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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:17 pm 
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I miss Prim ...
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That's probably my favorite scene in any SW movie, though very likely not for the intended reasons. :P

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:52 pm 
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I think you can make a reasonable and defensible case that Attack of the Clones is better than The Phantom Menace.

I find AotC to be an interesting case because it’s actually a very sound film in fundamentals. It has great villains. Those villains have a scheme which is clever without being contrived. There’s no planet-destroying superweapon with an arbitrary weakness. The murder-mystery style plot makes for an interesting change from the usual Star Wars formula without being too radical a departure. The basic structure of the film is good, even though it suffers from pacing issues around the middle. It uses a series of incidents to foreshadow Anakin’s fall.

It falls over because of the execution, mostly in the godawful dialogue, but also with some really silly action scenes, and at times, in editing (something Lucas enjoys but needed help on in the OT). Still, I’ve always thought you could make a pretty good film by re-writing about ten minutes’ worth of the script. And while it has some terrible scenes it also has some absolutely brilliant ones (usually those without dialogue).

Compare that with TPM, which I think is a weak film in premise as well as execution.

And as I said, on a personal level, I re-watch AotC occasionally (skipping the worst scenes), while I’ve never really felt a desire to re-watch TPM or any of the Sequels.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:17 pm 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
It falls over because of the execution, mostly in the godawful dialogue, but also with some really silly action scenes, and at times, in editing (something Lucas enjoys but needed help on in the OT). Still, I’ve always thought you could make a pretty good film by re-writing about ten minutes’ worth of the script. And while it has some terrible scenes it also has some absolutely brilliant ones (usually those without dialogue).


Yes, what's up with that? Why are we seeing these epic, beautiful, action-filled movies that have million dollar effects and dialogue that sounds like they picked up a couple guys in the Home Depot parking lot and slipped them $10 each to write it?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:06 am 
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In this case, I think it was purely George Lucas' desire for creative control. He owned Lucasfilm, so he could write his own dialogue if he wanted. I know he was frustrated during the process of making ESB and RotJ by the need to work with writers, producers and directors with a different vision to his, and with the Prequels he had a far more compliant executive producer in Rick McCallum and absolute freedom to write and direct. I sincerely wish he had recognised his limitations, because he has tremendous gifts as a storyteller.

I don't know the answer to the question more broadly, though. If you can spend ten million dollars on special effects, surely it can't be too hard to find a writer (or a script doctor). Even someone who managed a 'highly commended' in a small-scale short story competition could probably write better scenes than some of what I've seen in big-budget movies.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:55 am 
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I assume its down to the need for multiple "producers" who all think they have a say in "their" movie.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:39 am 
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Apparently there's quite a story around the production and editing of Rise of Skywalker, with a lot of studio interference. It'd be interesting to see what ends up coming out.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:37 pm 
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Rewatched A New Hope. In some ways it is basically perfect - not to say it is without flaws, but for this type of classic pulp/western/samurai hero's journey in an original world there are very few to equal it. The first half hour or so sets up everything so well, and the whole film is very effective at showing a world that feels lived-in and larger than what you see. The main weakness is the middle, where it starts lagging in the second hour, but fortunately the Death Star attack run gives it a big kick at the end - still one of the best action scenes ever. Hamill's performance (or even Fisher's for that matter) isn't the best either, but it doesn't really hurt the movie.

I know whining about Lucas's edits is overdone and sometimes exaggerated, but I actually find the random CG dinosaurs in Mos Eisley (there's one that walks in front of the camera to block Luke and Obi-wan! :roll: ) and the stupid Jabba scene to be worse than Greedo. I ordered the 2006 DVD after watching it (used), might as well because the prices will only go up more with time.

And actually, it is pretty effective telling you a good amount about the political situation and the imperial bureaucracy with very little exposition, just a few economical lines of dialogue here and there. For the type of story it's trying to tell, it gives you enough.

While the superweapons would eventually get ridiculous and it started as early as 1983, I think it works fine here, especially with the way the Death Star functions as a symbol of totalitarian hubris (the Empire tried to rule with a facade of democratic legitimacy until very recently and the Death Star is them giving up on all pretenses).


Attack of the Clones is bad, but it's bad in a more interesting and original way than Rise of Skywalker - the ideas are there for something good, however bad the execution. And when both movies are bad, having meme lines is an advantage. ;) Actually I have a friend who argues half-seriously that Attack of the Clones is a work of genius if you read it as a postmodern Freudian nightmare about technological alienation!


