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What do you think of The Prequel Trilogy? A general discussion.

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To start off I will ignore bad dialogue and/or acting. No; for me, after 17 years (!!) Since the last prequel came out, the biggest problem was that it told the wrong story.

It should have been about a young Jedi Master called Obiwan Kenobi and how his renegade, unsanctioned, training of Anakin Skywalker ( a gifted pilot and incredibly strong in The Force, but mentally unstable) lead to the downfall of The Republic.

Despite my issues with TPM, there is the beginning of this idea at the end of the film - but it is never continued into the following films.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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Very rough in places, borderline terrible, but at least it told a cohesive story throughout all 3 films, unlike the sequels.

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What is there to be said that hasn’t already been said? They’re good movie (TPM) and two crimes against cinema (AOTC and ROTS). This trilogy needed TCW to save it and explain things it couldn’t. A side effect of TCW is that it made ROTS infinitely less enjoyable as a finale to the PT and a finale to TCW.

TROS is very rushed and sloppy, but I’d contend that ROTS is similarly flawed (albeit to a lesser extent in this regard). It’s burdened with telling the PT’s entire arc in most of the movie, suffering from the dilly-dallying in the previous two movies. Also, deciding Anakin’s fall through reshoots is somewhat noticeable in the final product. It’s not super-sloppy, but the whole fall feels like it was scribbled on a napkin.

The accusations of “nostalgia bait” should also apply to the PT after Phantom Menace. That movie had such an excellent aesthetic, largely divorced from anything we’d seen in the OT. The later two movies, however, give in to the baiting/universe shrinkage with characters (the Fett family, Chewbacca, and the Vader suit being the main marketing push of ROTS) and reshaping the aesthetic to be more OT-like (but not slavish OT replicas like the ST). I get wanting to push towards the OT as it got closer timeline-wise, but part of me thinks it was responding to TPM backlash.

The meta reasons for disliking the PT are also there. The creation of the Special Editions, compressing the saga’s timeline, the proliferation of unfunny memes, and how Lucasfilm tried to reframe the entire saga as “The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, the chosen one.” When looking at the OT, it makes very little internal sense to interpret it as the continuation of “Vader’s tragedy.” If there is one good thing the ST did (I’d argue it did many), is that it removed the chosen one reframing.

I know there’s been pushback on the idea that George needed other people to reshape his stories to make them better and that he needed to have fewer “yes” men around him (e.g., Rick McCallum). Well, it’s still true. A movie made with a few more passes on the scripts and with a different director (still making George’s story, mind you) would’ve been better than what we got.

When comparing them to the ST, I like the ST more. I simply do. Those movies are incredibly flawed and made by a wretched entertainment conglomerate, but there’s something about them that feels more in tune with the OT (and not in a nostalgia-bait way). TLJ is an excellent piece as a distant epilogue to the OT, much like how TPM is a fantastic distant prologue to the OT (just change it to be 50 years before the OT instead of 30). The Abrams movies are forgettable (but improved with fanedits), but I’ll take forgettable over whatever the later two PT movies were.

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It’s no secret I love the Prequels and embrace George’s interpretation of the story. I know though it works differently for everyone. Especially on here. I think sometimes I find the problem some have is seeing them as the second trilogy instead of as the first trilogy as he intended. It’s not a criticism against anyone personally as I know it’s subjective but an observation I’ve noticed as there’s often a lot of disconnect I find in certain perceived plot holes that aren’t actual plot holes versus what actually is one. There are some things that I think can be considered plot holes depending on if you expect to see them like Obi-Wan serving Bail Organa in The Clone Wars but other things like why the Trade Federation is still part of the Senate after The Phantom Menace is explained by Sio Bibble in Attack of the Clones. As for seeing Obi-Wan and Bail, I don’t really expect to as I understand the story of the films shows us the beginning and ending of the war. It leaves you to your imagination or The Clone Wars series to fill in more details but for me personally it’s an added bonus of more Star Wars from an era I love. It’s not a means of fixing things. I know it’s a little thing re: plot holes and it’s understandable with how densely detailed the films are that plots could be overlooked but certain things are in the films that many complain about not being there. Not to mention there’s things that were in the Originals first but aren’t as focused on as heavily as they are in the Prequels. I think that’s one major reason I love them though. There’s so much going on underneath and above the surface. It makes rewatching the films very rewarding as you catch more and more each viewing. They’re not perfect but neither are the films in the Original Trilogy. Each of George’s six films have their share of issues but they all come directly from his creative vision and this is for better or worse depending on who you ask. For me it’s for the better as the films are highly entertaining and teaching you something bigger than yourself if you know where to look.

My problems with the Sequels stem from its inability to understand the context of the films as George sees them. This isn’t bad for those who enjoy everything regardless or who dislike the bigger picture approach of him embracing contextualising the first six films as a collective whole about the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader but when you’re like me it creates the feeling of they’re running away from the story being told in favour of being an “antidote” to what some people disliked about the Prequels. The other and probably bigger issue for me is they don’t understand George’s philosophy and worldview but I suppose that’s inevitable with different creatives and a corporation at work making the stories now. It’s just unfortunate the story got lost in the shuffle in trying to continue off of one trilogy instead of two trilogies.

