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Jon
11-30-2003, 09:50 AM
I will go on record stating that I like the story of the Phantom Menace in general. I like the politics, the Trade Federation, the Intro to the Galaxy and the meetings of Obi Wan & Anakin and Qui Gon, etc. I even like Jar Jar Binks if he was toned down a bit. And Keira Knightly, but that is for a different discussion.

My question is could TPM been saved with same story but better writing? Or is the story just weak in itself? In my opinion the overall story was very good but could use a few tweaks to make it flow better and remain consistent with the OT. As far as story improvements:

Anakin should have been 11 or 12 not 9. There are very few good 9 year old actors and it frightens me that George that Jake was the best of the lot. Combine that with poor dialogue for the kid and it leads to nothing but groaners. "Yipee" and "Sandstorms are very............very........dangerous". Make the kid a little older and you also would not have the uncomfortable feeling of 14 year old Padme being hit on by a 4th grader.

Jar Jar Binks could have been an excellent character had he spoken normally. He is a character that suffered from kid humor that GL thought would be funny. It was embarassing. The crazy jump and yell into the lake was painful to watch and unnecessary. Jar Jar's character could have been funny and I think was a victim to poor writing.

The Taxation issue while interesting to me because I enjoy politics and the like is not explained well in the movie. Cloak of Deception lays it out beautifully and should have had some of that backstory adressed. It took me a few times watching TPM to figure out why the Trade Federation was even blockading Naboo.

Queen Amidala was too formal. The character needed to be a little more fun. Again, writing.

Don't get me started on Anakin building C-3PO.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on whether the story had potential or if it is just a complete disaster. And what was the cause? Story or writing or both. Or even casting?

2-1B
11-30-2003, 11:31 AM
I started a thread awhile back titled "Should Hayden Christensen have been in TPM?" . . . my motivations for that stemmed first from my love of Hayden's job that he did in AOTC. Still, I know a lot of people didn't like HC in AOTC so I was also posing the question from a technical aspect.

See, I understand some of the advantages of putting a 10 year gap inbetween movies (clones, Senate, etc.) but since this is "the story of Anakin" I thought maybe it would be helpful to have the same actor play Anakin throughout the whole PT. So in that sense I agree with you that Anakin should have been a bit older. Make him a very young teen, get an actor age 15 or so to play him, and 3 years later when they shoot the next one, the kid will have aged 3 years and could easily play someone age 22 or whatever. Or else just shorten up the 10 year gap to 6 years or something similar if the kid can't pull off a 10 year aging.

Just look at Daniel Logan, that guy REALLY sprouted in the past few years. Even Jake Lloyd looks WAY older in that reshoot scene from TPM.

JediTricks
11-30-2003, 09:53 PM
IMO, the real question is SHOULD it be saved?

A while back (previous forums here, in fact), someone started a thread asking about "how would you do Ep 1 differently". My first reply in that thread was similar to yours Jon, tweaking the movie we got to make it better. (What I didn't know until after I posted was the author wanted an entirely fresh version, so I did that too ;)). Unfortunately, I only saved the "entirely fresh version" because at the time, those other forums were still available as an archive (I think they still are in some offline format... somewhere).

However, when I look at that "new" version I did and apply it to AOTC (loosely of course, it was written 2 years before that film), I see the same thing then that I feel now: TPM simply is not all that germane to the Prequel story. Virtually nothing we see in Ep 1 really needs to have been seen at all, certainly not enough to spend 2 hours on. Almost every vital story element (the only 2 I can think of are Palpy's rise to Chancellor & Anakin being found and taken as a padawan) could have been put into AOTC either in the opening crawl or as quick exposition dialogue. In fact, I think a dialogue explanation of how Obi-Wan found Ani and took him in, maybe the 2 of them reminscing for all of 20 seconds of screentime, would have made both movies work better.

Ultimately, when I look at what is on-screen in TPM storywise, I see a lot of incidental stuff that really seems to have no place in the grand scale of the saga, which makes it expendable from that viewpoint alone regardless of my opinion of the content's quality. When I ask myself "what happens in TPM that AOTC and the other films cannot do without?" I come up blank. What do you come up with when you ask yourself that?



As for Jake Lloyd, I had seen some of his pre-TPM work and he was a pretty good "deep" child actor. Unfortunately, George is a self-proclaimed bad acting-director and he wrote the character to be early teens then changed it to 9 years old but cast a 7-year-old in the part making the character's dialogue and motivations not really hold up well - so I blame Lucas for the problems with young Ani, not Jake.

stillakid
11-30-2003, 10:07 PM
I've always maintained that George was close to making a good movie, but lacked the willingness to have someone else polish it for him as was done for virtually everything else he'd ever written. Really, a couple tweaks here and there and it would have made a perfectly enjoyable film, JT's good point about necessity aside.

That being said, in light of what we learn (regarding the downfall of the Republic), or what we are supposed to learn, I think that the overall story would have benefitted from a broader view of the discontent amongst the members of the Republic. We are told (not shown) in AOTC that several systems are leaving the Republic, yet we are never ever told why. There is disenchantment with the system that goes unexplained. As JT said, 2 hours was essentially wasted on fairly unimportant information when so much more really should have been shown to the audience. It's not enough to say that the Republic is falling apart (thus the necessity for a big war) without going into depth about why. This absence in the plot (of both TPM and AOTC) is the saga's biggest downfall, I feel. Afterall, it drives virtually everything that happens, both to the galaxy at large and to the characters we get to know and love/hate. Without explaining the catalyst properly, it becomes nearly impossible to find compassion or empathy for anyone or anything that happens onscreen.

Oh, yeah, and the Jake-thing. ;) If George really wanted a kid that young, I think that Eric Lloyd (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005156/) (no relation) would have been a far far better choice. But what's done is done. :rolleyes:

Jayspawn
12-02-2003, 09:59 AM
It could be saved with a little editing, its a great movie and script. Here's a few mental notes I've made...

1. The Podrace Sequence was tooo long! Theres a great fast-paced opening sequence with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon figuting the Battle Droids, the move picks up momentum and then hits a wall when the characters get to Tatooine. And thats fine because you have to develop some characters and story in there but the Pod Race was too long in the film. After they get off Tatooine and over to Coruscant the movie is fine.

2. Anakin probably should have been a little older, but I liked Jake Lloyd just fine. If they took "Yippee!" out that would be fine and make Anakin a little more likable. Anakin also should have showed more talent or skills in the Force. He should be fixing or doing things by himself with the Force because hes supposed to be exceptional at them.

3. I didnt have a problem with Anakin building C-3PO, but I always imagined C-3PO already assembled and a droid of the Old Republic who eventually meets R2.

4. Yoda, George what were you thinking? The voice is fine, just fix the bad puppet with the OT Yoda or the Episode II CG Yoda.

Arrogant Arse
12-02-2003, 12:42 PM
The Podrace Sequence was tooo long! Theres a great fast-paced opening sequence with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon figuting the Battle Droids, the move picks up momentum and then hits a wall when the characters get to Tatooine. And thats fine because you have to develop some characters and story in there but the Pod Race was too long in the film. After they get off Tatooine and over to Coruscant the movie is fine.
I couldn't agree with Jayspawn any more. The movie starts out pretty fast paced, and interesting, then dies on Tatooine. While George needed to slow the movie down, he could have done it better. If the Pod Race had been cut a bit, (and if the acting/writing/directing was better) the movie would have been better.

I still like the film, but it isn't my favorite. I'd have done it differently, but it is George's brainchild, and his money pays for it. Therefore, we're stuck.

stillakid
12-02-2003, 02:12 PM
I couldn't agree with Jayspawn any more. The movie starts out pretty fast paced, and interesting, then dies on Tatooine. While George needed to slow the movie down, he could have done it better. If the Pod Race had been cut a bit, (and if the acting/writing/directing was better) the movie would have been better.

I still like the film, but it isn't my favorite. I'd have done it differently, but it is George's brainchild, and his money pays for it. Therefore, we're stuck.


I don't know that he needed to slow it down at all...It's just that he didn't really begin it very well. We obviously join a conflict already in progress, but that conflict isn't explained very well at any point. As a result, we're left with the confused feeling of not knowing exactly why we should really care one way or another about the characters. For all we know, the Trade Federation is justified in what it is doing. But it is their "bad guy" look that is leaned on to tell us that they are the bad guys instead of actually informing the audience properly as to why. A significant amount of time could have been utilized up front to better illustrate the lax and corrupt state of the Republic instead of relying on aftermarket study guides to fill in the blanks.

After that, Tatooine does become a drawn out bore. The only things that needed to happen there were 1) getting the ship fixed, 2) finding Anakin, 3) discovering Anakin's potential. Easily could have been done in a third of the time and still get in the podrace and everything else. That's why studios hire screenwriters and polishers...to clean up messes like this. But I guess that's what being a billionaire independent producer buys you. :sur:

Jon
12-03-2003, 06:47 PM
Tatooine seems to be the weakest part of the movie. It seemed to go on and on and on without much action. I think one of the worst moves was minimizing screen time for Darth Maul and basically giving him no dialogue. He was never developed and before you knew it he was split in 2. As I stated previously it was terribly confusing as to why Naboo was being blockaded. In my opinion the movie needed more backstory on the conflict that set up the Naboo blockade and the divide in the Senate and less backstory on Anakin. One of my favorite characters in TPM was Qui Gon but was there ever a need for this character to find Anakin? It appears he was in the movie only to discover Anakin, get killed, and then pass him off to Obi Wan. I thought there was ground work for a better backstory laid out by Obi Wan in Return of the Jedi when he was explaining to Luke "I thought I could train him just as well as Yoda, I was wrong." I always took that to mean that Obi Wan never told Yoda of Anakin or Anakin was denied training and Obi Wan trained him in secret, something along those lines. I think it would have worked better.

Darth Kirk
02-14-2004, 09:23 PM
Personally, I just do not feel like TPM needs/should/has to be saved.. It does what it is intended to do, which is show the beginning of the intro. of Anakin to the Jedi.. I have seen the film a few hundered times and it just grew on me.. Yeah, it seems that there was a lot of discontent with the film, I just ain't one of the ones discontent with it though..

Turambar
02-15-2004, 01:00 AM
To me, it's an OK film, but as I've read all these ideas about what could have been done differently, I think that most everyone on these forums could have written a better story flowing with better continuity into the OT. Having Anakin about Luke's age would have been a great idea and been one of the parallels GL always talked about. Having him be slightly younger than Obi-Wan, a good friendship would have been much easier to generate -- not to mention how much easier a romance with padme would be to believe. By Ep II we could have seen Anakin grown up into the great man we were led to believe he was from the OT, making his eventual fall much more tragic than it will be.
Having an older actor play the part for all 3 movies would make it easier for the audience to grow with the character through each film. Being older would also mean less training -- instead of the 10+ years that lil Ani gets-- so when we see Luke in the same situation in Rotj there is more drama in wondering if he will succumb to follow the same path his father did.
Anyhow, I've seen lots of other great ideas that would have made for a more interesting movie. I just wish GL have had the care to use accomplished writers & directors in these projects.

