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George ruined the drama in his own stories.

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I just had a thought the other day that isn't very complicated or original. I'm almost sure it was a worry to quite a few Star Wars fans before the prequel trilogy was ever even released. It certainly was to me, but, strangely enough, the thought hasn't consciously troubled my mind for quite a few years until just a few days ago. Basically it was an old worry of mine that any prequel trilogy would ruin the most important dramatic moments in the original trilogy for anybody who might be newly exposed to the series. I knew I would have hated to see the father/son revelation between Luke and Vader ruined by matter-of-fact story elements in a prequel. Yet, I always had faith that Lucas knew what he was doing and that his masterful artistic vision would heighten the experience far beyond anything that might have been lost. Essentially I believed that the lessening of important plot points in the original trilogy would, in the end, be worth experiencing the rich history behind the first Star Wars movies. Boy was I ever wrong.

My question for George Lucas and his supporters:

What is the point of making a prequel trilogy for Star Wars that so heavily relies upon the best dramatic revelations and other story elements from the original trilogy? If, as George Lucas says, the Star Wars “saga” is now intended to be watched in numerical order, does that then mean that the plot revelations in Empire and Jedi were never meant to be anything special beyond our sympathy for the immediate characters?

He should have made the prequels as I always thought he should have years ago. Leave them mute regarding the most dramatic revelations in the original trilogy, and have a new plot in the prequel trilogy that is unpredictable for those exposed to the original trilogy. Then, no matter which trilogy you began with, you would have new perspectives added and new dramatic moments enjoyed.

As it is, George Lucas ruined every plot revelation in one trilogy if you have watched the other first. And, since the original trilogy is easily the greater artistic achievement, the greater crime is committed against them. How could George not have seen what he was doing? I've lost all respect for him. He has proven to me that he cares nothing for the Star Wars universe beyond making money and satisfying his petty megalomania.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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Yep. It's really hard to try to work out just what they/he were thinking when they made the PT. Watching some of the extras on the dvd's, you see people talking about how excited they are to be working on the films, and saying stuff like " What I'm really hoping to feel from the audience is that it takes them back to their love of Star Wars". I almost feel sorry for them. They must have been a little taken back by how the films were recieved by critics and fans.

I don't think for an instant they intended to make something that sucked so badly. I think something just got lost in the process. What we ended up with was 6 hours of a promotional advertisment for ILM's effects shop and Georges' digital equipment and software, and nothing in the way of adding meaning or depth to the first three Star Wars films to be made...in fact, quite the opposite.


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i had also thought about that some time ago and then tried to figure out how they could have done the prequel without spoiling the OT and this is what i came up with:

the PT could have shown the careers of two jedis who are friends, their names would not have been revealed (you could make up an explanation that when you enter the official jedi orders you lose your name or something like that).
at the end one of them turns into a sith but it is not clear which one (this could be done by the bad jedi already wearing some kind of mask when he does the killings). in this way you would start the OT without knowing who Obi Wan and Darth Vader truly are. the fact that one of them had children would not be mentionned, maybe only a couple of scenes where one of them is shown flirting with a girl (Padme) could indicate in retrospect that this was Luke and Leia's mother. also, Yoda would not appear in this trilogy, so that his foolimg Luke on Dagobah still keeps its effect.

i came up with this in 5 minutes so i guess there can be continuity problems with it, but if developed more i think it could be made to fit with the OT.
"Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn't take Lorraine out that he'd melt my brain."
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Another problem I have with the PT, specifically ROTS, is that Vader's talent with the force is used to fight "younglings" (I still hate that term), and the seperatist leaders. The clone army (5 milllion Cody's) are used to kill the Jedi Knights in short order. What happened to Vader helping the Emperor hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights? Vader didn't destroy one full fledged Jedi Knight that I saw (not counting Count Dooku, the used to be Jedi). "You underestimate my power." "My power has more than doubled." If he is so powerful, why was the clone army used to destroy the strongest enemy, and Vader was sent to destroy the weak ones?

Also, I feel no betrayal when brat boy Anakin turns to the dark side. All of his whiny, childish behavior makes me wonder why any Jedi trusted him.
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There was really no way Lucas could have done this trilogy well without spoiling something, it is just too hard, and too much stuff would left out that ties it up. But that is the whole point why it should be watched 4-6, 1-3, the PT is a simple backstory, and if it were better, it would work great with the OT.

