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Is the PT really all that bad?

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

  1. Lylo Ren

    Lylo Ren Rebel Commander

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    The only PT movie I actively like is ROTS. I don't think they're truly awful or anything, but Episodes I and II just didn't really do it for me. I didn't need to see THAT much of Anakin's childhood and AOTC, well, it had some good stuff, but the overall plot of that one just didn't interest me that much. I also hate that rat-tail Jedi-in-training hairstyle.
     
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  2. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    That is a question that cannot be answered. Not as a fact. If you had asked someone how do you feel about the PT, well that's one thing. But to ask if the PT is really all that bad . . . the only answers someone is going to receive is an opinion.

    Now, in my opinion . . . I would answer "no". I do not believe that the PT is all that bad. In fact, I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the OT.
     
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  3. DarklightkillerX1

    DarklightkillerX1 Rebel Trooper

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    is the dialogue and acting good. not always. The Ideas are great. The CGI fest can get a bit much. I think people lose sight of the fact George modernized cinema with the prequels. He forced the digital revolution with the prequels. Digital is now commonplace. They are far from prefect but despite their flaws I enjoy them. I know technical achievement doesn't make good stories, they are deficient in many ways. The Clone Wars helped me a lot in my enjoyment of the prequels. Only regret is that Ahsoka never showed up (I know she was conceived of after).
     
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  4. Fernus

    Fernus Rebelscum

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    Good stories have never been essential. The OT is not that original, to think about it.
    But SW has always been about technical achievement. Easy to forget with Disney and their "let's make it shitty like in the 80s" approach. In terms of cinema, Star Wars used to be like Pink Floyd in music. You knew you were getting the best possible sound and picture possible and the most revolutionary CGI. It made Star Wars exciting. Now these "new" movies all look no better than any other blockbuster. Except for Rogue One - I loved their recreation of Tarkin, now that was in the spirit of Lucas.
     
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  5. mistercrabs

    mistercrabs Rebel Trooper

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    They have their own aesthetic and there's a very clear and consistent vision. I can appreciate them, therefore, on some level.

    But we're talking about the origin story of the greatest villain in cinema. It should have been epic. A great (and older) actor should have been cast, and the films should have shown the gradual degradation of a good man because of the circumstances of his time. The greatest problem with the trilogy is that it is such a huge missed opportunity. I almost wish someone would remake it.
     
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  6. Pobody's Nerfect

    Pobody's Nerfect Force Attuned

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    I love the prequels. Phantom Menace is possibly my favorite Star Wars movie, and Revenge of the Sith moved me emotionally more than any other episode.

    Sure, it's easy to nitpick at them. Nitpicking makes us feel superior so it's a natural human thing to do, especially since we're older and wiser than we were when the OT came out.

    But they were great stories!

    Some unforgettable moments of cinematic genius -

    • Darth Maul first ignites his double bladed lightsaber
    • The Opera scene
    • John William's score
    • Order 66
    • Jango Fett going hand-to-hand with Obi-Wan
    • Anakin slaughtering Tuskin Raiders
    • Qui-Gon and Watto
    • Darth Maul vs. Obi-Wan
    • Pod racing
    • Darth Vader takes his first breath inside the helmet
    • Delayed sound effect on Jango Fett's seismic charges in the asteroid field
    But even better than those moments was the fall of the Jedi. We got to see how their self righteousness was their downfall. They were so certain they were the good guys that they justified some pretty evil stuff in their effort to win. We see them change from protectors of the Republic to arresting the legally elected Chancellor of the Republic and planning sedition - Mace Windu said "The Jedi Council will have to take control of the Senate to ensure a peaceful transition of power."

    That's a military coup, no matter how you say it. That's an armed force of warriors seizing control from democratically elected representatives. And by the third episode the Jedi Council couldn't see the irony of what they'd become. Obi-Wan told Anakin he'd become the very thing he'd swore to destroy.

    The irony!
     
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  7. tm0910196

    tm0910196 Guest

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    LOL....yeah, the hairstyle was not one of Lucas' better ideas!
     
