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The Phantom Menace EXPLAINED! Plot and protagonist!

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Before I begin I would like to say that I am not defending the Phantom Menace. I'm trying to make sense of it. I will explain the plot, who the protagonist is, and why it was made this way.

THE PLOT

What the heck is going on in the Phantom Menace? Blah blah trade negotiations. Blah blah chosen one. Am I right? Here's my take. Mr. Plinkett/RedLetterMedia thought that Palpatine was trying to create a crisis in Naboo so he can become Chancellor, but they failed to understand why he ordered the Trade Federation to do the exact opposite of what he wanted or why the Trade Federation wanted Naboo in the first place or why the Trade Federation even has an army. In the Phantom Menace, Naboo is constantly shown as some kind of nature paradise. Is it possible the Trade Federation wanted all these natural resources to dominate trade in the galaxy? One time we tried to take control of trade. Oh, you might have heard of it, it was called the FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR! Jeez you stupid people need to get your facts right! Anyway, I'm guessing Palpatine purposefully gave the Trade Federation a malfunctioning, half baked army to quench their greed for Naboo and other planets. In return, Palpatine probably asked for control of all their operations so that if they were sucessful, he could control the galaxy through economics. This is why he tells them to do the opposite of what would help his plan because either way Palpatine wins. This also explains why the Federation and the Separatists have the same army : they are both backed by Palpatine. MIND BLOWN! Maybe the reason that all this stuff was snuffed in the movie is to sort of see the story from a child's point of view.

THE PROTAGONIST

Who is the protagonist of this movie? Qui Gon? Wise old sage archetype who wants to train Anakin for the sake of the plot. Obi Wan? Change his name and you'll wonder why he's there at all. Anakin? He's just a little kid! No, the protagonist of The Phantom Menace is... PADME AMIDALA. Think about it. She drives the plot and has a clear goal : to save her people. She has plenty of screen time. She even fits into Joseph Campbell's hero archetype( for the most part )! She's called to action when the Trade Federation attacks, but initially refuses to lead her people toward war. The supernatural Jedi aid her in departing from Naboo. She's plunged into the strange scum filled wasteland of Tatooine, and tested when she votes no confidence against Chancellor Vallorum and convinces Boss Nass to defeat the Trade Federation. She has a life or death situation when she helps fight, but ultimately wins and comes back wiser than before. It's clear thtough her interactions with Anakin that the world is very alien to her, but she grows up in the end. So yeah, she's the protagonist even if she's not a very good one.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Even with all this, the Phantom Menace still has many inexplicable storytelling devices that can only be explained through the Star Wars RING THEORY. The gist of it is that Star Wars was made as a poem using something called Ring Composition. Phantom Menace "rhymes" with Return of the Jedi. Clones with Empire, and A New Hope with Revenge of the Sith. Instead of doing it through theming or story, Lucas decided to do it with images. If you play these movies with no sound simultaneously, you'll find more than a few parallels. The full original article can be found at www.starwarsringtheory.com It will completely change your perspective on ALL the prequels. 

tl:dr Palpatine is a genius, Padme is the protagonist, and Star Wars is poetry.

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 (Edited)

I hope I completely changed your view on the Phantom Menace. I know it did for me. EDIT: This movie sucks balls, and I don't like it even after understanding it. Ring Theory was a terrible idea. The movie has no protagonist or clear plot, and Disney should stop considering it canon. Great? Are we clear now? Good.

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I don't think you're going to change anyone's mind here. Also, I can sum up the ring theory in one word: recycling. 

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As someone who doesn't hate the PTs but is incredibly disappointed in them:

I don't think there's anything wrong with the PT having homages to the OT, but it's absurd to call it poetry. It really shows you how massive the problems are with the PT, when a group needs to grasp at straws to the point where reuse of visual motifs is somehow supposed to save the films.

Yes. Palpatine was manipulating both sides. You could even call him a bit of a phantom menace in that regard. Yes, the Plinkett video was even worse than the PT itself. No, MIND is not BLOWN.

Padme as the protagonist would have been a great idea. It's a shame it wasn't filmed that way whatsoever. 

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Wazzles said:

 Also, I can sum up the ring theory in one word: recycling. 

 

Oh, the ring theory...something I've always wanted to write about but never found time to do it.

First thing I'd like to say is that I completely agree with Ring theory; I totally buy it, and yes, I have no doubt Lucas deliberately put those paralelisms there on purpose.

However, there's a problem with how the theory is presented, and the fascination that derives from it; and I can't help blaming some light-minded mentality on art which supposes that everything new, or everything that has not been done before has an artistic value per se (or in this case, change "before" for "recently" given the historical precedents set for Ring storytelling). This is the flagrant translation to Art of the market-value of innovation.

Innovation, which is changing one's mindset, could be a very good value for science and economy but it's not necessarily for cinema, or drama, or music, or architecture. However it could be, supposing you can actually develop your innovative concept to a point when it paralels the effects and complexity of the previous way of thinking or paradigma.

You can relate this fascination with what's new even to the juvenile praising of plot-twists and the poor JJ Abraham's Mistery Box. There are whole studios (and viewers) that base their enjoyment of a movie (which, given a certain quality, could reach the level of being called a film) solely on the fact of being as ignorant as possible of the story. To these viewers the supposition of knowing the details of the plot would "spoil" the entire spectacle because their highest value is surprise, and because, to them the sense of fun lies in being dissoriented by the sudden rearrangement of plot-facts and questions instead of the traditional (+2000 years of history of art) extasis produced by overwhelming knowledge.

Traditional storytelling presents you a trouble, and, if the resource is used at all, Deus ex Machina helps you suddenly solve the puzzle thus generating pleasure by knowledge; even ESB works this way and even today Nolan is the Master of DeM IMHO (used this way). Nowadays is the other way round, DeM only helps bring more questions, and it gives pleasure by not knowing.

This is a different paradigma, and I'm not saying I'm against it because cinema has proven to produce great films using this plot-structure. On the other hand, mankind has proven to produce great art along history not using surprise as a value element at all. Take Aedipus and you know exactly how it is going to end, and it doesn't diminish it as a drama, and there are lots of good greek tragedies, and bad ones as well. Or take Les Miserables. Or even take any movie of Paolo Sorrentino (in my opinion the best film maker working these days); take for instance The Great Beauty: there are absolutely no big plot-twists, no innovations whatsoever and still the basic premise is developed brillantly, visually, musically and in the script as well; that movie in particular doesn't even have a plot other than presenting creatively the contradictions of life itself.

Going back to ring theory, in my humble experience related to art, the key is that every premise, basic or complex, modern or ancient, can be art. And the risk is that every single premise can be shit as well. Art quality is not about great ideas, but about how those ideas are translated and written in the physical medium the art uses: film for cinema, stone for sculpture, air for music, and space for architecture. A Plot, as a structure, is not good per se; it is a script what can be either good or bad because it has elements (lines) that can be evaluated. As someone said in architecture, God is in the details [as well].

So even if it is true and used in Star Wars, Ring storytelling doesn't mean anything. The fact that

"it's a way of thinking never used in the history of cinema"

Doesn't mean anything!!!! Certainly it doesn't mean that the prequels are "the work of a genius" and mostly certainly it isn't key to evaluate the mess the prequels are. How innovative a technique can be not only doesn't have relevance, but also is a fact that is absolutely eclipsed by the cheap way the "great" idea is developed. In fact, if you regarded ring storytelling as a great idea, the fact that the prequels were so bad even diminishes GL as an artist, because as we say in my country, he'd have crashed a Ferrari.

Prequels aren't just something far below the category of film, they're even bad movies in general, and VERY bad Star Wars movies given how they counterdict the great themes the OT, ring cycles or not. The idea is poorly implemented, and thus the opera is worth less.

You can't just promote a cultural work as you would promote your concept-product to the CEO you work for. Anyone who's seen the first MR Bean movie can remember how Whistler's Mother was promoted and laugh at it...and then watch it a second time and cry because, when it comes to cinema (which as an art can reach heights comparable to any other "orthodox" art) that's real and happening.