I do appreciate The Last Jedi on its own merits most of the time. It’s one of those films that I don’t think I’ll ever have a firm and definitive opinion on but maybe that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes films can be messy and unpredictable but so is life. It’s not my Star Wars. I can’t say much for the other two films in the trilogy except they feel like what happens when Hollywood makes Star Wars. They’re nostalgia pandering in the case of one and mindless fun with nostalgia in the other.

However like the majority of the Disney era content out there they’re ultimately somebody’s Star Wars just not mine.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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BedeHistory731 said:

What is there to be said that hasn’t already been said? They’re good movie (TPM) and two crimes against cinema (AOTC and ROTS). This trilogy needed TCW to save it and explain things it couldn’t.

Don’t think that’s really the consensus anymore, if it ever was. Maybe around these parts there will be more people who think that way, but anecdotally most of the people I know either IRL (20 - 30 age range) or that I have seen online and in other boards (TheForce.net, for instance) tend to consider ROTS to be the best in the trilogy by a mile and to rival the best of the other two. Curiously, most people I know rank TPM at the very bottom, ST notwithstanding.

To answer the title of the thread - they’re great stories, even if told somewhat unevenly. Ultimately what I’m looking for in movies and especially Star Wars is a great story so for the most part I’m left very satisfied. The PT found its footing and focus as it went on, and got better and better with each entry. I have a good time.

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BedeHistory731 said:

The accusations of “nostalgia bait” should also apply to the PT after Phantom Menace. That movie had such an excellent aesthetic, largely divorced from anything we’d seen in the OT.

Really? I’d say PM was the MOST like the OT. The three main setpieces are grey corridors, desert Tattooine, and forest/palace Naboo. That’s 2/3 of the aesthetic of ROTJ.

In fact, PM is like a mirror to ROTJ, right down to the climax of the silly indigenous people of the planet rising up against a technologically superior army. Lando’s army in space needs planetbound Han to kill the signal; Jar-Jar and Padme’s army on the ground needs Anakin in space to kill the signal.

I once read a long theory that Lucas deliberately made PM mirror ROTJ; that may be giving him too much credit, but who knows?

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BedeHistory731 said:

What is there to be said that hasn’t already been said? They’re good movie (TPM) and two crimes against cinema (AOTC and ROTS). This trilogy needed TCW to save it and explain things it couldn’t. A side effect of TCW is that it made ROTS infinitely less enjoyable as a finale to the PT and a finale to TCW.

TROS is very rushed and sloppy, but I’d contend that ROTS is similarly flawed (albeit to a lesser extent in this regard). It’s burdened with telling the PT’s entire arc in most of the movie, suffering from the dilly-dallying in the previous two movies. Also, deciding Anakin’s fall through reshoots is somewhat noticeable in the final product. It’s not super-sloppy, but the whole fall feels like it was scribbled on a napkin.

The accusations of “nostalgia bait” should also apply to the PT after Phantom Menace. That movie had such an excellent aesthetic, largely divorced from anything we’d seen in the OT. The later two movies, however, give in to the baiting/universe shrinkage with characters (the Fett family, Chewbacca, and the Vader suit being the main marketing push of ROTS) and reshaping the aesthetic to be more OT-like (but not slavish OT replicas like the ST). I get wanting to push towards the OT as it got closer timeline-wise, but part of me thinks it was responding to TPM backlash.

The meta reasons for disliking the PT are also there. The creation of the Special Editions, compressing the saga’s timeline, the proliferation of unfunny memes, and how Lucasfilm tried to reframe the entire saga as “The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, the chosen one.” When looking at the OT, it makes very little internal sense to interpret it as the continuation of “Vader’s tragedy.” If there is one good thing the ST did (I’d argue it did many), is that it removed the chosen one reframing.

I know there’s been pushback on the idea that George needed other people to reshape his stories to make them better and that he needed to have fewer “yes” men around him (e.g., Rick McCallum). Well, it’s still true. A movie made with a few more passes on the scripts and with a different director (still making George’s story, mind you) would’ve been better than what we got.

When comparing them to the ST, I like the ST more. I simply do. Those movies are incredibly flawed and made by a wretched entertainment conglomerate, but there’s something about them that feels more in tune with the OT (and not in a nostalgia-bait way). TLJ is an excellent piece as a distant epilogue to the OT, much like how TPM is a fantastic distant prologue to the OT (just change it to be 50 years before the OT instead of 30). The Abrams movies are forgettable (but improved with fanedits), but I’ll take forgettable over whatever the later two PT movies were.

I agree with most of what you have written here. The transformation of the saga to The Tragedy of Darth Vader in particular really bothered me. It is really a stretch. But this leads back to my original post that the wrong story is being told. The OT is Luke’s story, and the PT should have been Obi-wan’s. Vader is the thread that ties them together, but it is not his story.

I also agree that Lucase made creative decisions based on what he thought (or people were telling him) the fans wanted more of after TPM. I honestly feel like the Fetts were shoehorned into AOTC. But that movie is a total mess in terms of pacing, motivations etc.

I think Hayden gives a good performance in parts of ROTS.

Qui-gon Jinn was a mistake. His character serves only to delay our exploration of Obi-wan and Anakin’s friendship. This was a rare case of what the films needed and what the fans wanted being in accord.

