The Civil Prequel Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episodes I - III' started by BatLobsterRises, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. BatLobster Trailer Timewarper

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    I've had this thought for a while. I don't know if this can actually work, but I thought it would be worth a shot to try having a thread where an actual civil discussion of the prequels is encouraged. A place where we can kind of try to check any heated emotion at the door and calmly discuss and/or debate the movies and the mythology of the movies.

    The trick would be not to descend into the usual pitfalls. IE:

    -No baiting with snarky comments
    -No copout defenses like "you were expecting the OT" or "you just don't get it!"
    etc.
    -No retreading any of the standard arguments or points that have been belabored already

    I think the overall goal here really shouldn't be about convincing the anyone of the "rightness" of you opinion, rather it'd just be about trying to have some good discussions and maybe even on some level a philosophical conversation on the nature of Star Wars itself and what it should, shouldn't, can or can't be. But all done with respect towards the opinions of others.

    I know that's a pretty ambitious goal for a thread on SHH!, to say "let's take a hot button topic in fandom and all behave nicely about it!" lol. But I feel like I can't be the only one here who has some mixed thoughts on the prequels and looking to discuss them openly without getting too emotional about it. And if you want to do that, the Anti-Prequel discussion thread and the General Discussion and Appreciation thread (which basically even out because of the constant bickering) are still there.

    Especially as the saga continues with the ST, there might be some people who wish to continue viewing the entire saga as one large interconnected thematic piece, and maybe even some aspects of the prequels will be seen in a different light after the ST. I see this thread as a potential home for that kind of discussion too, if there are any new insights over time.

    I don't really have any major conversation starters at the moment, my mind is in total TFA mode right now. But Solidus responded to a post I made in the Star Wars Prequels vs. Star Trek reboot thread in Misc. films, and after drafting out an epic-in-length response, I realized that rather than give the wheel another spin, I should give something new a shot. So here we are. At worst, I figure this is a harmless experiment. If it doesn't work, or nobody's interested- so be it. :yay:
     
  2. Brother Jack The Penitent Man

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    An admirable endeavor but I'm not sure how well it will work. :funny:

    But yeah, there's a lot of value to having a friendly discourse about the PT. I've definitely been guilty of letting hate sour any and all discussion about the prequels and that certainly is not a good thing. It's something I've thought about more and more actually. As much as I like and admire the Plinkett reviews for instance, I have become less and less tolerant of that kind of extremely dark cynicism regarding things that don't work. There's no love it it, and by that I don't mean love in the sense of liking everything but in the sense that just because you might hate a film doesn't mean you should hate the people who made it. Doesn't mean you should just tear them down with cackling vitriol. I have a lot of mixed feelings about George Lucas but it is absolutely wrong to harbor hatred for the man, as it is for anyone really.
     
  3. OcStat Registered

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    You are allowed to hate the PT, can't like it, and especially can't love it.

    I can't think of any other fan base that resents the one person who created the thing in the first place. It's weird to me. God help Abrams if he drops the ball, or any of the film makers that are tied to the series for the next several films, because the usual scapegoat won't be there.

    I watched the PT over this last couple of weeks, they are by no means masterpieces, but there's enjoyment to be had. I think people had conjured up their own continuity for so long in the time between RotJ and TPM that nothing Lucas could have delivered would have really appeased the multitudes of die-hards. The guy who created the franchise put forth these movies as the series of events that lead up to the creation of the Galactic Empire, like it or not. But people can't seem to let it go, the vitriol as Brother Jack said is as fierce now as it ever was. Maybe because of the light at the end of the tunnel heading our way in December.

    But I think we're in for a surprise, as great as the upcoming movie may or may not end up, there will be people who have been envisioning what they think the next Star Wars should be and if it doesn't line up, there will be plenty of people on forums like ours saying how much they didn't like it.

    ---

    To get us back on point, I've never watched the series in chronological order, as I am doing now. I started A New Hope last night but started too late so we didn't finish it. Too early to tell how the entire series flows when viewed this way as opposed to release order, but it's interesting. As I posted in another thread, I am watching them with my girlfriend who is a blank slate as far as Star Wars is concerned and she enjoyed the PT, was emotionally invested in Anakin's arc, but said a few things going from III into IV seem confusing. The reveal of Luke being Darth Vader's son and Leia's sister will of course lose the element of surprise the moments would have for the viewer when starting with A New Hope, but I think it seeing Luke learn those revelations when the viewer is already aware will still be a powerful moment.
     
  4. BatLobster Trailer Timewarper

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    Thanks for the responses guys. Yeah, we'll see how it works. Maybe it won't be the busiest thread but we'll accumulate some good posts over time.

    I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea, I don't just want this to be a "let's only say nice things about the prequels" thread. Criticism, alternate ideas that you would've liked to see, etc. are all still encouraged. It's more about changing the tone of the discussion to a more level-headed one. Glad you guys get it.

    I'm doing a re-watch of the whole saga with my gf including the prequels leading up to TFA. I'll probably be posting some reflections about that here at some point.

    I will just say for now that I think we very likely we are going to get a really great film next month that is going to be completely revitalize the franchise and fandom. No doubt, the prequel bashing and comparisons, etc. are going to continue to hit hard for a while. I'm hoping that in the long run it'll help give people closure on the whole thing since not only does the franchise not have to end on a "bitter" note anymore...it doesn't have to end at all, really.

    I couldn't agree more with this outlook. Admirable of you to adjust your thinking on it.
     
