A B+ Appreciation of the Prequels

This time it’s a little slideshow from Gamespot called “15 Things From The Star Wars Prequels That Were Actually Awesome”. A small dig at Jar Jar but otherwise, not too bad since it shows love for the likes of Queen Amidala, Mace Windu, Yoda, Order 66, podracers, and various lightsaber duels.

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37 Responses to “A B+ Appreciation of the Prequels”

  1. Captain Fordo Says:

    Placing a bet that there’s already hater boys in the comments section there!
    Decent list though.

  2. andywylde77 Says:

    Yeah this is a nice list. I liked it. As for the PT I love all of it. Well all SW to be exact. The PT added so much more to the SW universe. I never really understood the hate they get. But I don’t really care about the hate either. I just know I love the ever living hell out of SW! All of it πŸ™‚

  3. Cad Bane Says:

    Sounds interesting, but I don’t want to be tempted to view the comments…

  4. jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

    I never understood why the peeps hate of Jar Jar carried over to the rest of the Gungans and their society. Jar Jar is synonymous with the Gungans in their minds, yet he is just one distinct Gungan individual and is explicitly shown to be quite different from the average Gungan.

    Jar Jar was the only screwy Gungan that we meet. Boss Nass is colorful, but authoritative and commanding. The other members of the High Council are mysterious and a little intimidating, and the other Gungans are warriors and seem pretty bad-ass.

    Otoh Gunga is beautiful and unlike anything previously seen in the saga. The underwater setting fits in with the harsh, barren settings of the OT, without simply imitating them.

    The use of plasma with Gungan technology is fascinating and again, it brought the saga into uncharted territory. The Gungans had harnessed the innate power of nature and melded it with high technology in a unique way.

    Gungan Basic is fascinating as a pidgin language (like Creole), and as George said, it’s ‘Yoda times ten’. It is representative of their complex relationship with the outside world, as is their archetypal place in the story as the “noble savages”.

  5. jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

    Sorry, what I meant to say was; “Gungan Basic, like Creole, is a language that was (probably) derived from a pidgin language”.

    Didn’t mean to offend. Ex squeeze me! Selongabye!

  6. Jim Raynor Says:

    So I’m surfing the news/opinion site Salon, and there have predictably been a few Star Wars articles lately. One of them was review of The Force Awakens that praised it as well crafted entertainment that is way too derivative of the Original Trilogy.

    But just today, I saw a “defense” of ROTS that was half-assed as usual. It starts right off the bat by saying that ROTS ended the Prequel Trilogy with a “presumptive whimper,” and reiterating that TPM and AOTC sucked.

    Amazingly, it acknowledges that ROTS received strong critical reviews, citing both Roger Ebert and the New York Times.

    So which is it? Was ROTS a whimper or did it get good reviews? The most the writer does to rationalize this is that “time” has degraded its reputation.

    This is a sticking point with me, because it really bugs me to see revisionist history and fiction prevailing over verifiable facts. Even when the article writer is seemingly aware of the facts (reviews which are verifiable at Rotten Tomatoes, though he doesn’t mention audience polling or box office which are also in the movie’s favor), he defaults back to the fanboy narrative that people still hated the film.

    To be sure, the article goes on to criticize the CGI, dialogue, and acting all before getting to the actual praise about the movie’s political relevancy.

    The quality of entertainment journalism is so lousy. Facts are ignored while a specific opinion (i.e. The internet fanboy’s) is accepted and pushed as fact.

    It’s time people started acknowledging this stuff for what it is: SW Prequel Trutherism.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      As the song goes, “truth is out of style”:

    • zch81721 Says:

      the rotten tomatoes score was much higher for phantom menace back in the day but when the 3D relaunch happened that gave “critics” an excuse to jump on the band wagon.

    • Tarrlok Says:

      It seems like much of the entertainment media is taking SW too seriously – to the point of exaggeration, vitriol, personal attacks, inflation of trivialities, unending vendettas – while simultaneously not taking it seriously enough to be factually accurate, intellectually honest or to separate subjective opinion from objective fact.

    • andywylde77 Says:

      This really also shows how these journalists and fans view SW. See when they talk about the new film and go with the tired old “this will make US forget about the PT” garbage, this attitude alone shows that these people really don’t give a **** about SW! They don’t care that this film is a continuation of a larger and grander story, No! To them it is some sort of consolation prize for the “failure” that was the PT. All it is to some of the on-line geek world is a big “VS” competition.