Really, the PT did not need a female lead. The romance thing again takes away from developing the Obi/Ani friendship. Mother Skywalker should have been relegated to a supporting role, with a few short cameos. But of course Lucas decided that she was going to be the reason for Anakin’s fall so…

But the acting quality also plays a role, even though I said I didn’t want to touch on it. There is great chemistry developed between our leads in the 45 minutes we are on the Death Star in SW77 - more than is developed between the leads through the course of 6 hours in the PT. I feel also that the way the films are shot plays a role. Am I crazy in feeling that the OT tried to shoot Fisher so that we wouldn’t notice how short she is, whereas in the PT there is no attempt to frame Portman in the same way. She always comes off as a teenager in appearance. Even the pitch of her voice seems like it. Maybe she should have kept the Amidala accent?

Probably my favourite single shot of the PT is the closeup of Padme on when she arrives on Mustafar, with her head on her hand wondering how it could have come to this, where did it all go wrong. A meta moment if ever there was one!

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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thebluefrog said:

I once read a long theory that Lucas deliberately made PM mirror ROTJ; that may be giving him too much credit, but who knows?

It’s true but even deeper than that. I recommend watching Rick Worley’s videos on the Prequels and even the channel - So Uncivilized. Both cover the films in a great amount of detail. The two trilogies are meant to mirror and interrelate to one another. I think sometimes some refuse to acknowledge just how much because they don’t think George could ever think up something so profoundly deep as he made what they perceive as the the downfall in Jar Jar and had dialogue/acting that was unforgivable. Let’s not forget the Original Trilogy had goofy humour and the dialogue has always been done in the old fashion style with old style acting before method acting became the common place. It’s funny how even Harrison Ford thought the dialogue worked but his famous quote is misquoted so often. George prefers the old style of making films as he doesn’t like contemporary style films.

Sometimes I find people watch these films from the lenses of what they want them to be instead of just viewing things for what they are. I’m fortunate I think looking back to seeing The Phantom Menace first then the Original Trilogy and so forth. I didn’t have years to think up how everything must go down. I think the same can be said for fans who grew up with the Originals on a similar level. They had time to form in their head what happened and grew up in a different yet similar time. Then when it came to the Sequels we ended up with they more often work for them because expectations were super low and they’re made in a style similar to what you feel personally is Star Wars that you perceive George Lucas got away from in his Prequels. This isn’t a bad thing as it’s subjective in some ways but I’d argue George never changed as much as it’s claimed by most.

I’d also recommend this video:

https://youtu.be/gUKvHwjcfIQ

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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Omni said:

BedeHistory731 said:

What is there to be said that hasn’t already been said? They’re good movie (TPM) and two crimes against cinema (AOTC and ROTS). This trilogy needed TCW to save it and explain things it couldn’t.

Don’t think that’s really the consensus anymore, if it ever was. Maybe around these parts there will be more people who think that way, but anecdotally most of the people I know either IRL (20 - 30 age range) or that I have seen online and in other boards (TheForce.net, for instance) tend to consider ROTS to be the best in the trilogy by a mile and to rival the best of the other two. Curiously, most people I know rank TPM at the very bottom, ST notwithstanding.

To answer the title of the thread - they’re great stories, even if told somewhat unevenly. Ultimately what I’m looking for in movies and especially Star Wars is a great story so for the most part I’m left very satisfied. The PT found its footing and focus as it went on, and got better and better with each entry. I have a good time.

I know my pro-TPM/anti-ROTS isn’t consensus at all - it’s very anti-consensus. ROTS needed at least two or three more drafts to really nail the story.

thebluefrog said:

BedeHistory731 said:

The accusations of “nostalgia bait” should also apply to the PT after Phantom Menace. That movie had such an excellent aesthetic, largely divorced from anything we’d seen in the OT.

Really? I’d say PM was the MOST like the OT. The three main setpieces are grey corridors, desert Tattooine, and forest/palace Naboo. That’s 2/3 of the aesthetic of ROTJ.

In fact, PM is like a mirror to ROTJ, right down to the climax of the silly indigenous people of the planet rising up against a technologically superior army. Lando’s army in space needs planetbound Han to kill the signal; Jar-Jar and Padme’s army on the ground needs Anakin in space to kill the signal.

I once read a long theory that Lucas deliberately made PM mirror ROTJ; that may be giving him too much credit, but who knows?

I’m more talking about the ship designs and the way in which technology was depicted by the movie. There’s nothing like the Naboo ships (all chromed out) or the podracers in the OT.

The ROTJ parallel is definitely noticable in the finale, but with the ground combat split in two (human action scenes and the Gungan battle). That’s enough of a difference for me to write off an entirely intentional mirroring of the third acts.

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BedeHistory731 said:

The ROTJ parallel is definitely noticable in the finale, but with the ground combat split in two (human action scenes and the Gungan battle). That’s enough of a difference for me to write off an entirely intentional mirroring of the third acts.

That’s the whole point of what ring composition is. The mirroring and parallels must be different to work as visual poetry just like written prose or musical prose as Richard Wagner developed using the same techniques.

The Gungans and Ewoks are meant to parallel each other but be different.

Padme, Panaka, and the Naboo soliders taking back Theed Palace is meant to parallel Han, Leia, and the Rebel soldiers entering the shield generator bunker but be different.

The space battles and lightsaber fights are meant to echo Return of the Jedi but also A New Hope and Revenge of the Sith. This is “rings within rings”.