 Strangely to people from other fields than art, "this is good because no one did it before" is not an option. Things are good globally, or they're not. And there are several parameters to evaluate a film besides innovation, and even besides the script.

Now you may call me elitist, because of all that "everything is art" and "everyone can make art" that's in the air these days in the world, but an artistic expression, no matter how simple the final product/object/performance/opera/work could be, has a huge underlying complexity which, lacking, makes the whole expression fail and crash. At some point in history we started to think the opposition Classical-New; which is a fiction. Actually the couples are Classical/Vulgar and New/Old. And "new" and "old" fit in both greater categories.

Lucas should have understood that even if it rhymes like poetry, not everything that rhymes reaches to be called poetry, and to make that happen was exactly his job if he had that idea.

Art is all about conveying in a third person a definite emotion.

Cinema, as a form of Art answers both questions "what?" and "how?" but it's normally the "how" question the one that legitimizes the product, otherwise we'd be living in a cinema culture of just stupid plot tw...oh Jesus.

So what are you, a triple agent?

Spielberg laughing at Abrahams way of thinking in Indy 4

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towne32 said:

As someone who doesn't hate the PTs but is incredibly disappointed in them:

I don't think there's anything wrong with the PT having homages to the OT, but it's absurd to call it poetry. It really shows you how massive the problems are with the PT, when a group needs to grasp at straws to the point where reuse of visual motifs is somehow supposed to save the films.

Yes. Palpatine was manipulating both sides. You could even call him a bit of a phantom menace in that regard. Yes, the Plinkett video was even worse than the PT itself. No, MIND is not BLOWN.

Padme as the protagonist would have been a great idea. It's a shame it wasn't filmed that way whatsoever. 

 I agree that George Lucas's use of ring composition was a TERRIBLE idea. I was not defending it, but trying to understand what the heck Lucas was thinking. The prequels were not even MEANT to be a good story. That is sad. I'm pretty sure the only prequel he actually tried on was Revenge of the Sith.

So if Padme isn't, who is? Qui Gon? I already explained how she was filmed as the protagonist and fit Joseph Campbell's hero archetype( which btw is the same Lucas used for A New Hope ). She's the protagonist, even if it was completely unintentional. She's boring, I know, but the only other character that fit Joseph Campbell's hero archetype was JAR JAR BINKS. Now that's food for thought.

I was trying to be objective, man.

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Mithrandir said:

Wazzles said:

 Also, I can sum up the ring theory in one word: recycling. 

 

Oh, the ring theory...something I've always wanted to write about but never found time to do it.

First thing I'd like to say is that I completely agree with Ring theory; I totally buy it, and yes, I have no doubt Lucas deliberately put those paralelisms there on purpose.

However, there's a problem with how the theory is presented, and the fascination that derives from it; and I can't help blaming some light-minded mentality on art which supposes that everything new, or everything that has not been done before has an artistic value per se (or in this case, change "before" for "recently" given the historical precedents set for Ring storytelling). This is the flagrant translation to art of the market value of innovation. Innovation, changing one's mindset, could be a very good work for science and economy but it's not necessarily for cinema, or drama, or music, or architecture, though it could, supposing you can actually develop your innovative concept to a point when it paralels the effects and complexity of the previous way of thinking.

You can relate this fascination with what's new even to the juvenile praising of plot-twists and poor JJ Abraham's Mistery Box. Whole studios (and viewers) that base their enjoyment of a movie (which, given a certain quality, could reach the level of being called a film) solely on the fact of being as ignorant as possible of its story. To these viewers the supposition of knowing the details of the plot would "spoil" them the entire spectacle. Exactly because their highest value is surprise, and because, to them the sense of fun lies in being dissoriented by the sudden rearrangement of plot-facts and questions instead of the traditional (+2000 years of history of art) extasis produced by overwhelming knowledge.

Traditional storytelling presents a trouble, and, if the resource is used at all, Deus ex Machina helps you suddenly solve the puzzle thus generating pleasure by knowledge; even ESB works this way and Nolan is the Master of DeM IMHO these days (used this way). Nowadays is the other way round, DeM only helps bring more questions, and it gives pleasure by not knowing.

Which is a different mindset, and I'm not saying I'm against it because cinema has proven to produce great films using that technique. On the other hand, mankind has proven to produce great art not using surprise as a value element at all. Take Aedipus and you know exactly how it is going to end, and it doesn't diminish it as a drama, and there are good greek tragedies, and bad ones. Or Les Miserables. Even take any movie of Paolo Sorrentino (in my opinion the best film maker working these days), there are absolutely no big plot-twists, no innovations in the plot of, for instance, the Great Beauty and still the basic premise is developed brillantly, visually, musically and in the script as well.

Going back to ring theory, and in my humble experience related to art, the key is that every premise, basic or complex, modern or ancient as well, can be art. And every single premise can be shit as well. Art quality is not about great ideas, but about how those ideas are translated and written in a physical medium: film, stone, air. A Plot, as a structure, is not good per se but it is a script what can be either good or bad, because it has elements (lines) that can be evaluated. As someone said in architecture, God is in the details [as well].

So even if it is true, Ring storytelling doesn't mean anything. The fact that

"it's a way of thinking never used in the history of cinema"

So fucking what? That doesn't mean anything!!!! Certainly it isn't key to evaluate the mess the prequels are. How innovative a technique can be not only doesn't have importance, but also is absolutely eclipsed by the cheap way the "great" idea is developed. In fact, if you regarded ring storytelling as a great idea, the fact that the prequels were so bad even diminishes GL as an artist, because as we say in my country, he'd have crashed a Ferrari.

Prequels aren't just something far below the category of film, they're even bad movies in general, and VERY bad Star Wars movies given how they counterdict the great themes the OT, ring cycles or not. The idea is poorly implemented

You can't just promote a cultural work as you would promote your concept-product to the CEO you work at. Anyone who's seen the first MR Bean movie can laugh at it. It's good because no one did it is not an option. Strangely to that people "it's good because no one did it before" is not an option. Things are good globally, or they're not. And there are several parameters in a film besides innovation, and even besides the plot.

Now you may call me elitist, because of all that "everything is art" and "everyone can make art" that's in the air these days in the world, but an artistic expression, not matter how simple the physical result could be, has a huge underlying complexity which, lacking, makes the whole expression fall. At some point in history we started to think the opposition Classical-New; which is a fiction. Actually it's Classical/Vulgar and New/Old. And "new" and "old" both fit the greater categories.

Lucas should have understood that even if it rhymes like poetry, not everything that rhymes reaches to be called poetry, and that was exactly his job if he had that idea.

Cinema, as a form of Art answers both questions "what?" and "how?" but it's normally the "how" question the one that legitimizes the product, otherwise we'd be living in a cinema culture of just stupid plot tw...oh Jesus.

So what are you, a triple agent?

Spielberg laughing at Abrahams way of thinking in Indy 4

 I agree completely.

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towne32 said:

the Plinkett video was even worse than the PT itself.

 You are wrong.  It was scientifically proven in a lab to be superior.

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I was "MIND BLOWN!" by this thread. Life-changing stuff.

真実

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imperialscum said:

I was "MIND BLOWN!" by this thread. Life-changing stuff.

 Man, you people are not gonna leave me alone for that, are you?

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Padme as the protagonist is actually an interesting concept, though this isn't particularly true since she gets less screen time than Qui-Gon and just as much as Anakin. The movie could be edited to focus on her, but that would cut out the more fun and interesting parts of the story, resulting in something even worse.

All of the palpatine stuff makes sense I guess, but it should've actually been explained clearly in the movie rather than someone putting it together fifteen years later.

The ring theory is absolute bullshit, it's not a theory, it's fact. A four year old kid could figure out that the PT tries to mirror the OT! This adds nothing to the PT, and simply makes it seem sloppily written. Not poetry, not symbolism, just repetition, and useless repetition at that.

TPM wasn't just explained to me, it was simply defended by someone who won't accept that it sucks ass. I appreciate that you are trying to understand this movie, and can enjoy it after putting this together, but it does not redeem the movie. The movie sucks big time, especially by Star Wars' standards.