I get very annoyed with the PT gushers now who say that new fans have to watch it 1-6 now, when 99% of SW fans who finally saw Episode III saw it the other way around. I say to them, "4-6, 1-3 produced the the greatest set of movies at the box office of a 6 movie saga, and now you don't want anyone to see it that way?"

The PT is not supposed to have huge revelations, it is just suppose to make you look at the OT in a better way, and make you say, "So that is what is behind that certain plot point all years, that is actually pretty interesting now."

But by Lucas giving all these petty tie ins of Jango Fett, Anakin making C-3PO, and Yoda having good relations with the wookies, it only cheapened the OT, cause it looked like he was running out of ideas. Lucas was probably like, "Well I don't know who originally owned C-3PO, let me have Anakin build him!" "I have to get this wookie planet in one of the movies, let me have Yoda go there." These things bring zero depth to the saga, and make it just plain stupid.

Stuff like the rise of Palpatine as a politican to Emperor, that is interesting! I never pictuerd The Emperor that way, and now that he rose to power, instead of just seizing power gives depth to the OT now for ROTJ. Take away Jango Fett and that stupid tiein, but the Clone Troopers being on the republics side, and Kenobi flying to Kamino to see them make the clones, gives an added depth to the OT. I now think at the end of ANH, that Vader goes right to Kamino to see how many clones he is going to need to rebuild the Empire, before he gets yelled at by The Emperor after the Death Star is blown up.

There are so many missed opportunities at EXPANDING the OT, and that is what a backstory does, we already know what happens, but we don't how it happens. Now we just have this small universe that almost everyone knows everyone, and it has driven me to see them as two trilogies that I don't want to connect.

Watching the series 1-6 means you are watching a linear story, and these 6 movies laid out by Lucas is by no means linear.
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There's an "interesting" piece in a recent issue of SW Insider about this very subject. It's about how a new generation of people will now watch all 6 Star Wars movies in chronological order, so their reactions to certain plot elements will be totally different (read: ruined) than those of us who saw 4-6 first.

I still think if people haven't seen any Star Wars films yet, they should STILL watch 4-6 first, then (if they insist) 1-3. Although, most of the plot twists have been spoiled for even those who have never seen any SW films. Is there anyone who doesn't know that Vader is Luke's father? It's become part of our pop culture. One of my blabbermouth friends told me on the playground before I got to see the movie. She also told me about Luke having his hand cut off. Fortunately, I saw Jedi on opening day, so nobody was able to spoil the Luke and Leia revelation for me.

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Originally posted by: Skyranger
Another problem I have with the PT, specifically ROTS, is that Vader's talent with the force is used to fight "younglings" (I still hate that term), and the seperatist leaders. The clone army (5 milllion Cody's) are used to kill the Jedi Knights in short order. What happened to Vader helping the Emperor hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights? Vader didn't destroy one full fledged Jedi Knight that I saw (not counting Count Dooku, the used to be Jedi). "You underestimate my power." "My power has more than doubled."

Also, I feel no betrayal when brat boy Anakin turns to the dark side. All of his whiny, childish behavior makes me wonder why any Jedi trusted him.



Another point with regard to the killing of the Jedi kids...which was just friggin' stupid, not shocking, just stupid because Anakin's turn could have and should have manifest itself in ways far more numerous, interesting, and exciting...BUT...since the killing of the Jedi brats is all we have to work with, then so be it. In that case, the revered weapon that Obi-wan passes onto Luke in ANH is not the weapon of a hero, but the weapon of a fallen knight, stained with the blood of innocents. Another classic moment in the OT that is screwed to hell and back again by the PT failures.
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The hunting down of the Jedi was sadly one-dimensional and not a gradual, epic process like I thought it would have been. The transformation to the twisted forms for Vader and the Emperor were also simplistically instantaneous. I always thought Vader lost more and more pieces of himself as he hunted down more and more of the Jedi. Hmm. :\

Originally posted by: CO
There was really no way Lucas could have done this trilogy well without spoiling something, it is just too hard, and too much stuff would left out that ties it up. But that is the whole point why it should be watched 4-6, 1-3, the PT is a simple backstory, and if it were better, it would work great with the OT.

I agree, but that assumes there was actually something worth seeing in the prequel trilogy. Now I simply wish George had never tried tying anything together. He should have made a more distant story. Then again, I should say that a master writer could have still dealt with the same characters and themes while keeping the juicy, latter revelations unmolested.