      And anyone can tell me here too if they have read any articles now or before about how the writers always refer to “everyone” or “all of us” forgetting about the PT. I know others have seen this. This is what I refer to as the “majority syndrome” That is where I have seen articles, comments, opinions, etc. that will always show someone saying things like, “the PT sucks and the majority of fans agree with me! or “All SW fans hate the PT” I guess it could also be chalked up to appeal to authority, but I think in the case of the SW fandom, “majority syndrome” should be a nice term to describe all those unique SW fans that you know? “have good taste” or “just care about quality filmmaking” and the ever so amazing, “watch the plinkett reviews to see why the PT is so bad”

      This really gives me an idea that I am going to start writing down these lame sorry *** reasons that these haters use to show the rest of the word why the PT “failed” and show us their superior “taste” in entertainment. I think it might actually make for a nice coffee table book!

      • Natalie Says:

        10 years after the last prequel, and they’re still telling us to forget them. LOL

        One obnoxious reviewer suggest that we only pretended to like the prequels. Did I miss something or did Lucasfilm give out cookies to those of us who actually had an enjoyable experience in the cinemas? Do I rewatch all six movies now and again because I’m a masochist?

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I used to tell bashers I didn’t spend $900 million on my movie ticket to see the film.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Exactly! lol The PT will never be forgotten especially by the people that hate them. What then will they have to whine about if the PT was forgotten? See that is why when I hear that lame tag line being used, the whole “this will make us forget about those awful prequels” it makes me sick. The funny thing is that only online is when I ever encounter any of this stuff. I have never dealt with this in public. Every time I went to see the PT movies in the theater the crowd was always into it. Even TPM 3D had the crowd all into it. So it puzzles me as to where all these haters get these delusions from?

        At the end of the day though, these movies aren’t going anywhere. The quicker these haters get that through their thick skulls, the faster they can move on with their lives. Instead of writing article after article telling US how we need to forget the PT. That is another unique quality that the PT hater possess is their shameful attempts at being what I like to call the “Audience Advocate” Those are the ones that constantly speak on the audiences behalf. Like how they say well “the PT has no characters the audience can connect with” Uh..Speaking for myself, I don’t need some clown to tell how I wasn’t able to “connect” with any characters from the PT. That is just one of many examples of what I call an “Audience Advocate” The character of plinkett is a huge audience advocate. In those “reviews” he constantly speaks of how the audience didn’t get that or the audience didn’t understand this etc.

        PT haters are riddled with “majority syndrome” and are self appointed “Audience Advocates” They are just to predictable and ridiculous!

  7. Jacobesico Says:

    Not bad but once again they can’t resist bashing Jar Jar and there is nothing wrong with Grevious’s name!

  8. bansheegun Says:

    Frank Oz came to the defense of Jar Jar at The Force Awakens premiere πŸ˜„

  9. Natalie Says:

    Check this out
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/star-wars-the-force-awakens/george-lucas-movies-hate-defence/

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Nice!

    • Jacobesico Says:

      That was a really good article.

      The Telegraph usually does some very good articles when it comes to Star Wars.

      Avoid the Guardian though. It’s trash. I wouldn’t even use it for toilet paper That was the one where one of its columnists refused to call Episode 4 A New Hope. He just called it “Star Wars”.

      The Independent is just as bad as well although I did laugh at one article where the columnist was freaking out about someone inserting Jar Jar in the trailers for TFA.

    • andywylde77 Says:

      Yeah I enjoyed that article. It was nice to see all those topics get brought up with a defense attached to them. Where usually these articles that bring up those certain topics do just that and have no defense attached to them.

      I always laugh about how people complain about how they whine about trade negotiations in a SW film. Do these people that really hate that stuff have severe brain malfunctions? I mean the trade dispute is only brought up TWICE in the whole movie! That’s it. In the opening crawl and when Palpatine first addresses the senate when Amidalla arrives on Coruscant. And also when Qui Gon says in the beginning that there is something trivial about this trade dispute.

      I mean add up all that time spent on that together and what does it equal? Not very much. At least not enough to bring up in the first place. As soon as Palpatine addresses the senate about the oppression of the TF that started in the senate, that trade dispute that cause the oppression was already gone. If all the “stupid political garbage” is too much for some people to handle, than I really don’t even know what to say?

      I mean these haters really have to give up all this whining. It is really beyond old and just ridiculous from top to bottom. I mean there was plenty of action in the PT. If one was a fan of the OT and went to see TPM for the first time in 1999, well they got some new elements added to the SW universe. If action was what the wanted, well TPM had that and other great stuff too. Or they can simply go watch the OT over again. Because it really seems that is what some people truly wanted, another 3 movies of the same thing. Well the way things seem to be going, they might get it this go around. Man the best part of living in 2015 is getting to see movies that make me feel like I am in 1977, 1980 and 1983! Living in the now is so overrated. Now where did I put the keys to my Delorean?

