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Seeing the Saga in order... — Page 2

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Originally posted by: Darth_Evil
The thing about the prequels is that, even if they weren't the biggest pieces of crap in years, they were just prequels, and no more. Lucas tried to make them into these films that "patched up" the saga, filled in the gaps. It would have been fine if he just released them as "prequels." Not the saga completion, just a few prequels to one of the best trilogies of all time. Then people would know that they had to see the originals first, and the prequels would just be an interesting experiance, seeing the history they had glimpsed fleshed out. But instead, he makes the PT, and tries to say it is now a complete saga. That's the ultimate failure of the PT.


Lucas misunderstood the fans - big surprise. We didn't want the gaps filled in to the OT after ROTJ - we just wanted more Star Wars. At that time, we assumed he could still knock out a good Star Wars movie. The PT may have been better if it had nothing to do with the OT.

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Originally posted by: vote_for_palpatine

Lucas misunderstood the fans - big surprise. We didn't want the gaps filled in to the OT after ROTJ - we just wanted more Star Wars. At that time, we assumed he could still knock out a good Star Wars movie. The PT may have been better if it had nothing to do with the OT.


Very interesting point, but I don't think Lucas had the creativity to craft a whole new trilogy from top to bottom with all new characters, story arcs, etc. The PT is so easy to fall back on when it doubt, cause Lucas used the 'mirror the trilogies' rule, which to many of the PT gushers was great to see how Anakin & Luke react to the same thing, but to many of us it seemed redundant. I didn't like the contant mirroring of each trilogy, cause if you look at ESB & SW, the two movies have ZERO of anything that is similar, and that why everyone loves them!

It would be cool to craft a prequel trilogy set hundreds of years before ANH, and essentially not having any OT characters in it, but still show the beginning of the republic in that sense. There would still have to be some underlying reason to tell the new story, and I really can't think of one, and leads me to believe that this whole disaster should have ended in 1983, and leave it be as the greatest trilogy ever.

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As things stand now, I wish Lucas would have left well alone.

But I really think it was good to make 1-3. I think it was the logical thing to do. There was a hell of an interesting story there. The Jedi being betrayed by one of their own and getting ruthlessly slaughtered. The government of an entire galaxy being subverted into a fascist state and the role one man plays in it and how his offspring will have to ultimately deal with it. That's some good shit dammit!!!

Lucas just couldn't deliver the goods. To be honest, I don't really have a problem with that at all. It's happened in rock music so many times, it hurts. A band comes off that great album and just can't deliver a good one if it kills them. Not to shift the focus, but the only reason I'm so perturbed by it all is that Lucas changed the OT and dragged it down into the shithole where the PT came from. If I could just get a remastered OT, I could let all this go in a heartbeat. I'm not going to settle for shit releases, but give me the good ones and to hell with all this crap. I'll watch that and be perfectly content.

Sorry to take it off topic, but that's what it all comes down to.

And yeah CO...I got exposed to the Rocky movies in the same way. R1 is an indisputable classic all the way even though I particularly enjoy 3 and saw it first. It took age to realize that. These kids aren't going to like the PT/Saga when they get older. I loved the OT to this day and I'm rapidly becoming an old fuck. These kids will wake up one day and realize it...and then I will giggle my ass off when they say it sucks.
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George Lucas is trying to take Star Wars down the path of Star Trek. If he succeeds, the primary Star Wars fans won't know or care about the truly fantastic achievements he and others accomplished with the original Star Wars and its two sequels. It will always be about the next lame video game, or the next TV episode written by Whoknows and Whocares. Eventually it will all become so oversaturated and redundant that nobody will care at all about a consistent plot for the series or its most truly meaningful moments. Eventually you'll have the popular culture stop watching altogether, but we'll always have the geeky fans that can't get enough of the mess and will love watch it all again and again. Fans of what the original movie was will be relegated to esoteric obscurity by the more prominent fans. Star War will die.

That is unless someone can manage to change the popular approach to Star Wars that George Lucas is funding . . . but I’m not sure who could do that or if they’d even want to. It was just a movie after all. A great one to be sure, but it’s not life or death.

"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: Cable-X1

But I really think it was good to make 1-3. I think it was the logical thing to do. There was a hell of an interesting story there. The Jedi being betrayed by one of their own and getting ruthlessly slaughtered. The government of an entire galaxy being subverted into a fascist state and the role one man plays in it and how his offspring will have to ultimately deal with it. That's some good shit dammit!!!
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Cable, we seem to be one of the few left here who post reguarly, so I say we take the topic wherever we want to. I am very torn in whether there is a story for 3 movies of the PT, cause I really don't think there was. I mean what attracted us to the PT story, plot points that related to the OT movies right? What attracted us to the OT movies, the movies!

