Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth About Star Wars

This is it. This is my major post. This is everything. Anytime somebody posts anything anti-I, II, III, or anti-GL, or anti-Star Wars in general, I will simply reply with a link to this very post. I warn any longtime readers that I will repeat myself in this manifesto, but it's good to have all the information here.

Also, this post will be very very VERY long. However, if you really care about this subject, then you'll read the whole thing. A response of TL;DR will only show me that I have no reason to take you or your arguments seriously on this matter, since the hate machine has been on diatribes this long or longer for years and I'm merely now fighting back.

Haters, prepare to take the left-hand evacuation procedure as I lay some truthiness down upon thee.


Common Complaints About The Star Wars Universe, Recent Additions In Particular, That Are Complete And Utter Crap

1. George Lucas Doesn't Get Star Wars
No, my friend. George Lucas created Star Wars. If anyone knows it, it's him. You don't have to like all his decisions, but never be so arrogant to assume that you know the world in a person's head more than that person.

This is different if you were to say, for example, that Peter Jackson doesn't get "Lord of the Rings". Whether or not I disagree (I do), it's still a valid argument because Peter Jackson is not JRR Tolkien and therefore is certainly capable of not getting it. However, if you were to say JRR Tolkien doesn't get "Lord of the Rings", we'd have the problem we're having here. If there's a discrepancy between what the creator thinks it should be and what you think it should be, then you are the one who doesn't get it. And that's fine. So you either learn to get it, or decide you don't care and kindly leave the fandom.

But, okay, so what is Star Wars actually? Well, I'm not going to presume to 100% know for sure because I am not George Lucas. However, using my own sense of deductive reasoning and film comprehension, and basing my thoughts on what Mr. Lucas has explicitly said numerous times as well as my multiple viewings of all six films, I think I can safely say that Star Wars is this:

Star Wars is, in a nutshell, an action fantasy story in Sci-Fi clothing. It is a deep treatise of mythological Campellian archetypes buried underneath the most ridiculous, ham-fisted, 30's serial melodrama. It's a look at how a person or even a government can become corrupt under the best of intentions and yet can still be redeemed, if even at the last moment. It's a saga for the young and the young at heart, a way to bring families together.

And as confident as I am in this analysis, if George Lucas were to call me up in five minutes and tell me I'm flat out wrong, I'd be flat out wrong. Because George Lucas created Star Wars, and only George Lucas can completely 100% "get it".

2. Star Wars Belongs To The People
No, no it doesn't. It belongs to the creators (and now to Disney, but you can bet Lucas protected his art). Yes, we bought the tickets and the merchandise and made it a pop-cultural phenomenon, but that's because we liked it. Your money only paid for a chance to see a film, or own a replica of a character or prop. That's it, done. George Lucas owes you nothing else, and you owe him nothing else but to let him go about his business and either give him (and Disney) money for things you like or stop giving him (and Disney) money for things you don't. Nobody is opening up your wallet and stealing your cash.

3. The Acting and Dialogue Is Terrible/Plot Points Make No Sense
Yes, some of the dialogue is clunky, some of the plot isn't explained very well on the surface, and some of the performances are acquired tastes - in all six films! This is the key here. Most people bandy this one about in regards exclusively to I-II-III while giving IV-V-VI a pass. No no no no. This has been a "problem" since 1977. I say "problem" because it's actually one of the reasons we still love Star Wars, whether we'll admit it or not.

As far as the dialogue is concerned, like I said this is 30's melodrama. It's supposed to sound big and epic and totally awkward. Carrie Fisher has gone on record several times regarding how hard her dialogue was to say. She laughed in George's face with the line "I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board." Every line, love it or hate it, in all six films are of that caliber. Personally, I love it. If you don't, that's cool. Art is subjective. Just go away and let us Star Wars fans like Star Wars.

Acting? While there are plenty of characters who the actors imbibed with a readily-obvious personality (Han, 3PO, Jar Jar, Watto), many others played it relatively close to the chest. (Luke, Leia, Qui-Gon, Padmé). Indeed, for some it takes some time to get what they're really about, but it's in there. For an example, I'll admit that I found both Leia and Padmé rather bland for most of my life until I started studying the characters and really seeing their motivations. This is true for most of the main characters in the entire saga.

Plot? There are some holes, but again, it's in all six films. And we have to suspend our disbelief over a bottomless pit in these kinds of films. You're going to sit there and tell me that Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar travelling through Naboo's apparently unmolten core is any more ridiculous that Han, Leia, and Chewbacca walking around in (what they think is) the cold vacuum of space in nothing but a little oxygen mask?

These issues exist in all six films...if you only watch each film once and don't do any more research. So why do people seem to see the depth and value in IV-VI and not the depth and value in I-III? Because people who grew up with IV-V-VI watched them until the tapes wore out, and bought all the supplemental material that helped explain what was going on, and bought all the action figures which is one of the only places you can learn the names of even some major characters. A lot of these people didn't give I-III the same chance. I, on the other hand, ate everything up. Bought all the figures. My VHS of "Phantom Menace" is blue I watched it so much. Do what you did with IV-VI: read, investigate, study - and from positive sources, not hateboy propaganda. Learn what the thought going into it was like with the older ones and everything WILL make sense. Well, most of it (you're in a VACUUM for crying out loud! Why do you still have eyes?!)

4. Hayden Christensen is Whiny and Wooden
Whiny yes, wooden not at all. This is a continuation of the previous point, but it's so specifically pervasive that it deserved its own.

Christensen plays Anakin for what he is: extremely emotionally unstable, not to mention tortured and, in Clones at least, hormonal. I also have a personal theory that Anakin Skywalker is on the autism spectrum. I have Asperger's syndrome, and I work as a job coach for other Aspies and people with other spectrum disorders. I must say that the behavior patterns of Anakin Skywalker (Christensen, Lloyd, AND Prowse/Jones) bear an uncanny resemblance to what I've seen in both myself and my clients. If you consider also that, as the Chosen One conceived by the midichlorians, Anakin only has one set of human chromosomes, this theory makes a lot more sense. But I'm not Lucas, so I don't know. What I do know is that the proper emotions certainly come through and "wooden" is the last thing I'd describe it as.

Christensen also does his homework by putting some subtle Vader-isms into his physical performance. Seriously, compare the way Christensen and Prowse move. I'll wait.

While I'm on this subject, I'll also defend Jake Lloyd. Yes, I counted perhaps four lines where his delivery was actually cringe-inducing. But aside from these four, his performance is decent at worst and moving at best (especially the goodbye scene with his mother). Add him to my autism theory and the fact that he's, y'know, a SLAVE and Anakin's character arc suddenly comes much more into focus.

Does any of this change the fact that Anakin Skywalker as played by Hayden Christensen is whiny? No, but I'll tell you about another Star Wars character who was ungodly whiny: LUKE SKYWALKER. Seriously, watch "New Hope" and "Empire" again. Luke, as played by Mark "Sorry, Heath, He's Still The Best Joker" Hamil, does almost nothing but whine and complain except in a few certain moments done to specifically illustrate how he is different from his father. Also, Luke mostly grew out of it by "Jedi", but again that's the whole point, This is why Luke is able to resist the Dark Side and Anakin is not: because somewhere along the way, Luke learned how to just shut the hell up and let things go. Anakin did not. This is AWESOME juxtaposition. This explains EVERYTHING about BOTH characters. The entire theme of the saga becomes clear.

I love Hayden Christensen. I didn't use to, but I do now. I'd love to see him come back as a Force Ghost in Episode VII. He is the perfect Anakin.

5. Jar Jar Binks is Useless
Kind of the point. He illustrates Qui-Gon's philosophy in the Living Force: That all life, no matter how seemingly useless has a purpose. And again, nobody in-universe seems to like Jar Jar. His own people want him dead. But as I illustrated here, almost everything in the Skywalker Saga comes to pass because of Jar Jar's bumbling. No, you don't have to like him. I love him, but art is subjective. But you can't deny that he has a purpose in these films.

6. Jar Jar/X Character is a Racist Caricature
Haaaaaaave you met Ted?

Okay, I did kind of guilt you into reading this long thing already. Basically, the above post describes my thoughts on this matter, which boils down to a "Are you !#$ing kidding me?!" but much more intelligently debated.

7. Having The Force Be Microscopic Organisms Destroys the Mysticism
This would be true if this is actually what was going on. However, listen to what Qui-Gon actually says about the midichlorians:

"Midichlorians are microscopic life forms that reside in all living cells...and we are symbyionts with them...lifeforms living together for a mutual advantage. Without the midichlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force."

What this means is that the midichlorians act like Babel Fish for the Force. They are translators, not generators. The Force itself remains as delightfully mysterious as always.

But why include them in the first place? Well, obviously it's to give Anakin a power level and bring up the prophecy of the Chosen One. But in-universe it would make sense that if the Midichlorians love the Force so much many more would congregate in a being with whom the Force is strong. Thusly, a midichlorian count is a perfect way to measure Force potential.

8. The Jedi in I-II-III Don't Act Like The Jedi in IV-V-VI
That's the point. The Jedi Order around the fall of the Republic are too invested in their own dogma to see what's in front of them and it costs them dearly. It's no accident that not only is the one Jedi who acts like the Jedi we were familiar with Qui-Gon Jinn, but that he is considered somewhat of a heretic. Both Obi-Wan and Yoda were very by-the-book Jedi until Order 66 and Qui-Gon's Force Ghost (sadly never shown) show then what a mistake it is to hold the Unifying Force over the Living Force. And even then it's difficult for them to break their habits. While training Luke, they're far more knowledgeable about the Living Force but are still afraid of Luke repeating Anakin's mistakes (both his actual ones as well as what they feel his mistakes were, and they aren't all the same).