CropDuster
02-18-2004, 12:42 AM
I think TPM could have been easily saved; all it needed was a point. ;)

CropDuster
02-18-2004, 12:45 AM
It just seems to me that in the grand scheme of the whole saga that the first installment was pretty much a waste as far as what it contributed.

jjreason
04-01-2004, 03:25 AM
My final battle for the fate of Naboo would have taken place underwater, in the Gungan's element. The setting was beautiful there, and we've yet to see a big battle in it. I think it would have fit very well here, and could have been based on the fact that the Battle Droid army ships could have all landed after the successful blockade/invasion. The Gungans would have had the local knowledge of territory to swing the battle in their favor. Would have alleviated the need for the relatively unexciting space battle. Ani could have piloted a sub just as easily as a fighter.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
04-01-2004, 07:55 AM
Oh, lord, JJR, you've opened up Pandor'a Box for some members of SSG. You've been warned and may God be with ya. :)


I think i'd change a few things:
1. Make Jar Jar a bit more of a brave character rather than a bumbling idiot. I was watching TPM last night and there are scenes, like with the droid tied to his foot and with the "boomba" ball, and he just happens to take down droids. Maybe after he became general, make him more of a warrior character when he realizes what's about to happen. I would have far more respect for him if he actually did some damage to the droid army on purpose rather than by pure stupid luck.
2. Kinda the same with Anakin flying to take out the droid ship. I kinda grew tired of his "This is intense!" and "I'll try spinning, that's a good trick" lines. I mean, when he gets up to the ship, i think it'd become apparent what he has to do and i kinda wish he'd act a bit more responsible and....i don't know, tough? Instead of the wackiness he had. Then again, he is just a kid, so I guess i really can't hold it against him too much.

that's pretty much it; other than those two things, i was very happy with the the film. cheers! :D

Kidhuman
04-01-2004, 09:36 AM
Oh, lord, JJR, you've opened up Pandor'a Box for some members of SSG. You've been warned and may God be with ya. :)
:D



I have to agree there.


Iwould of changed JJB to a normal acting character. The whole aura of his character was ridiculous. He was like a short bus student. The Anakin flying to save the day was over the top. Could have been better. It was like it was completely dumb luck he did that. Also, a little less time spent on Tatooine.

Other than that Icant think of much else.

stillakid
04-01-2004, 11:16 AM
Oh, lord, JJR, you've opened up Pandor'a Box for some members of SSG. You've been warned and may God be with ya. :)




;)


Seriously, the list of necessary changes is too extensive to get into. There are problems from the opening scroll through the finale almost non-stop. The film is a mess and needs a complete overhaul.

Remake anyone? :sur:

2-1B
04-01-2004, 01:50 PM
I would have cast Hayden Christensen as Anakin. He was about 15 or 16 when they shot TPM and I think he could have played age 14 or whatever . . . it would have worked quite nicely and just like with Natalie Portman, they could have still made a 10 year leap in the storyline and he could have then played 24 or 25 when he was 19 in real life.

:)

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-01-2004, 05:36 PM
I think the movie overall is great, but there are a few things.
*Poop/fart jokes. No more! They also seemed to always center around Jar Jar as well, which was kinda dumb and made his character worse.
*Jar Jar. He wasn't really too horrible, but he didn't have to be such an idiot some times. Like in the battle and the first part with him.
*Darth Maul. He was cool and all, and he was important to the storyline (return of the Sith), but only in the movie for like two minutes. He should've had more screentime.

jjreason
04-01-2004, 06:59 PM
You've touched on one of my pet peeves, JabbaJohnL. The colloquialisms in prequel dialogue have sent me on more than one e-tirade in my short time at these (and other) online discussion hubs.

I think Star Wars had so much appeal to me in my earlier years because there's no tie-in to the world we exist in, other than the human-like appearance of the main characters. Declarations like "That's Gotta Hurt!!!!!" only detract from my ability to keep SW separate from "real life". The least they could do is try to come up with something a little more unique (like "WIZARD!!!!!" for example :rolleyes: - which bit, but at least it wasn't heard 1000 times per night on sports highlight shows).

JediTricks
04-01-2004, 07:49 PM
Apparently, "Wizard" is not original at all, it was something kids exclaimed like that in the '40s and '50s.

Pardon my merging, but this thread is very similar to another recent thread, "Could TPM be saved?"

Also, I think this other thread speaks a lot to what should have been done differently: http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=3896

Finally, a looong time ago, in '99 or 2000, we had a thread like this and I had a looooooooong list of changes and edits, but those forums are no more and I really wish I had saved that post. However, the thread's actual intentions were to get an all-new film concept, not just mere changes, so I did save that post and here it is:

If forced to pitch a trilogy, I'd have made Ep 1 start 25 years before ANH, with Obi-Wan not yet training Anakin as his padawan.

A mid-30s Obi-Wan would start off the film splitting away from the Jedi council, all of whom are refusing to help the republic and specifically Alderraan in the clone war. While Obi-Wan is en route to Alderraan, we learn of the plight of the Queen of Naboo, the young queen who's body of advisors have created the clones to create war. However, the queen is greatly opposed to this, but tricked into going along by the senator who represents the Naboo system and is secretly an evil Sith master who is manipulating all of Naboo's governing officials. Obi-Wan goes off to help Bail Organa, who makes the Jedi knight a general for all his good advice and leading of troops into battle. During one of these ground-to-space battles, Obi-Wan encounters a freighter with R2-D2 and C-3PO as 2 of the ship's many droids, and a co-pilot named Anakin Skywalker, a brash young man in his early-to-mid teens who's a fantastic pilot, has a quick temper... and has something extra special about him. Obi-Wan pairs up with Anakin and they go off to fight the rest of the clone war, and during this, they get split up sometime towards the middle of the film just as Obi-Wan is explaining to Anakin why the Jedi knight feels Anakin would make a great Jedi with the right training. When split up, Obi-Wan is forced to battle some young men who have decided to take upon themselves to make lightsabers and learn the ways of the Force without any guidance or real skill, and end up becoming dark Jedi, some with lots of raw power, some with little talent, but all fairly dangerous. As Obi-Wan battles these youngsters (one of whom could be extra lucky and could be Boba Fett... perhaps), Anakin finds out about the Queen being opposed to the clone war and learns something even more shocking, the Queen is targeted for assassination by someone within her government because she is the only person who can bring peace to this conflict. As Anakin and Obi-Wan reunite, Anakin explains the situation to his new friend and they go racing off to Naboo to save this young Queen and hopefully bring about the end of the war. At this point, we learn more about Senator Palpatine's devious plot to manipulate every side of the republic in order to get to power, but the Jedi order are not as easily controlled and Palpatine discusses some of these issues with his puppets back on Naboo. While en route to Naboo, Obi-Wan starts teaching Anakin the ways of the Force, and finds that teaching is not quite as simple as it seemed when he was younger. Once Anakin brings the ship he and his new Jedi master are on out of Hyperspace, he has to carefully maneuver the freighter safely onto the planet without detection, another feat of piloting skill. When on the planet, our two heroes make their way to the capital city of Naboo and come across security droid and clone resistance before actually getting near the queen. Once in the bustling Theed palace marketplace, a courtyard full of droids and traders of all walks of life, we see that Obi-Wan is quite adept at more than just the lightsaber as he exercises his mastery of the Jedi arts to convince traders to help our duo learn more as they sneak about. Finally, they learn about a public gathering in the marketplace where the Queen will make one of her regular appearances, and this gathering will be the place of her assassination, which will then be blamed on Alderraan with the assistance of Senator Palpatine and his pawns, the governing advisors and heads of Naboo. This part is building with suspense and action as our two heroes first attempt to sneak closer to save the queen, and then when they fail that way, remove their disguises and begin the hard fight against the well-armed and well-trained Naboo Royal Security Forces, as well as their clone and droid reinforcements. Obi-Wan believes he may have found out where the assassin is, and sends Anakin, with blasters in-hand, to defend the queen while the Jedi knight goes after the assassin. The scene hits a fevered pitch as we see Anakin first try to avoid hurting as many people as he can, and then just gets desperate when he feels his time running out, while Obi-Wan simultaneously tracks his prey, destroying enemy clones and droids as he hunts the hunter. Finally, Anakin reaches the Queen and quickly explains the situation as best he can, and there's an instant attraction between the two teenagers, although the sense of immanent doom is lurking. As Obi-Wan climbs the catwalks of the surrounding buildings of the marketplace, leaping huge distances in a stealthy manner, Anakin senses danger much closer than the assassin out on the outskirts, but isn't sure what to do, and panics. Just then, Obi-Wan finds the assassin, but the assassin is well-armed and gives the Jedi Master a real battle. As Obi-Wan battles, Anakin springs forward just as several of the Queen's closest advisors turn on her when they realize that the assassination isn't going as planned. Anakin fights hard and furious, while Obi-Wan fights equally hard, but calm as he is secretly moving the assassin out of position. Eventually, Anakin and the Queen have to take to the crowd as the Naboo Security Forces are loyal to Palpatine's people and turn on the Queen. Anakin and the Queen race through the crowd, deftly dodging blaster fire and staying low, for a moment getting separated but quickly meeting back up. The scene stays with Anakin and the Queen as they get corralled towards a dead-end, and just as Anakin starts becoming totally unable to keep the enemy forces at bay, Obi-Wan drops out of the building from 50 feet above and saves his new padawan and the young Queen he's defending. The film ends with Anakin and Obi-Wan bringing the Queen and Bail Organa together to end the clone wars, and Obi-Wan sending a message to the Jedi council about the dark Jedi-poser youth he encountered and the new padawan learner he's taken as his charge.

jjreason
04-03-2004, 01:46 PM
Yeah, I guess with those "minor tweaks" the story would have come off a little differently..... :D

stillakid
04-03-2004, 08:05 PM
Not bad, JT. Just about anything would be better than the garbage GL inflicted upon us, but your storyline is far more interesting and conforms to the original continuity.

The 'Xir
04-03-2004, 10:58 PM
Ya got some cool Ideas there JT, but there's really no climax to your story, nothing of any real importance atleast! If it was discovered that Palpatines treachery went so far as that he had a secret temple or layer where he was training these dark warriors and Anakin and Ben and company end up destorying it that would be a climax/conclusion! There's got to be a goal to achieve for the heros, and Anakin and Ben saving the queen isn't that much of a goal, interms of a movies climax! It obviously is important for the overall story, but not for a dramatic climactic endind scene!

rbaumhauer
04-04-2004, 12:54 PM
JT - as stillakid said, some really good ideas in your outline, and just about anything would beat what we actually got. Thanks for posting that.

'Xir - I understand what you're trying to get at, but the (generally-acknowledged) best SW movie, ESB, lacks any such climax, and doesn't seem to hurt too badly for it. Everybody knew there was almost certainly another chapter coming, and that's even more certain with the Prequels, so why do we need to have a big "Rah Rah" ending, especially when the PT is the story of the fall of Anakin Skywalker? What are we supposed to be cheering for?

One of the things that a lot of fans of the PT like to say when the individual movies is criticized is,"We haven't seen the whole thing yet - wait for Ep3, and Lucas' genius will be clear for all to see!" Well, if each of the PT movies isn't complete unto itself, why does George find it so irresistable to give them a BIG CLIMAX? And further, once he's decided to give them a big climax, why have those climaxes been so lame (little Ani's accidental destruction of the Droid Control Ship, and Yoda's idiotic saber duel with Dooku)? Might the movies have been better without the necessity of building to a big ending?

Rick

stillakid
04-04-2004, 03:46 PM
JT - as stillakid said, some really good ideas in your outline, and just about anything would beat what we actually got. Thanks for posting that.

'Xir - I understand what you're trying to get at, but the (generally-acknowledged) best SW movie, ESB, lacks any such climax, and doesn't seem to hurt too badly for it. Everybody knew there was almost certainly another chapter coming, and that's even more certain with the Prequels, so why do we need to have a big "Rah Rah" ending, especially when the PT is the story of the fall of Anakin Skywalker? What are we supposed to be cheering for?

