So fair warning, I'm a late comer to the Star Wars saga. My first Star Wars movie was TFA and then I went on to watch the Original Trilogy and then the PT, but I was actually on the computer the whole time and watching it in the background, this time, I tried to pay attention the whole time. While I can certainly see the harsh criticism and why diehard SW fans hate the movie, I don't think this movie is as bad as they make it out to be, it has some good moments, and the introduction of a very memorable character.
+ The pod race was a lot funner to watch this time around, even with some poor acting
+ Darth Maul, what a waste to kill him off
+ The story actually made sense to me this time, or at least I think it did lol. I will spoiler tag it just in case
Trade Federation wants to put sanctions in Naboo, the Taken guy and Obi Wan Kenobi go there to try to negotiate, can't, and they try to kill them. They rescue Queen Amidala and she goes before the courts to plead her case where Palpatine plays her. They then team up with the Gungans to create a diversion against the Trade Federation while they go to try to kill the Viceroy of the Trade Federation.
+ The whole backstory on how it starts to build up to the OT, I like some of those connections
+ Some of the new characters were fun and innovative. Gungan people were actually interesting as was the city. I believe those have potential to be explored in future iterations of the franchise. The flying slave owner bug was also interesting to me
- JarJar Binks is a lot more annoying when you pay attention to the movie
- CGI is horribly dated. I don't think CGI from the late 2000s until now will age that badly in 20 years if they are nicely done, but CGI from the late 90s early 2000s has aged pretty badly. The underwater sequence was pretty bad and fake looking. I bet the OT won't have aged as bad as this
- Young Anakin's acting was pretty bad
- Natalie Portman was checked out just like she was in Thor
- Poorly execution of the story and screenplay. While I liked the story overall, the execution and how it was played out was....lacking. I don't know how else to explain. It could have certainly been better executed
- Samuel L. Jackson has certainly had better acting scenes and roles
- Anakin's mother just being magically impregnated, I mean what the hell
I would be grateful for an invite to the discord as well, if only to try it out. Always been very active in discussion threads but rarely visited the community side of GAF, so Im not sure if Id like discords structure. But where else is there to go, eh?
If not, thats okay, I know everything is crazy right now and I wasnt really part of this community before. Ill just have to drive my fiancé crazy by telling her all my thoughts instead
I am a huuuge fan of Star Wars. I can even discuss the prequels without turning into a ball of rage and hate. I even like them (a little, just a little, some things, please don't judge me), Of course I agree that AOTC is one giant mess.
And now I'm following the comics and watching Rebels, and of course waiting for TLJ ,so I'd like to chat with cool people like you. Can I have a DIscord invite? Thank you
This seems a good a place as any to make my last post on GAF. It's been fun talking Star Wars with you all for quite a few years now and for those of you that haven't joined us at our not-so-secret rebel base yet (resetERA), we hope to see you there soon.
So I started rewatching the movies in prep of 8, man Ep. 2 is definitely the worst. Yes it has some good scenes but that dialog is awful most of the time. Ep. 3 even though it shares some of the faults of 1 and 2, is a big step up in my opinion. Even Christensen does a better job (not all his fault he worked with what he had)
News season of clone wars coming ? I'm just watching first one on Netflix and outside of really bad low budget 3d animation it's great - much more of what people wanted from prequels than what actual prequels did.
currently listening to "The Secret History of Star Wars" by Michael Kaminski. there is a 3 part audio book version on youtube. it is really fascinating to follow the creation of these films, and he does a great job explaining the different drafts and tracing the development of characters, ideas, and set pieces as George goes through the process of writing this stuff.
i guess at heart is the "lie" that he wrote everything himself all at once as one big story. its a lie that he told for a number of reasons, partially in order to protect his property, partially to appease fanatics that kept asking him about other adventures and all this backstory (and why not tease sequel/prequels if this is making u that $$$?). in a very interesting way, the fans of SW have been shaping the film since the first entry, the demands of the project and the plot of each entry kind of reshaping the concept as a whole. yet in a "certain point of view" he really was writing the whole thing himself, and it is interesting to see PT and even ST ideas we have now existing as early drafts of The Journal of the Whills from the early 70s.
it is fascinating! you get to see him sort of shape these movies in real time. for instance Obi Wan was going to escape the Death Star but it meant there was no danger to the place at all, it was not very dramatic, so he and Alec Guiness came up with his death. this change was made after they had already filmed the Tantooine scenes but before they shot the Death Star. Vader had a first name of Darth at the time, which is why he calls him Darth. he was also not Anakin Skywalker. the story was changing even while they were filming. Lucas was constantly toying with characters and seeing how they could interact, have histories, etc. ways in which they could better heighten the space drama.
even though the first film was wildly successful, he personally didn't make enough to make his dream film studio Skywalker ranch. he decided to dump everything he made into the sequel in a gamble to make more. he had to get bank loans, he put all his money into the movie. it had to succeed or he would be ruined. he told Kirshner ESB was the gamble, to see if they could pull off making more SW, and if they could, they could make 6, 9, 12, just an infinite number, and it would fund all his future projects. he could do stuff like Skywalker Sound and ILM and Pixar and have this massive film tech r&d center. but the production got away from him. the director and producer ignored Lucas's orders to minimize budget and be fast, they went for a more methodical, artistic approach. they went over-budget and spent time experimenting with camera shots and dialogue, focusing on characters. this all frustrated him, he complained that it should have been made cheaper.
