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Star wars...which befouls the OT legacy more...PT

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On 12/25/2019 at 6:55 PM, Lord Varys said:

I think this setup is also the main flaw of Anakin's fall since as I think I already pointed out somewhere - Anakin must know what Palpatine is and what he did when he reveals he is the other Sith Lord - he was Maul's and Tyranus' master, and is thus responsible for the attempts on Padmé as well as the deaths of hundreds of Anakin's friends and fellow Jedi (not to mention doing his best to murder Anakin and Padmé during the war).

If he is indeed willing to ignore all that for the (empty) promise of a monstrous person to save his wife from a vision that might not even come true, he reveals himself as the kind of person that is not really worth saving. There is something very wrong with Anakin Skywalker on a pretty fundamental level.

Well, that's where the poor execution comes in.

Within the context of the movies alone, Anakin's trust for Palpatine is difficult to understand. You have to rely on additional stuff from TCW among others, as well as speculation, to "get" why Anakin seems to go from loyal Jedi to hate-filled Sith in the blink of an eye.

But all in all I'd say the point stands that the Jedi failed at "managing" Anakin, or just didn't know how to handle him. Even though everyone knew that Anakin was extra-liable to fall to the Dark Side it seems no one really bothered to properly mentor him in that respect. And of course, that's because the Jedi wanted to completely reject it rather than learn to master it.

On 12/25/2019 at 6:55 PM, Lord Varys said:

[Those two books are real fun if you want to pretend for a time that this world is real and you could become a Jedi or Sith yourself.]

As the career of a Jedi is imagined there we only get the kind of 'ivory tower indoctrination' only in the younglings phase. Only then do they mostly reside at the tower - as padawans the Jedi-to-be travel all around the galaxy on the kind of missions Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan do in TPM. This indicates, I assume, that they actually do have ample contact with the common people of the galaxy without and outside the Republic to not necessarily lose touch with reality (and they definitely should be much more grounded in this regard than, say, career politicians a bureaucrats on Coruscant). Even the Jedi on the High Council do go on missions occasionally.

They do seem like fun books.

Sure, the Jedi masters were not career bureaucrats. But all of them seemed to have this taste for meditation and contemplation...

On 12/25/2019 at 6:55 PM, Lord Varys said:

As for your rant there, I can agree with everything there. I would only perhaps add that while I think that in your rudimentary scenario the First Order/Republic struggle could have made more sense, I don't think this would have been a good scenario as such. I don't think there should have been Empire stuff there even if they had had a story about the falling of some Jedi students.

The Kylo Ren character could have easily enough been an older student of Luke's who failed, sort of filling the role of Snoke, who then corrupted Han's son in a compelling story that made sense, causing him to kill his own father eventually at a later point in the story - if that was what we had to go. There are so many ways how this story could have been worked.

Indeed. And I think this is what it should be easy for fans to agree on. The problem isn't so much that what we got was bad (bad is subjective, and nothing is 100% bad), it's that it was disappointing, even within the realm of very reasonable expectations.

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26 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Well, that's where the poor execution comes in.

Within the context of the movies alone, Anakin's trust for Palpatine is difficult to understand. You have to rely on additional stuff from TCW among others, as well as speculation, to "get" why Anakin seems to go from loyal Jedi to hate-filled Sith in the blink of an eye.

Yes, and Anakin's heroic side really comes across as pretty well in TCW. But also his weirdo obsessive/jealous side in the Clovis arc, for instance.

The big failing of the PT definitely is that three movies à two+ hours are simply way too little time for a story this big - which is insanely big and complex both on the personal and the political level. And that gets much worse when TPM is essentially nothing more than a mainly irrelevant prologue to the real story. Pretty much nothing of substance happens there. This would have worked much better as an 'Episode 0' kind of thing.

I think it could have worked decently if we had had two movies on the Clone Wars, and then ROTS as the transition movie, but even in such a scenario one would have needed a very good script connecting both personal and political so everything fit together and supported each other. Lucas really had a pretty good story in the AOTC script - the problem is that it was essentially gutted of substance in the movie as such. The overall story problems is that political and romance plot didn't fit together well (which could have been done much better) and that it was poorly executed. Although I must say that Lucas trying to recreate the feeling of Golden Era Hollywood movies with the objectively terrible romance dialogue actually hit things pretty well - in those movies the leads essentially fall in love for no reason, too.

The Anakin-Palpatine connection also was poorly served by the entire thing - Palpatine's sort of interaction with Anakin in TPM was a last minute idea, and their talk on AOTC, while interesting, only hints at their relationship. If a TCW like series had covered the ten years of Anakin's apprenticeship before AOTC one could have a lot of Palpatine-Anakin bonding stuff, explaining why Anakin in the end thinks that guy is even a better friend and mentor than any Jedi, Obi-Wan and Yoda included. Some of that we get in TCW, sure, but there is overall too little of that.

