GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Star Wars: Remember the Good Old Days?

POSTED BY: CHRISTHECYNIC
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 8, 2006 12:56
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VIEWED: 6157
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Monday, February 6, 2006 4:26 PM

CHRISTHECYNIC


THis is lifed completely from another thread, it was drowned out by other more interesting things. So why did I make a whole thread out of something that couldn't make a response worthy post? Well I'm just that kind of person.

I think it applies to Firefly enough to be in this section.

Quote:

Originally posted by asarian:
You know, come to think of it, I'm staring at a cargo hold. A rusty one, at that. And I'm loving it! See? That's not "Industrial Light and Magic" (to bag on said un-named trillogy), but simply Magic.


I remember in a Star Wars book, don't remember which one, someone said, "You see that, that's the Millennium Falcon" and when asked how he knew he says, "You can tell by the distinctive rust pattern," or something like that.

Remember back when that was the Star Wars universe? When Star Wars was a place where you had to slice open your beast of burden to wrap your freezing friend in?

When Star Wars was full of people that, though in extraordinary circumstances, were ordinary. People who were not heroes by choice but because they had no choice in the matter?

The kind of people who would abandon their higher cause (for a while) to go out and save one friend, have a ship that doesn't work half the time, and get the shit kicked out of them on occasion?

Those were the good old days.

-

Those days left us and eventually Firefly came, those were the great old days.


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Monday, February 6, 2006 4:37 PM

ZISKER


Amen. It used to have soul to speak in total cliches. It had the same rough n' tumble quality that makes me love Firefly. It wasn't about flashy CGI - it was about story and characters (well, it did have ground-breaking effects for that period, but it didn't overuse or try to replace plot/dialogue with them). Leia was my hero, dammit, for years.

Oh well, I can always just never watch the new ones on DVD and quietly pretend they don't exist.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move. - Douglas Adams

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Monday, February 6, 2006 4:43 PM

KANESKI


Oh, and ofcourse Vader actually projected evil. Maul, Dooku and even the new Sidious are... lack of a better word... cuddly.


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Monday, February 6, 2006 4:46 PM

GARBAGECANMUSIC


I have a friend that is a Star Wars fanatic. He told me the other day that he re-watched Ep. III and he is convinced that it is not a good movie.

I agreed. Then sold him on Firefly. He's a podcaster and knows of Firefly because of the Signal and Firefly talk. He will be converted soon (we had a long talk about Firefly and he wants to get into FF and Battlestar Galactica).

Mind you, we're old school Star Wars fans, as in we're-into-sci-fi-because-of-star-wars fans. We didn't think it was possible to mess up that Universe. Apparantly it is.



How much is that little Geisha in the window?

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Monday, February 6, 2006 4:57 PM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by Zisker:
It wasn't about flashy CGI - it was about story and characters (well, it did have ground-breaking effects for that period, but it didn't overuse or try to replace plot/dialogue with them).


I was thinking, I think the original trilogy had more realistic effects. I mean it was so much easier to suspend disbelief in the originals, and it still is. They never say, "Look at me! I'm the very flashy highly expensive totally fake looking effect."

The new one's greatest effects acomplishment was probably Jar-Jar Binks who acutally looked like he really existed at times. Then they took that impressive effect and made it into ... Jar-Jar. Scary really.

Quote:

Oh well, I can always just never watch the new ones on DVD and quietly pretend they don't exist.

I know people who are doing that, as far as I'm concerned they're not canon, excommunicated if you like. Lucas can do whatever he damn well pleases but the Star Wars that I care about isn't on any screen, watching the movies just reminds me what it is.

Quote:

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move. - Douglas Adams

He was a great one who was taken before his time. If he's right, atheist that he is, he's gone. If I'm right then one day, when we're all long dead and many deadlines have passed, we'll all get to read the sixth book he planned. I agree with him, Mostly Harmless was not the place to leave off.

Would be nice if the radio show's crew could get back together too.

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Monday, February 6, 2006 6:00 PM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by christhecynic:

THis is lifted completely from another thread, it was drowned out by other more interesting things. So why did I make a whole thread out of something that couldn't make a response worthy post? Well I'm just that kind of person.



You're hilarious! :)

....


EDIT: I'm going to delete the rest of my reply, as I went off on a mushy FireFly tangent; and I realize that this is probably not a respectful thing to do towards the original poster, seeing as he/she meant it to be about Star Wars, really. There be plenty of other places for me to talk about FireFly. :)

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Monday, February 6, 2006 8:11 PM

ASARIAN


Oh, I forgot to leave this in; duh on me. :)

Quote:

Originally posted by christhecynic:

When Star Wars was full of people that, though in extraordinary circumstances, were ordinary. People who were not heroes by choice, but because they had no choice in the matter?



Oh, you said this so well! Growing fonder of you by the minute. :) Truly, I think you really captured a valuable asset of FireFly here. And it reminds me of "The Train Job":

Sheriff: "But a man learns all the details of a situation like ours, well, then he has a choice."
Mal: "I don't believe he does."


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam.

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Monday, February 6, 2006 10:29 PM

RIVERTAMKICKSASS03


I am one of those people that loved the SW prequals

Serenity is a great film but its nothing like I,II, and III expect it's in space

After all you couldn't compare Angel to Big Lebowski just becouse there both set in LA

Why can no one except that the prequals were differant and thats not a bad thing, And as for acting Ian Mcdermid did a fantastic job of Sidious

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Monday, February 6, 2006 10:54 PM

SPAINT2K


Quote:

Why can no one except that the prequals were differant and thats not a bad thing, And as for acting Ian Mcdermid did a fantastic job of Sidious


Because in making the prequels, Lucas first went back and turned the original trilogy into his sketchpad rough draft for them.