One of the things that a lot of fans of the PT like to say when the individual movies is criticized is,"We haven't seen the whole thing yet - wait for Ep3, and Lucas' genius will be clear for all to see!" Well, if each of the PT movies isn't complete unto itself, why does George find it so irresistable to give them a BIG CLIMAX? And further, once he's decided to give them a big climax, why have those climaxes been so lame (little Ani's accidental destruction of the Droid Control Ship, and Yoda's idiotic saber duel with Dooku)? Might the movies have been better without the necessity of building to a big ending?

Rick

Agreed. One of the most perplexing moments in the Prequels thus far has been that phony parade at the end of TPM. Obviously a lame attempt to copy the hoopla we had at the finale of ANH, but that made sense in terms of the storyline. TPM ending was nonsense from beginning to end. Yeah yeah, I get it, the Gungans and the humans now accept each other. Exciting. :rolleyes:

As an addendum to all of this George bashing, I will tell you via inside information that George nixed the newest Indy script not because he didn't like it, but out of spite towards the writer that Spielberg had chosen. It just so happens to be the same guy (Academy Award nominated) that was up to write TPM originally but turned down Lucas's non-union deal. Bottom line is that George is willing to let quality suffer just so he can have the final word on his dealings with "Hollywood." He's officially lost it. What a moron. :ermm:

rbaumhauer
04-04-2004, 04:06 PM
Control! Control! He must have control!

:)

The 'Xir
04-04-2004, 04:46 PM
Rbaum - Why do we need it? You said it yourself because it's the first movie! There are writing rules or guidelines that a writer follows and certain dramatic licenses that are included depending on the genre of story! George has establisehd very early on that the first act in a trilogy you set up your charcters story, and there's a conclusion to the situation the charcters find themselves in. The second act -you put them in the worst trouble they could get into, and use the cliffhanger device to set up the next movie. Then in the third act they get out of that trouble and the climax resolves the overall story arc!
However, the third act of the PT will be a little different although should generally follow these guidelines, if George truely knows what he's doing! It's gonna be weird to understand, because the first question you have is how can the heros get out of trouble and have a happy ending/climax when we know everything around them is dark and falling apart? Well, at first obviously we have the twins births representing the New Hope. The second is our core group of heros survive! I know that sounds like a strech but it's true! Well you ask what about Padme and Anakin? Padme is simpler to explain, despite being the main character/protaganist within the prequels themselves, because you have the sacrafice device to explain her situation. She sacrafices her life so that her children can live on, much in the way Luke tried to sacrafice himself to save his friends from what he might become in ESB. So that in and of itself concludes her story in a positive way!
Anakin is tougher to understand, because you have to look at it from three different angles. Within the arc of the story itself, the arc of PT and the overall arc of the saga. First, the arc of the story, he's a secondary character to Padme(the protaganist), and therefore can be killed off to isolate and help make Padme's heroic decision. 2) The prequel arc will also be resolved much in the same manner, but doesn't end in a positive way because he doesn't fufil his secondary story of fufilling the prohecy. That is because it IS fufiled in the overall Arc of the saga. It's a positive veiwpoint for him because we he lives on/survives as Darth Vader. So he thinks he's chosing a way out that's better for himself by leaving/destorying the Jedi who he feels are corrupt and joining the Sith/Dark Side.
This will also show how Goerges genius but sometimes overplayed idea of repeating themes like music within his saga WILL work, because in the final chapter of the prequels you have Padme sacraficing her life for her children, and in the final act of the OT and overall saga Anakin also sacrafices himself for his son/children!!!

Now, we just have to hope that George is thinking the same things and our Saga will be complete, so even the naysayers will be satisfied!!! :nerv:

jjreason
04-04-2004, 06:48 PM
If there is any sort of parade, awards ceremony, celebration or any other tidy-like "feel good" ending to Episode III, I will be starting this thread in that movies' section. And that's all I'll say about that.

JediTricks
04-04-2004, 07:06 PM
Ya got some cool Ideas there JT, but there's really no climax to your story, nothing of any real importance atleast! If it was discovered that Palpatines treachery went so far as that he had a secret temple or layer where he was training these dark warriors and Anakin and Ben and company end up destorying it that would be a climax/conclusion! There's got to be a goal to achieve for the heros, and Anakin and Ben saving the queen isn't that much of a goal, interms of a movies climax! It obviously is important for the overall story, but not for a dramatic climactic endind scene! No climax? On the personal level, Obi-Wan ends up saving Ani & the Queen, and on the galactic level, Obi-Wan and Ani bring an end to the current clone conflict and thwart Palpatine's plot to frame Alderaan as galactic villain. I agree that there are elements that aren't wrapped up, but there are 3 prequels to be had - ANH only ends the threat of the Death Star and strengthen the Rebellion, but the Galactic Empire is still in full force throughout the galaxy at the end of that film and Luke isn't a Jedi yet. The whole galaxy's problems aren't tied up in a neat little package at the end of ANH or ESB, only the immediate situations for the characters are brought to a head at the ends of those films whether it's successes or failures. I felt my characters' main driving motivations - to end the clone wars - was brought to climax in this tale, but there were underlying issues they had not even begun to battle that probably would have been set-ups plot points for the 2 sequels.

To be honest, I'm secretly a little flattered by your comment, it seems as if there was enough in my outline to whet your appetite for more of that story.



Stilla, I thought you had read that outline of mine before, is that incorrect? Maybe I'm getting it confused with my long "Qui-Gon wrong about midichlorians but having his faith in them shape actions that had him father Ani" post.

stillakid
04-04-2004, 09:22 PM
Stilla, I thought you had read that outline of mine before, is that incorrect? Maybe I'm getting it confused with my long "Qui-Gon wrong about midichlorians but having his faith in them shape actions that had him father Ani" post.

We've been at this so long I'm getting confused as to who suggested what and when. Sorry. :ermm: One day, when I have the time and energy, I'd like to consolidate all the great ideas everyone has had and rewrite the Prequels and publish the screenplays here. While I'm not sure of that old adage that a thousand monkeys could type up a script, I think that our collective minds here have the capability to vastly improve the filmic tragedy that is the Star Wars Prequels. :D


George has establisehd very early on that the first act in a trilogy you set up your charcters story, and there's a conclusion to the situation the charcters find themselves in.


As far as the "form" of writing a trilogy, George only wrapped up ANH because he didn't have any idea if the saga would continue beyond that one film. Had it been the only one, the hint that the Empire was still out there would remain, however the finality of the Rebel victory at Yavin would have been enough to suggest to viewers that the tide had turned and the Rebellion would soon enough take down Vader and this Emperor who was so briefly mentioned.

In Lucas's zest to copy (mirror) the OT, he attempted to "wrap up" Episode I with a goofy celebration when there was no motivation to do so. The parade was a ripoff (Dinotopia) farce. As many others have suggested, Episode I had very little purpose other than to introduce our principal characters. This was a feat that could have easily been accomplished in about 15 minutes. After that, the events (sort of) of AOTC could have kicked in. The galactic conflict would be established and the ending of our new hypothetical Episode I wouldn't be so "celebratory." But then again, we're essentially dealing with Expanded Universe material here with George's new reimaginings so anything goes. I think that every episode should end with a kegger from here on out! :smoker:

2-1B
04-04-2004, 11:02 PM
stillakid, what writer ?

Darabont ?

The 'Xir
04-04-2004, 11:28 PM
In Lucas's zest to copy (mirror) the OT, he attempted to "wrap up" Episode I with a goofy celebration when there was no motivation to do so

So with this same thinking then there was no motivation to have the end celebration in ANH either, Is that what your saying Stilla? I mean by your thinking, all they did was blow up the Death Star, it was just a tactical military victory! The empire wasn't destroyed so why were they celebrating? I mean atleast in TPM, the Nubians had reason to celebrate, they liberated their home planet by defeating the TF droid army, and found a new ally in the Gungans!

stillakid
04-05-2004, 12:35 AM
So with this same thinking then there was no motivation to have the end celebration in ANH either, Is that what your saying Stilla? I mean by your thinking, all they did was blow up the Death Star, it was just a tactical military victory! The empire wasn't destroyed so why were they celebrating? I mean atleast in TPM, the Nubians had reason to celebrate, they liberated their home planet by defeating the TF droid army, and found a new ally in the Gungans!

There was absolutely motivation to celebrate in ANH. I suppose more specifically, the details of the ANH celebration make sense whereas what occurs in that cartoon in TPM is confusing nonsense. In ANH, there is an Olympic style award ceremony congratulating the individuals who directly saved the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people. In TPM, the humans give a glowing ball to the lizard people because..... :ermm: ? What praytell is that all about? It makes no sense.

jjreason
04-05-2004, 01:27 AM
Because - although it's not really explained with any great aplomb onscreen - the relationship between the Gungans and Nabooans until that battle for the fate of the planet had been a cool one at best. The two species did not cohabitate, from what we saw, and almost certainly would not be capable of interbreeding. There would likely be trade among them - completing the "symbiote circle" Obi Wan speaks of at Otoh Gunga but then never really explains very well.

The victory over the droid army was a joint effort; the Nabooans and Ani winning in the skies above, and the Gungans winning the ground battle. This may have been the first significant task achieved by a Gungan/Nabooan Joint Task Force. In order to signify the achievement, to offer thanks to Gungans, and to lay the groundwork for continued cooperation, Queen Amidala arranges a celebration at Theed and offers Boss Nass a token of her thanks and hopes for the future. It makes perfect sense to me.

2-1B
04-05-2004, 02:35 AM
"Mr. Gorbachev, Boss Nass, tear down that wall."
--George H W Bush Padme Amidala--

The 'Xir
04-05-2004, 10:31 AM
There was absolutely motivation to celebrate in ANH.

I agree as well Stilla, although the Moon of Yavin4 was not inhabited(unless you count the wildlife), so the rebels only saved their own number probably 2-5000!
And for this same reason alone, is why there was a celebration at the end of TPM, because an entire planets population was saved/liberated, ontop of everything JJ said above!
Stilla why can't you just sometimes... :frus: Uugghh... just enjoy the movies for what they are! George isn't saving the world, and he isn't out to make Citizen Kane! It's a fantasy, so let your mind fantasize for a little while! There's nothing wrong with asking for quality, but man I think you nitpick just for the hell of it sometimes!!! :mad:

rbaumhauer
04-05-2004, 10:56 AM
This whole issue is caused by the inherent structural problem of deciding that the Star Wars Saga is really about the "fall and rise of Anakin Skywalker", compounded by the regrettable (but for George, now par for the course) decision to show Anakin as a little boy in Ep1.

He can't base the whole movie around the supposed main character, since he's too young to be really central to the action, so he has to create peripheral main story arcs to fill that space in the story. However, the whole saga is supposed to be about Anakin, so we still have to spend a lot of time building him up, which takes time away from creating any depth in the peripheral story arcs. In what is becoming classic neo-Lucas fashion, the main story (that isn't the Main Story) of Ep1 is just kinda sketched out, hitting all of the expected points in perfunctory fashion - hardly surprising, since that part of the story is really just padding out the movie to begin with.

If Anakin isn't a little boy in Ep1, that problem just disappears - he can be the central character, and there's no need for the meaningless peripheral stories. This doesn't guarantee a better movie, of course - AOTC proves that - but it at least starts the series off on a more solid footing.

Then there's the central issue of Anakin as the Main Character of the saga in the first place. SF author David Brin has written some pretty interesting stuff about Star Wars, particularly back around TPM's release, and it's pretty hard to ignore. If you want to read all of it just Google "David Brin + Star Wars".