Originally posted by: CO
But by Lucas giving all these petty tie ins of Jango Fett, Anakin making C-3PO, and Yoda having good relations with the wookies, it only cheapened the OT, cause it looked like he was running out of ideas. Lucas was probably like, "Well I don't know who originally owned C-3PO, let me have Anakin build him!" "I have to get this wookie planet in one of the movies, let me have Yoda go there." These things bring zero depth to the saga, and make it just plain stupid.


Exactly. So much of the supposed "back story" isn't back story at all. Its cheap and unimaginative crap flung at OT story facets. Almost everything compelling about the PT’s story relies completely upon the way those very same elements were important in the OT. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, what we see in the PT hurts everything more than it enhances.

Darth Vader is given the worst treatment in the PT. I always envisioned Darth Vader as having a dark and twisted tragedy enslaving him to the dark side. Instead, his turn to the dark side of the force is all about being a whiny, bitchy complainer! I hate Anakin from the PT! Sure, he wasn't as annoying in RotS as he was in AotC but he was still a completely irrational asshole. I cannot envision him as ever becoming Darth Vader or else I even come to hate the Darth Vader in the OT as some pathetic loser and that breaks my heart. It's actually sad. I can only enjoy the OT if I force everything from the PT out of my mind.


Originally posted by: CO
Stuff like the rise of Palpatine as a politican to Emperor, that is interesting! I never pictuerd The Emperor that way, and now that he rose to power, instead of just seizing power gives depth to the OT now for ROTJ. Take away Jango Fett and that stupid tiein, but the Clone Troopers being on the republics side, and Kenobi flying to Kamino to see them make the clones, gives an added depth to the OT. I now think at the end of ANH, that Vader goes right to Kamino to see how many clones he is going to need to rebuild the Empire, before he gets yelled at by The Emperor after the Death Star is blown up.


Hmm, I had always envisioned the emperor as having risen to power legitimately before seizing his ultimate power. Of course I knew there were other possibilities, but that path always seemed the most likely to me. In ANH we have the Death Star council discussing the removal of a senate as the last remnant of the "old republic" and that always conjured notions in my mind of the emperor using the force for evil political gains and then slowly destroyed the system that gave him his power.

Otherwise, I thought the “clones” as a story element were handled very badly. I didn't care about any of them at all, and it makes the Storm Troopers of the OT seem incredibly lame. I just go back to pretending they were elite combat troops as they were originally intended to be before George wrote the PT.

Also, the "Clone Wars" themselves actually made no sense in the PT and aren't consistent with how Luke and Obiwan discussed them. They weren't a series of "wars" since they were just one war and nobody lost anything important on either side except money. It was fought purely by totally-expendable droids and totally-expendable clones. How boring is that? No normal people like you or me could have ever gotten "involved" in such a ridiculous video game war. Based upon what George Lucas showed us, I don't see how, when, or why Luke's uncle could have ever told Anakin to have "not gotten involved" unless we assume Obiwan was lying to Luke about that too. What a freakin’ disappointment.

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"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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Originally posted by: Tiptup

Also, the "Clone Wars" themselves actually made no sense in the PT and aren't consistent with how Luke and Obiwan discussed them. They weren't a series of "wars" since they were just one war and nobody lost anything important on either side except money. It was fought purely by totally-expendable droids and totally-expendable clones. How boring is that? No normal people like you or me could have ever gotten "involved" in such a ridiculous video game war. Based upon what George Lucas showed us, I don't see how, when, or why Luke's uncle could have ever told Anakin to have "not gotten involved" unless we assume Obiwan was lying to Luke about that too. What a freakin’ disappointment.

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I agree that the Clone Wars were really irrational in some respects if you think about it, and it really exposes Lucas's writing skills to me that started going bad in ROTJ. Lucas to me has great ideas, he comes up with some really great stuff for this universe, but when he writes and puts it all together as a cohesive story, it's a frickin mess!

ROTJ is where this all started I think. But it was only one movie, the OT was still relatively general, and it was more of tying up everything instead of developing the plots, so you don't see how badly that movie is written. I love ROTJ, but there is alot of just bad writing in a story-sense of the word. Lukes rescue in Jabba's palace, I still dont know what the plan was? Leia saves Han as Jabba and his boys sit behind a curtain, why would they let her get Han out and then reveal themselves? Yoda telling Luke the only way he can become a jedi is by confronting Vader, yet thats the reason he wouldn't let him leave in ESB? Vader wanted to take out The Emperor in ESB, but now is loyal to him when he first meets Luke? Leia says after Luke tells her he is her brother, "Somehow I always knew." You did Leia, then why did you kiss him in ESB? And then ObiWan, "From a point of view" That was a cop out, and could have been written so much better, like it is ObiWan who is feeling so much guilt for everything that happened that Luke is the only hope.