I was as excited as anyone when the "Special" Editions were announced. I was expecting to see effects shots cleaned up (some of which STILL haven't been cleaned up (cough)garbage mattes(cough)), but there were so many pointless and poorly implemented changes that it didn't make any sense. Greedo getting a shot off at Han (head dodge an' all), poorly done Jabba (practice for Jar-Jar), poorly done stormtroopers in the sand (practice for clone troopers), swarm of THINGS in the shoulda been empty "planet furthest from the bright center to the galaxy"/Mos Eisley (practice for -well, everything in the prequels) and randomly altering lines in favor of those from alternate takes for apparently no reason.

And while the original movies had heart, soul, and HAN SOLO, the new movies have plots that went nowhere (why make Qui-Gonn the center of the first movie - Obi-Wan should have been the focal point, to show his arrogance in thinking "I could train him as well as Yoda"), Jar Jar Binks stepping in Bantha CRAP (what was GL thinking?!?) and the most menacingly evil guy in the galaxy is suddenly reduced to a rebellious teen on a temper tantrum.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that the prequels contradict the original series at every turn and you have to wonder if George has actually seen his own movies.

The point of the prequels was to enrich and expand upon the originals, not to degrade and diminish them.

Steve

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Monday, February 6, 2006 11:17 PM

RIVERTAMKICKSASS03




First which plot lines didn't go anywhere Qui-Gonn's came to a definate conclution as well as Obi-wan's, Anakin's, Padme's, Nute Gunray's even, Sidious' One of the main points of the film was that everything was pointless as Sidious held all the keys and just wanted power and to turn Anakin and that everything else was a destraction

2nd point is that Jar Jar was hardly a key figure in the three films, and using him as a example of what was wrong with it is almost like saying Serenity is rubbish becouse of Fanty and Mingo (who were great by the way)

3rd point is that you used my Mc Dermind quote (prob not how you spell his name) and didn't mention him, his chariter was great and can you at least except that he did a jod job of acting and his lines were well scripted

I assume your teen with a temper tantrum is refering to Anakin, what did you expect he would start choking people through out the trilogy.

Last point, i don't recall the sarcy pilot as having much soul, funny yes but it wasn't even close to Mal in terms of me taking him as a serious charicter with a great amount of depth

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 4:32 AM

SPAINT2K


Quote:

Originally posted by rivertamkicksass03:


First which plot lines didn't go anywhere Qui-Gonn's came to a definate conclution as well as Obi-wan's, Anakin's, Padme's, Nute Gunray's even, Sidious' One of the main points of the film was that everything was pointless as Sidious held all the keys and just wanted power and to turn Anakin and that everything else was a destraction



Uh, the whole second movie didn't go anywhere. Rolling in the grass and riding on the back of some giant grass-eating tick. Blah. The plotline about the virgin birth of Anakin went nowhere. The journey "through the core" (does Lucas KNOW what a planet core is?) went nowhere. The fighting on Kashyyk went nowhere.

The main point (of all three prequels) was supposed to be "the fall of Anakin Skywalker" (while the original trilogy has been referred to many times as "the redemption of Anakin Skywalker"). You're right, everything else was a distraction, and unfortunately that constituted about two and a half movies' worth of distraction.

Look, my beef with Qui-Gonn is this (and bear in mind that I love the character, I think Liam Neeson is great and his role was very well acted).

Qui-Gonn shouldn't have been in the first movie. He's totally unnecessary and oh yeah, his existence makes everything Ben said in the old trilogy a pack of lies:
"You will learn from Yoda, THE Jedi Master who instructed me." (not A Jedi Masterm but THE Jedi Master)
[about Anakin] "I took it upon myself to train him, I thought I could teach him as well as Yoda." (not "I thought he was another pathetic lifeform but my master NOT Yoda wanted me to teach him.")
"When I first met your father he was already a great pilot, but I was amazed at how strongly the force was with him." (In Episode I Obi-Wan had to be forced into believing, and the only evidence of Anakin's piloting is his fluke in destroying the droid ships).

The focus should have been on Ben finding Anakin and through his own arrogance and failure to teach Anakin right helped cause Anakin's fall to the Dark Side.

Quote:


2nd point is that Jar Jar was hardly a key figure in the three films, and using him as a example of what was wrong with it is almost like saying Serenity is rubbish becouse of Fanty and Mingo (who were great by the way)



I wasn't that bothered one way or another by Jar Jar, although I think he could have been done a lot better. Stepping in crap didn't really impress me to be honest. As an example of CGI, I thought he was great, I just wish he could have been wiser.

Quote:


3rd point is that you used my Mc Dermind quote (prob not how you spell his name) and didn't mention him, his chariter was great and can you at least except that he did a jod job of acting and his lines were well scripted



I included your line on him by mistake - sloppy cutting.

First of all I really have to tell you that the word is ACCEPT. Except (as a verb) has almost the opposite meaning.

Second, his acting was good (if a little over the top, though that's not a problem). However, I deny utterly that his dialog was well scripted, along with just about all the other dialog of these particular films. In complete contrast with Firefly/Serenity, whose dialog is witty, well-written, and has probably gone through several more revisions than Lucas's ever did. I attribute this to the fear his employees have of him. Such fear as is exemplified by the fact that no-one in ILM felt able to tell Lucas that they didn't think Yoda should act like Sonic the Hedgehog in the fight with Dooku.

Quote:


I assume your teen with a temper tantrum is refering to Anakin, what did you expect he would start choking people through out the trilogy.



