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Old 02-05-2002, 04:24 PM   #16
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I couldn't care less about something like Star Trek, but I like, sometimes love, Star Wars. I'm not really interested in science fiction. From what I've seen and heard about Star Trek, a lot of it is about technology and gadgets and so on. The space setting of Star Wars is just a setting. A lot of it goes back to mythology and archetypes and I find that very interesting. Besides, the characters are great in a two-dimensional way, and there are some genuinely moving moments, and some truly funny lines.

I know exactly what happens in The Lord of the Rings--I've read the book at least ten times, I am currently rereading it, but did I see the movie? Yes. And thought it was great (but still prefer the book). You know what's going to happen in a U2 song, don't you? But you still listen to it again and again. What's the difference?



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Old 02-05-2002, 05:04 PM   #17
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I LOVE Star wars - episodes 4,5,6.
But the leates flick was so stupid, humorless and it relayed only on FX - it's a legend gone down, and I expect nothing more this year with episode 2 - maybe it will even feature N'sync - disguisting...

But at least I have LOTR - fantastic movie...
And SF - as well as any other movie genre has some 10% great movies (for instance Matrix - it influenced the movie industry like no other movie in last 10 yrs, just look at charlies angels, MI2...), and everything else is bad... it's the same with music

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Old 02-05-2002, 05:21 PM   #18
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Okay I've pondered the same thoughts too "why see it, it makes no sense?" After going to see episode I, I found that I oddly enjoyed it so I bought an oversized tee shirt and anakin and amidala posters- that have been hanging on my walls for about two years now.

I realized that its a cult thing, people grew attached to a show that really made no logical sense and to see it from the "beginning" is like heaven. I'm not crazy for star wars at all but its like a part of movie history so I give it that much respect.

But look at star trek...it sickens me that there are people that believe one day we'll be flying through space getting along with aliens...we can't even get along on earth! And as for technology there will never be any way to transport a person anywhere! I'm not beating anyone's interest in star trek, I just watched a show on cable about the sickest trekkie fans I've ever seen and therefore I speak against insanity on their parts.

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Old 02-05-2002, 06:04 PM   #19
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<ahem>

On the issue at hand, "what's the point if we know how it ends?", I think Titanic is a good response. At least in terms of the larger story (the one about the boat sinking, not about the teenage romance), it was clear what was going to happen - clear from history and clear from the advertising.

(And it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how the romance ended, either.)

But, as Titanic was a merely mediocre film, it's not the best example. The BEST example is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, Romeo and Juliet. In that case, they tell you at the very beginning what's going to happen, "star-crossed lovers" and all. And yet, that play is considered one of the finest in English literature. I think the reason is - even though we know what happens - we don't know HOW it happens.

Tragedy particularly works well for this particular brand of foreshadowing, and Anakin Skywalker's tale is one of the most tragic of film history.

Cannabalistic Artist, bono-vox, I would also remind you that Star Wars WOULD NOT EXIST without George Lucas.

Lemonboy, I have to agree with scatteroflight that Star Wars is a epic myth set in space, and not science fiction. Its actual story arc owes more to the tales of Odysseus and King Arthur than to 2001 and Star Trek.

Badgirl, you're very smart to think that transporter and FTL (faster-than-light) technology is out of our reach, just as it's reasonable to assume we'll never achieve peace. BUT, we also were never supposed to fly, move over 15 miles per hour, and communicate with beams of light (fiber optic cables). So, never say "never". Besides, the entire premise to Trek was that we could become better than we are; it's supposed to be a beacon of hope, not a serious prediction of the future.


Marko, you're welcome to your opinion, but I would like to remind you that Episode I is a much less self-contained film than any one episode of the "Classic Trilogy". It is merely an introduction to the characters and machinations that will move the story through the five episodes, and I have no doubt Episode I will improve in the context of Episodes II and III.

Also, I think a LOT of us Star Wars fans need to recognize that first, we've aged twenty years and the trilogy is still meant (at least partially) for kids, and second, most uber-fans had their own ideas about what the prequels MUST be. Lucas could not have made all (or even many) of these fans happy; it would have been too different or too similar, the effects would have been too shoddy or "too good", it would have been too childish or too dark.

Had Lucas tried to please everyone, he would not have even pleased himself. He seems happy with the final film, he knows what he's doing, and all we can really do is sit back and let the story teller do his job.