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  8. Fernus

    Fernus Rebelscum

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    Emotionally, nothing even comes close. Hell, even blockbusters in general rarely show this level of tragedy and despair. And it WORKS even if we know what's coming. Amazing. This is Lucas's magnum opus.
     
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  9. BobaFettNY21

    BobaFettNY21 Force Sensitive

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    The PT is what most space operas are outside a few of the 10 SW films we have and Guardians of the Galaxy (1, maybe Vol. 2 as well depending on how much one likes Marvel).

    At different times all-over-the-place, too big for its britches (Dune), awkwardly performed (Flash Gordon), and exposition heavy (John Carter) with some cool sci-fi/fantasy visuals and fights thrown in.....plus lightsabers! If you like space opera, then you can watch the PT and enjoy it on differently levels.

    But it also has lightsabers so......lightsabers.
     
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  10. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    The PT is what any individual believes it is . . . just like the OT, the ST, the stand alone films and any other film in existence. The quality of any sole filim is not set in stone, since different people have different opinions of it.
     
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  11. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    If we are being honest, the more I think on it and appreciate the ST the more I regret how much I didn't like the PT growing up.
    I wish I knew in 2005 that I'd get new Star Wars eventually.
    I would have been able to enjoy it more. Not like it like I do the other films but at least get more joy out of it.
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    The interesting thing to me about the prequels is that, if you put them into the context they were created, then they aren't bad movies - they are just not in step with the then current cinema fashion.
    Everything in them is purposefully shot and crafted around looking like an old 1930's serial and 1940's silver screen films.
    The way the dialogue is written is written from that angle as well.

    So while Lucas is generally not that great of a dialogue writer, in this case that plays into his hand for what he was looking to accomplish.
    The pacing of dialogue delivery was also retrofitted; there's a lot more lines being delivered, beat, line being delivered, etc... than was common at the time (His Girl Friday was a notable film that moved us further along and out of dedicated line dialogue and was noted at the time for its "risky" fast dialogue).

    For example, here's a clip of the PT


    And here's one from Spellbound


    The camera blocking and movement, as well, is of the same ilk.

    I think it's a problem of communication, more than anything.
    Everyone will take these films however they want, and some will say, "Hey, they're not bad; I love these, they were great!", while others will say, "Regardless of what Lucas was trying to do, it's still a bad movie to me", and that's fine.

    But I think the main thread that made them uncanny to a bunch of people and cause them to search for what it was that bothered them, and start compiling lists is all rooted down to the articulation of the films themselves and their purposefully "stiff" homage treatment.

    It's a bit like the uncanny valley of artificial intelligence.
    You can have robots, and you can have humans, but when you try to mix the two it can be unnerving to some people in ways that they have a hard time pinpointing, and so you end up with long lists of little things spread all over that together equal the reasons why they don't like the robot human, but the root of it is at the joining of the robot structure into a human context.

    The prequels essentially do a cinematic version of this; they take an old cinema structure and put it into a new film context, and that strikes some audience members as uncanny and they can be pushed off by it.

    Others, in both of these examples, can find it interesting and fascinating because it's unique and the uncanniness doesn't strike in a negative way, but in a positive experience.

    I have studied this quite a lot, and could go on and on with this, but I don't have much time at the moment, but just passing by and sharing thoughts.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  13. Sargon

    Sargon Rebelscum

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    That's a very good analogy, that they are uncanny.

    But when they are done well I also think people get the idea. No one doubted that Star Wars was a homage piece, or Kill Bill.

    I think the bigger problem is that they are uncanny and bad. Lucas clearly was trying to make them as contemporary films that simply riffed and paid homage to those oldies, same as the originals. Scenes like Duel of the Fates, the podrace, "You were the chosen one!", Anakin and Padme looking at each other across Coruscant, Order 66 montage, these are clearly not meant to literally be done in the style of the 1930s, it's just a film series that sometimes pays homage. And also, I think Lucas uses that as an excuse. Whenever the films get praise it is usually because they work as a contemporary action-adventure done in the homage style, but whenever the films don't work it's suddenly because you are supposed to be watching it as a time traveller from 1934. I call total BS. If he's serious about that I think his plan failed, because that's a pretty bonkers plan, but I think he's just using that as a pre-emptive shield ("it's supposed to be bad!"), the reason being the bottom line is if Lucas wanted to he couldn't have made the films work any better dramatically, because what we got is from what I can tell the total extent of his skills as a writer/director. And he clearly was trying to make the films resonate with a modern audience.