The theme to this is that Anakin may have grown up differently with Qui-Gon as a master, but was stuck with by-the-book Obi-Wan and had to look elsewhere for "real" understanding - an opening Palpatine exploited.

And by the by, Yoda's proficiency with a lightsaber does not contradict his sentiment in Empire that "War does not make one great." If we view the films in internal chronological order, the line is even more powerful because by this time he's learned this from experience.

9. Star Wars Became Too Kiddie
There are two ways to answer this one.

a) Oh yes, Anakin slaughtering a villaige of sand people is total Saturday Morning fare. Maybe they'll show the second and third acts of "Revenge of the Sith" on Nick Jr. Ooh, you know what had the infants smiling? Darth Maul brutally impaling Qui-Gon Jinn on his lightsaber before being bisected himself.

b) Oh yes, because everything with R2 and 3PO was soooo brooding. Jawas? Right out of Schindler's List. The Ewoks deserved an R-rating all on their own.

Seriously, do we need to get the jaws of life to remove your cranium from your rectum? There's always been a balance between dark and light in all six films. Empire and Sith swayed dark because of the points in the story where they take place. The rest were even-handed, but they're all meant to be family entertainment in the end. You guys can have "Boba Fett and Darth Maul's Killing Spree and Goth Poetry Slam" if you leave the rest of us "Gungan and Ewok Game Night With Special Guest C-3PO."

10. There is Too Much CGI
I will give someone this one IF and only IF they are the kind of person who hates CGI no matter what. Gollum bothers them, Pixar bothers them, CGI in general bothers them. If this is the case, then yes I-III will be difficult because of the amount of foreground CG in those films.

Notice I said "foreground."

The fact of the matter is that, at least where Phantom and Clones is concerned, a majority of the background characters/landscapes/effects are still good old-fashioned practical effects (not sure where Sith stands in this, since there wasn't a practical effects featurette on that DVD). The majority of far-shots of the podrace stands? Miniatures filled with painted Q-Tips. No lie.

As for the CG that is there, it's still relatively good CG, especially for the time it was made. Most of it holds up pretty well. Plus, this was a very ballsy move. Nothing to this scale had ever been done before. You think Weta and Andy Serkis were pioneers with Gollum? They were just perfecting what ILM and Ahmed Best already created for Jar Jar.

So yeah. If you hate CG unconditionally, I won't argue with you. Otherwise, you're a hypocrite since most modern blockbusters use as much if not more CG to varying degrees of success.

11. Technology Feels Newer in the Chronologically Older Films
I find this is usually brought up with Phantom Menace in particular, about how prequel-era tech looks shinier and spiffier than IV-VI's "used future" aesthetic.

See, you just answered your own question there. "Used". It can't be "used" until it has been put to some use for a while.

Phantom Menace was an older time. A lot of the technology was new and built more by artisans than an assembly line. That's just what happens with tech and vehicles in the real world. New tech is all spiffy but as time goes on it becomes more uniform. And you notice things getting back to "normal" through Clones and Sith, as the Clone Wars rage and war machines have to be built quickly. This was a conscious design effort and makes the most sense.

Although, I dunno, you can't look at a Podracer and tell me it doesn't look as dingy or cobbled-together as the Millennium Falcon.

12. New Films Contradict Established Expanded Universe Stories
The EU was always merely entertaining apocrypha. Only the movies are truly Canon, and what they say goes above anything else. Get over it. Ooh boy, are you going to be disappointed by VII-IX...

13. Han Shot First
Not since 1997 he didn't. Again, George Lucas' art, he decides how to edit it. Haven't you ever felt you made a mistake and needed to redo something? At least Lucas does something about it.

Do I agree with all his SE editing choices? Actually...yeah I do. In theory at least. I think some of the added effects feel tacked on and needed more polish, but I agree with the concept of why the changes are there. As far as the specific scene is concerned, I like it best in its latest incarnation: there's too much smoke to tell who shot first. I like Ian McDiarmid and Teumera Morrison in "Empire", though I wish the effect were more polished. I like Hayden Christensen in "Jedi", though I wish the effect was more polished.

Yeah, I would like to see George return to the editing room one last time and spend a good deal of time just making the additions match the look and era of the films more. But, if he doesn't, it's no skin off of my nose. He doesn't owe me anything, after all.

14. It's a Cold Fact of Nature that The Prequels Suck, and You Have No Taste if You Like Them
This isn't a specific criticism as much as it is the end result of all the falsehoods I have heretofore mentioned. This is why I am militant in my fandom. For 13 years saga fans have had to put up with this (15 if you count the SEs). This is just plain wrong on so many levels.

First of all, art is subjective. You can not like something, but that doesn't make someone else bad for liking it. Best you can and should do is explain your view the best you can while being respectful, and hope the other person does the same, and then maybe learn something you hadn't before (whether you change your opinion or not).

Second of all, I-II-III are by no stretch of the imagination "bad" movies. Do they have flaws? Sure, what doesn't? But a lot of good, hard work went into making them. Watch any of the making-of specials on the DVDs. People worked hard, had fun, and that hard fun work shows.

Here's the real truth of the matter: Every single Star Wars movie, from "A New Hope" in 1977 to "Revenge of the Sith" in 2005 had the Exact. Same. Reception. Extremely mixed critical reviews and through-the-roof box-office numbers. Each film was amongst the highest grossers of its year. Even re-releases do well (in spite of limited advertising, the 3D version of "Phantom Menace" gained quite a bit of revenue and became the first SW film to top $1 billion in box office). And those critics that reviewed the films negatively? It's the same complaints from 1977-2005: acting, dialogue, plot, what have you. People tend to revere "Empire Strikes Back" as the best film in the saga (it's my second favorite after "Phantom"), and yet many reviewers, especially those that wanted to seem "cool" with the geek culture at the time, absolutely blasted the movie on the exact same points that I-III are now.

The only difference between then and now is that with the advent of the Internet, the haters have a larger megaphone. Looking squarely at ticket and merchandise numbers, I-III were just as successful as IV-VI, especially with the target audience: families with children. In fact, if you step away from the internet and the media and just walk up and ask people, you'll find more people will say they at least enjoyed I-III if not loved it. Real Die-Hards just need to debunk the cries of those who claim to be fans but really show they don't like Star Wars after all. We need to take back the discussion from the bullies who wanted something they should have known they were never going to get.

That's why I spent 2+ hours writing this. I love Star Wars more than most things. I just want to make sure that history remembers all these films as the classics they deserve to be, regardless of specific tastes (I didn't like Goodfellas, for example, but I recognize why it's a classic).

For more and better discussion of these points and others, visit A Certain Point of View, The Star Wars Heresies, and then, if you feel the love too, join the Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society. If there are other arguments I somehow missed, tell me in the comments and I'll address them there.

May the Force Be With You, Always.

103 comments:

  1. *standing ovation* brava! well said! i’ve been saying these EXACT things for years!

    i’d also like to put in my two cents on the old/new technology thing:
    1) in Phantom Menace, most of the ships scene in the film were all Naboo tech. Naboo is a very sleek, romantic society, so it makes sense their tech would reflect this. Everyone that has said “ooh, the ships are too shiney, waah!,” that’s because they’re seeing ships from ONE effing planet.
    2) I saw a lot of the prequels as “using modern tech to portray inferior tech.” First of all look at the battledroids. People automatically assume the battle droids to be “new” and “sophisticated” simply because they were CG. That’s a load of dung, because the battledroids were simple-minded stick-figures that didn’t stand any chance against a pair of Jedi whose sabers cut through them like butter. Also, look at Anakin and Luke’s cybernetic hands. Anakin’s was very droid-like in appearance, portrayed by CG, while TWENTY YEARS LATER Luke’s was more sophisticated and looked just like a real hand, portrayed by Hamill’s real hand.

    Food for thought ;)

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  2. Word to Every. Single. Point. I've lost count of how many times over the years I've attempted to make these points, but less eloquently than here. Kudos!

    (And hi, fellow Aspie!)

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    1. Hello yourself ;-)

      Thanks for reading!

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  4. Agreed. I’m excited for more Star Wars films can’t wait for Summer 2015 and beyond. Star Wars is awesome. And we should be happy about this news that came out on Tuesday and not worry about what’s going to happen. I am excited for more Star Wars movies and what is to come for the future of Star Wars.

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    1. Read my previous posts for my in-the-moment thoughts on the whole Disney thing. All in all, I'm excited too!

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  5. I want to have your blog babies. That is all - Well, not really.

    Wonderful, spot on post. Like you, there are some things I have 'issues' with (my personal bogy is Anakin's ulimate 'turn' felt very rushed - I would have loved to have seen 'Sith' made in two parts ala Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - a bold move which would have had the masses enraged at the time I'm sure)but like them or loath them, they are what they are.

    As for the 'New Series' (oh please oh please oh please) rejecting the 'established EU', and whispers of the OT cast being involved (Mark IS Luke, and any attempts at 'recasting' will result in my wallet slamming shut!) well, that just puts a bit of spice in the old waitlist, doesn't it now? And if I find the direction is not to my taste (IE - any post Jedi EU falls under this) and I feel so inspired, I can always go back to my own sandbox of fan fiction, but ever greatful to "the Maker" for giving me all these years of joy....


    Paulie

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    1. Wow! Thanks!

      I agree that the turn felt a little rushed, but I still love the movie.

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  6. Bravo! Bravo! That was 100% Accurate, hilarious, and brilliantly well written!

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    1. I must warn you...I am extremely susceptible to flattery.

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  7. in the timeless words of Stan Lee, " 'nuff said."

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    1. Stan the Man, like Papa George, always manages to make me smile.