In fact, if one looks back then Palpatine should have been with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan throughout TPM, being right there when Anakin hooks up with them. Would have been much smarter of Darth Sidious if Maul had been the only guy directing the Trade Federation, helping him to really stay in the shadows (as well as making Maul an actual character - that guy has more lines in his first TCW episode than in the entirety of TPM). That the Jedi/Gunray himself didn't realize that the hologram dude didn't look like Senator Palpatine wearing a weirdo hood was never particularly convincing. And the Jedi letting this thing go after Maul was revealed to be a Sith and killed Qui-Gon is very hard to swallow. Even if the Neimoidians were able to stall/sabotage proper investigation and prosecution (as they were) then the Jedi should have taken this matter in their own hands.

26 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

But all in all I'd say the point stands that the Jedi failed at "managing" Anakin, or just didn't know how to handle him. Even though everyone knew that Anakin was extra-liable to fall to the Dark Side it seems no one really bothered to properly mentor him in that respect. And of course, that's because the Jedi wanted to completely reject it rather than learn to master it.

Yeah, I guess the whole lukewarm relationship Anakin/Obi-Wan have in TPM sort of is a problem there, too. But considering Anakin's actual importance as per the prophecy should have definitely gotten more attention/support than he got. They should have realized that he was an asset, not a problem.

26 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

They do seem like fun books.

There are fun notes in there, Sidious commenting the Jedi book, Luke commenting the Sith book, etc. The one letdown is that Palpatine refers to Darth Tyranus almost exclusively as 'Count Dooku' which is not something he would do.

They even talk about 'grey Jedi' there - which are seen as Jedi who do not obey the Council/hierarchy. In that sense they are indeed no real philosphical differences there.

26 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Sure, the Jedi masters were not career bureaucrats. But all of them seemed to have this taste for meditation and contemplation...

Yeah, and I actually pretty much like the take they had on Luke's Jedi Order with it being perfectly fine that they had children.

26 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Indeed. And I think this is what it should be easy for fans to agree on. The problem isn't so much that what we got was bad (bad is subjective, and nothing is 100% bad), it's that it was disappointing, even within the realm of very reasonable expectations.

Yeah, just watching 'The Mandalorian' - which I like pretty much - but even there the overall setting is this new setting where we have to swallow that the guys coming out of the Outer Rim (Luke Skywalker) apparently happily ignores the plight of the people out there once the Empire is (sort of) overthrown. That just doesn't make all that much sense if you think about it for a moment.

The overall EU setting mainly first established by Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy - a declining Imperial Remnant fighting a fledging New Republic - would have been the natural setting for this new world. And if you want to have some sort of evil organization I think 'The New Rebellion' would have been a pretty good way to go - that was that later EU book shortly before the NJO where a fallen student of Luke's creates a terrorist organization to attack the New Republic. The guy called himself Kueller (born as Dolph) and he even wore a skull mask to put fear in the hearts of people because he was actually such a young and beautiful fellow (which is clearly, one assumes, where Abrams took inspiration for his villain's issues): https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Kueller

And the smarter move - even if you wanted to bring back the Sith stuff - would have been to implement those familiar elements in another changed/different political landscape. Instead we got more of the same - with the only difference being that the Rebellion was now the Resistance and the Empire the First/Final Order.

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To answer the OP (haven't read most of the thread), right now I'd say I have the PT over the new trilogy.  But that's largely because the PT has grown on me over decades of rewatching.  The new ones at least have the interesting dynamic between Rey and Ben.  All you're doing with the PT is waiting for the dual duels between Obi-Wan/Anakin and Yoda/Palpatine.

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On 12/28/2019 at 12:19 PM, RumHam said:

Speaking of befouling the OT, if they're not going to give us de-specialized versions of the original movies, they need to clean up the special editions. They're full of bad 90's CGI poorly integrated into the real stuff. 

I really despise some of the changes they made.  The worst one was giving audio to Vader when he's making his choice to save Luke or let the Emperor kill him.  That scene was infinitely more powerful with just Vader silently looking back and forth.  A lot of the other changes were simply to throw more garbage CGI on the screen.  And I cannot stand that stupid music video they added to ROTJ.  

When the time comes to watch them with my son, we're going to be watching a laserdisc rip if I have anything say about it.

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But the OT movies were on the individual disks they sold a couple of years ago. I actually have them, but never watch them.

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1 hour ago, argonak said:

When the time comes to watch them with my son, we're going to be watching a laserdisc rip if I have anything say about it.