Prequel Fan-Edit thread: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Yet-another-series-of-prequel-edits/id/17329

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Smithers said:

Padme as the protagonist is actually an interesting concept, though this isn't particularly true since she gets less screen time than Qui-Gon and just as much as Anakin. The movie could be edited to focus on her, but that would cut out the more fun and interesting parts of the story, resulting in something even worse.

All of the palpatine stuff makes sense I guess, but it should've actually been explained clearly in the movie rather than someone putting it together fifteen years later.

The ring theory is absolute bullshit, it's not a theory, it's fact. A four year old kid could figure out that the PT tries to mirror the OT! This adds nothing to the PT, and simply makes it seem sloppily written. Not poetry, not symbolism, just repetition, and useless repetition at that.

TPM wasn't just explained to me, it was simply defended by someone who won't accept that it sucks ass. I appreciate that you are trying to understand this movie, and can enjoy it after putting this together, but it does not redeem the movie. The movie sucks big time, especially by Star Wars' standards.

 When will you people understand I do NOT LIKE the Phantom Menace. This movie sucks big time. I didn't even include it as part of the main series when I showed my friends Star Wars for the first time ( Machete Order ). While Attack of the Clones is a failure as a movie on every level, Phantom Menace is a failure as a continuation of the Star Wars saga. It undermines not just the original trilogy, but the other prequels too. There are two good things in this movie: Darth Maul and the score by John Williams.

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StarChewyWar said:

There are two good things in this movie: Darth Maul and the score by John Williams.

I'm not so sure about the former anymore. 

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

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StarChewyWar said:

Mithrandir said:

Wazzles said:

 Also, I can sum up the ring theory in one word: recycling. 

 

Oh, the ring theory...something I've always wanted to write about but never found time to do it.

First thing I'd like to say is that I completely agree with Ring theory; I totally buy it, and yes, I have no doubt Lucas deliberately put those paralelisms there on purpose.

However, there's a problem with how the theory is presented, and the fascination that derives from it; and I can't help blaming some light-minded mentality on art which supposes that everything new, or everything that has not been done before has an artistic value per se (or in this case, change "before" for "recently" given the historical precedents set for Ring storytelling). This is the flagrant translation to art of the market value of innovation. Innovation, changing one's mindset, could be a very good work for science and economy but it's not necessarily for cinema, or drama, or music, or architecture, though it could, supposing you can actually develop your innovative concept to a point when it paralels the effects and complexity of the previous way of thinking.

You can relate this fascination with what's new even to the juvenile praising of plot-twists and poor JJ Abraham's Mistery Box. Whole studios (and viewers) that base their enjoyment of a movie (which, given a certain quality, could reach the level of being called a film) solely on the fact of being as ignorant as possible of its story. To these viewers the supposition of knowing the details of the plot would "spoil" them the entire spectacle. Exactly because their highest value is surprise, and because, to them the sense of fun lies in being dissoriented by the sudden rearrangement of plot-facts and questions instead of the traditional (+2000 years of history of art) extasis produced by overwhelming knowledge.

Traditional storytelling presents a trouble, and, if the resource is used at all, Deus ex Machina helps you suddenly solve the puzzle thus generating pleasure by knowledge; even ESB works this way and Nolan is the Master of DeM IMHO these days (used this way). Nowadays is the other way round, DeM only helps bring more questions, and it gives pleasure by not knowing.

Which is a different mindset, and I'm not saying I'm against it because cinema has proven to produce great films using that technique. On the other hand, mankind has proven to produce great art not using surprise as a value element at all. Take Aedipus and you know exactly how it is going to end, and it doesn't diminish it as a drama, and there are good greek tragedies, and bad ones. Or Les Miserables. Even take any movie of Paolo Sorrentino (in my opinion the best film maker working these days), there are absolutely no big plot-twists, no innovations in the plot of, for instance, the Great Beauty and still the basic premise is developed brillantly, visually, musically and in the script as well.

Going back to ring theory, and in my humble experience related to art, the key is that every premise, basic or complex, modern or ancient as well, can be art. And every single premise can be shit as well. Art quality is not about great ideas, but about how those ideas are translated and written in a physical medium: film, stone, air. A Plot, as a structure, is not good per se but it is a script what can be either good or bad, because it has elements (lines) that can be evaluated. As someone said in architecture, God is in the details [as well].

So even if it is true, Ring storytelling doesn't mean anything. The fact that

"it's a way of thinking never used in the history of cinema"

So fucking what? That doesn't mean anything!!!! Certainly it isn't key to evaluate the mess the prequels are. How innovative a technique can be not only doesn't have importance, but also is absolutely eclipsed by the cheap way the "great" idea is developed. In fact, if you regarded ring storytelling as a great idea, the fact that the prequels were so bad even diminishes GL as an artist, because as we say in my country, he'd have crashed a Ferrari.

Prequels aren't just something far below the category of film, they're even bad movies in general, and VERY bad Star Wars movies given how they counterdict the great themes the OT, ring cycles or not. The idea is poorly implemented

You can't just promote a cultural work as you would promote your concept-product to the CEO you work at. Anyone who's seen the first MR Bean movie can laugh at it. It's good because no one did it is not an option. Strangely to that people "it's good because no one did it before" is not an option. Things are good globally, or they're not. And there are several parameters in a film besides innovation, and even besides the plot.

Now you may call me elitist, because of all that "everything is art" and "everyone can make art" that's in the air these days in the world, but an artistic expression, not matter how simple the physical result could be, has a huge underlying complexity which, lacking, makes the whole expression fall. At some point in history we started to think the opposition Classical-New; which is a fiction. Actually it's Classical/Vulgar and New/Old. And "new" and "old" both fit the greater categories.

Lucas should have understood that even if it rhymes like poetry, not everything that rhymes reaches to be called poetry, and that was exactly his job if he had that idea.

Cinema, as a form of Art answers both questions "what?" and "how?" but it's normally the "how" question the one that legitimizes the product, otherwise we'd be living in a cinema culture of just stupid plot tw...oh Jesus.

So what are you, a triple agent?

Spielberg laughing at Abrahams way of thinking in Indy 4

 I agree completely.

 Then I'm afraid you're either trolling me, or maybe you didn't understand a word I said.

To be clear:

Palpatine is an average-minded politician profitting the rest of the people in the galaxy behave as idiots.

Padmè is not the protagonist.

And Star Wars is NOT poetry.

Ring Theory is bullshit, it's a balloonic rationalisation of something that's obvious to anyone above 15 years old. The use of Ring Composition doesn't make the movie neither good, or smart, or unique, or memorable whatsoever, it's just VISUAL LANGUAGE ENTROPY, only that with a few footnotes and academic references like the guy who wrote it uses, he can make it seem like something serious or worthy when it's only natural, specially given that 4 of 6 movies analized come from the same f*cking director, who could and would obviously repeat himself.

And even conceding you some truth, even if Palpatine was a genius and padme was the protagonist, the movie is still shit. It's an awful work, which fails to convey the emotions it obviously tries to convey. Anakin has a hanging poster saying "I'm cute, like me", Maul saying "I'm badass, fear me", but no one does, because everything is so underlined in the movie that causes rejection to the premise that the viewer is, indeed, as idiotic as the characters in the screen.

Movies don't need to be explained, they success or fail in conveying an emotion.

This one fails horribly, even if it's the most star wars looking of the prequels.

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Man, see I wanted to leave it at the ";)" and the stupidest username I'd ever come up with, but you just had to provoke me like that didn't you! Okay, last fackin' time, I swear:

Anyway, I'm guessing Palpatine purposefully gave the Trade Federation a malfunctioning, half baked army to quench their greed for Naboo and other planets. In return, Palpatine probably asked for control of all their operations so that if they were sucessful, he could control the galaxy through economics. This is why he tells them to do the opposite of what would help his plan because either way Palpatine wins. This also explains why the Federation and the Separatists have the same army : they are both backed by Palpatine.

No, it was the Federation's own army; the Separatist army consisted of Trade Federation and Techno Union droids (and probably some others), as was clearly said in AOTC.
Guessing the plot background is one thing - contradicting the actual movies is even less valid.