It’s about playing with different techniques and refreshing the idea to create something new to juxtaposition off of one another. Repeating isn’t poetry and tends to be what you find in the Sequel Trilogy.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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Stardust1138 said:

thebluefrog said:

I once read a long theory that Lucas deliberately made PM mirror ROTJ; that may be giving him too much credit, but who knows?
Sometimes I find people watch these films from the lenses of what they want them to be instead of just viewing things for what they are. I’m fortunate I think looking back to seeing The Phantom Menace first then the Original Trilogy and so forth. I didn’t have years to think up how everything must go down. I think the same can be said for fans who grew up with the Originals on a similar level. They had time to form in their head what happened and grew up in a different yet similar time.

I grew up as the prequels were coming out and saw them with minimal knowledge/cursory views of the originals. I still thought AOTC and ROTS were terrible. In hindsight, with more knowledge of the series, I see how people were so disappointed and why the movies still don’t work no matter how many mental gymnastics and overzealous applications of “storytelling theories” one can mention. There really isn’t anything that separates this franchise from things like Star Trek or Harry Potter beyond window dressing. If anything, this franchise made the franchise model a more commonplace thing to the detriment of cinema.

As Patrick H. Willems said, these are just family movies about space wizards. It’s not that deep.

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BedeHistory731 said:

There really isn’t anything that separates this franchise from things like Star Trek or Harry Potter beyond window dressing. If anything, this franchise made the franchise model a more commonplace thing to the detriment of cinema.

As Patrick H. Willems said, these are just family movies about space wizards. It’s not that deep.

It’s all in how you look at it or want to see Star Wars I find in the case of George’s films. It can work as he describes but it can equally work as so much more than that but not everyone wants to go in that deep as the Disney era films gleefully demonstrate. They want to enjoy it for the surface level thrills. There’s nothing inherently bad about that but George himself has spoken about all of these things I talk about. It’s just it goes right pass the majority of the audience. There’s nothing inherently bad about that either but there’s a lot there if you know where to look. This is why I’m a strong firm believer in artistic expression and visual literacy. There’s examples of things Patrick misses in Star Wars like the way shots are constructed and are actually in fact within George’s six films because of where his focus is with watching them. There’s nothing wrong with that per say but I think with any great work of art you should be able to broaden the way you see it and understand the author’s intentions. It may not be to your personal tastes but that doesn’t mean there can’t be more going on.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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I know how to do the close readings and find those parallels, but that doesn’t make something good or deep or even important. It’s cool if you see it and want to make those arguments, but that’s not going to stop some people from saying that you’re full of shit or are going way too deep into something that never had this level of thought put into it (outside of post-facto interview statements).

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BedeHistory731 said:

I know how to do the close readings and find those parallels, but that doesn’t make something good or deep or even important. It’s cool if you see it and want to make those arguments, but that’s not going to stop some people from saying that you’re full of shit or are going way too deep into something that never had this level of thought put into it (outside of post-facto interview statements).

Actually he talks about it to the crew in The Beginning documentary, he discusses it in the commentaries of the films and even some crew members rely what George is saying including Lawerence Kasdan and Rob Coleman, and if you watch his films from the very beginning with THX 1138 and American Graffiti you can see the beginnings of playing with these concepts. THX and Curt both go through similar journeys as Luke and Anakin. It’s a matter of prospective and how you choose to watch things. For some it means a lot to be able to uncover more and more layers within these films and film in general. For others they just want to be entertained and have fun with cinema. For many that’s what Star Wars is strictly speaking. There’s nothing at all wrong with that either as they are meant to entertain but I find if you choose to understand George’s intentions and him as a person I find you gain a greater appreciation of him as an individual and artist. You begin to see a uniquely whole picture of what Star Wars means to him and why he made certain decisions. You also understand him as a person and see just how much he is Luke but also Anakin and not just Darth Vader as many claim he became.

I get why people would be disappointed by the Prequels. They appear to be vastly different from the Originals on the surface but they’re really not that different if you go into them with trying to understand what George intended and him as a person. It’s all in how you decide to see things and want to believe them to be. It’s much like faith.

Cinema as an art form is something we only touch the iceberg of what it can be. It has so many purposes that haven’t been discovered or created yet. It’s very exciting but unfortunately it’s not what sales tickets and that’s the harsh reality most studios and moviegoers judge a film by. Cinema is more than a means to only entertain. It can inform, challenge, transport you to another place, show you another culture, and change your life by giving you life.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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BedeHistory731 said:

I know how to do the close readings and find those parallels, but that doesn’t make something good or deep or even important. It’s cool if you see it and want to make those arguments, but that’s not going to stop some people from saying that you’re full of shit or are going way too deep into something that never had this level of thought put into it (outside of post-facto interview statements).

Some of the mental gymnastics people put themselves through to justify some of the questionable plot points in the PT is pretty funny to watch, such as George Lucas wanting the Jedi Order to be unlikeable etc.

Big problem with the prequels: no good villain. Maul should not have died at the end of TPM. Each movie they introduce a new baddie - Maul, then Dooku, then Grievous. No real buildup.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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theprequelsrule said:

BedeHistory731 said:

I know how to do the close readings and find those parallels, but that doesn’t make something good or deep or even important. It’s cool if you see it and want to make those arguments, but that’s not going to stop some people from saying that you’re full of shit or are going way too deep into something that never had this level of thought put into it (outside of post-facto interview statements).

Some of the mental gymnastics people put themselves through to justify some of the questionable plot points in the PT is pretty funny to watch, such as George Lucas wanting the Jedi Order to be unlikeable etc.

