Essay Sticks Up For Lloyd & Christensen

Rogue47 at Clone Corridor posted a long defense of how Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen portrayed Anakin:

The Prequel Trilogy assumes you know about Anakin Skywalker strengths, because they are easily deduced from Darth Vader’s strengths: battle prowess, fine piloting skills, a fanatical zeal in furthering his cause and a strong capacity to bond. But what the Prequel Trilogy wants to show you are Anakin’s weaknesses. In particular the Prequels want to show you how strength can conspire to become a huge weakness. Darth Vader is willing to throw away his life’s work, the Empire built with Sidious, and his life to save a son that he has hardly known, and in the process frees the Galaxy of a great evil. The reverse side of that coin is Anakin throwing everything away to save the woman he loves. In a metaphoric and direct way the circumstance of Anakin’s greatest weakness begets that of his greatest strength.


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12 Responses to “Essay Sticks Up For Lloyd & Christensen”

  1. lovelucas Says:

    I read this earlier and posted a response – He/she needs to join us here! Any idea who the real person is and is the contribution only on Clone Corridor? Thanks and congrats to you, lazypadawan who keeps us informed, enlightened and elevated by gathering prequel positiveness. And who also gets quoted, acknowledged and even a tip of the hat advertised on other respected columns/blogs.

  2. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    This is awesome. Been saying this for years.

  3. piccolojr1138 Says:

    When Variety and The Hollywood Reporter praised Attack of the Clones

    • bansheegun Says:

      “And, after the box office success but critical backlash of The Phantom Menace three years before” They let THAT on the official SW website?! I seem to recall TPM had a 60%+ rating on RT before the 3D releases (which, I don’t even know why they felt the need to review a 13 year old movie).

      • Jim Raynor Says:

        The literally dozens of negative reviews that came out after TPM 3D (which just managed to bring its Rotten Tomatoes score down to 59% which isn’t even that bad) were so lame. I went through them and they were mostly rehashes of the same old accusation: that the movie was just a soulless CGI filled cash grab meant to sell toys.

        In other words, these “professional critics” wrote negatively about the movie not because they truly understood its nuances and depths. They admittedly saw LESS in it than the many fans who can explain TPM’s themes, and the way it foreshadowed the rest of the SW saga.

        Only this time it was even worse since they were whining about all of the newfangled CGI…in a 13 year old movie.

        It was a bunch of close-minded venting from people who still couldn’t let go after more than a decade.

  4. Jim Raynor Says:

    The Prequels’ portrayal of Anakin really does hammer in a point about the road to hell being paved with good intentions. The Original Trilogy said the same thing as well, showing how Luke’s desires to do good and protect his friends led him to the verge of the Dark Side. The point was made better with Anakin though. Instead of standard teenage angst and recklessness, he had an entire backstory, upbringing, and psychological profile laid out to explain his downfall.

    OT-only fans complain about how “badass” Vader was show as a “whiny” kid in the prequels, ignoring what the OT actually showed us about Vader. He was NOT a psychologically healthy or rational person by then. He was a grandiose showoff who violently lashed out at his subordinates, something the Thrawn Trilogy novels rightfully pointed out as a leadership failure more han twenty years ago. In ANH, Tarkin kept him on a leash and made the real decisions. TESB briefly made the point of showing us thst underneath his scary armored shell, he’s a scarred and vulnerable person. ROTJ completely deconstructed him by the end.

    The prequels’ portrayal of Anakin makes total sense in thst context.

  5. Daniel Xie Says:

    I actually met a hategirl who liked the political aspects and agreed with the Ring Theory when I presented it to her… turned out that the reason she hate the PT was because too much Anakin doing nothing except courting Padme, she claims that Anakin/Padme should have extremely subtle development in EU or TCW side material and then it come to the forefront in ROTS. And the movies should be more focus on politics + him kicking ass with Obi-Wan and investigating the Sith control of the republic the whole time. She claimed that this ruined her perception of AOTC and ROTS. That and the usual bad script/wooden dialogue meme that has been repeated for ages especially when tied with Anakin or A/P in general.

    However, what makes the film intresting that this essay reinforces is that it chose not to project that badass image of this all-powerful image of Anakin and show how innocence and potential are corrupted and thus focus on the “emotional” aspects over what people wanted to see given their set of expectations. I give Lucas props for that. Furthermore if they did what she suggested, Padme may well lose any development she get if they are all consigned to the EU when Disney makes it noncanon. Not to mention how it would also dispropotionally minimize Padme’s significance to the saga as a whole.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      Her criticism doesn’t even make sense. No movie franchise relies so heavily on EU materials fo tell the story. Details flow from the primary canon into the spinoff books, comics, and TV shows, but they do not flow back the other way. That’s because the audience is way smaller for the spinoff stuff, which can’t be trested as required reading if a movie is to be successful.

      Once again, a fan thinks he/she know better than the actual people in the business.

      • Keith Palmer Says:

        “Leave it for the spinoffs” does leave me wondering if it just might be code for “I’m not interested in that stuff.” On a somewhat more charitable note I’ve occasionally run across people who claimed they’d rather have had the whole issue of “how things got to the way they were in Star Wars” to be left untold, so I suppose the idea of “some things can be left to the imagination” does stick in my head, and yet I do have to admit I’m not especially interested in the spinoff books that give every strange being glimpsed for a few moments their own biography and have to balance that against how I was quite willing to see the new movies as providing insights to just why Darth Vader saved his son in Return of the Jedi… I suppose it just comes back to “what earthly benefit would I gain from working so hard to be offended when I can work at being positive instead?”

      • Slicer87 Says:

        I agree with you Jim, sadly the old EU tried to flow backwards to change the films even before the PT. Now currently Disney and to some extent even Filioni are trying to create spinoff materials that flows back into the films to alter them to suit their vision of Star Wars.

        I hear this alot about how TCW “fixes” the PT, that the series fixes non existence gaps and mistakes in the PT. Personally I disagree with that notion and like you say, the primary canon flows into the spinoffs. That the PT flows into TCW, not TCW flowing into the PT to “correct” it like so many fans claim. Even many PT fans view TCW as “fixing” the PT.

      • Bob Clark Says:

        I do agree that at times TCW did a great job of embellishing themes and elements that the films of the PT didn’t have time to go into. Those movies were incredibly ambitious and rich, even when they could only imply things. Part of me wants to say that the OT would benefit from the same treatment, and maybe that’s what’s happening with Rebels, but honestly, the themes of the OT aren’t really as far-aiming as the Prequels, so I don’t think it’s necessary. The OT may be more successful in encapsulating what they’re about, but that’s primarily because they’re not really trying that hard.

      • Slicer87 Says:

        Sometimes TCW did improve things a little, other times it screwed stuff up or tried to fix things that didn’t need fixing. Sometimes TCW even tries backpeddle and retcon the PT in responce to some of the fan complaints like make TCW Anakin more likeable than his movie version or bringing a clearly dead Maul back to life. Personally I do not think the PT films need any futher embellishing from spinoff materials and that most attempts at so just detracts the PT instead of “saving it” like so many hateboys claim.

        The sad thing is even Lucas himself backpeddled some while making AOTC and ROTS (like cutting down Jar Jar’s role) and even futher with TCW. So what hope do we have that JJ, Filoni, or Disney won”t?

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