To paraphrase - the central idea of the Star Wars saga seems to be the "Redemption of Anakin Skywalker". Just for fun, though, lets transpose the main characters of the Empire to the "real world" equivalent - Germany in the 1930s and 40s. Vader = Himmler. Would we consider Himmler to be "redeemed" if, in spite of all the death camps, we discover that he managed to save his illegitimate Jewish son? Let's throw TPM into the mix - would you feel any differently about Himmler if you found out that he was a relatively "normal, happy" kid?

stillakid
04-05-2004, 11:06 AM
I agree as well Stilla, although the Moon of Yavin4 was not inhabited(unless you count the wildlife), so the rebels only saved their own number probably 2-5000!
And for this same reason alone, is why there was a celebration at the end of TPM, because an entire planets population was saved/liberated, ontop of everything JJ said above!
Stilla why can't you just sometimes... :frus: Uugghh... just enjoy the movies for what they are! George isn't saving the world, and he isn't out to make Citizen Kane! It's a fantasy, so let your mind fantasize for a little while! There's nothing wrong with asking for quality, but man I think you nitpick just for the hell of it sometimes!!! :mad:


Chill. ;)

I brought the number of lives "saved" up because once the Death Star had finished off Yavin, it would undoubtedly move on to blow up more planets, so actually, I underestimated the lives that Luke and Co. saved.

The Naboo "conflict" was even less bloody than a day at Chucky Cheese. The "battle hardened" :rolleyes: Federation Army (droids, mind you) were defeated time and time again both by their stupidity (keeping pilots "captive" right next to their fighters. What the hell was that about?) and by their inability to fight as seen everytime they go against the Jedi. The clumsy water creatures even manage to hold them off for quite some time.

There are so many "nitpicky" things that are just so stoooopid in TPM that it's impossible to just "enjoy it for what it is." I absolutely can't fathom how anyone can do it. Do you traipse through normal life just ignoring the "nitpicky" details that just aren't right? How about those morons that cut in front of you on the highway? Or what about the dipsh**s who don't know their arse from a hole in the ground when you deal with them in your business or when you need a service or buy something at retail? Why don't we all just ignore those "nitpicky" moments too and just "enjoy" it all? I don't get it.

So no, I don't just "nitpick" for the hell of it. It's not "nitpicking" at all. It's called literary comprehension...recognizing and understanding why a story works and why it doesn't. Nitpicking would be taking a situation like, say, the Trash Compactor sequence in ANH and pounding away at why Chewy didn't get wet. Obviously they probably only had one Chewy costume and it didn't make financial sense to destroy it for a relatively minor detail. Sure, we could rip on it for being "innaccurate," but you know it doesn't really impact the story so much so there isn't any point. But so much of the nonsense that occurs in TPM is just downright whacked that I'm beginning to admire those with the constitution that enables them to "ignore it and just enjoy it for what it is." Where can I buy some of those blinders? :cool:

stillakid
04-05-2004, 11:20 AM
To paraphrase - the central idea of the Star Wars saga seems to be the "Redemption of Anakin Skywalker". Just for fun, though, lets transpose the main characters of the Empire to the "real world" equivalent - Germany in the 1930s and 40s. Vader = Himmler. Would we consider Himmler to be "redeemed" if, in spite of all the death camps, we discover that he managed to save his illegitimate Jewish son? Let's throw TPM into the mix - would you feel any differently about Himmler if you found out that he was a relatively "normal, happy" kid?


Yeah, one of my biggest beefs with the Prequels thus far is what we don't see. That is, the period between the smiling "Richie Cunningham" Jake Lloyd Anakin and the angst ridden bipolar Hayden Anakin. We are expected to believe (because of more "talk") that Hayden-Ani is headed down the dark path because:

A) Obi Wan is "holding him back," though we never ever see any examples of this. Not only that, but when he is chastised by Padme about his incessent whining he admits that he is wrong, yet he continues to do it anyway.

B) His mother is in trouble and the Jedi (Obi Wan) are keeping him from rescuing her. Bullsh**. Never does anyone keep him from going anywhere. That's a fantasy that he makes up in his own mind. Not once did he say, "Obi Wan, my mom's in trouble, I can feel it...I have to go help her." Had he done that and Obi Wan replied with a "No," then there would be a case for this point, but alas it never happened.

C) His fragile ego needs stroking and he falls into the wrong crowd. This DOES happen as Palpatine recognizes the weakness of this bipolar teen and capitalizes on it.

D) Anakin is a teenager therefore we are expected to see any "normal" teen act out and be irrational because that's what they do. Really? ALL teens do this? Not necessarily. More to the point, this isn't a "teenager," it's a fictional character who represents a point of view toward the story. He isn't an island unto himself. His actions (and non-actions) not only are reactions to the story...they are the story.

So if Anakin suddenly appears to be angst ridden after being introduced as a happy-go-lucky character in Andy Griffith, then the audience deserves to see the events that got him there. Sure, we could "use our imaginations" to fill in the blanks and make excuses for poor writing. Why not? Why don't we just start doing that with all poorly written literature and other "bad" movies? How about we start an "apology" thread for all bad flicks? With a little imagination, there wouldn't be such a thing as a stinker. Then we could all enjoy movies "for what they are."

CropDuster
04-05-2004, 02:07 PM
The victory over the droid army was a joint effort; the Nabooans and Ani winning in the skies above, and the Gungans winning the ground battle. This may have been the first significant task achieved by a Gungan/Nabooan Joint Task Force. In order to signify the achievement, to offer thanks to Gungans, and to lay the groundwork for continued cooperation, Queen Amidala arranges a celebration at Theed and offers Boss Nass a token of her thanks and hopes for the future. It makes perfect sense to me.

lol Maybe my memory is failing, but I do not recall the Gungans "winning" any ground war. As I recall their army was losing badly and on the retreat when Ani saved them by accidentally torpedoing the Federation control ship. (Not a very impressive ground victory by the Gungan army.)

JediTricks
04-05-2004, 04:33 PM
First off, the "Nubians" are not in any of the films, they are not the Naboo people, the Nubians live in the Nubia system and build high-end starships - one of which was bought by Naboo and customized into the gleaming chrome Naboo Royal Starship.




Because - although it's not really explained with any great aplomb onscreen - the relationship between the Gungans and Nabooans until that battle for the fate of the planet had been a cool one at best. The two species did not cohabitate, from what we saw, and almost certainly would not be capable of interbreeding. There would likely be trade among them - completing the "symbiote circle" Obi Wan speaks of at Otoh Gunga but then never really explains very well. IMO, here's a direct failure of the story to get a point across - the Gungans already have trade with the Naboo, that's the point of the Gungan sub, why it's got a bunch of square containers in the side pods and why the Jedi mention the symbiosis of the two societies. The depdendence the Gungans and Naboo have on each other is never fleshed out to any importance, yet used as a pawn in Lucas's morality tale about overcoming racism. Therefore, the parade celebrating the Gungans and Naboo building a bridge and defeating the invading embargo force from the Trade Federation has no real weight either because what is essentially a key plot point is hidden behind pointless antics and nigh-unfathomable dialogue.



Maybe my memory is failing, but I do not recall the Gungans "winning" any ground war. As I recall their army was losing badly and on the retreat when Ani saved them by accidentally torpedoing the Federation control ship. (Not a very impressive ground victory by the Gungan army.)The victory for the Gungans was that they sacrificed many of their warriors to distract the bulk of the Trade Federation army outside of the city of Theed while the Queen's forces used that distraction to invade the palace. Convoluted perhaps, but it was "explained" in the film with a few loose strands of dialogue. IMO, that is another thing that we really don't feel driven home at the end of the film, we just get a Disneyland parade complete with that level of music (even though it is a Disneyized version of the Emperor's theme).


You know what I'd change? The title, from "Star Wars" to:
Trade Embargoes: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

;)

The 'Xir
04-06-2004, 12:01 AM
:rolleyes: I don't know why I bother, I must like the abuse or something!

I'll just say that IMO the end celebration is fine, it works, and in the end it really isn't that big of a deal for me to argue anyways! I like TPM just as it is!

Now, I would agree/mention that I'd change some things about AotC! But I don't like the Abuse that much. ;)

jjreason
04-07-2004, 12:08 PM
I would agree that the Gungans didn't defeat the droid army in that battle - but the end result has them on the winning side. They did their job, they drew the brunt of the invasion force away from Theed so the small assault team could get to Nemoidian leaders.

stillakid
04-07-2004, 08:45 PM
I would agree that the Gungans didn't defeat the droid army in that battle - but the end result has them on the winning side. They did their job, they drew the brunt of the invasion force away from Theed so the small assault team could get to Nemoidian leaders.


You mean the way that only 2 Jedi managed to sneak into the exact same city just days before and escape with the Queen and her entourage? Yeah, they really needed the lizards to help with that one. :rolleyes:

jjreason
04-08-2004, 05:35 PM
I don't think the entire invasion force was landed at that point, Stilla. By the time the final battle takes place the droid army on the ground is far larger. The garrison at Theed was obviously more fortified near the end - the tanks patrolling the streets are evidence of that. The Gungans drew a massive amount of might away from the palace, giving the Jedi a chance to succeed. The presence of Darth Maul likely caused some overconfidence on the Nemoidians behalf (at least in terms of their feeling of security in the palace), so sending most of the force to "wipe (the Gungans) out...... all of them" likely seemed safe.

It can be argued all day: there are certainly more instances where we're forced to think for ourselves if we want to successfully suspend disbelief watching episode I. I choose to do so, you obviously don't. That's too bad because I think there's some pretty good Star Wars action in that movie, and I still take quite a bit of pleasure in watching it.

stillakid
04-08-2004, 06:33 PM
I don't think the entire invasion force was landed at that point, Stilla.
Says who?


By the time the final battle takes place the droid army on the ground is far larger.
same question


The garrison at Theed was obviously more fortified near the end - the tanks patrolling the streets are evidence of that.
Really? Then if that's the case, why weren't those tanks sent to defend the cities against the invading Gungan threat?

Even if we accept that logic, you still have a case where a few guys can easily slip past that "security" and get into the flight hangar. That was illustrated twice.


The Gungans drew a massive amount of might away from the palace, giving the Jedi a chance to succeed. The presence of Darth Maul likely caused some overconfidence on the Nemoidians behalf (at least in terms of their feeling of security in the palace), so sending most of the force to "wipe (the Gungans) out...... all of them" likely seemed safe.
That's assuming that the Jedi wouldn't have been able to make it into the palace if all that security had been in place in the first place. I still disagree with your assumption above. You're essentially suggesting that the invading Federation ships did not initially congregate around the capital city first in a massive show of force to take the government down. You want me to use a little imagination to fill in some blanks, there you go. We don't see this massive invasion force (or really any other signs of warfare either :rolleyes: ), but doesn't it stand to reason that even the most moronic of enemies would send the brunt of their forces toward the primary objective first? True, we see a ton of ships land on the complete OPPOSITE side of the planet (no doubt so that GL could get the Jedi in proximity to the lizard people), but there are no cities over there to attack. What the hell is that all about? Well, I explained it in the parenthesis above. GL needed the Gungans introduced for two reasons: The first is so that GL has the excuse to toss out his lame "symbiotic circle" nonsense and the second offers the possibility of his now-favorite "3 pronged attack" filmic style.



It can be argued all day: there are certainly more instances where we're forced to think for ourselves if we want to successfully suspend disbelief watching episode I. I choose to do so, you obviously don't. That's too bad because I think there's some pretty good Star Wars action in that movie, and I still take quite a bit of pleasure in watching it.

Yeah, that's all I'm saying. THINK for yourself. Why are all these excuses being made to make up for lousy writing? Why does the invading army land on the polar opposite side of the planet from where they should be? In what universe does that make sense? How can you enjoy a story that employs nonsense like that from beginning to end?