Big problem with the prequels: no good villain. Maul should not have died at the end of TPM. Each movie they introduce a new baddie - Maul, then Dooku, then Grievous. No real buildup.

Yes and that’s again another issue with a lack of visual literacy within culture. It goes on both sides. The Jedi though are meant to be flawed and shown as complacent. George has spoken of this in a matter of words but he’s hesitant as any great artist is in discussing their own work. He’s just as much wanting his vision to be accurately represented as he is in letting the viewer take in what they choose to see.

I don’t find that a big problem as each of the villains serve the function of showing us what Anakin will become. They each have their own sense of self and equally a reason for being within the story. I can’t say the same about the Sequel villains.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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Plenty of people with “visual literacy” can still think the justifications given in commentaries, documentaries, and interviews (along with close viewings) are still hollow.

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BedeHistory731 said:

Plenty of people with “visual literacy” can still think the justifications given in commentaries, documentaries, and interviews (along with close viewings) are still hollow.

Of course they can. Nobody is correct all the time. Only the artist who knew their intentions from the start will have a concrete answer but even that can be contradicting as some artists work through intuition more than logic. However when enough evidence on the contrary to what the viewer thinks adds up it might be time to notice.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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If Lucas had a Roman Polanski-level crime in his past, do you think your defense would be as passionate? I’m just a bit curious.

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BedeHistory731 said:

If Lucas had a Roman Polanski-level crime in his past, do you think your defense would be as passionate? I’m just a bit curious.

I try to seperate artist from the person they are more often than not as I recongise nobody is perfect and we all have made a shady decision or two at one point or another. Do I neccessary have any desire to watch a film by Roman Polanski? No but that’s because all but one film of his intrigues me. Will I ever watch it? Doubtful. I’d also argue the girl who he had the encounter with has spoken of him and said she faced more problems with the media than she did with him as a person. I tend to make my judgement of what I find acceptable and not acceptable by hearing all sides of things instead of my own personal viewpoint as each person and circumstance is different. We all make mistakes. We may as well forgive each other as we too have made poor choices in character. Instead of trusting ourselves we listen to the outside noise and what they tell us to think.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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Star Wars was from the Adventures of Luke Skywalker. It was about him and he was the main character. Darth Vader wasn’t his father, and there was no long planned out saga of Darth Vader. Vader was Tarkin’s henchmen. With the first film obviously, then Lucas started rewriting from Empire on.

Lucas made it all up as he went. Its very clear he only started writing the prequels in 1994. He never bothered to watch the original movies again to keep continuity.

Fans balked at the prequel retcons when we really should have when Vader became Luke’s father and Leia his sister. Lucas was retconing the Saga all the time. Nothing was planned beyond the first movie. It was a happy go lucky comic book movie, movie serial like the old serials of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. A swashbuckling adventure. Lucas had no plans for Vader, the story conference for Splinter of the Mind’s eye lays that bare.

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Firstly, if people enjoy the Prequel films then all power to them. It is pleasing that some people enjoyed these films. A younger generation of fans have now come through online: and the young kids who enjoyed them at the time are now grown up and want to talk about them and why they enjoyed them. Good for them.
 

But for those of us that didn’t enjoy them:

George seemed to forget the golden rule of making movies with the Prequels:

Show. Don’t tell.
 

Show: George should have done was delivered on what he promised - the story of a great man and his fall into darkness. Although The Phantom Menace is probably the best of the three films, but it served little purpose in the greater narrative. He could have centered the first two films on an intelligent, thoughtful but conflicted Jedi who was lured to the Dark Side. The third film would have then chronicled the crusade of a tortured, Vader who traveled the galaxy hunting down the remaining Jedi.

But instead George gave us something very different - the adventures of an annoying hot-shot child who got lucky in a repeat of a space battle seen twice before in previous Star Wars movies, who then started a toxic controlling relationship with the mother of Luke and Leia, and somehow inexplicably morphed into Vader. George also gave the audience countless contradictions to what had already been explained and established in the previous Original films.

When you consider what could have been, and probably should have been, it is difficult not to feel letdown. Disappointed. Frustrated. In need of a good Fan Edit or 50! 😃
 

Don’t Tell: Since the backlash on the Prequel films George, Lucasfilm and many Prequel fans has spent considerable time and effort to explain why the Prequel films were what they were, and that people who didn’t like them just didn’t understand them, or that in not liking the films they were being mean to him. Mental gymnastics is required to take George at his word, And that is a problem in itself - George had the opportunity to show us the films he later espoused about, but he didn’t. The quality, the heart, the thrill, the story, the talent, all in abundance in the Originals, just wasn’t there for the Prequels. The later explanations and attempts at reasoning why the Prequels weren’t widely liked mean little to the people who paid their ticket money on these much hyped and publicized films at the time, sat down to watch them, and left disappointed. Or people who just plain didn’t like them or thought they were “merely okay”. Or just don’t want to watch them again.
 

Licensed books, animated and live actions series trying to explain the contradictions and plot holes between the two trilogies really only serve to remind people how poor, lazy and incoherent the Prequel films were. Selective interviews from George with friendly journalists and pre-approved questions, more retcons, extensive PR campaigns, videos, blogs, articles - all trying to justify, explain, or give some reason why the Prequels were better than we think or remember, or that we just didn’t understand them - all fail in their purpose: to get more people to watch, like and appreciate these films.