      • Jim Raynor Says:

        Saying that TPM was about taxation is even dumber than saying that Casino Royale and The Dark Knight Rises is about the stock market. Something no one has actually been dumb enough to say.

        Star Wars, unfortunately, is saddled with one of the loudest, most childish and anti-intellectual fandoms out there. “How DARE you invade our brains with these brief mentions of government and economics! What does that even mean? BORING.”

        Hearing about “taxation without representation” in grade school US history must’ve blown their minds.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yep! lol I mean when these people say that the ENTIRE PT is all politics? I know they didn’t watch the films or they did just with their heads up you know where?

        I even touched upon the trade dispute which is only mentioned in the movie. Never shown. So if the mention of trade disputes a total of 3 times is enough to ruin the film for them, well they just don’t really care about the context or substance than. I am sure for most of these nit-wits were to get a PT that was 3 movies of one big battlefield of Jedi on one side and Sith on the other all waving their sabers around and yelling battle cries while a thousand Manod’s flying overhead just shooting while in space there is thousands of star destroyers and other capital ships just duking it out, then those simpletons might have a PT they can “enjoy”

        Another thing I always found funny is how the haters complain about General Grievous and yet wank over all the other generals in the OT. What was interesting about any of the generals in the OT? They looked good standing on bridges? Thatis about all they did. But General Grievous actually goes toe to toe with another General in light saber combat. Yet General Grievous is lame and General Tagge is some bad ass of a general or General Veers is one too. Because the way General Veers stands in the cabin of that walker just oozes bad assery! I mean I enjoy the characters of all the trilogies, but when it comes to the OT and commanding officers I would have to lie to make them look anywhere near the way Grievous did.

        They say Grievous just “comes out of nowhere” Well what about General Dodonna? General Riekaan? General Madine? General Veers? General Tagge? Heck we could go further. Admiral Ozzel? Admiral Ackbar? See I bring this up because, I know you even know this too but to show how hypocritical these people that complain about the PT are. If they have an issue with General Grievous then they must really hate the general in the OT? Fair to say, no?

        Then the villain’s aren’t “evil” enough in the PT. Another complaint. Well aside from Vader in the OT, who else was a serous villain? Tarkin? Piett? This is what happens when people apply CONSISTENT STANDARDS! Which is palin as day they don’t. Because if they apply the standards of hate that they use for the PT, then the OT must be equally hated by those individuals as well.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      Wow, thank you for the link to that Telegraph article, Natalie. It really was a breath of fresh air. An opinion piece that was boldly pro-Lucas, which comprehensively addressed the common basher gripes and actually fact checked them the way a bunch of us here have been doing.

      Actually pointing out the positive critic reviews, the number of models in the Prequels, etc. Those are such basic facts which go completely ignored in most SW opinion pieces out there.

      Do you inow what I found to be rather eye-opening? The part about whether “Han shot first.” I’d never been bothered about that, and never paid it much attention. I was just aware of it since it was covered in the “Making Magic” documentary CD that came out around the time of the Special Editions. “Making Magic” showed the change up close and in slow-mo, so I did find it a bit awkward looking. It never came up as an issue for me though while watching the film.

      Now, seeing the four different versions (original and three edits) displayed simultaneously on a split-screen, my disbelief that this was ever an issue for ANYONE has risen to a new level. As explained in the article, the edits differ by a mere few frames. To my eye (and I watched the comparison video three times) I couldn’t even SEE who shot first. There’s an explosion obscuring things, and then we see Greedo slumped over dead. It looks the same in EVERY version as far as I could tell.

      I guess I just don’t know that my childhood’s been defiled!

      The people who are still bitter over such an imperceptable change, after EIGHTEEN years have got some serious issues.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yeah the Han shoots first stuff is something I never got into on any level. Certainly never argued about that is for sure. But I would tell anyone that has an issue with it that is when the part is about to happen, just turn your head to the right or to the left for a second, and WHAMO! It’s over. But the fact that this event is even argued or debated is ridiculous beyond belief. Han Solo’s characters whole motivation when he first appears in ANH is MONEY! It stays that way even on the DS when he chooses to rescue the princess because she has, wait for it…MONEY! So whether he shoots first, second, at the same time, his character motivation still remains. Nothing really changes. But others seem to not grasp this concept.

