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Old 11-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
Darth Groovy
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Exclamation How to argue about Star Wars movies the right way!

Hey it has been a long time since I posted a rant. Some of you know how I like to write. I have to get this off my chest!

Lets face it, since the hostile take over of the internet and the social media blitz across the globe, one thing that is constant, is the arguments about how bad the Star Wars films really are.

Main points I hear and read all of the time are as follows:

Bad acting
Silly script
silly characters
bad special affects
George Lucas Constantly changing the movies

Let me break it down this way. Go get yourself a cup of coffee before you start reading this, because you are in for a long haul!

Mind you, I am trying to write this from a rational non fan boy perspective to give validity to the argument at hand. So bad acting? Yes absolutely! George is not know for being a good director. He simply tries to tell a story, and is not the slightest bit concerned about the performances. It is evident in the 4 Star Wars films he did direct. Irvin Kirsher did Empire...and that one had some decent acting and character development without sacrificing story. Save for Hayden, Hammil, and Lloyd, I think the rest of the crew did the best with what they had to work with. These are movies where the performances and dialogue are there only to move plot points...not much to work with here. However there is no excuse for Jar Jar what so ever. None of us will know what was up with that bit.

Silly Script? Well I have had this argument for quite some time. One fellow on facebook recently said that this is just "The Hero's Journey" all over again. This comment kind of annoys me. Lucas has been up front since day one that these films were inspired by the likes of King Arthur, and Kurosawa. Hey! Know what other movies were direct copies of Kurosawa? Westerns such as The Magnificent Seven, was The Seven Samurai, and A Fist Full of Dollars was Yujimbo, AND the gangster film "Last Man Standing" was ALSO based on Yujimbo! Also... Forbidden Planet from 1956 us based on Shakespear's "Tempest". Also arguably the 1951 film "The African Queen" is pretty similar to The Empire Strikes Back. In The African Queen, Humphrey Bogart takes a missionary up the river while being chased by the Germans during WW1 in a beat up boat. Remind you of a certain princess trying to escape the imperials in a beat up freighter? Tell me the pod race scene from The Phantom Menace is not suppose to echo a familiar chariot race from the movie "Ben-Hur". Almost as identical, and almost as long! See! This stuff has been going on for decades! And the biggest joke is that this "mulit cultural modern day myth" is picked apart so badly simply astounds me!

Silly Characters? Some of them...yes! Characters from The Phantom Menace such as Jar Jar, Boss Nass, and Watto really drive me nuts! They are just too silly...too stupid, and at times....kind of socially offensive in ways if you think about it. The core characters however represent heroes and villains that have shown up in stories throughout generations. Before The Phantom Menace came out...I read an article where they explained the appearance of Darth Maul. Without direct quotes....Lucas studied several cultures throughout the world. One thing that was consistent through out all cultures from generations present, and generations past, was the appearance of the color red, and horns. This is why Darth Maul looks like he does. The red face...the tattoos represent war and death in primal cultures. From the time you see him first on screen...no trouble telling he is the bad guy...he is clearly not hear to sell you magazines!

Bad Special affects? Really? Well this is a double edged sword. Back in 1977Lucas employed a team of geeks to produce effects that had never been seen on film...so at least he cared about that. The result was a company formed in 1975 as industrial light and magic. So folks....he basically invented the stuff you see on screen these days. The accolades are endless...look them up yourself! This is an award winning company that still exists well beyond and past Star Wars. I will argue that some of the stuff in the Special Addition looked pretty goofy, but it was a work in progress. And lets face it...movies more recent than that had worse special effects and still did ok. I don't agree with this argument. Though I do have a personal beef with that whole Han Solo shooting greedo scene. This is where I agree with the haters...seriously...wtf? However, most people loose site of the fact that at the time in 1997, Lucas was celebrating a 20 year anniversary, AND trying to get you excited about Star Wars again...and for most parts it worked. Everybody wanted to see the new scenes...at the time!

Now with that last argument in hand...yes...some of these changes are pretty derpy by today's standards. However....I think one thing that even Lucas lost sight of, is that what might of worked in 1997, AND the early 80's does not always translate to the new audience. Since the mid to late 90s we have been deconditioned by the over saturation of CGI, and those stories that were once golden to us...just seem silly now that we are older...right? Let's face it...we had got used to the characters that we loved...Han, Chewie, Luke..Leia...now they are all gone. Having to introduce new characters to us old timers was pointless. It was doomed to fail! Ewan McGregor is a fantastic actor...so is Liam Neeson. They did not have a chance walking in the shadows of Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. Of course the likes of Boss Nass, Jar Jar and Watto did not help. Also Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christiansen playing different versions of Darth Vader did not help either. We got accustomed to Vader just being a horrible villain. Nobody wanted to see him as a regular kid from the projects with some talents using the force! Better yet a slave!

In conclusion...and not to get TOO off subject here, but JJ Abrams has been handed the helm of Star Wars now.... Arguably the most successful Star Trek films being The Wrath of Kahn, First Contact, and Into Darkness have all drawn influences from Moby Dick, as well as the pacing and action of Star Wars! See where I am going with this?

On film we want a fast pacing story with a lot of focus on the action, and adding traditional archetypes for the characters that populate this universe is what the public truly wants! You want deep meanings in this universe, you check out the expanded universe and read the books. I feel Abrams is doomed, but he does have his pulse on story, and action elements...we will see the results when we see them.

I guess my main gripe about all of this, is that you can only deconstruct Star Wars so much until it is no longer Star Wars, but some other form of science fiction. It is kind of like criticizing the color green for not being brown. Ask your rivals exactly what they would change about Star Wars, I guarantee they will make it into a form of Science fiction that does not fit into the Star Wars universe. This works ok, for the expanded universe books, but for the films...anything less than fast pacing, high action and fast storytelling is moot point!

May The Force Be With You Always!
~Groovy
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:24 AM   #2
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I think there's usually universal love for the Original Trilogy, the prequels are what divides people.

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Old 11-29-2013, 09:30 AM   #3
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Yes I agree, but what do you challenge them with? Do you ask them what they would personally change to make it better if they had the means to do so? AND, after said changes how many things do they change until it is no longer Star Wars but some other science fiction? That is where this begins...
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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When people attack the prequels, my response isn't normally to defend them. I really don't think the Prequels feel very consistent with the OT. As for your argument, I can't really follow what you're saying that well. Are you defending the entire saga, or just one of the prequels? It sort of reads less like defending Star War's, and more like excusing its faults.

