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OT: Episode II full review

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I saw Star Wars: Episode II yesterday. What follows is a long review. Spoiler: I didn't like it.

"On a 1-10 scale, George Lucas turns it up to '11'!"

Episode II – Attack of the Clones is better than Episode I: The Phantom Menace of three years ago, though much worse than the original 1977 Star Wars and the best of the series, The Empire Strikes Back. More than any other in the series, Episode II defines what is increasingly creepy about George Lucas.

Lucas wrote the story, co-authored the screenplay, directed and produced the movie, and supervised the effects. As much as any large movie can be, this movie is the mind of one man, George Lucas.

On a technical level, the film breaks new ground. It's the first major feature shot on high-definition digital video, a decision apparently motivated by Lucas's desire to meld camera shots more easily with computer-generated effects. The choice of digital video also seems to be ideological -- Lucas wants this movie to be the pioneering work in a future of wholly digital movies, shot on digital video, distributed to theaters digitally, and projected using digital projectors. While Lucas has been active in developing and evangelizing this digital distribution system, only a relative handful of theaters are showing this movie using digital projection systems. My theater, like most showing the movie, used a standard celluloid print transferred from digital video.

Throughout the film, I was reminded of an old New Yorker cartoon that pictures a stereo system packed with dials and sliders, each with an arrow pointing to “More.” The new sequel is filled to the brim with countless aliens, monsters, Jedi warriors, droid armies, clone armies, big spaceships, little spaceships, little battles, big battles. Even the senate is huge, with thousands of members convening in a cavernous chamber; after all, if a democratic republic is good, then a republic with a really big senate must be even better. In one scene, half a dozen digital waterfalls form a massive backdrop for a romantic interlude -- as if Lucas thought, “Waterfall – pretty romantic. Six waterfalls – that’s really romantic.”

Punch-drunk on his digital Kool-Aid, Lucas ignores the dramatic principles of economy and compression -- in which a drama takes place over the shortest possible period using the fewest possible characters in the fewest possible places, the better to emphasize character, human conflict, and moments of revelation and change. Episode II shuffles and deals out random planets, characters and digital backdrops like a hopped-up Vegas blackjack dealer. Scenes don’t build tension within themselves or through a sequence of scenes; all we see is spasms of mindless kinetic energy – it’s BattleBots: The Movie.

The dialogue, when permitted to occur, is mostly ludicrous -- a Cuisinart confection of Jedi mumbo-speak, ponderous declarations of menace from the bad guys, expository nonsense dropped like bread crumbs to mark the trail of Lucas's confused plot, sudden and bizarre declarations of love copied from some dog-eared screenwriting Rolodex, and clanking buddy-film asides inserted in a desperate simulation of camaraderie. While Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) manages his Jedi lines with credible dramatic weight, Natalie Portman (Padmé) comes off as ludicrously underage and shallow for her central role as a senator. Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader) pouts like a high schooler on curfew, suggesting that whining slackers are just one step away from becoming Lords of Darkness.

As bad as the dialogue and much of the acting is, the plot is worse. Lucas follows the in media res (into the midst of things) convention of starting the plot in the middle of action and events, with explosions and fireballs occurring before two minutes of the film have unspooled. All well and good, but soon you realize that the sound and fury really do signify nothing -- there are good guys and mysterious bad guys, but nothing is motivated. Bad guys attack because . . . they are bad guys. It's like a video arcade game: you're shooting because you're being shot at. Not once do we get even an inkling of the motivation behind any one of the bad guys. As for the good guys, there's some muttering about preserving democracy and the republic -- but in this hurly-burly universe packed with goofy-headed aliens and assorted humanoids, and a senate chamber large enough to hold a small town, it's not clear what high ground is being defended. There's no demonstration of the warring principles of good and evil, aside from the obvious kinetics of laser guns and light sabers against laser guns and light sabers.