The PT to me is just a summing up or an overview of the fill in the blanks of the OT movies, just in a more macro way. It has some cool shit in there, but is it really entertaining like the OT movies, and I am saying that in the vein that it was done well by Lucas. When I was in my 1-6 phase last year of hoping this would all work and I would be a saga fan the way I became an OOT fan, I noticed that I was watching the PT movies solely because it was part of the story, and more or less cause they were there. In that vein, 3 movies is WAY too many to sit through, cause at what point do you say, is this really needed?

The PT story does not have the replay value of the OT, and I can't explain it, but it just doesn't. I don't know, I still think that there is a PT story out there to be told, but it just seems that a trilogy was not needed, and maybe it could have been told in 2 movies while changing the focus so you don't have too much exposition. Maybe as I said, just one was needed, cause I see how Godfather II worked for half of a 3 hour movie, and I say was there anything more that needed to be told to the viewer? Sure there is more story of Vito Corleone, but that doesn't mean it will translate well on screen, a one movie flashback was just enough to give you the backround and keep your interest, and not be too much.

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Actually, the point you are trying to make just penetrated my thick skull....there is no need to tell any backstory.

As an example, there's plenty of backstory in LOTR and it's only briefly mentioned in the books. There really is no need to write a whole story behind it, although Tolkien did explain it in other books.

Lucas could have gone that same route and just not bothered to do any more stories or done an entirely new trilogy completely seperated from the OT, but maybe introducing some elements. It's an interesting point and I agree that Lucas does not have the creativity to have done a whole new trilogy.

Damn that's good. It puts it into a whole new light if you just want to watch the OOT and forget everything that came afterward.

A part of me still thinks that the Anakin backstory would still make a good set of movies.....but with the point you make, I wonder if my (and others') thinking is just the result of there being and EPISODE (insert roman numeral) at the beginning of each movie. Since you have that, you think this is a series and you're obligated to be interested in the other episodes of the series.

Interesting....very interesting......was the whole PT even necessary. Definitely strengthens the whole argument that Lucas is doing this only for money. Perhaps some of us (like Gomer) give Lucas far too much credit as an "artist."
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I'm taking an english class on the animated cartoon. My teacher has a great sense of humor. Some student was talking about how computer animation has become a part of special effects in big budget live action films recently, and in his frustration with what the teacher was asking him he simply blurted out "well have you seen any of the new Star Wars movies?!" and my teacher just laughed and said "oh no, I haven't seen a Star Wars movie since 1983." Brought a huge smile to my face.

Speaking of those '95 interviews, doesn't Lucas say that he's getting other people to direct the prequels? That's probably the biggest thing that's bothered me recently about this whole deal, what happenned during the next two years to make him change his mind. More and more I'm thinking it was the SE that caused it all. I'm thinking it must've convinced any potential director that he or she was better off working on something else besides "the star wars prequels."

And yea, it's hard to disagree with the "it was all about the money" assessment. Lucas had done nothing but produce for 22 years and then decided to sit right back down in the director's chair as if no time had passed and Star Wars was still freshly struck gold. The SE and the PT feel in many ways like mere homages to the actual OOT.

CO, in regards to the replay value of the OT, in many ways it has to do with how unique each individual movie is, how Star Wars is so different from Empire. In the 60 minutes interview from shortly before ROTS's release, Lucas's words were "I'm not scared at all (about the critics). They haven't liked any of them really." Oh, is that the truth? Although I will admit it's hard to compare the trilogies objectively.
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There was no need to tell the backstory but it has the potential to make a very interesting story, and theres a reason why Lucas was compelled to tell it and why we all looked forward to seeing it. The story of a brilliant prodigy, a valiant hero who fought for good in the last days of a majestic kingdom but was corrupted by greed, manipulated by an evil ruler and cast into darkness as war transformed democracy into fascism. The height of the Jedi knights, the clone wars, seeing young Ben Kenobi and horribly transformation that Anakin underwent--its pretty amazing stuff. This has the potential to be far better than even the original Star Wars, albeit in a very different way. Handled correctly, this could have been like Return of the King, a sweeping epic filled with action and tragedy but with a touching human drama at its center. ESB totally altered the context of ANH, but we all accepted it because it was done so well. Whether Lucas told the prequels as true backstory via flashbacks or a disconnected seperate series or if he told the prequels as the first part of a six part saga, the fact remains that whatever he did we would have accepted if it was done well.