ESB set all these plot points up that took SW '77 to another level, and that is pretty good to do with a standalone film in which I don't believe Lucas had any notes for a sequel. In that respect ESB is very consistent to SW '77, and does a good job of not making you question plot holes. But ROTJ exposes Lucas for the bad writer that he is, and if you look at the last 4 SW movies, the plots and the cohesion of the stories just don't make total sense.

I always ask the PT gushers the big question, why didn't Anakin question Palpatine about how this trick of saving people once? Why doesn't he atleast explore if this is true before going off and killing a bunch of jedi kids and choking his wife. He doesn't ask once, "So how do you do this, because I am about to turn on every Jedi I have been friends with since 10 years old." That to me is just plain stupid, and makes the greatest villain Darth Vader, look like a complete moron.

If you really look at the history of the SW saga, this crap started building in ROTJ, and then continued in the SE, and then the PT. And for years I questioned how the PT could be this illogical, I forgot to check if Lucas has done anything remotely great since ROTJ? If you really think about it, he should have stopped at ROTJ, and we would all think he was still God.
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In the throne room on the Death Star II:

Emperor: I thought I told you to wait on the command ship.

Vader: WHAT? You never let me do what I want. You don't trust me. You underestimate my powers. I HATE you. (Stomps back to elevator, kicks Imperial guard in knee as he passes.)
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I happen to agree. Lucas took the easy way out with the prequels. He basically made up a list of events that he figured people wanted to see: (when Obi-wan met Anakin, when Anakin met Luke's mom, when Anakin turned to the dark side, when Luke and Leia were born, etc) and made a vulgar checklist so that he could give people what they wanted, or he thought they wanted, and then just filled in the blanks. However, this made the prequels function piss-poorly as the first three installments of a six-part series. He should have looked at it with a more artistic eye for what did the prequels need to show and what they definately needed to NOT show. They should never have shown Anakin becoming Darth Vader. Vader's identity should have been hidden somehow. In fact, it should have looked like what Obi Wan said in ANH, that Darth Vader was a pupil of Obi Wan's who turned evil and betrayed and murdered Anakin. Now how to do that when they are both the same person is difficult, but not impossible.
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Originally posted by: jack Spencer Jr
Lucas took the easy way out with the prequels. He basically made up a list of events that he figured people wanted to see: (when Obi-wan met Anakin, when Anakin met Luke's mom, when Anakin turned to the dark side, when Luke and Leia were born, etc) and made a vulgar checklist so that he could give people what they wanted, or he thought they wanted, and then just filled in the blanks. However, this made the prequels function piss-poorly as the first three installments of a six-part series.

That's most likely an exact description of George Lucas' motivation for creating the stupid plot points we all payed to sit through.


Originally posted by: jack Spencer Jr
They should never have shown Anakin becoming Darth Vader. Vader's identity should have been hidden somehow. In fact, it should have looked like what Obi Wan said in ANH, that Darth Vader was a pupil of Obi Wan's who turned evil and betrayed and murdered Anakin. Now how to do that when they are both the same person is difficult, but not impossible.

Yeah, that would be hard but not too hard. For a quick and messy example: Give Obiwan multiple pupils and have a number of them disappear along with Obiwan at some point, then have Obiwan return just as some masked villain appears, calling himself Darth Vader, hunting down the Jedi in some fashion. Then you have Obiwan state that he knows who the evil man behind the mask is, but never actually openly declare his identity onscreen.


Originally posted by: CO
Lukes rescue in Jabba's palace, I still dont know what the plan was? Leia saves Han as Jabba and his boys sit behind a curtain, why would they let her get Han out and then reveal themselves? Yoda telling Luke the only way he can become a jedi is by confronting Vader, yet thats the reason he wouldn't let him leave in ESB? Vader wanted to take out The Emperor in ESB, but now is loyal to him when he first meets Luke? Leia says after Luke tells her he is her brother, "Somehow I always knew." You did Leia, then why did you kiss him in ESB? And then ObiWan, "From a point of view" That was a cop out, and could have been written so much better, like it is ObiWan who is feeling so much guilt for everything that happened that Luke is the only hope.