Where the plot presents the incarnation of the good side, in Senator/Queen Padmé Amidala (Portman), we see a milky-faced 20-year-old coed dressed in robes who must be protected at all costs -- as if democracy is not a way of life led and defended by the wise and experienced of each generation, but rather a monarchy presided over by some sheltered royal princess. (If Lucas’s universe were actually a democratic republic, the senator is ultimately expendable -- she should represent the will of a certain set of people, who can always elect a replacement. But in Lucas's plot, it is the princess herself -- i.e. the divine lineage -- that is at stake. This logical fault line goes all the way back to the original Star Wars and Princess Leia, who is, not by coincidence, the daughter of the comely “senator.”)

Occasionally the plot stumbles across something interesting, such as the army of human clones being incubated and trained to become a fighting force of unprecedented breadth and unity. As soon as I saw this development, I immediately became drawn to the paradox of such an army – they may be genetic clones, but unlike a droid army they are still human, with human emotions and aspirations. But Lucas sees no distinction between a clone army and a droid army – we never get close to an individual clone, and soon enough the clones are marching synchronously in stormtrooper gear to predictable deaths. There’s not a whiff of heroism in the deaths, but rather obedience: they fight and die because they have been directed to fight and die. With the clones sheathed from head to toe in white stormtrooper armor, there’s never a drop of blood or even a cry of pain – to the extent we even notice the demise of the clones in the big battles, we register their deaths as a loss of movement – a ship exploding into sand, a clone brigade wilting under laser fire – a loss of armament and numbers, and not a loss of human life.

This of course is perfectly appropriate, because the clone and droid armies are numbers – they are digital animations composed ultimately of ones and zeroes. In all probability, Lucas was drawn to the idea of a war between clones and droids because they are so easily manipulated as digital animations. You create one model stormtrooper and one model droid, animate their movements, and then clone the animated models on a digital battlefield palette. This is Lucas yanking the dial up to “more” – all the way up to “11”, in Spinal Tap lingo. What he fails to recognize is that “11” isn’t human, it’s an abstraction. Get to know one man and watch that man die, part of us dies with that man. Watch an army of cloned stormtroopers die, and we’re watching animated statistics. (This of course is a variation on Stalin’s insight, “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.”)

Stalin’s lesson is well understood by Hollywood, which is why we get large tragedies dramatized as small tragedies in classic Hollywood films. Instead of thousands of drowning nobodies in Titanic, we get two kids in love. Instead of a D-Day documentary, we get Saving Private Ryan and the point of view of Tom Hanks’s Captain Miller and a few of his troops. We get to know Miller and his men, and we feel their deaths excruciatingly. Instead of an “eye in the sky” camera, we see battle scenes from their eyes; we see a knife, slowly, entering a man’s chest as he resists and watches himself die.

I’ve felt more pain watching bugs die than watching the collected animated deaths spit out by George Lucas’s uber-Nintendo. Even on the level of an action flick, Lucas’s instinct is always to veer away from any primal human conflict. Instead of hand-to-hand human combat, we get thousands of blurry droids and stormtroopers zapping each other, ships zooming and exploding, Disneyesque monsters getting whacked, and helmeted stooges with jetpacks doing bad Matrix flips. When the original Star Wars gave us a climactic light-saber combat between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, this movie positions the same two as young Jedi colleagues who ultimately can only watch from a defeated heap as little alien Yoda takes over the fight. That would be bad enough, but in this movie Yoda isn’t even a puppet anymore – he’s a little digital animation with poor lip sync. Great: thank god Casper is here to save the day.

I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the actors in the film. I know that many films today rely on special effects for key sequences, but watching this film you realize that essentially every shot is a special effect. Backgrounds are digital insertions, and so are many of the foregrounds. Monsters, aliens, Yoda, droids, ships, machines, laser fire, light sabers – all are added after the actors have gone home. You realize watching the film that these actors are essentially participating in a solo kindergarten tumbling performance – running around on blue mats with blue background walls, waving a flashlight and shouting lines either to thin air or to some stand-in wearing dungarees or blue tights. No wonder the actors look bewildered.