The main issue I have with the prequel's story is the "Chosen One" plot. I feel like it just doesn't sync up with the Luke/Leia/Vader plots in the OT at all.


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Old 12-01-2013, 04:52 AM   #5
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Your the first person I've ever heard mention bad special effects and Star Wars in the same sentence... Ive heard people complain of over-use, but never the quality.

There has been a lot of talk about the Prequels vs the OT lately since a video was released>>>

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YouTube Video

<<<I'll re-post my response to above Video, which I think covers the general points in this thread and my over all view of the Saga.

"I agree with what the video wants, but not for the same reasons, I absolutely LOVE the prequels, they Expanded the Galaxy, characters, locations, just everything about them made Star Wars so much bigger and better... But, they have a very different style and feel to the Original Trilogy, and I want the Sequel trilogy to have a more OT feel, not because the PT sucked. but to bring the saga in to balance stylistically. The PT style has dominated for 15 years, 3 films, a TV show, games comics and Novels.

Love the PT, but I need a bit more OT style again (I obviously wouldn't boycott Ep VII if it was set on Coruscant, Naboo and Geonosis... Jus sayin)"


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Old 12-01-2013, 05:28 AM   #6
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Midichlorians

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Old 12-01-2013, 05:51 AM   #7
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Master, sir, I heard Yoda talking about midikloriontz. I've been wondering...what are midikloriontz?


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Old 12-01-2013, 05:56 AM   #8
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They're part of why this trilogy sucks so badly, young Anakin. That and your terrible child acting and the acting of the guy who is going to play your older self.

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Old 12-01-2013, 06:24 AM   #9
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I will say one thing that sucks badly in the prequels... the Pick up shoots for Attack of the Clones... I think they are like 2 years later than Principal photography, and I think they just asked some dude off the street to do make-up. One minute Ewan McGregor is slim, tanned and sporting his own well groomed mullet and full beard, next shot he's 40 lbs heavier, pale as a recluse, and has the worst wig and stick on teen wolf "beard" Ive ever seen, its so off putting, same with Hayden, one minute he's a skinny blonde mid-pubescent teenager with spots, then he's got light brown hair, put on a load of muscle and has a 5 o'clock shadow. I actually love the film though.


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Old 12-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #10
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i like them all. i think i enjoyed the prequels more though, probably because i got to see them in the theatre when they first came out, was always more into the games though than the movies...shadows of the empire, rogue squadron, and jedi knight specifically, and now i play the old republic and get that nostalgic "star wars" feeling when i'm playing it.


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Old 12-01-2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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Another reason why a lot of people don't like the prequels is because Lucas CHANGED the OT to conform to the prequels... rather than writing the prequels to conform to the OT.

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Old 12-01-2013, 03:07 PM   #12
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Darth Groovy View Post
Characters from The Phantom Menace such as Jar Jar, Boss Nass, and Watto really drive me nuts! They are just too silly...too stupid, and at times....kind of socially offensive in ways if you think about it.
Never understood the whol "racism and stereotypes" argument and probably never will.

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Midichlorians
I'm not saying it's your case, but most arguments I've heard against midi-chlorians come from people completely mishearing what is actually said in the movie. Specially when people claim that "midi-chlorians demystify the Force".



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Old 12-01-2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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Midichlorians do demystify the Force.

In ESB, Yoda talks about it like it's this mysterious energy field that all life creates that's beyond even the Jedi's understanding, a force beyond mortal understanding and that only a few are able to channel the Force's power.

In TPM, Qui-Gonn talks about how microscopic lifeforms are inside each of us, some more than others and there's a quantified count in a Dragonball Z-like power level count way that tells us how powerful you are capable of being with the Force. It brings in a scientific explanation to something that should be beyond anyone's explanation. That's what made the Force such a powerful and fantastic element in Star Wars.

The reason it was created was pretty obvious though. They needed a very simple way of telling the audience why Qui-Gonn is so interested in Anakin through the use of numbers "his midichlorian levels are off the charts!" They chose this path instead of Qui-Gonn having a feeling about the boy through some mysterious unexplained feeling that something was drawing him to the boy. Technology and a scientific answer should never have been used as an explanation for anything regarding the Force.

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Old 12-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #15
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Midichlorians do demystify the Force.

In ESB, Yoda talks about it like it's this mysterious energy field that all life creates that's beyond even the Jedi's understanding, a force beyond mortal understanding and that only a few are able to channel the Force's power.

In TPM, Qui-Gonn talks about how microscopic lifeforms are inside each of us, some more than others and there's a quantified count in a Dragonball Z-like power level count way that tells us how powerful you are capable of being with the Force. It brings in a scientific explanation to something that should be beyond anyone's explanation. That's what made the Force such a powerful and fantastic element in Star Wars.
That's actually not true. The Force was already explained in ANH by Kenobi and in TESB by Yoda (the latter even states how it's created) and didn't cease to be a "mysterious" energy field created by all living things just because of the existence of midi-chlorians. Midi-chlorians are merely the link between a living being and the Force (and what allows one to communicate with it), not the Force itself. The more you have, the more attuned you are (thus less training and effort is required to tap into the Force). Not only that, but it explains why Luke and Leia are Ben and Yoda's "last hope" and corroborates what's said by Luke in RotJ:

"The Force is strong in my family."

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The reason it was created was pretty obvious though. They needed a very simple way of telling the audience why Qui-Gonn is so interested in Anakin through the use of numbers "his midichlorian levels are off the charts!" They chose this path instead of Qui-Gonn having a feeling about the boy through some mysterious unexplained feeling that something was drawing him to the boy. Technology and a scientific answer should never have been used as an explanation for anything regarding the Force.
But they did show Qui-Gon "having a feeling about the boy through some mysterious unexplained feeling". But Anakin was more than a Force-sensitive child and only later does Qui-Gon asks Obi-Wan for a midi-chlorian test. I really don't see the problem with the existence of a biological way that allows one to communicate with the Force. And as mentioned in the film itself, it requires time and training to "hear them speaking to you".



