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Darth Vader birth scene, good or bad choice?
The one negative in making any prequel to a story is actually showing the scene that we all envisioned in our minds for years. Everyone has a pre-conceived notion on how it should be done, it is hard to meet everyones expectations.

In some respects, that is why the prequels shouldn't have been made. The mystique of everything is gone. I didn't realize it then, but now I wish I didn't know why Vader turned to the darkside. It was actually better when I didn't know, and always wondered. I think the mystique of The Emperor is hurt by ROTS too.

Actually, the Darth Vader birth scene was done pretty well by Lucas, and I even liked how he had the mask lowered on his head coming straight at us, and then you hear him breathing. The yelling of , "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" was pretty bad, but that just went with a million other bad dialogue decision by Lucas, so by the end of ROTS I was used to it.

Overall, I just think, and I didn't think this way before the prequels were made, that the mystique of not knowing about Luke & Leias mom, how Vader turned bad, was Yoda a great fighter, was better the way it was in 1983....left to the imagination.
Return of the Jedi - was it what it was meant to be?
As a kid I loved ROTJ the most out of the OT. Seeing at 9 years old, it was the perfect cap for a great trilogy. Now 22 years later, it is funny how some films don't hold up as well as others. Now ESB is my favorite, with ANH a close #2, and Jedi is last. I still like Jedi, as I don't have a hatred like I do towards most of TPM, and some parts of the AOTC and ROTS. Looking at the movie now, it could have been so much better.

First off the Wookie Planet. I understand the technology aspect Lucas was shooting for, the David vs. Goliath, but if Endor would have been Kashykk, ROTJ would never get labeled 'kiddie'. I just watch the Ewoks now, and though Jar Jar is unbearable in TPM, the Ewoks hurt the seriousness of the movie. A really cool Wookie battle against the Stormtroopers would have made ROTJ a much darker movie that it needed to be.

The second death star isn't bad, though it is not creative like ESB. ESB showed us everything we never saw: Hoth, Dagobah, and Bespin. ROTJ showed everything a second time: Tatooine, Death Star II, and though we never saw Endor, the woodsy terrain was very dull. I would have liked to see them invade the Emperor's home planet, like some original ideas. Have the spacebattle with Han, Leia, Chewy, and the Droids, and have Lando in another ship attacking the blockade over Coruscant, that would have been a spectacular space battle.

You could still have Luke surrender to Vader, and still have the great scene between Emperor/Vader/ and Luke, but do it on The Emperors turf, maybe over a sea of lava. How ironic would it be for Vader to throw The Emperor into Lava when that is what almost did him in against Kenobi? Now some of these ideas probably couldn't have been achieved to due the special effects at the time, but who knows Lucas & Co. were pretty damn creative.

The other aspect is the long Jabba sequence in ROTJ. I loved this part as a kid, but now it does have its moments, but I think it goes on way too long. I always thought of Jabbas palace like a King, where you can't just walk in off the street. True they all had disguises to get in, but I would have like to seen them travel a couple of floors to get to Jabba, put some suspense in it. You can still have the rancor, as maybe Luke falls through a trap door, but keep everyone moving, that is why it is dull at some points, because everything is at a standstill. Also make it harder to save Han, maybe Lando get injured in the process. You can also still do the Sail Barge because Luke, Leia, and Han, always get caught, but in true Star Wars form, they always survive.

Well, that is what I think could have made ROTJ better, but I guess we have what we have. Oh well.
Can you imagine Han fighting Luke, that is what the duel in ROTS should have felt like.
I always felt that the duel in ROTS could have been better if Lucas would have developed the friendship of ObiWan and Anakin over all 3 prequel movies. We got glimpses of their friendship in AOTC, and more so in ROTS, but not as much as was developed in the OT of Han and Luke. You had a real sense that they would do anything for each other. In the PT, it just seemed forced at times, but we already knew of their friendship going in, so it was easier to see whether it was done well or not.

