/Padme love story in AOTC and Anakin turning to the darkside in ROTS just don't work for me, and that is a big reason why those movies fall flat for me. But as I said, I respect what Lucas was trying to do in terms of his micro and macro story as it was ambitious. He was essentially telling how the Galaxy fell apart while writing the fall of Anakin, and it's much more interesting than the ST, which feels like they are just stealing every plot point from the PT/OT and mixing them up to make it seem original.
     
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  3. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Force Sensitive

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    100% agree. Before the ST, I didn't really think about how wildly experimental the Prequels are. Since I grew up with the PT, I never thought it was weird that they didn't have storm troopers or TIE fighters or the old "used universe" style of the OT. The Sequels are much more what you would expect of Star Wars movies, which isn't necessarily bad or good in its own right--it just makes me appreciate how audaciously unexpected Lucas's vision really was.
     
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  4. Star Dude

    Star Dude Jedi General

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    Since the ST, I’m growing more and more nostalgic about the SW universe. So the PT, and especially the clone wars era, holds lots of sentimental value for me. This isn’t just for the sometimes badly written and executed, incl. blatant CGI, movies, but the era and story in itself. Meanwhile, I’m also a big fan of the CW animated TV series.

    Visiting, in whatever media, this era again is a little bit like home coming, it’s comforting to me.

    So naturally, RotS is also my favorite of the PT.
     
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  5. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Same here dude! I really think the PT was underrated. Especially now that we see this abhorrent ST. Flying Leia? Canto Bight? Holdo maneuver? Darn man, give me the PT any day of the bloody week. :)
     
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  6. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi Commander

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    I'm gonna preface this with the fact that I enjoy the prequels for what they are, but here's an idea I had recently:

    The prequels are distinctly a product of their time, in a way that the OT maybe isn't, and in a way that I'm not sure we can tell if the Disney canon is yet.

    By that, I mean they have this distinctly "early 2000s action movie" feel to them mixed in with all the Star Wars bits, whereas the OT feels more timeless to me.

    Thoughts on that? Am I totally nuts, or maybe a bit on to something?
     
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  7. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    I do think you are on to something with this. Released in 1999, filmed what, in 1997, the Phantom Menace does have a late 1990s/early 2000s vibe to it. Same for Attack of the Clones. The reliance on digital effects almost makes me think George was saying "THIS is how you do CGI effects." I remember a ton of films from that time having digital effects and looking crappy. The PT didn't look crappy, at least not at the time. Sure, the effects didn't age well, but yeah I think you hit the nail on the head.

    The OT doesn't feel 1970sish because Lucas was purposely trying to make it look like a modern classic. Sure, SOME of the effects are a little dated, but I remember watching it in the 1990s (during the theatrical releases of the special editions) and thinking that 20 years later the OT still looked better than a ton of films that were being released at that time.
     
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  8. Madmartigan

    Madmartigan Rebel General

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    The story is really really cool.
    But I guess is poorly (not always) executed and has some bad artistic decisions (robot army, Gungans, ships, costumes...). A review for some dialogs could have polished the final product too.
    As @cawatrooper and others said it was a product of that era. I agree it seems more a movie from the early 2000, not a timeless one.
    The "problem" is PT was made in the "beginning" of big special effects changes and too early for this new retro wave vibe we have actually. The best option would have been follow the same patterns from OT but that would have been a step backwards for the industry in that time.

    Today, with all this vintage love around in movies and tv shows (which Rogue One and Solo really have), PT visually would have been better.
     
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  9. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    I think TPM holds up the best visually cause Lucas used a good combination of real locations/sets and cgi.

    I also think that AOTC and ROTS being shot in digital has not aged well as they look TOO clean on Bluray. TPM still has a gritty look to it cause it was shot on film. While Lucas is always breaking barriers with special effects and technology (which I respect) the fact that AOTC/ROTS were not shot on film gets very little mention and is somewhat forgotten by many.
     
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  10. deadmanwalkin009

    deadmanwalkin009 Rebel Official

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    Trying watching Episodes 2 & 3 on bluray using a good quality 4k TV and the CGI really stands out not in a good way. I really hope Disney/LFM will do a CGI upgrade whenever they re-release the PT. As of now, the PT characters in Battlefront II looks better than their movie counter part.
     
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  11. daRinze

    daRinze Rebel Official

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    I tried to look ANH on the same material as you described : the 1977 DS 1 final explosion also stands out...
     
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  12. RyanSkywalker

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    They're not as bad as a lot of fans make them to be. I personally gave The Phantom Menace a C-, Attack of the Clones a C, and Revenge of the Sith a B.