Last edited by kzer_za on Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:28 pm 
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I only ever watched the prequels when they were out in theaters so my memory of them is very vague, but my feeling at the time was that each one was a little bit better than the last. Phantom is definitely the one I would be least inclined to re-watch if I had to, at least in part because no matter how bad Hayden is as Anakin, I'd rather watch a 10 minute soliloquy on his opinions of sand then I would 30 secondss of Jar Jar bumbling around. Plus it's not like kid Anakin is any more watchable than teen Anakin. So for me I'm surprised that TPM isn't the clear winner of worst SW movie.

For all of the last ones giant flaws, it is at least very pretty with quite good performances from the likeable cast, and in the very silly world of SW, that counts for a lot. I'd put it right in the middle of the pack of SW movies.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:29 pm 
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kzer_za wrote:
Rewatched A New Hope. In some ways it is basically perfect - not to say it is without flaws, but for this type of classic pulp/western/samurai hero's journey in an original world there are very few to equal it. The first half hour or so sets up everything so well, and the whole film is very effective at showing a world that feels lived-in and larger than what you see. The main weakness is the middle, where it starts lagging in the second hour, but fortunately the Death Star attack run gives it a big kick at the end - still one of the best action scenes ever. Hamill's performance (or even Fisher's for that matter) isn't the best either, but it doesn't really hurt the movie.

I know whining about Lucas's edits is overdone and sometimes exaggerated, but I actually find the random CG dinosaurs in Mos Eisley (there's one that walks in front of the camera to block Luke and Obi-wan! :roll: ) and the stupid Jabba scene to be worse than Greedo. I ordered the 2006 DVD after watching it (used), might as well because the prices will only go up more with time.

And actually, it is pretty effective telling you a good amount about the political situation and the imperial bureaucracy with very little exposition, just a few economical lines of dialogue here and there. For the type of story it's trying to tell, it gives you enough.

While the superweapons would eventually get ridiculous and it started as early as 1983, I think it works fine here, especially with the way the Death Star functions as a symbol of totalitarian hubris (the Empire tried to rule with a facade of democratic legitimacy until very recently and the Death Star is them giving up on all pretenses).


Attack of the Clones is bad, but it's bad in a more interesting and original way than Rise of Skywalker - the ideas are there for something good, however bad the execution. And when both movies are bad, having meme lines is an advantage. ;) Actually I have a friend who argues half-seriously that Attack of the Clones is a work of genius if you read it as a postmodern Freudian nightmare about technological alienation!


Star Wars as "Star Wars" is a brilliant film. "Star Wars: A New Hope" as Episode IV in the long running Skywalker saga suffers from the issues of being part of a flawed, retrofitted saga.

I don't think there is any question that the lows of the Attack of the Clones are (to me at least) the nadir of the series, but overall as a film I find Rise of Skywalker to be more laughably ridiculous.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:00 pm 
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No question that the romance in AotC is one of the most bizarre and inhuman things ever put to screen.

Along with "I don't like sand", one of my favorites is when Anakin and Padme are talking politics in the grassy field. The movie generally tries to sell Padme as this tenacious defender of the Republic's ideals who Palpatine has to get rid of. Anakin hints to Padme that he's sort of a fascist, and her natural reaction is of course to flirtatiously frolic and roll around in the grass with him.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:56 pm 
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Watched RotJ. This movie is simultaneously great and kind of lame and Ian McDiarmid really elevates it, so while not the best Star Wars movie it is probably the most quintessentially representative of the entire franchise. ;) Jabba's Palace, most of the action besides the Ewok battle, and everything in the room the throne room are great and include some of my favorite scenes. The rest is very uneven and sometimes outright bad. The scene where Luke tells Leia she's his sister is shot and acted like a soap opera, like they couldn't be bothered with more than one take.

RotJ is the only one where I refuse to watch the Special Edition, by the way. Just too many cumulative dumb changes.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:30 am 
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Lucasfilm has announced its next major project: Star Wars: The High Republic (formerly Project Luminous). It will be a series of adult novels, YA novels and comic books set about 200 years before the Prequels. If it's successful, I wonder if it will lead to Lucasfilm taking the risk of putting it into film? They seem to be following the highly-popular lead of The Mandalorian, only this time with Jedi.


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