Nah, TPM's plot is pretty much as it is - the only question is, did Palpatine order them to kill the Jedi because he counted on them to escape and bring the queen, or was there some kind of "plan A" he aimed for with that treaty, that would also lead to the same endgame?
I'm guessing it was supposed to be answered by the end of the trilogy, but since the plot got revised and changed in the process it remains a literal "plot hole". Not a contradiction, not "a five year old wrote it", just something that's unresolved.

Who is the protagonist of this movie? Qui Gon? Wise old sage archetype who wants to train Anakin for the sake of the plot.

So? Mask of Zorro, both Zorros are protagonists - it's entirely possible to tell the story from the mentor's point of view.

Obi Wan? Change his name and you'll wonder why he's there at all.

The process of him taking over as the Jedi protagonist begins somwhere 1/3rd into the duel, until then he's a sidekick.

No, the protagonist of The Phantom Menace is... PADME AMIDALA. Think about it. She drives the plot and has a clear goal :

Wow, MIND BLOWN!! This is so archetypal and obvious, anyone who hasn't fallen for Plinkett's mindless sophistry can see that.

Padme and Qui-Gon(->Obi-Wan) are both protagonists in this movie, of different aspects of the story: Padme represents the Naboo plot, and Qui-Gon guides the audience from that to the background plot, i.e. the Sith conspiracy.

He takes on the proactive role while she's still passive, and as the film progresses, his focus gradually shifts away from the "Game of Thrones" to the "Song of Ice and Fire", while she gradually assumes control over her own plight.

 

and tested when she votes no confidence against Chancellor Vallorum

That's not her "test", that's the "death of the mentor" equivalent - the system isn't helping her, so she has to take matters into her own hands.

By "test", you mean "passing the trial" or whatever that's called? Well, Palpatine is kinda tempting her, whispering into her ear like that... maybe it's like a reference to that trope, who knows.

and convinces Boss Nass to defeat the Trade Federation. She has a life or death situation when she helps fight, but ultimately wins and comes back wiser than before. It's clear thtough her interactions with Anakin that the world is very alien to her, but she grows up in the end. So yeah, she's the protagonist even if she's not a very good one.

Her arc is undermined by the Gungans - Naboo's attitude towards the Gungans is never "set up", so that reunification doesn't work as a pay-off; and instead of changing her pacifist attitude while gazing out the window or whatever, Jar Jar just randomly remembers that they've got an army.

Phantom Menace "rhymes" with Return of the Jedi. Clones with Empire, and A New Hope with Revenge of the Sith. Instead of doing it through theming or story, Lucas decided to do it with images.

Okay... what are those "inexplicable storytelling devices", and how are they answered by any of this?

I is mainly based on VI, that's true, but also modeled after IV, and the duel after V.
II resembles V in certain aspects of its plot structure, III resembles it in tone and arc.
II's arena battle rhymes with VI's Jabba; III's opening is based both on IV's death star segment, and VI's throne room (along with another scene), and the IV imagery towards the end is something else entirely. Mustafar duel is also modeled after Bespin. II's duel also, but probably the least in comparison. I don't see how III rhymes with IV.

Then, of course, there's a lot of naughty (yet natural) incest going on, too:
V is, in a way, closely modeled after IV - escape from Hoth resembles escape from Tattoine, battle obviously resembles the trench run, and Bespin is similar to the Death Star. VI "rhymes" with IV and V in different ways. 
The openings of II and III both borrow elements from I's opening, and most AOTC scenes taking place between Act 1 and 2 come off as earlier versions of similar ROTS scenes. The split-off is similar. II's duel is inspired by the second half of I's duel, III's on its first half.

So those "rhymes" are way more numerous and criss-cross than you listed (and incorrectly so, to 1/3rd), feel free to go ahead and make sense of that salad :D
WHERE'S YOUR RING NOW!

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but it's absurd to call it poetry.

If it were structured well, it would be poetry. BTTF is poetry, and so is Cloud Atlas (haven't yet seen it LOL).
All the ways ESB is modeled after SW is poetry.

With the prequels, as far as connections between the three go, I'd say it's more or less a mess, and hence ain't.
In the context of the individual movies, one can argue - for example, there's a sense and structure to the way III references the Throne Room WITHOUT the dramatic intensity.

 

It really shows you how massive the problems are with the PT, when a group needs to grasp at straws to the point where reuse of visual motifs is somehow supposed to save the films.

Except it isn't "needed" - they easily pass the qualitative test the way any other film of that genre does.

Yes. Palpatine was manipulating both sides. You could even call him a bit of a phantom menace in that regard.

Huh, isn't that like, obvious to everyone in the universe?

Padme as the protagonist would have been a great idea. It's a shame it wasn't filmed that way whatsoever.

Actually, it WAS filmed that way - except, between Naboo and Coruscant, there's a huge black hole in her arc and we don't see things from her perspective (not even a valid 3rd person perspective cause her on Tattoine is completely disconnected from anything else she does).

but the only other character that fit Joseph Campbell's hero archetype was JAR JAR BINKS.

Ripping off Plinkett again? He said this in various interviews, but then retracted the statement in the EpI audio commentary.

Anakin fits that arc somewhat - not completely, but as a supporting character, that's kinda okay-ish.
Obi-Wan, as I said, takes over Qui-Gon and has his archetypal victory at the end, and Qui-Gon fits into a different archetype.

Jar Jar does hardly anything at all, in that regard - he says "we will fight", but Amidala should've had that moment, in his case it's disconnected from everything. He gets promoted General, but that doesn't count for anything, and he has that "look, we've won" moment, but that's typical for supporting sidekicks.
Mike was smart enough to retract that nonsense - so no reason for you not to :)

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Padme as the protagonist is actually an interesting concept, though this isn't particularly true since she gets less screen time than Qui-Gon and just as much as Anakin.

Lol if screentime was an indicator, then Batman wouldn't be the main character of BR.
Anakin is a supporting character - somewhat/almost qualifies as a main one next to Qui-Gon in the Tattoine chapter, but not nowhere else.

Qui-Gon is also a main character.

The movie could be edited to focus on her, but that would cut out the more fun and interesting parts of the story, resulting in something even worse.

Her bits are actually among the best stuff in the movie, so "worse", yeah don't think so.
Plus, like half of it is "fun action".

All of the palpatine stuff makes sense I guess, but it should've actually been explained clearly in the movie rather than someone putting it together fifteen years later.

Well, it's contradicted by the movies.

The ring theory is absolute bullshit, it's not a theory, it's fact. A four year old kid could figure out that the PT tries to mirror the OT! This adds nothing to the PT, and simply makes it seem sloppily written. Not poetry, not symbolism, just repetition, and useless repetition at that.

Yes, it is obvious.
Doch, it does add something to the PT, as such features usually enhance the experience.
No, it doesn't - ESB isn't sloppily written for referencing SW, and none of the things that were sloppy about Jedi, were things that were based on IV.

Useless repitition? Hardly. Some of it is, other is meaningful, but it's true that there's not much rhyme and reason BETWEEN the individual prequels.

TPM wasn't just explained to me, it was simply defended by someone who won't accept that it sucks ass.

2/3rds of it is decent to great, 1/3rd is for 10 year olds.
All the numerous structural flaws (in plotting, not pacing) within those 2/3rds don't amount to anything lesser than that.

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While Attack of the Clones is a failure as a movie on every level,

Lol no. It doesn't hold together very well, but "on every level" would also mean that the singular episodes or storylines are a failure, and Obi-Wan's storyline, certainly beginning with Kamino, is pretty much rock solid.
Maybe it fails on a logical level (the way he bullshits his way through those conversations), but that's generally one of the less important aspects.

There are two good things in this movie: Darth Maul and the score by John Williams.

All the long lists of "good things about the prequels", even on this forum, would like a word with you.

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Palpatine is an average-minded politician profitting the rest of the people in the galaxy behave as idiots.

There is such a thing as "internal logic" - so, for example, while a lot of Qui-Gon's decisions in the movie are completely hair raising if you scrutinize them, within the context of the narrative, he's savvy and competent, because the escapist universe he's in VALIDATES HIS DECISIONS.