    TPM is just a kind of trashy sci-fi movie that would've been forgotten very quickly if it didn't have the name "Star Wars", and if there were no SW characters in it. I could only say what has been said a thousand times about Jar Jar, the effects, Jake Lloyd and so on, so I'm not going to, but the film has some good aspects, such as the podracing scene, the duel of the fates (the battle, not the song, but of course also the song), the score and so on. I personally don't really mind the senate stuff, although it could've been more exciting. Also, Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are great in TPM

    AOTC is still not a great movie, but it's underrated. The romance is dreadfully written (and there's just no stopping making fun of the sand line, although the line might've worked if George Lucas didn't use it as a pickup line, considering Anakin's past experiences on Tatooine as a slave it's understandable that he hated sand), Hayden Christensen was even worse than Jake Lloyd, Daniel Logan might be my least favorite actor in all of Star Wars, the diner scene was gross and there were some missed opportunities, but there's so much to appreciate in AOTC. This movie actually feels like it has a plot and it feels more coherent as a story, it's way more exciting right from the opening scene, I love the Coruscant chase, Kamino is plain awesome and the Jedi actually start doing something at the end as apposed to TPM where they just sat in their chambers. AOTC is a highly flawed, but underappreciated movie.

    For some WEIRD reason ROTS was my favorite Star Wars movie after I saw the movies for the first time, I've seen this one many, many times and therefore noticed a lot of flaws. Back when I started seeing the movies I didn't know nearly as much about filmmaking and therefore didn't care as much about some of the issues with the film. The first half really drags, the movie is very much over-the-top, it relies too much on the viewer having seen the Clone Wars series and I still don't like Yoda fighting, but Hayden Christensen is MUCH better this time around, the dialog has improved a LOT, I'm still greatly invested in the story, Palpatine is stealing the whole show, I love how he keeps on manipulating Anakin, there are some genuinely emotional moments and the CGI greatly improved as well.

    Still, I think that AOTC should've been Episode I, CW should've been Episode II, and ROTS was rightfully Episode III. I would've much rather liked to see the story begin when Anakin was already being trained.
     
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  13. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    I don't think the Clone Wars should have been Episode II. It wasn't needed. After all of this time, it amazes me that so many fans still want the Clone Wars to be more relevant that it really was, all because the topic was first brought up in "A New Hope". Even the Rebellion wasn't that relevant in the Original Trilogy. Luke and Anakin's personal arc was more heavily emphasized . . . especially in two-thirds of "The Empire Strikes Back" and the first half of "Return of the Jedi" than the Rebellion Against the Empire.
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    Not to mention that it would entirely wreck the chiasmus pattern that Lucas strove so hard to craft into why any one film was like it was.

    If you start with AOTC, you just basically knee jerked right to ESB's mirror as the prequel's first and that throws the entire structure horribly off balance, not to mention that CW has no equal in the series to bounce off of, and it also doesn't run on the same themes structure method that the series does.

    I really enjoyed the hell out of Solo, but it doesn't belong anywhere in the main series. Others really enjoyed the hell out of Rogue One, and the same is true there.
    None of these side films adhere to the story writing method that the main series does, and yeah, that might make them exciting and new in ways that the main series doesn't have the liberty to be, but the main series is designed to be a giant symbolic, and practically religious, mural when you stand back and look at the whole thing.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    Why not? Are you stating that the main series is supposed to be about the Skywalker family? But Han Solo had married into that family. Which in my eyes, makes "SOLO" more a part of the main series than the Sequel Trilogy. Although the latter series features members of the Skywalker-Solo family, the trilogy's two main characters ARE NOT members of the Skywalker family.
     
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  16. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    Because SOLO isn't written anything like the method used by the main saga, and further, even if you wanted to do that, there is no previous film to actually relate to in that way based on Han Solo.

    Every film in the main saga is a repetitive cycle that bounces off of a previous film's themes in either an inverted fashion or a reversed fashion.
    If Luke went down, then Anakin went up, and Rey went back and Kylo went forward - metaphorically speaking.

    They riff the same scenes over and over and over, and that's on purpose. It's not a simple matter of, "Pfff, I'm not going to even try; we're just going to copy/paste and call it a day; YOLO!"

    It's a very specific cycling in a chiastic narrative structure, which means the whole thing is a nearly endless cycle....which is pretty much the point, because the principle concept that Lucas wrote the saga about was whether or not the children are trapped by the sins of their parents or whether they are able to break free from the cycle. The narrative structure itself is a metaphorical representation of that point, and is why the same events repeat for Luke that happened to Anakin, but in slightly different ways, and the same reason that they once again happen to both Rey and Kylo.

    The prequel was the first time around, the OT was the answer to the prequel (can Luke escape the repetition...no; he just chose differently), and now it's up to Rey and Kylo...can they escape the repeated cycle? We'll find out in IX what that answer is.

    In-world chronology: before we did the "bad guy's story" (PT), then we did the "good guy's story" (OT), and now we're doing both at once (ST).

    So you can't just toss in Han Solo because he doesn't fit into the type of moral narrative structure that has already been employed in Luke and Anakin.
    Rey and Kylo do fit in, respectively Rey to Luke and Kylo to Anakin.