Part of the reason you’re aware of the technology of the effects is because they don’t look real enough. All those digital backgrounds, digital foregrounds and digital aliens share a slightly dull and fuzzy flatness. The best digital technology in the world apparently can’t simulate the vivid clarity of the physical world captured on camera. Real light (even if generated by a studio fresnel light) casts shadows that are easily more vivid than any digital “light effect” technology used by Hollywood to simulate the play of shadows in digital environments. Similarly, digital rain doesn’t look like real rain – in one sequence, a ship lands in a rainstorm and Obi-Wan Kenobi emerges from the ****pit. The landing shot is all computer-generated, while the second shot involves a rain machine on a Hollywood sound stage. The difference couldn’t be more obvious: rain machine beats digital hands-down.

The movie also demonstrates the law of diminishing returns when it comes to “digital peril.” Hollywood action dramas have always been about putting characters in danger and watching them fight for victory or survival. Over the years, the stakes have been raised in simulating perils and destruction – we go from bang-bang cap-gun fights to characters having their arms and heads blown off. We go from a little boat in a bathtub to Titanic’s 90% scale model cracking in half. And in Star Wars, we go from two well developed characters engaged in a light-saber fight (Kenobi and Vader in the original), to scene after scene of paper-thin characters dodging increasingly ridiculous digital perils (Episode II). It’s a march backward, from genuine drama to Mighty Mouse cartoons. Once the movie makes clear that characters can escape any ludicrous peril, the characters cease to appear in danger at all. At moments of supposedly peak excitement, I found myself checking my watch. In one scene, we see C-3PO and Anakin Skywalker dodging giant assembly-line machine presses – only none of it exists, really. The drama we’re really watching is weeks of a technician tweaking and tweening pixels on a cathode-ray tube – my heart’s a-thumping.

Lucas swaps in new digital perils faster than a whore swapping johns, as if digital villains have a shelf life of 30 seconds before turning into pumpkin-colored turds. One whale was good enough for Melville for 600 pages; Lucas needs 600 villains and still delivers one dead whale.

The effect of this convergence of human actors, digital video, and countless digital goons and digital effects is dramatized metaphorically (and inadvertently) in one key scene. Young Obi-Wan Kenobi has been captured by the bad guys and now hangs suspended in mid-air by some digital goon contraption involving blue light. Here we have the human trapped in a spider web of digital cinema. Lucas wants us to believe that this human is imperiled by the latest cabal of baddies, led by an old goon in a cape (Christopher Lee). When I watched the scene, the peril I felt was the peril of true human drama dying in a web of digital effects. The caped goon-spider in my mind wasn’t that bearded Jedi-gone-bad, but rather bearded George Lucas, peering down at us.

Lucas seems to have come full circle. I imagine him as a boy, playing with action figures and banging them together while he shouted out Saturday matinee dialogue. Then he grew up and revolutionized film with a dazzling vision of a Saturday matinee set against the stars. He had an original story with mythical overtones, a spectacular cinematic vision of the future, and a technician’s obsession with details. He also collaborated with some great actors (Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness) and master technicians, who provided remarkable sci-fi realism without depending on digital effects. For the first two sequels, he collaborated with new screenwriters and directors (notably Irvin Kershner, director of Empire). But now, with the release of Episode I and Episode II, we see instead a return to boyhood command and control. Lucas writes the story. Lucas writes the screenplay. Lucas directs. Lucas produces. But that’s not all. Probably half the shots in Episode II don’t even involve a camera – there’s no “there” there, because the entire frame is computer-generated. Probably 90% of the rest of the shots are actors standing in front of blue screens, spouting howling platitudes or tumbling on blue mats. Close your eyes and you can practically see little boy Lucas barking out matinee dialogue and banging action figures together.

I left the theater and went driving alone in my Miata with the top down. It was a sun-drenched, cool spring day – blue skies, shade trees waving slowly in the breeze. As I drove, I realized I was more emotionally moved in the first 30 seconds of driving – simply by physical sensations -- than I’d been in the entire movie. The “drama” of driving felt more vivid and powerful than anything I’d seen on screen. Then I thought about some lies someone told me recently, and the burning I felt when I discovered the lies. Then my mind drifted again, and I heard the sound of my wife’s voice in my ear, soft and close. I saw her standing with her hair up, in a long skirt and heels – her beautiful figure still catching my breath after years of seeing her each day.

