Interesting links there jinxfan2, I enjoyed reading them.
You could be right on Spielberg having an influence, but I would have thought the influence may have gone the other way. Both filmmakers at the time were parents bringing up young impressionable kids and possibly not wanting them to see violence in their films depicted in a certain way. Both directors made changes to their earlier work in a bid to attempt to remedy that.
For George, Han no longer shooting first; George’s disproven claims which even people who worked on the 1997 Specials Editions don’t believe. And the later bullshit ‘we didn’t kill many people in these films’ claim too.
For Spielberg, the replacement of guns with walkie-talkies in ET. Which he would later change back some time afterwards.
It is an interesting point you bring up, and something to think on.
To me, most of the darker content in ROTS appears after Anakin pledges his allegiance to Palpatine. Anakin’s about-turn to the Sith is abrupt and baffling. In the space of one scene, Anakin goes from being a disgruntled but loyal Jedi to child-slaughtering evil. He does this because of his visions of Padme dying during childbirth, and Palpatine just happens to mention that an old Sith once learnt how to prevent death. This enough enough for Anakin, and he quickly joins the dark side. Within a few scenes, Anakin is Force-choking a pregnant Padme, the woman he did all this to protect. That’s not good storytelling.
The child-killing, then choking pregnant wife, and finally being burnt alive in his fight vs Obi-Wan: all three occur quite quickly in the film. Huh, that is something indeed to think on, I think I’d have to re-watch ROTS again before commenting more (look what you made me do! lol). When I think of more I’ll post it in here.
What are your thoughts on it jinxfan2?
Does anyone know if there more behind the scene videos which also cover the filming of these scenes, to see if others also had some input on the tone and content for these scenes, how they were filmed, or where George talks about the higher age rating for ROTS (and why)?
Well, I don’t know all of the answers to what you’re asking, not sure if anyone does (hence why I made the thread), but I do agree that it’s rushed. But it’s interesting to note that much of ROTS was surprisingly outlined in the 80s, although its story beats vary from the final product. There’s an article here that quotes a transcript between Kasdan and GL in 1981 (prior to ROTJ) when discussing ROTS and the prequels. Good quote here: ''On his missions through the galaxies, Anakin has been going off doing his Jedi thing and a lot of Jedi have been getting killed—and it’s because they turn their back on him and he cuts them down. The president is turning into an Emperor and Luke’s mother suspects that something has happened to her husband. She is pregnant. Anakin gets worse and worse, and finally Ben has to fight him and he throws him down into a volcano and Vader is all beat up.
Now, when he falls into the pit, his other arm goes and his leg and there is hardly anything left of him by the time the Emperor’s troops fish him out of the drink. Then when Ben finds out that Vader has been fished out and is in the hands of the Empire, he is worried about it. He goes back to Vader’s wife and explains that Anakin is the bad guy, the one killing all the Jedi.‘’ https://www.huffpost.com/entry/star-wars-prequels-return-of-the-jedi_n_3313793
Obviously, it seems GL didn’t intend for Padme to die but…she does in the movie. Which would have tied back into ROTJ when Leia remembers her mother if Padme lived, so oh well. It seems as if, if I had to guess, the first half of ROTS is mostly filler to set up the eventual canon outline that George had set up. But the way it’s described in this quote, it feels slower, and that Anakin does not become Vader at the end of the movie, but by the end of the third act seemingly.
Many feel ROTS is the best prequel, and while it does have a tragic and dramatic story, I feel its overly fast paced story does not do it justice, though it does improve it to an extent. Phantom Menace has better structure in terms of a story imo.
To me, the seeds of ROTS’ were laid in ROTJ, I mean the film has many visual parallels (Mace electrocuted the hands of the Emperor, Anakin betrays, turns into Vader - Luke electrocuted by Emperor, Vader betrays turns into Anakin) and even the title parallels it. George was seemingly going to connect them more seamlessly by outlining the dark and dramatic events, so they could tie into each other and therefore flow. But the end product is still dramatic but not consistent in pacing.
That’s one reason, although I am more curious about the in depth process of it.