    If the OT, since that was the first made, had a film that was all about Han Solo (or someone like him) as the moral thrust and focal point of the allegorical fairy tale, then you could have SOLO slide right in and form it to fit the narrative structure in chiastic fashion all you want, but that didn't happen and doesn't exist, so in the way that Star Wars is designed...it doesn't work.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  17. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    THAT doesn't mean anything to me. "SOLO" is still about Han Solo, who had married into the Skywalker family. Which, in my eyes, STILL makes the 2018 movie more a part of the Skywalker family saga than the Sequel Trilogy, whose two main characters are not related to a Skywalker or Solo, as far as I know. Members of the Skywalker/Solo family are basically supporting characters in the ST.
     
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  18. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi Commander

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    I feel like we as Star Wars fans put way too much emphasis on familial relationships.

    As much as I enjoy both, I think it's pretty clear that Solo functions far more as a spinoff compared to the sequel trilogy...

    I think you're right in Star Wars being about relationships.

    Nevertheless, the backdrop of Episode II is still the opening moves of the Clone Wars. It just seems a waste to me to have an entire film about building up this apparently huge conflict, only to have it essentially almost over by the first act of the next film. Structurally, I think the PT could've made a little more sense if it utilized the backdrop of the Clone Wars a little smarter.

    Personally, I think we could've had the best of all worlds with the prequels.

    Episode I-

    Ends with the opening shots of the Clone Wars- foreshadowing the conflict to come, both physically (the actual war) and metaphorically (Anakin and Obi Wan's future struggles)

    Episode II-
    Here we could see Anakin and Obi Wan working together (as opposed to being separated) for the majority of the film.
    Visits with Padme would be treated with secrecy, rather than the weird 80s Ski Movie plot we got where Of Course They Got Together.
    Here, the conflict is treated with confidence. Obi Wan and Anakin are strong and sassy, and their friendship is strong.

    Episode III-
    The effects of the war should be showing heavily on the galaxy, as well as particular on Anakin and Obi Wan. Their friendship is also deteriorating, as Palpatine grows his influence and Anakin grows his paranoia.



    Really, I thought Episode III did an all right job of showing the war fizzle out into an Empire as Kenobi and Skywalker's friendship ended as well. But... I mean, we barely saw a war OR a friendship in the trilogy anyway. By keeping both in the focus, and not dabbling in the weird (and frankly, unresolved outside of the animation) Clone Mystery and the rather predictable romance plot, AotC kind of squanders the middle chapter of the trilogy in a lot of ways, at least in my opinion.
     
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  19. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    It may mean nothing to you, but the form of the art is very important to me.

    You might as well ask me to insert Genesis between Matthew and Mark.

    Same universe, but a very different series and vastly different form.

    That would be how I would actually stop watching Star Wars; if it changed its chiastic form of mythical storytelling.

    What I don't care about is whose name or blood is involved. That doesn't matter to the allegorical chiastic form all that much. It matters a bit, but since it's allegory; not much.

    No, the opera isn't what makes Star Wars special and different from any other cinematic story for me.

    Themes, moral allegorical tales, and an incredibly complexly woven and orchestrated chiastic narrative are what make Star Wars a special craft of artistic genius that is different from any other cinematic story for me.

    You might not care. I do. A lot.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #259 Jayson, Mar 7, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  20. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    ^This^

    One of my biggest misgivings about contemporary Star Wars is how it’s gradually morphed into this rigid ‘Skywalker Saga’. That’s never ever been the draw for me and I’m inclined to disengage whenever it’s mentioned.

    It’s a story about the dangerous corruptive element of absolute power, its inevitable evolution to tyranny, and the necessity to revolt against that degree of oppression. The father/son dynamic is simply how that concept is materialized in a digestible, understandable construct. It’s not, of itself, the point.

    George designed this world as a deliberate parable. It’s an allegorical tale meant to communicate a specific core belief to our youth: allowing your baser (darker) impulses (fear, anger, hate) to dictate your judgement, actions, and perception will only ever lead to suffering - personally and for society as a whole. And that’s how the narrative is conveyed to us - with a focus on society in the form of a galactic civil war, and on the personal in the form of a familial drama.

    It’s only presented in the guise of a whiz-bang rollicking space adventure, because that’s what Lucas was captivated by when HE was at the age of the audience he was attempting to reach. It makes the concept more palatable and accessible and . . . fun - like chasing your medicine with some sugar (a magical singing nanny might say).

    All the pew pew antics are a blast, but there’s a deep seeded moral baked into the story and, for me, that’s what truly matters. Not family names and pedantic genealogy, but the underline message in there desperately wanting to be heard.

    I get that people enjoy this series for different reasons and aren’t interested at all in that layer. It’s a perfectly valid prerogative, but it’s a bit discouraging.
     
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