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Old 12-01-2013, 06:43 PM   #16
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Yeah, it was talked about in ANH, but that wasn't the point I was making. I was pointing out that the OT treats the Force as a mysterious element, never going too much into it or explaining how anyone is able to use it.

The PT destroys that mysteriousness by quantifying it. It's that part of the whole midichlorian bull that is the most stupid part of it. We should never know how or why people have a connection to the Force, it should just be like that with no explanation, with only the feeling. If Qui-Gonn had just the feeling, that would have been enough. It SHOULD have been enough to just trust his feeling, but Lucas had to shove the explanation down everyones throats even further with the use of midichlorians.

I'm just glad that it was used only in TPM and then never mentioned again ever since.




In the end, midichlorians is a stupid idea and it didn't help the prequels. If these movies are meant to be targeting a wide demographic and that demographic thinks midichlorians are a silly idea and that it takes away from the mysterious of the Force, then the idea of midichlorians has failed.

Hell, even my own mother thinks midichlorians are stupid, I totally laughed when she said so after watching TPM and talking to me about it. If she can see how silly it is, someone who doesn't really care about Star Wars and watches it casually, you'd come to a point where the concept has failed, not just for diehard fans, but for the general movie going audience as well.




Again, I wish I could go into using DBZ as an example because it's a really good example, but I don't know who here has watched DBZ to get what I'm saying.

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Old 12-01-2013, 07:40 PM   #17
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Yeah, it was talked about in ANH, but that wasn't the point I was making. I was pointing out that the OT treats the Force as a mysterious element, never going too much into it or explaining how anyone is able to use it.
But the Force is only explained (not just talked or hinted at) in the OT and the characters do explain what it is, what creates it and how to use it. In TPM, it's explained the means through which the Force communicates with people and explains how some are more sensitive and attuned to the Force (i.e: Luke, Leia) than others and how the Force is able to communicate with living beings. We still don't know how the Force works or what's its will or why some have more midi-chlorians than others.

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The PT destroys that mysteriousness by quantifying it. It's that part of the whole midichlorian bull that is the most stupid part of it.
But the Force is never quantified. Midi-chlorians are not the Force. You are not more powerful for having more midi-chlorians, you are more attuned.

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We should never know how or why people have a connection to the Force,
I'd argue it's not up to us to decide what should or shouldn't be known about the Force. Either way, we merely know how the connection works, but we don't know the reason for why it works.

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it should just be like that with no explanation, with only the feeling. If Qui-Gonn had just the feeling, that would have been enough. It SHOULD have been enough to just trust his feeling, but Lucas had to shove the explanation down everyones throats even further with the use of midichlorians.
The feeling would just tell the audience that he was Jedi material, but it wouldn't explain why Qui-Gon believed Anakin was the one mentioned in the prophecy nor how was he created with no father nor how was his connection with the Force was "unusually strong" even among Jedi.

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I'm just glad that it was used only in TPM and then never mentioned again ever since.
It was in RotS.

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In the end, midichlorians is a stupid idea and it didn't help the prequels. If these movies are meant to be targeting a wide demographic and that demographic thinks midichlorians are a silly idea and that it takes away from the mysterious of the Force, then the idea of midichlorians has failed.
Ad populum shouldn't be used as an argument though, specially when it can't be measured.

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you'd come to a point where the concept has failed, not just for diehard fans, but for the general movie going audience as well.
The opinion of one person doesn't represent the general movie going audience. Specially when one can easily pick people who have the opposite opinion.

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Again, I wish I could go into using DBZ as an example because it's a really good example, but I don't know who here has watched DBZ to get what I'm saying.
I really don't get the whole DBZ comparison, unless one is taking into account those stupid SuperShadow charts from back in the day that (wrongly) take midi-chlorians as a measure of power.



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Old 12-01-2013, 07:43 PM   #18
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You mean like your one opinion? I get that it's my opinion, but I'm saying that enough people say that it's stupid for it to be seen as... generally stupid.

But the fact that some people see it as being stupid isn't the point, the point is that it's an element of the prequels that haven't helped its popularity... or lack thereof. You can micro-debate with me all you want, but in the end, it's one of the small things that didn't help the prequels... and there are plenty of other things about the prequels that compound its lack of popularity compared to the original trilogy and why people don't want the sequel trilogy to turn out like the prequels.

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Old 12-02-2013, 12:02 AM   #19
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We should never know how or why people have a connection to the Force, it should just be like that with no explanation, with only the feeling. If Qui-Gonn had just the feeling, that would have been enough. It SHOULD have been enough to just trust his feeling, but Lucas had to shove the explanation down everyones throats even further with the use of midichlorians.
But really though...you're going to tell the man who created the entire Star Wars universe how he SHOULD have done it? I mean, you can say "that takes some of the magic out of it for me," but don't be like your opinion on how Lucas should've told it is anything more than just fanfiction.

I love Star Wars for the way it is. It's a truly entertaining saga, and while there are obviously mistakes/mishaps, I don't think any less of any of the movies because I take them as entertainment more than anything else.

Just like when people bash Indy 4, I just have to wonder...have people just forgotten how to have FUN at the movies?



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Old 12-02-2013, 12:38 AM   #20
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Then no one should ever critique anything and just enjoy everything just for what it is. No one say anything about Mass Effect 3, Metroid: Other M, nothing. No matter what anyone makes, should just buy into it no matter what because we're consumers, not critics... because critics don't exist, we all just consume and have happy smiles on our faces cause everything is perfect and great.


For the record though, when I go to the cinema to watch a movie, ANY movie, I don't go there to judge it at all. I sit there and no matter what movie it is, I'm there for the fun and enjoy the hell out of it... it's AFTER the movie where I still to think about it do I start to see the faults in the movie and critique it. And what's so wrong about that? The first time I went to see the movie, I enjoyed it, even the prequels... but you can't stop me from thinking about the movie further afterward unless you want me to just be braindead about every move I see and every video game I play.

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Old 12-02-2013, 02:08 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Then no one should ever critique anything and just enjoy everything just for what it is. No one say anything about Mass Effect 3, Metroid: Other M, nothing. No matter what anyone makes, should just buy into it no matter what because we're consumers, not critics... because critics don't exist, we all just consume and have happy smiles on our faces cause everything is perfect and great.