Of course I'm talking about Anakin, and the point I'm making is that his fall to the Dark Side should have been dealt with over the course of three movies, not crammed into a half of one as a side effect of teenage angst. Darth Vader was one of the most sinister villains of the 80s but now all I can see inside the mask is a teenager stamping his feet. And it's all because Lucas pushed the character towards wishy-washy indecisiveness and hormonal imbalance instead of making him a threatening individual.

Quote:


Last point, i don't recall the sarcy pilot as having much soul, funny yes but it wasn't even close to Mal in terms of me taking him as a serious charicter with a great amount of depth



I didn't say Han had soul. I said the movies had soul AND Han. I love Han. Incidentally, his character development was damaged by the gratuitous alteration to the fight with Greedo, although that's a whole other can of worms.

And as for comparing him to Mal, well it's a good thing I wasn't.

Steve

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 5:32 AM

LOCHLANN


Hey all, I'll chime in as another big Star Wars fan who appreciates the prequel stories as worthy additions to SW. ("Worthy" doesn't really do them justice; "integral" is closer to the mark.) Note, however, that I'm emphasizing "prequel stories" here. I feel that the prequel movies were, to put it bluntly, pretty bad. Got no trouble admitting that...although one can't discount the many non-film differences between the two trilogies, which have nothing at all to do with the quality of the movies themselves. That'd be a thread subject all to itself, and one without any clear agreement or ability to reach resolution. But, regardless, to go further and say that the things that Lucas was trying to achieve with the prequel movies are somehow out of place, are "wrong"...well, that's something quite different, with which I strongly disagree.

Sure, they change our conception of Star Wars. It's no longer the simple "underdog Rebels vs. monolithic Empire" idea, with the particular resonance that that possessed in the late 70s. So much more has entered the story now, most importantly the Prophecy of the Chosen One, which is what brings along all the baggage that most people point to as "changes." (The introduction of Qui-Gon and the changed role of Obi-Wan; Anakin as more than just a simple bad guy warrior; the stagnation of the old Jedi Order; etc.) One can like or dislike this changed view of Star Wars, that's completely personal, and to be sure there is plenty about Lucas's fleshed-out story that I don't like. (Han shooting first; Jedi powers being pretty much just telekinesis and precognition; etc.) But to say that one doesn't like the enlargened scope of the story is very different from saying that Lucas somehow went wrong.

For myself, I feel that the larger story is much nobler and much more poignant, particularly where Anakin's character is concerned. The only place that I see Lucas "messing up" was some of his choices/technique in translating his story into film, and even some of those are personal reactions rather than measured critiques. (Not all of them, though. Episode 2 was like a damn video game, and I feel that Lucas missed an opportunity to show us more of a "waffling" Anakin, opting instead to show us some Mega-Man side-scrolling action.)

Anyway, as regards Serenity/Firefly: apples and oranges, folks. As was already pointed out, just because both stories take place in space doesn't mean that they are trying to accomplish the same thing. Serenity's writing and character dynamics and humor were outstanding, but to point to Star Wars and say "see, that's why Serenity is better!" is to find fault with orange juice because it doesn't get you drunk. As a mythic tale, with archetypes and rigid themes, of course Star Wars--classic trilogy included--isn't going to be as witty and spunky as something like Firefly. Star Wars really isn't sci-fi at all, when you get down to it, although such definitions can be (and have been) debated ad nauseum.

Eh, don't know where I'm going here. Just, I think that it is perfectly possible to appreciate the classic trilogy for what it is, and the place it occupied in society and our lives, without completely trashing the larger story that is Star Wars. There's a lot of beauty there, and its translation onto the big screen may have been flawed--certainly was, in fact--but goodness, what a powerful story.

"Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." --Obi-Wan Kenobi
"Yeah, well, that's just...ya know, like, your opinion, man." --The Dude

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 5:54 AM

SPAINT2K


Quote:

Originally posted by Lochlann:
Jedi powers being pretty much just telekinesis and precognition; etc.)



Don't forget bacteria. It all comes from bacteria. In the blood.

Quote:

But to say that one doesn't like the enlargened scope of the story is very different from saying that Lucas somehow went wrong.


Which is exactly what you said below.

Quote:


Episode 2 was like a damn video game, and I feel that Lucas missed an opportunity to show us more of a "waffling" Anakin, opting instead to show us some Mega-Man side-scrolling action.)



I reckon ham-fisted film-making techniques ARE wrong. You shouldn't have felt this way - you said yourself that the prequels have a poignancy all their own. The unfortunate part is that we all have to imagine that poignancy for ourselves because GL is incapable of creating a movie that can make us FEEL that.

Sorry to be so damn ham-fisted myself, but only recently discovering FF actually really brought home to me just how very very disappointed I was by the prequel trilogy. The reason FF is being compared to SW (in my opinion) is that it has the power to make you care, in the same way that Star Wars USED TO.

Are you old enough to have loved the original trilogy as a kid? To have had your whole childhood shaped by them? To be a part of a generation for whom these movies actually are a cultural phenomenon? Because all of my friends and I are part of that demographic, and try as I might to enjoy the prequel movies I've found myself growing more and more ill-disposed toward them. To the point now where I can't even watch them on TV now. And though I might still enjoy the old movies, I am actually denied that because Lucas refuses to release the originals on DVD, and watching the original trilogy now means also having to watch ILM's poorly executed practice runs for inserting CGI footage into movies with living people.

Steve

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 6:07 AM

CARTOON


Well, I was an original "Star Wars" fan since the summer of 1977. And, as eager as I was to see the prequel (and waited nearly 3 decades, at that), I liked them, but they didn't stand up to the original three episodes, IMO.

