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  1. #21
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Yeah, notice a distinct lack of Jar Jar or little Anni!

    *sigh*

    I really didn't think Jedi was as bad as all that, although I did HATE the Ewoks something fierce. Oh, if only it could have been Wookees, and they could have done them right! I do agree though that the Revenge of the Sith (funny, I never connected that to the original planned title of Jedi) was okay because you finally got to see some of the politics behind the whole thing. Often in the Star Wars discussion people lose track of the political story; it gets a little mention (in Star Wars Tarkin mentions dissolving the Senate) and obviously there is the idea of the Rebellion, but you rarely really consider Palpatine's rise to power. I really enjoyed that aspect of the new films.
    There was tremendous potential in the idea of a 3 movie series to tell the story leading up to the beginning of Star Wars. You're right, the rise of the Empire and fall of the Senate/Republic and fall of the order of the Jedi was alluded to, heavily, but it was left wide open for basically any story to tell how they got there. There was nothing more than a well definited end-point to be reached. That just adds to the sense that Lucas blew it. I'm not sure if he blew it because he was too busy making calculated decisions about marketing, or because he had run out of creative juices, or because he simply can't direct actors very well (paging Mr. Kershner). But he definitely blew it.

    Sadly, a few simple changes could have made the movies MUCH better.

    1) Write Jar Jar and his people as real characters who could believably fight for independence against a technologically superior foe, rather than some kiddy comic relief.
    2) Make Anakin about the same age as Padme. Would have made the story more adult, made their future romance more believable, and made his unrecoverable inner anger and demons that ultimately were the seed for his turn to the dark side more believable.
    3) Remove the midchlorian bs. Did anyone REALLY need or want a pseudo-scientific made-for-Sci-Fi-channel-movie level explanation for the Force? It's a freakin' mystic energy. Good enough. I don't care how Gandalf can make the end of his staff glow either.

    The other change that would have helped was a director who can work with actors. I've never seen Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Sam Jackson, etc as bad as they were in these movies. Bad dialogue, wooden delivery, etc. Get a better director, make a couple simple changes to the basics of the story, and you've probably got 3 movies that, even if they don't recapture the magic of Star Wars and Empire (lets' face it, the magic running on fumes by Jedi), they're at least very good movies.
    Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of sports teams that disappoint in the playoffs
    I have always said that there was 1 thing that, if changed, would have made the storyline (if not the acting and child-centric campiness) work in the opening trilogy. Lucas even sets it up beautifully.

    The scene is the arena on Geonosis. Padme and Anakin have been captured and fully expect they are about to be put to death. Up until that moment, we have heard about Jedi not being allowed to fall in love because of all the negative emotions that can be corrupted by love (a silly theme, in my opinion, but go with it). Anakin, like all good Jedi, has resisted the pull toward Padme because he is a well-trained Jedi.

    But now he is certain he is about to die and he can let his emotions actually flow forth. He professes his love for Padme and they share a passionate kiss. She loves him back and they say that at least they will be able to share a few brief moments of love before they are killed in the arena.

    Then, the unexpected happens. The clone army arrives and they are rescued. But now they must deal with their emotions. As the movie closes, we are left with an Anakin who has betrayed his Jedi teachings and is torn between his feelings of loyalty toward the Jedi and the tug on his heart toward his forbidden love with Padme. As the next movie begins we slowly start to see why it is dangerous for a Jedi to love. Anakin shows signs of jealousy and goes overboard in trying to protect and defend Padme. It all stems from his guilt over abandoning the only other person he ever dared to love, his mother. He displays un-Jedi-like vengeance to anyone who threatens Padme. The emperor sees all this and realizes he can turn Anakin by using his love of Padme against him.

    It all sorta flows from there. This is not all that far from what Lucas actually did. He just left out some explanation of why Jedi love is dangerous and he most certainly left out Padme and Anakin fighting against their feelings and only giving in when facing near-certain death. He also wrote it in a really lame fashion.

    -Jason "I have no simple repair for Phantom Menace... you would have to change pretty much everything in that steaming pile of !#%!@%" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

  3. #23
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    -Jason "I have no simple repair for Phantom Menace... you would have to change pretty much everything in that steaming pile of !#%!@%" Evans
    The title was good. It just kind of fell off from there.
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Yeah, notice a distinct lack of Jar Jar or little Anni!

    *sigh*

    I really didn't think Jedi was as bad as all that, although I did HATE the Ewoks something fierce. Oh, if only it could have been Wookees, and they could have done them right! I do agree though that the Revenge of the Sith (funny, I never connected that to the original planned title of Jedi) was okay because you finally got to see some of the politics behind the whole thing. Often in the Star Wars discussion people lose track of the political story; it gets a little mention (in Star Wars Tarkin mentions dissolving the Senate) and obviously there is the idea of the Rebellion, but you rarely really consider Palpatine's rise to power. I really enjoyed that aspect of the new films.
    LA, I always felt the same way about ROTJ, especially the Ewoks. A few months ago we sat down and watched the Episodes IV, V and VI on consecutive nights and I liked the last one better than I'd remembered. The Ewoks were still annoying.

    I understand why, for example, the American Film Institute ranks Star Wars as the best of the three, because it broke ground, but I consider The Empire Strikes Back the best of the bunch. The introduction and major use of Yoda, plus the exceptional music, put it over the top for me.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Sterling, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by rasputin View Post
    plus the exceptional music, put it over the top for me.
    Many people don't realize the famous "Imperial March" wasn't introduced until Episode V.