My whole point is, can you imagine Luke and Han going at it at the end of ROTJ if Luke turned to the darkside. Putting aside that Luke would woop his butt because he was jedi, you would almost feel a real betrayal between them because they were great friends. For Anakin and ObiWan, it was just accepted of their friendship, and I think that hurt the duel because it should have been more tragic.
Has anyone now second guessed the prequels

Originally posted by: TheCassidy
And yet, I'm glad that I live in a world where Lucas was allowed to make exactly the kind of films that he wanted. There's only a select few directors who have actual control over their final product in the Hollywood studio system. For better or worse, Lucas, operating outside of that system, can put on the screen exactly what he wants.

Some might argue that it's those checks and balances that can make a film better...


I do agree with you that Lucas can make the films he wants, in some ways that is good and someways that is bad. But I think most directors his age that become great directors can pretty much do the films they want to.

I don't think studios would second guess a director like Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, or Martin Scorcese. I think they have earned the right to make the movie they want in the present day. But if you look at their early work like movies such as The Godfather, Jaws, Raging Bull, I'm sure the studios were huffing and puffing down their throats, but they are classic movies still.

I guess it is a double edge sword, because when these directors are struggling and hungry just to keep their job, (THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS), the movies sometimes turn out better than (THE PHANTOM MENACE)
Sometimes do you feel like you should give up on the cause?
This would have been a great time to release the O-OT, but we get the SE repackaged.

I have to say, I have had it. I am about to give up, and really not care anymore. Lucas has ruined the myth of Star Wars, and you have so many PT defenders who like Star Wars for all the wrong reasons. We were the generation who supported Star Wars and brought it to prominence, and now Lucas spits on us. The PT has ruined the spirit of Star Wars because everyone is fighting and barking at each other, instead of defending

I really never thought I would feel this way, but unless the O-OT comes out on DVD, Lucas will not get anymore of my money. That will that hurt his empire, no, not one person can do that, but I know it wont make a difference, but for me personally, I am saying peace out to Star Wars. I have my fondest memories from 77-83, and I will ALWAYS WATCH AND LOVE those movies, but I am done caring what Lucas does. There is only so much a person can take, before they say 'Peace out'
OT Released AGAIN!!! ( article on possible new box set...)
Another ? from a frustrated Star Wars fan.

It is so easy what Lucas could do it is scary. Release O-OT on DVD this year, the purists will be happy and never bitch again. For those who like the SE, they have the 2004 editions. Then in 2007, for the Ultra 6 disc set, he can make whatever changes he wants, and you won't hear a peep from us.

If you grew up with the OT from 1977-83, pull your pants down, we are getting it again from old George.

With news like this, I understand now how there are so many divisions in the Star Wars community. Remember when we all defended these movies from people who DIDN'T like Star Wars, now we just argue with ourselves. Sad...Sad...Sad... I envy the Lord of the Rings Fans, they are like us in 1983, complete and happy.
Has anyone now second guessed the prequels

Originally posted by: Adamwankenobi
Yeah, it must have been too big of an expectation. The problem it seems, it that the prequels aren't what people had in their heads for 16 years that they would be. People seem to find it hard to accept that the prequels are the way they are. Is it really how Lucas says it is that: "people wanted to see Darth Vader running around and chopping people up with Lightsabers?"


You make a good point, cause I think there was a section of OT fans that did want to see Vader running around killing everyone. But there is a segment, like myself, who understand what Lucas was doing, and I don't have a problem with starting the story with a 9 year old boy.

My whole problem with the prequels, is that when you compare them to the OT in just quality, IMO, they are all inferior, and after all 6 are done now, I see them as 2 trilogies, not 1 big story. It is all about quality, quality, quality. We can complain about where he should have went with the story, or who should have done what, but in the end you have:

TPM: An average movie, that if it wasn't Star Wars would be a terrible movie

AOTC: A better movie than TPM, but what is that saying? Do we judge our beloved films now on ,"Well, it wasn't as bad as TPM!"