Heh, yeah, the “plan” at Jabba's Palace always made me scratch my head, even at a very young age. Jabba's trap for Lea also seemed a tad implausible and silly. And yeah, the "certain point of view" line by Obiwan was somewhat lame (though fun to quote with my friend). Obiwan could have admitted that he wanted to manipulate Luke and still have been cool.

Otherwise, Yoda didn't want Luke to leave in ESB because Luke was too inexperienced with the force. The "failure at the cave" was Luke using the force to attack Darth Vader and destroy him. Since the force is never meant for attacking, Luke was being seduced by the dark side at that point and becoming that same as his enemy. That made Yoda greatly worry if Luke was ready or not. When Yoda sent Luke off in RotJ he told him to "confront" Vader, not necessarily kill him, and certainly not using the force to accomplish the actual attack, which would have been of the dark side.

And as for Lea kissing Luke in ESB, that is really awkward when you think of them as brother/sister, but you could say Lea was acting wildly because Han's advances made her very uncomfortable. Still, the brother/sister revelation was always far-fetched. A high degree of credulity on my part was never needed for the second Death Star compared with that revelation. Lucas should have devised a more meaningful way for the Luke/Lea relationship to grow in RotJ and that would have given Han more ways to be explored as a character. But, even then, it was very moving to have them as brother and sister, so I can forgive the choice (and pretend that the force fated them to be reunited).

Lastly, the "rule the galaxy as father and son" statement from Vader was hard to believe even within ESB. First, the level of devotion Vader displayed to the Emperor was too high for us to take his statement seriously. Plus, what about all of the work Vader went through to capture Luke in a way that he could bring him before the Emperor unharmed? Thirdly, who's to say that Vader truly wished he could have taken on the emperor but that in practicality his enslavement was too great? There are many ways that vader could have been lying to Luke to some degree, and bad guys do tell lies. Fourthly, perhaps Vader's ambition had no available options to use Luke in RotJ.


Originally posted by: CO
I always ask the PT gushers the big question, why didn't Anakin question Palpatine about how this trick of saving people once? Why doesn't he atleast explore if this is true before going off and killing a bunch of jedi kids and choking his wife. He doesn't ask once, "So how do you do this, because I am about to turn on every Jedi I have been friends with since 10 years old." That to me is just plain stupid, and makes the greatest villain Darth Vader, look like a complete moron.


Anakin behaved so irrationally in every encounter with Palpatine in RotS. Once you got to that scene where Anakin simply bows before his new master without asking any questions or showing any real inner conflict or remorse, the movie is completely laughable. Sure, maybe we could argue that Anakin had completely lost to the dark side the very instant he cut off Saruman's head, but if that's the case, then the dark side works in an irrational and pathetic way. It's far easier to believe that the PT Anakin was an evil asshole that didn't mind killing kids.

In Empire, Darth Vader had a line that didn't make it into the movie where he tried to get Anakin to destroy him using the dark side of the force. Then, in RotJ, we see that if Luke kills Vader using the dark side (which was probably his only realistic option before the Emperor) he would most definitely become enslaved by evil. I always believed the primary reason for this was because Luke would have killed his father in destroying Vader and that would have devastated him on a personal level. Coming from that thought, I always believed that Anakin had become enslaved by the dark side in a similar way. Some dark tragedy committed by his own hands that he could never forgive himself for. The PT kind of went that way with Padme’s cause of death, but not really since Anakin had to have been completely enslaved by evil by the time he strangled her and thus no tragedy was needed to make his mind prisoner to the dark side and to the emperor.


Edit: An Example of a good tragedy for Anakin would have been his own reckless use of the dark side in his pursuit of power result in the death of his mother. For instance, he could have tried destroying some ship or something that his mother was on in order to defeat his enemies and gain control of the galaxy. Then, when he learned that he had killed his own mother in the process, that could have given the Emperor a high-enough level of grief to exploit and enslave Anakin's will.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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Originally posted by: Tiptup
Yeah, that would be hard but not too hard. For a quick and messy example: Give Obiwan multiple pupils and have a number of them disappear along with Obiwan at some point, then have Obiwan return just as some masked villain appears, calling himself Darth Vader, hunting down the Jedi in some fashion. Then you have Obiwan state that he knows who the evil man behind the mask is, but never actually openly declare his identity onscreen.

