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  1. #1

    OT vs. PT aesthetics

    This thread my jump around around a bit, but I think all the points I'll be making loosely tie together. Feel free to respond to it as a whole, or to the individual points.


    Does anyone else wish the two trilogies looked more like each other? I'm speaking strictly of about the visual aspects: production design, costumes, special effects, etc. Let me break it down piece by piece.

    - Hair and faces: I'm a big fan of ugly people, especially when it comes to actors...and I mean that in the best way! I'll take an interesting face over a "pretty" face any day. Do you ever get the feeling that the people who populate the PT universe are just a little too pretty? Why does the PT universe have to be completely devoid of a General Madine comb-over? There had to be at least one other guy out there in the galaxy who had that wonderfully terrible hair-do before 'ol Crix. And what about sideburns? ANH is full of guys with great sideburns. General Tagge had those wicked pointy sideburns and a kickin' gladiator crop job. What about feathered mop tops, ala Luke? Nowhere to be found in the PT unfortunately.

    - Monitors and HUDs: It occured to me when we first see Obi-wan point to Tatooine on the navigation monitor of the queens ship in TPM, that the PT universe had some pretty spiffy equiptment. I guess the Empire really jacked up the technology industries of universe when they took over, because the X-wings and TIE fighters of the OT seemed to be outfitted with Pong for use as a targeting system. I wonder how that happened. Obers gets to look at hi def on the queen's starship, but poor Han Solo has to look a a blinking blue light when looking for a safe port.

    - City culture and fashion: The citizens of Coruscant sport some crazy get-ups. What the heck happened to fashion over twenty years that everyone ended up in polyester and double-knits?

    I'm obviously having a little fun here, but seriously, why couldn't the trilogies have matched up a little better. Why couldn't everyone in the PT be made up to look like they walked out of the late '70s or early '80s? I think at the very least, it would have made the PT a little more fun. I don't think it's too far of a stretch to think that it may have even helped bridge the two a little better. Lucas is apparently a very visual guy, so I'm surprised he didn't push for a little more of what I'm talking about. If Princess Leia wears a disarmingly simple dress, then I don't see why Padme couldn't have worn something similar. Instead, Natalie Portman is forced to drown in a number of needlessly ornate and stuffy costumes. Do Padme's queen costumes "wow" you? I think that's what they're supposed to do, but I dunno, maybe I just don't get it. Maybe I need an actor to bring a costume to life for it to work for me. I know Padme had a white jumpsuit in ATOC, and that was supposed to suggest a kind of Leia feel, but again, it just didn't work for me. It was too tailored and too modern. The boots had kind of a techy, fabricated, futuristic feel, as where Leia just wore plain white chelsea boots. I know, I know...I get stuck on this little stupid stuff, but hang with me...

    And getting back to that navigation monitor that Obi-wan uses to locate Tatooine. Did that special effects shot "wow" you? I think most of us just took it for granted. The only reason it jumped out at me is that it really didn't fit into any logical timeline. Obi-wan has this fancy monitor, yet Han Solo has a blinking blue light, which by the way, works just as well as a device to propel the story. I guess someone would argue "Well, we can't really see what Han is looking at, so it very well could be a fancy monitor, and all we see is the blue light...", but I'm not buyin' that. Those little effects shots that Lucas seems to think really "flesh out" the PT are totally unnecessary and actually detrimental to maintaining the timeline.

    Think about this one: the cantina from AHN vs. the sports bar from ATOC. Is anyone else here bothered that the people in SW watch football? I mean, it's pretty unmistakable...the game those droids are playing on a grassy grid-iron field looks awfully familiar. And since when do the people in SW watch tv? I dunno, there's just something so ordinary and modern about that stupid sports bar. On the other hand, the cantina from ANH has a kind of timeless quality about it. It could be a cowboy saloon. It could be a tavern from the dark ages. Heck, Frodo could walk up to the bar and order a drink and he'd fit right in. It's exotic and wierd and threatening all at once. Most importantly, it doesn't particularly remind me of any place I've ever been before. The sports bar from ATOC is like the ESPN zone. And of course, the women are dressed like every other woman from the late nineties and early 21st century. They have tight, low-rise pants with a boot cut. They have those all-too-common high-rise shoes that thankfully have gone out of style. I think I even saw a woman with a sun tatoo around her navel...try to tell me those aren't trendy these days. I'm not sure I have an alternative to offer up, but I'm pretty confident in saying that the bar from AOTC sucks pretty bad.