But, one thing we should never forget is that if not for "Star Wars" there probably wouldn't be a "Firefly" or indeed, any Sci-Fi as we know it today.

For those old enough to remember the early 1970's, or even the 1960's (like me), you remember the sad state of sci-fi, pre "Star Wars". "Star Wars" not only forever changed the face of sci-fi, but of all movies in general.

"Star Wars" made it possible for escapism to get made into enjoyable movies once again (after a decade and a half of gritty realism -- which, in my opinion, made for mostly horrible movies which I would never want to watch a second time).

"Star Wars" also changed the face of special effects. Think. We'd never have a realistic "LOTR" trilogy if not for the effects pioneered by Lucas.

Were the "Star Wars" prequels anywhere near what they were expected to be? Heck no. Were they worth the nearly three-decade wait that a lot of us original fans had to endure before we saw them? I don't think so. Were they worth the price of admission? Yeah, to me, anyhow. Would I rather watch "Serenity" than any of the prequels? No contest. Definitely yes!!

But, like a lot of boy wonders, Lucas should not be held in contempt because he couldn't follow up genius with repeated genius (think of Orson Welles). We should thank him for what he did do for us (the rebirth of sci-fi, the return of enjoyable escapism, the creation of special effects which made other movies possible), and not merely bash him (perhaps deservedly so) for not continuing to live up to his genius.

P.S. BTW, I've always maintained that Lucas would've been better off making one three (or even 4) hour movie, than in making three, two hour movies. Trim down all the extraneous nonsense (most of the first film), and give us one good prequel. Granted, it mightn't have made as much money -- but then it wouldn't have cost as much to make, either.

I think it would've been a much more enjoyable film.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 6:26 AM

MILFORD


The prequels were three fo the worst things that could have ever happened. He told the story behind Darth Vader that we all already knew. Wow. Breakin new ground there Copernicus. Lucas forgot what Joss excels in: that stories are made with characters, not pople who simply wiggle around in front of green screens. The first trilogy had dynamite characters (Han I'm looking your way). The prequel had people in it. No characters at all.

FF on the other hand, as we all know, has the best characters in the ruttin verse.

Remember, that but for one trifling exception, the entire universe is made up of others.- Oliver Wendall Holmes

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 6:50 AM

LOCHLANN


Quote:

Originally posted by spaint2k:
Don't forget bacteria. It all comes from bacteria. In the blood.


Which is exactly the same as in many major mythologies, by the way, only there not spelled out so precisely. One didn't get to be a Hero without being the child of a god or demi-god or some such, pretty much end of story. Nothing different here, only recast into modern imagery...which is exactly what the classic trilogy did in utilizing sci-fi space imagery in the space-crazy atmosphere of the 70s.


Quote:

Quote:

But to say that one doesn't like the enlargened scope of the story is very different from saying that Lucas somehow went wrong.

Which is exactly what you said below.


No, not so. You're mixing right/wrong criticism of the story with right/wrong criticism of the filming of that story. I join the most vocal critics in bashing the latter, no question. But when it comes to criticizing the story itself, I usually cast it in terms of what I like/don't like. (I'm not saying that Lucas was "wrong" to have Han shoot first; I'm just saying that I don't like it.) This is especially important when dealing with the big heavy things, the mover-and-shaker thematic elements behind the visible changes.

Quote:


I reckon ham-fisted film-making techniques ARE wrong. You shouldn't have felt this way - you said yourself that the prequels have a poignancy all their own. The unfortunate part is that we all have to imagine that poignancy for ourselves because GL is incapable of creating a movie that can make us FEEL that.


Totally agree. The movies should NOT require us to go behind-the-scenes to find out info, or fill in poorly-developed gaps with screenplay motivations, etc. That is a failure of the movies, and of Lucas as a filmmaker, I believe. But I also believe that many people encounter material in the new movies that changes things, and that some people are simply unwilling to incorporate such changes into their view, and dislike the prequel trilogy for exactly that reason: because it changes things. I strongly feel that many of the changes introduced by the prequel trilogy actually improve the story.

Quote:


Are you old enough to have loved the original trilogy as a kid? To have had your whole childhood shaped by them? To be a part of a generation for whom these movies actually are a cultural phenomenon?


I was right on the cusp. I was probably not as influenced as those who were just a few years older, but it was very powerful for me, man, yeah. But, y'see, this gets into a larger issue: to find fault with the prequel trilogy because it fails to reproduce a feeling that was caused in large large large part by the timing of the Classic Trilogy in our youth, and not entirely by its intrinsic quality, is to condemn it unfairly, and somewhat naively. Of course the prequel trilogy did not recapture "the magic"...the magic was not just about the original movies, it was about the intersection of the movies and youth and the culture of the late 70s, and so much else. Of course the prequels can't have that; it's unfair to expect them to. When we look back on the magic of the original movies, we are looking back at much more than just the movies. God, MUCH more.

This does not excuse the prequels their faults, of course. I'm not saying that the two trilogies are identical save that they appeared at different points in our lives. I'm just saying that the power of that particular difference cannot be discounted. People who went into the prequel trilogy seeking the same experience that they got from the classic trilogy pretty much condemned the prequels to being inferior and disappointing, quite aside from any inferiority and disappointment that they possessed on their own. (And inferiority they did possess, as I've said.) Naturally, it is impossible to objectively separate the experience/impact of the classic trilogy from the movies themselves; all I'm saying is that there is a mixture there, and that the difference in the trilogies' particular times/cultures/experiences is partially responsible for our differing perspectives of the two trilogies. Not wholly responsible, maybe not even mostly responsible, but definitely an important element.

"Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." --Obi-Wan Kenobi
"Yeah, well, that's just...you know, like, your opinion, man." --The Dude

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 7:30 AM

LOCHLANN


Quote:

"Star Wars" also changed the face of special effects. Think. We'd never have a realistic "LOTR" trilogy if not for the effects pioneered by Lucas.

We'd still have the books, though.

Quote:

He told the story behind Darth Vader that we all already knew. Wow. Breakin new ground there Copernicus.

Oh, you already knew all about Palpatine's intricate seduction of Anakin, and how Anakin lost his mother, and how he came to view Obi-Wan as an obstruction to his doing good for those he loved, and how he was the Chosen One of the Prophecy, and how he came to believe that he killed his wife bearing his child? Wow, you knew a lot more than most people...

Quote:

Lucas forgot what Joss excels in: that stories are made with characters, not pople who simply wiggle around in front of green screens. The first trilogy had dynamite characters (Han I'm looking your way). The prequel had people in it. No characters at all.

That's a good observation, but the implication isn't quite on-target. Star Wars is indeed inhabited more by wooden archetypes than it is by fleshed-out characters. Absolutely true. However, that is part and parcel of the kind of story that Star Wars is. Star Wars is not supposed to have quote-unquote "interesting" characters. Han isn't interesting (although he's cool), and Luke isn't interesting, any more than Qui-Gon or Dooku are. Star Wars, as mythic storytelling, is driven by character archetypes rather than "interesting characters." You've got the Evil Wizard, the Dark Warrior (with messed-up childhood), the naive Knight In Shining Armor, the Wise Mentor, the brash Mercenary, the Ruthless Bounty-Hunter, etc., etc. You're right, such roles have little personality to them, apart from those of the actors who happen to play them...but they aren't really supposed to. I'd rather watch Mal and Jayne bicker any day of the week to watching Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan discussing the Will of the Force...but that's an artifact of the genre differences, not so much an outright failure on the part of Star Wars (though see below).

That said, I do agree with the general view that Han Solo rocks, with just the general observation that his particular archetype tends to allow for a touch more personalization and flexibility--not to mention all-around coolness--than other archetypes. Dunno if he could take Mal in a fistfight, though. And I also think that the characters are indeed less-well-developed in the prequel trilogy than in the classic (to the extent that they should be, as above), etc. etc., in line with my general view that the prequels are inferior. (I don't really see myself as flat-out disagreeing with what's being said by others; rather, I'm just trying to contextualize everything a bit, something that I think is very important.)

"Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." --Obi-Wan Kenobi
"Yeah, well, that's just...you know, like, your opinion, man." --The Dude

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 7:44 AM

STORYMARK


Okay, I'm going to throw in my two cents on this, as a fan of the prequels. I don't think they're perfect movies, by any streatch, but some of the complains I see people making about them, I feel, are often way off-base. I'll address some of these complaints in no particular order:

First off, people say that the movies sucked as films. Flawed, yes, but I hardly think they sucked. Really, as someone mentioned above, there was really no chance for the movies to live up to their expectations. Not only were they following up movies that have been considered modern classics for over 20 years, movies that we all grew to love as children (and admit it or not, this stuff will never impact anyone quite as much as when they were children), but they also had nearly 20 years of anticipation and fan-imagining to live up to. Add to that the biggest hype wave to ever be attatched to a movie, and it was doomed to dissapoint. Phantom Menace was the weakest by far, but it was essentially a prologue to get the rest of the story flowing. And in the case of Revenge of the Sith, which I really did enjoy, I have heard it said (and I agree), that so many had it out for Lucas, that people would have complained regardless of the quality.

People have complained that Lucas told us a story that we already knew the end of: The Rise of Darth Vader. Well, you (said at no one in particular) may not have wanted that story, but the majority of Star Wars fans out there had been asking for that very story for over 15 years, so there was a demand.

Some say the effects were more believable in the originals. Sorry, but while I don't find CGI 100% beleivable, I find it at least as good or better than the gray matte boxes around the ships in space, or the wobbling appendages on the rubber masks, or the black matte line around the stop-motion creatures, or the fanged sock-puppet that came from the asteroid in Empire, or the totally static matte paintings (as beautifully rendered as many of them were).

People complain about Anakin. I would argue that the portrayal of Anakin is fairly realistic. He was a boy born in poverty, who was suddenly raised to the near-mythic (even in their universe) level of Knight. Add to that super-powers, and a profecy telling him he's the most important guy in the universe. Now, as someone who works with teenagers, a lot of them behave just like Anakin in Attack of the Clones, and they don't have powers of profecies. Yes, he was whiny and petulent, but that's common at that age. It's also a problem his son had in the original movies, that no one seems to be complaining about.Sure, probably most of us imagined him differently, but this is Lucas' story, told how he wanted, and if you're going to defent Joss' right to tell Serenity the way he wants to (as many have in variouse Wash/Book discussions), then Lucas has that right as well.

The dialog is another point. Sure, it comes off as stiff and stilted, moreso than in the originals. But in the originals, the characters were mailny outlaws and farmboys. In the prequels, they are Knights, politicians, and royalty. Those people speak in different ways. Even in our culture, most "common" people speak in what's called the casual register. Politicians and Royalty (as well as the very wealthy) are known to speak more often in the formal registry, which sounds alot more like the dialog in those films. Or, to take a different angle, the "love scene" dialog from Anakin in Clones. Yes, it was akward, stilted, and well, awfull. But how many teenage boys, who have NEVER so much as flirted with a girl, or even been allowed to consider it, sound like Romantic Poets the FIRST time they try to express they're feelings? Not many, I would wager. Chances are, most boys in that position would say even dumber things. I know I did at that age. I would say, for the characters depicted, the dialog is just as realistic as the dialog in Firefly/Serenity.