Why would George and others who champion the Prequels think people who didn’t enjoy these films want to read articles and watch videos and so on, or have it explained to them they were somehow wrong not to like these films? Or that they didn’t understand them? It seems a waste of time and effort to me, and yes, we understood them perfectly fine, thank you. George would probably have more respect from fans if he was more honest, about his own shortcomings in approaching the Prequels and the films themselves. Answer the tough and hard questions, not avoid them. Sometimes films don’t work out - not every film is going to be a smash and that is okay. It is also okay to say you “got it wrong” or could have done it differently. Many of us would rather find other Star Wars content to enjoy, whether new games, books, comics series and films.

Enjoy what you like. Leave what you don’t enjoy behind.

The Secret History of Star Wars | Star Wars Visual Comparisons | George Lucas: Star Wars Creator, Unreliable Narrator & Time-Travelling Revisionist

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ken-obi said:

Firstly, if people enjoy the Prequel films then all power to them. It is pleasing that some people enjoyed these films. A younger generation of fans have now come through online: and the young kids who enjoyed them at the time are now grown up and want to talk about them and why they enjoyed them. Good for them.
 

But for those of us that didn’t enjoy them:

George seemed to forget the golden rule of making movies with the Prequels:

Show. Don’t tell.
 

Show: George should have done was delivered on what he promised - the story of a great man and his fall into darkness. Although The Phantom Menace is probably the best of the three films, but it served little purpose in the greater narrative. He could have centered the first two films on an intelligent, thoughtful but conflicted Jedi who was lured to the Dark Side. The third film would have then chronicled the crusade of a tortured, Vader who traveled the galaxy hunting down the remaining Jedi.

But instead George gave us something very different - the adventures of an annoying hot-shot child who got lucky in a repeat of a space battle seen twice before in previous Star Wars movies, who then started a toxic controlling relationship with the mother of Luke and Leia, and somehow inexplicably morphed into Vader. George also gave the audience countless contradictions to what had already been explained and established in the previous Original films.

When you consider what could have been, and probably should have been, it is difficult not to feel letdown. Disappointed. Frustrated. In need of a good Fan Edit or 50! 😃
 

Don’t Tell: Since the backlash on the Prequel films George, Lucasfilm and many Prequel fans has spent considerable time and effort to explain why the Prequel films were what they were, and that people who didn’t like them just didn’t understand them, or that in not liking the films they were being mean to him. Mental gymnastics is required to take George at his word, And that is a problem in itself - George had the opportunity to show us the films he later espoused about, but he didn’t. The quality, the heart, the thrill, the story, the talent, all in abundance in the Originals, just wasn’t there for the Prequels. The later explanations and attempts at reasoning why the Prequels weren’t widely liked mean little to the people who paid their ticket money on these much hyped and publicized films at the time, sat down to watch them, and left disappointed. Or people who just plain didn’t like them or thought they were “merely okay”. Or just don’t want to watch them again.
 

Licensed books, animated and live actions series trying to explain the contradictions and plot holes between the two trilogies really only serve to remind people how poor, lazy and incoherent the Prequel films were. Selective interviews from George with friendly journalists and pre-approved questions, more retcons, extensive PR campaigns, videos, blogs, articles - all trying to justify, explain, or give some reason why the Prequels were better than we think or remember, or that we just didn’t understand them - all fail in their purpose: to get more people to watch, like and appreciate these films.

Why would George and others who champion the Prequels think people who didn’t enjoy these films want to read articles and watch videos and so on, or have it explained to them they were somehow wrong not to like these films? Or that they didn’t understand them? It seems a waste of time and effort to me, and yes, we understood them perfectly fine, thank you. George would probably have more respect from fans if he was more honest, about his own shortcomings in approaching the Prequels and the films themselves. Answer the tough and hard questions, not avoid them. Sometimes films don’t work out - not every film is going to be a smash and that is okay. It is also okay to say you “got it wrong” or could have done it differently. Many of us would rather find other Star Wars content to enjoy, whether new games, books, comics series and films.

Enjoy what you like. Leave what you don’t enjoy behind.

I’d argue George did show and tell. Just not in the way some expected or wanted him to. It seems to be the biggest criticism I find in people who dislike the Prequels have. It’s about the films they think he should’ve made versus understanding and viewing the films he actually delivered as he intended them. It’s not a bad thing per say as art is subjective but sometimes I find people view things from the idea of what they want from a film or any art instead of taking what is given to them. It’s exactly why Marvel is so popular. They follow a formula and that’s fine I suppose for some as that’s what some want. For me it doesn’t as I like to be challenged and have my ideas of something expanded. I like having the director as the voice and not a committee. That’s exactly what George delivered with the Prequels and arguably the Originals. They both changed cinema in important ways in spite of the system that tried to deny them.

If it were easy we’d have more successful films and series like Star Wars but the reality is these films are very difficult to make. They’re also denied greenlighting or being released like old Soviet films more than likely. I’d hate to know how many great films are denied or censored.