    I don't want to be totally negative, so I'll give a positive. I really like how they approached the communication hologram effect. It's pretty much the same as seen in the OT, only now we have shots where the camera pans around the hologram (think of the hologram of senator Palpatine in the beginning of TPM). I'm perfectly fine with this because hey, all the shots with that effect in the OT just happen to be static. And I guess we do actually see different angles of holograms, we just don't get a pan (think of the Leia hologram in ANH...we see her in profile, then for the close up, we get a front/side view, but it's edited as two different shots). We get to see two or three distinctly different angles of what we logically conclude is a fully rendered 3D hologram. The fact that TPM shows us one of these holograms fully rendered via a camera pan is perfectly logical.

    Back to the negative...

    I brought this thread up because it occurred to me that Lucas drowned his film-making people in a sea of useless details. It's bad enough Lucas was pushing his guys to do live actors riding CGI animals (which still hasn't been done correctly in my opinion), but he also had to bog them down with having to animate robots playing football in a sports bar? Was it really that important to the story? Why devote tons and tons of time and resources to Padme's costumes when she could just have worn one simple, easily identifiable outfit (like Leia)? Did this film even have a producer to help make these kinds of decisions? *cough* Rick yes-man McCullum *cough cough*

    I guess I was just looking for a place in the PT that feels a little more like SW, that's all. I suppose we got the Rebel Blockade runner in ROTS, but only for a few moments, and somehow seeing Jimmy Smits lumbering down the hall just brings it down a few notches.

  2. #2

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    I have to agree with you, it felt to me like two seperate trilogys, because I think they put way to much eye candy into the PT. The OT was much simpler as far as effects go, and I loved it far more than the PT. I do think that Lucas did try to tie the hairstyles of ROTS with ANH, but considering it is almost 20 years between those two films, hairstyles do change in that much time. When I was 20, I had an afro, now 20 years later at age 40, I wear my hair short, and you don't see the hair on guys so much like you did when the hair bands of the late 80's and into the 90's had. Even Metalicca cut the hair.

    I'm sure if George wanted to, he could go about updating the OT to make it look more like the PT with his visual effects.
    2012 RFL Thank You to, TeeEye7 & Slicker!!!!
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  3. #3

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    But as Obi-Wan told Luke, it was "a more civilized time."

    Quote Originally Posted by bobafrett
    Even Metalicca cut the hair.
    And just look what happened to them...
    [FONT=Book Antiqua]He passes to Moses - He shoots, he scores![/FONT]
    Mummy of the raincoat is a gigantic trollop.
    DOMINATE!


  4. #4

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    Why couldn't everyone in the PT be made up to look like they walked out of the late '70s or early '80s?
    Actually it would be before the late 70's/80's since they are prequels. As its already been said some of the stuff is trends that happened at the time of the OT like big sideburns that isn't so much the case now.

    City culture and fashion: The citizens of Coruscant sport some crazy get-ups. What the heck happened to fashion over twenty years that everyone ended up in polyester and double-knits?
    We don't see Coruscant again until Jedi and the citizens seem to more or less 'match.' I'd have to watch it again but the dress of Tatooine also seems to match as well in the ot & pt. I think it depends on where you are and if that planet is rather 'backwater' or the center of activity.

    I think some of the items mentioned are rather 'nice and shiny' to point out the difference between the Republic and Empire. Sure it can be a bit too black and white but the same can be said of the Force.

  5. #5

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    I dig the difference in visual styles. The PT looks like something I would like to live in, with several flavors I would enjoy while the OT "is a period of civil war" that has been going on for an undisclosed amount of time (but I'm sure an EU novel will be along soon to give us a timeframe ).

    Anyway, the way I see it, the Rebellion has been at it for quite some time when the Tantive 4 comes into view in ANH. Everything associated with it will be pretty dingy, like what we get in the OT. Not related to the Rebellion, Tatooine looks much like it did in TPM and Cloud City looks pretty suave itself, afterall they have the coolest Pimp in the galaxy running it. I really love the look of Cloud City, it looks to me like it would fit right in with the PT. So what is left ? Just the Death Star and I think it is designed to be a very sterile environment.