        But the Han shot first is just a minor issue with a much larger problem. It is the people that whine about ALL the changes of the OT. Now I don’t have any issue with anyone having their own way to enjoy something, but when EVERY change is an issue, that is stupidity. And people have complained about these changes since day one. I mean people whine about the song at Jabba’s palace? Really? Because according to them the song “doesn’t fit” with the atmosphere? Oh really? Well Lapti Nek, the original song from that film(which is cool too) but that song was a work out song! I mean if Richard Simmons came running out on the stage at Jabba’s while Lapti Nek played it wouldn’t really seem out of place. So what exactly is Jabba’s place? A sinister den on thieves and thugs or an aerobics studio?

      • Natalie Says:

        There’s a thread on TFN prequel forums for positive articles, I found it there.

        I also found complaints about politics strange. I mean, ANH mentions the Senate and the Emperor, how is it bad? OTOH, even bashers seem to appreciate Palpatine’s rise to power – well how can you do it without politics? I just watched TPM, all the politics barely take 10 minutes and they have Ian in them, which is always a bonus. Besides, they’re actually a hilarious satire of the American politics that’s missed on the fans for some reason. At the same time, I was listening Dan Carlin’s history podcast on the fall of the Roman Republic and everything is pretty much spot on (keeping in mind it’s simplified for kids and has a maniacal dark lord as an Emperor betraying the supernatural Knight of Camelot). Even if you don’t like the Senate speeches in TPM and AOTC you gotta appreciate the proclamation of the Empire and the final Yoda/Palpatine duel in the EMPTY senate chamber. The symbolism is amazing.

      • Hoggle Says:

        re politics Natalie

        Palpatine needed to take over the Republic internally in order to decimate the Jedi order.
        The prequels do show that the Republic was in substantial decay and could have been conquered externally but that would have leaved the Jedi order far more intact, & freed of their comatose from the Republic’s order, they would have become a powerful Jedi order again gradually in helping retake the Republic.

        I thought the Galactic Republic senate in design, scope & feel, internally and externally, was Awesome & it would have liked it to have featured more in the theatricals of AoTCs & RoTS more to different degrees. The knee jerk reaction to the politics of the prequels, has little to do with it’s dramatic worth or execution in the story. There is one line i’m not so fond of in this aspect of the PT story all the same though, & that is the ‘so this is how democracy dies…..’ lines of Padmes in RoTS. When in that type of emotional territory in a story, i don’t think it adds anything to story or character to comment such a perspective in moments like those, & it’s a tough ask to do so for a performer.

        The prequels are or have been my favorite or second favorite set of all time movies & have provided alot of fandom. I don’t think they quite fulfilled all their potential that they inherently have as is, but they more than capture what was my interest in the prequel backstory to the OT se movies.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        That’s one of the best lines of the saga and it illustrates the point that most of the time when authoritarianism takes over, it’s with the public’s approval.

      • Natalie Says:

        Hoggle

        I like that line. It’s one of the few legitimately quotable lines in the prequels and the scene actually shows Padme doing something else to do rather than just being pregnant and sobbing.

        “The prequels are or have been my favorite or second favorite set of all time movies & have provided alot of fandom.”

        I’d say that while individual SW movies are flawed the saga (I-VI) is my definitely my favorite set of movies of all time. It’s one story in six parts. No one else has achieved anything close in the original movie franchise format.

        ” I don’t think they quite fulfilled all their potential that they inherently have as is, but they more than capture what was my interest in the prequel backstory to the OT se movies.”

        I agree there’s some lost potential (they might have worked better as a miniseries where viewers would actually appreciate the complexities of the political, mythical and sociological themes than a typical fanboy can) but I kind of feel the same way about TESB and ROTJ. ANH, despite having a clear protagonist also was more of an ensemble cast and the glimpses of the larger world were fascinating. With TESB it kind of falls by the wayside for the most part and even Han and Leia don’t get a lot of development. The OT is mostly Luke’s journey and it works great but not enough for me personally. Even the Emperor was kind of weak before the PT. The PT actually adds a lot of retrospective depth to every character that survives ROTS, especially the Emperor himself and even gives more relevancy to Luke’s choices.

        I’m doing the saga marathon now and one thing I noticed is that the main problem of the prequels is not acting, writing, directing or CGI. It’s the editing. Which is rather strange as it’s something Lucas is supposed to be good at. This is especially evident in AOTC, particularly in the romance scenes and then later in the action overload. It’s probably the editing that ruined that movie for many people. I still love it but it really baffles me that Lucas and Burtt thought they did a good job here.