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  8. Amen!

    The only significant point I would differ with you is on your theory of Anakin as an Aspie. The child Ani in TPM was very street-wise and was able to read the body-language of Qui-Gon and Padme to see through their cover story. His apparent decline of social skills by ATOC appear to be the effects of 1) the sleep deprivation brought about by weeks of nightmares about his mother, 2) a decade emotional isolation in Jedi care, 3) a decade of Palpatine's careful nuturing of Anakin's fear and anger, and 4) meeting again his actual dreamgirl. By the end of ATOC & going into ROTS, add untreated PTSD from the death of Shmi, his Tusken revenge, near death of girlfriend, amputation of his arm. The hypervigillence & lightning rage I have known in those with PTSD. Even if the GFFA has confidential therapy, Anakin doesn't seem the type to trust the secrets of his marriage and Tusken revenge with another. Consider, even with the lives of his wife and offspring at stake, he doesn't tell Yoda of the relationship which could have altered Yoda's advice.

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    1. He told Palpatine...

      I admit the analogy isn't perfect, but aspies and high-functioning disorders are far sweeter and observant than people give them credit for. It manifests a little differently for different people. I for example have always been friendly and personable, just unaware of my own awkwardness. Anakin seeming younger than his age is enough.

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  9. I also have a personal theory that Anakin Skywalker is on the autism spectrum. I have Asperger's syndrome, and I work as a job coach for other Aspies and people with other spectrum disorders.


    I don't think there was anything special about Anakin turning to evil. It could have happened to anyone. It damn near happened to Luke, Yoda, Mace Windu and even Obi-Wan. Anakin was a young man who was never taught properly on how to face his inner problems or accept his true self, due to having the wrong tutor who was too critical and conservative to be an effective Jedi master.

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    1. I agree it was a number of factors. I just see it in the way he acts. It's not something you notice unless you either have it or have worked with it for a long time (and I've done both). It's also hard to explain to most people since most people still don't properly understand it.

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  10. hats off, great blog post, so much so that I'm posting it to www.jedinews.co.uk this afternoon. Well thought out piece, so if you ever want to write articles for the UK's biggest Star Wars site as we chart the path towards Episode VII, let me know! mark@jedinews.co.uk

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    1. Wow! I don't know what to say! I'll shoot you an e-mail as soon as I can check a real computer (been using my phone to check comments). Thank you!

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  11. Great post.

    Agree 100% and I will do the same `Anytime somebody posts anything anti-I, II, III, or anti-GL, or anti-Star Wars in general, I will simply reply with a link to this very post`

    :-)

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    1. Yeah, I just realized I don't come across very many on my day-to-day surfing, so...I need you guys to spread the word. ;-)

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  12. what a load of crap,the prequals were dreadful, boring...

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  13. “… some of the plot isn’t explained very well on the surface…”

    There was a time when this was considered a strength. Lucas was early on praised for the medias res approach to his space saga. When we enter into A New Hope we are given no time to find our bearings and figure out what sort of place we’ve arrived at. There’s little sense of what exactly is going on either, and the movie never really stops to fill us in.

    But it was those gaps, those missing pieces of the whole that has made Star Wars so enduring. That was what we took with us as we left theatres. The empty pieces that we filled with our own imaginings…

    I don’t mean to be picky, and I love what you’ve done here, this is a great article but… the examples you site as plot holes, aren’t plot holes. A bottomless pit that’s function is not made clear cannot be described as a plot hole. A planetary core that seems to be water as opposed to magma, is not a plot hole. Both of these are examples of fantasy elements that do not need explaining, not of plot holes.

    A plot hole is a story inconsistency, a gap in the flow of logic established by the story’s plot, or just a straight-up omission of relevant information. A discussion of why Naboo has a watery core, or what function the various bottomless pits perform is not relevant. What’s required is that the storyteller create a sense of verisimilitude with regard to these types of fantasy elements, which Lucas absolutely does. With a plot hole though, we’re talking essentially about illogical or impossible events (something that becomes much more fluid admittedly when working in the realm of fantasy, but it must still adhere to it’s own internal logic), events happening for no apparent reason, or outright contradictory occurrences in the plot.

    From Wikipedia: While many stories have unanswered questions, unlikely events or chance occurrences, a plot hole is one that is essential to the story’s outcome. Plot holes are usually seen as weaknesses or flaws in a story, and writers usually try to avoid them to make their stories seem as realistic as possible. However, certain genres (and some media) that require or allow suspension of disbelief—especially action, comedy, fantasy, and horror—are more tolerant of plot holes.

    There are few, if any true plot holes in Star Wars. Sometimes one is required to take a holistic view of the entire six-part enterprise to understand the actions of a particular character, or a particular turn in the story, but the whole is surprisingly consistent. Particularly when we consider the backwards/forwards way in which it was produced.

    Again; I love what you’ve done here, I just had to pull you up on this one point for the sake of strengthening your already robust argument.

    And just to show that I do genuinely like what you’ve done here…

    “Christensen also does his homework by putting some subtle Vader-isms into his physical performance. Seriously, compare the way Christensen and Prowse move. I’ll wait.”

    I love this. I’ve been banging on for years about it. Also listen to the inflection of his voice. Now go watch Hayden in on of his non-Star Wars roles. Can you see it?

    He’s doing James Earl Jones. Subtly and without forcing it, and it pays dividends when that helm is lowered in Revenge of the Sith and Jones/Vader takes over, and yet it still ‘sounds’ like Christensen/Anakin.

    I also love the point you make about midichlorians. Always seemed self evident to me, in fact it’s one of the few things that Lucas takes time to explain, but some just can’t see the forest for the trees on this one.

    But you didn’t like Goodfellas…!?

    Thanks for this. Very cool!

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    1. I'll elaborate on what I said on ACPOV. I gave that as an example since that's a plot complaint I hear endlessly. That it doesn't even fit the definition of "plot hole" only goes to show that they don't know what they're talking about.

      And, yeah, Goodfellas was well-done, but not my cup of tea. But you don't see me going to Goodfellas sites and trying to convince the world that it sucks. That's the point of this campaign: if you don't like it, go away and let us enjoy it.

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    2. love that bit about Hayden playing James Earl Jones. i’m not an overall fan of his acting in the films, but even i have recognized this and pointed it out to people. Lines like “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy” you can TOTALLY picture Jones saying. And the way he points at Padme when he says “don’t ask me to do that” is a perfect Prowse mannerism.

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  14. Thanks for the artical, appreciate the time and thought that went into it. However, I think saying those that object to CGI in the prequals but don't object to CGI in general are hypocrites, is a big generalization.

    Of course sometimes CGI is the perfect choice for an effect or to hide or remove something alltogether and it can be a powerful tool, but only when used with discretion. And yes I believe this applies just as much to a star wars film as it does to a less fantasticl film.

    I don't appreciate the over use of CGI in the prequals but I do like the way some one like christopher Nolan uses it, sparingly. And I like the pixar films too. When I watch a pixar film, I enter into it knowing that it is an animated movie and the characters and world of that movie will be consistent through out. I can only speak for myself but i find it jarring in a live action film when an animated character or creature appears that dosen't seem to mesh with the location or the human it is interacting with. Often these CGI entities haven't much in the way of tangibility, they don't look like they have any physical weight, like solid real beings that are actually there. Now I know one could argue that a man in a moster suit is just as unrealistic but he does at least clearly cohabit the same dimension as the actor. He is a real presence in the scene.

    I do feel there was an over reliance on CGI in the prequals that (together with camera movement and staging and acting etc.) gave the films an ethereal and sterile aesthetic (and I don't buy it that this was the intention of the film maker)

    This is what makes it a different experience to my enjoyment of 'Toy Story' or 'The dark Knight Rises' (both spectacle movies, both use CGI).

    So In short, It depends on the context, how the CGI is used, how consistent it is with the world in the movie and whether the CGI is convincing.

    Now, sorry I will shut up in a minute, On the subject of the shared flaws of the two trilogies, I appreciate some of the similarities you mentioned in terms of dialogue, acting and such but here's my two cents on what makes them different. For me Star wars, Empire and Jedi had some things that were sorely lacking from the prequals; vitality, energy, simplicity, humanity, fun, a coherent story line and iconic and memorable characters** that genuinely appealed to children and adults alike.

    **(you can't have Palpatine as he was established in 'Jedi'. Maybe Darth Maul but that's it, everyone remembers that guy with the tattoos and the double ended light saber I guess).

    Cheers for reading and/or shouting obscenities at the screen. I'm not a hater, think George Lucas is an intelligent and kind hearted human being. Just didn't dig where he went with his films is all.

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    1. It's your prerogative not to dig it.

      However...

      How can you say Qui-Gon isn't memorable? Or Jar Jar or Watto? Or Sebulba? Or Padme? Whatever you think of them, you still remember them.

      Vitality? It's nothing but! Energy? Bursting at the seams! Humanity? A major theme! Fun? The most I've had in my life.

      I'll agree that I-III have a complexity that IV-VI lack, but that's to its benefit. And at no point, even at 13, did I ever find any part of the story incoherent. It's all there if you simply pay attention. Honestly, what is it that confuses so many of you?

      The thing is that you have to approach all six films the same. You can't go into it with preconceived notions or a film school critique. You have to let yourself become a kid again, and THEN go back with the eye for detail that helps you appreciate it even more.

      You did try and stay respectful, and I commend you for that, but you made the mistake I mentioned above: treating what you didn't find as truth. We remember it. We have fun. We understand. We love it.

      If you like good CGI, watch the scene with Watto in Attack of the Clones. Some of the best suble CG acting I've seen.