I was thinking that Obi Wan had two apprentices, which is unusual for a Jedi, sort of showing Obi Wan's flaw which leads to the fall. Have it revealed that Vader is Obi Wan's apprentice, but have numerous clue that point to the other guy was Vader. But never state it explicitly. In the case of the prequels, intentionally misleading people would not be a bad thing.

Actually, an interview with Gary Kutz reveals what went wrong with star Wars starting with Jedi. It was Raiders of the Lost Ark.

IGNFF: Well what were the original outlines for the prequels? Since they can be compared and contrasted now that the first one's out there, and the second one's soon to be out there. Were there major differences from what you saw, from the original outlines of prequel ideas?

KURTZ: Well a lot of the prequel ideas were very, very vague. It's really difficult to say. I can't remember much about that at all, except dealing with the Clone Wars and the formation of the Jedi Knights in the first place – that was supposed to be one of the keys of Episode I, was going to be how the Jedi Knights came to be. But all of those notes were abandoned completely. One of the reasons Jedi came out the way it did was because the story outline of how Jedi was going to be seemed to get tossed out, and one of the reasons I was really unhappy was the fact that all of the carefully constructed story structure of characters and things that we did in Empire was going to carry over into Jedi. The resolution of that film was going to be quite bittersweet, with Han Solo being killed, and the princess having to take over as queen of what remained of her people, leaving everybody else. In effect, Luke was left on his own. None of that happened, of course.

IGNFF: So it would have been less of a fairy-tale ending?

KURTZ: Much, much less. It would have been quite sad, and poignant and upbeat at the same time, because they would have won a battle. But the idea of another attack on another Death Star wasn't there at all ... it was a rehash of Star Wars, with better visual effects. And there were no Ewoks ... it was just entirely different. It was much more adult and straightforward, the story. This idea that the roller-coaster ride was all the audience was interested in, and the story doesn't have to be very adult or interesting, seemed to come up because of what happened with Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones films – and the fact that that seemed to make a lot of money and it didn't matter whether there was a really good story or not – that wasn't what this kind of film was about. We had serious differences about a lot of that.

(KUTTZ: ) There's a lot of undercurrent in Star Wars that, if you take it on the surface, a four-year-old can really enjoy it – but there's a lot else going on, under there. In that sense it's multi-layered, and Empire is as well. That's the thing that bothered me a bit about Jedi and certainly about Episode I, is that those layers, those subtexts – they're all gone. They're not there. You accept what's there on the screen – it either works for you as a surface adventure, or it doesn't. But that's all there is. There's nothing to ponder.


KURTZ: I think probably for better. But, I don't know, because as I said, he had gotten into this mode of saying that the audience is interested in the rollercoaster ride and that he could make just as much money, and it doesn't have to be complicated, doesn't have to have as difficult a story. There are a lot of other people who do that all the time – that's they're kind of movie making philosophy, the sort of Jerry Bruckheimer approach to movies. A lot of Hollywood movies have been based on the idea that the story is the subtext of the action, so that's certainly nothing new. But it's not very satisfying, I don't think, personally. But, you can make a lot of money, and if that's what you want to do, then you do it that way.


I find this all rather interesting. First of all, who'd've thought it was Indiana Jones that ruined Star Wars and to be honest, I thought Raiders had that undercurrent Kutz speaks of. Maybe it wasn't as deep, but it was there, so why the hell Lucas thought it wasn't important baffles me.
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(Originally posted by:jack Spencer Jr)
I find this all rather interesting. First of all, who'd've thought it was Indiana Jones that ruined Star Wars and to be honest, I thought Raiders had that undercurrent Kutz speaks of. Maybe it wasn't as deep, but it was there, so why the hell Lucas thought it wasn't important baffles me.

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I remember reading that quote about a year ago and it makes total sense, and it is how I have perceived the summer blockbuster for the past 10 years: All action and effects, and no substance or character development.

Just look at all the big hit summer blockbusters since Jurassic Park redefined CG, which I say is one of the few movies to use it correctly without making it a CG fest movie. Twister, Independence Day, Godzilla, Armageddon, The Perfect Storm, The Day after Tomorrow, Mission Impossible 1-3, The Prequels, and I am sure I am leaving some out.