Could the prequels fill out three films? Some say the story was stretched thin--i agree that the optimal way to tell this story is to make one grande prequel, a sort of three hour Episode III. But there is a lot of stuff before that that is very good--the machinations of Palpatine, the downfall of the senate, the transition from peace time to political tensions to outright war, the discovery of Anakin Skywalker, the adventures of young Obi Wan and young Anakin. Once again, there is a very good reason why Lucas didn't just make a single film, and there is a very good reason why we all thought a prequel showing these things would be great. If handled correctly, this could have been equally as good as a solitary prequel, perhaps better as it would be grander, richer and more developed. Return of the King could be designed to sort of work by itself, jumping in the middle of the story the way a stand-alone-Episode III or the original Star Wars did, but it enriched by the two films which came before it which start at the impetus of the whole plot and follow it to its conclusion. I really hate to keep comparing the prequels to LOTR, and i don't really think that LOTR films are the greatest in the world, but they are along the lines of what the prequels should have been like. FOTR is light and whimsical, for the real gravity of the story has not yet entered, and we meet all the characters and have all the beginings and exposition and history fleshed out, but its told with heart and humour, and there is still a pervasive undertone of darkness, a serious drama that undercuts the lightness of the humble beginnings. TTT of course is where the plot begins to thicken as characters begin to change, the drama begins to unfold and things start going wrong--its tense and exciting and compelling. Then ROTK finally brings the story to its climax as all the storylines built up for two films finally are consumated and the epic battle is fought--Episode III of course, being a tragedy would not have the optimistic half hour coda: imagine how powerful the film would be if as Frodo is dangling of the edge of the crack of Doom, he falls in, only to be dragged out as the monster that Gollum was, while the last stand of Minas Tirrith is defeated and all the characters are killed except for Gandalf and Aragorn who limp away in retreat as the world is overtaken by Sauron. It would have been a heartwrenching and powerful film. If Lucas had constructed the prequels with the same gripping drama and human center that Peter Jackson gave his Rings trilogy--flawed as those films may sometimes be--we would have all welcomed with open arms the new six-episode Tragedy of Darth Vader.

The prequels, the way Lucas chose to make them-- due to his limitations as a writer and director, his poor choices, and his lack of serious collaboration with other creatives in construction of the story--do not dramatically work in the way that they were intended to, in the same way that Lord of the Rings trilogy does. Because of this, it is preferable that the films, as they now are, not be part of the original trilogy storyline, but told as a seperate series or incorperated as flashbacks in a sequel-prequel-trilogy. Even then however, the many flaws of the trilogy will not go away--the won't affect the original films in as damaging a way as they do now, but the fundamental failures of the series will remain. The films of course have many good moments in them because Lucas is not a total hack; occassionally things come together. TPM is kind of cute as a childrens fantasy film, Attack of the Clones has some nice B-movie homages and a pretty interesting side story on Tatooine, and Revenge of the Sith has many gripping action scenes and even some refreshingly compelling human drama in it. This is why so many fans cannot let go of the films completely--I've talked to many "gushers" recently whom i sense are realising that the films overall are not all that great, but they feel torn to allegiance to them because they love Star Wars and because the prequels have these occassional moments of goodness that make you want to watch them once in a while. But the films failed simply because they were not written well or directed well. Its as simple as that. The material was mishandled and the human drama was completly lost.

I like the idea of combining the sequel and prequel trilogies--its twenty years after ROTJ, and we see how Luke and company are rebuilding the galaxy. Maybe Luke has begun anew the Jedi order and his young student, perhaps even his own son whom he is training, asks him about his grandfather, maybe twenty minutes into the film, thus beginning the real thrust of the story as Luke sits him down and narrates the sordid story--the way this device was wonderfully used in The Princess Bride. We could occassionally cut back to Luke and his son as the youngster interupts the story at key points, and when the prequel tale finally finishes it could cause Luke to reflect on where he and his friends are bringing the New Republic and the New Jedi Order, so that the past is not repeated, as we finally say goodbye to the galaxy in a brief twenty minute coda.
Its a true shame that we have to continue to fantasize about the how the prequels could unfold after they have already been told. Of course defenders of the franchise say that we had preconcived notions and high expectations: to which one can only say "duh." We sure did. But just as Empire Strikes Back not only had a lot of preconcieved notions and high expectations riding on it, it wasn't at all what was expected, but this is considered the strongest film in the entire series. After The Two Towers, there was a lot of expectation for Return of the King, and since the story had already been around as novels that were beloved by millions of fans all over the world, there definitily was a lot pre-concieved notions, and especially when Jackson had to change so much of the structure to accomodate the medium of cinema rather than literature. But the film was a smashing success, and although some fans had criticisms about this and that and although the film may not be quite as good as some hyped it out to be, it is indeed a gripping, exciting and touching human drama that still manages action and scale twice as big as the entire prequel trilogy combined. You don't win best picture and best director for a so-so film--even if you think it didn't deserve all its praise, it is enough to say that the story was successful in its telling. So my point is that it is definitly possible to tell a prequel story that would have been praised and enjoyed and defied our expectations and was touching and moving. Lucas simply failed as a storyteller, as a director and writer.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I thought Fellowship was way more moving than Return of the King, but anyway, it will be interesting to see if Lucas is able to leave the prequels alone. He loves to tinker, and he lives up on a mountain with the best toys to do it, and seemingly not much desire to go out and direct something new. Without his attention diverted by deadlines, and greenscreen-related bullshit, could he cobble together a "better" performance from Hayden or Natalie? Could he create urgency where there was none? As he's a big believer in the power of the editor, he must believe it's possible...
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Why did he direct all three prequels?