      Delete
  15. Wow, that was a very quick response. you're a fast writer. Where do i start?

    well, I never said i think all the CGI is bad in those film. Some of it is good.

    secondly I'm a very differnent fan than you are. We can debate about these things but you muct be careful when banding around phrases like "the truth". it tends to come across at best a little over zealous and at best slightly fanatical. We both have different opinions and it is fun to debate because it is clearly something very close to both our hearts. We both have our own truths sir.

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  16. Also on the subject of memorable characters, because you remember some one it doesn't make them classic characters. I remember seeing two people stood outside the pub earlier but they are not emblazened on my heart.

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    1. Helps to have g-mail on my phone.

      If I sound zealous, it's because the other side has been so zealous in trying to kill this art and some balance needs to be restored.

      To myself and many many others, these ARE iconic and classic characters. We can name plenty of moments filled with the qualities you claimed were lacking. And we never get a satisfactory explanation as to WHY the dissenters dissent. It's either "shaped like itself" arguments or comments that show a fundamental misunderstanding, or even dare I say ignorance, of what is happening in the film.

      Again, we're not saying I-III are perfect. But they have everything, good and bad, that IV-VI has. We're all going to have different preferences, sure, but you can't count I-III out completely.

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  17. I'm glad you enjoyed the prequals. i did at the time but after the third one something changed. something Lucas said. He was talking about how he put 20% of the story in episode one and then 20% in episode two so by the time he got to episode three he suddenly realised he was stuck with 60% of the story to some how get into the last film. So he found himself having to cut loads of stuff out. I don't know I guess a couple of things were starting to bother me at that point and when i heard him say this I realised that he'd been messing around with hour long pod race sequences instead of focusing on what was really important. the story. I get the story line, I just think it could have been alot better. I didn't have pre concieved notions, I stayed with it to the end. And at the end I had my sith/jedi (see it which way you want)awakening in george's universe and chose only the originals. But I don't resent anybody else loving them.

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  18. yeah, i understand that it must be annoying when it feels like people are always slagging off the thing you love. I'm afraid to say I do count them out. I understand that many fans say they love the characters of the prequals. But I think where I'm coming from is a more general perspective, as in general public. I think the general public could name all the main characters from the originals but I don't think they could do the same for the prequals. The originals became part of our culture but the prequals didn't. I think they just stood on the sholders of what had gone before. Every one knows jar jar i guess but for all the wrong reasons.

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  19. Are you still there? if not then have a good night. I really enjoyed talking to you. I guess the new film coming in 2013 ignited the old fires. I'm new to all this, do you think i will get lots of hate tomorrow?

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    1. not to sound rude, but this IS a blog comment section, not an instant messenger. i'm sure he'll respond when he can.

      Delete
  20. Replies
    1. I will admit, "Sith" does feel rushed, but so do some parts of "Jedi". As presented on screen, for example, I have a huge problem with the speed of Anakin's fall, Padme's death, Luke figuring out Leia is his sister, and Leia's accepting that fact. But I still love both films ("Sith" slightly more, but only slightly).

      And again, I feel that the money speaks volumes about what the general public thinks.

      In the end, while I hope you can eventually give them another chance, art is subjective, and I'm just glad this debate was civil and amicable, as these debates should be. Thanks for reading!

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  21. This was a brilliant read! I agree with pretty much everything that you've said here! I will be reccing this to all my friends, both lovers and not!

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    1. Thanks. Doesn't spreading love feel so much better than spreading hate?

      Delete
    2. I agree with you about 'Jedi'.

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  22. I always felt with 'Jedi', well since I got a bit older anyway, that not enough was made of the fact that Obi Wan lied to luke. When Luke finds out he just excepts it instead of losing some of his faith in Obi wan, thus making the climax more uncertain, as he may indeed choose to side with his father. But there was never any real fear that he would in the actual film. having said that I would still have the final turn by luke when vader mentions leia, I love that bit.

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  23. I still don't agree about a film making a lot of money being a sign it's quality. I'm sure you can think of your own examples of synical, cold hearted unpleasant movies making millions where another film that deserved recognition didn't get any. And I'm not nesessarily talking about the prequals here, more thing like transformers. You don't have to agree with my example but you must have your own.

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    1. It's not a sign of quality. It's simply that tickets, DVDs, and toys wouldn't sell if the general public disliked it that much. Not that the general public always knows what's good for it, but they seem to be pretty okay with I-III, whatever your opinion.

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  24. So you agree that ticket sales don't necessarily make a quality film? Cool. I think the people buying the merchandise are adult fans and parents of young fans. Starwars has a lot of fans I'm sure you'll agree.

    The general public do make up the largest part of a film audience true. But after all the hype, they're gone. And I'm not saying they hated the films, it's very vocal fans on either side of the debate that slug it out over the details, the casual viewer doesn't care. But it takes truelly special movies to become part of culture and last till the end of time.

    The prequals are loved and appreciated by many smart and discerning fans like yourself but I don't believe they have had the impact on our popular culture/ the general public that the originals had.

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    1. Then why is Liam Nelson to this day called "Qui-Gon" sometimes?

      It's not as big as fast, some of that I attribute to the hate machine blocking it, but it's happening. The references - neutral and even positive - are appearing. We just need to nurture it a bit more in today's climate.

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  25. If there is such a thing as a hate machine I think anything with a high level of exposure will come up against it. the originals included. when i look around I see overwhelming acceptance of the prequals in the community. As some what of an 'originals' puritan, I think I am very much in the minority but I don't feel any oppression of any kind by anyone. I don't think there is any big war going on. for my part I know that things move on and you go with it or stay where you are and that's fine. your stance on the prequals used to be mine too. But I changed my mind. However I am, suprisingly, up for the new ones. If i'm dissopointed that's not a problem.

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    1. I'm glad you see acceptance in the community. However, the hate is everywhere. It's not just the amateur trolls, that could at least be waved off. It's professional journalists who can't help but squeeze in some revisionist history about I-III being "complete disasters" on any story where Lucas is mentioned. It's popular and influential celebrities lauding as a paragon of criticism a reviewer who claims Phantom Menace fails to explain a plot point that's spelled out perfectly in the opening crawl.

      It's so pervasive that even Lucasfilm's own website released a five-minute video entitled "The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker" where barely a fifth of it details his rise and fall and completely leaves out his primary motivation.

      The reason I'm fighting is because I don't want to be seen as a subversive for loving the whole saga, and bringing my future children up on it. And many people feel the same. We just have to keep reminding the folks in charge of this so that the last 15 years isn't systematically erased due to a false majority.

      No you don't have to like everything. Art is subjective. But some people won't let us enjoy what we enjoy. They can't leave it be, it's their way or the highway. Well, I for one say "No, this is OUR house."

      Amidst all this I just want to thank you again for INTELLIGENT and RESPECTFUL discourse even though we disagree. I love that. This is how it should be. But the hate machine has turned it into a war, and I'm sick of playing defensive.

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  26. Cool. I appreciate that. I think it's the way it should be too. Don't worry, there's no danger of the prequals being wiped away. So don't be too angry, if people want to take the piss who cares, it doesn't change the fact that a set of films exist that you really enjoy. People can't take that away.

    It's like when people say star wars was ruined by the prequals, it's not true. If you enjoy the prequals starwars hasn't been ruined. And if you don't, you just watch the originals and are unaffected by what went before/after.

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  27. I've always disagreed with people who criticize the dialogue in the original films because frankly I just don't see it. Certainly it's true for the original film, but the later ones have perfectly fine dialogue (indicative of the rewrites undertaken by them). Of course, I think the real argument to be made their is one based not on the writing but rather the direction (film is not a writing medium after all).

    Also, regarding the Special Editions...this is where the sore spot of Star Wars discussion is for me, because I absolutely cannot support them. Now, it's not a matter of the edits themselves- even though I think they're largely mistaken, I perfectly respect Lucas's desire to go back and change things to match his own vision- that's why we have so many 'Director's Cuts' and the like nowadays.

    What I cannot support is his adamant refusal to properly preserve the original cuts as a part of cinematic history- and no, a laserdisc transfer is not the same as actual preservation. Film preservation is a very important issue to me, and Lucas's seeming refusal to aid it, especially when he wrote that terrific speech on preservation in the 80's, just really rubs me the wrong way.

    But there's also another issue that really bothers me as an artist, in that Lucas isn't just changing his own work. He's adjusting the work of other directors to fit with his own vision, which is to me inexcusable. Kershner and Marquand should have the final cuts of their films, regardless of how much influence Lucas may have had on them. Similarly, I can't justify him overwriting the work of previous contributors, be it Sebastian Shaw or Jason Wingreen or even the people who created the effects he's rather cavalierly replacing nowadays. It's to me rude and disrespectful, and it's the primary reason I can't respect his later cuts of the film.


    I like Lucas as a person and think he gets far too much spite (I mean, let's face it, no matter how much someone dislikes the prequels, three movies are really not worth vilifying someone over), but I just can't fully respect his artistic decisions in those regards.

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    1. I quite enjoy the dialogue, I was merely pointing out that it was the same caliber, whatever your opinion.

      And the laserdisc transitions are quite enough. They aren't being destroyed. They just aren't the official canon. Shaw is not cut out. As for Kirshner and Marquand, they were merely supposed to be stewards, taking the brunt of the stress while Lucas focused on other areas. I can't speak for Marquand, but Kirsh was always aware of his place and was quite happy with it. Whoever directs the new films should have the same attitude.

      I understand if you don't like some or all of the changes, but I don't think it slights anyone.