These are all movies that would have no chance of being made in the 1970'/80's. They all heavily rely on CG to sell the movie, not the screenplay, not the characters, but just look at the trailers for all those movies an it is some CG effect that gets everyone up in arms to how cool it looks. I remember The Day After Tomorrow Trailer had the huge tidal wave over New York City that was the huge attaction. None of these movies will be even remembered 20 years from now because they will look outdated, and cause there is no attention to character development or a cohesive screenplay, there will be nothing redeeming about them in later viewings.

That is what Lucas & The PT fans miss about the OT movies, sure the effects & action were great, but the movies had great characters, an interesting story, and had heart & drama, and that is what I still love about the movies today, not the effects.

20 years from now nobody is going to be wowed about the look of Coruscant or the endless fight on Mustafar, cause that eye candy will be replaced by some new eye candy CG technology in 2010 or 2015. I think of so many blockbusters that have made huge money in the last ten years, but none of them will be remembered, other than say: Lord of the Rings & The Matrix, and probably Spiderman, cause they sold the movies on the characters and story, and the effects were just gravy. Just like the OT.
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Does anyone actually want Han Solo or Lando dead and Luke isolated and a "sad, bittersweet" Jedi? That sounds like the same "dark" poser-ing that a lot of older college-age fans say they want, especially in the 90s, but you basically just end up with Alien 3. Jedi has a chintzy look and feel, and shortchanges Han, but I wouldn't say Kurtz's preferred way is that great either.
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Han dying would have been very hard to pull off in a good way. Based upon what Kurtz describes there, his death sounds random and the character deserved better than that. I know very little about what execution they wanted for that plot point though, so I guess we may never know what would have been better.

I think I agree with Kurtz that Raiders of the Lost Ark was very light on the pregnant story elements. It was a much more straightforward film and not much actually happened on the screen that truly spoke of deeper things. Sure, you had characters with "pasts," but those pasts were never explored in detail. In other words, Raiders had many possibilities for subtext, but practically no real subtext was ever explored or specifically mentioned. Still, the dialogue and acting in Raiders were great, causing all of us to love the characters, and the action was very fun to watch. It deserved to make the money it did, but I can easilly see a shallow guy like Lucas arguing that it proves that people want mindless, feel-good action and nothing else.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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Originally posted by: Tiptup
I think I agree with Kurtz that Raiders of the Lost Ark was very light on the pregnant story elements. It was a much more straightforward film and not much actually happened on the screen that truly spoke of deeper things. Sure, you had characters with "pasts," but those pasts were never explored in detail. In other words, Raiders had many possibilities for subtext, but practically no real subtext was ever explored or specifically mentioned. Still, the dialogue and acting in Raiders were great, causing all of us to love the characters, and the action was very fun to watch. It deserved to make the money it did, but I can easilly see a shallow guy like Lucas arguing that it proves that people want mindless, feel-good action and nothing else.


Right. Or to put it another way, Raiders didn't have that much, but then it didn't need that much. But Star Wars is not Raiders, so what's good for one may not be good for the other.
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Does anyone actually want Han Solo or Lando dead and Luke isolated and a "sad, bittersweet" Jedi? That sounds like the same "dark" poser-ing that a lot of older college-age fans say they want, especially in the 90s.


Yeah, the same "dark" college-age posers who made hits out of the sad, bittersweet endings to the mythical Norse cosmology, the Arthur story, Shakespeare's tragedies, just about every version of the Batman story, nearly every well-received World War 2 movie, the Lord of the Rings, the Empire Strikes Back, the Sandman, etc. Only a poser could appreciate the dramatic value of fatalities in a myth-patterned war.
"It's the stoned movie you don't have to be stoned for." -- Tom Shales on Star Wars
Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived.
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Raiders of the Lost Ark is the purest form of the 1930's serial type movie that Lucas/Spielberg enjoyed as kids. It was fast, action packed, very well paced, and the characters were explained enough but not too much, or not too fleshed out. All that movie needed was for us to love Indiana Jones, and the rest of the movie was gravy for the Spielberg. That is why it is a classic even today, it is what it is.

SW '77 was in some ways the same way. It had the typical Wizard, Princess, Farmboy, Bad Guy with a mask, and Smartass Rogue character, all stereotypes, that weren't totally explored because of the standalone movie. Both movies work to perfection because they are basic in their fundamentals of movie making and don't try to be anything else. The simpleness of Star Wars is what I love, it doesn't try to show Vader conflicted, it doesn't show too much of each character that would have overidden the basic good vs evil story.

