A real fan
Join Date: Nov 2012
Re: The Prequel Trilogy General Discussion and Appreciation Thread
[QUOTE=BenKenobi;25386599]It depends on who you ask. There are some fans who irrationally hate them and everything related to them (themes, ideas, characters), and they are pretty nuts. There are some legitimate complaints.
I agree, they're both two different stories, but there are some pretty big stretches some have found hard to swallow as Lucas did go a bit over the top making it looks bright and elegant. It's not something that bothers me, but I do see where they are coming from. Not to mention it's pretty undeniable everyone got chills when they saw Vader and the Emperor in the protostar destroyer deck in Sith. More of the would certainly have not hurt.
You have to keep in mind there were a lot of plot holes in the movies and unresolved story arcs in the films. Like why is the Federation blockading Naboo, Palpatines plan being a bit contrived and overly thought out (something Lucas has been doing since Luke in Jedi), etc. Not to mention most people don't say he got lazy as much as he refused to get off his high horse. When he was writin these films, as opposed to the originals, he was the big shot and he surrounded himself with yes men and didn't have much help from other writers. See originally Lucas had his wife Maria who helped a great deal in writing, Sci-Fi writers, Gary Kurtz, his producers, all influencing the writing. He didn't even direct Empire or Jedi either. He had a very different vision of Star Wars than what came out, Luke was an old man, Han was blue, people helped him focus his vision.
The acting wasn't so much Lucas's fault as a result of his at the time unconventional techniques. See in the originals films the actors were on practical sets and could visualize exactly where their characters were, what they were seeing, and could play up small details. One great example is Peter Cushing trying to comfort Carrie Fischer on the set of A New Hope (she was nervous about working with a seasoned actor like him) and told her it was her scene explaining she was the source of purity and hope, where as he was grim and untwist worthy, telling her to stand in the light source and he would remain a bit back in the shadows. Not to mention the actors were given more room to improvise by the other directors than Lucas, some great lines like the classic "I love you" "I know" were improv. It made the hammy acting a bit more acceptable.
Another problem was that while Mark Hamil was hammy playing a character named Luke we were meeting for the first time, Hayden and Jake were playing the menacing Darth Vader who'd become a fearsome cultural icon. They were doomed from the beginning as they would have to compensate a great deal for this from the start. I understand where Lucas was coming from casting Hayden but he really should have gone with DiCraprio or one of the other more experienced actors who'd expressed interest in the role rather than going the Christopher Reeves unknown route.
You're right that Empire is often praised for being dark, but thats just a generalization. It's probably the most tightly written, directed, and edited film out of the saga. Lucas went all out with the film he enlisted the help of a professional science fiction writer to pull out a first screen play, his more technically oriented film professor Kershner to direct, and his wife Maria to help edit. The movie is pretty much perfect, it has deep philosophical themes about coming of age, assumed truths, loss of innocence, and introduced many iconic characters and moments. The movie is also very good at explaining things subliminally through character placement and camera angles.
For example when we see the bounty hunters for the first time, they are standing above the imperials, implying they are above the law. Boosk snarls something incompressible to one of the officers that gets too close to his foot and we see the fear in his face, instantly registering them subconsciously as a threat. Through out the whole movie Vader is shot over the shoulder or from a perspective where the other actors are looking up at him. This too implies domininse, fear, and power, the only exception being the brief scene he speaks to the Emperor. It was just technically the best put together of the films.
Now you also bring up Jedi and claim people hate it because it's kid friendly. No, Empire and Star Wars were kid friendly too. One problem with Jedi is it's just hard to make a good third installment of a trilogy. That aside Lucas's heart just wasn't in it, he was losing his family and having a lot of emotional issues. The lighting and the camera angles for the most part were pretty TV movie quality, the guy just wanted to get it out of the way. The biggest problem with Jedi though is that it's the big climax but most of the movie is pretty inconsequential. Nothing really happens on Endor, it just kind of drags between Jabba's Palace and The Throne Room scenes. There should be a lot more going on with how much is at stake. However there emotions and themes about father and son are so good many over look it and see it as the best one.
See thats just not it. The other movies were kid friendly too, but they were just pulled off better. A lot of people who don't like the prequels, like aspects of the prequels and call them disappointments rather than horrible concepts. The Phantom Menace was horribly paced, filled with unintelligent slapstick humor, and unthoughtful writing (Anakin blew up the ship by accident) and as you said Attack of the Clones had the half baked love story. It was just not what it could have been or should have been, especially compared to what others have done with these worlds and characters. Sith is darker and cuts out most of the head scratching moments which is why it's better received, but it's bogged down by trying to compensate for the films it was following.
I'm not trying to say you can't think the prequels were good or enjoy them, but you didn't seem to understand the whole argument against them or why the old films were praised in general.[/QUOTE Thanks mate for replying in a nice manner and not ripping into me. Everything that you said in your post I already knew about. I know the indepth reasons why people like or hate each of the 6 films but what I said was what people generally say about each of the films but you went into the deeper details of why and how. I just think that the prequels are judged too harsh. Lucas just wanted to do things differently.