      Delete
    2. A laserdisc transfer is not the same as the original negatives being preserved for posterity, though. In terms of picture and sound quality the difference is *tremendous* (just compare the DVDs of the special and original cuts)- 35mm film is the best quality picture we have to this date (even Blu-Ray doesn't come close), and the fact that the films aren't being preserved adequately in that format is what bothers me.

      You're right about Marquand, but all available evidence suggests that it was the opposite for Kirshner, who was basically told it was his film. But regardless of who's vision the film was, the fact remains that the directors of the films should have final cuts on their products (and did, from everything I've heard), and it's not Lucas's right to take that away from them without ensuring that their cut is preserved as well. Most of my issues with the special editions would be moot if the originals were being preserved and kept for posterity, but they're not. They're not even available on the second-best home video product we have.

      Because in the future DVDs will become obsolete, and most likely a large majority of the population will only have the means to watch Blu-Ray or some other new format. And if the originals aren't preserved, that means at some point it will be impossible for them to be adequately transferred from the original negatives to a new format. So future generations will be mostly unable to see the work of Shaw, Wingreen, and the original intentions of Kirshner and Marquand. Future generations should always have that choice, and if steps aren't taken towards preservation now that choice will basically be nonexistent.

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    3. 1. Lucas was always against third parties messing with an artist's original intent. Empire and Jedi are still very much George's baby, just like Nightmare Before Christmas is very much Tim Burton's baby despite Henry Selick needing to do the on-set direction. Again, I can't speak for Marquand, but Kirsh knew this and by all accounts was fine with it.

      2. Any major change that wasn't an effects fix or a flavor addition was correcting what had become continuity errors. Not having McDiarmid or Morrison was a continuity error. Seeing as how the originals were uncredited in the first place (Clive Rivell's voice excluded), I doubt they minded too much. McDiarmid and Morrison own those roles now. I just wish the effect had been more seamless.

      3. You keep talking like Shaw is completely gone. While the Force Ghost was replaced (leaving room for the now true Anakin to possibly reprise the role in the new films, Lucas you sly old fox), it's still Shaw under the mask. Still Shaw giving Anakin's beautiful final words. The only thing removed from that was his eyebrows (again, effects/continuity error).

      All the changes, in theory if not in execution, are much for the better. The majority of people connected with it agree. The original cuts will always be around for posterity. Even if they never again see official release, people will find ways. Plus, both versions are in the library of congress. They're just no longer the official cuts. Personally, I'm fine with that. Personally, I never want to see Han shoot first again. But that's me, and I have no say.

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    4. But Kirshner had final cut on Empire Strikes Back and very minimal intervention from Lucas. Marquand was by all accounts an everyman director who basically just did what Lucas wanted, but Empire is very much Kirshner's film. Morally, his version of his film should be available.

      I'd disagree with 'all' the changes being for the better- certainly Wingreen's vocals for Fett are much more sinister and imposing than Morrison's, and I can't see a single defense for the Jabba scene in Episode IV (which is needless and pads out the film) and the expanded dance scene in Episode VI (which is a terrible song and distracts heavily from the main scene). There are other reasons I disagree with them helping the films, but right now it's besides the point.

      And even if they're being preserved in the Library of Congress (And keep in mind Lucas's intent with the SEs is ensuring they're the only ones kept for posterity), they're still not made available to the general public, which is in itself a problem. Most every director that does 'director's cuts' gives the audience the choice of cut- Spielberg, Cameron, even Ridley Scott with Blade Runner. I simply do not see why Lucas can't do the same.

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    5. It's a matter of taste. I enjoy Morrison more than Wingreen, but even if I didn't it no longer makes sense since Boba is Jango's clone. I LOVE the Jabba scene in IV. It's funny and puts a face on Han's plight. The song in VI...okay, I'll admit I'm not a fan but it doesn't bother me enough to call it a travesty.

      And Lucas did release them. Just not often since they make things confusing with the necessary retcons.

      Delete
    6. But they're not released in a good format- just a laserdisc transfer for DVD. And his intent is for those cuts to die out, by the way, he's been quoted as saying that.

      As for the differences...First off, 'continuity' is, I think, a rather weak excuse for editing the films as there's already huge lapses in continuity between almost all the films already. That's just to be taken for granted when you make a long-running series of films- not everything is going to cohere. I think fixing one or two bits of continuity is a bit silly when there's so much that doesn't fit in perfectly.

      As for the Jabba scene, it's got some nice moments in it, but it is completely unnecessary to the film- all the information is already covered by the previous Greedo scene. The Jabba scene just becomes padding and has no purpose in being there. Additionally, there's a line of suspense when it comes to Jabba as a character, in which he's built up through the films until his actual appearance in Episode VI. That suspense is undercut entirely when the appearance is spoiled in Episode IV.

      It also dates quickly- have you seen how terrible the '97 Jabba looks in comparison to everything around him? This is a larger issue I have with the SEs in that it just doesn't aesthetically cohere when you add in post-production effects to a production-based effects film. It's typically rather jarring and tends to pull me out of the film when I see a CGI Jabba or, even worse, a CGI Snootles that jars heavily with the costumed singers behind her.

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    7. Face facts. They aren't canon anymore. Oh you'll still have them. You have the VHS and the DVD, and you will be able to see them online long after you can't keep replacing your players. They are preserved forever on film and in minds.

      But the truth is that, whether you like it or not, the SEs are the only true Star Wars canon. And that won't change unless George decides he wants to make more fixes. Then that will be Star Wars. Nobody is taking my previous versions from me and they still work, but a fix is a fix.

      But you're right about one thing. The 97 Janna was a sucky model. That's why he fixed it in 2004.

      I'll tell you. Even the changes I don't care for, I still miss them when I watch an older versions. It seems more wrong without them. Because Star Wars is and only is the most recent version.

      But, again, if you prefer to live in the past, there is absolutely nothing and no one stopping you. There never was.

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    8. I don't give a crap about 'canon' (I'm a Doctor Who fan, which should tell you what I think about canon), I care right now about preservation. About history being kept intact instead of constantly being re-written to suit modern whims. The fact is Lucas is not adequately preserving a piece of history he has responsibility over and is instead basically letting it rot. That's a problem, 'canon' or not.

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    9. You don't care about film preservation because you know the films are preserved and that the question is moot. The prints are in the film archives and the library of congress and the tapes will no doubt circulate forever. It. Is. Preserved.

      Lucas isn't suiting modern whims. He's merely doing what he couldn't before or else didn't notice before. And it's his right. He has always had final say on his art because the whole thing comes from his head. Granted he needed help getting it out but people in this business usually know their places.

      Riddle me this. Would you feel as strongly if the roles were reversed? If it were the SEs that never saw rerelease and just the theatrical cuts? If you can tell me with a straight face that you would come down just as hard on Lucas not releasing the SEs, then I can believe you care about film preservation, however misguided. Otherwise this whole argument boils down to a petty attempt to make someone else's work conform to your standards.

      George Lucas made six very successful movies, and goes back every so often to make them, in his opinion better. He preserves for archival sake his previous cuts, but presents as his main work the latest updated vision of what he thinks is best. He owes nothing else to history. He paid the people who worked for him and praised them for their contributions. He owes nothing else to them. Anyone who pays for a ticket or a toy gets to see a movie or own a toy. He owes nothing else to them.

      George. Lucas. Owes. You. Nothing. You want a choice? Your choice is give him money or don't. If you don't, go right ahead and take your business elsewhere. Just don't make things tougher for the many people who still actually like it. Because that's all this "OOT" talk and prequel-bashing really accomplishes. Like a Jedi, you must learn to let go.

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    10. After a bit of reading, found this quote from a Reference LIbrarian at the LIbrary of Congress:

      "While both STAR WARS (1977) and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980) are on the National Film Registry, the Library has not yet acquired new prints of either one. When the request was made for STAR WARS, Lucasfilm offered us the Special Edition version. The offer was declined as this was obviously not the version that had been selected for the Registry. We have not yet requested a print of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, added to the Registry late last year.

      The Library of Congress does hold the original release versions of STAR WARS, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI, but these 35mm prints were acquired as copyright deposits in March 1978, October 1980, and June 1983 respectively. All three are classified as archival masters and as such cannot be accessed for viewing/research. The existing condition reports for STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (there is no report for RETURN OF THE JEDI) indicate that the former has minor scratches but is in good shape overall, while the latter has extreme color fading. We also have an additional 35mm print of the original STAR WARS (received June 1979) with English subtitles for the deaf."


      Just because they're being kept there does not mean they're being properly preserved. Film restoration takes a lot more work, and Lucas is refusing to do it. That's what I take issue with (and yes, I would take issue if the stakes were reversed. That's why I appreciate someone like Ridley Scott choosing to release all of the cuts of his film for the audience to choose from. Lucas shouldn't have a mandate on our own personal taste).

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    11. If this is the truth, then I admire your conviction and you have my utmost respect. However, I still (respectably of course) disagree that there's a problem.

      While it would be nice for the original prints to have good upkeep, the fact remains that copies exist and will continue to exist. Just because it isn't in the best and most updated format is immaterial.

      Besides, the real meat of IV-VI, all the reasons they became classics in the first place, remain unchanged and therefore survive every cut. Just because a few effects were updated and/or added doesn't change that what we really love about Star Wars endures and will forever.

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    12. But they can't exist forever, is what I'm saying. 35mm film decays continually, and if the films aren't restored and maintained they will cease to exist. We'll have digital copies (perhaps), but they'll be nowhere near the best quality available- which I don't think is fair to those who wish to watch them.

      I believe every film should have the 'moral right' (a term Lucas used when arguing against colorization) to be watched in the best quality possible whenever available. And if there are multiple cuts, I believe they should be preserved (Disney infuriates me when they seemingly refuse to release the original cuts of Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Fantasia, among others). Film is very much a part of our culture's history, and I believe it should be preserved and maintained as best as possible throughout the years.