In that sense, none of the people Palpatine manipulates are idiots, aside from Jar Jar, and he IS a genius.
And within the Biblical narrative, Jesus is the epitome of truth and wisdom, it's only outside of it that his Sermon is kinda, well, of mixed quality. 
 

and padme was the protagonist

She is one of the two.

the movie is still shit. It's an awful work, which fails to convey the emotions it obviously tries to convey.

Which emotions does it try to convey, and how does it fail to convey those.

Anakin has a hanging poster saying "I'm cute, like me", Maul saying "I'm badass, fear me", but no one does, because everything is so underlined in the movie that causes rejection

Um, no one above 10 likes Anakin cause diabetes is a bitch; people do generally "fear" Maul, he's extremely popular to this day.
Most people, even those who hate the rest, say "but Maul was badass and that duel, too" - the only people who say like "well actually not because he had no character development" are pretentious wannabe critics in online circlejerks, that's not a valid argument really.

So underlined that it causes rejection? Whatever dude. There's nothing more "underlined" about Maul than any other cool villain in film history; Leatherface from that prequel is much more underlined, and he's still awesome. 

to the premise that the viewer is, indeed, as idiotic as the characters in the screen.

Oh, I thought rejection of the characters?

Okay... so you mean, if it weren't so "underlined", people would accept the premise that they're as idiotic as the characters? I.e. suspend their disbelief / skepticism / neocortex and BECOME as idiotic?

K, whatever - I say, the charisma of the characters, excellent pacing and aesthetics and energetic drive of the storyline do that job.

Movies don't need to be explained, they success or fail in conveying an emotion.

Well, if someone claims they make no sense (in terms of plot, or other creative aspects), then they do.
The OP was a response to Plinkett, who said it made no sense / didn't have character arcs, which is obviously nonsense.

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something I've always wanted to write about but never found time to do it.

Well... fate hath picked a goodth moment. :)

Innovation, which is changing one's mindset, could be a very good value for science and economy but it's not necessarily for cinema, or drama, or music, or architecture.

Nah, man - if something is innovative, but sucks, it still deserves credit for being innovative, and discredit for being bad. The innovation could either be seen as having a potential, or as a reason why it was "innovative" in the first place, but still points for creativity.


even ESB works this way and even today Nolan is the Master of DeM IMHO (used this way). Nowadays is the other way round,

That "old paradigm" hasn't gone anywhere, people still like stories that develop and end predictably.... just not exclusively.

take for instance The Great Beauty: there are absolutely no big plot-twists

Man, this new Gandalf is even snobbier than the old one! Hey... Avengers, the new Star Wars. No need to go further than that.

Also, "surprises in a story" =/= telling a story innovatively. Lots of stories have surprising twists, but are only the 100th story to use that type of twist.

ESB works this way? ESB is the one with the surprising twist, not sure what you mean. But I, III, IV and VI all work quite predictably.

Prequels aren't just something far below the category of film, they're even bad movies in general,

That's like saying "he's not even merely subhuman, he's also kind of a dick", and no, they're good movies in general.
I and II are dragged down by like 1/3rd of shite, the rest ranges from good to great.

and VERY bad Star Wars movies given how they counterdict the great themes the OT

Contradicting the original themes = mismatched, misaimed, "not real follow-ups" =/= bad.
Revenge of the Sith has very strong themes on its own, even if they completely go against the OT.

Strangely to people from other fields than art, "this is good because no one did it before" is not an option. Things are good globally, or they're not.

If anything, art and entertainment are the areas where pure innovation has the most value, because guess what, THAT CAN BE ENTERTAINING ON ITS OWN.
Science is pretty much "proof or GTFO", and technology, well, see Robocop 2. Not sure why you claimed the opposite above:

Innovation, which is changing one's mindset, could be a very good value for science and economy

but fine.

;)

Art is all about conveying in a third person a definite emotion.

Oh man...




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You say that, and yet I am still left bored, confused, and angry by what I see on-screen during the prequels. Based on the length of your post it is clear that you put far more thought into this trilogy than Lucas ever did.

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StarChewyWar said:

 

 When will you people understand I do NOT LIKE the Phantom Menace. This movie sucks big time. I didn't even include it as part of the main series when I showed my friends Star Wars for the first time ( Machete Order ). While Attack of the Clones is a failure as a movie on every level, Phantom Menace is a failure as a continuation of the Star Wars saga. It undermines not just the original trilogy, but the other prequels too. There are two good things in this movie: Darth Maul and the score by John Williams.

 StarChewyWar said:

imperialscum said:

I was "MIND BLOWN!" by this thread. Life-changing stuff.

 Man, you people are not gonna leave me alone for that, are you?

 I don't think all the youpeopling is really needed. We're not attacking you personally. Just presenting our views on the topics you're discussing (which you seem to be doing in a devils advocate type way, which is of course fine).

Regarding the Mind Blown thing, it's just a very strong way of presenting the view points you've stated. What's preventing my mind from being blown is that I've tried to look at it that way, or any other way that could give TPM the benefit of the doubt, and the film itself just doesn't support even marginally redemptive viewing strategies.

And regarding your reply to me about the protagonist: I guess it depends what is being discussed. The criticism by the plinkett person is that the film has no protagonist. So I'm not sure the best way to contest that is to scratch our heads, wondering, "so who must the protagonist be, if not x?". There isn't necessarily one by definition, and we don't need to upgrade the closest candidate.

I think plinky is right. However, I also think it's narrow-minded of him to assume every film needs to be structured in such a boring way with a Campbellian Hero. But that doesn't save TPM. It plays out more like an episode of a television show that allows us to follow various characters and plot lines, while lacking any kind of thoughtful overall structure.

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One whole text to establish the difference between art and lower expressions and he comes with "art and entertainment". Thanks for sparing me time in answering.

Perhaps I should better keep rejoying in my snobbism while Ring Theory suddenly opens our eyes and makes the prequels reach the reputation of Citizen Kane or 2001...or Avengers in case those titles don't ring a bell. 

Just....meh

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Mithrandir said:

StarChewyWar said:

Mithrandir said:

Wazzles said:

 Also, I can sum up the ring theory in one word: recycling. 

 

Oh, the ring theory...something I've always wanted to write about but never found time to do it.

First thing I'd like to say is that I completely agree with Ring theory; I totally buy it, and yes, I have no doubt Lucas deliberately put those paralelisms there on purpose.

However, there's a problem with how the theory is presented, and the fascination that derives from it; and I can't help blaming some light-minded mentality on art which supposes that everything new, or everything that has not been done before has an artistic value per se (or in this case, change "before" for "recently" given the historical precedents set for Ring storytelling). This is the flagrant translation to art of the market value of innovation. Innovation, changing one's mindset, could be a very good work for science and economy but it's not necessarily for cinema, or drama, or music, or architecture, though it could, supposing you can actually develop your innovative concept to a point when it paralels the effects and complexity of the previous way of thinking.

You can relate this fascination with what's new even to the juvenile praising of plot-twists and poor JJ Abraham's Mistery Box. Whole studios (and viewers) that base their enjoyment of a movie (which, given a certain quality, could reach the level of being called a film) solely on the fact of being as ignorant as possible of its story. To these viewers the supposition of knowing the details of the plot would "spoil" them the entire spectacle. Exactly because their highest value is surprise, and because, to them the sense of fun lies in being dissoriented by the sudden rearrangement of plot-facts and questions instead of the traditional (+2000 years of history of art) extasis produced by overwhelming knowledge.

Traditional storytelling presents a trouble, and, if the resource is used at all, Deus ex Machina helps you suddenly solve the puzzle thus generating pleasure by knowledge; even ESB works this way and Nolan is the Master of DeM IMHO these days (used this way). Nowadays is the other way round, DeM only helps bring more questions, and it gives pleasure by not knowing.

Which is a different mindset, and I'm not saying I'm against it because cinema has proven to produce great films using that technique. On the other hand, mankind has proven to produce great art not using surprise as a value element at all. Take Aedipus and you know exactly how it is going to end, and it doesn't diminish it as a drama, and there are good greek tragedies, and bad ones. Or Les Miserables. Even take any movie of Paolo Sorrentino (in my opinion the best film maker working these days), there are absolutely no big plot-twists, no innovations in the plot of, for instance, the Great Beauty and still the basic premise is developed brillantly, visually, musically and in the script as well.