Because after the SE Lucas realised directing just got easier. SW was a pain in the ass, now with technology he could sit in a chair behind plasma screens with an AD yelling "Action" and "Cut" himself occasionally adding "Faster" and "More Intense". The rest he could do with computers.

In '95 he didn't know what he was talking about. Hell, in '00 he didn't know what he was talking about. He said Episode 2 was going to be a radical departure from SW, a love story, very personal and for lack of a better word "slow". One of his visual effects guys, not Coleman, his name escapes me right now even brought it up with Lucas saying *paraphrasing* I thought you said this movie was going to be a love story and you've got us doing all these CG battles on a scope never been done before, we're really going to have our work cut out for us now, thanks.

I know a little bit about writing and plotting and such, so I know when something works and when it doesn't. Lucas deliberately tried to play to his audience. He's done that to the detriment of his story. That's really disappointing. It's also phony as hell. He says he's an artist and he's all for the artist to do things the way they want to do, but he if really was an artist, he wouldn't have tried to appease anyone. He would have done what was best for his art. He even fucking says so in the commentary that he knew people wanted that stuff in. Fuck that.....you do what's best for the story. If you have to leave something out, then you do it. Roger fucking Waters knew to do that with Dark Side Of The Moon and look how that turned out...fucking masterpiece album. Lucas is a two faced phony who's bowing to one thing only...the almighty dollar.



Off Topic

Roger Waters = Bad Ass

"Well here's a big bag of rock salt" - Patton Oswalt

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I honestly think the PT sounds cool on paper, and I think back to late '98, or even before each PT movie, and the anticipation....... But I think it is the anticipation and the what if..... that we all think this could have been some great trilogy to tack on to the OT. I still think that it was a bad idea in the mid 90's, and I admit I got sucked in, cause I am an OOT fanboy (I can't believe I have to be this desciptive now on my fanbase name!)

I worried from day one the characters of the PT, even in 1998 wouldn't match up with Luke, Leia, and Han, it was almost impossible to create a new set characters, even though some were retreads from the OT, they were essentially younger with different personalities. Just think of the success of characters in the OOT, Kenobi dies in SW, and he creates Yoda in ESB, perfect! He creates Lando in ESB to kinda rival Han Solo, awesome! He creates Boba Fett, who has 10 minutes of screentime, and the fanbase goes nuts. He then creates Jabba the Hutt, who as a kid I was utterly fascinated with him and the palace he lie in. Throw in Chewy, R2, C3PO, Tarkin, and oh yeah those two bad guys: The Emperor & Vader, and the only weak link of the OOT was The Ewoks.

Now look at the PT characters other then the big 4 of Padme, Anakin, Palps, and Kenobi:
-Mace Windu = Boring
-Jar Jar = Do I need to expound
-Grevious = Get him some Robitussin
-Boss Nass = Stop slobbering!
-Captain Panaka = bland
-Dex at the Diner = Go flip burgers and get the fuck out a SW movie!
-Jango Fett = Unoriginal
-QuiGon = Good character, only shining spot of TPM
-Count Dooku = Good bad guy, wasted in ROTS
-Darth Maul = Looks cool, does he talk?
-Two Headed Pod Racer Announcer = UGGGH
-Every character in the pod race = Made for 5 year olds
-Lama Su = Sounds like a porno character

Just look at the list of PT characters, and chime in if I missed anymore gems, and then look at the OOT characters, it is like night and day of a bunch of cool characters compared to a bunch of lame characters that you can't take half of them seriously. I knew the characters wouldn't be as good in the PT, but looking at this list, are there any that compete with the OOT characters?
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Originally posted by: Guy Caballero
I thought Fellowship was way more moving than Return of the King,

I would tend to agree. RotK and TTT have better moments I believe, but FotR seemed to be more consistently compelling in the way it presented hard choices for the characters. (That’s not to say the books for TTT and RotK didn’t have consistent content, but the films changed a lot of that.)


Originally posted by: see you auntie
Why did he direct all three prequels?