  6. #6

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar
    ...Cloud City looks pretty suave itself, afterall they have the coolest Pimp in the galaxy running it. I really love the look of Cloud City, it looks to me like it would fit right in with the PT.
    Great point, but don't you wish the folks from Coruscant looked a little more like the folks from Bespin? To me, Bespin set the precedent for how "city folk" in SW are supposed to look. Men who are "dressed up" for business in SW should look like Lando and Lobot, poofy sleeves and all. Women should look like Leia when she is dressed up to go out with Han and Lando for "refreshments".

    In fact, doesn't the SE version ESB have a cut-away shot of some citizens reacting to Lando's evacuation announcement? I'm pretty sure that wasn't there in the original. Anyway, I love that scene because it fits in so seemlessly witht he rest of the look of the movie. In fact, as of this moment, I'm still not 100% sure the shot wasn't in the original, that's how great it looks. To the point, the reason it fits in so well is that the people look like they walked right out of 1979. If Lucas could take such care in creating a new scene for ESB, why couldn't he have taken the same care when designing the look of the PT?

  7. #7

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by seanmcfripp
    Great point, but don't you wish the folks from Coruscant looked a little more like the folks from Bespin? To me, Bespin set the precedent for how "city folk" in SW are supposed to look. Men who are "dressed up" for business in SW should look like Lando and Lobot, poofy sleeves and all. Women should look like Leia when she is dressed up to go out with Han and Lando for "refreshments".
    Yes and no, Bespin is the only city we see in the ot that isn't in the sticks so in that sense it does set the standard. However Coruscant is the center of everything so in that sense it sets the standard.

    In fact, doesn't the SE version ESB have a cut-away shot of some citizens reacting to Lando's evacuation announcement? I'm pretty sure that wasn't there in the original. Anyway, I love that scene because it fits in so seemlessly witht he rest of the look of the movie. In fact, as of this moment, I'm still not 100% sure the shot wasn't in the original, that's how great it looks. To the point, the reason it fits in so well is that the people look like they walked right out of 1979. If Lucas could take such care in creating a new scene for ESB, why couldn't he have taken the same care when designing the look of the PT?
    Yup it was added.

  8. #8

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by seanmcfripp
    To me, Bespin set the precedent for how "city folk" in SW are supposed to look.
    How can there be a "precedent" though. The galaxy is HUGE. Look at the different attire of "city folk" right here on Earth. People in Detroit dress way different from people in, say, Calcutta. Does that mean that, when compared to the other, one isn't relevent?

    Alot of the planets from the PT weren't in the OT. The ones that were, though, stayed pretty close to the gear worn in the OT (i.e. Tatooine). So saying that the clothes worn on a planet not even appearing in the OT aren't "OT" doesn't stand.
    It's a blacked-out blur but I'm pretty sure it ruled.

  9. #9

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    I just realized that I may need to clarify my position on this issue before someone loses sight of the point I'm trying to make...

    I think of the SW universe as being very much like Middle Earth. It's an environment by which fantasy is allowed to play out. To me, the OT clearly and specifically defines how that universe is supposed to look, so the people and places should look pretty much the same in all six films. Think about it this way: hobbits look like hobbits in LOTR, no matter when the story takes place. The younger Bilbo dresses the same as the older Bilbo, who in turn dresses like Frodo. In fact, all hobbits pretty much dress the same, no matter what the time period is. In other words, we danged well know a hobbit when we see one, because there is a motif that is consistently used throughout the timeline of the story. A hobbit from 500 years ago is going to fit right in with a hobbit from "today". The Shire was, is, and always will be the same, no matter what.

    There is no evolution of "style" as the years pass by in Middle Earth. The people and places that populate Middle Earth exist because they have exist in a particular way, or else they don't serve the story. It can't be a fantasy if we get bogged down in little details that bring their world closer to our own every day existence. We want to identify with their world on a thematical level, not a literal one. A fantasy world should exist in a bubble...the people there always look the same, no matter when I decide to visit.

    So really, while it may seem like the SW universe is huge, it really isn't. It's a quaint little environment where everything revolves around the same people. The cantina fits, but the sports bar doesn't. It's just a gut reaction I have, and I'm trying to figure out why.

    Clear as mud, right? Hopefully someone else will understand what I'm trying to say and better articulate the idea.

  10. #10

    Re: OT vs. PT aesthetics

    Yeah, uh, that's where you lost me, with the Middle Earth stuff. Sorry, I like LOTR but I'm not comparing the 2 sagas.

    In answer to Cloud City v. Coruscant, I would pretty much parrot what El Cappy said up there.

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