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 Star Wars Prequels.

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Kisame
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PostSubject: Star Wars Prequels.   Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:01 pm

Episode 1

This movie is a perfect example of when what could have been one of the most brilliant movies ever is made, through the incompetence of only one man, into one of the worst. I cannot list in detail the number of ways this movie could have been made better, and they are all mind-bogglingly simple and all George Lucas's fault. I'll give a short summary of the basic things wrong with this movie.

1. Actors/Casting - I have to give all of the actors credit for this because I know they tried their best, even Jake Lloyd. The movie did not give me a single reason why I should have cared for any of the characters and I can't explain why I did anyway.

I can't count how many times people have told me how much better Haley Joel Osment would have been in the role, and I am almost inclined to agree with them. Supposedly there's something dark and ominous about the Anakin character that all of the Jedi council can see, after all, he's gonna be Darth Vader, right? Osment projects that fear which leads to anger which leads to etc., and Lloyd just looks like your run-of-the-mill blond California Cabbage Patch kid. I'd call Jake Lloyd a terrible actor if it weren't for what the great sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card, who personally knows Lloyd, observed: "Jake Lloyd's a good actor, and it's a pity you didn't get to see that on-screen, since he had no direction or screenplay. In the same way, Liam Neeson is a great actor, but you didn't see that onscreen because he had no direction or screenplay."

Which brings me to my second fault:

2. Direction - Let's face it, George Lucas has lost it. He has gone from the great actors' director he was when he made American Graffiti to a special effects artist gone wildly out of control. I do give him some credit: It takes a lot of deliberate effort to sap all of the energy and life out of Ewan McGregor.

3. Screenplay/Plot - This is the section that really makes me wince, and proves that there is nobody left in Hollywood with the courage to tell George Lucas that he can't write. I mean, logical inconsistencies aside, this dialogue is simply ridiculous. If a first-grader were called in as a script consultant, he could most likely have improved this movie.

There are a thousand instances of questionable logic in this movie like, why did Queen Amidala reveal herself when she did? Why did she want to go back to Naboo so badly if it would do no good whatsoever and she would probably just get killed? Are we supposed to believe that a ten year old is going to have twins with her eventually? Why is she called a Queen anyway, if Naboo is supposed to be a democracy? Do the natives of Naboo share one collective brain cell to elect a teenager to run their planet? And what kind of name is Naboo anyway?

Beyond that, it doesn't even make sense in terms of the rest of the established Star Wars universe. For example, the shields that repelled blaster fire, obviously added so the death count would be lower and they could appeal to the 'family' market. Why do we not see them in the later episodes, when they seem to be of immeasurable tactical value?

As for the so-called 'Phantom Menace' conspiracy, does the initiation into the Jedi knighthood include an IQ curtailment? Why didn't those clods figure out at once that Palpatine was behind it all along? In the end, I found myself rooting for Palpatine/Sidious, simply because he was geometrically more intelligent than any of the other characters and would probably do a pretty good job of ruling the universe. At least he would be a better emperor than George Lucas is a screenwriter.

I am ashamed to say that I saw this movie three times and hated it more each time. That it has grossed over $400 million makes me wonder that the entire American society doesn't grind to a halt as soon as someone sees a bright shiny object. Did I mention that the special effects were too amazing for their own good?

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Episode 2

This movie... I can't even... Yoda fighting? If you had any common sense AND saw Episodes 4-6 you'd know why this is bullshit. I can't begin to express my rage because I'm not sure where to start or how to put it in words. I'll edit it, when I can form coherent, logical reasons for my never ending rage towards this movie.

----------------------------------------------------

Episode 3

This movie is utterly devoid of anything positive or enjoyable. The first half of the film is basically about Anakin being an idiot and messing everything up, and the second half consists of him on a killing rampage. Sure, I know that the story of Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader absolutely HAD to be told, but therein lies the problem. This movie (and the other two, for that matter) was created solely to explain what is present in Episodes IV, V, and VI. There is no point to the film other than explanation.

The plot was not the main aspect of the movie that upset me, however. What really bothered me was how negative the movie was. There is so much unnecessary death and agony in this film that I can't even justify viewing it. I am thinking in particular of the scenes when Anakin assaults the Jedi Temple, and when he storms the Trade Federation HQ. In the former scene, Anakin kills almost everyone. He enters a room of young Padawan learners, little kids, and slays them all. That is just kinda disturbing. I am sure most people who see this film are desensitized and gloss over this, but I didn't feel good about seeing senseless killing. Not in a Star Wars film. That is only good in a horror movie.