Because after the SE Lucas realised directing just got easier. SW was a pain in the ass, now with technology he could sit in a chair behind plasma screens with an AD yelling "Action" and "Cut" himself occasionally adding "Faster" and "More Intense". The rest he could do with computers.


lol, perfect way to put it.


Originally posted by: CO
Now look at the PT characters other then the big 4 of Padme, Anakin, Palps, and Kenobi:
-Mace Windu = Boring
-Jar Jar = Do I need to expound
-Grevious = Get him some Robitussin
-Boss Nass = Stop slobbering!
-Captain Panaka = bland
-Dex at the Diner = Go flip burgers and get the fuck out a SW movie!
-Jango Fett = Unoriginal
-QuiGon = Good character, only shining spot of TPM
-Count Dooku = Good bad guy, wasted in ROTS
-Darth Maul = Looks cool, does he talk?
-Two Headed Pod Racer Announcer = UGGGH
-Every character in the pod race = Made for 5 year olds
-Lama Su = Sounds like a porno character


Heh, that was awesome (particularly your comment about Dex: McGregor still somehow makes that scene work, but that character was so incredibly stupid).


Anyways, we can discuss alternate timelines as much as we like, but Star Wars is what it has now become. The prequel’s concepts weren’t done well. Where do the fans with higher standards go from here? Do we simply pretend that the later Star Wars films and content don’t exist in our world and then divorce ourselves from the pop culture?

"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


Anyways, we can discuss alternate timelines as much as we like, but Star Wars is what it has now become. The prequel’s concepts weren’t done well. Where do the fans with higher standards go from here? Do we simply pretend that the later Star Wars films and content don’t exist in our world and then divorce ourselves from the pop culture?


This is a tough one, and one that I have not been able to erase from memory. For every movie series, I was always able to just vanish from my mind the bad movies: Superman III & IV, Jurassic Park II & III, Terminator 3, Rocky V, etc., but for some reason I can't divorce the PT movies from the OT story now, and I believe it is because it was a prequel story.

With every movies series and when the bad movies start hitting the theaters, that story happens AFTER the classics, so you can pretend it doesn't happen, cause it has no bearing on the previous movies. With the PT movies, they are stuck in our minds whether you like them, hate them, or love them. When I see the scene with Leia/Luke in ROTJ talking about their mother I think about Padme losing the will to live, UGGH! When I see Vader talk to Luke about, "You don't know the power of the darkside......" and the Emperor talking to Luke about how his father can never turn back..... I think of Anakin whole messy turn scene in ROTS and how he flips a switch and he is Darth Vader. I can't help but still think of C3PO now as that droid who Anakin built, and saying, "My parts are showing....." I can't help but see Chewbacca and think of his 'good relations' with Yoda. I could go on and on, but you guys know all the tie ins.

Sadly, I dont' think I will ever be able to look at SW ever the same again, as the PT will always be there sitting right in front of my face when scenes that talk about the PT in the OT are uttered by those characters. Before you wondered why Vader turned, what the Clone Wars were, what the Jedi were like in their heyday, and now for better or worse, we got our answers.

In a strange sense, by Lucas marrying the movies and trilogies together as one story, it has actually made any SW fan be so extreme in their views, as almost a take it or leave now. With movies like Indiana Jones & Harry Potter, you can love certain ones and like certain ones and even hate certain ones, but that wont taint the individual movies. I love Raiders & Temple of Doom but am not a big fan of Last Crusade and I probably won't like Indy IV, but so what, none of them effect the other movie other then that they have the same characters in some new adventure.

Sadly, as much as I really have soured on the PT through the years, I do see it as the complete story now, and it almost like I can't throw it away, yet I know they are bad, and I know when I try to watch them, I start pulling my hair out. I know this sounds dramatic, but it is only dramatic in the context of watching the movies, not everyday life, and once I turn the movies off, I could care less, but sadly once I turn the movies on, I constantly grapple with so many questions that have made the series a big head scratcher:

-Do I watch the SE in pristine quality, but have to deal with all the cringeworthy shit?

-Do I watch the OOT in average quality, but can enjoy the movies the way I watched them for so long?

-Do I try to watch the OOT movies, and just forget about every bad PT plot point that pervades the movies now?

-Do I watch the saga 1-6, and just give in to Lucas and accept mediocrity now for the few enjoyable moments of the PT that do make the overall story better, and in a sense say to yourself, "The PT movies could be the biggest guilty pleasure movies in the history of movies."

Ahhhhhh, what it is to be a SW fan thesedays.
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Well, just to correct you a bit, Harry Potter books (or movies) aren't standalone adventures like Indiana Jones. It is a continuing storyarc split into seven parts.