Finally, DoctorGonzo, to suggest that Star Wars - with its space battles and sword fights, chases and shootouts, scoundrels and comic relief - is childish is obviously true, but it's not the whole truth. There's a GREAT deal of depth to the story of the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker and his redemption through his children - depth that rivals the Godfather and Othello, if you can simply get past the setting and the comic-book dialogue.

Ultimately, I think you overestimate the special effects of Star Wars. The sense of fun, the simple good-and-evil nature of the tale, and the unique casting of a epic-sized myth in the futuristic world of science fiction all distinguished it from its contemporaries - AND from most of the blockbusters that have since followed.

Beyond that, while Lucas did have to advance the technology a bit for Star Wars (and create his own effects house in the process), HE DID NOTHING NEW in terms of methodology.

Everything he did was an extension of the computer-controlled camera work of 2001: A Space Oddyssey, the make-up effects of classic horror films, and other established techniques. Anybody could have made a movie with a similar level of special effects. At the time, though, these special effects "sci-fi" movies were cerebral, cold, slow, and frankly not much fun; 2001 and the original Planet of the Apes were considered major successes for the genre, and the response to them was lackluster compared to other films of the day.

(Lucas actually hoped his little movie would meet those same levels; little did he know how far this thing would soar.)

It was not the technology, but how Mr. Lucas used it: the final work was faster, more intense, more fun, and ultimately more human. Those qualities are the mark of the moviemaker, NOT the tools he uses.
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Old 02-05-2002, 06:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lemonboy:
What´s the point with Sci-fi at all???
Troll!! jk

Science fiction is often overlooked and dismissed as pretty meaningless. But GOOD (not all, not most, but good.. just like any other genre is usually made up of derivitive, uninspired mediocrity) science fiction is a lot more than fancy gadgets and explosions, it can deal with important social issues that may arise as civilization develops and open our eyes to ways to or NOT to deal with those issues, or issues like religion and science etc. of course it doesn't need to do that, it can also be incredibly well crafted and well-told and just as deep and entertaining as boring old set in the real world stuff.

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Old 02-06-2002, 12:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
What´s the point with Sci-fi at all???
I can think of at least a few responses:

Twelve Monkeys
Brazil
Blade Runner
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Old 02-06-2002, 03:40 AM   #22
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You know, I always preferred Battlestar Galactica.




[This message has been edited by Mirrorball Man (edited 02-05-2002).]
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Old 02-06-2002, 07:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by hermes:
I can think of at least a few responses:

Twelve Monkeys
Brazil
Blade Runner
Think again!!!



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Old 02-06-2002, 10:34 AM   #24
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Time for another long-ass response from NGL.

Quote:
Mirrorball Man:
People know what's going to happen but they watch them anyway!!!
Yes and no. I have no idea what is going to happen in Attack of the Clones or Episode III, so I go watch it. I do know, however, how the story ends, though. But if the ending is all that matters, what's the point in sitting through a movie or reading a book? It's not the ending that interests me. It's the overall story, how a young, kind, generous boy becomes an evil person who kills thousands of people, and is ultimately redeemed by his own son.

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star wars=shit. thanks to Lucass
Do you even know what happened in The Phantom Menace and how it ties into the rest of the story?

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Lemonboy:
What´s the point with Sci-fi at all???
Some sci-fi is crap. Just look at Johnny Mnemonic. Other sci-fi is trying to say something, like Brave New World, We, and 1984. Furthermore, without science fiction, we wouldn't have the technology we have today. I believe it was around the turn of last century that someone asked the top scientists and the top sci-fi authors in the world what technological improvements would me made in the new century. The scientists only mentioned improvements on their technbology (more eficient steam engine and the like). The authors came up with pretty out-there stuff like flight.

As for Star Wars, it's only science fiction in that it takes place in outer space. Story-wise, it's cross between mythology and westerns.

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mad1:
the point is:
women go to drool over men-in-tights with long locks and long lasers

men just go with Pamela their attached friend to drool over Natalie Portman.........


thats what makes a movie a movie, see?
I must be going for the wrong reasons. I'm interested in the story.

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Marko:
But the leates flick was so stupid, humorless and it relayed only on FX - it's a legend gone down,
It's pretty obvious you are unable to appreciate the many layers in the movie. Do you know what happened in it?