    But I agree, it's a great experiment to reconfigure the PT as a literal 1930s serial rather than just a homage, or perhaps even a black and white silent feature. I remember I had done mock-ups of this back during the films original release. It really doesn't work as a full-on alternate version of the films, it sustains itself as a fun, 10-minute experiment. I think you get the point better as a short, it makes it a lot harder as a long-term thing because you have to sometimes cut around all the modern action scenes and CG crap flying around, and other modern touches, and most of the acting is pretty modern so even when you do stuff like replacing the music and sound and dialogue and so forth, it still doesn't come off as if it was a film from the 1930s. I should know, I tried! Like I said, I don't think Lucas is really being accurate about the films being meant to literally be like they are from the 1930s. They fail there too. But when you whittle it down to more like a collection of moments to cherry pick, it works better. Like a trailer. There's a lot of re-edits of the SW films as though they were trailers for B-movies of the 30s and 50s, and these get the point across a lot more effectively.
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    Well, the thing is, this time he went full bore.
    He didn't hold anything back.

    In the OT, he really did, and because he was reliant on others he also lost some of that control to shape it exactly how he wanted.
    The PT was really Revenge of the Lucas; making damn sure that he got exactly what he wanted this time around, and I don't think everyone can really digest what Lucas actually prefers. Everyone knows they love his ideas, but his articulation...not...so...much.
    I mean...THX is great from an arts point of view because everyone's looking at it with special clauses, but if he were to launch that commercially in full scale...probably not going to hit, and American Graffiti is a film where he tried to make a commercial success and go that way - which he didn't seem to enjoy as much as purely his way.

    He's just a very artiste type of person. I mean, now that he's retired from Star Wars he's off to make "Film Poems" and not release them because no one would like them; "they're just for me and my close circle of friends".

    So, it's not shocking to me that the PT is both at once more what Lucas has in his head, and more frustrating to the fanbase.

    I don't think anyone's supposed to look at the PT through special lenses and if you don't, then you're doing it wrong...no.
    If you don't like it...then you don't like it (I don't enjoy watching them as purely entertaining films, btw). Full stop.

    All that I look at in studying film, in this instance, is what - at its root - drove this wider miss than usual, and I think it really does come down to this; that what Lucas thinks of in his head as really cool and the reasons for that, aren't actually always widely digestible because he has some rather eclectic ideas. Cool ideas, but maybe not highly translatable ideas all the time.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. Sargon

    Sargon Rebelscum

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    I would agree with that, I think. For me, part of the problem is that he doesn't have the skill as a writer-director to translate the feeling that he when he pictures this stuff in his minds eye. So you get a rather stale facsimile of the surface-level presentation, and you end up with the mess of Attack of the Clones. I can see what he was going for in that film, that he had these really cool ideas and "this is going to be an awesome throwback to the 1930s and it'll have a Maltese Falcon type of subplot and some cool modern stuff like 100 Jedis fighting a bunch of giant bugs and the romance is going to be all old fashioned like in Empire Strikes Back and it'll also be really dark and edgy and have some cool political statements," but he wasn't able to translate that as a presentation that had the emotional depth to it that he was picturing in his head. To me it was like watching something made by a really, really smart and creative high school student who didn't have the skillset or emotional maturity to bring it to life in a way that matched the feeling he had picturing it in his head.
     
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  16. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Partly, I think, of how one feels about it depends on your age when they came out. I was 28 when TPM came out. I watched it several times in the theater as I was just so excited to have another Star Wars film out. I remember some friends who were my age saying it was crap. I defended it, but secretly knew, yeah, it was crap. Then AOTC... God. I saw it once in the theater. ROTS I liked, but I only saw it twice in the theater. Decided to just wait until it came out on DVD. ROTS is certainly the best of the prequels, but Lucas really ought to have brought in help, like he did with Empire and Jedi. He didn't and it sucks, but oh well .

