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What Went Wrong/What Can Be Avoided Thread

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Let's use this thread to identify two philosophical questions.

1. What were the true, no nonsense, no jokes, flaws with the prequels?

2. How can we avoid those flaws with the new films?

This can identify pet-peeves (for me, the spiritual aspect of the force being almost completely lost on AOTC and ROTS).

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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That Palpatine was revealed to be a Sith. Palpatine should follow his own ways, not those of an ancient cult.

If Plagueis shows up in the ST, not only will I refuse to watch the movies, but I won't so much as watch the trailers, either. - DuracellEnergizer

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………………………

I'm intending slightly more deep-seated than that (get over it, man!), but, all right.

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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that every character was so goddamn earnest and serious. I could care about the adventures Luke, Leia, Han and co because they were fun characters, everyone in the prequels was so one dimensionally monotone.

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YES!

No sarcasm, no interaction, just everything-being-so-damned-serious-all-the-time dialogue. The conversations feel really stilted because they don't sound like real people at all.

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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* Lack of clear protagonist, especially in TPM. This has been brought up by several critics. We don't get to see Anakin until half-way into the movie.
In the prequel-trilogy, the protagonist was an ordinary guy swept up in galactic events. He had human flaws, and we could feel for the guy. Then we saw him grow and mature. What was Anakin's story? First we stupid little kid, then in the next movie we see an annoying broody teenager, and in the last movie we see an annoying broody teenager yet again.

* Star Wars is supposed to be a roller-coaster ride, both physically and emotionally. Don't drag it out in the Galactic Senate (TPM) or make it overly dark (ROTS). There needs to be both light and the dark in the movie.

* Cringe-worthy moments type 1: Aliens are depicted as funny. Even aliens getting killed is depicted as comedy ... In the OT we did not see this until a little bit in Jabba's palace .. but we got more of it in the Special Edition, and then a truckload of this type of manure in TPM.

* Cringe-worthy moments type 2: Real bad dialogue/directing. The script needs more than one script-writer. Most of the most memorable moments and lines in the OT were not from GL but from several people who helped out with the script .. or even ad-libbed by the actors. ("You're lucky you don't taste very good", "I know"). We have seen from deleted scenes/alternate takes from the OT that not all lines came out right the first time either - shooting should not be rushed.

Some acting is wooden because of overuse of CGI combined with a lack of direction. Several actors have said that they really hated having to work alone in front of a green-screen, and it shows in the result - the same actors' performances are not good in those scenes, and these are well-known classic actors with a good reputation.

* Bad female characters. In the OT, Leia is not only beautiful but she kicks ass, and we love her for it. She is the only woman we see much of, but she is a role-model for girls. She is strong, takes charge, challenges the men and she keeps her poise even when she has been taken as a slave. In the PT, Padmé can shoot droids and lead her kingdom of Naboo, but then she turns into a total wuss when she falls in love and in ROTS she has been transformed into something horrible. The OT got widely criticised for having only one leading woman, but there is still only one woman in the PT, except for the few who are practically extras because they don't say anything of value. If you want to attract female Star Wars fans, you can not do it with Padmé's wardrobe alone. The Sequel-trilogy needs strong female characters, and more than one.

* Pet peeve of many: Too much Tatooine. It is a backwater planet on the outer rim, far from the major events. People don't want to revisit the same boring old place, they want to see more of the Star Wars galaxy.

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For me it was they tried to do too much. In comparison to A New Hope that had Tatooine, outer space, Death Star and a bit of Yavin which they stayed on target with; The Phantom Menace had Coruscant, Naboo surface, outer space, under water, Tatooine and it jumped between them an awful lot.

Dragging politics into it made a mess of the story. I still don't understand A Phantom Menace.

Characters are all one dimensional as already said. That was poor directing because the actors can act but were told to do it a certain way.

Jar Jars 'comedy' was pure slapstick and annoying in comparison to R2 and 3POs mates bickering. Good friends can have a go at each other in a funny way and I could relate to the R2 and 3PO jibes.