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and I expect nothing more this year with episode 2 - maybe it will even feature N'sync - disguisting...
Expect nothing. Good idea. Maybe then you will be pleased. As for the 'N Sync thing, you're make way too big a deal out of it. So what if three guys got to be extras in it? It's not going to change anything. So shallow....
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Old 02-06-2002, 12:18 PM   #25
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
[B]<ahem>


Marko, you're welcome to your opinion, but I would like to remind you that Episode I is a much less self-contained film than any one episode of the "Classic Trilogy". It is merely an introduction to the characters and machinations that will move the story through the five episodes, and I have no doubt Episode I will improve in the context of Episodes II and III.

Of course I can share my opinion, that's something that you don't have to mention...
What lacked, in my opinion, in Episode I was human touch. JAr Jar was realy terible - I'll take chuey any day, or han. I thought that evan mcgregor will be fine, but he was flat... anakin never did anything that would indicate he was "the chosen one", he did everything by saying "ups" - excidentely, same as jar jar.
It seems to me that lucas was under no pressure and he can alow himself to get excited over sports comentator or some cool new efect (read his interviews), but the plot, the drama, which still holds me pinned to my couch everytime when I watch Empire or New Hope, is lacking. Nowdays he has no Lawrence Kasadan to write a script for him, and movie company doesn't make him rewrite every scene 10 times like 20 yrs ago...
EIV V and VI were not for kids alone - they ware darker, meningful, and EI is for kids - and Lucas has the right to do what he wants, but i have the right to say that EI is pure bad clone of old trilogy and is no better than other SF movies nowdays... Now I'll rather watch Dark City...
but I'm a fan for 15 yrs, I watched New Hope, Empire and Jedi 100 times, and I'll go and see EII and III.

LOTR - lucas was inspired by the book and he brought that inspiration to the first trilogy, now the original is out and it made my movie life beautifull again - maybe I'm biased, I'm a bigger fan of Tolkien than of Star wars...

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[B] Not George Lucas:
It's pretty obvious you are unable to appreciate the many layers in the movie. Do you know what happened in it? [B]
It's not obvious, only thing tht's obvious is that you are not able to respect another's opinion... I saw all the layers b/c I watched it 3 times, and still I find nothing moving in it, nothing human, and nothing real evil... yes we know that there's evil there, but I didn't sense it like I did before - it's all flat for me, pure politics... don't think that you should be overly inteligent to "get" EI, it's for kids, and I thought that they were trying to make us feel stupid with jar jar - or is he one of your layers?
I know that it's best to expect nothing - but I expected a lot from LOTR and I got much more... star wars were more thatn a movie for me before and now they are just one mediocre Hollywood flick...

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Old 02-06-2002, 02:02 PM   #26
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Marko:

Not to belabor my point, but the reason I said, "You're welcome to your opinion," is that many detractors of Episode I have been incorrectly treating the film as a self-contained, stand-alone movie. Under that assumption the movie isn't that great.

As you pointed out in your second post, the movie seems immature and Obi-Wan was in a secondary role until the very, very end of the movie. As others have pointed out, Anakin showed very little indication of his future dark self, and the Trade Federation's blockade of Naboo seems awfully small-scale for the epic scope of Star Wars.

The Phantom Menace is simply not a great movie on its own.

But if you're going to be consistent, you MUST say the same thing about your sacrosanct film, The Fellowship of the Ring:

The quest was incomplete, as the One Ring wasn't destroyed. Aragorn's story arc was incomplete, as he is clearly destined to claim the throne - and he didn't. Gimli and Legolas were SORELY underdeveloped, and Gollum was shown following the Fellowship and did nothing else afterwards.

You're treating Episode I as a stand-alone movie, and that's why you're coming to the conclusion that it sucks. If you were honest and treated LOTR:FOTR as a stand-alone, it would also really, really suck.

But Episode I works really well in context. Examples:


As others have pointed out, the blockade of Naboo is a really small plot to hang a movie on. Looking at the big picture, we see that the blockade is ultimately the device through which Senator Palpatine becomes Supreme Chancellor (much the way the burning of the Reichstag was used by Hitler to become German Chancellor), his first major step to crowning himself Emperor.

This example also points out the hidden dark nature of Episode that belies the apparent "kids movie". At the end of the movie, everybody's celebrating on Naboo, cheering happily, and we end with a final shot of the main characters. BUT, if you know what's coming, you must recognize that things aren't so bright:

* One of the apparent good guys (Palpatine) will become the dark ruler of the galaxy.