Going back to ring theory, and in my humble experience related to art, the key is that every premise, basic or complex, modern or ancient as well, can be art. And every single premise can be shit as well. Art quality is not about great ideas, but about how those ideas are translated and written in a physical medium: film, stone, air. A Plot, as a structure, is not good per se but it is a script what can be either good or bad, because it has elements (lines) that can be evaluated. As someone said in architecture, God is in the details [as well].

So even if it is true, Ring storytelling doesn't mean anything. The fact that

"it's a way of thinking never used in the history of cinema"

So fucking what? That doesn't mean anything!!!! Certainly it isn't key to evaluate the mess the prequels are. How innovative a technique can be not only doesn't have importance, but also is absolutely eclipsed by the cheap way the "great" idea is developed. In fact, if you regarded ring storytelling as a great idea, the fact that the prequels were so bad even diminishes GL as an artist, because as we say in my country, he'd have crashed a Ferrari.

Prequels aren't just something far below the category of film, they're even bad movies in general, and VERY bad Star Wars movies given how they counterdict the great themes the OT, ring cycles or not. The idea is poorly implemented

You can't just promote a cultural work as you would promote your concept-product to the CEO you work at. Anyone who's seen the first MR Bean movie can laugh at it. It's good because no one did it is not an option. Strangely to that people "it's good because no one did it before" is not an option. Things are good globally, or they're not. And there are several parameters in a film besides innovation, and even besides the plot.

Now you may call me elitist, because of all that "everything is art" and "everyone can make art" that's in the air these days in the world, but an artistic expression, not matter how simple the physical result could be, has a huge underlying complexity which, lacking, makes the whole expression fall. At some point in history we started to think the opposition Classical-New; which is a fiction. Actually it's Classical/Vulgar and New/Old. And "new" and "old" both fit the greater categories.

Lucas should have understood that even if it rhymes like poetry, not everything that rhymes reaches to be called poetry, and that was exactly his job if he had that idea.

Cinema, as a form of Art answers both questions "what?" and "how?" but it's normally the "how" question the one that legitimizes the product, otherwise we'd be living in a cinema culture of just stupid plot tw...oh Jesus.

So what are you, a triple agent?

Spielberg laughing at Abrahams way of thinking in Indy 4

 I agree completely.

 Then I'm afraid you're either trolling me, or maybe you didn't understand a word I said.

To be clear:

Palpatine is an average-minded politician profitting the rest of the people in the galaxy behave as idiots.

Padmè is not the protagonist.

And Star Wars is NOT poetry.

Ring Theory is bullshit, it's a balloonic rationalisation of something that's obvious to anyone above 15 years old. The use of Ring Composition doesn't make the movie neither good, or smart, or unique, or memorable whatsoever, it's just VISUAL LANGUAGE ENTROPY, only that with a few footnotes and academic references like the guy who wrote it uses, he can make it seem like something serious or worthy when it's only natural, specially given that 4 of 6 movies analized come from the same f*cking director, who could and would obviously repeat himself.

And even conceding you some truth, even if Palpatine was a genius and padme was the protagonist, the movie is still shit. It's an awful work, which fails to convey the emotions it obviously tries to convey. Anakin has a hanging poster saying "I'm cute, like me", Maul saying "I'm badass, fear me", but no one does, because everything is so underlined in the movie that causes rejection to the premise that the viewer is, indeed, as idiotic as the characters in the screen.

Movies don't need to be explained, they success or fail in conveying an emotion.

This one fails horribly, even if it's the most star wars looking of the prequels.

 Well aside from Palpatine being an idiot. Yeah I agree. You don't have to rebutt the points I had in tl:dr. Those were just a vague summation of what I said. I think Ring Theory was a terrible idea. I guess I should have been more specific in my wording and be less objective. I was trying to present the idea that Padme COULD be the protagonist, but I guess I seemed a little too enthusuastic about it.The Phantom Menace is a terrible movie that IMO shouldn't even be considered canon. Disney should have been like "This contradicts too many things. This is no longer canon." Just look at Machete Order! I think you'd have to be a decently smart person to manipulate Anakin in the way he did in Revenge of the Sith. You gotta admit that was good stuff. The Darth Plageius scene was one of my favorite scenes in that movie.

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the ring belongs in the crack said:

Man, see I wanted to leave it at the ";)" and the stupidest username I'd ever come up with, but you just had to provoke me like that didn't you! Okay, last fackin' time, I swear:

Anyway, I'm guessing Palpatine purposefully gave the Trade Federation a malfunctioning, half baked army to quench their greed for Naboo and other planets. In return, Palpatine probably asked for control of all their operations so that if they were sucessful, he could control the galaxy through economics. This is why he tells them to do the opposite of what would help his plan because either way Palpatine wins. This also explains why the Federation and the Separatists have the same army : they are both backed by Palpatine.

No, it was the Federation's own army; the Separatist army consisted of Trade Federation and Techno Union droids (and probably some others), as was clearly said in AOTC.
Guessing the plot background is one thing - contradicting the actual movies is even less valid.

Nah, TPM's plot is pretty much as it is - the only question is, did Palpatine order them to kill the Jedi because he counted on them to escape and bring the queen, or was there some kind of "plan A" he aimed for with that treaty, that would also lead to the same endgame?
I'm guessing it was supposed to be answered by the end of the trilogy, but since the plot got revised and changed in the process it remains a literal "plot hole". Not a contradiction, not "a five year old wrote it", just something that's unresolved.

Who is the protagonist of this movie? Qui Gon? Wise old sage archetype who wants to train Anakin for the sake of the plot.

So? Mask of Zorro, both Zorros are protagonists - it's entirely possible to tell the story from the mentor's point of view.

Obi Wan? Change his name and you'll wonder why he's there at all.

The process of him taking over as the Jedi protagonist begins somwhere 1/3rd into the duel, until then he's a sidekick.

No, the protagonist of The Phantom Menace is... PADME AMIDALA. Think about it. She drives the plot and has a clear goal :

Wow, MIND BLOWN!! This is so archetypal and obvious, anyone who hasn't fallen for Plinkett's mindless sophistry can see that.

Padme and Qui-Gon(->Obi-Wan) are both protagonists in this movie, of different aspects of the story: Padme represents the Naboo plot, and Qui-Gon guides the audience from that to the background plot, i.e. the Sith conspiracy.

He takes on the proactive role while she's still passive, and as the film progresses, his focus gradually shifts away from the "Game of Thrones" to the "Song of Ice and Fire", while she gradually assumes control over her own plight.

 

and tested when she votes no confidence against Chancellor Vallorum

That's not her "test", that's the "death of the mentor" equivalent - the system isn't helping her, so she has to take matters into her own hands.

By "test", you mean "passing the trial" or whatever that's called? Well, Palpatine is kinda tempting her, whispering into her ear like that... maybe it's like a reference to that trope, who knows.

and convinces Boss Nass to defeat the Trade Federation. She has a life or death situation when she helps fight, but ultimately wins and comes back wiser than before. It's clear thtough her interactions with Anakin that the world is very alien to her, but she grows up in the end. So yeah, she's the protagonist even if she's not a very good one.

Her arc is undermined by the Gungans - Naboo's attitude towards the Gungans is never "set up", so that reunification doesn't work as a pay-off; and instead of changing her pacifist attitude while gazing out the window or whatever, Jar Jar just randomly remembers that they've got an army.

Phantom Menace "rhymes" with Return of the Jedi. Clones with Empire, and A New Hope with Revenge of the Sith. Instead of doing it through theming or story, Lucas decided to do it with images.

Okay... what are those "inexplicable storytelling devices", and how are they answered by any of this?

I is mainly based on VI, that's true, but also modeled after IV, and the duel after V.
II resembles V in certain aspects of its plot structure, III resembles it in tone and arc.
II's arena battle rhymes with VI's Jabba; III's opening is based both on IV's death star segment, and VI's throne room (along with another scene), and the IV imagery towards the end is something else entirely. Mustafar duel is also modeled after Bespin. II's duel also, but probably the least in comparison. I don't see how III rhymes with IV.