ROTS: Pretty good, but still misses the mark of greatness. Definitely better than the first 2, but it had a chance to be a classic like ANH & ESB. It couldn't achieve it, and that is when I realized that Lucas couldn't pull the prequels off. If he couldn't make one great film to rival the OT, what was the point?

As I said earlier, because of the quality drop off from the prequels, I now see them as 3 movies from PT, and 3 movies from the OT, and that is not what Lucas had intended. I watch ANH & ESB now and in most parts of ROTJ and say to myself, "What the hell happened to Lucas since the early 80's, I can't believe he couldn't pull this off."

So what I'm saying is, if you see the saga as two different trilogies, OT & PT, you will always be conflicted about the PT, and always say what if. And probably in the end, 10-15 years from now, those films won't age well. If you can see it as a 6 film story, you will enjoy both trilogies, and probably won't notice a drop off in quality, because you probably never felt that way.
Has anyone now second guessed the prequels
I am an OT guy, grew up and loved those movies, and have watched them endlessly. I wasn't totally excited about the prequels when they were announced in the late 90's. I thought TPM was alright, and AOTC was better, but it still was Star Wars so my defenses were up. I always told my friends that Episode III would make it all worthwhile. This movie would be better than ESB & ANH, and it would actually make the whole prequel trilogy better.

I saw ROTS twice opening weekend, and I really liked, but....I don't know, after assessing it through the summer, it just wasn't as great as I thought it would be. Now I'm wondering if it was worth it to make the prequels at all. Overall, I did enjoy ROTS, and it is definitely the best of the prequels, but damnit, it aint a classic. I know that is really having high expectations, but I thought Lucas could make one GREAT prequel.

Instead, we have a sub-par, kiddy, juvenile TPM, a better AOTC, but an awful love story, and the opposite chemistry between Portman & Christenson we had with Harrison Ford & Carrie Fisher. Then you have a really good, or good third movie. If I were to tell you in 1998, "Lucas is going to make 3 more Star Wars movies, one average, one good, and one pretty good, would you want him to film them?"

I am not a prequel basher, I have waited after all 3 to evaluate them, and DAMNIT, I REALLY WANTED TO LOVE THESE MOVIES. The other day, I watched ANH & ESB, and I said to myself, "No prequel even comes to this, what the hell happened to Lucas?" That is when I started having second thoughts.

Should I come to grips that there are 2 awesome Star Wars movies, ROTJ which could have been better in certain parts, and 3 prequels that didn't meet expecations? Or should I somehow wait for the O-OT to come out on DVD, and pretend the prequels never happened, and Darth Vader isn't some love sick wuss, his wife is a mystery, Leia's recollection of her mom still makes sense, The Emperor's mystique is still the same, and the story to me is still about Luke Skywalker. Plus Jar Jar Binks was never invented!!!!!!!!!!!

Someone help me? As C-3PO awfully said in AOTC, "I'm so confused!"
Lucas's filmmaking rut
It is scary how many of us think alike. I always thought maybe I was nuts, but many people see a change in Star Wars after ESB. It is such a quality drop, it bothers me to this day. I watched ROTJ the other, and though it is entertaining, and the Vader/Emperor/Luke scene is done very well, the movie overall is just not as good as Star Wars or ESB. Then you get to the prequels, and other than ROTS, they just don't feel like Star Wars.

To one thing I noticed is ROTS is making ROTJ worse! All the questions I waited for: Why did Vader turn? Did Luke & Leia's mom die? How does Leia know her mom and Luke doesn't? What is the whole story on the force ghost? All of the answers to these questions were underwhelming. We waited all these years to learn Vader was tricked, and he did everything for his wife? To me it brings down Vader alittle, but I think that is what Lucas intended to do.