Later on, when Anakin assaults the Trade Federation, he enters the T.F. control room, with the Neimoidians under the impression that he came to assist them. Instead, he slaughters them all. The Neimoidians are unsuspecting and don't put up much of a fight. They try to plead for their lives, but Anakin doesn't listen. The last one he kills (Nute Gunray?) even explains "The war is over!" Anakin's killing is totally unnecessary. Yet Anakin slashes Gunray across the chest and kills him. I was so confused during this scene because the Neimoidians are previously portrayed as cunning and selfish, but I feel sad when I see Anakin murder one of them. I used to think that the Neimoidians were stupid characters, but they suffer so much in Ep. III that I feel bad for them, and bad about the violence they are involved in.

Everything basically adds up to a great deal of suffering and violence. Each good character either dies or fails in this movie. Obi-Wan fails (he says so during his final showdown with Anakin), Yoda fails also, Padme dies, the Jedi are wiped out. Anakin is a big, big idiot who does everything wrong and destroys the loved one he was questing to save. He strives to obtain the legendary dark power of resurrection because he saw in a vision that Padme would die in childbirth. He destroys the Jedi order, kills little kids, and turns against his master, just to save Padme. But he even kills Padme! His anger at and total rejection of Padme drains her will to live.

The fact that the movie is poorly made doesn't help the horrid content. This brings me to my final complaint, and the one most relevant to the Star Wars universe. First of all, let me say that I am a Star Wars fan. Not the kind of fan that simply thinks the movies are good. I have obviously seen each episode of the original trilogy many times, and have come to appreciate the cinematic experience they bring the viewer. The reason they are so good is because, aside from being excellent from a movie-making standpoint, they offer a completely absorbing universe for you to step into. As a collector of Decipher's Star Wars CCG cards, I have immersed myself in the amazing scope of this universe. Have you ever wondered why people watch the original three films hundreds of times and never tire of them? This is the answer. There is so much intricacy, so much care in each detail, that the Star Wars universe comes alive. That is what makes a Sci-Fi movie good, and that is why Star Wars endures to this day. Thousands of models and landscapes were created by hand. In the new trilogy, everything is computer generated, which contributes to the washed-out, boring scenes. As I have previously stated, the new films are so plot-driven that they don't engage the worlds they take place on. In the original trilogy, scenes were staged in memorable locations that an interested viewer will become very familiar with. In Ep. III, the plot jumps from planet to planet without creating attachment to a particular place. In contrast, everyone knows Tatooine from seeing the original trilogy. They know what it looks like, the creatures that live there, and why it is so important. I don't even know the names of half the planets that appear in Ep. III, and if I did, I wouldn't care. The environments are so indifferently rendered that no attachment to a particular place is created.

This movie. It absolutely fails at everything. Not only is it poorly made, but it is so depressing that there is no point in watching it. Who would want to watch a depressing movie if there is not some positive benefit to outweigh the negative? Not me. I don't understand what George Lucas was thinking when he made this film. He is obviously so full of himself that he forgot how to make a good movie. As abysmal as Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is, it helps me appreciate the magnificence of the original movies a little bit more. Episodes IV, V, and VI were so amazingly well done that even the man who thought them up doesn't understand what makes them enduring classics. There is nothing more to do except treasure the experience of those original three Star Wars films. Nothing like them will ever happen again.
-------------------------------------------

Final Thought a.k.a TL;DR

I'm surprised at most of you, that you can't tell a good movie story/plot from a bad one. "OMGGGG YODA FIGHTS!!1!1 SO KOOL." Idiots. The thing that makes a movie/anime/show good is plot, dialogue, and characters with direction. The special effects are an added bonus but that is it. Special effects don't make a movie good.

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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Prequels.   Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:18 pm

Part 1 and 3 of the review is pretty solid, but I think the 2nd needs a deeper, more fulfilling rending of Attack of the Clones. Yoda dancing is fine (I will not call it fighting), but what about the lovely river of love between Anakin and Amidala?

I think the prequels really underlines how badly George Lucas needs strong editors. Someone who can take his ideas, and make them coherent. He was on a much shorter leash in his earlier career, and in his mid-career works, he did significantly better when he was regulated into the role of producer or executive director. In the prequels, nobody was stopping him because he was George Lucas; in his younger days, George Lucas was a nobody, and had to fight tooth and nail to get his ideas in the cut. In the olden days, it worked out like natural selection, where the stupid lucas ideas would die a miserable death, while the awesome ideas would survive and woo audience for several generations. In the prequels, all the stupid is left in with the awesome, and the end result makes everything so.. banal. It's like a rough draft of something that should be awesome.
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