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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I'm trying to stay optimistic. Maybe George will surprise us all this year. They're surely going to be playing the nostalgia card pretty hard this year.
I've never read The Lord of the Rings books. Is Return very faithful? After loving the shit out of the first 2 movies, I kind of felt like I wasn't "getting" something. I think I was expecting a LOT more time spent on Viggo Mortensen, becoming the Lawrence of Arabia of middle earth. There seemed to be a lot of time spent on "Sam is such a good friend". And "Sean Bean's dad sure is nuts".
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Aragorn and the humans don't figure into the books as prominently. The movie made him into a sort of chivalric Knight of the Round Table co-star but the books are told mostly from the perspective of Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin as the view this grander battle going on around them. The films placed more emphasis on the battles and action and so the side story of Aragorn was brought more to the foreground as a sort of co-star to the final two films. Also, the first half of Frodo and Sam's story, up until Frodo's capture after being stung by the Shelob, occurs in The Two Towers, and after the final battle where Sauron is vanquished, teh Hobbits return to the Shire to discover it has been torn apart and is under control of Sauromon, whom is finally killed. Jackson actually changed quite a bit but in my opinion it was defintily for the better (especially the anti-climatic "scouring of the Shire" section, with its Scooby Doo-like reveal of Sauromon).

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Originally posted by: Guy Caballero
I've never read The Lord of the Rings books. Is Return very faithful? After loving the shit out of the first 2 movies, I kind of felt like I wasn't "getting" something. I think I was expecting a LOT more time spent on Viggo Mortensen, becoming the Lawrence of Arabia of middle earth. There seemed to be a lot of time spent on "Sam is such a good friend". And "Sean Bean's dad sure is nuts".


Eh... kind of. Faramir is obviously a major departure, the spider was in The Two Towers, aspects of the battle are different, the ghost army is utilized much differently... etc. I know some obsessive fans were upset about the changes, but 90% of them realized that Peter Jackson did a much better job translating the source material than anyone could have hoped.

In any case, when I finally watch the entire saga, it will probably be 1-6, with 1-3 being ADM's fantastic edits and 4-6 being OCPM's Classic Editions, which, despite all the drama surrounding, I think they are an excellent piece of work.

Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the war room!

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From my perspective, I'm going to pretend Star Wars is a true mythology. One that's bigger than its inventor. That means I can then focus on what I like and ignore the substandard qualities. This allows me to be content with everything enough and finally give George Lucas a break (he's still not getting my money for crappy products though).

But, I agree with CO that the prequels are stuck in our heads. So, at the same time I'll regard them as a loose and mock-worthy portrayal of the real back-story. When I watch 4-6 I'll remember the prequels in a very hazy way that actually fits with the original trilogy and doesn't make Ben into a liar. With that then in mind, I'll mostly watch 4-6 and maybe give a quick viewing to 1-3 on very rare occasions (laughing at or skipping past the unacceptable scenes).


Originally posted by: Guy Caballero
I've never read The Lord of the Rings books. Is Return very faithful? After loving the shit out of the first 2 movies, I kind of felt like I wasn't "getting" something. I think I was expecting a LOT more time spent on Viggo Mortensen, becoming the Lawrence of Arabia of middle earth. There seemed to be a lot of time spent on "Sam is such a good friend". And "Sean Bean's dad sure is nuts".


As a huge fan of the books, I would say that it was generally faithful, but in a hyper, comic-book-cheese way. So much of the meaning and growth to the story was completely skipped by Jackson.

Specifically, about Aragorn, RotK did not seem to capture his becoming the king well at all. It left out many of his key scenes from the book. Specifically, I wanted to see him as a man who's force of will defeated Sauron's (using the palantír) and see him as the gentle healer who gives new hope to Gondor. It seemed like Jackson only wanted to see Aragorn as one of the gang buddies who's only good at leading because he can kick ass. The speech that Aragorn spoke before the final battle seemed awkward using that approach.

"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: see you auntie
Why did he direct all three prequels?

Because after the SE Lucas realised directing just got easier. SW was a pain in the ass, now with technology he could sit in a chair behind plasma screens with an AD yelling "Action" and "Cut" himself occasionally adding "Faster" and "More Intense". The rest he could do with computers.

An even simpler translation: Lucas realized he wouldn't have to direct at all. Didn't SW end up being so good because it was a pain in the ass? Wasn't the OT so good because he actually got other people to work on it? I guess these things just didn't cross his mind.

Originally posted by: see you auntie
In '95 he didn't know what he was talking about. Hell, in '00 he didn't know what he was talking about. He said Episode 2 was going to be a radical departure from SW, a love story, very personal and for lack of a better word "slow". One of his visual effects guys, not Coleman, his name escapes me right now even brought it up with Lucas saying *paraphrasing* I thought you said this movie was going to be a love story and you've got us doing all these CG battles on a scope never been done before, we're really going to have our work cut out for us now, thanks.