I can suspend disbelief as much as the next guy. But there is a distinct difference between being drawn into a story completely and being asked to fill in the blanks for a lazy filmmaker. "Rationalizing" is not the same thing as "thinking."

JediTricks
04-08-2004, 06:33 PM
JJ is right, the city is much more heavily fortified by the time of the final battle, this is why the Trade Fed's battleships have all left orbit. Unfortunately, I feel that the movie doesn't really explain this very well, probably a major thing I'd change in the film is to better explain what the Trade Fed is doing there, how their actions are more detremental than a simple trade embargo, how their armies eventually take over Naboo and thus don't need their battleships, and how the Gungan and Theed forces work together to distract the Trade Fed droid armies.

stillakid
04-08-2004, 06:42 PM
JJ is right, the city is much more heavily fortified by the time of the final battle.

See above. You also are suggesting that the Federation didn't attack Theed with a strong force initially? We're to believe that the force in the city at the end of the movie is more than what they would have attacked with in the beginning? Ahhhh, .... no. True, we do see a spare tank or two at the end, but even then like the beginning, it's not like we got to see a wide expanse of Theed at any time and all the "atrocities" :rolleyes: that the "battle-hardened Federation army" (droids) :rolleyes: were committing against the "thousands" of Nabooians :rolleyes: . It stands to reason that the army in the beginning was larger in Theed than at the end. Therefore, if a couple of Jedi could slip in, steal the Queen back (and her entourage), and escape the planet, then certainly a small group could more easily slip in at the end of the movie.

The logic is there.

JediTricks
04-08-2004, 07:02 PM
When our Jedi heroes arrive at Theed, Trade Fed troops are still marching towards the city in GREAT numbers, the queen and her local forces are still being rounded up, things are still at the relatively early stages. After the Jedi get the queen and her group off the planet, the Trade Fed forces eventually round up every Naboo and drive off all the Gungans, then set up camps and occupy the capital city of Theed. Only then does the queen strike a deal with the Gungans so they'll distract the Trade Fed forces by massing the Gungan forces well outside of Theed (on a nice, empty, grassy plain - nice locale choice George :P ) and convincing the Trade Fed forces to leave the city and engage the Gungans, leaving only a small number of Trade Fed droids to defend the city and its current Neimoidian masters. This is explained in the film, but only barely and mostly through vague dialogue.

stillakid
04-08-2004, 08:07 PM
When our Jedi heroes arrive at Theed, Trade Fed troops are still marching towards the city in GREAT numbers,

From the other side of the planet, no doubt. ;) Even then, if we are to accept this idea (based on onscreen shots) that the Federation is that dumb that they aimed their ships to the wrong side of the ball, we are to believe that the Jedi made it through the planet core before the Federation Army realized that their maps were waaayyyyy off and got back on the right freeway toward Theed? Why wouldn't the Federation just load the trucks (ships) back up and fly over to the correct side of Naboo? We are to believe that they took the long and lazy way over? That would have taken months! :sur:

jjreason
04-08-2004, 08:07 PM
I don't ever remember hearing that the invasion force landed on "the polar opposite" side of the planet. They landed the largest ships in the more rural areas due to their size, it wouldn't be feasible to land the entire force in the city - where would you do it? They lead force would land close and occupy the city - uncontested from what we know. That explains the lack of signs of warfare. The Naboo politicians say outright that they can't hope to contest the droid army as they only have "security volunteers" or some such thing. There was no fight, they occupied Theed with no resistance and then continued to land the occupation force outside the city to fortify their position.

I don't imagine the Gungans would have done much about the occupation had Amidala not approached them for help, I get the idea that they were pretty self sufficient under the water's surface (and relatively uncaring about the plight of the surface dwellers).

Again, there's no real point in explaining everything. Either you like it or you don't - either you're willing to fill in the blanks or you're not. I like the movie for what it is, I'm not claiming it's the best movie I've ever seen or even the best movie in this series and I'm certainly not trying to convince you to like it, Stilla. My head's not that hard. :D

stillakid
04-09-2004, 11:47 AM
I'm not claiming it's the best movie I've ever seen or even the best movie in this series and I'm certainly not trying to convince you to like it, Stilla. My head's not that hard. :D


I think that I'm being misunderstood...as usual. I appreciate that people can find enjoyment in whatever they choose, be it the Prequels or Nirvana or whatever. This isn't my attempt to convince anyone to not like something. This is merely a discussion (series of discussions) which attempt to explore plot points and character in the films themselves, what works, what doesn't and why each is so.

I too can shut my eyes and "enjoy movies for what they are" when I feel so compelled. I do it often with films like ID4 or even something like Field of Dreams. But some movies are so offbase with inconsistencies and holes (like the Prequels films) that it becomes far too distracting while watching them to have to constantly fill in the gaps every 30 seconds.

Particularly in the wake of such well crafted films like the OT, the Prequels then beg for critique to figure out what went wrong and how, perhaps, such mistakes could be avoided in future endeavors.

:)

stillakid
04-09-2004, 11:56 AM
I don't ever remember hearing that the invasion force landed on "the polar opposite" side of the planet. They landed the largest ships in the more rural areas due to their size, it wouldn't be feasible to land the entire force in the city - where would you do it?


Well, Qui Gon and Co. have to take a submarine through the middle of the planet to get to where they wanted to go in the first place. This suggests that they landed on the opposite side of the planet from Theed. We SEE that the invasion force there lands in the middle of the woods.

We also learn from Jar Jar when asked about civilization that the nearest city is his own underwater city. This suggests that they, and the Federation invasion force, is nowhere near any human settlements.

This begs the question, why did the Federation bother landing so many ships out in the middle of nowhere so far away from any viable targets?

The obvious answer is that George simply needed to have the Jedi and Jar Jar meet so that he could have the Gungans join up with the battle at the end of the movie. No meeting, no 3 pronged battle. It was merely a convenience of fiction. Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with that, but when that convenience has no logical support, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The Federation clearly had no reason to land so many of their forces in what amounts to backwater Naboo. The Federation didn't necessarily know that Naboo wouldn't resist so logically they should have landed nearly everything they had near Theed in the initial invasion. "Enjoy it for what it is" all you want, it still makes absolutely no sense.

JediTricks
04-09-2004, 03:06 PM
Even then, if we are to accept this idea (based on onscreen shots) that the Federation is that dumb that they aimed their ships to the wrong side of the ball, we are to believe that the Jedi made it through the planet core before the Federation Army realized that their maps were waaayyyyy off and got back on the right freeway toward Theed? Why wouldn't the Federation just load the trucks (ships) back up and fly over to the correct side of Naboo? We are to believe that they took the long and lazy way over? That would have taken months! :sur:The Trade Fed doesn't just hover above the enemy's captial city and then open the bomb bay doors, dropping their troops and weapons from the sky, as jjreason points out, they start in a staging area in another area and systematically take over the planet with some forces moving against Theed immediately while others sweep the surrounding areas as they then move towards the capital. They are closing in on Theed, pacifying the outskirts while moving inwards.



I don't imagine the Gungans would have done much about the occupation had Amidala not approached them for help, I get the idea that they were pretty self sufficient under the water's surface (and relatively uncaring about the plight of the surface dwellers).Actually, the Trade Fed drove the Gungans out of their underwater cities and into hiding. This is another thing I really wish they had fleshed out a little better or just not written into the film at all because as it is it takes up movie time without rewarding the audience with anything but a quick, barely-intelligible, dialogue-driven explanation.



Again, there's no real point in explaining everything. Either you like it or you don't - either you're willing to fill in the blanks or you're not.I disagree, I don't like it but I did catch what was going on with this (tho' it helped that I saw it a dozen times and read the screenplay, Incredible Cross-Sections, SW.com, and Visual Dictionary).



Well, Qui Gon and Co. have to take a submarine through the middle of the planet to get to where they wanted to go in the first place. This suggests that they landed on the opposite side of the planet from Theed. We SEE that the invasion force there lands in the middle of the woods.That's inaccurate, the invasion force lands on a grassy marsh and then starts systematically sweeping the woods and other areas to roust the locals. Also, the location of the landing is a little confusing because of Lucas' pointless "through the planet core" stuff which turns out not to be through the planet core at all according to multiple sources (this is another thing that has to be fixed in the film), so it could be almost anywhere on the planet.


We also learn from Jar Jar when asked about civilization that the nearest city is his own underwater city. This suggests that they, and the Federation invasion force, is nowhere near any human settlements.
Or it's the only city Jar Jar can think of because he's not that bright and new to the topside world. In either case though, the Trade Fed forces are going to land where nobody will see them, so of course there won't be a nearby Naboo Human city.


This begs the question, why did the Federation bother landing so many ships out in the middle of nowhere so far away from any viable targets?I think because they are most vulnerable to counterattack at the early stages of invasion, and also don't want Theed tipped off to the landings. This doesn't seem like much of a stretch, Amidala even does the same thing when she gets her forces back to Naboo.

stillakid
04-09-2004, 05:31 PM
The Trade Fed doesn't just hover above the enemy's captial city and then open the bomb bay doors, dropping their troops and weapons from the sky, as jjreason points out, they start in a staging area in another area and systematically take over the planet with some forces moving against Theed immediately while others sweep the surrounding areas as they then move towards the capital. They are closing in on Theed, pacifying the outskirts while moving inwards.

Says who?



Actually, the Trade Fed drove the Gungans out of their underwater cities and into hiding. This is another thing I really wish they had fleshed out a little better or just not written into the film at all because as it is it takes up movie time without rewarding the audience with anything but a quick, barely-intelligible, dialogue-driven explanation.

This was indeed an opportunity missed by Lucas.

While it is semi-excusable that we aren't subjected to a city battle that we've all seen a hundred times before in various movies and on the news, it still was necessary to see some kind of conflict between the human locals and the Federation army. Lucas denies the audience any such evidence of conflict. The humans didn't put up a fight at all.

In contrast to this non-event on the surface, how frickin' cool would it have been to see an actual battle take place under water? Not only does it offer another perspective on the variety of geographies that an interstellar army would have to be prepared for, but think of the marketing opportunites in terms of additional toys. :greedy: The point is that while Lucas is merely implying that there are terrible battles taking place on the surface of the planet, he could have illustrated the viciousness of the "battle hardened" Federation Army as they went under the surface to roust the Gungans.



That's inaccurate, the invasion force lands on a grassy marsh and then starts systematically sweeping the woods and other areas to roust the locals. Also, the location of the landing is a little confusing because of Lucas' pointless "through the planet core" stuff which turns out not to be through the planet core at all according to multiple sources (this is another thing that has to be fixed in the film), so it could be almost anywhere on the planet.
It's not innaccurate, according to what's onscreen. The quickest way to Theed, according to Nass, is through the planet core. Ergo, the Jedi and the Federation ships they flew in on are on the other side of the planet. Even if they were only a quarter way round that globe, it's still a considerable distance to travel for anyone. We don't see the kind of firepower in Theed ever that we see landing in the middle of nowhere. Why not?




I think because they are most vulnerable to counterattack at the early stages of invasion, and also don't want Theed tipped off to the landings. This doesn't seem like much of a stretch, Amidala even does the same thing when she gets her forces back to Naboo.
Apples and oranges. Of course Amidala and Co. will land on the outskirts. They're not armed to the teeth. They have to land, get into contact with anybody who might still be alive (after the non-lethal battles :rolleyes: ) and concoct a plan of action. The Federation, on the other hand, has the planet surrounded and has the ability to land innumerable war craft on the surface and come out a'shootin'.