These moments are some of the cinema of our real lives, where natural light casts real shadows, where real trees with real leaves bend and wave in a way that can’t quite be simulated, where an open car rolls through the universe like a camera on a dolly, and where people are involved with the perils and pleasures of lives with other people.

Still driving, I remembered some odd snatches of humanity from the movie – young Senator Padmé’s voice in one scene, speaking quietly to Anakin Skywalker. The lines were probably dumb, but for once there was humanity in the delivery – the actress must have spoken close to the mic, in soft voice. It actually sounded like a woman speaking in your ear, saying something you wanted to hear.

Most good movies are full of those moments – the simple pleasures of cinematic realism. I watched The Godfather again recently, and I was struck by the use of light and shadow in certain scenes – the way a character’s face in closeup would come in and out of shadow. It was stark and beautiful – emotion reflected in the lines and shadows of a human face.

Not every film needs to be meditative like that. But something human should be at stake, revealed through plot and dialogue, character and conflict, faces and expressions. Die Hard isn’t exactly intellectual fare, but it was gripping cinema. Key characters were expertly defined and motivated; conflict was dramatized with razor-sharp dialogue and some of the most coherent action scenes ever filmed. For years after seeing it, I still had death-defying visions of life as Bruce Willis.

Unlike Die Hard, I’m sure I’ll forget every scene from Star Wars: Episode II before a year or two passes. I wish it could be so easy to be free of the movie’s effects.

Seeing one bad movie doesn’t depress me much. But seeing George Lucas drag American cinema, our greatest popular art, further into the thin oxygen of computer-based filmmaking – it’s like waking up in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and watching as your neighbors turn one by one into pod people. I liked it better when people were people and cinema had something to do with human lives.

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84 million made over the weekend tells me that the criticism from the Eberts of the world is going to fall on Deaf Ears.

Thats like real people should listen to these guys/chicks and watch the Piano or the English Patient which supposedly will improve our appreciation of the artform.

Touchy feely types (chicks and potential makeup artists named serge) should only crtique touchy feely flicks and scifi types should stick to that genre

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ASF, you hated this movie before you even saw it. We all already read this review a few threads ago.

To be fair, I loved the movie before I saw it. :)

But then again, I'm not going to write a thesis on why the rest of you should agree with me.

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Wait till the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions come out...The Matrix will be bigger than Star Wars...none of that kiddy PG rated crap either. Dammit, I can't wait for May 2003. Rumor has it that the crew must save thousands of enslaved citizens of Zion and that agent Smith is able to clone himself. Plus there is a guy named Quintessence who is "The One" except he works for the agents...wacky and wild stuff, I tell ya. It is also likely that Trinity will become pregnent with Neo's baby and it is somehow kidnapped and Neo must make a choice between Trinity and the baby...of course none of this is confirmed, but intriguing nonetheless.

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I saw the movie twice already and I must say...ASF... :doh: :rolleyes: :shootinth


as little alien Yoda takes over the fight. That would be bad enough, but in this movie Yoda isn’t even a puppet anymore – he’s a little digital animation with poor lip sync.

You have got to be joking...

"That would be bad enough" ??????

Time to put down the :high: and the :pint:

'tis not healthy...

(I wonder how they're going to top that scene in III)

You are looking WAY too much into the movie Atlanta.

It's a movie!!

For entertainment purposes only!

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Matrix wont top StarWars because the fan base is too large.

You can count on star wars fans to see the movie atleast twice just like fans of LOTR.

The movie rating screws up alot of movies.

I had high hopes for Resident Evil unfortunately it wasnt made in the eighties where touchy feely PC eff ups wouldnt have affected the vision of the directors. Plus the mixed RE1 and RE2 in the storyline whch p1ssed off the hardcore gamers.

I mean there is no horor movie made now that is on par with Halloween 1 and 2 or Friday the 13th 1 and 2 when it comes to graphic violence.

Imagine if they had came out now; they'd be rated NC-17

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Yea Ryskins you're right, and ASF I couldn't possibly disagree more. If the goal was to make a movie worthy of Best Picture I think Lucas would have gone the "English patient" route like ASF so wants to see done. But the difference is his target audience is the Star Wars buffs, and I have yet to talk to one who didn't give it rave reviews.

Also you keep lauding Empire like it was some script writing Holy Grail for Lucas when in actuality some of the worst script writing and acting took place in that movie(the scene where Darth tells Luke he's his father is one of the most ridiculed scenes in all of cinema). I agree that overall Empire was the best, but it wasn't all world to the point you infer. AOTC was an outstanding flick that had people cheering and on edge for much of the flick. It also provided showdowns that buffs have been frothing at the mouth for since Empire. Scenes like Yoda kicking Count Dookus a$$. Bad lip sync and a puppet??? Come on that's just ridiculous. I've seen the movie several times now and that's just poppy****. Maybe the theatre you were in sucked???

We all get now after the multiple posts and threads that you don't like it, but your novellettes on the topic won't convince any of us who did like it that it sucked.

Folks do yourselves a favor and just go see the flick, you WON'T be disappointed unless you are looking at it with the critical eyes that ASF turns on it. So far he's the only one I've read with this reaction. I've heard criticism but not the contempt and distaste that ASF obviously has.

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Is there anyone who goes to the movies anymore to watch the movie and not try to peer into the minds and thoughts of the creator. I too saw Star Wars II over the weekend, but I went to see a movie. I did not go to the movie to see what flaws i could uncover or nit and pick at every little inconsistancy. What sucks is not the movie, but the state-of-mind that people go to see movies in. Sorry, guys Stars Wars is a Sci-fi flick. It is not some movie that is supposed to be put on a pedastal and reverved for it's orginallity, acting, or depth.

People took a wrong turn somewhere with the Star Wars flicks. I went back and watched all three of the original Star Wars this weekend. Face it, the acting, as compared to covention wisdom, sucked. The dialog was iffy and cliche. The fact that good vs evil was clearly defined only because you were told Darth vader bad, rebels good. And unless you knew more than me going in, until they blew up that planet for no real reason, you had no reason to assume the bad guys were actually bad. The thing that made these movies so good were the characters. The comedy of Han Solo, the teddy bearness of C3P0 and R2. It was not for the plot nor the dialogue. When Luke was hanging upside down in that snow monster's igloo, did you really feel the peril and think that it was over for Luke. No, you knew someone was going to rescue his ***, or he was gonna perform some Jedi thing to get out. Emotion, give me a break. Are we to really consider this stuff real?

Now 20 years later we expect more? Why? Lucas made the mistake of taking these films too seriously. Listening to the public and believeing he had the stage to make "the greatest film of all time". He tried to keep the comedy angle in the Phantom menace with Jar Jar, but the cahracters never really gelled. Why? Because we all secretly wanted Han Solo to say "I getting a really bad feeling about this". I think they are doing a great job defining the good guys and the bad guys. Heck, the Jedi don't even know who the bad guys are. The bad guy in this film was made out to be the Jedi gone bad, be he was the only one who knew what was going on, he tried to tell Obi One, but he didn't listen. Right now, at the end of episode II you don't know who the bad guys are going to be by episode IV, you only assume it's the likes of the Head Senator guy, because you know where the movie is heading.

So now Lucas and everyone expect the Star Wars films to be some films that will be studied in film class with Citizen Cane and China Town. Wrongo.

My god people, the movie was really cool. The love between Anikan and Padme was forced, but it has to be, everyone knows that Darth Vader has to get someone pregant. I thought a little rape action might have been a better angle, but hey, i don't write the story. If you didn't think that fight scene with Yoda was thoroughly enjoyable, you don't have a heartbeat. Sure the special effects were digitized, but still very very cool. And if you go back to the old movies and watch them close, Darth Vader, while menacing and a bad ***, he is also a slave to the emporer. He has to get his own way and he takes chances to to get what he really wants--his son by his side. Sure the emporer says it was all according to his plan, but Darth is kinda whiny and egotisitcal, much like the teenage Anikan. I knew guys like Anikan and they turned out to be terrible a-holes like Darth V when they got older.

By the way, they never mention the character that is supposed to be Boba-fet in the empire strikes back nor Jedi by name. He is simply referred to as Bounty-Hunter. And his death in Jedi is kinda anti-climatic considering the build-up he is getting in Clones. Han accidentially knocks him into the sand monster while blinded.

Anyway, Star Wars is a good movie. It does not have the true characters of the first three films, but it a fun movie with tons of action and enough plot for three movies. But it is still very fun.

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Markpskins - I am with you I go to the movies to be entertained not to evaluate the acting and screen writers.

OTher than that I think people are missing the point of star wars..There is not supposed to be great acting. Star Wars is a great plot with a great storyline full of one liners and cheasy speeches.. But thats star wars and thats why its great.

George Lucas is a genius of the way he laid the movies out... Episode I, was a feeler see how people would react..Episode II was what everyone wanted and cut out a lot of things people didnt like...

The stories have already been written its not like he was making this stuff up...The movie was extremely entertaining and fun to watch I have seen it twice already. Whats not to love....Yoda, Jedi, NATALIE PORTMAN:drool: and a lot of light sabre fighting..

Great movie... Its not supposed to compete with "Saving Private Ryan or Titanic"

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Actually Boba Fett's name was used in the scene where Jaba tries to have Luke, Han and Chewy thrown to Sarlac in the pit. Remember Chewy warns a blind Han and Han exclaims "Boba fett???...Boba Fett???" and then Boba gets nailed and taken down into the pit himself.

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Hmmm...CounterTre, I distinctly rewatched that scene. I remember Chewy making his noise and Han saying "Where? Where?" then doing the slap-stick three stooges type thing with the long cattle prod thingy and knocking Boba into the pit. I do not remember Han saying any name. I may be wrong. It will be the second time in the 2000's that I have been. :) .I'll have to rewatch it again just to be sure. But I was on a mission and trying not to lose a bet. If you are right, then I'm gonna have to admit defeat in my bet with this guy who seems to think that Boba Fett was some central character in both Empire and Jedi.

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CT is right. Han yells out his name a couple times before accidentaly whacking him with the prod. I have several freinds who are Boba Fett fans who were quite dissappointed that Lucas gave Boba Fett such an inglorious death. Never bothered me much, though.

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As long as this is the Clones thread of the moment, I'll paste my last evaluation here too:

I'm sorry to rain on this parade of support for the movie, but I have to disagree with all the compliments. It's for several reasons, and my comments apply to both Episodes I and II.

First, the computer graphics are more sophisticated of course than they were during the first three movies. However, there's too much reliance upon them, and often the background looks airbrushed and fake to my eye in a way that didn't happen during the first three movies, ironically enough. True, the droids move better and are photorealistic, but the cities and the landscapes often seem fake.

Frankly, the SFX are waaaaaaaay overdone. Whereas I could buy every special effect in the first three movies as being plausible (of course, buying into the Force and the related mysticism and intuition, etc. to do so), what my eyes are being asked to accept ventures into the totally implausible. The ridiculous acrobatics and free falls in the chase scene at the beginning of Ep 2, and the impossibly fast and sharp maneuvering in the spacecraft among the asteroids also in Ep 2, are just a couple of examples. That didn't happen in Ep's 4-6, even in remarkable scenes like the chase through Endor on the speeders in Return of the Jedi. It all looked humanly possible and even plausible; here, it does not.

Unlike the first three movies, there seems to be a reliance upon SFX to create drama, rather than true character development or plotlines. This suggests to me that these movies are geared towards teens (where, BTW, it's well established that more money is to be made.) But this seems more like a cheap sellout than great moviemaking.

In addition, whereas the first three movies were about adults, and had mature storylines and mature sexual tension between Luke, Leia and Solo, these movies have - at least so far - felt like they're teeny-bopper movies geared towards teens. I was a child when I watched Episodes 4-6, and I'm now a married adult who has seen for the first time Episodes 1 and 2 in the last two months. Ironically, I felt a lot more invested in the major adult characters of Ep's 4-6 as a child than I now do as an adult with the characters in 1 and 2. The characters, the lines, and the plots just don't get me emotionally involved the way that 4-6 did.