That was John Knole talking to Lucas. It was in an Episode II web doc, the last one I think, titled "Reel 6." And wow, if anything that middle part of the movie on naboo/kamino feels like the editor is fastforwarding, not slowing down. The script was bad enough, but Lucas could've at least hired an editor.

After Episode III was released, there was this idea that Episode III was the only neccesary prequel, and to a large extent I'd agree but in a slightly different way. Lucas said he was excited about seeing Coruscant and seeing the Old Republic. That's great, but no one wanted him to spend half the damn trilogy hangin around on coruscant when there's an entire galaxy out there. He's being the same lazy writer he's been since Return of the Jedi, but even that movie had more going for it than the prequels. If Episode III was the only good prequel, that means episodes I and II needed to be completely different. They keep going back to the same damn places in all three episodes and only in epIII do they bother going to a bunch of different places and even then it's still all revolving around coruscant, flitting back and forth from one end of the galaxy to the other wheareas the OT stayed entirely away from the core worlds.

A friend of a friend of mine was telling me how much he hates Boba Fett simply because when Empire was released he was nothing more than "bounty hunter #x with a name," there was nothing more to him than that and yet everyone loves him. So yes, there is evidence for Lucas having pandered to the fans in the prequels.

Originally posted by: CO
Episode III ending was made by Lucas to be watched as the last episode in the saga, not the third. He even admits in the commentary, "I didn't need to show all the exposition of where everyone goes for the next 20 years, and I almost took it out of the final cut, but I knew people wanted to see it."

He put the DeathStar, Luke/Leia being brought to their homes, and even the construction of Vader in the movie solely cause alot of SW fans who saw it in 2005 would have been pissed if it wasn't shown, but that goes against everything storytelling wise of 1-6. And there lies the problem with trying to make this backstory that should be watched after the OT into a linear story now, Lucas didn't even try to appease the new 1-6 fan, he tried to appease the 4-6,1-3 fan, yet also says at the end of ROTS commentary, "The movies are meant be watched 1-6, and only thought of as one big movie, not 6 individual movies as the 'tragedy of Darth Vader.' That is the problem SW fans face who have seen the OT first, and who see the PT first, its fucked up both ways now.


This makes absolutely no sense to me. Even Rick McCallum kept pushing the point of it being a six part movie. I think what you mean to say is that while Lucas and McCallum might've meant and indeed intended what they said, their horrible way of going about the PT resulted in this 2 minute sequence of death star/ alderaan/ tatooine.
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You guys all make some pretty excellent points...there's far too many for me to comment on them individually, but here's this....

We all seem to be in agreement that the prequels blew and Lucas really flubbed a good opportunity. Whether or not Lucas even tried seems to be up for debate with no one really right or wrong actually. So how about this...

...anyone think that Lucas should have just redone the whole damn thing? Went right back and made 1-3 and then totally redid 4-6 with new actors, new storylines, etc? Sort of like a re-imagining a la Battlestar Galactica?

He could have remastered the originals and put them out there as a separate entity, but then went back and did it all his way from the beginning. He could have taken a que from Phil Jackson and did one trilogy back to back, waited a few years and did the other...this time in order and changed so they flowed better. I would have accepted that. We'd have classic SW and neo SW then....you could take either one you liked.
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Cable, that is a good point, and I would welcome him totally reshooting the OT with him directing and writing it, cause those movies would be just as flawed as the PT movies, and then we could totally differentiate the collaborative- Lucas movies, with the Lucas-only movies, and we wouldn't have to watch the tampered-OT movies now.

The whole point is the OT would be so different if Lucas were writing it 1-6 now, and I believe the PT would have been different too as we all alluded to many things that would not be in the PT to preserve the suspense of the OT. It just isn't about 'I am your father' cause this isn't a movie like The Sixth Sense, it is truly about a narrative that keeps its suspense and drama throughout and shouldn't have the viewer one step ahead of the characters, cause what is the reason to watch it then?

Now movies like Titanic and Apollo 13 are examples of movies that we all know the ending, but they are historical movies that are true in the sense of the story they are telling, so it is almost like a documentary, the devil is in the details, not in the suspense. But the great thing about both of those movies I named is there is still an aura of suspense and tension, especially at the end of Apollo 13 that makes the movie that much better, and that is a credit to its directors.