Then, of course, there's a lot of naughty (yet natural) incest going on, too:
V is, in a way, closely modeled after IV - escape from Hoth resembles escape from Tattoine, battle obviously resembles the trench run, and Bespin is similar to the Death Star. VI "rhymes" with IV and V in different ways. 
The openings of II and III both borrow elements from I's opening, and most AOTC scenes taking place between Act 1 and 2 come off as earlier versions of similar ROTS scenes. The split-off is similar. II's duel is inspired by the second half of I's duel, III's on its first half.

So those "rhymes" are way more numerous and criss-cross than you listed (and incorrectly so, to 1/3rd), feel free to go ahead and make sense of that salad :D
WHERE'S YOUR RING NOW!

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but it's absurd to call it poetry.

If it were structured well, it would be poetry. BTTF is poetry, and so is Cloud Atlas (haven't yet seen it LOL).
All the ways ESB is modeled after SW is poetry.

With the prequels, as far as connections between the three go, I'd say it's more or less a mess, and hence ain't.
In the context of the individual movies, one can argue - for example, there's a sense and structure to the way III references the Throne Room WITHOUT the dramatic intensity.

 

It really shows you how massive the problems are with the PT, when a group needs to grasp at straws to the point where reuse of visual motifs is somehow supposed to save the films.

Except it isn't "needed" - they easily pass the qualitative test the way any other film of that genre does.

Yes. Palpatine was manipulating both sides. You could even call him a bit of a phantom menace in that regard.

Huh, isn't that like, obvious to everyone in the universe?

Padme as the protagonist would have been a great idea. It's a shame it wasn't filmed that way whatsoever.

Actually, it WAS filmed that way - except, between Naboo and Coruscant, there's a huge black hole in her arc and we don't see things from her perspective (not even a valid 3rd person perspective cause her on Tattoine is completely disconnected from anything else she does).

but the only other character that fit Joseph Campbell's hero archetype was JAR JAR BINKS.

Ripping off Plinkett again? He said this in various interviews, but then retracted the statement in the EpI audio commentary.

Anakin fits that arc somewhat - not completely, but as a supporting character, that's kinda okay-ish.
Obi-Wan, as I said, takes over Qui-Gon and has his archetypal victory at the end, and Qui-Gon fits into a different archetype.

Jar Jar does hardly anything at all, in that regard - he says "we will fight", but Amidala should've had that moment, in his case it's disconnected from everything. He gets promoted General, but that doesn't count for anything, and he has that "look, we've won" moment, but that's typical for supporting sidekicks.
Mike was smart enough to retract that nonsense - so no reason for you not to :)

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Padme as the protagonist is actually an interesting concept, though this isn't particularly true since she gets less screen time than Qui-Gon and just as much as Anakin.

Lol if screentime was an indicator, then Batman wouldn't be the main character of BR.
Anakin is a supporting character - somewhat/almost qualifies as a main one next to Qui-Gon in the Tattoine chapter, but not nowhere else.

Qui-Gon is also a main character.

The movie could be edited to focus on her, but that would cut out the more fun and interesting parts of the story, resulting in something even worse.

Her bits are actually among the best stuff in the movie, so "worse", yeah don't think so.
Plus, like half of it is "fun action".

All of the palpatine stuff makes sense I guess, but it should've actually been explained clearly in the movie rather than someone putting it together fifteen years later.

Well, it's contradicted by the movies.

The ring theory is absolute bullshit, it's not a theory, it's fact. A four year old kid could figure out that the PT tries to mirror the OT! This adds nothing to the PT, and simply makes it seem sloppily written. Not poetry, not symbolism, just repetition, and useless repetition at that.

Yes, it is obvious.
Doch, it does add something to the PT, as such features usually enhance the experience.
No, it doesn't - ESB isn't sloppily written for referencing SW, and none of the things that were sloppy about Jedi, were things that were based on IV.

Useless repitition? Hardly. Some of it is, other is meaningful, but it's true that there's not much rhyme and reason BETWEEN the individual prequels.

TPM wasn't just explained to me, it was simply defended by someone who won't accept that it sucks ass.

2/3rds of it is decent to great, 1/3rd is for 10 year olds.
All the numerous structural flaws (in plotting, not pacing) within those 2/3rds don't amount to anything lesser than that.

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While Attack of the Clones is a failure as a movie on every level,

Lol no. It doesn't hold together very well, but "on every level" would also mean that the singular episodes or storylines are a failure, and Obi-Wan's storyline, certainly beginning with Kamino, is pretty much rock solid.
Maybe it fails on a logical level (the way he bullshits his way through those conversations), but that's generally one of the less important aspects.

There are two good things in this movie: Darth Maul and the score by John Williams.

All the long lists of "good things about the prequels", even on this forum, would like a word with you.

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Palpatine is an average-minded politician profitting the rest of the people in the galaxy behave as idiots.

There is such a thing as "internal logic" - so, for example, while a lot of Qui-Gon's decisions in the movie are completely hair raising if you scrutinize them, within the context of the narrative, he's savvy and competent, because the escapist universe he's in VALIDATES HIS DECISIONS.

In that sense, none of the people Palpatine manipulates are idiots, aside from Jar Jar, and he IS a genius.
And within the Biblical narrative, Jesus is the epitome of truth and wisdom, it's only outside of it that his Sermon is kinda, well, of mixed quality. 
 

and padme was the protagonist

She is one of the two.

the movie is still shit. It's an awful work, which fails to convey the emotions it obviously tries to convey.

Which emotions does it try to convey, and how does it fail to convey those.

Anakin has a hanging poster saying "I'm cute, like me", Maul saying "I'm badass, fear me", but no one does, because everything is so underlined in the movie that causes rejection

Um, no one above 10 likes Anakin cause diabetes is a bitch; people do generally "fear" Maul, he's extremely popular to this day.
Most people, even those who hate the rest, say "but Maul was badass and that duel, too" - the only people who say like "well actually not because he had no character development" are pretentious wannabe critics in online circlejerks, that's not a valid argument really.

So underlined that it causes rejection? Whatever dude. There's nothing more "underlined" about Maul than any other cool villain in film history; Leatherface from that prequel is much more underlined, and he's still awesome. 

to the premise that the viewer is, indeed, as idiotic as the characters in the screen.

Oh, I thought rejection of the characters?

Okay... so you mean, if it weren't so "underlined", people would accept the premise that they're as idiotic as the characters? I.e. suspend their disbelief / skepticism / neocortex and BECOME as idiotic?

K, whatever - I say, the charisma of the characters, excellent pacing and aesthetics and energetic drive of the storyline do that job.

Movies don't need to be explained, they success or fail in conveying an emotion.

Well, if someone claims they make no sense (in terms of plot, or other creative aspects), then they do.
The OP was a response to Plinkett, who said it made no sense / didn't have character arcs, which is obviously nonsense.

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something I've always wanted to write about but never found time to do it.

Well... fate hath picked a goodth moment. :)

Innovation, which is changing one's mindset, could be a very good value for science and economy but it's not necessarily for cinema, or drama, or music, or architecture.

Nah, man - if something is innovative, but sucks, it still deserves credit for being innovative, and discredit for being bad. The innovation could either be seen as having a potential, or as a reason why it was "innovative" in the first place, but still points for creativity.


even ESB works this way and even today Nolan is the Master of DeM IMHO (used this way). Nowadays is the other way round,

That "old paradigm" hasn't gone anywhere, people still like stories that develop and end predictably.... just not exclusively.

take for instance The Great Beauty: there are absolutely no big plot-twists

Man, this new Gandalf is even snobbier than the old one! Hey... Avengers, the new Star Wars. No need to go further than that.

Also, "surprises in a story" =/= telling a story innovatively. Lots of stories have surprising twists, but are only the 100th story to use that type of twist.

ESB works this way? ESB is the one with the surprising twist, not sure what you mean. But I, III, IV and VI all work quite predictably.