thus Lucas would fire his producer and ROTJ was made with a more mercenary budget-mindedness. he surrounded himself with yes men and shadow directed it himself, working constantly on this all consuming project. by this point, his marriage had been straining under the demanding weight of SW for years, and finally gave away. his wife, Marcia Lucas, one of the secret key voices in the OT, left him for the designer of the stained glass window in Skywalker Ranch. imagine being haunted by that =(. they separated before he finished ROTJ, and even though he was finally free of SW and could do his mega projects, in the divorce she took half his fortune. it's a bittersweet ending to the OT, and imo it explains why the movie is so focused on wrapping up everything and providing a conclusive ending. ESB had Yoda mention an Other, a mystery person left for future films, at one point (explained in an early draft of ESB by ghosts of Obi Wan and a non-Vader Anakin) Luke's twin sister who was training as a Jedi on the other side of the galaxy. it originally was not Leia but some mystery character (similar to Rey?) who was then retconned to be Leia for ROTJ. Lucas wanted to wrap things up, tie up all the loose ends, and Leia had already shown some force powers in an early draft of SW by resisting interrogation on the Death Star using Mind Powers, and ESB had made Han the romantic interest, so it sort of made the most sense to write it that way. other things were changed of course, the inclusion of the massive Imperial planet cut for budgetary issues, the use of two Death Stars rather than one. Space Balls indeed. anyways that's as far i've gotten, about 5 hours in to part 2. the rest of this is about Lucas surviving his personal hell to do the special edition and then write the prequels. it's an incredible story and inside look at the creative process.
i finished "The Secret History of Star Wars". the series pretty much consumed his life, his obsession with finishing the movies & Skywalker Ranch ended up imploding his marriage. oddly enough, the ensuing rise of blockbuster films ended up killing off the more personal approach of the 70s auteurs that he originally came from. after SW it wasn't just Lucas that was hurting, many of the old filmmakers were having trouble replicating their successes in the 70s, they had failed marriages as well, money problems, etc. the latter being a big reason why Lucas had personal fallouts with a lot of his old film school buddies. 80s was not a good time. Lucas's own divorce was so painful it fundamentally altered the industry. he wrote the heart-ripping-out "Temple of Doom" during this dark period, which was so dark it introduced PG-13 into the lexicon.
Lucas continued to work in the fantasy genre, and his company worked on critical flop after critical flop. like with SW he was constantly pushing genre fiction and helpd put out the Ewok movies, Labyrinth, Willow, The Land Before Time, (and my non-ironic favorite) Howard the Duck. his dream Skywalker ranch ended up spawning so many companies that put out incredible media and worked on landmark films. LucasArts put out great video games, and by the time CD-ROM gaming was of age, "Rebel Assault" was put together, featuring new footage shot by the original cinematographer from the first Star Wars, with original props and sets, as well David Prowse reprising his role of Darth Vader. ILM of course basically invented modern CGI tech. Lucas reminisces about first seeing the final rendered T-Rex for "Jurassic Park" and tears coming down because it was so beautiful, he knew it would change the world. i mean we may have Lucas to thank for every movie that uses CGI these days.
the Special Edition was never really guaranteed, but they decided to go ahead with a 20th anniversary release after the massive success of various SW tv commercials (i remember Vader fighting the Energizer bunny and being so surprised and excited by it) as well as the EU novels. fan demand was a big reason why the prequels were made as well, being more or less funded by merchandise sales. the prequels are what they are, and i have to hand it to Lucas to not fold and do the easy thing, which would be episode 3 as the first film and 2 more movies of Darth Vader going around killing people. he had always wanted to do it in a different style, as a political costume drama, and many characters (like Mace Windu) and ideas are indeed taken from the earliest drafts of SW. this book kind of opened my eyes to the real Jedi, which were always meant by Lucas to be a sort of Space Police more than Space Monks, something the series got away from with Yoda's far more mystical/transcendental approach in ESB. ironically, Yoda flipping around with a light saber was actually in an early draft of ESB.
poor writing and acting aside, the prequels on reflection are pretty wonderful, bizarre takes on 30s pulp genre fiction, with all the attendant action setpieces, sweeping vistas, colorful characters, and hackneyed romance. the book mentions how Hayden Christensen reacted negatively to the title "Attack of the Clones", despite it being pretty much in the same genre as "The Empire Strikes Back". this is ironic because "Hayden" was a name written on a brainstorm list back in 1973 while thinking of weird space character first names. by the 2000s Lucas was a man out of time, perhaps he was out of step with everyone, but he always has been, and we have to be thankful for that. for all the amazing films and contributions he has made. i highly recommend this book, it's fascinating and clears up a LOT of myths.
A trailer for a re-edit of The Last Jedi by Ivan Ortega.
Basically with all the edits, Ivan is editing out some dialogue and scenes, as well as adding some things in.
It will change the overall message of the film, and might exclude most of Canto Bight...if not all.
Changes seen in the trailer:
-Star Wars Logo is yellow, not red. It was red because Lucasfilm and/or Rian wanted us to think it was gonna be darker than Empire.
-Luke doesn't throw the lightsabre, he hands it back to Rey
-Luke never thought about killing Ben Solo. Ben Solo was turned by himself or by Snoke.
-Luke tells Rey "You need a teacher", edited to look like Luke wants to train her.
-Luke says "No one is ever really gone" (this edit will make it look like Luke is trying to bring Kylo back)
-Snoke doesn't mention Vader's name. Ivan wants to avoid all the "Kylo is a Vader copycat" stuff
-Luke's lightsaber at Crate is his green lightsaber.
Personally, I think it would be cool if Ivan could take Luke dialogue from Mark Hamill's voice acting in Star Wars video games and TV shows in a clever way to add more to his character.
Here is "Luke mourns Han" in the re-edit:
And here is him explaining how he is changing Snoke's relationship to Kylo Ren: