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Episode II: The Idol of Zealots.

By CheSera in Op-Ed
Fri May 17, 2002 at 04:37:38 PM EST
Tags: Movies (all tags)
Movies

The theater was filled with the furor and hope of a mass of fanatics. Zealots praying to the altar of a myth, they came to see their messiah redeemed. The failure of the initial phase of this protean-epic had shaken their faith badly, and they came with the desperate hope of a battered wife. They were rewarded for their faith with cubic zirconium. An empty gesture in a faithless hand.


Lucas crafted this second chapter of the birth of Vader carefully. There is no question of that. One must only watch the incredible fight scenes, the stunning special effects, and the marked silence of the Frog-Prince. The beauty of a light-saber in the dark cannot be denied. I cheered with the masses when Yoda reached for his weapon. The battle scenes were complex, engaging, and glorious. The special effects were beautiful and subtle. Lucas has lost none of his sense of style in the creation of worlds and scenes for his epic to play in. The tragedy of this epic is not in the frame, but in the heart.

The dialogue is a waste. The movie clearly exists to satisfy the dreams of the fans that felt betrayed by Episode One. In that they saw a movie for children, a racing game, and one lone light-saber duel that ended too quickly. So in Episode Two they are given dozens of Jedi, light-sabers for all, and a whirling green dervish battling a dark and sinister villain. Much more the thing for the hounds of Lucas' pack. The story simply gets in the way. We all know how it ends after all. What purpose then do the tepid and uninspired scenes where Anakin and Padmé declare their forbidden love serve? Better then to replace them with a longer battle scene, or a fight wherein Yoda must wield two light-sabers while juggling live puppies. That at least would be true to the spirit of this film.

That brings us to the crux of the failure. This film is an action film a la Demolition Man, or perhaps Bad Boys. Many things explode, there are car (flying or no) chases, and bad acting. Cheesy romance and two-dimensional characters are expected. This bears little or no resemblance to the majesty or glory of the original trilogy. Many will argue that since this is "just a movie" it shouldn't be held to the expectations of literature. And in the vast majority of cases I would agree. However the medium of film can aspire to art, even if Hollywood rarely chooses to. Star Wars, at least the original three, aspired to art. They were epic in their scope, and truly tried to fulfill the journey of a traditional epic hero. These latter films take no part in this, instead reveling in the mythos they created, making an orgy of a piece of art.

Natalie Portman holds less interest in this part than the smallest character on a daytime soap opera. Her acting is vapid and hollow. Anakin's angst holds interest for perhaps 5 minutes, after which it is trite and dull. There is no glory or greatness in his performance, only occasional annoyance and bored indifference. The dialogue between them is painful to watch. Their lack of chemistry is rivalled by Dawson's Creek. Anakin at least has grown, as is often pointed out, but Padmé is literally identical to her former self. Ten years have changed our heroine not a bit. Lucky for her, but a mockery of the story. At least Obi Wan had to grow a beard.

The ultimate failure of this film is not that it fails to entertain. Far from it, the failings I have pointed out are easily ignored, and one can focus on the excellent fight scenes and glorious graphics. Rather that it fails to live up to the expectations that it must necessarily be held up to. If the original trilogy is indeed holy as its advocates would hold, then the predecessor must be equally so. As of this film, its only holiness is that of the ceramic Mother Mary sold for 89 cents at Wal-Mart. A cheap imitation of a glorious ideal.

Perhaps Lucas is in truth a genius. The Original epic deals with the rise to glory of a son who redeems his father's failings. Perhaps this is mirrored in the failures of the current epic as films. If watched in Lucas' intended order, I-VI, we would see the failure of a father in I-III, and the redemption of him by his son in IV-VI. Thus I-III should indeed be failure's as films, if only to allow IV-VI to redeem the epic in our eyes. Thus the story becomes about stories rather than the actual material involved. I truly hope this is the case. For otherwise the only conclusion is that Lucas has dug up the bones of his masterpiece, dressed it in new clothes, and made it dance as a puppet for hordes of screaming zealots for 30 pieces of silver.

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Episode II: The Idol of Zealots. | 174 comments (127 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
Great (3.62 / 8) (#5)
by jgk on Thu May 16, 2002 at 05:41:06 AM EST

If watched in Lucas' intended order, I-VI, we would see the failure of a father in I-III, and the redemption of him by his son in IV-VI.

Fantastic. That is a beautiful way of looking at a worst case scenario.

I don't know why everyone hates the story so much but I think that the new Star Wars films are of much cultural significance. Not just to us internet using folk(who have always known about Star Wars) but to a new generation and millions of poeple in the international audience who did not have access to cinemas when the original films were out.
Gore Vidal is cool.
jgk, I am your father. (none / 0) (#10)
by eLuddite on Thu May 16, 2002 at 06:41:55 AM EST

And I'm afraid I'm going to have to violate your sense of identity with yet another shocking truth: your sig is a quote by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, written in 1906, 128 years after Voltaire's death.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

It is a very well known Voltaire quote! (2.00 / 1) (#11)
by jgk on Thu May 16, 2002 at 07:00:59 AM EST

I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you who the hell you think you are.

A quick search on google will confirm this is a Voltaire quote(http://quotes.prolix.nu/Authors/?Voltaire). It could only be credited to someone else if they said it EARLIER than Voltaire.

I don't want to "violate your sense of identity" (whatever the hell that means) but what is wrong with you!?
Gore Vidal is cool.
[ Parent ]
Actually, I'm a moron and sorry (none / 0) (#12)
by jgk on Thu May 16, 2002 at 07:07:24 AM EST

The Voltaire quote appears to be:

I may not agree with what you say, but to your death I will defend your right to say it

That is probably what you meant.

hmmm.

I don't know if I should change my sig to Voltaire's or change the credit to Evelyn Beatrice Hall.

Sorry anyway.
Gore Vidal is cool.
[ Parent ]
no, that is not what I meant (none / 0) (#16)
by eLuddite on Thu May 16, 2002 at 07:42:41 AM EST

Voltaire never wrote any version of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." We know this is true because the phrase appears in none of Voltaire's writings. However, it does appear in the book The Friends of Voltaire, a book written by Hall under the psuedonym Stephen Tallentyre.

A quick search on google will confirm

that the internet is written by idiots intent on spreading their ignorance. You have an internet account, dont you?

this is a Voltaire quote(http://quotes.prolix.nu/Authors/?Voltaire). It could only be credited to someone else if they said it EARLIER than Voltaire.

Really?

For your information, our contentious bromide was first uttered yesterday by my dentist, Bernard Grossman. I thought he was talking to me but it turns out he was flirting with the hygienist. Heh, I could have saved myself a lot of embarrassment if I hadnt jumped to conclusions, you know? In any case, I've said it, google will shortly visit this comment, and the internet will become that much wiser.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

What are you saying? (2.00 / 1) (#19)
by jgk on Thu May 16, 2002 at 08:04:03 AM EST

I don't know what you are saying.

This is a very popular quote that a lot of people use in the real world and credit to Voltaire(I heard it on the radio in Australia yesterday). Are you saying Voltaire never said anything like it(in which case please give me some evidence) or that it appeared in Hall's book with the exact wording that I am using?

that the internet is written by idiots intent on spreading their ignorance.

I would search the internet to find the answers I seek but if you think it's that unreliable I guess I'd better not. Plus I won't have time now I've got to delete all the code I've got from the net because it was written by idiots like me :-)
Gore Vidal is cool.
[ Parent ]
it's a very popular quote, (none / 0) (#25)
by eLuddite on Thu May 16, 2002 at 08:52:59 AM EST

because it is repeated by people much more likely to be impressed by a platitude than to have read anything written by Voltaire. That's a lot of people, and a lot of people is how google ranks searches; google's ranking algorithm doesnt understand the difference between fact and repetition.

If the quote's authenticity is based on something other than sig pollution -- you are only the billionth person to quote "Voltaire" in a sig, hence the problem -- then there must be a primary source for the quote. If the quote appears in a book written by Voltaire, what is the name of that book. If Voltaire spoke it to someone, who was he having a conversation with and who was taking notes of that conversation for what book?

(in which case please give me some evidence)

I gave you an author and a book. That is two things more than have ever been cited next to Voltaire's name in a sig.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

so just say it, that quote's a slut ;-) [n/t] (none / 0) (#98)
by martingale on Fri May 17, 2002 at 12:09:38 AM EST



[ Parent ]
evidence (none / 0) (#126)
by jgk on Sat May 18, 2002 at 01:48:01 AM EST

I gave you an author and a book. That is two things more than have ever been cited next to Voltaire's name in a sig.

I asked for evidence that Voltaire did not say it not the Hall said it.
Gore Vidal is cool.
[ Parent ]
But you have an "internet account" too, (none / 0) (#129)
by rszasz on Sat May 18, 2002 at 03:53:45 AM EST

Ad hominem attacks that apply to yourself as well do not work to persuade in an argument. Of course that may have been your point.

[ Parent ]
No wait... I'm not a moron! (2.00 / 1) (#13)
by jgk on Thu May 16, 2002 at 07:21:49 AM EST

The following are on the web as Voltaire quotes:

I may not agree with what you say, but to your death I will defend your right to say it

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it.



I'm guessing he said the same sort of thing a lot and so I'm going back to my original sig with "Peter Griffin(quoting Voltaire)" because I know that's what he was doing(even if the quote is off a bit).
Gore Vidal is cool.
[ Parent ]
Voltaire´s quote (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by Enocasiones on Thu May 16, 2002 at 07:36:08 AM EST

I don´t think he said it in four different ways. He was French, and there are different translators.

The original quote is "Je hais vos idées mais
je me ferai tuer pour que vous ayez le droit de les exprimer."

Literally, I´d translate it as "I hate your ideas, but I'd let myself be killed for you to have the right to express them."

Nice quote, btw.

[ Parent ]

french quotes (none / 0) (#97)
by martingale on Fri May 17, 2002 at 12:06:56 AM EST

Interesting. BadDoggie give a different French version. So now we have what, two French versions and four English versions? I smell conspiracy theory. Who's to say he didn't say it in Schwitzertütsch, eh? He did spend time in Switzerland after all...

[ Parent ]

Voltaire and Google (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by Enocasiones on Fri May 17, 2002 at 03:55:18 AM EST

The wonders of Internet search: I found a couple of versions of the quote in French.

"Je ne suis pas d'accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je suis prêt à me battre jusqu'à la mort pour votre droit à le dire"

"Je ne suis pas d'accord avec ce que vous dites mais je me battrai pour que vous puissiez le dire."

"Je hais vos idées, mais je me ferai tuer pour que vous ayez le droit de les exprimer."

and here this interesting recommendation about uncovering plagiarism:

Vérifier les sources (Ex. Certif matu CV avec cit. de "Voltaire" Je ne suis pas d'accord avec ce que vous dites mais je me battrai pour que vous puissiez le dire; Voltaire n'a jamais écrit cela, même si A.I. lui a attribué cette phrase)

Mr Arouet should have written it down somewhere... oba sicha net of Schwitzertütsch.
Pfiat enk!

[ Parent ]

Schwitzerdüits? (5.00 / 2) (#114)
by BadDoggie on Fri May 17, 2002 at 12:59:28 PM EST

Ochwos! Bairisch wär'a bessera Sprochwoihl g'wesn, oda? Mit dea kemma ois guat versteh'n, gell? De goanze G'schicht int'ressiert mia komm, den Fuim übahaupt ned. Woita nua-a guates Pedant sei, vastehste. Der Typ hoate gar koa englisch g'sprocha! Des war's.

Pfiat aich!

woof.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.
[ Parent ]

A belated thank you (none / 0) (#170)
by Enocasiones on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:53:36 AM EST

...for giving us the opportunity to read some Bavarian "Mundart"! Hatte seit meinen Tagen in Wien nicht sowas gelesen, obwohl es damals Tirolerisch/Oberosterreichisch/Kärntnerisch und Wasweisichisch war... Ach, und Wienerisch: "Bischt da depat? Naaa!"

I also remember the way the bus driver announced the Rotzkreuzplatzhaltestelle in Munich: "Nächster Halt:" ...und etwas ziemlich unverständlich. Hehehe, dialects are a foreigner´s nightmare.

Servus!

[ Parent ]

best quote variant yet (none / 0) (#154)
by bsmfh on Mon May 20, 2002 at 05:09:38 PM EST

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death my right to tell you to sit down and shut up."  

I believe it came from one of the Airplane movies, but those brain cells appear to be out of order.

I hope this helps clear the air.

--bill

[ Parent ]

What Voltaire *really* said (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by BadDoggie on Thu May 16, 2002 at 07:55:21 AM EST

Francois Marie ("Don't call me Franky OR Marie!") Arouet has had a lot of quotes attributed to him. However, he rarely, if ever, said these things in English.

The quote you are looking for is, "Je ne suis pas d'accord avec ce que vous dites mais je défendrai jusqu'à la mort votre droit de le dire."

The various translations given could all be considered "correct" and the variances primarily attributed to the translator's ability and personal prosaic style.

However, there is strong evidence that Evelyn Beatrice Hall did, in fact, pen this phrase rather than Franky, but she herself claimed that she was paraphrasing Voltaire's "Essay on Tolerance", an idea she was keenly aware of when she was forced to use the pseudonym "Stephen G. Tallentyre" to get anyone to read her writings.

woof.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.
[ Parent ]

SW fans dispersal (4.50 / 2) (#14)
by Doktor Merkwuerdigliebe on Thu May 16, 2002 at 07:30:26 AM EST

millions of poeple in the international audience who did not have access to cinemas when the original films were out.

I know what is generally meant by this statement, but it kind of ignores the fact that millions of people first encountered Star Wars on TV, especially internationally. It also doesn't take into account that all three original films were re-released around 1997 as the Special Editions and many who hadn't seen it originally, but did know about it from TV, went to see it then.

Speaking for myself, I "discovered" SW only in the early nineties, though I was aware of the films before that, but I just didn't care (I was rewarded for my indifference in that I didn't know about "it" in Empire when I first saw it). I'm of the same age as those youngsters who saw Jedi in the cinema and I wouldn't say there is any difference between us and the same goes for those who are too young to have seen any of the original films in the cinema, but old enough to dislike the new films for being too "kiddy". My point is, having seen Star Wars in 1977, 1980 or 1983 is not the definitive characteristic of Star Wars fans, but the general age of the generation that grew up around it may be, though it'll be interesting to see just how the kiddy generation of today will regard the originals later on in life...

Also Sprach Doktor Merkwürdigliebe...
[ Parent ]

Star Wars (1.33 / 3) (#24)
by danmermel on Thu May 16, 2002 at 08:41:37 AM EST

there's too much over-intelectualising here.... it's just a good action flick

[ Parent ]
Whatever... (3.75 / 12) (#7)
by Carnage4Life on Thu May 16, 2002 at 06:07:03 AM EST

I hated Episode I: Phantom Menace and thought many of the original movies were sub-par on later viewings (especially Return of the Jedi) but this movie kicked ass.

This movie may be the best Star Wars of the bunch but I think I need to rewatch Empire Strikes Back before making that call.

All the Star Wars fanboys (like yourself) dissing this movie must not have watched the original trilogy in recent years because in retrospect they are not as rosy as nostalgia will have you believe.

Yes (3.50 / 2) (#62)
by MattOly on Thu May 16, 2002 at 12:22:38 PM EST

I totally agree.

All in all, I love the film. As far as the acting goes, there's little good acting in any of the original trilogy. The actors were doing their best with the crap, trite dialog Lucas seems to love. The cheezy lines where Anakin speaks of his "tortured soul", yadda-yadda, isn't much better than, "Look inside yourself, you know it to be true." Let's face it, Star Wars dialog has ALWAYS been melodramatic, and the acting has ALWAYS been terrible: <whiny Luke>"But I was gonna go do Toshe Station and get some Power Converters!"</whiny Luke>.

When the acting was good in this film (there were parts, yes, that Anakin fella sure knows how to brood!), it was very good.

The one thing I can't figure out: did someone overclock 3PO's "bad pun" processor?

====
A final note to...the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. ...He's simply more believable than you are.
[ Parent ]

Your tonton will freeze (4.16 / 6) (#70)
by rusty on Thu May 16, 2002 at 01:59:32 PM EST

"Your tonton will freeze before you reach the first marker!"

"Then I'll see you IN HELL!!"

Most inexplicable line in the entire series, as far as I'm concerned. But it does make viewing them a lot more fun, if you occasionally add "Then I'll see you IN HELL!!" to Han's lines, MST3K style.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

See you in HELL! (2.00 / 1) (#71)
by MattOly on Thu May 16, 2002 at 02:23:24 PM EST

My buddy Ben one night, after we watched ESB, starting using "See ya in hell!" as his jovial "good-night" line.

ME: Well, I'm out. See you tomorrow!

BEN (charmingly): Ok, Matt. See ya in Hell!"

Funny as hell if you pull it off right. I guess the fact that he's one of the friendliest people ever may have something to do with it...

====
A final note to...the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. ...He's simply more believable than you are.
[ Parent ]

I dunno... (4.00 / 2) (#74)
by Captain_Tenille on Thu May 16, 2002 at 02:38:35 PM EST

Seems like the whole series is full of bizarre lines, especially the ones that have sexual double-ententres.

"You expect me to come in that thing?"

"Come! Good food, come!"

"And I thought they smelled bad on the outside!"

etc. etc. etc.
----
/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!
[ Parent ]

Your *something* betray you (3.00 / 1) (#122)
by broken77 on Fri May 17, 2002 at 08:31:22 PM EST

I could be wrong, but I think I remember hearing "your thoughts betray you" or "your feelings betray you" at least 3 or 4 times by different characters in episode IV. Right or wrong? At any rate, every time I see the movie I roll my eyes at those lines and groan.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Found it! (none / 0) (#171)
by broken77 on Wed May 22, 2002 at 04:30:41 PM EST

I know nobody is going to see this...  But I'm putting it in here for myself.

From Return Of The Jedi:

LUKE: Your thoughts betray you, father. I feel the good in you...the conflict.

... And later, Darth Vader:

VADER: Give yourself to the dark side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for...

Vader stops and senses something. Luke shuts his eyes tightly, in anguish.

VADER: Sister! So...  you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will.

(shudder)

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

It's taun-taun (4.00 / 5) (#124)
by osm on Fri May 17, 2002 at 08:58:38 PM EST

poseur.

--------
4thelulz.org
[ Parent ]

To each his own (3.50 / 2) (#77)
by paxtech on Thu May 16, 2002 at 03:44:07 PM EST

AOTC was decent in the beginning, and the ending action sequences were also good, but the move DIES in the middle..  The audience I saw it with was making fun of the movie despite the theater being full of Star Wars fans, some in costume.

When Amidala said "I've been dying each minute since you came back into my life", someone yelled out "I've been dying every minute since this movie started!"..  Got a big laugh.

I thought it was the worst Star Wars movie ever, even worse than Phantom Menace.  To each his own.
--
"Eggs or pot, either one." -- Ignignot
[ Parent ]

What can I say? (2.75 / 4) (#17)
by streetliar on Thu May 16, 2002 at 07:46:20 AM EST

When starwars was new, I was young. When I did watch two parts of the original trilogy, it was just another film. It wasn't the crowning fulfilment of my life.

In the same way, I watched Episode1, and in the same way, I'll watch Episode2.

Just a movie, nothing to get disappointed about.

The first films... (2.50 / 2) (#20)
by nobby on Thu May 16, 2002 at 08:14:31 AM EST

aspired to art!

I think if memory serves me, they we hyped up at the time, and whilst good - Not Art.


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
-1, not really a story (1.33 / 3) (#22)
by VoxLobster on Thu May 16, 2002 at 08:34:53 AM EST

more of a diary rant

VoxLobster
I was raised by a cup of coffee! -- Homsar

Vader and Palpatine are the Good Guys (4.66 / 12) (#23)
by wiredog on Thu May 16, 2002 at 08:37:08 AM EST

A defense of the Empire.
The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.


"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
Oy (1.00 / 1) (#31)
by farmgeek on Thu May 16, 2002 at 09:24:42 AM EST

That was excellent.

[ Parent ]
Hrm (4.50 / 2) (#84)
by Netbard on Thu May 16, 2002 at 04:46:39 PM EST

An interesting article. Rather lacking in some points, but interesting. (1) The author of the article claims that he's only going to consider the movies. Nope, no comics or books here. Then he brings up the idea that the Empire has schools to teach people at, using the example of Han Solo going through the Imperial Academy. Was this brought up ever during the movies? (2) 'The Empire has virtually no effect on the daily life of the average, law-abiding citizen.' Well, except for those Jawas. And Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen. And the government and citizens of Cloud City. And the Alderanians. But they surely were all bad and had it coming to them. (3) 'In "The Empire Strikes Back" Captain Piett is quickly promoted to admiral when his predecessor "falls down on the job." ' "Falling down on the job". An interesting way to put killing anyone who screws up. (4) 'Poor Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen reach a grisly end, but only after they aid the rebellion by hiding Luke and harboring two fugitive droids.' Luke was a rebel at this point? What was he guilty of at this point in the meeting, speeding over the landscape of Tatooine? And how does one harbor a fugitive who isn't there? (5) 'If anything, since Leia is a high-ranking member of the rebellion and the princess of Alderaan, it would be reasonable to suspect that Alderaan is a front for Rebel activity or at least home to many more spies and insurgents like Leia.' Can we use real-world logic here, and suppose that Alderaan has a population of several billion? Does the author mean to say that they all must have been spies and insurgents? Or was it more likely that a good proportion of them were the aforementioned 'average, law-abiding citizen's that have nothing to fear from the Empire. Anyway. This was fun!

[ Parent ]
nonsense! (4.50 / 4) (#95)
by martingale on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:50:05 PM EST

Disclaimer: the Empire paid for my DaFT university studies (Dark Force Theology), but the following statements are perfectly impertial, logicative and objectionable refutations.

(1) The author of the article claims that he's only going to consider the movies. Nope, no comics or books here. Then he brings up the idea that the Empire has schools to teach people at, using the example of Han Solo going through the Imperial Academy. Was this brought up ever during the movies?
It's obvious that the Empire has schools. Do you expect the stormtroopers to know how to stand at attention in a square on their own? And the author does mention other possibilities for why Solo is called a captain.

(2) 'The Empire has virtually no effect on the daily life of the average, law-abiding citizen.' Well, except for those Jawas. And Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen. And the government and citizens of Cloud City. And the Alderanians. But they surely were all bad and had it coming to them.
In the grand scheme of things, they count for little. How many inhabitants of the Galaxy? Several hundreds of billions? Now Alderaan has maybe 10 billion, Cloud City was evacuated before the main Imperial clampdown, so doesn't really count and Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen I'll grant you. So we're talking 10000000002 versus maybe 500 billion? That's fifty to one, well within the allowed experimental error. Basically, the Empire has zero effect on imperial law-abiding citizens.

(3) 'In "The Empire Strikes Back" Captain Piett is quickly promoted to admiral when his predecessor "falls down on the job." ' "Falling down on the job". An interesting way to put killing anyone who screws up.
You misunderstand. Imperial troops have a well developed sense of honour. In this case, Admiral Ozzel committed what amounts to ritual suicide by voluntarily falling down while performing the cleansing ritual known as "scratch my throat". Vader accepted his apology in the time honoured, customary manner and promoted the up and coming Piett.

(4) 'Poor Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen reach a grisly end, but only after they aid the rebellion by hiding Luke and harboring two fugitive droids.' Luke was a rebel at this point? What was he guilty of at this point in the meeting, speeding over the landscape of Tatooine? And how does one harbor a fugitive who isn't there?
Grisly bears? Where did you see Grisly bears in episode IV? But I'm digressing. Luke has always been a rebel. Just look at what he said to Uncle Owen when he assigned him some chores: "But I was going to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters!". Can you image a more dysfunctional social outcast? The young man only finds solace in the company of two teenage droids but even they aren't able to prevent tragedy from befalling this reckless and uncontrollable anti-hero. Rebel without a cause indeed.

(5) 'If anything, since Leia is a high-ranking member of the rebellion and the princess of Alderaan, it would be reasonable to suspect that Alderaan is a front for Rebel activity or at least home to many more spies and insurgents like Leia.' Can we use real-world logic here, and suppose that Alderaan has a population of several billion? Does the author mean to say that they all must have been spies and insurgents?
Look, it's pretty simple: you're either with us or against us.

[ Parent ]
Alderaan (none / 0) (#165)
by Znork on Tue May 21, 2002 at 09:04:09 AM EST

Alderaan was run by a terrorist. Think Leia=Osama, from the Empires standpoint. The blowing up of the planet counts as collateral damage in the War on Terror brought to you by Emperor Palpatine.

[ Parent ]
author sounds like a yankee (3.50 / 2) (#117)
by tps12 on Fri May 17, 2002 at 04:53:48 PM EST

I'll take liberty over order, thanks.

[ Parent ]
Hey (4.33 / 3) (#123)
by vectro on Fri May 17, 2002 at 08:52:44 PM EST

You're the ones with video cameras everwhere, not us.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
yankee vs. revel (2.00 / 1) (#137)
by tps12 on Sat May 18, 2002 at 03:35:07 PM EST

Not yankee vs. UKian. They's more fucked up than we. :)

[ Parent ]
sorry, rebel, not revel [n/t] (none / 0) (#138)
by tps12 on Sat May 18, 2002 at 03:35:36 PM EST



[ Parent ]
In space, no one can hear you groan (3.80 / 5) (#28)
by wiredog on Thu May 16, 2002 at 09:17:04 AM EST

The Salon.com review.
scenes shot to look like douche commercials

Ewan McGregor, again doing a fine Alec Guinness impersonation but otherwise seeming lost and alone in the galaxy as the one actor attempting to give a real performance in this mess

Anakin and Amadala, who knew each other as kids but haven't laid eyes on each other since the puberty fairy waved his magic rod, fall desperately in love. But of course, a Jedi knight isn't allowed to have relationships with the fair sex, and a senator has no time for nookie, anyway.

Scene after scene, "Attack of the Clones" looks, sounds and smells bad.

I can't remember ever feeling so glad that a movie was finally over.

The WashPost review, linked in here.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty

Star Wars is rich with cultural archetypes (2.50 / 2) (#41)
by disney on Thu May 16, 2002 at 10:54:10 AM EST

it just galls some people to admit that classical plot devices were as vulgar and basic in ancient times as they are today. We discuss Electra and Clytemnestra in a university setting, but if you point out that same dynamic in modern soap operas, you wind up being castigated as a Sokalite. George Lucas and Vince McMahon are the Aeschylus and Homer of our times, please let's honor their contributions while they are still alive, lest our children think of us as Nazi book-burners.

I'd prefer (2.50 / 2) (#93)
by davidduncanscott on Thu May 16, 2002 at 09:31:54 PM EST

to nominate Stan Lee for Homer. I don't see a lot in Lucas that couldn't be found in Green Lantern (except bigger bosoms in the comics, and I don't think that's a bad thing).

[ Parent ]
The special effects sucked *SPOILER* (2.66 / 3) (#42)
by murklamannen on Thu May 16, 2002 at 10:56:07 AM EST

They did. With good computer animation you should not be able to see it's animation. All CG-characters were quite bad, but the worst part was the water on that clone-building planet. It looked like a bad computer game. Why couldn't they take the time to film some real ocean and put the buildings in with CG?

Ugh. (3.90 / 11) (#44)
by Kasreyn on Thu May 16, 2002 at 10:59:25 AM EST

"I cheered with the masses when Yoda reached for his weapon.

The most silly part of it right there. He's, what, 860 years old? (assuming human-types in this long ago far away galaxy live as long as us) Besides, he can levitate fucking X-Wings. Why doesn't he just throw GIANT BOULDERS at his enemies until they stop moving? Why doesn't he levitate his enemies into the air then bounce them off walls until they go limp? Or better yet, use telekinesis to crush their skulls like eggshells? Yoda using a lightsaber has to be one of the silliest things Lucas has EVER done. He's so far beyond needing them, it makes it ridiculous.

Not as if the prequels were anything other than ridiculous after Lucas pulled that "midichlorian" bullshit out of his ass for no apparent reason.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Of course he's going to use lightsabers: (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by JChen on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:37:24 AM EST

Jedi are full of that honor crap, so nothing too violent or they'll head down the darker path. Bunch of bullshit when you think about the logic: what does honor matter when you're dead because of this so-called honor?

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
Yoda doesn't need a 'saber to be honorable (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by Kasreyn on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:43:12 AM EST

Honor in battle just means giving the opponent a fair chance, and not doing anything needlessly cruel to them.

All Yoda needs to do is use a Force Push to pin all his enemies helplessly to a wall to incapacitate them. No fuss, no muss, no fighting, no strife. Hold them there while the other Jedi slap cuffs on them or whatever they do.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
They tried that (4.75 / 4) (#81)
by mattbelcher on Thu May 16, 2002 at 04:23:50 PM EST

If you had seen the film, you would know that Yoda pulls out his lightsaber to fight an evil Jedi, who has nearly as much control of "GIANT BOULDERS" as Yoda. In fact, the villain tries throwing things at Yoda first, but Yoda just tosses them aside. For Jedis of near-equal ability, a lightsaber duel is the only way to settle things.

[ Parent ]
Whirling Green Dervish (4.25 / 4) (#46)
by dram on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:02:19 AM EST

I like that line, maybe I should use it sometime...oh, wait, I already did.

Now, I have to ask you honestly, did you read my review and copy what I said, or did you come up with it on your own. Either way, it's cool to me. If you are copying me it just shows how great I am, if your not it shows that great minds think alike.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

Whirling (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by CheSera on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:23:35 AM EST

Honestly I thought of it in the theater. Its rather amusing that someone else did too though. Cool Coincidence.


============
**TATDOMAW**
============

[ Parent ]
Star Wars, meh... (1.50 / 2) (#54)
by rodoke3 on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:40:08 AM EST

<rant>When I was younger, I watched the first three Star Wars, I thought the were good movies, but just that. Is it just me, or am I the only one who was turned off to Star Wars by its popularity? I've never seen "The Phantom Menace" because when I heard of the release, all I saw was money. For what other reason would someone continue a story after a sixteen year hiatus? All there was in between the time was a slew of worthless toys and other merchandise. For a 16 year break, one would expect the best damn movie ever made, but, as expected, Lucas disappointed me. That's the reason that there's no way I'll ever see "Episode 2", and from most of the reviews on this discussion, I don't think I'll regret it.</rant>


I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


Désolé! My Source (none / 0) (#57)
by rodoke3 on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:43:12 AM EST

Check IMDB, Episode six was released in 1983, Episode one was released 1999.  Hence, there was a sixteen year gap between the "last" three movies and the "first" three movies

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


[ Parent ]
<supporting rant> (2.80 / 5) (#102)
by mph sd on Fri May 17, 2002 at 02:17:19 AM EST

I feel the same way. I have a knee-jerk reaction to over-hyped "must-see" movies. Titanic was the worst--here in Vancouver they started telling me I had to see it (on billboards and such) a year before it came out. I finally saw it (without sound) on a long flight.

Pearl Harbour: Never saw it.
Episode I: Never saw it.
Episode II: Don't care if I ever see it.

I did see LOTR, but I like the books. I will see Matrix II, but I like Matrix.

[ Parent ]
Too True. (3.25 / 4) (#113)
by The Amazing Idiot on Fri May 17, 2002 at 11:09:16 AM EST

I have the same idea. Well, for a few reasons actually. I might watch Star Wars EP 2 after the nuts are out of the theater. Next, the cost of theater tickets are too high. 6$ for renting an uncomortable seat for 2 hours. Sure sounds like a sucky deal to me. I'll probably see it if/when it comes out on VCD^H^H^Htape :-) This, as most popular movies, I choose to stay away from until easy for me to watch (physically and economically).

Then, of course, good movies NEVER come to my theater (PI, Mononoke-Hime, a bunch of independant films...).

[ Parent ]

Lighten up.. (3.83 / 6) (#55)
by BigZaphod on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:41:11 AM EST

Geesh..   I haven't seen it yet (going to leave and try to get in about an hour from now), but I still think it's going to be entertaining.  And, quite frankly, that's all ANYONE should expect from a Lucas film.

Also, it should be noted that EP1, EP2, EP3 are meant to be viewed *before* 4, 5, and 6.  Just because you know what's going to happen doesn't mean that kids today do.  They will probably greatly enjoy watching all 6 movies in order and experiencing the thrill of the rise and fall of heros and villans--just like you did with the original 3.

Something else to keep in mind.  I don't know if Lucas indended this, but some of the look and feel of EP1 (and possible EP2) may have been done for a reason.  While most would like to bash all the computer graphics and overall "clean" look of things, maybe it was there to give the feeling of how the current republic is sort of dry, bland, plain, and boring.  How it is near its end.  Disconnected from reality.  That sort of thing.  Perhaps some kind of reflection of Lucas' view of our own society.  I don't know.  Could be a stretch, but it sounds good.  :-)

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight

It's Not Like The Original Trilogy Was All That! (4.31 / 16) (#61)
by thelizman on Thu May 16, 2002 at 12:21:42 PM EST

I'm sick and tired of hearing words like "vapid" and "hollow" (seemingly plaigerized from just about every other article critical of SWEII:AotC). Perhaps you people ought to go back and rewatch the original Star Wars series - you'll find the same poor acting (even on Harrison Ford and Alec Guinness's part), cheezy plots, and kick-ass action scenes. The lure and lore of Star Wars doesn't exist because they have award winning acting. It exists because the fantasy and circuimstance of the saga was a unique and convoluted escape from the piss-poor state of sci-fi in the 70's. It is about chivalrous knights serving a faith and their kingdoms against a great evil. It is about the freedom fight against a massive police state. Because Sci-Fi has superevolved (thanks mostly to Star Wars), the bar has been raised a lot higher and even SW itself won't be able to live up to movies like The Matrix.

Get over it people! It is what it is, so just sit back and appreciate the new renditions of the old struggle.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Ummm... (3.50 / 2) (#68)
by ocswing on Thu May 16, 2002 at 01:57:25 PM EST

Star Wars is more fantasy then fiction. And you're right that the acting in the original trilogy wasn't great, however it worked better than some of the people in this film. And Alec Guiness did do a good job considering how short his physical role was.

Still however much people nitpick the movie, it was still enjoyable. And as a movie, that is it's main purpose. But I would like to see EP 3 live up to my original expectations.

[ Parent ]
The Matrix (4.00 / 3) (#80)
by Netbard on Thu May 16, 2002 at 04:21:10 PM EST

Why do people consider the Matrix all that for that matter? Its an expensive action thriller with a loose premise(somehow this guy is able to control the reality that the computer controlled better than the guys who fragging created it), bad acting, and a lot of explosions. I'm not saying it wasn't good, it was a lot of fun. But to hold up up as some sort of mecca of science fiction seems..wrong somehow.

[ Parent ]
C'Mon (3.80 / 5) (#88)
by thelizman on Thu May 16, 2002 at 06:17:55 PM EST

Wrong? The Matrix was totally new in concept and implementation.

First, there was the wholly identifiable circuimstance in which we find Neo - an apathetic youth living the daily grind with the nagging notion that somehow there has to be something more to his existance then as a cog in a machine. What sci-fi buff (or anyone for that matter) wouldn't identify with that.

Then the quite unexplored aspect of being trapped in the dream state, but still being concious. We had seen this in movies like "Nightmare on Elm Street", but it had never had the dimension of an enforced dream state. Moreover, the apocolpytic dimension to this - that instead of mankind being wiped out wed become unwitting slaves - further appeals to societies innate sense of helplessness. Being able to control that which normally controls you has almost universal appeal.

Back to our hero, Neo. Once again, every geek can indentify with, or aspire to suddenly being the center of attention of a group who are similarly fighting against the sense of oppression you feel. Neo discovers that there is more to himself than he could have believed, and that kind of empowerment is always attractive.

One of the greatest strengths of The Matrix was it's ability to have people identify with the lead character. It also encompassed the "man against nature" aspect (as long as you're willing to let "nature" also include those thing which man surrounds himself with).

But even if it were not for this attraction, the eye candy was heavy. The stop-motion action shots are highly reminscent of anime, and added much more depth and impact to the action scenes. The unrealistic meneuvers - justified by the dream-state and rooted in sci-fi's love of martial arts - were stunning and quite unlike anything ever fielded before. Let's face it, it's the only reason movies like "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" made the box office top ten.

Of course, we cannot deny the "cool" aspects - hackers, freedom fighters, raging against the machine, cheating death, majic, super powers, and the fight against evil always make for good movies.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Really? (4.00 / 3) (#120)
by SPYvSPY on Fri May 17, 2002 at 06:40:23 PM EST

You wrote: "Then the quite unexplored aspect of being trapped in the dream state, but still being concious. We had seen this in movies like 'Nightmare on Elm Street', but it had never had the dimension of an enforced dream state."

Quite unexplored?! I'd say this has had about 18 billion treatments in various forms of artistic expression throughout the history of man. I'd start with Plato's allegory of the cave, but others might go much further back in time.

Just more support for my theory people who like the Matrix for its "deep" story are the same people that slept through their abbreviated education.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

You're Killing Me Smalls (3.33 / 3) (#121)
by thelizman on Fri May 17, 2002 at 08:13:44 PM EST

We're talking about Cinema and you want to bring up a written work by Plato?

If this weren't the Internet I'd smack you right about now : )
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Don't blame Plato. (none / 0) (#172)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 22, 2002 at 04:57:48 PM EST

They guy invented metaphysics for chrissakes. You can't begrudge him for not inventing moving pictures too!
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Yes I Can... (none / 0) (#173)
by thelizman on Thu May 23, 2002 at 04:41:52 PM EST

I can blame him for pearl harbor too, and in some far flung way I'd probably be right.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
I hope you mean the movie 'Pearl Harbor'... (none / 0) (#174)
by SPYvSPY on Sat May 25, 2002 at 12:55:57 AM EST

..otherwise, it's going to hurt my brain to try to suss out how Plato inspired Japan to bomb Hawaii.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Matrix not all that, but it was a bag of chips... (3.50 / 2) (#140)
by MoonShark on Sat May 18, 2002 at 07:44:45 PM EST

>The Matrix was totally new in concept and implementation.

Per Shakespeare there were only 7 different stories, Heinlein said there were but 3, and the most generous estimate I've heard is 32... Matrix was AT BEST a novel combination of subplots. The most interesting thing was the millieu (Same as in Star Wars, Middle Earth, and The Wheel of Time)

>Neo - an apathetic youth living the daily grind with the nagging notion
>that somehow there has to be something more to his existance then as a
>cog in a machine

Luke - a young man disappointed by the limited potential for adventure inherent in moisture farming longs to fulfill himself by becoming a pilot

>the quite unexplored aspect of being trapped in the dream state,
>but still being concious

Hello? The Thirteenth Floor? This was a MUCH better exploration of reality, because that was all it was about - while the Matrix diverged into precognition, coming of age, and kung fu. There was also Existenz and Total Recall. Not to mention the many explorations of ensorcellements like charm & geas. What is being under a spell if it's not a dream you cannot wake from?

>it's ability to have people identify with the lead character

And of course with Trinity & Morpheus. Quite like the people who could identify with Luke, Leia, Han, and Obi-Wan

No argument on the stop-motion - the uniqueness of this effect is the crux that people hung their fascination with the Matrix on. That and the elevation of the computer geek to the role of messiah. In 15 years when mastery of the personal computer is no longer a defining element of subculture (because PCs will fade into our appliances via ubiquity and the rise of 3G wireless networks) - this movie will no longer seem as relevant to new generations.

I'll also say here and now that there will be huge threads about how bad the new Matrix movies are in comparison to the first once they are released.
--

Delete UCEFREE to e.m.a.i.l me


[ Parent ]
I agree (2.00 / 1) (#132)
by jcolter on Sat May 18, 2002 at 05:03:01 AM EST

The ideas invoked are interesting, but the fight scenes got really boring after awhile.  

Another thing that really disappointed me about the movie was the easy out it took when it came to why the "human" reality is the way that it is.

To paraphrase, "we tried making a utopia, but everyone was miserable".  Why exactly was that?


[ Parent ]

Re: I agree (3.00 / 1) (#133)
by monksp on Sat May 18, 2002 at 09:16:44 AM EST

To paraphrase, "we tried making a utopia, but everyone was miserable". Why exactly was that?

They hit on this in that exact same bit of dialogue. Forgive me for not being able to reproduce it, but I don't have a copy of the movie handy. Essentially, the Machines theorized that humanity can't feel fulfilled without having to strive against adversity. When the Machines provided a society for humans that took away the challenge in life, people stopped being happy.

[ Parent ]
Alec Guiness... (4.00 / 1) (#151)
by UncleMikey on Mon May 20, 2002 at 12:57:56 PM EST

...more or less admitted later on that he was pretty much phoning it in. He is quoted as saying that the whole idea of killing Obi-Wan off in /A New Hope/ was his, because he wanted to minimize how much of that "bloody awful banal dialogue" he'd have to say in the sequels he was contracted for.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Heh (4.00 / 7) (#66)
by rusty on Thu May 16, 2002 at 01:52:32 PM EST

The question here has got to be, did you actually see the movie? Because I could've written this review without even seeing it. Note that I'm not doubting you, I'm just saying, sounds exactly like what I expected. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
-1, trolls belong on addehkwahcee (n/t) (2.33 / 3) (#67)
by buck on Thu May 16, 2002 at 01:55:53 PM EST


-----
“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
An interesting thing... (1.00 / 2) (#69)
by lazerus on Thu May 16, 2002 at 01:59:07 PM EST

if one recalls IV-VI, wasn't there a company producing a lot of the Imperial weapons and technology called Attack of the Clones Corporation ?

Good (2.70 / 17) (#73)
by John Milton on Thu May 16, 2002 at 02:35:25 PM EST

When half of kuro5hin whines about the new Star Wars movie, I know that Lucas has created another masterpiece. That's right. Pull out your mod points. Episode I was better than any of the other three movies, Jar Jar Binks was the funniest character in the movie, and disgruntled geeks need to get over themselves. Now go ahead. GHOST ME FUCKERS!


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Now if you want to see a good movie... (2.75 / 4) (#75)
by John Milton on Thu May 16, 2002 at 02:51:54 PM EST

...you need to watch this. Best Star Wars spoof ever.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Star Wars spoofs (4.20 / 5) (#83)
by rodoke3 on Thu May 16, 2002 at 04:42:47 PM EST

My favorite was the Mel Brooks movie, Spaceballs.  Who didn't think that the idea of casting Rick Moranis as the villan was (fscking) hilarious?

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


[ Parent ]
as far as this geek is concerned... (2.00 / 8) (#78)
by voltron on Thu May 16, 2002 at 04:07:13 PM EST

...the last star wars movie came out in 1983.

i hate to say this... (4.00 / 8) (#86)
by SocratesGhost on Thu May 16, 2002 at 05:06:06 PM EST

but this could also be a review of SnowCrash. Poor Dialog. Lifeless characters. Incredibly cool geekery.

Oh, did I mention cheesy romance?

-Soc
I drank what?


Not as good as SnowCrash (4.33 / 3) (#101)
by fury on Fri May 17, 2002 at 02:10:14 AM EST

As bad as Stephenson is at writing sex scenes and endings, at least Snowcrash had a sex scene...

Kevin Fox - fury.com
[ Parent ]
but no pictures (3.00 / 2) (#112)
by SocratesGhost on Fri May 17, 2002 at 10:50:20 AM EST

at least we got to see natalie portman sporting her midriff.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Eh? Yuck! (none / 0) (#176)
by sudog on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 12:12:03 PM EST

A giant psychopathic, murderous Aleut raping an underage preteen? Not much of a sex scene.


[ Parent ]
Seems to me... (4.16 / 6) (#87)
by Ressev on Thu May 16, 2002 at 05:08:59 PM EST

That you object to the obvious.

We know how the story ends and have a vague idea of how it starts (but then, we knew how Star Wars was going to end before we saw the film as well: The good guys always win!). Lucas himself noted that the Episodes I-III will not be about plot but about character development. If this is then the case, how was the character development? How does the film stand on it's own.

Most likely you are suffering from a similar problem I had with TLOTR: expectations. I was very disapointed when I walked out of the theatre, but I still went to see it a second time and guess what? I enjoyed it considerably. Give yourself a week, go back and see it a second time, and then come back here and tell us what you think.

I am willing to wager that most of the people who did not like Episode I either did not see it a second time or have set the series in an impossible position to live up to: be better than the last 3 episodes! End plot is moot with these Pre-quels. Individual plot development and character development are the main points in addition to fleshing out a past often alluded to and relied upon for the last 3 episodes.

See it again after you rant and rave a little (I'll pay for <u>your</U> ticket if you want!) and then tell us what you think as a follow up.

There was really little spoilage in this post anyways: common, we all know what to expect!
"Even a wise man can learn from a fool."
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." - Mark Twain

Character Development (3.50 / 2) (#89)
by CheSera on Thu May 16, 2002 at 06:23:10 PM EST

I agree wholeheartidly. The intital series HAS to be about character development. This is exactly why it the lack of any real development in Padame bothers me so much. She is IDENTICAL as a character to her role in Episode I. Her altered job title doesn't count as development.

Anakin has grown and certainly changed, but we don't really see any development in the movie, aside from the death of his mother. All the development has been done in the blank space between movies, and thus cannot be credited. Trust me, I didn't go in expecting to be suprised by the plot.


============
**TATDOMAW**
============

[ Parent ]

Some character development! (3.00 / 2) (#125)
by MSBob on Fri May 17, 2002 at 11:24:55 PM EST

If you believe that Phantom Menace had anything resembling character development you are on crack. That movie demonstrated some of the worst acting ever only rivaled by the gems from Edward Wood Junior himself. At least Ed tried to give their characters some hint of credibility (that he utterly failed is a different matter, though). The lines in the new StarWars series are so corny, they are actually annoying. Dialogues are flatter than ever and the 9 year old Anakin must have been a close relative of George Lucas because I can't imagine how a boy so devoid of acting talent could have been picked up for the role. Kids that can act can be found but it takes some searching just like with adult actors. Take young Natalie Portman in 'The Professional' as an example or Haley Joel Osment in 'The Sixth Sense'.

Anyway, the original series of starWars had something that was very unique in nature. It's the movie making style that is very difficult to clone nowadays because it belongs in the different time frame. Star Wars is not the only movie to fall the victim of trying to become a movie from a different movie making period. 'The Mummy' for example, suffered from the same problem. Indiana Jones was cool in the eighties and it's still cool to watch again but creating what amounts to a remake of that style is next to impossible precisely because you are trying to clone something that already exists.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
A Quick Way To Improve (some) Acting... (3.75 / 12) (#92)
by Canar on Thu May 16, 2002 at 09:09:45 PM EST

Get Natalie Portman naked and petrified. Nice eye candy, no acting required!

Sorry. I just really had an urge to use that in a topical sense.

Epsiode 2: Attack of the Critics (3.50 / 6) (#96)
by askani on Thu May 16, 2002 at 11:58:51 PM EST

When did the first trilogy of Star War films epitimize excellence in all things cinematic? Did you fall pray to the hype of a film? It appears that you did. I'm sorry for you.

Demolition Man? (3.25 / 4) (#99)
by sticky on Fri May 17, 2002 at 01:47:31 AM EST

At least that had some (somewhat) intelligent social commentary.

hrm (none / 0) (#156)
by BlueOregon on Mon May 20, 2002 at 08:58:57 PM EST

"You can take this job and shovel it ..."

or ...

"Let's blow this guy ..."

Something like that, I think (haven't seen it for ages)

[ Parent ]

Get a life! (4.50 / 14) (#105)
by PresJPolk on Fri May 17, 2002 at 04:52:29 AM EST

Forget Voltaire in the above thread; here's a good quote for this article:

"Get a life!" - William Shatner

(Stop here if you don't want to read spoilers)

Despite the fact that the movie in question only obliquely mentions Star Trek once ("Federation Starships" - a nice play on the popular Star Trek bashing inspired by the Trade Federation name in I), the sentiment fits here.

I saw the movie at 10am.  I liked it.  I enjoyed the strained, nervous, self-absorbed rants from Anakin.  I laughed at C3PO.  I was glad to see Yoda return to his familiar wisecracking ways.  I was hanging on the big "Who's the real bad guy here?" feint in the plot.  I grew to appreciate IV-VI even more, now that the powers of the *real* Jedi Knights show just how decayed Luke's time was.

Unfortunately, some people can't just sit back and enjoy it.  Ever since the days when Berke Breathed wrote in Bloom County "Jedi Knights don't wait 15 years for sequels," these movies have been worshipped.  People thought of them every day, just as Ani thought of Amidala.  And now that they're face-to-face with the movies of their dreams, it's awkward.  The movies still treat them as the children they were way back when, but now they've grown up and their tastes changed.

To those of you who are complaining, I suggest you take Shatner's advice, or read a book, or even watch a different movie.  Complaining endlessly about C3PO/Jar Jar/Ewoks seems like such a waste of time.

A fair point (none / 0) (#150)
by UncleMikey on Mon May 20, 2002 at 12:52:23 PM EST

While I'm never going to rate The Phantom Menace as one of my favorite movies, I was one of the people who had trouble understanding the sheer anger of many fans who felt betrayed. In the end, Lucas never promised us a 'grown up' Star Wars, never promised us movies that would be better than the originals. He promised us more Star Wars, and that's what we got. They're entertaining on some levels, and not meant for deep analysis.

That said, I still think TPM was a disappointment, even without much analysis.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

The problem with episodes I & II (2.83 / 6) (#106)
by Spork on Fri May 17, 2002 at 05:59:09 AM EST

I don't know about you, but I can never feel satisfied by a movie if even while watching it, I know I could have done it much better if I had been put in charge (script revisions + directing).

When it comes to Episodes I & II, it's just absolutely clear to me that I could have done better. For example, I do better romantic dialogue every fucking morning. And even my improvised D&D campaigns have fewer plotholes and more inderesting/consistent characters.

So sure, I was impressed with all the computer-generated spectacle that Lucas bought--but as long as it's so obvious to me that I could have made the rest of the scenes so much better, I can't have any respect for the movie at all.

Of course, this movie isn't about respect. I think a reviewer in The Guardian hit the nail on the head when he said that this movie is just cinematic junk food. I suppose that there is a time and place for that... Although, as with movies, I can never be satisfied eating at a restaurant when I know they're serving me dishes that I could have cooked better at home.

You know, there is plenty of sci-fi that doesn't insult my intelligence. I would have enjoyed AOTC much more if it were just a string of effects, with no attempted plot at all.

speaking of which ... (5.00 / 1) (#157)
by BlueOregon on Mon May 20, 2002 at 09:35:09 PM EST

Speaking of your D&D campaigns ...
as bad as the D&D movie was -- as painful as the acting and dialogue were -- it was still mildly enjoyable as trashy pop crap. I admit it -- I saw it in the theater. On the other hand, LoTR was well-directed, the acting was pretty good, the script was strong enough, and the special effects fit the mood and direction of the film.

What the most recent Star Wars flicks have over the D&D movie are 1) budget and 2) special effects quality. However, with the exception of the action sequences, the directing stinks, the script sucks, and the performances are wooden ... just like the D&D movie.

To its credit, or to the industry's shame, Star Wars is the best in 'epic', 'mythological' 'sci-fi' out there in film. [note: there are many, many better sci-fi films, but hardly any good ones in the space-opera tradition ... probably for a reason] Until something a lot better displaces it, people will accept it as the standard. Somebody needs to make an epic space movie with 1) memorable characters, 2) quality dialogue and a good script, 3) appropriate effects, 4) a story/plot that may be cliched, but if so, done well, etc. That is, there needs to be a LoTR to Star Wars' "D&D" [and the sad part is that with a better script and with better directing, the current Star Wars movies really could be good movies, not just enjoyable two-hour chunks of eye-candy].

-SK

PS -- regarding the whole "entertainment" / "action" argument that some people bring up ... that that's what Star Wars is, and we shouldn't judge it harshly: 1) there are better pure 'action' films out there: Speed is one (minimal dialogue to get in the way of non-stop action, for example); Bruce Lee and 'Arnold' flicks have plenty of fighting (again, with minimal dialogue to get in the way); 2) if I only wanted action/entertainment, I could watch the WWF (better dialogue and acting, too).
PPS -- regarding the whole "you're forgetting the 1st trilogy" stuff that some people bring up: I remember the 1st trilogy. The directing is workmanlike, except in ESB, where it's pretty good. The dialogue is weak but has a few amusing moments (as in the new movies). The special effects were ok for their time, but all in all, Ep. IV was a b-movie. I still remember most of the dialogue to all three movies -- they're bad, but fun. [and while we're comparing Ep. II to Ep. V ... the Han & Leia romance was so much better than the Anakin & Padmé one] The only things the new ones offer over the old ones are better special effects. That having been said, there are many, many movies that are worse than the new Star Wars flicks.

[ Parent ]

What you expect (4.46 / 15) (#107)
by DeadBaby on Fri May 17, 2002 at 07:08:37 AM EST

My enjoyment of movies really relates closely to what I expect going into it. For me, Star Wars 4-6 are above average movies that happen to fit within a style of movie I enjoy, science fiction / fantasy.

It seems though people were expecting Lucas to create 3 movies that magically transformed them into 9 year olds and allowed them to escape to another universe the way only 9-year olds watching Star Wars for the first time can.

Instead of trying to single out Episode 1/2 I think everyone needs to realize, Star Wars just isn't that good. If you require substance in your movies there are TONS of other choices. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to pick up a book either? Why try to turn a space opera into a religious experience?
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan

Resemblance (3.00 / 3) (#111)
by Fon2d2 on Fri May 17, 2002 at 10:30:47 AM EST

This bears little or no resemblance to the majesty or glory of the original trilogy.
Episode 2 had largely the same format as Episode 5.

Diatribe du juor: (3.66 / 3) (#115)
by joshjs on Fri May 17, 2002 at 02:15:58 PM EST

I agree that Episode I was kind of a kids' flick. If Episode II changes that, I'm guessing it's very, very similar to the first trilogy that was released.

Bad dialogue and good special effects? Sounds like any Star Wars film I can think of.

As Lucas has said, he doesn't write these films to be acted. (I don't know if this was originally intentional or if it's just his excuse these days, but I also don't care.)

We all liked the first movies when we were young. If they came out today, we'd be saying the same things about them that we're saying about Episode II today.

Bad dialogue. Good effects.

(I'll probably go see it, just because I want to see Yoda whoop some ass. The light-saber battles are always the coolest parts. But I won't expect to shed many tears for Anakin and Padme/Amidala's forbidden love.)

So how do you really feel about it? (2.66 / 3) (#116)
by lvogel on Fri May 17, 2002 at 04:42:46 PM EST


-- ----------------------
"When you're on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog!"

-a dog
so... (2.00 / 2) (#118)
by tps12 on Fri May 17, 2002 at 04:59:10 PM EST

I had an editorial comment regarding the political message of this movie. Basically, Lucas has given up the "epic" storytelling and is now dealing in allegory.

I've read very interesting pieces on how TPM is a libertarian anti-government story (explains why everyone hates it so much?), and this one sounds like it'll have a good take on the Civil War.

Perhaps the "dark side" is really " (none / 0) (#146)
by directed ascent on Sun May 19, 2002 at 09:31:17 PM EST

In "The Case for the Empire", posted this week on "The Weekly Standard" (am I spamming if I provide a link?) Johnathan Last tries to argue the "Empire" is really the good guys. I'm not sure well he succeeds, but he makes a few interesting points.

For example, a group of planets wish to succeed from the Republic. They're not slave-holding planets, apparently all they want is a smaller government and free trade. (Who can blame, them given how admittedly ineffective the Galactic Senate has become?)

As Mr. Last puts it: "The Republic, of course, is eager to quash these separatists, but they never make a compelling case--or any case, for that matter--as to why, if they are such a freedom-loving regime, these planets should not be allowed to check out of the Republic and take control of their own destinies."

If anyone else knows of articles on political or social spin within AToC or TPM, I wouldn't mind seeing them.

[ Parent ]

non sequitor (none / 0) (#147)
by tps12 on Sun May 19, 2002 at 11:09:47 PM EST

Well, "the Republic is evil" does not imply "the Empire is good."

Keep an eye on http://www.lewrockwell.com , I suspect they will have some political interpretations soon.

As for myself, I got around to seeing ATOC (as its known on teh intarweb) this weekend on the digital screen in Manhattan (no big whoop, btw). Obviously, Yoda-fighting and politics are the only interesting aspects of this largely poor flick.

If you take ATOC as a straight retelling of the Civil War, you have Palpatine/Lincoln either feeding the seperatists flames or plotting the secession movement outright, with Dooku/Jackson(?) as underling co-conspirator.

This is even a stretch for the usual anti-Lincoln crowd, and Lucas does them a disservice with the claim that, evil and corrupt as the Republic/Union may have been, the secessionists/South were just pawns. Also, "clones killing droids" is not nearly as tragic and powerful as "brothers killing brothers," so Lucas seems to again be playing down the tragic blow to liberty that some consider the Civil War to have been.

Maybe I'm just trying to read more into it than I really should. The allegory still holds if you look at the simple "Republic raises standing army, becomes Empire" sequence. That's not only the most important for (what remains of) the ongoing plot, but it is, IMO, the most important "message" that Lucas could be trying to get out.

And damn, Yoda rulez.

[ Parent ]

Truly Great (4.00 / 7) (#119)
by dTd on Fri May 17, 2002 at 06:38:25 PM EST

While I've yet to see ATOC, I just loved TPM and thought it was a great follow up to the original series. I saw Episode 4 in the theater 5 times as a married teenager, I thought the aliens were dumb, rubber suited guys in horse suites. I thought the acting was poor, and cheesy, just like I wanted it, not too heavy with to much depth to actually enjoy watching it over thinking of deeper meaning. I read books for that. It had special effects to die for, a coolness factor that spoke to the pilot in me trying to get out since I was a young boy. Never before had a movie been as much fun as this, until the TESB.

This movie was darker, quieter, more mathmatical, and defenitely not as light as the first. It was enjoyable, but in a slightly different way. The effects were still awesome, the acting even poorer IMHO, but it had that cool factor, flying through the meteor field, Darth killing the admiral, the realization that these movies are really about two droids, the unsung hero of the rebellion Wedge.I felt slightly dissapointed when leaving the theater, and even after seeing it 3 more times there, I still didn't enjoy it as much as the first. Then there was ROTJ.<</p>

Jedi was a return to the fun of the original, still the bad acting and terrible dialog: The forest moon of endor. . the forest moon of endor. We see luke use his lightsaber for real, though it's not long enough to have an impact on just how he learned to use it. There are huge gaps in time where he should have been learning these jedi arts, but who cares, it's star wars, kick back and enjoy the ride. How rediculous I thought the ewoks were, silly little men in couch cushion covers. How cool I thought the bikes in the trees section was, how dumb it was to expect r2 to roll along through a forest, how funny when chewy commandeered the walker. I was totaly shocked to learn that the dark side is stronger. fun fun fun.

TPM was a return to the fun, but now the aliens look alien, not like men in horse suites. The silly factor is still there and even funnier than before. Now I know finaly where Darth came from, and who couldn't like watto, my favorite of all the SW characters. He is a dead ringer for my friends dad who is always trying to cut deal on something. The pod race, man what a rush, if it had only been longer, the p38 looking naboo fighters, the super cool nubian ship, great stuff. The jedi arts, whowa!, this is what a jedi is supposed to do, now we see them kick ass instead of whine as in the other movies. This movie has more shear quality and better acting than the first 3 combined, I felt like a teenager again.

I want to point out that I have all the released movies on tape and have been in the mood to watch them. I watched them everyday for a week, rotating them sometimes one a day and sometimes two. The more you watch, the better TPM looks. The first seem simple and dated by comparison.

I am highly anticipating AOTC. I will eventually get to see it, but I am in no hurry as I'm sure it will live up to the funfactor of the others.

Thank you George, for Star Wars, ad especially for Willow.
/dTd

Perl 6 will give you the big knob - Larry Wall

Good comment. (3.33 / 3) (#127)
by Icehouseman on Sat May 18, 2002 at 02:07:14 AM EST

So far some of the most logical statements made about the whole Star Wars series since TPM came out. Those who hate TPM and AOTC seem to forget that this whole movie series is about fun. Star Wars was never about great dialog and acting. These are things that would be nice to have, but just aren't neccesary. I think that AOTC is the best Star Wars movie so far. Of course I think it's the intellectual wannabees who keep giving the movie bad reviews. They think that if they give the movie a bad review they'll be seen as being smarter.

Just so you know, AOTC is IMHO a combination of fun and seriousness. It's a lot of fun, but at the same time the it's darker and more mature. TPM is somewhat of a let down for me because it seemed like there was no tension, at all, in the first three the tension of the Empire breathing down the Rebel's neck was always there. I don't think the Trade Federation was all that. This new one has tension, fun, great effects, bad dialog, bad acting; everything you could want in a Star Wars movie. Check it out.
----------------
Bush's $3 trillion state is allegedly a mark of "anti-government bias" on the right. -- Anthony Gregory
[ Parent ]

mlp (3.00 / 2) (#130)
by martingale on Sat May 18, 2002 at 04:00:27 AM EST

here

I have only one question. (3.33 / 3) (#131)
by goatse on Sat May 18, 2002 at 04:25:46 AM EST

Did the author see the original series?  I seem to recall that they kinda sucked by today's standards.  Lucas created the effects based shoot em' up movie.  This is what he dose.  This is all he dose.  Hence his movies suck, as stories.  Why is it that sci-fi is so dominated by the effects driven crap which makes it to prime time or big production movie?

Actually, I should partially retract that last statment.  ST:TNG was oftin good and managed to capture much that was good about the original series.  DS9 (bad B5 rip off) and Voyager were total crap though.


Seriously (3.00 / 2) (#135)
by joecool12321 on Sat May 18, 2002 at 01:51:54 PM EST

I hate to insult the "hordes of screaming zealots," but one thing I've challenged my friends who enjoy IV, V, and VI to do is to go back and watch them.  Really watch them.  The dialogue of the originals is no better than that of Episode I.  Star Wars as a movie waxes average.  The culture surrounding the movies may be interesting, may be insightful, may be deep - but it is a culture sprung out of the audience, not a culture intrinsic in the filmwork itself.

--Joey

[ Parent ]

Star Wars is not only Lucas creation (3.00 / 1) (#142)
by The Amazing Idiot on Sun May 19, 2002 at 02:24:07 AM EST

Liking or hating Star Wars is one thing. The story was ok in the earliest show (EP 4, right?). I didn't watch the others.

Still, when I think of Lucas, I think of Indiana Jones. The Temple of Doom was the worst, and came to admit it. The first and the third (which are the ones with Biblical themes) absolutely rocked. Not many special effects, since it's based in the 1930's to 1940's. There are shoot-em ups, but there is a strong basis for a plot. And in some cases, intelligence wins.
Some samurai dude comes up against Jones (he's about 20 ft away). While he's swinging the swords, Jones pulls out his revolver and shoots him. Another instance is when Jones' dad uses an umbrella on the beach at some seagulls(they're being shot at by Nazi's. The gulls fly away crash into the airplane gunner. The craft then crashed into a cliff.

Still, Sci-Fi HAS to be chock full of effects to get on the big screen. Matrix only spent HOW MANY MILLION to do the techie stuff with it? They even sold basic how-to like tapes (how the Matrix was created) to customers. Some sci-fi movies, like PI absolutely rocked, yet they were made in '98 and in B/W. Looks like an amateur got a pro recorder and made it. Lots of props, but no eye-candy. Neat ending :-)

Last note, too bad that Sci-fi network CANT get the damn episodes in order For Babylon 5. Love the series, but you see things happening in totally wrong events. I just quit watching. ST:TNG was great. Have you noticed that series that dont focus on "Finding Home" succeed quite well. The only counterexample is Quantum Leap. They finally end the series. The show was being cancelled, but the director made what I consider the best episode. That last show puts every detail together:
1: the hand that he felt (in ep 1): God.
2: His effect on the world, and how many more lives he saved than he thought.
3: A chance to continue(given by God): declined.
4: His second to last leap: To save his best friend's marriage
5: the Final leap to see his dad; Heaven.

The best, and only successful "Finding Home" show.
Ahh, done with my rant :-)

[ Parent ]

Quantum leap had.. (3.00 / 1) (#143)
by goatse on Sun May 19, 2002 at 06:20:05 AM EST

..too little running plot.  I watched the show for a while and eventually quit watching due to its episodic nature.  I eventually saw this one piece of one episode where he spinning around with some goat which was the devil or something.  I'd love to see the plot episodes up for DL on the web someplace.

Stargate is another working sci-fi show.  Its pretty down to earth and kinda simplistic, but it dose manage to carry the scifi banner.  There is a little bit of that stupid "red shirted guy always dies" from the original ST (the main charaters are unrealistically good at their jobs), but thats been true of almost all sci-fi.  Plus, stargate has realitivly few plot irrelevent episodes and you can DL them all of the web.  Personally, I recommend watching them out of order to avoid seeing any of the irrelevent episodes (unles you like them).


[ Parent ]

Thank you so much! (none / 0) (#144)
by NDPTAL85 on Sun May 19, 2002 at 06:39:09 AM EST

Your post prompted me to do a google search for Quantum Leap. I ended up finding an alternate ending to the last episode. I don't want to spoil it for you but let me tell you it made my eyes year up. I don't know if you've seen this particular ending yet or not so I'll just post a link to the site that has it for you.

http://www.geocities.com/ripmaster1

[ Parent ]

Swords vs. Gun (none / 0) (#155)
by Torgos Pizza on Mon May 20, 2002 at 05:27:56 PM EST

Actually, that scene where Indy shoots the swordsman was Harrison Ford's idea. During that day of filming, the script called for Indy to do some fancy tricks with his whip. Harrison was extremely sick that day. Nothing was staying down in his stomach and it was coming out the wrong end quite frequently. He went to Spielburg and Lucas and said, "Why don't I just shoot him?". They laughed and it seemed like a good idea so they shot it once and it turned out great.

I remembered that off the top of my head and I'm pretty sure that's the way it came off.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

Length of fight scenes (3.50 / 2) (#134)
by MicroBerto on Sat May 18, 2002 at 10:41:55 AM EST

In that they saw a movie for children, a racing game, and one lone light-saber duel that ended too quickly.
I disagree with this. True, the darth maul fight was one of the few light-saber fights in Ep. 1, but it was LONG.

In contrast, i thought that the fight scenes in AOTC were far too short, and could have been MUCH longer (note - i am talking about the 1 on 1 light saber scenes, not big battles -- that was a very fine scene as well!) I definitely wish those scenes were longer.

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip

Length of fight scenes, take 2 (4.00 / 2) (#141)
by zonker on Sat May 18, 2002 at 09:17:58 PM EST

I disagree with this. True, the darth maul fight was one of the few light-saber fights in Ep. 1, but it was LONG.

Well, he didn't actually say it was short - just that it ended too quickly. I kind of agree with that, it really seemed to be over too quickly for me. Probably because it was interspersed with other action, so it seemed shorter than it was. The actual sparring between Maul and Obi-Wan just didn't last long enough (for me, anyway) to be really satisfied when he finally sliced Maul in two.

I will not get very far with this attitude.
[ Parent ]

The Trees for the Forest (5.00 / 29) (#136)
by Stickerboy on Sat May 18, 2002 at 03:25:33 PM EST

Honestly, this review, minus pronouns, could have filled for any of the other four Star Wars films or just about any science fiction film such as the Matrix.  Neat concept, good story, excellent effects, bad dialogue and mediocre delivery.

When I remember Episodes IV-VI, I remember the overarching themes (good vs. evil, the redemption of Vader, the Dark Side as a temptation) and the out-of-this-world special effects (for its time).  You don't generally remember the annoying whining of Episode IV-V's Luke, or the bad delivery of Carrie Fisher ("But!These!Are!My!Friends!  C3PO, tell!them!..."), or the incredibly cliched dialogue ("'This is your idea of a rescue? Some plan!' 'He's the brains, sweetheart!'")

So, what did I watch and enjoy about Episode II?

1. The decline of a republic into a dictatorship.

Lucas has made the comment that every democracy has historically turned into a dictatorship (possibly paraphrasing John Adams).  In Episode II, continuing where the first prequel left off, Lucas shows us how Palpatine manipulates and maneuvers the Trade Federation and the Separatists against the Republic, through himself and his agents, to the point where the Senate basically just hands him the reins of power in a bloodless coup.  And you wonder, when a large majority of people post-9/11 favor giving up some liberties for security, how this story is relevant?

2. The Romeo-and-Juliet tragic romance.

Sure, the romantic dialogue is contrived and cliched, but isn't that the point?  We have two overly-sheltered and emotionally underdeveloped teenagers seeking the company of an attractive peer, when all their life they've been stifled and repressed by their respective occupations (politician and Jedi).  It'd be more jarring to watch them spout dialogue worthy of a literary classic, rather than the overused and tired phrases that teenagers use.  They live surrounded by adults and have been forced into adult roles that they aren't completely ready for.  They fall into each other's arms, like Shakespeare's couple, not so much out of true love as for the need for a change from their otherwise stunted emotional lives and a sexual awakening.  We see how the same recklessness and arrogance that drove Romeo into tragedy drives Anakin to his.  Padme as Juliet is wise enough to know that their relationship is doomed from the start, but she is a slave to her emotions as much as Anakin is to his.

3. History doesn't repeat itself, it rhymes.

Watching and comparing the developments of father and son, you can see similar themes and traits, yet they turn out much differently.  Anakin disregards his duty when faced with a vision of his mother in pain and falls to the temptation of the Dark Side.  Luke disregards his duty when faced with a vision of his sister in pain and nearly falls to the Dark Side, but escapes.  Anakin is characterized by his recklessness, selfishness, and anger, and eventually his darker side consumes him.  Luke is characterized by his recklessness, selfishness, and anger, but at the pivotal moment when he is faced with a choice of killing Vader out of vengeance, he pulls back.

4. Filling in the undercurrent for Episodes IV-VI.

Certain parts of the original trilogy don't have much meaning before watching the relevant portions of the prequels.  For instance, hearing Vader proclaim that he is now the master of Obi-Wan doesn't really hold any emotional weight (he is, after all, the Big Bad Guy) until you see the constant chafing of Anakin under Obi-Wan's tutelage, Anakin's portrayal of Obi-Wan as a master who's never satisfied with his progress, and (presumably) Obi-Wan's and Anakin's duel in Episode III, when Anakin loses and falls into lava.  Or hearing Yoda in Episode V chastise Luke as arrogant, and too old to begin the training, and seeing in Episode II both the problems those same traits give Anakin and Yoda chastising Obi-Wan for being arrogant as well.  "So was I, if you remember," Obi-Wan retorts in Episode V.

5. Oh yeah, the fight scenes.

Basically, everything that was great about the original trilogy is still just as good.  Everything that was horrible about the original trilogy is just as bad, only this time, we're seeing it not as the children we were but as adults with wildly overinflated expectations. Consequently, all of the bad parts that most people don't remember about the original trilogy are touching an especially sensitive nerve, as they were expecting the Star Wars that they remember through the rose-colored lenses of nostalgia, and not the real Star Wars.

Exactly... (3.50 / 2) (#148)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Mon May 20, 2002 at 03:15:17 AM EST

Basically, everything that was great about the original trilogy is still just as good. Everything that was horrible about the original trilogy is just as bad, only this time, we're seeing it not as the children we were but as adults with wildly overinflated expectations. Consequently, all of the bad parts that most people don't remember about the original trilogy are touching an especially sensitive nerve, as they were expecting the Star Wars that they remember through the rose-colored lenses of nostalgia, and not the real Star Wars.

You have hit the nail squarely on the head, my friend.

The new films, no matter how good they are, will never match up to people's hazy memories of running round the school playground pretending to be their favourite characters (I always got to be Chewie!)

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.
[ Parent ]

Memories only somewhat hazy (5.00 / 1) (#149)
by UncleMikey on Mon May 20, 2002 at 12:47:49 PM EST

I can put in a video tape of Star Wars: A New Hope or any of the original trilogy any time I desire, and the magic is still definitely there. Sure, the movies have problems, but there's something compelling about them.

I haven't seen Attack of the Clones yet, but The Phantom Menace completely lacked that compelling quality. There was just no magic to it. I'm hoping Attack of the Clones proves somewhat better, but I'm not rushing out to see it.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

Well said (none / 0) (#152)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon May 20, 2002 at 03:56:32 PM EST

You make your point so well, that I will print out this comment and carry it with me.  Any time I hear someone complain about Star Wars II sucking, I will staple your comment to their forehead.  Thanks.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
republic-dictatorship examples? (none / 0) (#159)
by valency on Tue May 21, 2002 at 12:35:22 AM EST

There really haven't been that many countries that had democracy and lost, have there? My world history's a bit weak...

---
If you disagree, and somebody has already posted the exact rebuttal that you would use: moderate, don't post.
[ Parent ]
Some examples (none / 0) (#162)
by nefertari on Tue May 21, 2002 at 05:06:38 AM EST

  • The Roman Empire: changed from a republic to a dictatorship. Julius Caesar was declared "Dictator" (a title as military leader for a fixed timespan when Rome was in danger) for lifetime. After his death and some struggle Octavian (Augustus) became the first Emperor.
  • Germany: Before Hitler they had a democracy, which lasted from 1918 (1919?) until 1933


[ Parent ]
terminology (none / 0) (#163)
by martingale on Tue May 21, 2002 at 05:28:26 AM EST

Did you mean that Caesar was named "imperator"? The word in quotes means general or commander in Latin.

Other historical examples include Venice, which used to be a republic at the end of the Middle Ages, and of course some of the greek city states even before the Romans.

[ Parent ]

Another example and a counter argument (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by funferal on Tue May 21, 2002 at 06:59:35 AM EST

And of course France became an empire for a period in the 19th century.

The flaw with the argument is that any currently existing republic is obviously exempt. So, the most that can be stated is that "every republic either becomes an empire or continues as a republic". Are there any alternative systems that can't be broadly classified as either a republic or an empire/dictatorship? If not, then the statement is a truism.

[ Parent ]

Republic -> Dictatorship -> Rebelion -> R (none / 0) (#169)
by BobRobertson on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:05:46 AM EST

The decline of liberty and the assumption of power in the form of a dictatorship is what all human systems go through, simply because human societies change.

It would be just as valid to say that all Dictatorships have rebelions, and some rebelions lead to Republics.

Some, maybe most, rebelions lead only to new names on the Dictators office door.

Historically, democracies have lasted until the majority discovers it can vote itself money. It's called "welfare" in America this time around.

Many dictatorships after Marx have latched onto all those cute words he gave them to justify their dictatorship. Stalin and Mao were dictators no less than President Peron of Argentina. They just rationalized their dictatorships with different words.

Humans have not yet discovered a way to perpetuate freedom, in my opinion because they keep trusting that a "government" will protect that freedom. But you cannot have both freedom and safety. One always pushes out the other.

So, Republics fail into Dictatorships. Dictatorships inspire Rebelion. Popular Rebelion inspires Republics, etc, etc etc.

That is, if we're lucky to not have simply one dictator after another, like China.

Bob-

September 11, 2001. The most successful day for gun control and central planning in American history.
[ Parent ]

What did you think? (3.83 / 6) (#139)
by dvNull on Sat May 18, 2002 at 07:09:39 PM EST

That Attack of the clones was gonna have nominations for best actor, best actress and best supporting roles?

Every single one of the Star Wars films was made so that the audience can have a good time at the movies and ALL of them do that. Even Episode 1. I had a good time and felt that the money I spent watching Ep 1 4 times and Ep 2 twice was well spent.

If you guys didnt have fun at the 2 prequels, you must be getting too damn jaded and should stick to watching Dramas and comedies.

dvNuLL



If you can see this, then the .sig fell off.

Am I the only one... (1.00 / 6) (#145)
by birdsintheskytheylooksohigh on Sun May 19, 2002 at 08:56:30 AM EST

who wants to know what Wookie feces smells like?

No (none / 0) (#160)
by Stick on Tue May 21, 2002 at 04:25:03 AM EST

I've stayed awake wondering that myself sometimes.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
where? (none / 0) (#161)
by martingale on Tue May 21, 2002 at 04:51:25 AM EST

Here on earth or on the wookie home planet? Since the composition of the atmosphere is presumably somewhat different, I would expect that the receptacles in your nose would interpret the different mix of molecules on both planets in distinct ways. Chewbaca No. 5 anyone?

[ Parent ]

Maybe it's time for Lucas to step back (4.75 / 4) (#153)
by gbd on Mon May 20, 2002 at 04:32:42 PM EST

There are some things that George Lucas has, and some things that he hasn't.  One of the things that he has is an unparalleled creative genius; he's been able to bring to life some of the most fantastic and dazzling worlds imagined in the history of filmmaking.  However (and I say this knowing full well that I risk being pummeled to death by plastic lightsabers at the hands of rabid fanboys), George Lucas is not the world's best screenwriter or director.  He's not bad at either of these roles, but maybe he should consider the possibility that there are others who could bring his creations to the big screen more effectively.

Most fans of the Star Wars series consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the best film (and I say "most" because I don't presume to speak for every Star Wars fan.)  Perhaps it is not coincidence that this is the film whose production George Lucas was least involved with.  Lucas did not direct the film, instead giving the director's chair to Irvin Kershner.  Furthermore, he did not write the original or final screenplay to the film; this was done by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan.  Lucas did make several trips through the interim screenplay, but most of the final product resulted from Kasdan.  Some of the movie's most memorable lines (such as the "I love you!" "I know!" exchange between Leia and Han) were not scripted by Lucas.

Having said this, I really enjoyed Attack of the Clones.  It could have been better; it has way too much stilted dialogue that takes itself far too seriously, the "love story" subplot was somewhat wooden and unconvincing, and the film takes too long to get going. Still, as a Star Wars fan, it was fascinating to watch the Republic devolve into chaos and to see the genesis of many of the characters and situations that are featured in the original trilogy.  The film's closing scene, with Palpatine observing his legions of Stormtroopers-to-be from on high accompanied by John Williams' Imperal March, gave me chills.

For Episode III, maybe Lucas should take the advice of many of the series' fans and critics and turn some of the day-to-day production over to new blood, giving him more time to focus on the raw creative aspects of the film.  I, for one, would really love the series to go out with a bang.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.

My thoughts (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by hardburn on Mon May 20, 2002 at 11:50:31 PM EST

I've left my thoughts about AoTC in a diary. This is a much more mature film (no, not "mature" like that, you sicko) than "Menace" was. It contains some rather deep questions when you take it with the view of the entire series. This is why I think old sckool fans have enjoyed it so much, while the average viewer just says "ho, hum, another Star Wars film".

This is the same Yoda who took Luke's breadsticks and wacked R2 with a stick?


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while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


hee (none / 0) (#166)
by vinay on Tue May 21, 2002 at 11:01:15 AM EST

At least Obi Wan had to grow a beard.

Are you saying they should've forced Amidala to grow a beard? That sure would've made the kiss interesting. :-)


-\/


Gifted but clueless (none / 0) (#167)
by anser on Tue May 21, 2002 at 01:09:26 PM EST

It's true that making a good sci-fi movie is hard to do. The problem is that if anybody was ever in a position to achieve this difficult goal, it had to be Lucas, so it's painful to watch him answer opportunity with mediocrity.

When blessed with a brilliant collaborator, there's nobody you'd rather have designing your movie universe than George: his sense of color and space is impressive, his gadgets are nifty, his effects are intelligent and classy. Let someone else (Spielberg, Kirshner) worry about pacing and acting and dialog, and you have another classic in the can.

Leave George alone, though, with his huge cash kitty, freedom from studio "interference" (or studio common sense), and insulated working life among yes-George courtiers, and the film quickly becomes hostage to his unhinged limitations.

Majesty and Glory of the original trilogy... (none / 0) (#168)
by aluminumaloi on Tue May 21, 2002 at 01:33:17 PM EST

This bears little or no resemblance to the majesty or glory of the original trilogy.
Haven't seen the original triology in a while, have you?

Episode II: The Idol of Zealots. | 174 comments (127 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
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