Now when I watch ROTJ I notice things that were written badly in the prequels and it is definitely hurting the movie, for instance, when Leia and Luke talk about their mom, their real mom, it is such a plot error. Many people who defend Lucas say she saw Padme through the force, but to me that is lame and really lazy writing. I really thought ROTS would fullfill my appetite of Star Wars and answer all my questions, but it has made things more confusing, and has left me very unsatisfied toward the rise, fall, and redemption of Vader. I liked it better when it was the story about Luke. Oh well, I guess I have to get over it.
Lucas's filmmaking rut
Lucas to me has always been a better producer and storyteller. If you watch the prequels, I love them because they are Star Wars, but you can see his flaws as a director. He is a great storyteller, the whole Star Wars universe is so unique and interesting. He is also good at pushing the envelope for special effects. Every movie gets better with the use of CGI (though some people don't like too much CGI, and I respect that). He is trying to push all-digital film to movie theaters, so in a sense he still is a pioneer.

I look at it this way, George Lucas is a talented man, but he is not a genius at everything. The Empire Strikes Back, IMO, is the best Star Wars movie, because it had the most collaboration:

Lucas wrote the overall story

Lawrence Kasdan & Leigh Brackett wrote the screenplay

Irvin Kershner directed

Gary Kurtz produced

Lucas executive produced

John Williams did the music

He had everyone who was on the picture at the top of their game. No clunky dialogue, he had good screenwriters. No bad acting, Kershner got great performances out of the cast. No kiddie stuff, Kurtz knew where to draw the line. Awesome score, John Williams of course. And finally, George Lucas overseeing everything to capture his vision. PERFECT MOVIE.
Views on "Return of the Jedi" 22 years later
Just curious:
"What was your original reaction to "Return of the Jedi" when you first saw it, how ever many years ago? (Whenever it was: 1983, 1995, 1997 or 2004)."

Saw in 1983 at ten years old, and loved it. As I got older, I started to notice the kiddy stuff in it, and went from my favoite to my least favorite. As I got older, ESB catapulted to the top of the list.

"What's your gut reaction to the film upon seeing it again now?

Still love the ending with Vader/Luke/Emperor, you just can't beat that whole sequence. Still the love the space battle, not as good as ANH, but pretty damn entertaining. The first 40 minutes with Jabba are too long, they could have cut that scene in half and it would have been just as good. The ewoks are just too kiddy, and once I found out Lucas originally visioned a wookie planet, I still go nuts thinking why he didn't go with that idea.

"How do you feel about the changes made to 'Jed' in 1997 and 2004. Have they changed your overall impression of the film?"

I hate the changes to ROTJ the most for the special editions. The song in Jabbas palace is made for 4 year olds, and totally makes the whole sequence uncool. Hayden Christenson next to Alec Guinness and Yoda at the end is the worse than Greedo shooting first!

"Have the prequels changed how you feel about "Jedi?"

They have definitely helped the Vader/Luke scenes. You kind of understand Vaders motivations, and makes him a more human person. Unfortunately, I don't look at him as the badass anymore. But The Emperor is alot cooler now, because all he was, was a simple politician, who rose to become Emperor just like Hitler.

"And finally, sort of a long question but... Do you see "Jedi" as being a kids film (as Mark Hamill called it) meant for the age 12 and under crowd? And do you think children "get" ROTJ more than any of the original films?"

I think it is the most kiddie of the originals, and that is a shame. Lucas could have made that a darker movie than it was, and still had a happy ending. The ewoks just make the movie sort of uncool to a person as they get older. I just feel that Lucas was going through the motions just to get this movie made. No Kershner, no Gary Kurtz, not that they were gods, but their input to the previous two movies help make them classics, and to me, ANH & ESB are the only truly great Star Wars films. But the ending still makes it a very good movie. I find that more kids like ROTJ more than ANH & ESB because it is a simpler movie. But as I said, as you get older, ROTJ drops and ESB gains.

Editing Episode II: Is there a great film there?
I actually like AOTC, but it far from a great movie. I still think the only two great Star Wars films are ANH & ESB, after that they are all good with positives and negatives aspects.