J.J. Abrams referenced having watched the despecialized version made by fans in discussing whether there'd ever be a fresh release of the original, unaltered trilogy in Blu-Ray form (as he understood it, the answer was "no"). The DVDs that were released in 2006-2008 which had the originals as bonus material were fairly poor transfers from the laser discs, introducing problems with color grading and other things. Here's one of a number of videos comparing the bonus disc, the blu-ray from 2011, and two fan efforts to recreate the original:

Notably, the most notable despecialized edition (Harmy's) made the aesthetic choice to be 720p rather 1080p, to better harmonize the different sources they used. There are projects to recreate the originals in 4K, with names like 4k77 and 4k83, and there's videos on Youtube that give glimpses of them.

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20 minutes ago, Ran said:

J.J. Abrams referenced having watched the despecialized version made by fans in discussing whether there'd ever be a fresh release of the original, unaltered trilogy in Blu-Ray form (as he understood it, the answer was "no"). The DVDs that were released in 2006-2008 which had the originals as bonus material were fairly poor transfers from the laser discs, introducing problems with color grading and other things. Here's one of a number of videos comparing the bonus disc, the blu-ray from 2011, and two fan efforts to recreate the original:

Notably, the most notable despecialized edition (Harmy's) made the aesthetic choice to be 720p rather 1080p, to better harmonize the different sources they used. There are projects to recreate the originals in 4K, with names like 4k77 and 4k83, and there's videos on Youtube that give glimpses of them.

I could live with Lucas's adding his excessive use of CGI, even the awful music number, but changing two of Vader and Solo's character defining moments was just wrong to me.  

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32 minutes ago, argonak said:

I could live with Lucas's adding his excessive use of CGI, even the awful music number, but changing two of Vader and Solo's character defining moments was just wrong to me.  

Agreed.  There’s a huge difference in adding a few dewbacks walking around in the background and having Greedo shoot first.

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41 minutes ago, argonak said:

I could live with Lucas's adding his excessive use of CGI, even the awful music number, but changing two of Vader and Solo's character defining moments was just wrong to me.  

What are the two Vader and Solo moments? I assume one is Vader saying “Nooooo” as he “kills” the Emperor and the other is Greedo shooting first.

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1 hour ago, sifth said:

What are the two Vader and Solo moments? I assume one is Vader saying “Nooooo” as he “kills” the Emperor and the other is Greedo shooting first.

Yes, those two.  

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I’d actually forgotten Vader screamed No as he killed the Emperor. I usually re-watch them on ITV (they go through phases of looping the HP and SW series on repeat on a week-by-week basis so its presumably there and i can’t for the life of me imagine how i forgot it. Must have mentally repressed it :P 

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PT>ST. While TFA was better than anything in the PT I believe TLJ and ROS, or Rise of Palpatine as it should have been named, had SO much wrong with it that it borders on season 8 thrones.

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1 hour ago, The Last Storm said:

PT>ST. While TFA was better than anything in the PT I believe TLJ and ROS, or Rise of Palpatine as it should have been named, had SO much wrong with it that it borders on season 8 thrones.

Lets not say things we can't take back. 

7 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I’d actually forgotten Vader screamed No as he killed the Emperor. I usually re-watch them on ITV (they go through phases of looping the HP and SW series on repeat on a week-by-week basis so its presumably there and i can’t for the life of me imagine how i forgot it. Must have mentally repressed it :P 

The Vader "Noooo" in Jedi is especially bad because it plays like he's just then realizing that the emperor killing his son is bad. And this is after like 30 seconds of force lightning. He seriously looks at Luke writhing, looks at the emperor and is like "hang on very slowly electrocuting my son is not ok." 

And the the emperor once again doesn't just... stop shooting lightning. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The Last Storm said:

PT>ST. While TFA was better than anything in the PT I believe TLJ and ROS, or Rise of Palpatine as it should have been named, had SO much wrong with it that it borders on season 8 thrones.

Well, I can only speak for myself, but I felt literally nothing watching the ending of GoT. Otoh, TRoS actually choked me up a few times. 

TRoS>>>>GoT in visuals for me as well. 

Edited by Nictarion

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The prequel trilogy is an impressive exercise in wretched, uninspired film-making. The moment-to-moment dialogue, direction and acting is absolutely painful and amateurish, astonishing because many of the people involved were 20-30 year veterans of the industry. It's ineptness is also startling because it drags down actors, among whose key skills is doing great work with bad material. But the material in the prequel trilogy is so hideously bad that actors of the calibre of Portman, McGregor and Jackson just can't do anything with it, and start acting like it's amateur hour. Mace Windu's fight scene with the Emperor was fucking atrocious, and there were howls of laughter in the cinema when I saw the film. McDiarmid gets through it by chewing up the scenery like a ripe old ham, and some of his scenes are utterly cringe-inducing (although he at least seems to be having a good time). This is why Lloyd and Christensen should get some slack, because vastly more experienced actors than them were stacking it as well. The only actors who came out of the situation with any dignity let were Liam Neeson (by just appearing serene) and Ray Park (who essentially had no dialogue).