ESB is much more than that, and that is why it is great. It takes everything in SW '77 and delves deep into every character, but does it in a adult way where it doesnt come off as laughable. The PT and some respects ROTJ tries to be like SW '77/Raiders in telling a story that is a roller coaster ride for 2 hours, but tries to delve deep into a character like Anakin/Padme/Vader and what drives them to what they do, but those two styles don't mix.

Look at every Anakin/Padme dramatic scene in the PT, it comes as laughable every time, because the serial style of movie is not meant to be a character piece, it is a macro story-type movie just like SW '77/Raiders where if you like the characters, you're hooked. That is why many fans like myself can still watch the PT for the popcorn entertainment of them for 2 hours, but laugh everytime they try to get dramatic to give it that emotional weight ESB had. The problem is it is laughable, and it aint a comedy.
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Originally posted by: CO
SW '77 was in some ways the same way. It had the typical Wizard, Princess, Farmboy, Bad Guy with a mask, and Smartass Rogue character, all stereotypes, that weren't totally explored because of the standalone movie. Both movies work to perfection because they are basic in their fundamentals of movie making and don't try to be anything else. The simpleness of Star Wars is what I love, it doesn't try to show Vader conflicted, it doesn't show too much of each character that would have overidden the basic good vs evil story.


I have to disagree somewhat. Star Wars was of course light in the way it focused on the action and suspense primarily, but there was so much dark past to the world and its characters that everything felt much more real than a set of stereotypes would have allowed on their own. Darth Vader's and Obiwan's conflict and bloody history from old wars . . . Luke's father being killed by Darth Vader . . . Han Solo's smuggling problems and shady history . . . the politics of the empire, the old republic, and the rebellion . . . there was so much that was specifically important on the actual screen to give the film's story a nicely interwoven plot.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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That and the prequels failed to do much of the drama stuff because they did it so corny. I guess if we knew exactly what went wrong with the prequels, we would be able to make stories of unique power on our own, but the characters just felt so fake. I didn't like them very much because I did not believe them. however real characters were made in the OT was absent in the PT. We weren't spying on people living their lives, we were watching actors give performances. It fails to resonate. Which would be one problem, but the PT also undercut the OT, says he drifting back toward the topic.
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"Yeah, the same "dark" college-age posers who made hits out of the sad, bittersweet endings to the mythical Norse cosmology, the Arthur story, Shakespeare's tragedies, just about every version of the Batman story, nearly every well-received World War 2 movie, the Lord of the Rings, the Empire Strikes Back, the Sandman, etc. Only a poser could appreciate the dramatic value of fatalities in a myth-patterned war."

I'm sorry I just don't see the trilogy (including Empire) as that type of story. A happy ending is the appropriate ending. Just my opinion.
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Originally posted by: Guy Caballero
I'm sorry I just don't see the trilogy (including Empire) as that type of story. A happy ending is the appropriate ending. Just my opinion.


Not to disagree with you or nothing, but at the time of that concept, there were plans for a third trilogy to come after the OT, so that downer ending would not have been the end. And if Lucas had stayed the course and kept putting one out every three years, we probably would have had the ninth and final movie in 2001.

That actually boggles my mind just thinking of it.

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The 9-part series would have been something. When I said I don't think the trilogy is "that type" of story it made me wonder what exactly is it? What is the big deal anyway?I've yet to hear anything that satisfied me. For years I've heard one group telling me it's just fun kid's stuff and another group equating it with literature and mythology and neither feels right to me. What the hell is it anyway?
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It's both.

See, what made the OT such a success that it'll probably still be talked about in another 30 years is that it had layers, pretty much like Kutz says in the quotes above.

On the surface it's an action-packed adventure movie for kids. Loads of popcorn-munching fun. But underneath that, there the character drama, morality message stuff. Here's the thing, you could have just one or the other of these things. Sometimes that can be good, but often it's not so good. All action is shallow like one of those inflatable kiddie pools. Like a roller coaster, it can be fun the first couple times, but before to long it becomes "been there, done that." The deep stuff can be just pretentious or diadactic and other long words we don't use in Health class. Basically it becomes just... boring.

Star Wars took these two elements and put them together. The results was greater than the sum of its parts. It gave the shallow action more depth and nuance and kept the deep philisophical wankery exciting. As a result, it was one of those stories that appeals to all ages.

How's that?