I actually think the one think that can't be changed in AOTC is Hayden & Natalie. To me, they just weren't perfect for the part. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hammill, not academy award winners, are perfect for their role. You can always say to yourself that I couldn't envision anyone else playing that role. For the prequels, Liam Neeson was perfect for his role, and so was Ewan McGregor. Throughout Episode II & III I always thought there was a better couple to play Anakin & Padme.

To me the biggest reason why I think people don't like AOTC is the love story. True, there is some cringeworthy dialogue, but I just don't think people want to watch a Star Wars movies with the love story as the central point. In the ESB & ROTJ, the romance between Leia & Han was minor subplot that didn't interfere with the movie. I know so many people who were so turned off from AOTC when they saw it in the theater. They would shake their heads everytime you mention the love story.

As I said, I actually like AOTC, I dont think it is a great Star Wars movie, but I can still watch any Star Wars movie all the time. Lucas made a bold move with the prequels:

TPM: The Setup

AOTC: The Romance

ROTJ: The payoff

Most people just wanted the payoff.
Of the six Star Wars movie which is your LEAST favorite?
The Phantom Menace is my least favorite.

I actually enjoy the story because it sets up the whole saga nicely. But I think Lucas lost touch with the audience after 16 years away from the camera. There was just too much childish jokes in this movie. But to me the biggest reason it is the worst is JAR JAR. Six years later, everytime I watch it he still drives me nuts! He is so damn annoying, and just overshadows every scene he is in. You take him out, or limit his role, and this turns out to be a very good Star Wars movie. Jar Jar was probably the biggest miscalculation by George Lucas ever. Oh well-
Things you DID like about Episode III
I actually really like the opening scene with Kenobi & Anakin rescuing Palpatine. I still don't think that space battle is as good as Jedi's was.

I love the opera scene where Palpatine is talking to Anakin. One of the true non-action scenes in the prequels that really works.

Of course, Order 66.

The Jedi-Temple Massacre.

The music playing when Anakin & Padme are just staring out their respective windows on Coruscant while Mace & Co. go to arrest Palpatine. A perfect instance where actions speak louder than words, in that scene nothing is spelled out for you, the errie music in the backround says it all.

Yoda vs. Sidious, way better than I expected. I didn't think Lucas could pull it off.

Where Kenobi asks Padme if Anakin is the father, and he replies (I think), "I am truly sorry." Star Wars at its best

The Duel was great, but went in with too high expectations. Through the years after everyone has seen it on DVD a million times, it will pass the test of time, and be the most beloved duel next to ESB with Vader vs. Luke I.

Kenobi yelling at a charred Anakin with no legs and one arm, "You were the chosen one!" The best drama in the prequels

The ending was great, even for prequel bashers:

Luke & Leia being born

Padme dying (more emotional than I thought) The funeral was very eerie

The creation of Vader, with the mask being put on his face, and then you hear the first Vader breath, very well done by Lucas.

Finally, Owen & Beru holding Luke up to the sunset, a fitting end to a 28 year wait!

Quotes from Gary Kurtz
I don't profess to Kurtz being God, because I think some people overate him, but I think he has definitely made a big difference in making ANH & ESB the two best Star Wars films.

I like him and Kershner because they questioned George like anyone should. It is still Lucas' vision, and he deserves most of the credit, but Kurtz to me seemed to keep that adult nature to Star Wars that it lost when ROTJ & the Ewoks arrived.

In one interview I read from 2002, Kurtz said Lucas changed after Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is a classic action movie, but it is just that, a 2-hour action bonanza, with not the greatest plot to go with. Lucas realized, and he was right, that if you give people a wild-action ride for 2+ hours, people will come. To me after ESB, that is where Star Wars took a left turn, from great films to good ones.

Watching ANH & ESB, you can put them up to classic movies, and have a healthy argument. After ESB, you start saying:

ROTJ: The last 40 minutes are awesome, but those damn ewoks, and that jabba scene goes on way to long! And who is a that singing that awful song in Jabba's palace, was that in the original or special edition?