Others complain that the characters in the prequels are less interesting than the rogues of the originals. This is a points I don't entirely disagree with, as the original characters were a lot of fun. But it's a matter of fitting the story. Han Solo (or a comperable character) would not have fit into this story well. In a rag-tag underground rebellion, you have a place for those characters. When it comes to invasions, political coups, and the other plot elements of the prequels, a character like that is hard to put in.

And, honestly, who thinks Darth Maul is cuddly?

Bottom line, I think a lot of people are just resentfull of the fact that the prequels were not the stories they wanted them to be. And I would agree. If I had them to re-write, there are a number of things I would change. But it's not my story, and just because the films didn't match my preconceptions, does not make them without merit.

I know this won't change anyone's opinion, but I just see so much of a double-standard when people complain about these movies. If you go back and watch the originals without the bias of time, a lot of that dialog is unrealistic (Harrison Ford complained about it a lot), and there are plenty of plot holes and inconsistancies (how long did Luke train with Yoda before he was able to face Vader? Two, three days tops? Yet other Jedi train their entire lives...huh?), and of course, those damned Ewoks. But I'll stop ranting now.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 7:54 AM

CHRISISALL


CTC, nothing will ever replace the excitement of 1977 when SW came out, and 1980, and'83. It was a magical and fun trillogy, maybe the Ewoks took a little of the edge off in the last one, but watching Luke's growth as a Jedi was the best part, and he was right.

Chrisisall Skywalker

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 8:34 AM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
maybe the Ewoks took a little of the edge off in the last one



Well, I was one of those in 1983 had who wished that the Death Star had actually incincerated the forest moon of Endor. Ewoks -- poof!! No more.

Don't get me started on the Ewoks. They destroyed an otherwise outstanding film. Even though I did watch it ten times theatrically when it was initially released, I always wished I had to go to the bathroom (or have root canal) whenever an Ewok appeared on the screen.

A note to geniuses who plan to make future film history -- save the "cute" crap for kiddie films. Ewoks did to "Star Wars" what disco did to music. (Don't get me started on disco!)

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 8:47 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by asarian:
EDIT: I'm going to delete the rest of my reply, as I went off on a mushy FireFly tangent; and I realize that this is probably not a respectful thing to do towards the original poster, seeing as he/she meant it to be about Star Wars, really. There be plenty of other places for me to talk about FireFly. :)


Well if the starting point was in this thread, and you remember what you said, by all means post the tangent.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 8:58 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by asarian:
Oh, I forgot to leave this in; duh on me. :)

Quote:

Originally posted by christhecynic:

When Star Wars was full of people that, though in extraordinary circumstances, were ordinary. People who were not heroes by choice, but because they had no choice in the matter?



Oh, you said this so well! Growing fonder of you by the minute. :)


Good to know.

Quote:

Truly, I think you really captured a valuable asset of FireFly here. And it reminds me of "The Train Job":

Sheriff: "But a man learns all the details of a situation like ours, well, then he has a choice."
Mal: "I don't believe he does."


Yeah, and you saying that made me make a list, it's a quick one so it might not work right.

Why they're heroes:
Han Solo: He tried not to be but he learned all the reasons.
Chewie: Same as Han but he probably went faster.
Leia: Family pressured her into it (we assume), then family (and every one else she knew) died.
Luke: Tried to avoid it, everyone died.
Obi: Had nothing else left. (Or not, we really don't know.)
R2: He was chosen by Leia
C3P0: He followed R2
Lando: He lost his whole city and his best friend (though he got one of those back.)

Not one of them did it because, "It was the right thing to do," not at first at least.

Quote:

"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam.

I try not to respond to sigs, this makes two in one thread. This line just keeps on looking at me begging me to say something.

It's just so powerful, good choice.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 9:36 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


I didn’t make this to bash the prequels. Whether you hate them or love them you have to admit that there was a time when Star Wars was a land of rust where ordinary people were the ones we cared about. That time has gone. No longer are there ordinary characters, no longer is there rust, and no longer would people desecrate the corpse of their steed to save a friend in a foul smelling manner. Like I said, whether you like that change or hate it you have to admit (if you‘re going to be honest) that the change did take place.

That said it might be best if you ignore the rest of this post unless you really wanted to hear my response to Locklann.

-

Quote:

Originally posted by Lochlann:
So much more has entered the story now, most importantly the Prophecy of the Chosen One, which is what brings along all the baggage that most people point to as "changes."


Actually I thought the prophesy was pretty good. It is a huge thing going out of its way to say, "Jedi are idiots!" It takes Yoda 2+ movies to realize they could be looking at it in the wrong way and Obi-Wan never gets it.

(If someone here didn't get it let's take a moment. There were many Jedi and two Sith. The force was unbalanced.

Anakin came and killed off all but two Jedi and there were remained two Sith, the Force was balanced.)

It's a good way of saying that Jedi are romanticized 20 years on (about when the original trilogy takes place) like so many great warrior factions. It doesn't contradict the originals in any way but it adds depth.

Quote:

(The introduction of Qui-Gon and the changed role of Obi-Wan;

That is where the problem is, in the CHANGES. In Serenity telling us that Mal was a volunteer might have changed our view of him, but it didn't change the story. What if we found out Mal wasn't Zoe's superior officer, in fact they were not even in the same unit? That is what the introduction of Qui-Gon did. It changed the movies instead of perceptions.

Quote:

Anakin as more than just a simple bad guy warrior; the stagnation of the old Jedi Order; etc.)

Actually Anakin was by far the simplest bad guy I've seen, and I've seen a lot of bad movies. Even so those are nothings people complain about as primary problems, certainly not the Jedi Order bit.

Quote:

One can like or dislike this changed view of Star Wars, that's completely personal, and to be sure there is plenty about Lucas's fleshed-out story that I don't like.

Very few people criticize at length about the changed view, they prefer the old view and will tell you about how much they do and why, but what they criticize is when more than the view changes.

I'm telling you, take this one single example: Obi and Yoda. There is a perfect parallel in Serenity. To do exactly what was done to that relationship to Zoe and Mal’s all we would have to do was make sure that it was explicitly stated in Serenity over the course of the entire two hours that Mal was not Zoe's direct superior but instead someone who never worked with her in the field, a general perhaps.

Wouldn't that have bothered you just a little?

Quote:

But to say that one doesn't like the enlargened scope of the story is very different from saying that Lucas somehow went wrong.

I'm not saying he went wrong, I don't know what he wanted to say. Perhaps all of the contradictions were correcting errors to grievous to be changed in the original trilogy‘s special edition.

I'm just saying it's inconsistent and I liked it when it wasn't.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 9:43 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


cartoon, and everyone else, don't forget that this thread was started on praise of the originals

cartoon I agree with basically everything you said about the originals and their effect.

Quote:

Were they worth the price of admission? Yeah, to me, anyhow.

That's not saying much, unless you live in a place with expensive theaters.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 10:36 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by christhecynic:
I didn’t make this to bash the prequels. Whether you hate them or love them you have to admit that there was a time when Star Wars was a land of rust where ordinary people were the ones we cared about. That time has gone. No longer are there ordinary characters, no longer is there rust, and no longer would people desecrate the corpse of their steed to save a friend in a foul smelling manner. Like I said, whether you like that change or hate it you have to admit (if you‘re going to be honest) that the change did take place.



You make some good points in your post (though I'm not quoteing all of it in the interest of space conservation).

I don't think those times are gone. There's still rust and grime, we saw some on Tatooine in Ep. 1, and I would say the lower streets and bar from Ep. 2 were fairly grimy in tone if not actual dirt. It's just that we're seeing different parts of the universe. As I said in my post above, the originals were about a rag-tag rebellion. The prequels are (and everyone always knew would be) about the Clone Wars, the fall of the Republic, and the rise of the Empire. And the lack of rust thematically supports this. The "rust" in this trilogy was in the social and political spectrum. Sure, the spaceships are grimy, but it just covers the corruption underneath. The prequels are all about a gilded age. Don't let the fresh coat of paint throw you.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 12:06 PM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by christhecynic:
cartoon, and everyone else, don't forget that this thread was started on praise of the originals



Oh, I saw that. I was agreeing with you on that, as you subsequently agreed with me. (see below)

Quote:

Originally posted by christhecynic:
cartoon I agree with basically everything you said about the originals and their effect.



Does that mean you don't agree with me about my desire to have seen all of the Ewoks incinerated by the Death Star?




Quote:

That's not saying much, unless you live in a place with expensive theaters.


And, hence, you get my value of the prequels. Yeah, I enjoyed them. Did I feel ripped off for the price of admission? No. Did they live up to my expectations? No. (Heck. I don't live up to my own expectations, how can I expect someone else to?)

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 12:31 PM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by cartoon:
Quote:

Originally posted by christhecynic:
cartoon I agree with basically everything you said about the originals and their effect.



Does that mean you don't agree with me about my desire to have seen all of the Ewoks incinerated by the Death Star?



I'd settle for Endor being named a black rock so that no one would ever meet them again, removal of any knowledge of their existence from the public record and consciousness, and other things like that.

Actually I thought it was good that even though you had these sickeningly cute things they weren't exactly helpless or nice (human sacrifice). And you still got to see at least one of them die a painful death.

Any time that you see something dealing with the painful death of a friend in a realistic manner (in this case denial), no matter how cute it is, it gives back some of the depth that may have been lost by having the thing there in the first place.

In the end they're not exactly my favorite bit, but I admit that there is a place for being cute enough to cause vomiting. (Remember the eye of the garbage thing? Now that was cute.) I also admit that even with them I like RotJ

-
-

This is another thing not specifically to cartoon

About the prequels and expectations, I know you couldn't expect Episode I to live up to expectations but after Episode I the rest should have, I mean knowing what Episode I was like I didn't think II could possibly go below my expectations, which it did, and once I made them even lower, and then ignored the fact that the movie existed for a while, Episode III met, and indeed exceeded my very low expectations. The problem is that almost all movies would have exceeded the level of expectations I had at that point.

Star Wars should have never gotten to the point that I expected the next movie to be that bad.

(I freely admit that that is totally opinion.)

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 2:30 PM

SPAINT2K


There have been some excellent responses in this thread, but at this time I simply wanted to let all ewok haters know that the ewoks were wiped out by the destruction of the death star. I'm sure you'll all be very happy when you've read this treatise based on sound scientific principles.
http://www.theforce.net/swtc/holocaust.html

Steve

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 3:30 PM

CARTOON


Sorry, I had to delete a double post which I accidently posted, during my extreme displeasure at the thought of their cursed, furry cuteness!!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 3:30 PM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by spaint2k:
There have been some excellent responses in this thread, but at this time I simply wanted to let all ewok haters know that the ewoks were wiped out by the destruction of the death star. I'm sure you'll all be very happy when you've read this treatise based on sound scientific principles.
http://www.theforce.net/swtc/holocaust.html

Steve



Very cool.