* The sweet little kid (Anakin) will betray everyone he loves.

* The beautiful queen (Padme) will lose her true love and die sad and alone, unable to watch her daughter grow up and unable to even spend time with her son for fear of being caught.

* Most of the noble knights (Mace Windu, Ki-Adi-Mundi, basically everyone but Yoda and Obi-Wan) will be killed in a great and terrible purge.

ALL of this happens because Palpatine became Supreme Chancellor, and this happened will the good guys were reclaiming Naboo. In an apparent happy ending for Episode I, THE BAD GUYS ACTUALLY WON.


As others have pointed out, Anakin didn't show much of a dark side... but he did show a reluctance to leave his mother, and Yoda picked up on his fear for his mother. Fear leads to anger, hate, suffering, and ultimately the Dark Side of the Force, and showing these seeds of fear was enough in the context of showing a three-movie-long descent into darkness. (Also, had Anakin started out as a "troubled youth", his fall would be neither surprising or dramatic; great tragedies - e.g., Othello - require great and good individuals to fall, require a high starting point to contrast with the final low point.)


And your point that Obi-Wan Kenobi does nothing, while true in Episode I, is clearly not true for the rest of this trilogy; the trailors for Episode II alone demonstrate that. Besides, having Qui-Gon find Anakin, then having Obi-Wan train him serves several purposes:

* It allows for the Jedi that finds Anakin to be an almost perfect vessel for the will of the Force, a prophet that put into motion the wheels that would ultimately undo Palpatine (after all, Anakin's fall to the Dark Side allowed him to be the only one close enough to Palpatine to defeat him). From Episodes IV, V, and VI, Obi-Wan is clearly more pragmatic, more "down to earth", and such a role would not have suited the character.

* It allows Obi-Wan to be in conflict over Anakin, in which he first resented Qui-Gon's affection for the boy and then chose to stubbornly honor Qui-Gon's final request to train him.

* It gives Anakin a less firm footing as an individual. Luke didn't succomb to the Dark Side partially because he had a family (Obi-Wan, even after death; Yoda; Leia; and even Vader once Luke accepted him as Anakin). In Episode I, Anakin left his mother to be trained under the fatherly tutorlege of Qui-Gon, but Qui-Gon was unfortunately killed on Naboo. Now, Anakin's family is more or less just Obi-Wan, and Anakin may now be much more succeptible to the Dark Side.


Your other complaints were about Anakin's apparent lack of ability and Jar Jar's hyjinks.

Your complaint is that Anakin "never did anything that would indicate he was 'the chosen one', he did everything by saying 'ups'", and I say that's exactly the point: Anakin is so powerful that he doesn't have to TRY to harness his powers. In the Podrace, he simply acts and does the right thing. And in the Naboo dogfight, he's not entirely cognizant of what the right thing IS, and yet he still destroys the control ship.

Those who are good at something do great things, but must struggle to do them. The great ones make it look easy.


Finally, on the complaint about Jar Jar, yes, he's clumsy and annoying (and nothing like Chewie and Han), but that's the whole point. Though it can never be proven or disproven, I still contend that fans would complain if Episode I was too SIMILAR, instead of too different.

Beyond that, Lucas has now included a role found in most mythologies that was pretty much ignored in the Classic Trilogy: the fool, the jester. (One *can* make the case that Wicket played that role in Episode VI, but it's a stretch.) Like the wizard (Qui-Gon in this trilogy, Obi-Wan in the next), the dark warrior (Vader), the pirate (Han), and the princess (Leia), the jester is an important part of epic myths and should be included.

(As an aside, LOTR:FOTR did a disservice to Pippin, making him far too clumsy - against the characterization established in the original text. I honestly think both Jar Jar and Pippin will improve as characters, but that again requires a more global perspective.)

And, ultimately, Jar Jar proves an important point, one that Gollum demonstrates at the end of the quest: the forces of good use people of all shapes, sizes, and dispositions as means to good ends. Sure, the Chosen One helps even as a kid, but he's the Chosen One. The noble knights and the concerned queen also work to the greater good, but that's what they're all trained to do.