Changing the bad guy every movie was a poor idea. They had a winner with Maul but killed him to be replaced by grandad then killed him to be replaced by a cyborg. 
The originals had Vader all the way and you could explore his character. Maul was a wasted opportunity. He could of been expanded on in the 2nd and 3rd installments and killed by Anakin/Vader as a climax.

On a personal note I love the style and design of the spaceships in the originals like the X-Wing. The prequels had nothing that inspired me. Just run of the mill space ships. Possibly exception was the Arc-170 but that was brought in too late and had too little time on screen. Never saw those rear gunners fire even though they were chased by droid fighters.

One other thing that bugged me was the extras were just extras. In the original a few nameless stormtroopers had some good lines, crew members too. It made it feel more real with the likes of Piett, Veers, Wedge etc.

I could go on and on but I'll stop here.

Battle droids the robotic incarnations of Jar Jar Binks.

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The movies were sterile and i actually hated the characters.

The biggest problem for me with II and III is that they could have written an Anakin who we were sympathetic to and even genuinely liked before his fall.

A good person seduced to evil.

The prequels show he was never good except for maybe in episode I.

But as an adult is never shown making good decisions or being all that heroic.

How is he this legendary hero and Jedi that made Luke want to be a Jedi?

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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The biggest problem is that, as is, the films are about a bad egg who needed that last push to get to the side of evil, not a noble soul seduced by evil.

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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I think the biggest problem with Maul was that everything was focused on his look and his physicality. He was created to be an awesome looking action-figure but they didn't give him a personality or any sort of characterization. I think they should have cast an actor rather than a stuntman to breathe some evil and depth into the character.

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Tack said: (get over it, man!)

 Getting over it would be like preferring the prequels over the OT.

If Plagueis shows up in the ST, not only will I refuse to watch the movies, but I won't so much as watch the trailers, either. - DuracellEnergizer

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How exactly?

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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WE can't avoid any flaws in the new films, save from avoiding the films themselves. Only JJ and his crew can do that.

I'm going to buck the trend and say what was right about the prequels: It re-framed the story of Star Wars as the tragedy and redemption of Anakin Skywalker, thus making them somewhat relevant, in theory if not in reality.

One danger of episodes 7-9 would be to focus on the story of Luke, or (god forbid) Anakin. The story should be re-framed to be about the Skywalker family as a whole, with a focus on the younger generation. Not to say that they shouldn't play a part, but they should never distract from the new leads. Of course Luke should return as an Obi-wan mentor type, and I'd even be open to Anakin's ghost returning at the end of the entire "tri-trilogy" and doing some great feat through the Force to truly atone for his past actions and allow him peace. But keep them to peripheral characters.

Another potential pitfall is the overuse of CG. Take the actors to genuine locations and sets, allow them a realistic world that they can interact with and believe in and I will believe in the world with them. I don't think that JJ intends to skimp on the practical effects, but paradoxically this space opera is best when it's effects are down-to-earth.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V2 Released!) and The Starlight Project

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Tack said:

How exactly?

 Both would be ignoring a horrible elaphant in the room.

If Plagueis shows up in the ST, not only will I refuse to watch the movies, but I won't so much as watch the trailers, either. - DuracellEnergizer

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Well for me having Hayden's ghost converse with Mark Hamill would be a deal breaker.

But hey i am probably one of the few who really hated him being added to return of the jedi.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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Characters and situations should be driven by the needs of the story, not the desire to create as many toy options as possible.

Every character needs their moment in the spotlight. That thing that only they can do to help everyone else out/push the story along. Even ROTJ mostly got this right. This goes hand in hand with don't bring back a character for a glorified cameo if they have no impact on the plot.

Don't take us where we've already been unless there's a damn good reason to go back there. Tatooine has been done to death.

Keep light saber battles realistic, this isn't The Matrix.

Star Wars needs to be fun again. (A word George himself once used to describe the original film.) That doesn't mean it can't be dark in places, but people need to come out of the theater exhilarated and happy, and itching to see it again.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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The PT Jedi lacked genuine humanity and warmth. They came off more as aloof superhuman enforcers than mystical guardians of peace and justice.

