Join Date: Apr 2002
Why I hate Count Dooku: A Critical Essay
I saw Ep2 with my girlfriend on Sunday. I went in with medium expectations. I left with those expectations satisfied. Lucas has had a very very difficult job, and still does, trying to peice an epic hollywood trillogy into the tightly packed and rigidly defined starwars universe, history, timeline, and legacy. It's much like trying to slip a skyscraper into the downtown skyline without anyone noticing, while making that building a national landmark.
A difficult task.
Imagine for a second, that you're a novelist. You've written a fantastic novel for a very demanding audience, but some publishing blunder has had the last half of the manuscript forwarded to all the readers. Now you have to revise the first half of your book so that it's still entertaining for the reader even though they know all about your surprise ending and last minute plot twist. The reader never for a moment wonders how it's all going to end, they simply wonder how all those characters got into such a sticky perdiciment. It's not about the final 'what' any more, and the 'when' and 'where' can be roughly deduced. It's focused only on the 'how' and more importantly, the 'why'. You are no longer in a position to nab that Pulitzer anymore, because the suspense in your story has been flushed out with a firehose, but your still going to give it a shot.
Let's see how Lucas is faring considering the circumstances. Ep1 sucked my will to live. It was childish and contrived. Why would you make a movie directed towards kids when most star wars fans are 16-30+ years old. I guess Kenner toys didn't realize it was nostalgic nerds buying all the action figures, not kids. Granted, EP1 had it's high point. The destroyer droids where SO cool (oh, and qui-gon was a bad ass). Even the normal battle droids where pretty nifty. But what the HELL was with Anakin, and what the HELL was with queen amidalas hair, and what the hell was with that shiny flying doorhandle that carted every one around. And what....ACK! Wouldn't the climax be so much for powerfull if the final naboo battle was set durring a terential downpoor on the rocky cliffs of naboo, backdroped by lightning and thunder and the murading hoares of battle droids. But no, we go green plains and blue sky. The CG guys must have spent 20 minutes cooking that bad boy up. Shall we not even talk about Anakins misadventures in his ugly flying banana that everyone but myself seems so fond of.
While this has been a pleasurable tyraid, back to the point I was trying to make. What occured in EP1 that was at all relevent to EP2. Let's see. Obi-wan was reintroduced. Mace Windu had a poorly written and unmemorable line. Anakin was introduced. The battle droids displayed their ineffective militeristic might. There was this guy with face paint and horns how killed some other guy and then got killed in a very predictible yet still exciting fasion. Jar Jar was anoying. The word 'apprentice' had been replaced by the repugnent 'padawana'. The credits rollled.
No, don't take this the wrong way, but I'd rather that have been compacted into 30 minutes of a movie and then 90 minutes of Ewoks and Jawas dancing in a cute and friendly fasion could entertain us all instead.
(Note: I'd like to take a moment to say that I love star wars)
So when I sat down at EP2, I knew there was this 'villian' named darth sidious, his aprentice was greased so he might be pretty pissed about that. The trade federation (I still have no idea what their investment in all this is, or for that matter any details about that faction what so ever) was foiled. And Anakin is eventually goina get it on with ol' big hair and spawn luke and leia. Anakin had to turn evil at some point and a mysterious 'clone war' would take place too. Perhaps Lucas had room to sculpt an epic struggle in two movies after all. He had a big enough hole in starwars lore to do it in. Let's look at EP2 now.
First of, somebody tell lucas to hire a writer JUST for the diologue. PLEASE. With so many people nitpicking everything he does, there's no rome for errors like "I fear for my yound padawana learner' or "to the forward comand post, take me". It's just to easy a problem to fix, and it really does make a movie ,which first half is almost entirely diologue driven, sag noticibley. Second, imediatelly connect the last film with the next one with both the good guys and bad, so everyone knows were everything stands. A la Empire Strikes Back, Vader and his probe droids, Luke and Echo base. RotJ, The second Death Star, Jabbas Palace. In ep2, you don't even get to know who ARE the good guys and bad guys. It's to gray for a sci fi movie. Where EP1 was aimed at kids, it almost feels like ep2 is aimed at 40 year olds who enjoy thrillers about the cold war.