  5. Napoleon Registered

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    I've never really talked at length with anyone outside my circle of real world friends about why I dislike the prequels, but here goes:

    1). The cinematography. Almost all of the movies (AotC and RotS at least) are shot on sound stages with a green screen background. Green screen is fine when used in moderation to create backgrounds that otherwise do not exist or cannot be created, but when used for almost every one, the whole movie looks fake and it kills suspension of disbelief. The over abundance of shot-reverse shot and repetitive blocking (it always ends with characters sitting down and talking) during the dialogue scenes give them a very soap-opera feel; they're shot for convenience and for the comfort of the director.

    2). The acting. Every performer except for Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid gives a very flat, one-note performance. They deliver their lines in an emotionless manner and come across as very bored. Granted this was more due to poor direction than anything.

    3). The direction. As I mentioned, Lucas wanted to make these films without sacrificing his comfort, so he directed most of them from his chair. He was also extremely over-indulgent with the action scenes; they weren't believable, didn't serve the story or characters, and just felt like glorified tech demos. The Mustafar duel is the most egregious example of this. Lucas also is not an actor's director, which explains the flatness of the actor's performances. Also like I mentioned, the overuse of green screen was very noticeable. For example, in RotS, Grievous does a sort of karate show-off stance in front of Obi-Wan's face and Obi-Wan doesn't even flinch. This was likely because Lucas told McGregor to look at a large green screen with only two dots as a frame of reference, and he didn't know what he was doing. Stuff like this takes you out of the movie.

    4). The writing. Honestly the biggest, most fundamental flaw of these movies. There are so many complex elements left unexplained to the audience, and many things contradict each other. Anakin's fall to the Dark Side is handled extremely poorly: he isn't seduced by it as much as he is duped into joining it. Think about it. He's told some vague story by a creepy old dude about another dude who could save people from dying, and then he has to choose between a facially deformed hideous looking version of that man and Samuel L. Jackson in a robe. He kills Sam and immediately shows regret for it, and then Monster Mash tells him he has to pledge his loyalty to the Graveyard Smash. He doesn't do it out of his own free will like Obi-Wan said in ANH. The films also break the show don't tell rule of screenwriting. For example, in the beginning of AotC, we are introduced to Anakin and Obi-Wan in an elevator and Lucas has 30 seconds to show us why they're good friends. He does so not by making them act like it, but rather by having them recount one of their wacky adventures. A better way to introduce them would have been to show them on a mission together and have Anakin save Obi-Wan's ass. Something that shows their camaraderie.

    It's because those fundamental flaws that these movies fail both as Star Wars films and films in general. There's a basic language to cinema that Lucas seems to have ignored entirely.
     
  6. GuestStar2004 Registered

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    For me ROTS is very enjoyable, I'd probably put it up there with ESB

    While I can understand certain criticism about the prequels I do find that some nitpick the hell out of them like one criticism I read said the prequels sucked because yoda shouldn't have a lightsaber and should have been a puppet instead of "fake CGI" but from how I see it there is nothing that says yoda shouldn't have have a lightsaber during the clone wars period beyond perhaps OT nostalgia and when it comes to CGI vs Puppet I'd say while the puppet would be a more physical presence on set I cant say yoda has ever not looked like muppet style puppet to me, it wasn't high tech animatronics it was a guy with his hand up yoda butt so you only ever see him waist up, so they both take a sense of disbelief to accept
     
    #6 GuestStar2004, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  7. Batsfan1 Registered

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    Obi-Wan didn't actually know what drove Anakin to join the dark side. But that isn't being duped. Anakin is seduced by the power that the dark side can give him. That's what drives his actions in the story. If he's duped by anyone, it's himself, into thinking that his actions are justified and not just based on his attachment and lust for the power the dark side can give him. It's directly of his own free will. There isn't a contradiction there.

    God bless you! God bless your family and everyone else in your life!
     
  8. dax Registered

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    I'm sure Obi-wan overheard Anakin talking to Padme about why he joined the dark side. Anakin didn't want to lose her the same way he lost his mom so he figured that by using the dark side, he'll have a better chance at saving Padme but he found out the hard way that he was wrong. When Obi-wan found out that Padme was dying, he understood why Anakin did what he did which is why he tried to stop Luke from helping Owen and Beru in ANH and why he tried to talk him out of saving Han, Leia, and Chewie in ESB.

    Another thing, it wasn't just himself that's duping Anakin, PalpSidious was duping him as well. He's been influencing Anakin since he was a small boy into believing "the jedi are evil", "he doesn't need their guidance", and that the dark side would help him save lives including Padme's.
     
    #8 dax, Nov 23, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  9. Batsfan1 Registered

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    Anakin has free will. He may have reasons, but the influence of Palpatine isn't him being duped. Anakin knew what he was. He allowed Palpatine's lies to get to him. He allowed himself to believe that, despite the fact that he knew Palpatine was behind it all. But Anakin says he was doing it to protect her. He didn't give the full reason and Anakin did have a lust for power and importance.

    God bless you! God bless everyone!
     
  10. brothersthre3 Registered

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    I just rewatched all the prequels in the last month. I am a prequel hater. I don't think they are good movies.

    My problem is the script. While some of the actors probably wouldn't be my top picks, I don't think they were to blame.

    I also don't blame the "overuse" of CGI and green screen. Infact I think a lot of the special effects were phenomenal. It also contained some really good action sequences. Obi Wan vs Grievous or Anakin vs Dooku were both great.

    My main problem with the trilogy is I don't think there was enough development of Anakins character. By the time I finished the 3rd film I just felt I didn't know the character well enough and I didn't even understand why he turned to the Dark side so quickly.

    I think it would have helped greatly if Episode 1 & 2 were combined into 1 film. Then Episodes 2 & 3 really good have concentrated on Anakins turn to evil.

    It was the first time feeling nostalgia watching these films for me. I only first saw them when I was like 16 and am 21 now.
     

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