The plotting in the prequel trilogy is also muddled, unclear and hilariously unconvincing. The only thing the PT really has going for it is the production design, which is mostly quite splendid, and the soundtrack for TPM, which is probably the best out of all the movies.

The sequel trilogy also has poor storytelling and an at-times reckless disregard for what had been established previously, but it's moment-to-moment writing, direction and acting is on a completely different and far superior level to the prequels. The corrupting back and forth between Rey and Kylo was what really should have been between Anakin and Sidious in the prequels (with a different result) and the energy levels in the sequels were much higher. The sequels are quite watchable without chewing off your fingers or jamming your fingers in your ears, which the prequels really are not.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The sequels are quite watchable without chewing off your fingers or jamming your fingers in your ears, which the prequels really are not.

This latest movie is one long atrociously loud nonsensical jumbled mess, and when it was over I was fucking grateful. The ST doesn't make the PT better, and vice versa, both are pretty terrible, and Star Wars should have just been left alone given the garbage we've gotten. However, the PT actually had a three movie plot arc, with obviously the ST did NOT, so that alone makes it a worthier story, as a whole. 

 

But then again, its all a matter of opinion. You should try to remember that, as well. 

Edited by Relic

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Relic said:

This latest movie is one long atrociously loud nonsensical jumbled mess, and when it was over I was fucking grateful. The ST doesn't make the PT better, and vice versa, both are pretty terrible, and Star Wars should have just been left alone given the garbage we've gotten. However, the PT actually had a three movie plot arc, with obviously the ST did NOT, so that alone makes it a worthier story, as a whole. 

The PT doesn't have a three-movie plot arc, though. It has a checklist assembled from the original trilogy and then marked off. We already knew that Anakin Skywalker was an ace pilot who became a Jedi, was trained by Obi-Wan, was corrupted by the Emperor during the Clone Wars and betrayed the Jedi Order, helping destroy and wipe it out. We know the Emperor overthrew the Old Republic and turned it into the Empire. We knew Luke and Leia were Anakin's kids who were hidden from him at birth. We knew Obi-Wan and Yoda went into hiding. That just all happens. You could have gotten 5 chimps to have watched the OT and assembled the prequel storyline from the backstory references.

The prequel trilogy had no surprises, provided no new information of worth that changed our understanding of previous events (something a good prequel will do) and was completely unnecessary from start to finish, absent of any kind of tension or suspense.

Even worse, it contradicted a lot of information from the OT. Qui-Gon trained Obi-Wan but Obi-Wan said he was trained by Yoda. Leia says she remembers her real mother when that was clearly impossible (insanely, Rick McCallum said this would be a plot point in the cancelled Underworlds TV series). The Death Star I is shown as taking 20 years to build, which raises the question of how the bigger Death Star II was built in less than 3 years. Revenge of the Sith goes to slightly barmy lengths to put characters exactly where they were at the start of Episode IV despite there being twenty years between the two, to the point of putting Artoo and Threepio on the same ship. Lucas seemed to be suggesting that the galaxy went into stasis for twenty years (which he consistently treats more like a hundred years, given how short memories everyone in the galaxy has).

Lucas also made a mistake in deviating from his plan circa 1976, when the original trilogy was Episodes V-VII and what became The Phantom Menace was a prologue to the actual prequel trilogy, which would have focused three films on the Clone Wars. As it stands we skip most of the conflict and lose a lot of context for the fall of the Republic from there, only reinstated in the far superior animated series (which, as far as I can tell, 90% of Star Wars fans have never watched).

Edited by Werthead

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23 minutes ago, Werthead said:

but it's moment-to-moment writing, direction

This is true in TFA and TLJ but I'd say it's not of tRoS, especially of the writing- there might be less outright cringe in sheer embarrassment terms but the amount of times a problem or character tension is introduced only to be resolved immediately or just plain ignored is as outright amateurish as anything the prequels did. 

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1 minute ago, polishgenius said:

This is true in TFA and TLJ but I'd say it's not of tRoS, especially of the writing- there might be less outright cringe in sheer embarrassment terms but the amount of times a problem or character tension is introduced only to be resolved immediately or just plain ignored is as outright amateurish as anything the prequels did. 

Totally, but the difference is that even in TRoS (by far the worst of the sequel trilogy for this IMO) the actors and director are at least trying to make the characters respond to what's going on somewhat believably, even when the story is contrived or unnecessarily convenient. The PT just had everyone responding like automatons, almost all the time.

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