If this happened at the beginning of the film, and thereby spared me having to endure their furry cuteness throughout, it might've been worth it. As it is, I still had to bear their unpleasantness through the ten, initial theatrical viewings, then again, a decade and half later for the single viewing of the re-release. Most annoying.



Lucas couldn't have made more annoying creatures if he filled the film with smurfs.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 4:17 PM

J6NGO1977


I'm a Star Wars fan and I think every other Star wars fan is a hypocrite. I thought episode 1 was a really good film. Best lightsaber fight of all the films (Duel of the fates) and the pod race is the best.

All I hear is crying about Jar Jar Binks, He was not really that bad. The Ewoks where worse than Binks.

So please Star Wars fans don't say you are a fan and then condemn the movies. Star wars 1 - 6. I love em all, Ewoks, Jar Jar and Yoda all part of the universe , crap or not

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 4:45 PM

SPAINT2K


Quote:

Originally posted by j6ngo1977:
I'm a Star Wars fan and I think every other Star wars fan is a hypocrite.


Nothing hypocritical about being a fan of films 4-6 and NOT a fan of films 1-3.
Quote:


Best lightsaber fight of all the films (Duel of the fates)



I liked that fight till I realized that Qui-Gonn and Obi-Wan are taking it in turns to fight Darth Maul. When one of them is attacking the other is standing around doing nothing.

Quote:


All I hear is crying about Jar Jar Binks,


Then you've not been reading very carefully.
Quote:


So please Star Wars fans don't say you are a fan and then condemn the movies.


You've offered me no compelling reason not to.
Quote:


Star wars 1 - 6. I love em all, Ewoks, Jar Jar and Yoda all part of the universe , crap or not


Good for you.

Steve

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 4:50 PM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by j6ngo1977:
... and the pod race is the best.


I'm sorry to bring in rampant opinion about the prequels into what was supposed to be rampant opinion about the originals, but (this is more a show of my initial reaction than a question) what the HELL are you talking about?

It was a video game, it looked like a video game, it felt like a video game, it has since been made into a video game which is probably more realistic in terms of physics and acting than the one in the movie.

Star Wars was what made sci-fi look real, I don't mean it holds up to hard science I mean it wasn't hard to believe that the Millennium falcon was a real ship really in space. I mean that the hovercrafts looked like things that could really exist and nothing felt like a sledgehammer with the words, "This is fake," written on it in every language from Afrikaans to Zyrian hitting you on both temples and the forehead in rapid succession.

The pod race changed that.

-

Like I said, rampant opinion.

There is nothing wrong with the pod race when it comes to plot, it was one of the things that did not in any way contradict the originals.

However when one defines good effects in the old way (that being effects that are at least in someway somehow close to resembling believable) it had the worst in not just the movie or the trilogy but instead in more or less all movies everywhere. And I watch the Sci-fi Channel, I have seen effects worse than most people can believe someone would actually make, much less include in a product.

I know I hardly speak for everyone, but I think there are a fair number of people who don’t go into a movie wanting to watch something they can see done far more realistically in a $20 video game that they rent for far less.

Perhaps a fair number is only 1 million, perhaps less, maybe there are only three people on the entire planet who want live action movies more realistic than videogames, but even if there are only three of us I think it's cruel to say we are not Star Wars fans, given that the first movies original name was Star Wars and A New Hope was only added later, just because we do not like another movie that is in the same series.

--

By the way, I like videogames, don't get me wrong. But even when a videogame is made into movie it at least tries to be more realistic.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 6:07 PM

ASARIAN


Time to alienate some people! :)

Have you ever been 14, and seen a Star Destroyer roar over your head for the first time? I have. The year was 1977. We're not talking silly gameboy pod races, here, but the real thing.

Those were the days. Where the Millenium Falcon was not just a way too digitized, alu-wrapped rainstick, but a real bucket of bolts, held together by sheer willpower, that you nonetheless loved for all it stood -- like Serenity. Where the Force was not some easy-for-youngsters-to-grasp injectable shot of little critters, but a Regal Principle, that enobled you. Where you knew men not by their metachlorine count, but by their works. Where light sabers had just one shiny end. And where fighting the dark side was about triumphing over oneself, not about making a fool of yourself with the face-painted movie extra.

You love the prequels? More power to ya! But I'm just too old for that go-se.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006 6:17 PM

CHRISISALL


Here's one, how many of us here went to sci-fi cons dressed as Star Wars characters?

I was Luke at 4 different cons ('78-'81). Had the cuts on my face (as well as a missing hand from the duel w/Vader in Empire-EIEWWW) the last time.

And proud of it!
(Just don't tell the folks I work with...heh heh)

Chrisisallfanboy

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Wednesday, February 8, 2006 5:22 AM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Here's one, how many of us here went to sci-fi cons dressed as Star Wars characters?



There weren't any around me, or I might've. I know that a local costume rental shop had a Darth Vader outfit -- I mean, the whole thing (helmet, breast plate, pants, boots, cape, gloves, etc.). I wanted to rent that costume so badly (and I'm 6'3", so it probably would've looked so cool) -- but I couldn't afford it. It was $200 a day (which is a lot now -- in the late 1970's that was an arm and a leg).

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Wednesday, February 8, 2006 5:32 AM

CHRISISALL


Jeez, I think I spent almost that making my costume, lightsabre, and stormtrooper blaster (that lit up when you pulled the trigger-today that's nothing special). I had a job, but paid no rent, that makes ALL things possible, eh?

Creative Chrisisall

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Wednesday, February 8, 2006 12:56 PM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Oh god, look what I started.

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