Then you have Jar Jar, a well-meaning but clumsy, childlike "pathetic life form" that reminds the Queen of the Gungan Grand Army, and guides the Queen to the Gungan sacred place. He serves a PIVOTAL role in helping the queen acquire an army to draw the droid army away from the city - and he's pivotal in restoring relations between the Naboo and the Gungans.


Now, your general complaints about Episode I:

It seems to me that lucas was under no pressure and he can alow himself to get excited over sports comentator or some cool new efect (read his interviews), but the plot, the drama, which still holds me pinned to my couch everytime when I watch Empire or New Hope, is lacking. Nowdays he has no Lawrence Kasadan to write a script for him, and movie company doesn't make him rewrite every scene 10 times like 20 yrs ago...

Two obvious things:

1) Lucas wrote A New Hope on his own; Kasden was nowhere near it, and yet it was a great film.

2) Lucas didn't allow for rewrites from the studio or anyone else 20 years ago.

You have little choice but to recognize that, regardless of the results, all six chapters of the Star Wars sagas are, first and foremost, the result of George Lucas' vision, not the input of Kasden or the insipid involvement of studio execs.

LOTR - lucas was inspired by the book and he brought that inspiration to the first trilogy, now the original is out and it made my movie life beautifull again - maybe I'm biased, I'm a bigger fan of Tolkien than of Star wars...

Lucas and Tolkien were also both inspired by the epic myths of the past, and I'd say Jackson was at LEAST as much inspired by Lucas as Lucas was by Tolkien. Honestly compare the music, the fights, and the scene at the Bridge of Kazad-Dum to Star Wars, and you'll see the similarities.

And, yeah, you are clearly biased. You're treating Episode I as a stand-alone, and if you treated Fellowship the same way, you'd come to the same conclusions: both movies suck as stand-alone films.

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 02-06-2002).]
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Old 02-06-2002, 04:12 PM   #27
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Achtung bubba - you have a point on some issues. I know that it's not a stand alone movie - BUT - unlike LOTR, it just doesn't work for me... no matter what the plot it, it's just not convincing.
Concerning anakin - I didn't expect to see his dark side yet, but he showed no heroic side either - he's a kid who want's to have some fun. He never shot some craft by himself, either it was autopilot, or some excidend - all acompanied with "ups" "oh my" - and extreem case of clumsyness

I'm a big fan of both Star wars and LOTR, and I would criticise FOTR if I didn't like it. But I loved it, and my friends who never even heard for that book loved it - only objection was (offcourse) that now they have to wait another year...

Gollum didn't show up b/c he doesn't show up in first book...

Star wars was not a 9.piese saga at first - you didn't see Star Wars episode IV - the new hope in 1977... I will never be sure that he planed 9-piece saga at first as new hope can be a stand-alone movie

What I'm trying to say - I think that EI is a bad mediocre filmmaking, and LOTR is magnificent filmmaking...
if EI was stand-alone I wouldn't like it, b7c for me it has no quality and no spirit... I expected star wars as I saw them 15 yrs ago, and I didn't get it... so what, lucas can do what he wants, it's his prerogative. The only thing I can say is do I like it or not - well I don't...
a movie can be stand alone or it can be a piece of a puzzle, but a movie is a movie and it's good or bad, or somewhere in between.
Please don't get me wrong, and PLEASE don't tell me that I'm lookong at it the wrong way b/c I'm not.
I got chills and emotions watching LOTR, I got adrenaline rush watching Matrix, I saw pain and beauty in Megnolia, I enjoy Traffic, I love The three kings, laogh at dark humor of Gross Point Blank, ponder for days about Dark City, and in EI I go in a theatre watch it for 2 1/2 hrs with no emotion or feeling, I go out get something to drink, eat, and than toomorow I go to work and I don't think for a second about star wars, while all the movies mentioned above left me thinking about them for days

That's all - I kind of envy you b/c you were able to find something more in EI and continue to enjoy that imaginary world - for me it doesen't work and I see it only as a big marketing machine for money with no artistic or author influence - pure hollywood trash

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Old 02-06-2002, 04:16 PM   #28
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So everyone knows what's going to happen. Where's the excitement? In the next film Obi Wan can get into as many scrapes as he wants, but we know he isn't going to die. And Anakin can go through loads of mood swings but we know what happens to him. The Empire Strikes Back ended on a cliffhanger and that was interesting because nobody knew that answers for sure.

As for lots of people going to see Titanic even though they knew the ending, I don't understand that either. At least that was only one film, Star Wars is three!