Prequels aren't just something far below the category of film, they're even bad movies in general,

That's like saying "he's not even merely subhuman, he's also kind of a dick", and no, they're good movies in general.
I and II are dragged down by like 1/3rd of shite, the rest ranges from good to great.

and VERY bad Star Wars movies given how they counterdict the great themes the OT

Contradicting the original themes = mismatched, misaimed, "not real follow-ups" =/= bad.
Revenge of the Sith has very strong themes on its own, even if they completely go against the OT.

Strangely to people from other fields than art, "this is good because no one did it before" is not an option. Things are good globally, or they're not.

If anything, art and entertainment are the areas where pure innovation has the most value, because guess what, THAT CAN BE ENTERTAINING ON ITS OWN.
Science is pretty much "proof or GTFO", and technology, well, see Robocop 2. Not sure why you claimed the opposite above:

Innovation, which is changing one's mindset, could be a very good value for science and economy

but fine.

;)

Art is all about conveying in a third person a definite emotion.

Oh man...




 Um... I can't tell if your attacking the prequels, defending them, or both. Either way I'm too lazy to read what you wrote ??????

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TV's Frink said:

The prequels don't deserve this many words.

 True. Let's get a mod to lock this thread lol

I think everything that needed to be said has been said.

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The Phantom Menace can't be explained because it only exist as nothing more than a first draft that was written after shooting the film. The misery of not only the franchise but the upcoming century was set in place. Not many people at the time realized how dark things were to become. There was never really a "bad" Star Wars film before this time, but the weights on the scale were being stacked against it and now it hangs in the balance.

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Um... I can't tell if your attacking the prequels, defending them, or both. Either way I'm too lazy to read what you wrote ??????

Neither - I recognize that they're generally good, with some minor flaws and some huge flaws, and seem to have the monopoly of sensible arguments at the moment.
If you're too lazy, that's okay - but keep in mind, since my TLDR directly refutes your points, and I'll maintain my ability to refute all of your points even after I've stopped posting, anything you say in this "lazy" state is invalid by default :)

Case in point:

I was trying to present the idea that Padme COULD be the protagonist, but I guess I seemed a little too enthusuastic about it.The Phantom Menace is a terrible movie that IMO shouldn't even be considered canon.

She IS one of the two protagonists, as explained.
You weren't enthusiastic enough about it - but if you could think, you'd be MORE enthusiastic, because that's TRUE.

It's a mediocre movie at very worst, and the fact that the prequels are too inconsistent with the OT to be considered canon has nothing to do with quality.

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One whole text to establish the difference between art and lower expressions and he comes with "art and entertainment". Thanks for sparing me time in answering.

Oh, that's what your obscurantism-filled essay was there to establish? GEE I'M SORRY.

Sorry no, you made a lot of points about other topics, and those I quoted, I've refuted with my left hand.
The part where I said "art and entertainment" wasn't referring to anything you said that was differentiating between the two - you said "other than art" which definitely wasn't including entertainment, and earlier you said "music, drama and sculpting" which includes both.


So, my use of "art and entertainment" didn't in any way misunderstand anything you said, but hey - feel free to use that as a cop-out. If you actually tried to answer, you'd fall flat on your face. 

Perhaps I should better keep rejoying in my snobbism while Ring Theory suddenly opens our eyes and makes the prequels reach the reputation of Citizen Kane or 2001...or Avengers in case those titles don't ring a bell. 

Just....meh

Well, I didn't "support the Ring theory", in fact I said it belongs in the crack - so there, now YOU didn't get what I said, I know you hoped it was the other way around.

And Kane / 2001 are both osmotic enough that everyone's heard of them, and I didn't say any of that - the only SW films that could compete with those, in terms of quality (i.e. adjusted for the simpler genre) are SW and TESB, the only great films in the series.

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"What's preventing my mind from being blown is that I've tried to look at it that way, or any other way that could give TPM the benefit of the doubt, and the film itself just doesn't support even marginally redemptive viewing strategies."

No idea what a "redemptive viewing strategy" is, TPM is a good movie on a very basic level, no mind-bending "looking this way or that way" bullshit required.

And regarding your reply to me about the protagonist: I guess it depends what is being discussed. The criticism by the plinkett person is that the film has no protagonist. So I'm not sure the best way to contest that is to scratch our heads, wondering, "so who must the protagonist be, if not x?". There isn't necessarily one by definition, and we don't need to upgrade the closest candidate.

I think plinky is right.

No, he's completely wrong. And I'm not scratching my head, I know for sure and can make a case (as anyone with half a brain can - but you tried to look at it from every angle, right).

Feel free to ignore the stronger argument, while reponding to the weaker argument - but that kinda invalidates your stance.

However, I also think it's narrow-minded of him to assume every film needs to be structured in such a boring way with a Campbellian Hero. But that doesn't save TPM. It plays out more like an episode of a television show that allows us to follow various characters and plot lines, while lacking any kind of thoughtful overall structure.

He doesn't assume that, he just says it's "generally good for those genres", and if you deviate from that you should do it well, like all those directors listed.

However... it doesn't deviate, it IS structured in a Campbellian way, and no, it's not a boring way unless you think Star Wars sucks.


It has a painfully obvious, classic and solid structure, it goes straight from A to B. Again, so easy a 5 year old could spot it - not sure what's preventing you.

Same with Sith. AOTC, eh, less so, but still has a good structure.

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You say that, and yet I am still left bored, confused,

 and angry by what I see on-screen during the prequels.

Awwwwww. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mghmk3Cs6U

Based on the length of your post it is clear that you put far more thought into this trilogy than Lucas ever did.

Well, 6 hour trilogy > my post, and my post > your post. So, by your logic...

Only a portion of my post actually analyzes the movies, or is even about them (responded to various statements by others).
Within that portion, one sub-portion analyzes what's actually in the movie, i.e. the thought that was put in it; the other points out flaws and the thought that WASN'T put in the movie.

And since those are criticisms, your "but Lucas put no thought" is already redundant.
And no point did I "read convoluted interpretations into it", like the OP, which is where your comment would've been justified.

Anyway, this is just another example of how you people maintain your opininion by a complete inability to think, or make reasonable conclusions.

Both the fanbois over at Appreciation Society and antis like yourself have one thing in common: all you do is stand around in a huge circlejerk, saying nothing but incredibly stupid shite all day long.

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The prequels don't deserve this many words.

They wouldn't if it weren't for you cultists talking nonsense about 'em.

True. Let's get a mod to lock this thread lol

Scared of challenge :)

I think everything that needed to be said has been said.

Only by me, the rest was mostly nonsense.

The Phantom Menace can't be explained because it only exist as nothing more than a first draft that was written after shooting the film.

There's nothing to "explain" in the first place, there's some violations of logic which are of tertiary importance overall, some holes in the character arcs that don't obscure the arcs themselves, and some unresolved plot points which should've been followed up on in the SEQUELS.

And Lucas' cognitive dissonance regarding whether he was making Terminator or Carebears, but that, again, is a no-brainer.

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So... Anyone wants to to take a crack at Attack of the Clones? I actually like it more than Phantom Menace just because I have stronger nostalgia. I didn't see Phantom Menace until I was older, and I didn't like it all. I think you have to see Phantom Menace as a kid to apprieciate it. Unlike the original trilogy which can be enjoyed at all stages of life though the nostalgia helps lol. Helps me at least. Unlike the Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones doesn't downright contradict many of the things in the original trilogy. Sure there's Yoda with a lightsaber, but in a way it almost gives him an arc. In Return of the Jedi, Yoda says to be careful with the Emperor. In Revenge of the Sith, Yoda fights Palpatine and loses. Maybe during all that time in Dagobah, Yoda smelled too many mushrooms and became the deranged midget he is in the Empire Strikes Back. Or maybe he realized his hubris and then went crazy. Either way, great arc. Revenge of the Sith(the watchable prequel) just doesn't work without Attack of the Clone while Phantom Menace is completely superflous. I'm not saying this is my favorite Star Wars movie, but not as bad as Phantom Menace. Doesn't matter how many Phantom Edits you make, it still doesn't have a relatable main character. If I had to rank them :

1. Empire Strikea Back

2. Star Wars(1977)

3. Return of the Jedi

4. Revenge of the Sith

5. Attack of the Clones

6. The Phantom Menace