        TPM is actually the most polished one, but again, the things that people complain about – Jar Jar stooping into poop, Boss Nass’s spittle – all belong on the editing floor. ROTS works well but could have actually benefited from being longer (say, 20-30 minutes – to include Padme’s scenes, for one). This is really the only thing that’s legitimately worse in the prequels and I think was a dealbreaker for a lot of people even if they don’t realize it. Not saying everything else is perfect but it’s really about the same or, at worst, slightly below the OT on aggregate. Got knows, no one watched the OT for the amazing performances and realistic dialogue.

        I know the bashers would say that the OT has great characters and humor and that’s true. But so does the prequels. Yes, there could have been more humor and camaraderie but I’m not bothered that because the story is different. The OT doesn’t end up with a protagonist (a Savior figure) betraying his family (the Jedi), choking his pregnant wife, being chopped up by his former friend and mentor and ending up in a suit as a glorified slave to a sadistic monster who wipes out the good demigods and takes total control over the galaxy. Lucas created a modern myth that contains both the fall and redemption story and I highly doubt it’s going to be toppled anytime soon even if Disney continues to churn out new episode for the next 40 years.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        You’re making a lot of your own opinions as fact.

      • Hoggle Says:

        re Natalie

        Padme is pregnant for most of RoTS & i think her relationship stuff with Anakin is good, particularly given that a powerful Sith Master’s powers gain telepathy over him early on, & her trying to deal with the effect of this. This was originally designed to be in tandem with her senate life and resistance in the movie, & i also feel it’s absence. I find that ‘one’ previously mentioned line too easy in it’s universal condemning though, & feel it takes away from the feel of an otherwise epic emotive scene of Sith Triumph which is a more fun thing movie wise.

        I love the clockwork of the PT and also how it sets up the change of that in the OT for more story.

        I TOTALLY agree with you about the editing, as being the wayward link. From the deleted scene dvd bonus material, Burtt didn’t seem to me to have the right frame of mind for editing the prequels with very different bearings on story issues to where they were & i think GL had so much else going on that narrative oversights got lost at times also. Ultimately i think if GL wanted to do the editing so much, he needed to cut back on some other of the film duties, & probably have had a story team of one or two other people to let in on what he was doing more overall & to specifics.

        With the OT, in a character sense it is Luke’s Jedi journey that is the lead, but in a thematic sense i think Leia is the leading role of the OT.

        Thanks for your reply of your fandom thoughts.

        (As an aside, if you give them a decent chance, you might find the hobbit extendeds have alot to enjoy, & help with the quirks of some elements in the LoTRs film versions also.)

  10. Natalie Says:

    Of course it’s an opinion. But editing of AOTC is a well known issue, especially among those of us who actually love the movie and frustrated it didn’t work out better.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Let me just say this…I started this site to appreciate movies that get beaten up all of the time by the media and by many in fandom. I prefer focusing on the positive about these movies rather than nitpicking or complaining about them. There’s plenty of that elsewhere to varying degrees.

      • Natalie Says:

        I’m sorry if I came out sounding like a basher. I really think that the PT is on the same level as the OT except for the editing and I’ve never understood why, considering that Lucas always loved editing. They’re still great, of course. And it’s not a huge deal for me since there’s a lot more to admire, and thematically they’re more mature and complex than the OT, so there’s that.

  11. lovelucas Says:

    So…if they can come up with this many cool things about the prequels shouldn’t they re-weigh the positives vs the negatives and say they WERE good films? I’m really laying low. Still refuse to see TFA until next year. I’ll see Cumberbatch in Sherlock on the big screen before I’ll see TFA. And the media/fanboys/ etc etc – it’s even worse than I thought it could be. Seriously – over the moon shenanigans. Elevating it above Empire? and of course never missing the opportunity to say JJ saved SW from George. I’m thinking so many single syllable swear words right now. Here’s what I’m hoping – there have been a lot of SW marathons in theaters – imagine how I suffered by refusing to attend – but…just perhaps when they see 1-6 in that order…..and see what George accomplished retroactively and the skill and thought that this took, just a tiny glimmer of hope that those who saw the marathons could meditate on this – and consider they might have been wrong all this time.

  12. Natalie Says:

    I’ve heard that the audience at non-premiere events was subdued and a lot of theaters were empty. Some are saying that despite BB8 it’s not very child friendly so I don’t know if it’s going to have good legs. There’s a lot of revisionist history now about the prequels being flops but they were liked by a large number of moviegoers and children (maybe not as much as the OT but certainly enough to have a good business despite many die-hard turning on Lucas).

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Just returning from the flick, I can tell you it’s rougher than the previous SW films. Not anything too crazy but I wouldn’t take my young nieces to see it.

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