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    13. Your point is well-made and valid. I agree with the principle, but still feel there's no problem where Star Wars is concerned, due to the reasons I've already stated. Also, too many people use this argument falsely to try and bury every new Star Wars development from 1997-on, so forgive me my previous skepticism.

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  28. I feel bad for ruining the 66 comments, but I'm going to give you order 67 anyway ;)


    3. Yes

    4. alsdkjfaoiewr YESSSSSS hahahaha (*is biased towards Hayden Christensen*)

    7. That reminds me when people say that science destroys all belief in God. If anything, knowing what's there but not understanding it increases the mysticism.

    8. *snerk*

    It's a short comment to such a long post, but this is spectacular. Thank you!

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    1. Was it 66? Oh well, I don't count my own replies anyway. Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed it. But what's so funny about dogmatic Jedi (#8)?

      Delete
  29. "Everyone's entitled to their opinion as long as its mine!". Haters and Fan boys sound exactly the same. Enjoy it, let others enjoys - let others hate it. Life's too short to spend this much emotion on something you ultimately can't control (unless Disney hires you to).

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    1. That's a false equivalency. I'm not telling anyone they have to like Star Wars, just stop lying and saying what you didn't dig was an objective flaw that everyone sees. My post and some of the positive comments prove that.

      Though I support opinions better when they are informed, which is what I'm doing. Simply informing of the facts (well, I give my own opinion too but I mark those instances as such and invite people to legitimately disagree). All I ask people is this: if you love IV-VI, give I-III the same suspension of disbelief. If you hate I-III, give IV-VI the same critical eye. And either way, let people who like it like it and stop making arrogant demands to have things only your way.

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    2. That's a false equivalency. I'm not telling anyone they have to like Star Wars, just stop lying and saying what you didn't dig was an objective flaw that everyone sees. My post and some of the positive comments prove that.

      Though I support opinions better when they are informed, which is what I'm doing. Simply informing of the facts (well, I give my own opinion too but I mark those instances as such and invite people to legitimately disagree). All I ask people is this: if you love IV-VI, give I-III the same suspension of disbelief. If you hate I-III, give IV-VI the same critical eye. And either way, let people who like it like it and stop making arrogant demands to have things only your way.

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    3. Just sayin', the 20-year difference between the two trilogies makes "give them the same critical eye" a somewhat poor defense.

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    4. So by your logic we should give Ed Wood slack because he made his films over 50 years ago? Except we don't. Sure he has his fans, but we've given him a very critical eye for all this time.

      Just saying don't excuse the flaws in one set of the same movies and demonize the other set of the same movies for the exact same thing

      P.S. Sorry about the double-post. I just noticed that. My phone must have been acting up that day.

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    5. We give the films *some* slack because of the context and period they were made. Film and television naturally progresses as it moves along, it doesn't stay in a vacuum for all eternity. Flaws apparent in a film made 30+ years ago are slightly more forgivable than flaws in a film 10+ years ago.


      I mean, it doesn't work in every regard (obviously), but to me the largest flaw of the prequels is that they have almost no ambition beyond just being "Star Wars movies", and don't try to push the boundary of what all they can be (I have this problem with Return of the Jedi, too, in case you're wondering).

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    6. I dunno. I think getting the story out there was very ambitious, since so many people had their own ideas of how it would happen (which seems to me like a big part of the backlash)

      Plotwise, they aren't doing anything new, but neither were IV-VI (except possibly Empire ending a mainstream movie on a depressing cliffhanger). Technology-wise, however, I and II were extremely ambitious. Phantom with its attempt at fully CGI main characters (and whatever your take on said characters they were impressive for their time) and Clones with it being a pioneer of filming digitally (again, your mileage may vary on wether that was a good thing, but it had never been done before).

      But, yes, Jedi and Sith didn't push the envelope farther. But, hell, not every film has to in order to be fun. On the other hand that's just my opinion.

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    7. Well, the original two films revolutionized cinema and storytelling- depending on your viewpoint, it wasn't all for the better, but there's no denying that they did. Don't forget the 'Hero's Journey' was largely left alone in fantasy and sci-fi until Star Wars popularized it.

      The same can't be said for the prequels, unfortunately, which mostly try to re-tell the trilogy with a few changes (downbeat ending and an attempt at greater moral ambiguity). It's mostly all stuff we've seen before, and most of it in the previous films.

      It's not even a matter of pushing the envelope further, just doing something interesting with what they've got- and personally, I don't think they did. Star Wars and Empire have interesting things to say about their characters and their situation, and Return onwards ditches most of it in favor of escapism and merchandise. They might still be fun, but on an objective level they fall short- at least to me.

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    8. I happen to think they all had interesting things to say about their characters.

      And the hero's journey already existed, and all six draw from it. That's what I meant when I said it did nothing new.

      And while there arecertainly obvious parallels between Anakin's journey and Luke's journey set up purposely to show how differently they handle it, to say I-III is a retelling of IV-VI with minimal changes is so much of a stretch that I have to ask if you've even seen the films.

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    9. Hero's Journey existed (and is a load of crap, but that's another matter) but hadn't been fully wedded to sci-fi until Star Wars came along (Star Wars is among the first films to use a sci-fi aesthetic for a non-sci-fi story). There's also a boatload of other innovations and impacts the film had on Hollywood and how it operated- and not just on technical levels.

      And on a surface level the plots of each trilogy are markedly different, but each are structured in near-identical ways and the prequels are built to capitalize on the success of the original films. Several set-pieces are taken almost directly from the original films and just given new window-dressing, with Revenge of the Sith being the only one that stands apart in any meaningful sense (which is ironic given the title). Certainly the films don't have much of anything new to say.

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    10. I think they say something very important that IV-VI barely touch on if at all: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Anakin, the Jedi, and the Republic itself fell because they couldn't see the danger until it was too late.

      Again, what very few set-pieces from IV-VI used in I-III were strictly from Anakin's story and only to show that Anakin and Luke went on essentially the same journey, but Luke had learned to let go and Anakin didn't. Still, seeing Anakin's story emphasises that Luke was far closer to the precipice than we could have dreamed.

      Would I-III stand on their own as well without IV-VI? Probably not with that downer ending, but at the same time I don't feel IV-VI would resonate as well for me and many others without the enhancement I-III provides. I also feel that the Saga's best lessons are either created in or are best explained in I-III, but that's me.

      Not to be a broken record, but whatever your subjective tastes there is no real difference in the terms of technical, writing, and inspirational quality in the six films. They all deserve to be looked at through the same lenses, good and bad. You can over-analyze and under-analyze them all to the same extent, and they have the same value, whatever you find that value to be.

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    11. Objectively, no, they don't hold up in the same fashion. The prequel's direction is mostly leaden, they have a very poor grasp of character roles and how to write them (just look at Qui-Gon), have an overarching tendency of telling and not showing, and have very little substance to them- the 'road to hell' idea is a good reading, but is often muffled through the film (which I think needed a greater ambiguity for that message to work well- we're never in doubt who the good/bad guys are through the story and I think we probably should be).

      As for the prequels emulating the trilogy, there's a host of copied set-pieces- I'm hesitant to bring up RedLetterMedia, but his comparison of Attack of the Clones with Empire Strikes Back is pretty deft, and there's even similarities beyond that. I know Lucas likes to trot out the 'it's like poetry, it rhymes' defense, but the issue is that the films don't do a good enough job of showing the parallels- Anakin and Luke may both blow up space stations, but that says almost nothing about how they develop and progress as characters. There's no thematic link that bridges the trilogies and characters together, so when one copies the other it doesn't look like poetry it looks like mimicry.

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    12. 1. I look at Qui-Gon often and he's just as well-written as anyone in IV-VI. By that I mean you don't get anyone's depth on the first watch. For example, like I said, it took me years to get Leia's character outside of "She's the princess and she's in trouble, she kind of likes Han, and oh! She's Luke's sister!". It took me almost as long to get Qui-Gon's character outside of "He's Obi-Wan's Jedi master and he believes in people not many others would." Same with every damn main character apart from Chewie, Jar Jar, and the Driods, who wear their motivations on their sleeves (and even then it took me years to find their true inspirations which adds another layer onto them).

      2. You and I are never in doubt of who the bad guys are because we got all the Return of the Jedi merchandise that said Emperor Palpatine and we know who Ian McDiarmid is. To a kid watching all this for the first time it comes as a COMPLETE surprise to find that the kindly old man was playing both sides against the middle and the clone troopers are just as bad as the battle droids. Lucas threw in some nice references and nods for the older fans, but first and foremost he set these films up for first-time viewers who never saw a Star Wars before. As much as I would hesitate to show my children I-III first in order to preserve the spoiler in Empire, George really meant it to be shown in internal chronological order, for better or worse.

      3. I didn't see RLM's take on Clones or Sith. His Phantom review was enough to show me that he has absolutely no grasp of film comprehension whatsoever (or else likes lying through his teeth to get the hater audience), and is not worth listening to. And that's all I'm going to say about the man.

      4. Actually, it does say a crapton. Take a look at "A New Hope." Luke won that day by trusting his feeling and the Force. He made that shot with purpose, and there's no doubt he could do it again under the same circumstances. Anakin in "The Phantom Menace", on the other hand, was a little kid pushing random buttons. He's a quick learner and very skilled for his age, but his destroying of the Trade Federation ship was a complete accident. It's not much of a stretch to assume this left a major chip on his shoulder and fed his growing inner doubt of "Am I really good enough for this?"

      5. There are plenty of theamatic links that bridge the saga, and better writers than I have tackled them. You may not like them, but they exist. The Star Wars Heresies (as seen in my blog links) is a good place to start, and maybe you can start a debate with him.