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Old 02-06-2002, 04:48 PM   #29
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I think the answer to everyone's sci-fi questions is... E.T., love or hate him- E.T.

There ya go!

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Old 02-06-2002, 11:10 PM   #30
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Marko: I wouldn't say Anakin did nothing at all. He *did* help Jar Jar from being bullied and offered shelter from the sandstorm - minor things, sure, but these minor acts of goodness start his grand adventure, just as the search for the missing Artoo-Detoo started Luke on his journey.

He then OFFERED to help Qui-Gon get the ship repaired by risking life and limb in the podrace - and successfully and daringly won a race were racers were being quickly taken out by the terrain and other competitors.

Finally, while was reluctant to do so, he chose to leave his mother and follow Qui-Gon. I'll grant that he was nearly secondary to the story once they left Tatooine, but he did fully demonstrate his gift by helping in the dogfight at the droid control ship - and, by the end of the movie, everything was put in place for Anakin to be quite a dynamic character in the next two films.

And, again, Anakin's ability to stumble into great deeds certainly demonstrates his power.

The point that Gollum becomes an important character in later books (and thus the later movies) is true, but my point is this: you accept the fact that Gollum is underused in Fellowship of the Ring because you know he will be further explored in the next two films. I really wish you would give the Star Wars movies the same benefit of the doubt.

Further, while "Episode IV" didn't appear in the first release of the first Star Wars film, a larger story was planned:

* From the beginning, Lucas outlined what would become Episodes IV, V, and VI; it proved to be too much to put in one movie, so he split the story into three parts and hoped that he would be able to (somehow) continue the story in sequels. And even then, he had written much of the backstory; the 1976 novelization of Star Wars (released a year before the film to generate some sort of fan base) mentions how a politician manipulated his way into power and crowned himself Emporer - part of the events that began to unfold in Episode I. Episodes I, II, and III were backstory to IV, V, and VI and IV-VI were apparently always planned.

* Around the time of Episodes V and VI, Lucas said that he was considering three trilogies - nine episodes. He has since said that he was merely speculating, and the six episodes that will comprise the Saga will be the entire story Lucas envisioned in the mid-Seventies.

Honestly, ending the Saga at VI makes sense: Anakin is redeemed, Luke passed his last test into true Jedi knighthood, and the Emporer was defeated. The story naturally concludes with the celebration on the forest moon of Endor.


I'm not sure I would ever expect you will ever enjoy the new trilogy "as (you) saw them 15 yrs ago"; too much time has passed. There will never be another "New Hope", just as there will never be another Joshua Tree. Rather, look at the new works on their own merits, and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

And DEFINITELY keep an open mind with Episodes II and III. I have a certain amount of faith that George Lucas knows what he's doing, and I suspect a lot of people will enjoy the new trilogy once they see the completed work. Please don't disregard the entire prequel trilogy before you've seen it all.

Finally, say what you will about the movie, but I cannot for the life of me see how you can see it "only as a big marketing machine for money with no artistic or author influence - pure hollywood trash".

1) No author influence? George Lucas IS Star Wars, and Episode I was written, directed, and executive produced by Lucas.

2) Just a marketing machine? While most people will admit that movie was overmarketed, I never thought it was made for the marketing. Lucas first of all doesn't need the money, but there's also the fact that he made some odd decisions for a "money-driven" film. See my next point for details.

3) Hollywood trash? In the first case, literal Hollywood had little to do with this movie. 20th Century Fox distributed it, but that's about it. Lucas used his own production company (Lucasfilm) and special effects house (ILM), filmed in England, edited outside of San Francisco and avoided the usual trappings of preliminary screenings.

Besides, it doesn't follow the cliches of a Hollywood movie. If Hollywood was doing Star Wars, Anakin would have started out as a "troubled teenager" (which would have made his fall much less interesting), the Jedi would not have been NEARLY as stoic or formal, and the "main" plot would not have revolved around a trade blockade and political infighting - and there would have been less Jar Jar, no midichlorians, and no virgin birth.

The movie would have been dark, slick, and "cool" - another Matrix or Terminator 2.

Episode I may have in fact stunk (I don't think so), but the responsibility lies squarely at the feet of the Star Wars creator himself, George Lucas. The film has nothing to do with "Hollywood", and the mistakes were that Lucas went too far in having his own way, not going too far to please the industry or the audience.
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