“I am a writer. Therefore, I am not sane.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

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Lucas was so caught up in his own universe and ideas that he forgot to focus on making a good film. The original Star Wars borrows a lot from older movies, particularly the influence of Kurosawa. The plot of ANH is almost flawless in structure for an adventure film.

No good characters, no humour or fun in the adventure. No one we identify with or want to be like (solo!)

Jedi's seem really boring. Not like Samurai at all. They are a bunch of fools who don't see the obvious. And they all twerl their light sabers too much.

Flat performances from almost everyone.

The decision to start the story on such a young Anakin.

Obviously the over reliance on green screen and cgi, making most frames a cluttered mess. No such thing a economy of statement in these films.

Linking too many things together - Vader building C3PO, Chewbacca being Yoda's friend. This all makes the universe seem smaller.

Ruining the Force.

Just really poor handling of almost any scene. Anakina and Padme's romance - dreadful, Anakin's final motivation for turning to the dark side and killing other jedi's.... So he could bring back Padme when she dies during child birth - how about just telling a doctor instead - maybe in secret! He's an idiot.

The fact that nothing looks or feels like Star Wars. I'm hoping that with the new trilogy they just loot all the designs from the OT. I want to see AT-AT's and Tie Fighters dammit!

The fact that the films were made at all. Prequels are never a good idea, as if a film is successful enough to warrant a prequel it obviously means it doesn't need one. They weakened many things from the OT, particulary Vader that you just have to forget about them. To me, Vader didn't built C3PO - it's stupid.

There are loads of other things, but it's depressing typing this, so I'm going to stop.

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Tack said:

 How can we avoid those flaws with the new films?

 We can't.  We're in the audience.  We can pay for a ticket and hope we like what they've done.  If the reviews and trailers look as though it's something we won't enjoy, we can watch something else.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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-I think we should've seen more of the public's perception of the Jedi. It seems weird that only 20 years after a bunch of guys in robes were leading military battles and performing superhuman feats that the OT era is suddenly full of nonbelievers. Maybe if they were more of a masonic order... They have members from all corners of society, aren't normally recognized by any uniform, and their secretive ways have been known to create mistrust in non-members.

-If the stories needed a clear protagonist, it should've been Obi-Wan. He's an idealist ("guardians of peace and justice" in "a more civilized age") but his downfall is that he doesn't know how to deal with the darker elements of human nature that lead to his star pupil turning on him.

-There's not much consistency between the movies. Padme's changing costumes every 10 minutes, there's no consistent villain (aside from Palps, but we don't focus on him until the last one), and the ship designs are being replaced every movie (it might be a minor point, but I think we could've done with an X-Wing or a Millennium Falcon "hero" ship).

-Too much time in the senate, not enough time developing Anakin and Obi-Wan.

-Lucas tried to get political in his choice of villains (the Trade Federation, the Banking Clan, the Commerce Guild, the Corporate Alliance...) But not in a fun, Robocop-sort of way.

-Like Plinkett said, there's not much purpose behind the lightsaber fights other than the need for some kind of action scene.

-All the Jedi and senators are fecking idiots.

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It's simple: the marketing department took over and the focus was on selling jar jar dolls rather than telling a story. They should have just watched the original movies and matched up the continuity for the prequels. 

the problem with episode VII is that marketing is still in charge of the movie (ever wonder why they had khan in STID?), and I'm afraid there'll be even more focus on selling toys (We are talking about Disney here) and making the films broad enough to bring in a larger audience. Abrams isn't going to bring "balance back to the force" guys; the only thing he can do is stop the films from being worse than the prequels, which might be easier said than done (eg. Man of Steel).

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darklordoftech said:

Tack said: (get over it, man!)

 Getting over it would be like preferring the prequels over the OT.

 Here's an idea...instead of getting over it, just stop repeating it.  We all get it.

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TV's Frink said:

darklordoftech said:

Tack said: (get over it, man!)

 Getting over it would be like preferring the prequels over the OT.