For the record though, when I go to the cinema to watch a movie, ANY movie, I don't go there to judge it at all. I sit there and no matter what movie it is, I'm there for the fun and enjoy the hell out of it... it's AFTER the movie where I still to think about it do I start to see the faults in the movie and critique it. And what's so wrong about that? The first time I went to see the movie, I enjoyed it, even the prequels... but you can't stop me from thinking about the movie further afterward unless you want me to just be braindead about every move I see and every video game I play.
I get critiquing the end-result and all that. Acting, CGI, directing, etc. are all pretty normal things to critique, and I do it myself. In terms of Lucas (the creator of the lore in the first place) giving reason to the physical connection between characters and the force, I don't fully understand that. At that point, you're not criticizing a movie for what it is; rather, you're criticizing canon and part of the foundation of the story.

If you really don't like midichlorians, you have a problem with the Force overall - and in that sense, you most likely take issue with the entire universe of Star Wars.

You can't just discount the inclusion of midichlorians as just a small piece of the Phantom Menace - that is the canon from TPM and beyond.



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Old 12-02-2013, 02:34 AM   #22
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As I said in my previous post, it's just a small part of a larger problem with the prequels.

I'm not talking about this in terms of canon, in fact I don't really care about that aspect of it at all. Midichlorians themselves are an example of the direction the prequels went that overall didn't reach viewers like the original trilogy was able to.

Many people, Star Wars fans and those who are casual viewers noticed both noticed this consciously and unconsciously. As I pointed out before, when Yoda talks about the Force in ESB (and Obi-wan in ANH), they speak of it as something that can't be explained it in any concrete terms. When they speak of it the movie going audience feels in awe of what they're talking about because it's something beyond us.

In TPM, they whip out a scanner and start talking about midichlorian counts. Again, and I stress since you think this is an argument about canon, the canon doesn't matter. You can write as many explanation about why midichlorians are valid in the Star Wars canon, but in terms of a movie and a messages it conveys, it's quantifying something that's meant to stay mysterious for the moviegoing audience.

These kinds of things set the tone for the movie and trilogy. While the OT treated it as something fantastic, the prequels pulled out a blood test.

And again, I'm saying this is one of many things that ends up being wrong with the prequels and I'm not saying that everything is right with the OT as well, just that there's a lot more wrong with the PT than there is with the OT and that this is generally why the wider audience seems to look more fondly on the OT than PT.

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Old 12-02-2013, 03:01 AM   #23
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I love Star Wars for the way it is. It's a truly entertaining saga, and while there are obviously mistakes/mishaps, I don't think any less of any of the movies because I take them as entertainment more than anything else.

Just like when people bash Indy 4, I just have to wonder...have people just forgotten how to have FUN at the movies?
Finally, an opinion I can agree with! I've often thought this myself.

When I watch a movie, or a series of movies, I see the story: The prologue, setting, character's, personalities, motivations, mental growth and change. I watch a movie because of story it tells, how a character can change and grow...


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Old 12-02-2013, 05:42 AM   #24
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Yeah, I just watch movies to complain about them That's why I have hundreds of blu-rays on the racks, I can't just complain about a few movies, I have to complain about them all.

@ urluckyday: Don't get me wrong, I love all the Star Wars movies, I watch them every so often in a big marathon watch just cause. It's Star Wars after all... but for me, the PT movies aren't as good as the OT movies... these aren't my children, I'm not going to lie and say I love them all equally to spare the feelings of the other.

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Old 12-02-2013, 06:02 AM   #25
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I live and breath Star Wars, apart from a fondness for LOTR, it is my only fandom, but, The Phantom Menace has always been a strange one for me, it is equal parts amazing, and "What was he thinking" at the same time. I believe TPM has the best characterization, special effects, acting... It introduced a new generation of expanded universe, re-wrote the book yet gave a deep history and tradition for the Jedi Order, it was filmed in 35 mm which I think is a much better look than fully digital (AOTC looks like cgi animation almost throughout) the score, the Lightsaber battles, it was an experience to see that in theaters in 99. But also I think some of the decisions that possibly weren't challenged, definitely lower the film overall in my opinion. I know its cliche to say but I think if the Gungans were a tribe of displaced Wookiee's, swap out Jar Jar for Chewie, and Anakin was maybe 4-5 years older, TPM would be peoples favorite of the prequels.
I still love it, but I always think about these things when I watch it, even now, over 14 years later.

And yes, Midichlorians? TMI bro.


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Old 12-02-2013, 06:32 AM   #26
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I think the pod racer sequence is AMAZING, absolutely stunning... but as a sequence in terms of it fitting into the larger movie? Totally out of place and completely stalls the movie to the point where you forget for a while that they're on an adventure to save Naboo.

I mean, this is before the extended version we got in the home video version, even the theatrical version went a bit too long and ended up bringing the story to a stand-still.

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Old 12-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #27
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For me the music has always stood out... one of John Williams' best work for sure.

Other than that there are a few moments (even nostalgic ones) that I really like in the PT, but I still pretty much agree with the Red Letter Media reviews. Call me jaded but yeah, that's the way she goes

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Old 12-02-2013, 08:23 AM   #28
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You mean like your one opinion?
I didn't present my opinion as a generalization.

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I get that it's my opinion, but I'm saying that enough people say that it's stupid for it to be seen as... generally stupid.
How much is enough? You can find a good amount of people on both sides of the debate.

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the point is that it's an element of the prequels that haven't helped its popularity... or lack thereof. You can micro-debate with me all you want, but in the end, it's one of the small things that didn't help the prequels... and there are plenty of other things about the prequels that compound its lack of popularity compared to the original trilogy and why people don't want the sequel trilogy to turn out like the prequels.
But I never argued what helped or didn't help the popularity of the prequels. I'm arguing if the criticism is valid or not. And most of it (regarding midi-chlorians) comes from a complete misunderstanding and mishearing of what's actually stated in the movie and ignoring what's also been established in the OT. TPM is not trying to explain what the Force is (that was already done in the OT) and midi-chlorians are not the Force. It's fallacious to claim that the OT is all mysticism and the PT is all scanners and biology when they are completely different issues. One is not replacing the other. They both complement each other.

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I love Star Wars for the way it is. It's a truly entertaining saga, and while there are obviously mistakes/mishaps, I don't think any less of any of the movies because I take them as entertainment more than anything else.

Just like when people bash Indy 4, I just have to wonder...have people just forgotten how to have FUN at the movies?
In my opinion, it's a mix of cynicism from adulthood and nostalgia goggles regarding the previous movies. Indy 4 is not my favourite of the series (Raiders remains #1), but criticizing aliens and atomic bombs while at the same time gladly accepting magic arks full of spirits and ghosts of crusaders screams of hipocrisy.

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Then no one should ever critique anything and just enjoy everything just for what it is.
Nobody is saying that.



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Old 12-02-2013, 01:20 PM   #29
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In my opinion, it's a mix of cynicism from adulthood and nostalgia goggles regarding the previous movies. Indy 4 is not my favourite of the series (Raiders remains #1), but criticizing aliens and atomic bombs while at the same time gladly accepting magic arks full of spirits and ghosts of crusaders screams of hipocrisy.
That's exactly how I see it. I just feel like the people who grew up watching Star Wars/Indiana Jones...grew up! In this day and age of the internet, it's so easy for people to jump on board criticizing and tearing apart a movie piece by piece instead of just enjoying an adventure for what it is.

Were there some truly /facepalm-worthy moments in TPM and Indy 4? Sure. But at the end of the day, I look at the fans that absolutely LOVED the prequels (and things like The Clone Wars), and I notice that it's almost always children.

At the end of the day, I get that Star Wars is the best saga out there because it can appeal to just about everyone young or old...but we all need to remember that the reason why Star Wars was so damn fun in the first place was because it took us to a universe that we had never seen before. Just remember how you felt the first time that the Star Destroyer came over the screen - it was terrifying and exciting all at the same time. It was truly a sensational overload - it was FUN!

Maybe we're just so numb to the special effects these days because by the time Episodes II and III were released, they weren't groundbreaking like they had been; then, as a result, our focus was on the story - while still a great story in my mind, it's one that has been told many, many times before (as Lucas intended in the first place).

I don't know, maybe I'm just giving it too much credit, but I think that the criticisms of Lucas' fading abilities are overstated more often than not, and I think that we, the audience, were the ones that changed. Is it the fault of Lucas that he did not alter his vision to cater to a more mature/cynical audience? Possibly. But at the same time, I wouldn't have asked Stanley Kubrick to change his vision to appeal to a far less cynical/conservative crowd back when he made A Clockwork Orange.

Just something to ponder - pretty much how I keep all the complaints and critiques in context. There are plenty of valid points about the problems with the prequels AND original trilogy, but I think that some people just get on a roll and forget that the movie is supposed to be fun.



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Old 12-02-2013, 03:05 PM   #30
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I didn't present my opinion as a generalization.
Neither did I, I just represented my opinion as my own and pointed out that there are plenty of other people who see it the same way. If you want evidence that the pt isn't as popular as the ot, it's all already out there. What your agenda seems to be is to point out that the people who don't like the pt for whatever reason have invalid opinions of it.


Quote:
How much is enough? You can find a good amount of people on both sides of the debate.
Not really, it's pretty easy to see that the scales are weight in the original trilogy's favour inside and outside star wars fandom. I'm not saying there's no love for the pt, just that there.


Quote:
But I never argued what helped or didn't help the popularity of the prequels. I'm arguing if the criticism is valid or not. And most of it (regarding midi-chlorians) comes from a complete misunderstanding and mishearing of what's actually stated in the movie and ignoring what's also been established in the OT. TPM is not trying to explain what the Force is (that was already done in the OT) and midi-chlorians are not the Force. It's fallacious to claim that the OT is all mysticism and the PT is all scanners and biology when they are completely different issues. One is not replacing the other. They both complement each other.
If there are so many people who have failed to grasp it then it's obviously a failure of the movie maker to convey the meaning of it, thus resulting its inclusion as a failure. If your movie audience ends up looking at a concept as stupid, be it midichlorians, atomic blasted fridges or inter-dimensional aliens, it's the failure of the execution and presentation of those things.

I can imagine a world in where Lucas did masterfully present midichlorians in such a way that they don't seem stupid. There are plenty of fantastic and overly unrealistic things that happen in movies and things that are said which make no sense or are hard to swallow or contradict or have an affect on things said before in the movie or movie series, and if it's done well, we can believe them because we're there to see fantasy, things that aren't real, our unconscious mind knows this.

Midichlorians weren't done well and failed as a concept and because of this people ended up saying "wait a minute, this doesn't make sense with what I know of the Force and it seems pretty stupid in the context its presented"

If people misunderstand or "just don't get it" or whatever the excuse is that a lot of people throw around for fiction when it comes to situations like this. Is it the audiences fault? Perhaps it is if it's a niche artsy hipster movie, but no, it's Star Wars. This is a movie that's meant to be universal in its approach and if there are plenty of people who there that end up having problems with it, be it midichlorians or how the pod race sequence stalls the movie (but would have made an awesome episode of The Clone Wars now that I think about it...) ...it's a failure of the movie makers and something that diminishes the overall quality of the movie.


Quote:
Nobody is saying that.
Seemed like urluckyday was, though it could be that he didn't present what he said with enough context I suppose so when I read it I had mistaken what he said with a meaning he didn't mean... perhaps, like midichlorians.





And as I keep saying, I watch all of the Star Wars movies over and over and each time I do, I watch them and enjoy them all. In that moment I'm having fun, just like in the moment I'm playing every game I play, I have fun. But afterward, when I think about that game or think about the movie, I'm going to THINK. No one can stop me from thinking further about those movies and have my brain automatically think "wait, something about that didn't feel right"... we all have that feeling and a lot of us end up wanting to talk about it and express it in some way to see if other people didn't feel right about certain elements of it too.

It's not that the entire world has suddenly become unfun cynics that can't enjoy movies any more, it's that we've created a form of media that is able to bring the individuals thoughts to the wider world much more easily than could ever have been achieved in the past and then debating about it.

In the end, this isn't a case about whether midichlorians made sense or not, it's about whether I bought it or not compared to whether you bought it or not and whether or not either of us really like the movie or not to get one of us to the point of defending it tooth and nail every time someone even mentions it in passing.