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  30. 1. What I meant by Qui-Gon being a poorly-written character is that he is firmly in the wrong place in the story, being clearly drawn as a 'mentor' character but pushed into the protagonist role for no discernible reason. He also serves almost no purpose in the story as a whole, largely existing purely to discover Anakin (you could've easily compounded he and Obi-Wan into one character and missed nothing).

    2. What I meant by ambiguity wasn't that it should be a mystery who the bad guy is- I meant that we shouldn't be entirely convinced the Jedi are in the right and the Separatists are in the wrong. The films should've at some point highlighted some of the moral ambiguities of the 'right' side that lead Anakin down the path he takes.

    3. Well, I think you're mistaken about him having 'no grasp of film comprehension', because he very clearly does- and his Attack and Revenge reviews showcase it very clearly- particularly when he analyzes the direction through Revenge and compares it to a similar scene in Empire. And he never lies, either- I get confused when people claim that (the satirical nature of the reviews might lead to that assumption, though).

    4. Where is that addressed elsewhere in the film, though? What supports that reading within the text beyond inference? I'd love to believe that reading, but I don't find evidence of it within the film itself.

    5. Well, if you could explain some of them to me I'm sure I'd love to hear them.

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    1. 1. No, you couldn't compound Qui-Gon into Obi-Wan or else the whole damn storyline falls apart. Qui-Gon is the maverick, the one attuned to the living Force. He is simply the father figure Anakin SHOULD'VE had. If he had survived, he would have been able to understand if not condone Anakin's emotional tendancies. Instead, Qui-Gon dies leaving Anakin in the hands of Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan who, from second one, is shown to be by-the-book, poster child of the Jedi Order as it currently stand. A good man to be sure, but not enough of his master rubbed off on him. Compare the compassion behind Qui-Gon's teachings to Obi-Wan's almost scold. Anakin cares for Obi-Wan, but he could never confide in him the way he would be able to with Qui-Gon. Enter Palpatine, filling up that void and molding young Skywalker to his fall.

      3. There's nothing but signs that the "right" side may not be right! The senate is full of "greedy, squabbling delegates." The ease at which they went to war should be unsettling to anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of political history. The clone troopers themselves, ostensibly being the good guys yet reminding us unsettlingly of the Stormtroopers. But none of that matters to Anakin's journey. All he cared about was trying to save the people he cared about and he fell because he didn't care how he did it as long as he did it. Contrast Luke, who was going down the same path when Vader mentioned Leia, but he realizes he's just as bad, tosses his lightsaber aside, and prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice. Luke lets go, Anakin can't. This is the juxtiposition.

      3. I'll give you one very minor example and then I don't want to talk about him again. I say minor because it has nothing to with interpreting the plot, but simply a case of making something out of nothing. During the Royal Cruiser's escape from the Trade Federation Blockade, the guy says: "If you'll notice though, after the shields are back up at maximum, theydon't get hit again. So really, R2 fixing the shield generator did nothing at all. Ma-Maybe it gave them the confidence to escape?" Except that anyone paying the slightest bit of attention can see clearly that after Ric Olé says "Power's Back!" we see ion beams hit the window and the cockpit shaking multiple times. Again, it's a nitpicky example, but it's the kind of thing he does all throughout that review. I wouldn't mind him parodying legitimate flaws or riffing on on-the-surface silly things, but when he flat-out makes things up as evidence that the movie is "stupid" I have an issue.

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    2. 4. That incident is never directly addressed in the films, but it's established as part of Anakin's character that a lot of his fears stem from self-doubt. Oh, he talks a big game. Saying Obi-Wan is holding him back, he's ready. The truth is, he just wants to be. He wants to live up to his expectations. But most of all, he wants to have the power. He knows a lot of his young success was based on luck, and his luck ran out when he failed to save his mother. It's obvious that while his slaughter of the Tuskins weighs on him for reasons of Jedi responsibility, his true guilt is not being able to rescue his mother in time. It's not a stretch to think that knowing his big win at the Battle of Naboo was an accident only rubs salt in his wounds. It's how Palpatine lures him with promises of power. Power means control. Means being able to give fate the finger. Means being able to fix things. And he was always good at fixing things.

      5. Probably the single biggest thread that ties the six films together is the relationship between the Light Side and the Dark Side. The Light Side is love, compassion, and selflessness. The Dark Side is hatred, fear, and selfishness. Yoda summerizes the Dark Side most apt in The Phantom Menace: "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." Anakin loved, but he loved in a possessive way. That's why his fear (of losing those he cared for) lead to anger (at his lack of control over these things), which lead to hate (of what he percieved was a threat), which finally lead to suffering (not just those he killed, but of himself stuck in the suit forever). Luke went through a similar roller coaster but in the end, as I've said again and again, he refused to play evil's game of hate and violence and accepted his fate (a few "Father, please!"s while being tortured by lightning notwithstanding). Seeing his son's sacrifice and refusal to give in gave Anakin the power to come back and risk what was left of himself for his son. Selflessness good, selfishness bad. There are more, of course. Most of the themes can be found in all six films in some form or another. But it's late, I'm tired, and my wife needs the computer.

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    3. It's late for me too and I don't have the time for everything, so I'll respond to all the points later. For now, just want to comment on #3:

      3. That particular instance is really meant to be a joke and not a serious critique of the film. This is a key thing to realize about all his reviews- they're firmly tongue-in-cheek along with being serious critiques, which is why he adopts the crazy old man persona to do them. He's as much making fun of the people who hate the prequels as he his offering a serious analytical criticism of the films (this is even clearer in his satirical short film "The United States of NOOOOOOOOO", which is really hilarious if you ever get the chance to watch it).

      But still, to dismiss his legitimate concerns because of nitpicks is a shame- to date I've never heard anyone dispel his criticism of the direction in the prequels (to elucidate- he criticizes the dialogue scenes in the prequels for the very standard way they're shot, being a basic A-B set-up with very little variation in the blocking or camera work. He compares it to a similar scene in Empire Strikes Back in which a simple exposition scene is given a very visual setting that allows the film to showcase Vader's vulnerability and inhuman nature in the midst of delivering standard exposition. It's a very nice analysis that he explains better than I can, and there's a lot more like that through his other two reviews).

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    4. Direct me to the part where he says "Just kidding, I actually kinda like the movies and am mostly making fun of the kind of people who post my review as definitive proof that the films are 'bad'." Otherwise, forgive my extreme skepticism on that point.

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    5. Oh, no, he doesn't like the movies at all. But he's also not actually as vitriolic as the character comes across in the reviews (again, just take a look at United States of NOOOOO, where the satire is much, much clearer). It's critical at the same time as it is satirical.

      Even if he wasn't, though, it still doesn't dispel his legitimate complaints such as the direction critique I mentioned above.

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    6. He's still working off false assumptions. If he gets one thing right in the midst of it, it doesn't necessarily save him (for the record, I'm not saying he's right, merely that having not seen the comparison I can't make a judgment). I'd say it's ironic, given how mad he makes me prevents me from giving him a second chance, which is the kind of behavior I'm decrying. The difference is that there is proof he's being dishonest, there's even a paper that explains why in minute detail. The satire excuse doesn't cut it, since good satire and parody embellished what's there. Even if he does make a hit once in a blue moon, he makes far too much up for me to consider it worthwhile to give him another shot.

      And that's all I have to say about THAT.

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    7. He's not dishonest, though. You can disagree with him and he's sometimes mistaken (his claim that there's not a protagonist in The Phantom Menace in untrue, but it's easy to see how he arrived at the conclusion), but he never outright lies in the reviews (and when it seems he does it's usually as a joke or part of the 'crazy old man that knows nothing' premise of the reviews).

      I mean, calling him dishonest would be on the same lengths as me calling you dishonest for points I disagree with you on, despite the fact you've done nothing that could be construed as dishonest.

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  31. RLM isn't dishonest because I disagree, he's dishonest because he relies on editing tricks and wholesale fabrications to make his flimsy points. And I thought his persona is that of a serial killer?

    Either way, I really am done talking about him. Whatever you think of his style, he doesn't get it when it comes to Star Wars as he's shown by rattling the basher sabres. Unless of course he wants to talk with me personally.

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    1. His points aren't flimsy, though- he often criticizes the direction and writing, and attacks how characters are written and developed. In his final review he critiques the very structure of the prequels and how the story is developed- that's all major parts of the films and he makes his points very clearly and supports them with a lot of evidence.

      You'd have to provide more examples of his 'wholesale fabrications' to convince me of his supposed dishonesty, because for the most part is major theses through the reviews are well-developed, soundly argued, and near proven by the end of his reviews. His nit-picking and pointing out plotholes (which is where most people find there issues) are irrelevant to those central issues.

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    2. Look up "Red Letter Media: A Study in Fanboy Stupidity." I don't agree with everything that writer says, but he points out where RLM gets it wrong in the Phantom review. You may not agree, but you'll see where I'm coming from.

      And I'm seriously not replying to any more RLM-related comments.

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  32. I'm sick and tired of someone saying they like TPM and then some jerkoff linking to the RLM review with some smarmy remark thrown in. It's the same basic thing that Stewart and Colbert have made a cottage industry of for years now. Play something out of context and when the clip is over, smirk at the camera and say "wow... just wow..."

    Anyway. That said, I get your point about Jar Jar's "uselessness" but Lucas overplayed how annoying he is. I would argue his aggravating personality is completely intentional but that doesn't magically erase how aggravating the character is.

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    1. First of all, thank you.