 Here's an idea...instead of getting over it, just stop repeating it.  We all get it.

 We also get how bad the Anakin/Padme romance is.

If Plagueis shows up in the ST, not only will I refuse to watch the movies, but I won't so much as watch the trailers, either. - DuracellEnergizer

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But here's another question: why is there an excessive focus on politics in a two-hour toy commercial?

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I think the biggest PT cock-up was Lucas not giving his basic outline to a professional writer or two to finish as three complete scripts before the first one started filming.

Lets face it Lucas has never been the best writer in the world. He isn't even that good a director. He is a good executive producer and ideas man but those ideas have to be managed by someone whom he respects. He doesn't understand why his 1977 film is so loved so having it written by someone who does get it should have been essential.

The OT was made up as it went along too but somehow largely got away with it until ROTJ. After ROTJ went off the rails story-wise Lucas should have used it as a learning experience on the importance of story and script. Instead he learned that he could shove anything in under a Star Wars crawl and no matter how awful it will always make money, which I suspect was Lucas' main goal. After ROTJ the general feeling was that Star Wars had become too much of a toy advert and too parasitic on itself. If anything the PT is everything wrong with ROTJ on a more hideous scale.

You know how Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize? It's probably the same reason people don't bitch about Jedi so much anymore. It's not George Bush.

The near contemporary LOTR and the Harry Potter films benefited greatly from being adaptations of pre-existing material. It gave the people behind those projects a sense of direction to move towards.

So much of the PT seems contradictory to itself let alone the original trilogy.

A respected professional writer would have found a way to make some of Lucas' more out there ideas work and had the balls push the button on the ejector seat on those that could never work.

Jar-Jar was clearly meant to be a major character in all three films but the racist undertones of his persona made him terminally unpopular.

Anakin was clearly meant to attempt to liberate the slaves in Episodes 2 or 3 (his prophetic dream was telecast in such a way that it must have been the original intent).

The mystery elements in Episode 2 were meant to evoke detective fiction but they didn't work and were not returned to.

The lack of a central villain or twist in the obvious observation that Palpatine is the puppet master left a blank space where the antagonist should have been and the protagonist should never have been an OT character as we know their arcs.

If Anakin and Obi-Wan were background characters we would have a protagonist we could really care about and feel genuine anxiety about because they are new and may survive beyond the OT. The fall of the Republic and rise of the Empire would still happen, Vader could betray the Jedi but the focus would be on someone unique to the PT.

Having Yoda in the PT was a mistake in my opinion and having him be a saber throwing acrobat was a disaster the series will be hard pushed to recover from.

Jake Lloyd was clearly cast to resemble a certain Titanic victim, he doesn't look much like Hayden but is the spitting image of Kate Winslet.

So the contracts should have been drawn up before the first film rolled. If the actor they wanted wasnt willing they should have cast a young Anakin that resembled a younger version of their final choice or maybe dropped the stupid Kid Vader idea in the first place.

Dooku would have been so much more tragic/potent a character if he was the same character Liam Neeson played in TPM leaving Obi-wan to do all the ground work of finding Anakin.

While there is nothing wrong with having clear touchstones evoking the OT, the FNWNK in the PT is fourth wall demolition. Threepio is now Princess Leia's older brother!!!!!!!!????  Boba Fett is the son of the bodyguard of the leader of one side of a war who also happens to be the clone template of the whole army on the other side !!!!!????? AND BOTH SIDES KNOW THIS AND DON"T SENSE SOMETHING A BIT IFFY AND BOTH SIDES USE THE FORCE!!

And yet we don't see Cyborg Vader kill Jedi *grrrrrr*

These things needed to be sorted out before TPM rolled (between 1983 and 1999). A proper professional writer would have taken that time, shuffled the plot ideas around for maximum impact, giving the production team direction and focus, someone to care about in the chaos and some surprises despite it being a prequel series.

Known directorial talent would have been an obvious plus too.

These films were anticipated for decades and will never be made again. Even if the ST is brilliant and there is no guarantee of that, the mistakes of the PT will always be the ghost at the party.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M