    Of course there were many other great themes and motifs introduced or expanded upon in "Empire" as well.

  6. #26
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    Feb 2007
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    Sterling, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    The one awful aspect that stood out most for me was the horrible singing that went along with the light saber battles, such as when Obi Wan and Qui Gon took on Darth Maul (the first appearance of it) and when Obi Wan and Annakin had it out in Revenge of the Sith. As soon as I heard that singing in Phantom Menace, my opinion was cemented. "This movie sucks".
    Are you talking about the chanting in "Duel of the Fates"? Because if so, I didn't mind it at all.

    I think orchestral music with choral overlays can work quite well - Lord of the Rings makes extensive and excellent use of this.


    My only musical objection was having to used synthesized trumpets to hit those crazy high registers right before the credits - wasn't Maynard Ferguson still alive when Ep. I came out? =)

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by snowdenscold View Post
    Are you talking about the chanting in "Duel of the Fates"? Because if so, I didn't mind it at all.

    I think orchestral music with choral overlays can work quite well - Lord of the Rings makes extensive and excellent use of this.


    My only musical objection was having to used synthesized trumpets to hit those crazy high registers right before the credits - wasn't Maynard Ferguson still alive when Ep. I came out? =)
    Just like the rest of the movie, that chanting or singing had no continuity with the first three films. Obviously the story had continuity, but the style was over the top with the over incessant pounding of the special effects. It was never used in New Hope, Empire or Return...so why toss it in there now? Ugh...I can still hear it.

    As far as when I am looking forward to seeing the 3D used, I'll put them in no particular order.
    1. The opening space battle in Revenge of the Sith. I thought that was pretty awesome in 2D, in 3D it could be stunning.
    2. The pod race. Ehh, it was in the first movie, but it could be pretty cool. But since it's in the first one I won't be seeing it.
    3. Battle scenes in Attack of the Clones..there were some good ones in there.
    4. Battle immediately prior to and after Order 66 in Episode 3.
    5. Annakin and Obi Wan's chase of the changeling in Attack, that could be fun.
    6. Obi Wan being chased by Jango Fett.
    7. Hoth battles. That's gonna be awesome.
    8. The attack on the Death Star in New Hope.
    9. Both Death Stars blowing up.
    10. Han Solo's rescue in ROTJ.
    11. Darth Vader vs. Luke on Bespin.
    12. Luke and Han on the Millenium Falcon vs Tie Fighters.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Saw it Saturday with my son (7) and his friend (8). It was interesting to see this after knowing how the prequel trilogy played out. It made a lot more sense after living with a "next generation" Star Wars / Clone Wars fan.

    Phantom Menace is much more of a kid's story than New Hope was when I was younger, for sure. Silly animated characters, young boy saves the day, etc. But from the perspective of my son, it was a huge success.

    So, I must say I enjoyed it a heck of a lot more than when I saw it in 1999. Beats Alvin and the Chipmonks, Chipwrecked.
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of sports teams that disappoint in the playoffs
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Beats Alvin and the Chipmonks, Chipwrecked.
    Not exactly a high bar to cross

    Of course, your statement proves what was so wrong with the film. It truly felt like it was made for the under-10 year old demographic... sorta like Journey2 The Mysterious Island this weekend. Sadly, the folks who desperately wanted to see and experience the film were a little bit older than 10.

    -Jason "you'd think after all the money he made on Star Wars and Empire, that Lucas would not need to money grab... but he started it in Jedi and went all-in for cash over quality in Phantom Menace" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

  10. #30
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Not exactly a high bar to cross

    Of course, your statement proves what was so wrong with the film. It truly felt like it was made for the under-10 year old demographic... sorta like Journey2 The Mysterious Island this weekend. Sadly, the folks who desperately wanted to see and experience the film were a little bit older than 10.

    -Jason "you'd think after all the money he made on Star Wars and Empire, that Lucas would not need to money grab... but he started it in Jedi and went all-in for cash over quality in Phantom Menace" Evans
    I do not disagree with any of this, as a mid-40's guy who still remembers where and when he saw the first Star Wars. Changed my life.

    Having said that, there is something interesting about how it is introduced to the next generation. My kid's view of the movies is much different. His favorite are, in order:


    Episode 2 - where the closes come in, lots of action
    Episode 4 -- attack on Death Star
    Episode 3 -- "epic battle at end between Obi Wan and Anakin"
    Episode 1 -- "Well, it's just the beginning, you know?"
    Episode 6 -- second attack on Death Star
    Episode 5 -- really big battle of Hoth


    Straight from the boy's mouth. Loves the Clone Wars series as well, actually preferes to be a clone commander when we play in the back yard than a Jedi.

    So, I guess if we're disappointed but the kids love it -- who's to say that's bad?
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  11. #31
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    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Straight from the boy's mouth. Loves the Clone Wars series as well, actually preferes to be a clone commander when we play in the back yard than a Jedi.
    Smart kid...the Clone Wars series is good stuff. IF they had used that kind of writing for the movies we would be looking back on them in a much more favorable light.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  12. #32
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    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Smart kid...the Clone Wars series is good stuff. IF they had used that kind of writing for the movies we would be looking back on them in a much more favorable light.
    The Anakin in the Clone Wars series is also wayyyy better than the movies. Animated Anakin shows more emotion with his voice than Movie Anakin could show with his face and voice combined.
    Last edited by 94duke; 02-20-2012 at 09:17 AM. Reason: typo

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