      Second of all, I like Stewart and Colbert. They are more often than not right on the money. Satire is awesome if it's good, i.e. based on truth. I've seen comedic negative reviews of things I even like and loved it because they had legit and fair points. However, very few people seem to be able to look at Star Wars fairly (one exception being, for example, Robot Chicken who lampoons the saga equally and with an equal amount of affection behind it).

      Third of all, I'm not trying to make anyone love Jar Jar. Merely pointing out that A) some people, myself included, actually do and that it's a subjective thing, not overwhelming proof that it's "bad," and B) Objectively, like him or not, he plays a very important role in the plot, and it wouldn't be nearly as smooth without him.

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  33. What a well written, well thought out piece you have here. In an age where most prequel related material is negative and venomous, it's good to know that there are some out there who truly realize why the prequels were made, and they were not made with the clear intent to make profit and sell action figures. A mastermind like George Lucas had great passion in his work and never gave up on his dreams, and the prequels are a prime example of how imagination can be unleashed, even if there are many things holding it back. Making movies is no easy process, and the prequels show that movies of their magnitude can be pulled off even if there are many tedious and mouth foaming things along the way of their production.

    I like to think that someday, the prequels will be hailed as the truly remarkable stories they really are. Sure, they are different from the originals, but that's why they stick out in my mind. If they were just like the original films in every sense of the word, I MIGHT AS WELL BE WATCHING THE ORIGINAL FILMS. The prequels surely brought something new to the table, yet they still had that Star Wars goodness I have come to know and love. You remarkably point out many of the things fans misinterpret when it comes to the newer trilogy, and if anyone comes along to spread rumors and lies about Lucas and his prequel masterpieces, I will always think back to this piece and understand the true reasons why Lucas does what he does. He's a grand artist and a good man, not the monstrous, selfish, money hungry autocrat fans often make him out to be.

    If only fans thought these things out thoroughly just like you have, for they would realize that there is much more to the prequels and the special editions than they think. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE SPECIAL EFFECTS. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE TEN THOUSAND ACTION FIGURES BASED ON THE CHARACTERS THAT ARE PRODUCED. It's about the art, the passion, and the determination to entertain and captivate. George Lucas has hit that nail straight on the skull, and I'm glad that he doesn't let the hateful fan base get under his skin. No matter how many times the fans make fun of him, he let's their insults bounce right off him and hit the wall. It's a good lesson to all of us to ignore the hateful gadflies and keep striving toward our goals.

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    1. Indeed. If he only cared about money, he wouldn't have given every cent from the Disney deal to charity.

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  34. I like to think of The Phantom Menace as a parallel to the first Harry Potter film. Sure, it has it's dark moments, but it's an overall light hearted, magical "starter upper" to the saga right before we enter darker ground in the later films. I think it's fascinating and delightful at the same time to see Darth Vader as a cute little tod, for it shows that Vader wasn't born an evil monster and that he had problems just like you and I have. To see him evolve throughout the later films and transform into a black suited guy with asthma and the voice of Mufasa is just saddening and in many ways, like a Greek tragedy or play of Shakespeare.

    And Jar Jar's inclusion into the series really shows how diverse and unique each creature in the Star Wars universe is. Sure he's clumsy and annoying, THAT'S THE WAY HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE. He's Snarf from Thundercats, Orko from MOTU, and in many ways, he's a space blend between Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Disney's Reluctant Dragon. He goes to show that even the most useless of creatures are useful and vital in the victory won at the end of the day. He's the space clown that brings enlightenment to the shadier moments, and every time you hear his voice, you feel comfort and safety. HE'S HERE TO PARTY AND HAVE FUN! He's the stumbling goofball in the gang.

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    1. Even if a character is "clumsy and annoying", he/she still needs to be inherently empathetic for an audience to at least appreciate, if not entirely enjoy. Jar Jar engenders no empathy from the viewer, instead relying on baby-speak and pratfalls (his "comedy" during the land battle in TPM is particularly unedifying) to keep the kids interested. At least comedy duo R2D2 and C3PO at least had a more adult-minded sense of humor, and didn't rely on this infantile stuff to provide character moments.

      And no, every time I hear his voice, I do not feel comfort and safety. I DO feel somewhat socipathic. My kids used to speak that way... until they grew up.

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    2. That's not true at all. You know how I know?

      He engenders empathy in ME, as a viewer.

      His voice makes ME feel comfort (though maybe not safety), as a viewer.

      You're going to bash JJ for using pratfalls and "baby-talk", then claim that pratfalling 3PO and booping R2 are more adult? It just shows clouded vision to me.

      Also, your use of "unedifying" makes no sense in this context, so I'm inclined to believe it doesn't mean what you think it means. That being said, the Battle of Naboo contains some beautifully done slapstick. It's not everyone's thing, but it's GOOD slapstick. Buster would be proud.

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    3. Oh dear god.

      The difference between Jar Jar and 3PO/R2 is that the former lacks subtlety. At least when there's "comedy" between the droids, it doesn't always involve them falling over or doing something stupid.

      The Battle Of Naboo (thanks for the name check, I couldn't remember) is pure Star Wars, through and through. While I would argue that its merits narratively are thin, visually it packs a punch. However, having a CG clown in the middle of it, even out of context for a sequence where stuff is exploding the fate of the planet hangs on the outcome, is a juxtaposition that simply doesn't work. For Jar Jar, there's no sense of danger, just being clumsy. Look at ROTJ, for example, when the Battle Of Endor is taking place, there's an underlying sense of tension and danger about even the more light-hearted moments. People can die. The Naboo battle feels tonally more like a computer game somebody else is playing, and the consequences are mitigated by the clown with an inability to engage in actual combat by design.

      Unedifying: Not having the result of improving morality, intellect, etc.

      Jar Jar did not improve my (morality or) intellect during the Battle Of Naboo.If anything, he reduced it.

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    4. Then that's on you, although I don't think that was the point. The point was to break tension so the already emotionally exhausting sequence, and it succeeded.

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  35. I've read this article (and it's well written, I might add), and you make some solid points. A lot of the comments are unsurprisingly supportive of your statements, which is fine.

    Regardless of where you stand on the Prequel Trilogy (don't get me started on the OT Special Editions, because I don't mind them... even Han shooting first, second or goddam last), the simple fact is that Lucas, for all his creative genius, for all his beautific benevolence and supposed "vision" for his creation, is not a very good film-maker. Sure, he created great characters, and yes he's responsbile for more internet arguments than any single person - living or dead - in history, but as a filmmaker, I question his ability to produce a work of fiction on the scale of Star Wars that isn't a blithering, rewrite-needed mess. It's a telling factor that both Empire and ROTJ are considered the better Star Wars films in terms of character and narrative, and this has a lot to do with the fact that Lucas himself wasn't the sole creative engine behind them. His hubris in the Prequel trilogy in not only changing parts of the franchise's mythology (say what you will about Midichlorians and how they relate to the Force, but the Force should never have been explained even a little bit - it ruined the mystical nature of the concept) and giving us Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman's skin-crawling "chemistry" that fell onto audiences like a car wreck, there's some stuff in the PT that is second-rate storytelling at its worst.

    Honestly, defending the prequels is a lot harder than trying to support them. The majority of your argument and their defence is trying to make a silk purse from a sows ear. Sure, these films made a ton of money, but like Transformers or Battleship, that doesn't make them great films. Nobody's saying they are; but to argue the point, and to belabor the fact that Lucas's decisions in the PT are anything but shoddy creative fumblings (yes, he created the damn world, but has almost zero filmmaking ability now that audiences expectations are higher) rings hollow. It's a strident declaration of love in the face of an overwhelming majority of disppointment. Don't mistake hate for disappointment, my friend.

    I don't hate the PT, I am just frustrated by what I percieve as a poor set of films compared to the superior OT. Which is really my point: it's all subjective, and what you think is high art is, to me, utter garbage. I'm not here to convince you otherwise (although you seem intent on making it feel like all those who don't like the PT are somehow on a vendetta), and I have no intention of picking apart all your arguments, but I'm confident that we are both intelligent enough to admit that not everyone agrees on just how badly the PT was handled. Make no mistake: I disagree vehemently with a lot of what you've said (both in your article and in your comments, which again makes you sound condescending and flippant to those who would argue with you, but it's your blog so more power to you) but it stands to reason that what I believe, and what you believe, are never going to find a happy middle-ground.

    You do, however, put your point across with passion and elegance, and for that, I salute you.

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    1. I appreciate your compliments, and that you're trying to take a subjective attitude about it. I salute you for that.

      However, you still have this tone in your writing that I find similar to a lot of bashers that makes it seem like your subjective opinion is fact.

      Honestly, it doesn't matter to me whether or not you or anyone else likes or dislikes them. None of the films are perfect, I-VI, and it's up to each person to decide what they're willing to tolerate to enjoy the magic that also exists.

      Empirically speaking, looking at what went into them, they're all resonably well-made fines that successfully achieve a very specific style. Again, it's up to you to decide whether or not that style is right for you.

      But you say Jar Jar blanketly does not invoke empathy, when the fact is he does. For me, and many others. If you had said it was just you, I'd say I felt differently and leave you to your own opinion. Instead, you presented it as fact which is when I have a problem.

      Same thing with the chemistry between Hayden and Natalie, which by the way I felt was much stronger than Harrison and Carrie. Or the Midi-Chlorians; there's a section of our brains that serve only to allow us to respond to religion, does that then destroy the mysticism there?

      If it's ever hard for me to "defend" these films, it's either because 1) I have trouble understanding what people are objecting to, or 2) because you can't write something positive without being bullied into submission, which is the only reason I'm being so militant about it in the first place.

      Therefore, I'm more than happy to leave you to your likes and dislikes. As long you leave me and mine to ours.

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