My criticism isn't invalid, it's just has no basis for you, because you like TPM enough to forgive it for whatever faults it has and ignore them, and you've accepted what the movie presents and don't see whatever it's showing as a fault to begin with. But when other people do... that's not invalid.






Furthermore, I know what position you're in, because I'm in the same position with certain other movies and games where they're critically panned as being stupid or not anywhere near as good as they should be or are just plan crappy to begin with. I love plenty of stuff that the majority of other people don't like, think is stupid, didn't make any connections with... and whenever anyone talks about why the thing i like is stupid and doesn't make sense and is just a bad movie/game... it's pretty obvious that they're right in terms of a mass appeal context. But for me, I enjoyed the hell out of Dead Space 3 and played hours upon hours of it alone and in co-op mode despite it being thoroughly hated by the majority of everyone else and heavily criticized on all front. The funny thing is that all of the criticisms that the game got are valid, every single one of them... but I forgive whatever anyone else can't swallow from the game and love DS3 just as much as 1 and 2 even though very few other people can't.

That's just the way it goes.

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:30 PM   #31
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Well I see my reputation as "hot topic starter" has not been tarnished! Good points here...one of the best discussions I have seen in years. All of you make very good points with carefully placed bullet points. Good on ALL of you!

Now to answer some questions and comments:

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When people attack the prequels, my response isn't normally to defend them. I really don't think the Prequels feel very consistent with the OT. As for your argument, I can't really follow what you're saying that well. Are you defending the entire saga, or just one of the prequels? It sort of reads less like defending Star War's, and more like excusing its faults.

The main issue I have with the prequel's story is the "Chosen One" plot. I feel like it just doesn't sync up with the Luke/Leia/Vader plots in the OT at all.
I am glad you asked this! I apologize it was really late at night when I wrote that and I was starting to drift off. Let me explain. My point was not to defend or excuse the faults. There are many of them indeed. My point is that in many arguments, a great deal of what people complain about are things that make the movies what they are. AND at what point, do you make changes enough to where it is no longer a Star Wars story, but something else entirely? For example, some people criticize the story for being juvenile. In a multi generational modern day myth, you are telling the story of archetypes that encompass good and evil, right and wrong, light and dark. Those stories have been passed down over generations of cultures all over the world throughout history. If we made it dark...and about science....now it is Aliens, or Prometheus. The Star Wars is intended to be more of a fairy tale, than a science fiction film.

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That's actually not true. The Force was already explained in ANH by Kenobi and in TESB by Yoda (the latter even states how it's created) and didn't cease to be a "mysterious" energy field created by all living things just because of the existence of midi-chlorians. Midi-chlorians are merely the link between a living being and the Force (and what allows one to communicate with it), not the Force itself. The more you have, the more attuned you are (thus less training and effort is required to tap into the Force). Not only that, but it explains why Luke and Leia are Ben and Yoda's "last hope" and corroborates what's said by Luke in RotJ:

"The Force is strong in my family."



But they did show Qui-Gon "having a feeling about the boy through some mysterious unexplained feeling". But Anakin was more than a Force-sensitive child and only later does Qui-Gon asks Obi-Wan for a midi-chlorian test. I really don't see the problem with the existence of a biological way that allows one to communicate with the Force. And as mentioned in the film itself, it requires time and training to "hear them speaking to you".
Again glad you brought up the midi-chlorian thing, because people have been bitching about that online ever since TPM came out.

In all the problems with the prequels this bothers me the least. It was mentioned in the novelization by Terry Brooks (which is superior to the film in my opinion, because it portrays Annakin as more of a disturbed tragic figure than the film ever did.) and like you pointed out...it simply bridges the gap between the living force and life forms in general. However for the sake of argument THIS is a GREAT example of why you don't mix science with a fairy tale. The same thing would have happened in the OT if we had spent the same amount of time explaining to the audience the mechanics of light sabers, or how hyper space is even possible. We introduced midi-chlorians into the works, and it just pissed most people off. We never really explained why some Jedi disappear and others have to be burned either....I mean not really if you think about it.

Keep it coming guys.....this is great podcast material too!
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:02 PM   #32
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Oh, the whole midi-chlorian thing. From my understanding is that the reason why it ruined Star Wars for many is because a lot of people had this misunderstanding that anybody could be a Jedi and when the whole midi-chlorian thing came into play, it ruined some people's imagination.

But what they don't understand is that the Force and how strong it is with some was always implied to be a genetic thing.

Like this scene between Luke and Yoda:






Then this scene by Luke and Obi-Wan:















The only way Luke could be a threat is if he was strong in the Force and imply that he is unique:










Again, the Force was always a genetic thing and the midi-chlorians just explained the biological part of it.


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Old 12-03-2013, 09:56 AM   #33
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The midichlorian thing never really bothered me. Whether it's a retcon or it actually fits within the mythology, I feel that this is one of (more than) a few minor things that bothered people about the prequels, but detract from the real issue of the prequels, which for me personally is pretty simple:

It didn't have the magic from the original trilogy. It's a pretty vague concept to pass judgement on movies with, I know, but I feel the things that made the OT so great were lacking in the PT. The adventurous nature of the OT, I feel, became lost in a story of Trade Federations and elections and trade blockades in TPM and AotC and RotS were more concerned with a love story and giving us so much lightsabers and pew pew and Yoda ballet dancing that it missed the opportunity of giving us the Anakin-Obi Wan buddy adventure that was alluded to even in the movies itself.


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Old 12-03-2013, 12:00 PM   #34
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Neither did I, I just represented my opinion as my own and pointed out that there are plenty of other people who see it the same way.
I'm not arguing that. But you did present the opinion of your mother as proof that the concept as failed. It doesn't prove anything.

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What your agenda seems to be is to point out that the people who don't like the pt for whatever reason have invalid opinions of it.
What? Where did you get that from? People can like or dislike midi-chlorians as much as they want. My point was that the arguments I hear against the whole concept are based on misinterpretation of what's in the movie.

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If there are so many people who have failed to grasp it then it's obviously a failure of the movie maker to convey the meaning of it, thus resulting its inclusion as a failure.
I don't see the correlation. If some (fortunately not all) people failed to grasp it, even when the movies are clear on the explanation of what midi-chlorians are and their respective function, I don't see how it can be blamed on the filmmaker.

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If your movie audience ends up looking at a concept as stupid, be it midichlorians, atomic blasted fridges or inter-dimensional aliens, it's the failure of the execution and presentation of those things.
Or double standards and false assumptions.

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Midichlorians weren't done well and failed as a concept and because of this people ended up saying "wait a minute, this doesn't make sense with what I know of the Force and it seems pretty stupid in the context its presented"
Some people. Again, no need for generalizations.

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My criticism isn't invalid, it's just has no basis for you, because you like TPM enough to forgive it for whatever faults it has and ignore them, and you've accepted what the movie presents and don't see whatever it's showing as a fault to begin with. But when other people do... that's not invalid.
I present my arguments based on what's said on the movies, wether I like the movie (or in this case, midi-chlorians) or not is irrelevant. My appreciation for the movies has nothing to do with "forgiving its faults" or "ignoring them". I don't have a problem with people not liking something. That's fine, I respect that and they are not right or wrong for that. But we are not discussing taste, we are arguing why the subject that's being discussed is perceived as a problem or contradiction by some. And that's not a matter of opinion or taste, but facts. What you see as a fault seems to be based on a misconception that is never stated in the movies. Midi-chlorians are not the Force nor they measure your Force power. To say that they make the Force less mysterious is wrong since the Force was never explained in the PT.

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THIS is a GREAT example of why you don't mix science with a fairy tale.
But hasn't Star Wars always done that? Sure, more with visuals than with dialogue, but it's there. I believe it was on the DVD commentary that Lucas said that he always struggled to introduce such concepts. He tended to make such explanations like fortune cookies, but I really don't see any other way he could have introduce it and be as quick and simple a possible on its explanation.

P.S: I apologize if anyone reads my posts in the wrong tone. It's not my intention, but it can happen on "hot topics".



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Old 12-04-2013, 06:04 AM   #35
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Lol, Its nice not to be the one in the monotonous back and forth with Alexrd for a change


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Old 12-04-2013, 06:37 AM   #36
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I cannot believe how any one can defend some of the utter awfulness in the Prequels, are they ok movies? - yes, do they entertain? - yes. Are they anywhere near as good as the OT? No. Some of you seem to be in a frankly weird denial about why the prequels don't have major issues - they do. Period.

I can't link because of the adult content, but youtube redlettermedia Star Wars prequels and watch the videos to see what is wrong with all the prequels...

As for my opinions;

All the prequels suffer from a lack of characterization and too much of Lucas thinking oooohhhh with all my CGI I can do this, this and this, ironically I think the special effects in the OT look better than all the blue and green screen crap in the PT. The biggest problem is the Prequels have a bunch of charachters in that I don't really care about - Qui-Gon dies, but even as a kid I didn't care much, I think Mace Windu's death is the only one in the whole PT that had any emotional impact, and even that was mitigated by him not acting like a Jedi.

What's wrong with TPM - biggest problem; it has no main charachter, can anyone tell me who the main charachter is? If it's Obi-Wan why is he missing for large portions of the film? If it's Anakin why are we not introduced until 45mins in? Lets not even talk about freaking accidentally blowing a whole star ship up. If it's Padme why does she spend the whole film being boring as hell and pretending to be a servant. If it's Qui-Gon whats the freaking point considering he dies? The next issue is that stupid pod race, TPM pacing doesn't work - it seems to me Lucas wanted a pod race and then made a really convulted plot to include it which just spoiled the whole film.

AotC - Jane Austen in space, with charachters we don't like and horrific dialogue. "The Clone Wars" - Seriously, I think all of us wanted to see them, it's Star WARS, not Star LOVE. Also more Space politics we don't care about, and more boring dialogue I could watch on the politics channel if I really wanted. Also Anakin is a complete idiot, I don't really care about his fall later in RotS because he's a total tool. Also would you seriously fall in love with some egit who slaughtered a whole tribe of women and children. Like its early in their relationship, if you went out with someone for two weeks and then they said by the way I'm a serial killer would you really still continue a relationship? Or report them to the freaking relevant authorities? Additionally Hayden Christianson was just an awful choice of actor; I'd vote Christian Bale personally. Lets not even go into the Clone army being created the Jedi saying they will put all their resources into investigating it and then... Completely forgetting about it and just going to war.

RotS. I hate this film the most. I also love it, for the fact the Emporer is amazing in it. I hate it as it ruins the twist "I am your father" in ESB, and also spoiled my visions of "Do not underestimate the powers of the Emporer or suffer your fathers fate, you will" - I'd always imagined Anakin and the Emporer fighting. As a kid I was captivated and shocked by the "father" reveal, how many kids have had that ruined by seeing the films in "order"?

Here's how it should of been done... Vader should of been the Emporers private assassin from the start, we see him in a proto Vader suit, assassinating various of the Chancellors enemies. Vader is shown to think this is good by aiding the republic... He also likes that he is gaining new powers - he could learn force choke for example on a mission.

Anakin is doing his Jedi Hero routine. We never see them togeather (like say Batman and Bruce Wayne). Anakin goes to confront the Emporer having figuered out he's a Sith, he gets his ass handed to him with lightning... And that's the last we see of him; he's presumed dead. The Emporer then orders Vader to attack the Jedi etc etc, so would of been saved until ESB for us to finally realize (if watched in chronological order) that Anakin and Vader are infact the same person, and gives a whole new twist on Anakins fall.

Yet another problem - totally inconsistant tone, this started with RotJ and the flipping teddy bears, but this gets ever more worse in the Prequels, on the one hand we have the super daft and stupid Jar-Jar, the totally stupid and goofy battle droids, then we have Anakin slaughtering women and children, and finally see him dismembered and burned alive. GL, what on earth were you thinking?

Finally Yoda should never hop around like some feral kitten high on speed. He also shouldn't draw a lightsaber, should just fight enemies with the Force. And he should of been the one to kill Grevious, Grevious should of been shown killing a few Jedi, then he fights Yoda, and Yoda just crushes him with the the ceiling...

(Could I of done a better job of the OT than Lucas, undeniably not. Could I of made the prequels a hell of a lot better, entertaining and coherant than they are... YES. Also if anyone tries to defend the new Indiana Jones film, I'm liable to think you completly devoid of any ability to discern a good film).