Does anybody get the feeling that there's to many main characters in EP2. Especially for the 'good guys'. obi-wan, anakin, padme, Cancilor Palpattine *cough*, R2, C-3PO, Mace Windu, Yoda. You never really get a chance to develope a personal relationship with any of the characters cause it flips around so damed much. Would any of you really have been shocked or apalled if ObI-wan or Anakin bought it.
Padme would never fall in love with a whinny brat like anakin "It's just not FAIR!" (thank you Lucas) And what was with the fireplace/ leather corrset sudduction scene. Oh my.
I'm drifting of topic again. Those are hardly fatal flaws, but little things do add up durring a 2 1/2 hour film.
The one big complaint I have about EP2, the one thing I'd change if I could. The one thing that brought my views on the movie right down to par with my expectations was, of course, the talented Mr. Dooku (who's name, apperently, none of the actors could agree on an anunciation for)
To but it in a painfully blunt fasion, he's lame. Very.
Arch Mega Death Villians of Star Wars Films:
ANH: Darth Vader, Evil Incarnate
ESB: Darth Vader + Mini Emporor + Fett, scary and cool looking
EP1: Darth Maul, kind of goofy but cool looking and has a cool saber.
EP2: Count Chocula, an overweight whiny psuedo sith.
How is it that the sith even let him in, I mean, look at him, is that really going to inspire fear in the enemy. (ok, I see what Lucas was going for, the whole: is this guy evil, I'm not sure yet, almost a plot twist, but everyone knew) He was a lame villian. He had lame lines, he had that lame little chain holding together his 'cape'. Even his lightsaber was bent (now I'm just ranting...) And then, as the movie aproched climax, he bypasses all these cool ships and manly speeders with all there interesting dramatic possibilities, and, of course, opts for the pink hover scooter ,which was the funiest part of the movies. These huge attack ships escorting him, and he has to ride the moped. It totally imasculated him infront of the entire audience. He was no longer even slightly vicious, he was dumb. I was rooting for anakin to bust him just so I wouldn't have to see him in EP3. But alas.... Even his force lightning looked fake.
Least. Intimidating. Villian. EVER!
I hate you Dooku, I hate you so much.
So what's left for EP3, which I'm happy to report, must tie into EP2 more cohesively. Darth Sidious will be reveilved. (I'm guessing palpatine was the Exar something something jedi from ten years ago, and now he's mascarading as the Supreme Chancolor) I'd LIKE it to be a bit more exciting then that though, like there being a different sith lord which Obi and co kill, then palpatine uses the opertunity to take the position. I want Lucas to have one more chance to created a truely inspiring and chilling Villian. I hope he takes it.
Moral of the story?
All CG and no acting/sets/drama makes EP2 a dull boy (mostly)
You can't throw money and FX at bad planning and lack of cohesion. You can throw time at it. And luck.
Of course I'm focusing only on the negative because it's more fun.
The part where mace jumped of the balcony and sailed down to the arena took my breath away. He IS one bad mutha... I, like everyone else, loved it when yoda drew his tool and went to work. The destroyers where still cool, and the clone troopers also looked good, jango fett was cool, jedi starfighter, ditto. But these are all just pyrite and one way mirrors. Tinsle and ricecakes. Nothing substaintial or un-action-figure-able. Not built to stand the weathering of another 2 decades.
Unless He really comes through on the next one, this could mark the beggining of the end of the Star Wars legacy. But hey, nothing can last for ever right. In north america, 45 years is forever.
Sleep well my childhood friend.
If your eyes aren't rusted open.
Last edited by Infinity; 05-22-2002 at 07:05 AM.