Nobody can honestly look at the 6 movies and say they flow well either way, they don't look the same, they don't feel the same, and they are written trying to tell one characters arcs story, yet the context of that character is totally different in each trilogy. I think the SW saga is the ultimate irony, cause sometimes less is more of everything in the movies: The characters, the backstory, and the use of CG, and what has happened is we all fell in love with the greatest trilogy of all-time, yet we are prisoner to the PT movies now as the EVERY boxset in the future will always contain the SE & PT, and the versions that made SW what it is, we'll wait and see everytime now.
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If he had made the PT competently then i would say go for it, remake the OT. But the PT was shit. Why the mother fucking hell would we want him to mess up not one but two trilogies? It would be the most collossal tragedy in the history of the movies. Picture all that is wrong with Attack of the Clones, but now told with the plot of ESB and having Hayden playing Luke. It makes my brain twitch with fear. Lucas should stay the hell away from Star Wars and go back to trying his hand at experimental art films, like he has been claiming he will be doing since 1974, 1978, 1983 and 2006.

Its not that the PT story was not designed well for the medium of cinema, because it was. Lucas had one of the most powerful stories in the history of the medium, something as impactful as Godfather II, but he fucked it up. Why? Because he just isn't talented and competent as a writer and director to do it. Speilberg could have done it, Coppola could have done, hell Rick McCallum may very well have been able to do it (considering he was doing low budget indies in 1990), but no matter what the material was, whether it was Indiana Jones IV, Episode I, or his impending Red Tails film, no matter what material he had he still would have fucked it up because George Lucas in 2007 simply can't do it.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Originally posted by: Cable-X1
...anyone think that Lucas should have just redone the whole damn thing? Went right back and made 1-3 and then totally redid 4-6 with new actors, new storylines, etc? Sort of like a re-imagining a la Battlestar Galactica?

He could have remastered the originals and put them out there as a separate entity, but then went back and did it all his way from the beginning. He could have taken a que from Phil Jackson and did one trilogy back to back, waited a few years and did the other...this time in order and changed so they flowed better. I would have accepted that. We'd have classic SW and neo SW then....you could take either one you liked.


I almost wish he had done this. Its primarily because of his tinkering with the original movies that I am so upset. If they were allowed to exist as their own, separate, linear story then at least everybody could decide what they want. The PT fans who dislike the original trilogy would now have a 4-6 that caters to them (and more moviegoing experiences). The original fans would have movies divorced from episode numbers that sit on their own. Then, the majority of people would be able to vote for whatever's best with their hard-earned.

There's no way that would ever happen though. George is way too lazy to take on a project like that. You can tell that he barely even cared about the prequels.

"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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My opinion?

There are hundreds of different ways that the PT could have been done, some of them not ruining most of the plot points, and most of them far superior to what we got.

Good movies could even have been made using Lucas' rotten PT storylines- if it was done right. If it was done in an entertaining way. But he not only botched it conceptually, he botched it COMPLETELY in the execution.

What would have made a much better PT, IMO, would have been to return to his original 70's Star Wars concept, which was "Errol Flynn in Outer Space". This is a huge oversight of the PT. If you watch the original "Star Wars", the influence here is so obvious it isn't funny. "I'm Luke Skywalker- I'm here to rescue you."

Develop new characters, new locales, smoky nightclubs, mad scientists... all of that "old movie" stuff that Lucas was drawing on back in the 70's and remaking for a new audience.

So I think that's a huge reason the PT was crap.
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Originally posted by: Davis
My opinion?

There are hundreds of different ways that the PT could have been done, some of them not ruining most of the plot points, and most of them far superior to what we got.

Good movies could even have been made using Lucas' rotten PT storylines- if it was done right. If it was done in an entertaining way. But he not only botched it conceptually, he botched it COMPLETELY in the execution.

What would have made a much better PT, IMO, would have been to return to his original 70's Star Wars concept, which was "Errol Flynn in Outer Space". This is a huge oversight of the PT. If you watch the original "Star Wars", the influence here is so obvious it isn't funny. "I'm Luke Skywalker- I'm here to rescue you."

Develop new characters, new locales, smoky nightclubs, mad scientists... all of that "old movie" stuff that Lucas was drawing on back in the 70's and remaking for a new audience.

So I think that's a huge reason the PT was crap.


That was the experiment that was Attack of the Clones and look at how that turned out. This is the fundamental problem with making the PT part of the series--even though ANH is sort of light and serialesque, the OT as a whole is a serious fantasy drama. When you have the most dramatic, tragic and heartwrenching part of the story--the PT--told with the quickest and lightest of development, you end up with a complete train wreck of a narrative and of style, such is the case with Attack of the Clones. From beginning to end, Attack of the Clones is a pulp and B-movie homage, it was Lucas' attempt to return to the pulp influence of ANH, except that he forgot that while ANH referenced this material it was still told with heart and with an overridingly modern fairy-tale quality. Attack of the Clones, at times, goes so far in its emulation that it comes across as reading as though it was made for audiences of the 1940's.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010