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran

Last edited by jonathan7; 12-04-2013 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:54 AM   #37
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There's often a trope that happens in some anime and Japanese made video games that I feel is appropriate to mention here... when there's something that isn't explained well in an anime or video game and people want to defend it, they usually say "read the manga"...

Midichlorians, I feel is a "read the manga" situation. Where something is explained/presented poorly in the context of the film/tv show/game that it is in.



There's also another factor to consider which no one has said but has been touched upon. Suspension of disbelief. We believe some outrageous things in movies but can't find ourselves believing other things which are equally as silly or less silly than the things the audience accepts. If you want to call that double standards and false assumptions, sure, it is since nothing in a movie is real, it's all fiction. But is it the viewers fault or the movie makers fault when they're not able to believe one part of the movie that's ridiculous yet believe another part of it? As much as you want to blame it on the viewer for not getting it, it really is the film makers fault for not explaining it or presenting in a way that can hold peoples suspension of disbelief.

I presented my mother as an example because I the Star Wars fan and her the non-Star Wars fan had the same thought about the same small part of the movie. But I'm not presenting my mother as an example of all people as you had assumed, simply that I had a personal experience that was my "wow" moment when I realised that Star Wars fans aren't exclusively the only ones who think about these kinds of things when they watch a Star Wars movie.

I may be wrong about midichlorians, I may be dead wrong and you know everything there is to know about Star Wars lore and how everything fits... but even if I'm wrong about midichlorians, I'm still right about it being one of the elements of the prequel trilogy that didn't fit very well in terms of presenting a movie to a mass audience. Midichlorians along with the pod race that stalled the movie, young Anakin's terrible acting, adult Anakin's rape face and yet more terrible acting, awkward romantic scenes, presenting the validity of your accusations, etc, etc, etc, made people question the content of the prequel trilogy to the point where they begin to notice the cracks.

And yes, the Original Trilogy has its flaws too, there's a lot of them if you look, but the great thing about the Original Trilogy, before Lucas decided to change them over and over again, was that they held peoples suspension of disbelief with such a firm grip that you miss the cracks in what appears to be a perfectly made trilogy of films.

This is the overall reason why the prequel trilogy is seen as the lesser trilogy when compared to the original trilogy by a the general public, and no, not because my mother said she thought midichlorians were silly... because you can go out and ask random people anywhere and the great majority of them who have any kind of thought on Star Wars will tell you that the original trilogy is better than the prequel trilogy.

And if you think that's an unfair generalisation that I shouldn't be making. Tough. Not everything you or I like can be popular with the masses.

The Prequel Trilogy isn't, Dead Space 3 isn't. We both have to deal with it.



And that's it, I'm not going to go over this any more so if you want to micro-quote/debate with this post and have the last word, fine by me, I'm not posting any more.

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Old 12-04-2013, 07:34 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
And that's it, I'm not going to go over this any more so if you want to micro-quote/debate with this post and have the last word, fine by me, I'm not posting any more.
I'm posting not to have the last word, but to clarify some of your assumptions regading my posts and to reiterate that my point has nothing to do with people disliking what I like or vice versa. Everyone could hate what I like and I wouldn't have a problem with that because it's completely irrelevant to what's being discussed and I never made it part of my argument. And regarding micro-quoting, I just do it to better address an argument case by case (don't take it in the wrong tone ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
There's often a trope that happens in some anime and Japanese made video games that I feel is appropriate to mention here... when there's something that isn't explained well in an anime or video game and people want to defend it, they usually say "read the manga"...

Midichlorians, I feel is a "read the manga" situation. Where something is explained/presented poorly in the context of the film/tv show/game that it is in.
Except the "manga" is the film itself. If someone wants to know what midi-chlorians are, all they have to do is watch the movie. If people still don't understand the concept or make assumptions that weren't there, I guess there is nothing that can be done about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
But is it the viewers fault or the movie makers fault when they're not able to believe one part of the movie that's ridiculous yet believe another part of it?
If it's not an universal case, probably neither.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
I presented my mother as an example because I the Star Wars fan and her the non-Star Wars fan had the same thought about the same small part of the movie. But I'm not presenting my mother as an example of all people as you had assumed, simply that I had a personal experience that was my "wow" moment when I realised that Star Wars fans aren't exclusively the only ones who think about these kinds of things when they watch a Star Wars movie.
But you did say that it was proof that the concept has failed. It can't be claimed as such when there is also a good amount of people (fans and casual viewers) who didn't have a problem with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
I may be wrong about midichlorians, I may be dead wrong and you know everything there is to know about Star Wars lore and how everything fits... but even if I'm wrong about midichlorians, I'm still right about it being one of the elements of the prequel trilogy that didn't fit very well in terms of presenting a movie to a mass audience. Midichlorians along with the pod race that stalled the movie, young Anakin's terrible acting, adult Anakin's rape face and yet more terrible acting, awkward romantic scenes, presenting the validity of your accusations, etc, etc, etc, made people question the content of the prequel trilogy to the point where they begin to notice the cracks.

And yes, the Original Trilogy has its flaws too, there's a lot of them if you look, but the great thing about the Original Trilogy, before Lucas decided to change them over and over again, was that they held peoples suspension of disbelief with such a firm grip that you miss the cracks in what appears to be a perfectly made trilogy of films.
All I can say is: opinion noted. I have a different one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
This is the overall reason why the prequel trilogy is seen as the lesser trilogy when compared to the original trilogy by a the general public, and no, not because my mother said she thought midichlorians were silly... because you can go out and ask random people anywhere and the great majority of them who have any kind of thought on Star Wars will tell you that the original trilogy is better than the prequel trilogy.
Even if true, it's still irrelevant to what my argument was about.

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Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
Not everything you or I like can be popular with the masses.
Once again, I never argued that, it's a strawman.



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Old 12-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #39
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I'm going to agree with Lynk on this one. To many people fans and non-fans the midichlorian thing was at best, oddly thrown in. To some, it was a positive, but to many more it was a serious negative.


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Old 12-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #40
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I'm actually a big fan of TPM, but I've got to agree with the numbers, I've spoken to hundreds if not thousands of people about Star Wars over the years, Fans and non fans, and I'd say 90% think its the weakest of all 6 films, Jar Jar and Midichlorians being major reasons. but its really quite evident by just looking on the net.


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