Also, while I know it's important to develop, for example, how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, the movies seem overly obsessed with "explaining" and having everything tie into Episodes 4-6 than it does with having truly creative plot twists and story lines. In essence, the recent movies seem like they're trying to get their alibi's straight, rather then just telling a story. Name one surprise that you've experienced in Episodes 1 and 2, and contrast that with the twists and turns that you were yanked through in even Empire Strikes Back alone. They simply don't compare. (I acknowledge, BTW, that to a certain degree this is an inherent danger with making "prequels"; however, the obsession with having synchronicity between Ep's 4-6 and Ep's 1 and 2 need not exist to this extent.)

In sum, these movies seem to have fallen victim to the same trap that most sequels to successful movies have. They're obsessed with making money. While I can't fault George Lucas for expanding his franchise given how lucrative it continues to be, I can blame those who are falling for it and who thereafter are proclaiming to me that these are great movies. They aren't.

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I'm not worried about the death of human cinema or anything like that, but I think ASF had some good points in there (particularly at the beginning of his lengthy review). I did think that for example in the big battle scene, there was just so much going on that you didn't really latch on to any one part of it nor care that much. Like in the battle between the droids and the clones it was not clear to me which ships belonged to who and I didn't feel joy at seeing a ship get taken down (because they didn't take the time to set it up properly) like it was once cool to see an x-wing take out a tie-fighter, and not nearly as cool as a big battle built around the Rebels having to take out the Death Star, for example. And with all the jedis fighting, it was kind of like- cool, look at all those jedis and light sabers, but it wasn't like you focused in on any of them, and it was kind of surprising to see jedis basically as interchangeable soldiers.

As for the Yoda scene, it was funny and kind of cool, but afterwards I did think it was kind of disappointing that the best scene was pretty much a joke- like, wow, Yoda CAN kick ***.

And as for Anakin and Amidala, I did think they were usually painful to watch, and the people in my theater were laughing at them at one point. Now, I know when you see Star Wars now, Luke is very laughable, but when you saw it as a kid he wasn't, and the rest of the characters did have more to offer (like Han is still very funny). But anyway, I think a lot of that problem has to do with trying to live up to what was done 20-25 years ago when people and movies have changed a lot since then. It would be very difficult to do, and not surprisingly, to me, Lucas hasn't been able to do it. So we wind up with reasonably entertaining movies with some cool scenes and a lot of cool special effects, some good plot ideas- like Obi-Wan stumbling into getting to see the whole clone army and the Chancellor setting up everything to enable him to use the clones to fight the separatists, but also some cheesy stuff and characters not as interesting as before, and a lot of Star Wars fans were looking for more than that. And there is a certain lack of drama inherent in something where you basically know the major things that are going to happen.

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Actually Henry tell your friends not to be disappointed and also to remember these stories were written LOOOOONG ago. Boba doesn't die there, he kills Sarlac and escapes. If Lucas makes the last 3 movies we will be shown that I'm sure.

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Atlanta and Redman,

I had some problems with the movie but i could not really pinpoint them but both of what you said kinda made things click. There was no real dialogue or story. No suspense was built up. It was more a "i cant wait for the 3rd movie". Lucas is many ways is trying to keep too many thinks secret in my opinion. He didnt reveal anything except the existence of the clone army and the rise of the dark force (which was there in number 1). As part of the triology the movie can be considered good but as a stand alone it dosnt have enough substance to it. The excess CGI bothered me. I was watching the original Star Wars and i like the "ghetto" special effects of that movie.

im probably gonna get attacked for this.

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While I can't fault George Lucas for expanding his franchise given how lucrative it continues to be, I can blame those who are falling for it and who thereafter are proclaiming to me that these are great movies. They aren't.

Why? How can you 'fault' someone for liking a movie? What is it with you people and this militant dislike for the new movies and their fans? Get over yourselves already. :rolleyes:

Sorry, I really liked this movie. I actually liked Episode 1 as well. If some of you out there hated these movies, well, that is your right. But enough with this high and mighty act. Disliking a movie for the sake of disliking it is following the Herd as well. It's just a different Herd.

Oh, and CT, my Boba-crazed friends have told me many times how he escapes from the pit. But I'm a purist. If it isn't in the movies, I'm not interested. :)

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