Blogger: “Why I Love TPM”

Writer/filmmaker Michael O’Connor posted a highly-enjoyable defense of his affection for TPM, largely focused on the theme of symbiosis in the film:

In the world of the film, the metaphor of symbiosis is not just applied to the Gungan race and the Human Naboo who both inhabit the same planet. It also carries over to the political “body” of the Senate, the internal workings of The Force, and the motley crew of Jedi, royalty, droids, alien and slave that must join forces to combat the greater threat of the Sith.

Symbiosis is not just unnecessary flavoring to an action adventure fantasy story; rather, it is the ENTIRE point of the film.

Go check it out!

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43 Responses to “Blogger: “Why I Love TPM””

  1. Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

    I have since last year, accepted that the film is more than just a classic family film set in space, but also about overcoming differences and that everyone is important. I never thought of symbiosis as an element to the movie before, but it makes logical sense. But… but-t… I thought the Prequels were so “pourlee writin” with no thought or depth l’ike-so-ever… I mean, mGoShh!

  2. timontatooine Says:

    Nice article! Always lovely to see another profession of prequel love surface, especially one so well-written and considered. Might even get round to doing one of my own one of these days…

  3. Michael Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone! Really appreciate it! 🙂

  4. Hoggle Says:

    We don’t know much about the midi-chlorians. They are an intermediary to the force but it’s not neccessarily the force in totality any more than an aspect of the force’s nature. We know the Jedi and Sith know about midi-chlorians but apart from a measurement taken of younglings, & from Qui-gon’s eosteric interest in them, the Jedi order of the prequels don’t seem to take much further interest in them. The Sith seem to value active research about their mystery more than the Jedi.

    Some speculative, fictionee pondering of my own, is that they are reflective of both destiny and fate. Also they may have many different energetic states in the body & that the readings of them in younglings have an indicative value that is not the same as that of older Jedi. Non force users can have active midi-chlorians states that the Jedi didn’t have the knowledge to measure & force users can have de-activated midi-chlorian states that the Jedi didn’t have the knowledge to differentiate. Which sort of touches upon the troubles the Jedi got into during the prequels.

    I don’t think Jar Jar Binks had much experience with them though 🐸

  5. Helen Says:

    *happy dance*

  6. Hunk a Junk Says:

    Nice article. TPM is my hands-down favorite of the PT and third favorite overall. (ANH, TESB, TPM, ROTS, ROTJ, AOTC — most by razor-thin margins) As a film, TPM has more courage and originality than TFA.

    • Jacobesico Says:

      TPM has to be one of my favourites but to be honest I love them all and I can’t rate them.

      TFA doesn’t count as far as I’m concerned.

    • Michael Says:

      Revenge of the Sith is my favorite. It absolutely devastates me every time I see it.

      I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t watched TFA yet. Star Wars without George Lucas is a tough pill for me to swallow.

      • Tony Ferris Says:

        It’s a pill that goes down easy enough to be honest, but it’s something of a placebo in the end.

        TFA’s not a bad movie, just an unremarkable one – absent of course, its pop culture significance.

      • susanbowes Says:

        I enjoyed TFA, but I can’t say it’s a significant SW movie other than the possibility of continuing the Skywalker linage – and Luke training Rey. I’m anxious to see where the story line goes.

  7. susanbowes Says:

    Great article! Finally, somebody who knows what they’re talking about and understands the meaning behind symbiosis. I especially liked the part about Jar Jar Binks being necessary to the saga.

  8. susanbowes Says:

    I don’t delve too deeply into the Midi-chlorians in my SW fan-fiction, but they are extremely important to the plot. I explain their importance to the Jedi, especially with Anakin. (his Force ghost) He is the only one who can physically see them and they explain the reason why “they” created him. Anakin was not created by Darth Plagueis, or Darth Sidious as many people think.

    • Jacobesico Says:

      Have you read the Darth Plagueis novel? It’s very good.

    • Hoggle Says:

      Hi Susan 😃

      as you prob. know my sequel fan-fic isn’t fully formed, but the story of Amythuill & the Midi shows the *intended* counter to what the Sith were doing with the midi-chlorians (so for me SIth did have a role in creating Anakin), which made it possible for Anakin & then the twins, all of a greater cosmic governing order to the Midi, to fulfill the prophecy as relates to the bigger integration in the galaxy of the Midi existence, which was the clockwork of the astrological systems in the galaxy ✨

      • susanbowess Says:

        As anyone knows by now, there had to be both a light and dark side to the Force. When one side gained an advantage, the Midi-chlorians made certain the other side was countered in a way to bring the Force back into balance. That’s the beauty of Star Wars. We each have our own way of defining how that balance was restored through our fan-fictions.

      • Hoggle Says:

        What you say is quite true with fan fics, which is of great credit to the source material ☀

        The relationship of Midi & midi-chlorians to both fate and destiny for me put them at odds with both the Sith & for most part Jedi Order of the PT as they were both fixated on Destiny in the PTs, the Jedi passive in that way & if not for the Sith they wouldn’t have been wiped out in that state, but the Sith manipulated them into an active state of this un-balanced posture which tipped the balance against them.