It’s true though in a general sense. Many don’t understand the Prequels and even Original Trilogy for that matter. I’m not an expert on these things but I do try understanding why something is the way it is instead of assuming I know everything there is to know about Star Wars. I’m open to having my ideas of what it can be challenged but understanding context and the rules can’t be forgotten or you end up with films like J.J. gave us. I don’t need to be reminded of A New Hope when watching Star Wars. I can just watch it. I don’t need Palpatine to return with a promise of aggressive revenge as this is out of character with how he’s always been portrayed as calm and collective with patience throughout his previous appearances. I want to see the characters I love respected and to see them grow consistently instead of staying the people we knew them as. It’s exactly what George did. He just recontextualised or expanded upon certain ideas and continued the story differently from how some viewed things with the information given at the time. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact I find it a good thing as it’s a pretty boring thing if a story is only serving as wish fulfillment to give you what you want it to be.

You don’t need books or TV shows to understand George’s stories. Everything you need to know is within the films themselves except the rare exception of Sifo-Dyas but he planned to explain him in his Sequels. Everything else I find like Obi-Wan and Bail or Obi-Wan and Owen Lars could happen off screen. You don’t need to be shown every little detail for a story to work. It’s about creating a sense of scale and world building.

Why? The same reason people look into and use the Original Trilogy to create stories in their head of what something must have meant before seeing the full picture or using Darth Vader in psychology sessions with kids. Star Wars has from the very beginning been studied and examined by scholars. There’s a great documentary about this from History Channel. It’s just the Prequels tend to get more unfairly treated because the media tended to propel the backlash to continue as they attacked Ahmed Best, Jake Lloyd, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, and Rick McCallum. They attacked George too. Why would they want to listen to people who are going to accuse them of being racists, poor actors, yes men, or out of touch mainly deprived from not giving fans what they want? You get nothing from attacking people personally. Instead that’s exactly what happened and still does with a different group. George did listen to critics but he also recognised most were circlejerking around the ideas of things that just weren’t true about him or his colleagues. Most critics tend to view the films from the view of what they wish had happened in the films versus the actual stories and understanding them for what they are. An artist is equally not obligated to tell you their intentions. Andrei Tarkovsky or even Stanley Kubrick never explained themselves. George doesn’t need to either.

Ulimately everyone has a different point of view in all art forms. It’s a subjective medium and it can mean different things between groups of people. What matters I think though is you try understanding the author’s intentions and how successfully they achieved what they set out to do. The Prequels or any film with an author in particular may still not work but you should at least give things a chance from the filmmaker’s prospective instead of brushing them off and thinking only about what you thought could’ve been better or doesn’t align with the fraction of what you knew already in the case of the Original Trilogy. Why else can I kind of appreciate The Last Jedi for what it is? I try understanding Rian’s intentions with it instead of strictly my own viewpoint. It’s not my Star Wars but it still isn’t all bad on its own merits.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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The Phantom Menace is bad, but still creatively interesting. Over the course of the trilogy though, it really just feels more and more phoned in. I think after the reaction to TPM, Lucas probably just wanted to get the trilogy done with. All the passion got drained away by the end of the trilogy. Behind the scenes content for RotS seems to support this.

I absolutely subscribe to the idea that the original plans for the trilogy before 1999 were going to have Episodes 2 and 3 go in a wildly different direction.

Really, I just can’t understand why Revenge of the Sith is considered by anyone to be some operatic masterpiece. The only good qualities it has comes from depicting the interesting events ANH describes, but even then it butchers them. It’s really just an uncompelling story, shot and directed as blandly as possible, with a healthy helping of bloat and a completely tangential VFX reel every 15 or so minutes to make sure you don’t fall asleep.

Fanedits of Revenge of the Sith that cut out the cheese and the bloat completely fail for me because once you cut that out, the movie has very little left.

Death of the Author

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 (Edited)

Stardust1138 said:

ken-obi said:

Firstly, if people enjoy the Prequel films then all power to them. It is pleasing that some people enjoyed these films. A younger generation of fans have now come through online: and the young kids who enjoyed them at the time are now grown up and want to talk about them and why they enjoyed them. Good for them.
 

But for those of us that didn’t enjoy them:

George seemed to forget the golden rule of making movies with the Prequels:

Show. Don’t tell.
 

Show: George should have done was delivered on what he promised - the story of a great man and his fall into darkness. Although The Phantom Menace is probably the best of the three films, but it served little purpose in the greater narrative. He could have centered the first two films on an intelligent, thoughtful but conflicted Jedi who was lured to the Dark Side. The third film would have then chronicled the crusade of a tortured, Vader who traveled the galaxy hunting down the remaining Jedi.

But instead George gave us something very different - the adventures of an annoying hot-shot child who got lucky in a repeat of a space battle seen twice before in previous Star Wars movies, who then started a toxic controlling relationship with the mother of Luke and Leia, and somehow inexplicably morphed into Vader. George also gave the audience countless contradictions to what had already been explained and established in the previous Original films.

When you consider what could have been, and probably should have been, it is difficult not to feel letdown. Disappointed. Frustrated. In need of a good Fan Edit or 50! 😃
 

Don’t Tell: Since the backlash on the Prequel films George, Lucasfilm and many Prequel fans has spent considerable time and effort to explain why the Prequel films were what they were, and that people who didn’t like them just didn’t understand them, or that in not liking the films they were being mean to him. Mental gymnastics is required to take George at his word, And that is a problem in itself - George had the opportunity to show us the films he later espoused about, but he didn’t. The quality, the heart, the thrill, the story, the talent, all in abundance in the Originals, just wasn’t there for the Prequels. The later explanations and attempts at reasoning why the Prequels weren’t widely liked mean little to the people who paid their ticket money on these much hyped and publicized films at the time, sat down to watch them, and left disappointed. Or people who just plain didn’t like them or thought they were “merely okay”. Or just don’t want to watch them again.
 