TPM: Jar Jar? Jar Jar? Jar Jar? It still boggles my mind 6 years later!

AOTC: Great action once the clone wars start, but that love story, argh! And what is up with C-3PO cracking jokes during the clonewars!

ROTS: Definitely got back to the original Star Wars, but Padme dying of a broken heart? Can Anakin's turn be any less convincing? "NOOOOOOOO!" Where is Qui-Gon, can you possibly spend a minute explaining the force ghost trick?

It is interesting to read Kurtz's quotes, and I'm sure there are sour grapes between him & Lucas, but he definitely helped the first two films rather than hurt them.
Was Lucas Just Lucky?
I agree alot with this thread on many issues, but I think it is too extreme to say he was lucky, but it is too extreme to say he is a genius.

To me, IMO, I think Lucas can do many things well, and many things he does not do well. Unfortunately on the prequels, he tried to do everything, and his flaws showed in all of the films.

Lucas, is very good storyteller. To me the six movies in Star Wars are all interesting. He definitely has a great imagination, and has created a whole universe on his own. He is very good at pushing technology as far as it goes. The special effects in every Star Wars movie are better. He definitely knows what he wants when he is trying to achieve something. As much as I hate Jar Jar Binks, and I really hate him, he was the first all CG character, which was a wonderful achievement at the time.

The things Lucas is not very good at is: Writing dialogue. In the originals, he wrote the story and had someone like Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett wrote the screenplay. He is not very good at getting great performances out of the actors. He is an editor, not a director. If you look at ESB, Kershner did a great job because he got the best performances out of Ford, Hamill, and Fisher.

Now most people will argue, "Lucas wrote and directed the original Star Wars, how do you answer that?" True, but that movie was lightning in a bottle. It is a classic that changed movies. To me it is one of the things that everything went right, and a great movie came from it. I think Lucas deserves most of the credit, but as you see the others movies from Star Wars, you begin to see his flaws. Johnathen Demme did Silence of the Lambs, Andrew Davis did The Fugitive, and Kevin Costner did Dancing With Wolves, and they were all classic movies, but they never topped that again, but that doesnt' mean they are horrible directors, lightning struck once where everything went right, and the movie was a classic.

To me the original Star Wars and Empire Stikes Back are the only truly classic Star Wars movies. I think they are because they had the most collaboration. Gary Kurtz was the producer, can you see Kurtz letting Jar Jar ruining the first 40 minutes of The Phantom Menace, he would have said to George this guy is ridiculous. Lucas had Lawrence Kasdan write ESB, and Irvin Kershner direct it. This led to many other ideas to make a Star Wars movie great. Kershner said once that Lucas did not like Han Solo saying to Leia, "I know" but he fought to keep it in and now it is a classic line.

After ESB, ROTJ was downfall of great Star Wars movies. The other 4 are all good in their own way, and I can still watch them endless just because they are Star Wars, but everytime I watch ROTJ, TPM, AOTC, and ROTS, I say, "Damn if he would have done this and this different, man this would be a great movie. " I also think that Lucas started to cater too much to kids. The ewoks, Jar Jar, C-3PO' head making jokes during the clone wars of AOTC! Everytime I watch ANH & ESB I think they are perfect, and wouldn't change a thing.

My point is that Lucas tried to do everything on the prequels, and by parting ways with Kurtz after ESB, he began to the era of more "yes men."
Just watch TPM documentary on DVD and watch how everyone is afraid to give an opinion after they watch a rough cut. The only one who questions him is Ben Burtt from the original crew. Sometimes you need other input, because no one is right 100% of time.

I love George Lucas and respect him alot for giving us 6 Star Wars movies to watch for the rest of our lives, but calling him lucky it too strong. He deserves credit for many things, and deserves criticism for other things. The one regret I have about the saga, is if he stuck with the original crew of Kurtz, Kasdan, and partially Kershner, how much better the movies would have been after ESB. Oh Well.....