    Like Sargon said, Lucas is like that really gifted high school student who has great ideas, but doesn't have the ability to make it come out like he saw it in his head. He covered up the fact his story was crap by trying to awe people with the special effects. It didn't work.
     
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  17. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    I was a child when the OT movies hit the theaters for the first time. And I was definitely an adult when TPM came out. I didn't know what to expect. I do remember that it took me a while to warm up to ANH and TESB. Don't ask me why. I just did. But I had managed to fully embrace those two movies before TPM came out. As for the 1999 film . . . I didn't know what to expect. All I know is that it was a Star Wars.

    At first, I was startled that TPM seemed so different from the 1977-83 films. But I saw the movie again and simply fell in love with it. The PT also made me appreciate the OT, especially after regarding both trilogies as one story.

    It's strange that I had an easier time appreciating the PT than I did the OT. I know that many have stated that Star Wars is basically for kids. I don't think so. The fact that I was able to appreciate Lucas' six films as an adult a lot easier than I did as a kid seemed to hint to me that the franchise is more than just for kids.
     
  18. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Interesting. Definitely opposite to my experience. I saw IV in the theaters in August of '77 and I was hooked. From the start. What a film. And then Empire just blew me away. I definitely found things in the PT to like... The moment when Darth Maul attacks QGJ on Tattooine... The dual on Naboo... The way Palpatine is in place by the end of the film I.

    But then there are those moments that destroyed it completely. Jar Jar I just couldn't stomach. I found myself wondering what the F%&&???? The acting felt like Lucas said, Okay, yeah that's good enough. Like he couldn't be bothered to take the time to get it right.

    Sadly I REALLY wanted to like those films. But I don't watch them very often (I own them on iTunes because heck they are Star Wars after all) but they just don't do it for me. Oh well. It is what it is.
     
  19. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    You know...honestly one of the things that consistently bothers me about TPM, I don't often see anyone mention.

    I can look past the glaringly obvious CGI (meh, whatever, I grew up in the 80's...it's not like Indiana Jones was knocking it out of the park with special effects that didn't look blue-screened and less than life-like...heck...Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal were pretty cool, but they were definitely rough around the edges...and to be honest, if I go back and pull out my original 1980's copies of Star Wars OT...yeah...it's really obvious, and it always was...it was cool as hell, but the blue screening and matte painting compositions were obvious in many ways), so it's not CGI that looks like Spy Kids that bothers me, and I don't care about Jar Jar - never did, and I don't care about the writing or the pacing that much...it draws it back a bit for me in the sense that I'm not going to be jazzed to watch it, but it won't be what turns me off - it's about on par with 1980's TV show dialogue and pacing (as far as an experience) and I watch plenty of that (thank you Netflix) so meh.

    The only thing that ever made me go
    [​IMG]

    Was simply this:
    [​IMG]

    I've always been shocked that no one seems bothered by this.

    Yes, it's a really cool design and make-up concept, but um...I CAN SEE THE MAKE-UP IS MAKE-UP!
    That doesn't look like skin; it looks like he paints himself daily and glues horns to his head like he's Emo and can't afford tattoos and implants or maybe he has a dayjob where he can't have this look.
    Sith by night, Professor of Biology by day?

    And I don't mean obvious makeup in that 1980's-ish kind of way like Princess Bride, no I mean like amateur hour at FACEOFF kind of way.


    [​IMG]

    As opposed to things that should look clean like this
    [​IMG]

    You see that?
    How it doesn't look like paint, and you can't see the application join spots?

    Maul's horns look exactly like what they are: prosthetic horns slapped on with glue and very crudely covered with prosthetic makeup around the base in a failed attempt to hide the seam and provide stability.

    It just shocked me when I saw that on the screen; I expected much better from a triple A title.

    Heck, The Last Starfighter...The Last Starfighter...from 1984...yeah, that had better makeup than TPM.

    That and Yoda were the only two things that actually caused me to wonder what the hell happened (the original puppet Yoda looked terrible - it didn't even look like Yoda).

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #99 Jayson, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
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  20. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    I feel the same about the Sequel Trilogy. I wanted to like the 2015 and 2017 films. I really did. Instead, I found them very disappointing.
     
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