Licensed books, animated and live actions series trying to explain the contradictions and plot holes between the two trilogies really only serve to remind people how poor, lazy and incoherent the Prequel films were. Selective interviews from George with friendly journalists and pre-approved questions, more retcons, extensive PR campaigns, videos, blogs, articles - all trying to justify, explain, or give some reason why the Prequels were better than we think or remember, or that we just didn’t understand them - all fail in their purpose: to get more people to watch, like and appreciate these films.

Why would George and others who champion the Prequels think people who didn’t enjoy these films want to read articles and watch videos and so on, or have it explained to them they were somehow wrong not to like these films? Or that they didn’t understand them? It seems a waste of time and effort to me, and yes, we understood them perfectly fine, thank you. George would probably have more respect from fans if he was more honest, about his own shortcomings in approaching the Prequels and the films themselves. Answer the tough and hard questions, not avoid them. Sometimes films don’t work out - not every film is going to be a smash and that is okay. It is also okay to say you “got it wrong” or could have done it differently. Many of us would rather find other Star Wars content to enjoy, whether new games, books, comics series and films.

Enjoy what you like. Leave what you don’t enjoy behind.

There’s a great documentary about this from History Channel. It’s just the Prequels tend to get more unfairly treated because the media tended to propel the backlash to continue as they attacked Ahmed Best, Jake Lloyd, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, and Rick McCallum. They attacked George too. Why would they want to listen to people who are going to accuse them of being racists, poor actors, yes men, or out of touch mainly deprived from not giving fans what they want? You get nothing from attacking people personally. Instead that’s exactly what happened and still does with a different group. George did listen to critics but he also recognised most were circlejerking around the ideas of things that just weren’t true about him or his colleagues. Most critics tend to view the films from the view of what they wish had happened in the films versus the actual stories and understanding them for what they are. An artist is equally not obligated to tell you their intentions. Andrei Tarkovsky or even Stanley Kubrick never explained themselves. George doesn’t need to either.

“Many don’t understand the Prequels and even Original Trilogy for that matter.”

“racists, poor actors, yes men, or out of touch mainly deprived from not giving fans what they want? You get nothing from attacking people personally”, and “most critics were circlejerking”

WTF? I just don’t like the films. Like I said before many people just don’t like them too, and has nothing to do with what you listed above.

“Most critics tend to view the films from the view of what they wish had happened in the films versus the actual stories and understanding them for what they are.”

No, they don’t. Critics may offer possibilities and alternative scenarios sometime after - but they can also understand the actual films for what they are.

“Andrei Tarkovsky or even Stanley Kubrick never explained themselves. George doesn’t need to either.”

I completely agree, and said before George “doesn’t need to”, yet George continues to attempt to explain them, retcon them, and bridge them so many years afterwards? Again, show - don’t tell.

"What matters I think though is you try understanding the author’s intentions and how successfully they achieved what they set out to do." and “at least give things a chance from the filmmaker’s prospective instead of brushing them off off and thinking only about what you thought could’ve been better”

No. What matters is people making their own mind up if they enjoyed watching a series of films or not. Again, show - don’t tell.

If people decided they did not enjoy them, they do not need to be labelled or associated with, as you did above, as being inferior minded people, accusers of others being racist, people who personally attack others, or are people who don’t understand the Prequels, or other films. Yes, a minority of those toxic fans exist, but they do not speak for the vast majority of those who simply did not enjoy the Prequel Films. A running theme with your posts is that if people critique the Prequel films (or George) then they somehow do not understand them. So there is no point in continuing this discussion with you.

I am happy you and others do enjoy these films, but the many that didn’t enjoy the Prequels certainly don’t need lectures on how we just “don’t understand them”.

 

SparkySywer said:

Really, I just can’t understand why Revenge of the Sith is considered by anyone to be some operatic masterpiece. The only good qualities it has comes from depicting the interesting events ANH describes, but even then it butchers them. It’s really just an uncompelling story, shot and directed as blandly as possible, with a healthy helping of bloat and a completely tangential VFX reel every 15 or so minutes to make sure you don’t fall asleep.

Fanedits of Revenge of the Sith that cut out the cheese and the bloat completely fail for me because once you cut that out, the movie has very little left.

I agree for the most part of that, especially when depicting the events that are described in the original film (that don’t contradict it). It does feel at times that the filmmakers wanted it to be over and done with, and as long as “the boxes were ticked” it was somehow “good enough”. It seemed very flat and uninspiring, and not at all what you expect for the climax of the final Prequel film.
 

JadedSkywalker said:

Star Wars was from the Adventures of Luke Skywalker. It was about him and he was the main character. Darth Vader wasn’t his father, and there was no long planned out saga of Darth Vader. Vader was Tarkin’s henchmen. With the first film obviously, then Lucas started rewriting from Empire on.

Lucas made it all up as he went. Its very clear he only started writing the prequels in 1994. He never bothered to watch the original movies again to keep continuity.

It certainly appeared that way given the many contradictions, and the mental gymnastics required to even to attempt to make some them more coherent, in the Prequels.

The Secret History of Star Wars | Star Wars Visual Comparisons | George Lucas: Star Wars Creator, Unreliable Narrator & Time-Travelling Revisionist