But here's what I don't understand with this odd logic. Why would the Federation bother to slowly move troops into Theed over the course of weeks to fortify it when the Queen isn't there and they've already captured the rest of the government? What would be the point? What are they fortifying against? At no time was the Federation occupation ever threatened by anyone, from land or sky. You have to admit that this concept of "slow" fortification isn't suggested in the film itself. I can see how someone could glue that idea together, but I'm not sure exactly why you would. :confused:

Turambar
04-10-2004, 12:46 AM
There are sooo many things that could have been done better! Honestly, this wasn't that difficult to make into a good, if not great, movie. I really loved E1 after the first several views. But then, after the "star wars" frenzy wore off, it became just an average flick that required mucho FF to get thru. Eventually, there became apparent so many inconsistencies with the Trilogy, that I could no longer enjoy it "for what it is". I haven't viewed it in a long time.

What could have been done differently? Well, prior to the release, every interview of Lucas or McCallum had them blabbing about "parallels" between the Trilogy and the new films. IMO, then, it would have been wise to actually have some of these be obvious. Begin the film with Anakin roughly Luke's age on a strange new world (instead of beating Tatooine to death). Have a trio of main characters to parallel Han Luke & Leia: Obi-Wan Anakin & Padme instead of the 100-some main characters in TPM. Have a love triangly develop to add some interest, some depth to the characters, and some eventual incentive for Anakin to join the dark side. Have a main villain (like Darth Vader) that is actually evil! Darth Maul really never does anything bad other than attacking QG on Tatooine. Have him lead the search for Amidala, throw the choke hold on the goofy trade fed aliens, take out a few nabooians, or HAVE A PERSONALITY! This is a guy with so much potential and his own ship, who Lucas is too incompetent to take advantage of. After viewing E2, I think Count Dooku should have been the sith villain through prequels and just pan the pointless maul altogether. Lee, in his abbreviated screen time gives a much more powerful performance, and somehow, adds depth to his character amidst the cartoons and lack of sets.
Qui-Gon could have played a great role as an Old Ben type of character -- instead of taking all action that Obi-Wan claims to have done in the Trilogy. Have 3po & r2 play the narrators and provide comedy relief instead of defering to roger rabbit.

Another easy change: Lucas & McCallum should have watched the Trilogy to remember the few things they needed to do to make the prequels continuous. I already mentioned the role of Obi-Wan being taken by QG. Display Anakin as a great starpilot -- if not the best. He is a cunning warrior, incredibly strong in the force, and. . . A GOOD FRIEND to Obi-Wan. Come ON! It's not that hard! Have Yoda as Obi-Wan's master. Sure, the vagueness of the Trilogy allows Lucas to change the meaning, but that meaning had stood for 25-some years, and so, carrires more weight than any new garbage that GL wants to add, now. Have Boba Fett be the mysterious bounty hunter of unknown origins. I was the biggest BF fan. The beauty of this character is the mystery. Making the origins known ruins the mystique of such people. Especially when done as poorly as GL did. I laugh at his attempt to show Fett as a copy-cat clone of his father. What about the apprentice that murders Luke's father? Sure, this can be interepreted a zillion ways, but in sure could have led to a creative writer making something mindblowing out of the prequels! Finally, it comes down to something I've written about earlier. Do you want the Trilogy Vader: evil incarnate, posessed with the Dark side of the force; whose savior is a son who believes in him and eventually resurrects him. Or the the Saga Vader: a troubled youth Ani who is driven to the dark side by his environment. A sad case, who lucks himself into the situation he's in, who, for reasons unknown, is wedded by Padme despite knowing he's a psychopath, bipolar, histrionic, borderline, blah, blah, psychiatric goldmine.

It just really changes my perspective of the Trilogy after watching the first to prequels. No, I don't like these new perspectives as much as I don't like Lucas's altering of Han (Greedo shooting first) or the sickening musical added to Rotj. Take out the ridiculous notion of Anakin building 3po, (or Ani living on Tatooine, for that matter). Take away this cheaply done attempt at sci fi known as midic@#%$ that many posts have shown to be bogus. Sure, the special FX aint bad, but they aren't any better than any other action movie these days. I know the Trilogy was heralded for it's special effects at the time. But, somehow, they stumbled onto a deep underlying story that has captured audiences fore decades since. And will continue to do so, likely after Lucas's prequel fiasco has faded away.
To restate a point: The Trilogy stood for over 20 years. For Lucas to arrogantly come in and change the story is ludicrous, and becomes EU to those who choose not to accept the alterations of the story.

chrisc
04-10-2004, 04:22 PM
What would I have done. Killed Jar Jar Binks.

JediTricks
04-11-2004, 10:32 PM
Great post Turambar!

One thing you said reminded me of something I have been thinking about lately, no matter if Ani was 7 or 17, the character should have been played as one of those kids who never got a childhood instead of having a happy childhood as a Tatooine slave. He should have been raised as a little adult, thus stoic but deeply maladjusted at the core, not unlike the Sith Lord he eventually becomes. This would have also supported Vader's cruelty to his son on Bespin while still having a desire to "turn" him to Vader's side, giving him a dysfunctional family internal conflict that is almost entirely overwritten by his drive to be an evil Sith but at the end lets the "good" within save the day in ROTJ.



--------

Says who?Logic, it'd be a very poor strategy since the Battle Droids don't fly, would lose their element of surprise, would be extremely vulnerable as they come down, would not have a centralized force against the natives (especially due to the complicated layout of the Theed streets), and would have to fight their way OUT of the city instead of concentrating their forces inward.



Lucas denies the audience any such evidence of conflict. The humans didn't put up a fight at all.You forget the scene with the soldiers in their gian speeder shooting at an AAT? Barely a nibble, but it IS there.



how frickin' cool would it have been to see an actual battle take place under water? Not only does it offer another perspective on the variety of geographies that an interstellar army would have to be prepared for, but think of the marketing opportunites in terms of additional toys. :greedy:The point is that while Lucas is merely implying that there are terrible battles taking place on the surface of the planet, he could have illustrated the viciousness of the "battle hardened" Federation Army as they went under the surface to roust the Gungans.Yeah, that would have been way better, although the flimsy design of the battle droids probably would have looked even stupider under water. But having the Gungans fight under water, in their cities as the walls cracked around them and flooded out, controlling undersea animals to fight the Trade Fed army, that would have been much more interesting AND given more credibility to the Gungan peoples.

That "battle hardened" line really doesn't work IMO, Lucas is trying to give the Trade Fed forces more of a threatening feel and a slight backstory with that but several EU sources say this is their first actual battle, they've only ever practiced before. If the EU is wrong, then why don't they have better strategies and more ships in orbit?



We don't see the kind of firepower in Theed ever that we see landing in the middle of nowhere. Why not?Where would you put it? Theed is an urban environment, not a lot of massive landing sites in the city itself. Once the city has its contingency of Battle Droids, Destroyer Droids, and AAT tanks, what else do they think they need?

Plus, one could infer there are MTTs in the city streets that then leave to face the Gungans. You can say "well, they didn't show it", and that'd be true, but I already stated that needed fixing.



The Federation, on the other hand, has the planet surrounded and has the ability to land innumerable war craft on the surface and come out a'shootin'.Although the Trade Federation brings a large force, when we see the bulk of their army line up against the Gungans, it's large but not infinite, they have what, 20-30 MTTs full of droids? And these droids don't come out shooting, they are all folded up and have to be activated and coordinated before they can begin the fight. (Of course, maybe the Gungans should have taken the opportunity to attack while they were still being deployed, but the Gungs aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer.)



But here's what I don't understand with this odd logic. Why would the Federation bother to slowly move troops into Theed over the course of weeks to fortify it when the Queen isn't there and they've already captured the rest of the government? What would be the point? What are they fortifying against? At no time was the Federation occupation ever threatened by anyone, from land or sky. Weeks? And once the queen was gone and the Naboo peoples were rounded up and captured, they pulled out many of the original forces leaving a single battleship and ground units to hold the city under Neimoidian control, probably in case the Naboo's trade partners or Trade Fed competitors tried to make a move.



You have to admit that this concept of "slow" fortification isn't suggested in the film itself. I can see how someone could glue that idea together, but I'm not sure exactly why you would. :confused:That's true, it's not in the film, and while we could see how it the idea could be formed, where did I say that's it was a slow fortification? I said that the initial attack on Theed started with smaller forces than what we saw at the end of the film, but I also said that when the Jedi are going into Theed to get Amidala out, we see many Trade Fed forces moving towards the city, and it is this closing of the net that gives Qui-Gon's desire to get the queen out of there such urgency.

Anyway, I'm pretty much done discussing this one with you, it's overtaking this thread which isn't fair.

stillakid
04-12-2004, 01:17 AM
Anyway, I'm pretty much done discussing this one with you, it's overtaking this thread which isn't fair.


Cheers! :)

What would I have done differently? I would have gone with Lucas's original plan and hired the Oscar nominated writer/director he had in mind in the first place to write TPM and AOTC.

JediTricks
04-12-2004, 08:58 PM
I would have fired Rick McCallum and called up Gary Kurtz... to come over and take turns kicking McCallum in the butt. :D

Darkness Shroud
04-13-2004, 01:42 PM
I havent read all the thread so if im jumping on someone elses bandwagon then im really sorry. The only thing i would go back and change now is Yoda. I havent Got a problem with Muppets but the CGI technology we have seen in EP2. The CGI yoda was just mind-blowingly fantastic when i first saw EP2!:)

El Chuxter
04-13-2004, 03:32 PM
One thing that would've helped would be to cut down the stupid coincidences. EVERYTHING in the prequels is directly linked to someone in the original trilogy.

Also, I think the space battle worked at the conceptual stage, though it could've used much better writing. If nothing else, it adds a bit of depth to the scene in ANH where the Imperials insist they're in no danger from the tiny Rebel fighters. . . but Vader remembers another battle with an impenetrable space station and tiny outmanned fighters.

chrisc
04-13-2004, 05:22 PM
[QUOTE=Jon] And Keira Knightly, but that is for a different discussion.

Whats wrong with Keira Knightly? I think she would be classified as the hottest person in Star Wars. Once you get her out of the decoy costume that is.

chrisc
04-13-2004, 05:31 PM
lol Maybe my memory is failing, but I do not recall the Gungans "winning" any ground war. As I recall their army was losing badly and on the retreat when Ani saved them by accidentally torpedoing the Federation control ship. (Not a very impressive ground victory by the Gungan army.)
Didn't the naboo have any type of EMP or thermo nuclear weapons. If you think about it the Star Wars universe is way more advanced than ours so I imagine they would have had a mass droid killing weapon of some sort.

JediTricks
04-14-2004, 08:28 PM
One thing that would've helped would be to cut down the stupid coincidences. EVERYTHING in the prequels is directly linked to someone in the original trilogy.

Also, I think the space battle worked at the conceptual stage, though it could've used much better writing. If nothing else, it adds a bit of depth to the scene in ANH where the Imperials insist they're in no danger from the tiny Rebel fighters. . . but Vader remembers another battle with an impenetrable space station and tiny outmanned fighters.
Nice post chux :p, in one paragraph you say how you don't like all these coincidences (which I agree with) and in the next you point out how much you like the coincidence of Vader drawing a parallel between the 2 battles. ;)


Naboo didn't really have any weaponry of substance, but they also seem to have no exports either so it seems kinda odd that the Trade Federation would give any real attention to that little backwater world.

stillakid
04-14-2004, 11:08 PM
Naboo didn't really have any weaponry of substance, but they also seem to have no exports either so it seems kinda odd that the Trade Federation would give any real attention to that little backwater world.

While we're making stuff up to explain story holes, maybe the Gungans hate the humans because the main export is Gunganburger. :classic:

jjreason
04-15-2004, 12:23 PM
The only reason Naboo was chosen for the blockade was to create sympathy in the senate for Palpatine, the senator of Naboo, so he would receive votes for Supreme Chancellor.

El Chuxter
04-15-2004, 01:16 PM
Nice post chux :p, in one paragraph you say how you don't like all these coincidences (which I agree with) and in the next you point out how much you like the coincidence of Vader drawing a parallel between the 2 battles. ;)

Not exactly. I actually like Lucas' idea of tying the trilogies together, but he goes too far. Details like Anakin's exploits in the Battle of Naboo explaining why he's the only one who sees the danger the Death Star is in are one thing. Vader making C-3PO and winning his freedom on Tatooine in a contest presided over by Jabba the Hutt while Jawas shout "Uttini!" is a bit much. The basic idea of connection isn't bad, but Lucas clearly doesn't know where the "going too far" line is, and boldly (or blindly?) goes several miles beyond it.

JediTricks
04-15-2004, 10:56 PM
While we're making stuff up to explain story holes, maybe the Gungans hate the humans because the main export is Gunganburger. :classic:
I didn't make it up, the Lucasfilm machine allowed it to get into the EU. Did you see any significant weaponry or signs of export?



The only reason Naboo was chosen for the blockade was to create sympathy in the senate for Palpatine, the senator of Naboo, so he would receive votes for Supreme Chancellor.Yes, that is why Palpatine engineered it, but the Trade Federation needed a motive to do it, at least a conveniently plausible reasoning to present to the Republic Senate and/or Courts.


I know what ya mean Chux, I was just pointing out the irony. :D

stillakid
04-16-2004, 01:06 AM
The only reason Naboo was chosen for the blockade was to create sympathy in the senate for Palpatine, the senator of Naboo, so he would receive votes for Supreme Chancellor.

If that's true, then what was that treaty nonsense all about then? What did Palpatine/Sidious have to gain by having a signed treaty between Naboo and the Trade Federation if his purpose was to create sympathy. If that was the case, then it would have better served his purpose to have the Trade Federation go in with nukes and annihilate the place.

2-1B
04-16-2004, 04:30 AM
The purpose is still exactly as Reason stated. Had the original plan of a signed treaty gone through, then Naboo could have gone to the Senate and called out the Trade Federation for steamrolling them. When the Senate moves to investigate and Valorum buckles under the influence of the stronger TF, then Palpatine can use the exact same plan as he does when he whispers into Padme's ear.

rbaumhauer
04-16-2004, 09:43 AM
Regardless of the logic (or lack thereof), Lucas was out of his mind if he thought blathering on (in no better than vague terms) about trade disputes and treaties and senate procedural squabbles had any place in a heroic space opera. He couldn't have come up with a worse way to start the Saga if he'd been actively trying to sabotage it.

Didn't anybody watch the Simpsons a few weeks back?

stillakid
04-16-2004, 10:48 AM
The purpose is still exactly as Reason stated. Had the original plan of a signed treaty gone through, then Naboo could have gone to the Senate and called out the Trade Federation for steamrolling them. When the Senate moves to investigate and Valorum buckles under the influence of the stronger TF, then Palpatine can use the exact same plan as he does when he whispers into Padme's ear.

But the "steamrolling" defense would hold less water than if Naboo holds out (as it did) and made its case in the midst of the conflict. Had they signed, the other Senators could have easily said, "Hey, this armed blockade can't really be as bad as Amidala says because she didn't have to sign anything." If the strategy you guys are suggesting is true, then the best thing Palps could have hoped for was Amidala escaping (as she did) or dying in an armed revolt. Afterall, if she hadn't gotten off the planet, then who would have made the case in front of the Senate? Jar Jar? :crazed:

stillakid
04-16-2004, 11:00 AM
Regardless of the logic (or lack thereof), Lucas was out of his mind if he thought blathering on (in no better than vague terms) about trade disputes and treaties and senate procedural squabbles had any place in a heroic space opera. He couldn't have come up with a worse way to start the Saga if he'd been actively trying to sabotage it.

Didn't anybody watch the Simpsons a few weeks back?


Missed the Simpsons, but I see what you're talking about. However what I see when I try to watch TPM is Lucas trying to play in two arenas. With the trade stuff he is trying to live up to his mid-1980s assertion that the Prequels would be far more political ("Machevellian" was his exact word) and less interesting for the original fans because of the concentration on the politics. But he obviously got scared of that approach as he makes the attempt to sugar-coat the "boring" stuff with action sequences. I'm not suggesting that it's impossible for a film to do both successfully, but Lucas isn't a strong enough writer to make either of them work individually without help from someone else. In the end, he winds up with two distinct elements (Political and Action) that are woefully inadequate individually and entirely disjointed when tossed together in the same 2 hours.

The inadequate political element is what we've been talking about, the Naboo Trade dispute thing. An example of the forced action element is summed up well with Amidala's "laying out of the battle plan" in the woods of Naboo near the end. It's just so forced and unnecessary that it's funny. In the end, as we've seen, the Jedi could easily have snuck into Theed and taken out the Trade Federation leaders on their own. Even with help, the soldiers had no reason for "going the long way" as Amidala suggests. They could have opened fire on Maul and taken the short way. The droid army had no chance of being disabled with this hokey plan as those Naboo pilots weren't doing any damage at all. It took the sheer dumb-luck of lil' Ani ("Yippie!") to take care of that stuff. Christ, if he had even "used the Force" even once during that little escapade, it might have salvaged the point of him taking joy ride. But just as he "succeeded" through dumb luck, Palpatine's entire "scheme," in TPM and throughout AOTC also "succeeded" through the same sheer coincidental dumb luck. Had any of Palps actual plans gone through, the chances are that it would NOT have ended the way he wished.

Lucas didn't think much of this story out in any logical manner before commiting it to paper much less the Digital Video Tape it's recorded on.

rbaumhauer
04-16-2004, 03:45 PM
No disagreement here, and that's really the tragedy of the whole thing - since he waited so long to make Ep1-3, I think that the audience that grew up on 4-6 would have been entirely capable of dealing with dark, political movies like he threatened to make back in the mid-80s. It's like he decided that "Star Wars has to be for kids", and because the political stuff he decided to do in Ep1-3 was so "adult and boring", he made the "kid stuff" even more overt and extreme than what was in the OT.

As you say, it's quite likely that Lucas isn't a good enough writer to pull off, well, anything convincingly at this point, but by saddling himself with movies that are 1/2 Action Movie, 1/2 Political Intrigue, he's essentially set himself up for failure. Because he doesn't have a full 2+ hours to tell the political story, he falls into one of the worst writing habits - Telling rather than Showing. The political backdrop of the PT could be interesting, except that we really don't see much happening; rather, we see people talking about what is happening. "My people are dying" is merely the most obvious of many examples.

The flipside of this shortchanging of the Political story is, of course, the shortchanging of the Action story as well. Lucas clearly wants these parts of the PT to be "faster, more intense" versions of things we saw in the OT, but because he's again left himself with only 1/2 of the movie to develop the characters and situations, nothing is adequately developed, and we're left with huge battles between CGI armies led by actors who are more pose and attitude than anything an audience can hang real emotions on (Mace Windu, anyone?).

Such a pity, really - I'm going to be on vacation next week, probably spending way too much time watching my "Freaks and Geeks" DVDs and reading my Marvel "Star Wars" comics reprints, remembering what it was like to be 13 and knowing, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that "Star Wars" rocked..........

2-1B
04-17-2004, 03:25 AM
But the "steamrolling" defense would hold less water than if Naboo holds out (as it did) and made its case in the midst of the conflict.

That's probably why Palps got so moist and said "this will work to our advantage."


Had they signed, the other Senators could have easily said, "Hey, this armed blockade can't really be as bad as Amidala says because she didn't have to sign anything." If the strategy you guys are suggesting is true, then the best thing Palps could have hoped for was Amidala escaping (as she did) or dying in an armed revolt. Afterall, if she hadn't gotten off the planet, then who would have made the case in front of the Senate? Jar Jar? :crazed:

I wonder who her successor to the throne would have been? That person could possibly be used as a pawn and it would carry more emotion in light of Amidala's death.

Palpatine himself could go to the Senate but since his plan is to take over, it won't look as good if someone else doesn't call for Valorum's job and someone else doesn't nominate Palps for the seat.

JediTricks
04-17-2004, 04:13 AM
I was skimming this interesting site that Rocketboy pointed us to in another thread:
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?p=321893#post321893

and caught this line that I feel really pulls together something about the way the prequels have dealt with lightsabers (especially the last line):

a "magic item" in a fairytale is just like a character: they're interesting in direct proportion to the number the "archetypal masks" they wear. That's why Luke's lightsaber is such a memorable part of the original trilogy: it's a gift from his mentor, who passed it along from his father, which Luke uses to fight his father, which his father destroys, so he builds a new one, which he ultimately refuses to use against his father. These are all important mythic steps, and each one infuses the saber with more "mythic power." In The Phantom Menace lightsabers are beautifully depicted but serve fewer mythic roles, making them less narratively interesting.This rings true for me, yet I never really thought about this specifically before. It not only fits how I feel about prequels dealing with lightsabers, but also with how the prequels have dealt with lightsaber battles. The saber battles of the prequels, while fast and flashy, lack substance because they're more ballet than battle -- say what you will about the cheaper saber battle production of the OT, but those battles were paced to the emotions of the characters with a minimum of ridiculous flashy moves, instead allowing the story, words, and reactions of the characters drive the battle. In fact, when Luke tries to show off flashy moves in ESB, at first he's successful but almost immediately gets smacked down because of his reliance on the moves rather than the control... and what is controlling it.

I have said before that I would have put some dialogue between Qui-Gon and Maul before and during their battles, the desert fight had a few good setups for their later fight when Qui-Gon goes from barely escaping Maul's attacks to soundly thrashing the Sith until Obi-Wan steps in (each time up until Qui-Gon gets it in the belly, he has the upper hand on Maul and then Obi-Wan goes to "help" and screws things up). But I'd also add a little character to the sabers by leaving or modifying Qui-Gon chastizing Obi-Wan for the saber burn-out, and having Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan or QG & the council discuss Maul's definitely-different saber and how it might hold some clues to his identity (this could also have opened up a large avenue of other Dark Jedi and saber wielders that would have given some much-needed historical background to TPM which I feel is relatively barren in that compared to the OT).

Turambar
04-17-2004, 08:34 PM
This rings true for me, yet I never really thought about this specifically before. It not only fits how I feel about prequels dealing with lightsabers, but also with how the prequels have dealt with lightsaber battles. The saber battles of the prequels, while fast and flashy, lack substance because they're more ballet than battle -- say what you will about the cheaper saber battle production of the OT, but those battles were paced to the emotions of the characters with a minimum of ridiculous flashy moves, instead allowing the story, words, and reactions of the characters drive the battle. In fact, when Luke tries to show off flashy moves in ESB, at first he's successful but almost immediately gets smacked down because of his reliance on the moves rather than the control... and what is controlling it.

Well said, JT -- and Rocketboy.
Like many of the mythic aspects of the Trilogy, the mystique of the lightsaber has been cheapened beyond repair by the prequels. The lightsabers are overused to the point that they become a bore when used in fancy martial arts style fights that we have seen in every action movie from the matrix to charlies angels. i.e. they're not interesting.
Of all the duels, the rotj fight is still the most powerful to me because of what it stood for -- although some could argue for the esb duel --- even the anh duel was very deep. People are always arguing that the fx of the prequels make them so great, but honestly, that is not what has captivated me for so long about the Trilogy. It is the feel of realism to which the fx of the Trilogy play a part, but don't overwhelm. By simply using real sets, real light, real acting & writing, a certain mood was created that is timeless whereas the prequels are simply without substance.
The prequels seem like a cartoon or video game because, well, they are. Almost everything is CG much like modern cartoons. Did anyone else have flashbacks to the coyote/roadrunner toons in aotc with all the impossibly set spires of rock on tatooine? Lucas made a point of creating creatures and such that couldn't be fashioned with raw materials or imagined to be real. In so doing, many laws of physics -- gravity for instance -- are ignored, and a ridiculous scene or creature is created (e.g. the giant tick cows that ani surfed on). Many action sequences are pointlessly complex mirroring a good xbox game. And much like a video game, when you've gotten through it, you don't touch it again.

LusiferSam
04-18-2004, 02:19 AM
Boy its taken me a bit I finally worked my way through this thread. There are some really great points here. After E3 comes out I'm planning on offering up my own rewrites of the prequels.
But until then a few quick things are: Yoda and Palpatine gone. Yoda in the prequels only takes away from the ESB, same thing with Palpatine and ROTJ. Its one long sage, not six independent films. Anakin needs to be older, 20 or so. Anakin doesn't build C-3PO, this is just a bad idea. Qui-Gon doesn't find Anakin, who cares how Anakin and Obi-Wan meet? And finally for my quick fixes use a different planet from Tatoonie.

stillakid
04-18-2004, 11:27 AM
But until then a few quick things are: Yoda and Palpatine gone. Yoda in the prequels only takes away from the ESB, same thing with Palpatine and ROTJ. Its one long sage, not six independent films. Anakin needs to be older, 20 or so. Anakin doesn't build C-3PO, this is just a bad idea. Qui-Gon doesn't find Anakin, who cares how Anakin and Obi-Wan meet? And finally for my quick fixes use a different planet from Tatoonie.

Yeah, I pretty much agree with your conclusions, but the Yoda thing would be tough to deal with as well as Palpatine. No matter what anybody says, this saga is much much more a story about how Palpatine engineers the coup of the Republic and then the chronicle of how his nefarious plan is undermined. It's a far more global (if I can use that terminology in a space epic ;) ) story than this nonsense of the saga being about the Skywalkers. It just isn't so and I think that this major point of confusion and contention is why George is screwing up so badly and so many "fans" don't seem to mind. George lost his focus and too many people are far too willing to apologize for him. It's his story afterall, right? True, but he set up the rules some 30 years ago and now chooses to break them.

Anyhow, Palps HAS TO be in the Prequels and it really doesn't take anything away from the OT. His identity was never a surprise nor was it meant to be, at least not in that portion of the epic. Yoda, on the other hand, is a conundrum. His appearance in the OT WAS definitely set up as a surprise but it would be extremely difficult to remove him from the Prequel, being that he is such a prominent member of the Jedi. I don't think there is a workaround for that one.

The only way out of that kind of problem (and the upcoming Episode III surprise giveaways) is to watch the saga "out of order." In order to maintain the wonderful ups, downs, secrets, and surprises of the OT, the saga will have to be viewed as IV, V, VI, I, II, III. There simply is no other way around it.

But even still, viewing them in that order doesn't undo the continuity error of having Qui Gon find and decide to train Anakin. It doesn't undo the absurdity and irrational logic of the Midichlorians. The Prequels will forever be relegated to the unofficial realm of Expanded Universe. Really expensive Expanded Universe, but they will sit on the shelf with those countless paperback rags nonetheless.

Nothing beyond a complete rewrite and new production can fix what has been done. It's really too far gone at this point.

2-1B
04-18-2004, 10:58 PM
Qui-Gon doesn't find Anakin, who cares how Anakin and Obi-Wan meet?

stillakid cares because he's quite certain that Obi-Wan was the one to find Anakin.

rbaumhauer
04-19-2004, 11:31 AM
stillakid cares because he's quite certain that Obi-Wan was the one to find Anakin.

I believe it's more accurate to say that, if we were trying to improve the PT while making relatively small changes, stillakid believes that Obi-wan should be the one to "find" Anakin, and that Qui-gon should probably be eliminated.

Making that change, though, would not fix the other major structural and "overall tone" problems in the PT, and if we were talking about making the sweeping changes necessary to remedy those issues, then all bets are off. Once again, we're back to re-writing the PT, something that I think a few of us are tantalized by, but that we also realize is a fool's game.

LusiferSam
04-21-2004, 02:42 PM
Yoda would be easy to write out of TPM as it stands. He doesn't say or do anything someone else couldn't do.



Anyhow, Palps HAS TO be in the Prequels and it really doesn't take anything away from the OT. His identity was never a surprise nor was it meant to be, at least not in that portion of the epic. Yoda, on the other hand, is a conundrum. His appearance in the OT WAS definitely set up as a surprise but it would be extremely difficult to remove him from the Prequel, being that he is such a prominent member of the Jedi. I don't think there is a workaround for that one.

Its not that Palpatine's identity needs to be a secret or a surprise, but more how we meet him. I think there's something really creepy about how he is first shown in ROTJ. In SW and ESB we here about him but never see him. And I remembering thinking as a kid if "Vader is one bad *$$ and the Emperor is his boss, then the Emperor has to be a bigger bad *$$." We get a withered old man in ROTJ who doesn't seem so bad. But we soon learn better. Showing Palpatine any other way I think takes a way from that.

And I pretty much agree with you on the rest of your points.

Turambar
04-21-2004, 07:55 PM
Along with all the other things in TPM that make no sense, here's another thing that is extremely confusing. I'm curious to know if there's a logical explanation, or if some 2-bit author has written a EU explanation for it yet.

At the beginning of TPM I can count roughly 20 of those giant trade fed space stations in view as the jedi ship makes its approach. What happened to all of the ships? Why did they leave? Did they go to conquer other worlds. I mean, you have to figure a reasonable blockade would encircle the planet -- so there would be at least 40-60 of those space stations loaded with droids and ships as seems to be the norm with the Trade federation. With that kind of armament they could have probably just taken over coruscant if they had so chosen.

But where and why did they all suddenly vanish except for one at the end of the movie. If they had even left 1 more of their fleet behind the air battle would have most likely been a massacre as it should have been at those odds.

As it was lil' Ani only saves the day by complete blind luck & terrible writing. As has been mentioned, Ani shows no regard for the kind of danger he's in. Somehow, even being outnumbered by the unbelievable margin the handful of naboo ships were, they were not all shot down immediately by the hoardes of droid fighters. Then, as Ani conveniently gets winged and skids to a halt right at the very center of the station, voila! he is pointed directly at the reactor core that some foolish space station builders (or writer) thought would be logically left exposed to the air.
A reactor so exposed could be subject to all kinds of accidents. Any type of malfunction/explosion/stray weapon fire could potentially cause the destruction of the entire station! What if someone was walking by and tossed an apple core over their shoulder inadvertantly going into the core and damaging it -- kaboom. Okay, so the last example was a little extreme, but the point is that the entire string of poorly written coincidences -- including Ani luckily accidently firing the torpedoes off before he fled -- with the finale being a reactor core left exposed, is just ridiculous!
But, even if the station was somehow destroyed, the TF would have logically left more than one ship behind (unless, they, like the gungans, are all mentally challenged) maybe other ships had a droid remote controllers too, or they could just land another army of droids -- this time a little closer to the main city -- and retake the planet.
But, saying it all worked out as it did, then why didn't the TF just fly back in their huge fleet an retake the planet the next day -- or as soon as Mr. Gunray got out on bail, of course. Even in AOTC Nute seems hellbent on killing Padme due to his bitterness over the whole thing. With the ineffectiveness of the senate he could have easily ordered naboo retaken during his trials if he had so chosen.

stillakid
04-21-2004, 10:47 PM
Yoda would be easy to write out of TPM as it stands. He doesn't say or do anything someone else couldn't do.


No, but as such a prominent member of the Jedi, his absence in the Prequels would be a little strange. When it comes down to it, nearly every character could be replaced by someone else except for those instances which are spelled out clearly by the continuity, such as Obi Wan finding and being the one to train Anakin. Of all the character events to twist around, Lucas had to choose that one...pretty much the only one that really matters. Go figure. :rolleyes:

CropDuster
04-22-2004, 12:38 AM
At the beginning of TPM I can count roughly 20 of those giant trade fed space stations in view as the jedi ship makes its approach. What happened to all of the ships? Why did they leave? Did they go to conquer other worlds. I mean, you have to figure a reasonable blockade would encircle the planet -- so there would be at least 40-60 of those space stations loaded with droids and ships as seems to be the norm with the Trade federation. With that kind of armament they could have probably just taken over coruscant if they had so chosen.



Alright, PT lovers, please explain it. Where'd they go? Were they a bunch of decoys or did the infallible creator GL screw up?

Let me guess what the lucas-sheep rationalization would be...

I bet that there was something that happened off-screen that we were supposed to infer that would perfectly explain this disappearing fleet, although it was never deemed important enough to include in the movie. After all, who do these OT sticks-in-the-mud think they are? This is George's movie. Since he wrote it, he can make it any way he wants. Why can't you old SW fans just enjoy The Phantom Mess... uh, I mean, Menace for what it is.

JediTricks
04-24-2004, 12:46 AM
IIRC, there's deleted dialogue from Ric Olie & Panaka & the Jedi (I think) upon returning to Naboo and seeing only 1 ship explaining that once the planet was held by the droid armies, the Trade Fed confidence in this told them they could send their other ships back, and keep just the 1 to control the army.

Turambar
04-25-2004, 08:45 AM
IIRC, there's deleted dialogue from Ric Olie & Panaka & the Jedi (I think) upon returning to Naboo and seeing only 1 ship explaining that once the planet was held by the droid armies, the Trade Fed confidence in this told them they could send their other ships back, and keep just the 1 to control the army.

Well, I suppose GL & Co. figured it was better to leave out that silly explanation and hope the audience wouldn't think too hard about why the TF completely abandons a single ship to control a droid army in the beginning stages of a world occupation, AND defend the entire planet's spaceways from retaliation, AND protect their beloved Viceroy! The logic is not simply not there.

stillakid
04-25-2004, 06:13 PM
Well, I suppose GL & Co. figured it was better to leave out that silly explanation and hope the audience wouldn't think too hard about why the TF completely abandons a single ship to control a droid army in the beginning stages of a world occupation, AND defend the entire planet's spaceways from retaliation, AND protect their beloved Viceroy! The logic is not simply not there.

tsk tsk. We're "nitpicking" and not "enjoying it for what it is" again. :rolleyes:

;)

Turambar
04-25-2004, 09:16 PM
tsk tsk. We're "nitpicking" and not "enjoying it for what it is" again. :rolleyes:

;)

Oops. I forgot.

Where is it written that we must enjoy things for what they are? I don't enjoy Friends for what it is. I don't enjoy a lot of things for what they are. In fact, I really don't even enjoy the Special Editions for what they are. So why should I enjoy some shallow action movie for what it is? BECAUSE Georgie plastered the Star Wars name above the title. Other than the name, I just don't see a lot of similarities when you start to search for something deeper in these "preqels."

stillakid
04-26-2004, 02:00 AM
Oops. I forgot.

Where is it written that we must enjoy things for what they are?

Do an advanced Search with JarJarBinks in the member name box. :D

mm74md
04-26-2004, 03:06 PM
I would change a few things


Length of the Pod Race

A few voiceovers (“Yippie!”, “Yousa in big doodoo this time”)

Cut a few uncomfortable scenes where Padme & Anakin discuss/display their “caring” toward one another

Jar Jar’s twirling dive into the swamp