        From the GL movie verse at the least, i see the Sith as always having this fixation and thus always being at odds with the Midi & Midi-chlorians. In fact, in my sequel fan fic, it’s actually about a certain infamous Sith Lord trying to overthrow the Midi themselves in order to rule the Universe, haha 😜

        A difference with the Sith and Jedi though when they have this same posture at odds with the workings of midi-chlorians is that for the Jedi they get destroyed externally, but for the Sith they get destroyed internally & have that type of sadness or wry bitterness about their great powers & need for more. Like whem Palpatine sort of underlined when he was subverting Anakin via nitemares & then the promises of great Sith powers & how it is to be a Sith.

      • susanbowes Says:

        I agree about most of the points you make. However, I think Palpatine made a good point when he said the Jedi were seeking power just like the Sith – that neither side was better than the other where wanting more power was concerned.

      • Hoggle Says:

        I’d say It can be a fine line to that type of thing 😈

        The PT Jedi err’d due to arrogance where as Palpatine was full on subversion so i’d see it as the Jedi over the PT started to have a foot edging away on the other side of the line where as Palpatine was always quite aways distant from it in deep territory . The distinction becomes alot clear in the OT to that issue as relates to the Sith Emperor.

        I know you had some curiosity that i made Leia Galactic Empress in my fan fic & she had an emmense power similar to Palpatines sway, but it’s an inversion of it’s form with how i had it work. So there’s a duality in the seeking of power where philosophically there is both commonality and divergence.

  9. Adam Says:

    Great entry LP! The author really hits on one of the biggest strengths of TPM. Each of the episodes have their unique themes, but this is one that carries over to II and III particularly well. One of many, but his first reference to “parasites” brought up Palpatine’s “reveal” in Sith when he’s deformed by the force lightning in his office. After watching the scene, your left with the question…did the lightning inflict the damage on him, or did it peel back concealment covering the sickness that had been there all along??? This is fascinating to me and really increases my emotional and intellectual investment in these movies. To me the Prequels are overflowing with deeper themes and undercurrents of interesting thought. I would think some “fans” have to be incredibly obtuse not to pick up on them, but that’s just my own, unsolicited opinion.

  10. Adam Says:

    The other thing I’m glad the “author” hit on was Jar Jar’s presence in the TPM. While I’m not opposed to “fan edits” in theory, it seems all too lazy and intellectually dishonest to excise the unpalatable portions of the prequels that some self appointed, yet uncredible film nerd took it upon himself to do. Add to that, the audacity that for that person to think they know the Saga better than the actual author behind it. When you cut Jar Jar out of the movie, your really missing the fucking point!!!

  11. myriseoftherunelords Says:

    beautifully writen article

  12. Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

    Okay, when I first commented, I only read the citation on here. After reading the entire article, my mind is blown (mostly by the title of the film referring to a parasitic that negativity effects a health body… it is at the same physiological level as a BIOlogical chrNICLE ).

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      I sense a fellow LEGO fan…

      • Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

        Can Do, Will do you have! =D Lego has been a part of my entire life and I am thankful to have grown up in the late 90s/2000s era of Lego. Most of my favorite lines, characters, and games include Knights Kingdom 04-06, Johnny Thunder, Lego Island, Jack Stone, Studios, Dinosaurs, Chess the Video Game, and many more. Legoland California is also one of my favorite parks to go to. And yes, Lego Star Wars was a big part of it as well! =D

      • hansolo1138 Says:

        I grew up in the late 2000’s/early 2010’s era. I have a lot of Star Wars and DC Comics LEGOs, not to mention the odd Indiana Jones, LEGO City, and LEGO Marvel set here and there. And that doesn’t count the many LEGO games including LEGO Star Wars.

  13. hansolo1138 Says:

    See, if anyone actually gives any thought to the story of the Prequels, they almost always come out as a brilliant, well executed, and often Shakespearan story.

    Kudos, Michael, for such an entertaining and well thought out essay.

  14. susanbowess Says:

    To Jacobesico:
    I did start to read Darth Plagueis, but lent it to a friend and I never got it back. However, what I did read was very good. Darth Plagueis is definitely on my “books to read” list.

  15. Captain Fordo Says:

    Awesome! TPM is my second favorite Star Wars movie and this shows why it’s even more awesome.

    My order of films:
    ROTS, TPM/AOTC, ROTJ, ANH, Holiday special, ESB

    I cannot stand empire strikes back and it is by far my least favorite SW movie (too corny and boring for me). Empire is far too overrated, but still better than Jar Jar Abrams movie.

  16. andywylde77 Says:

    I enjoyed TPM a lot when it came out. I loved all the new concepts that were put into the SW universe. Great new characters, ships, locations and factions. Seeing the Jedi in their prime was a real treat. Seeing how the Jedi operated and lived. Palpatine in his early days was great too. Watching him in the senate and how he set his plans to take over into motion was awesome.

    TPM added so much depth and substance to an already rich and vast SW universe.

  17. Kim Says:

    I find it amusing that TPM in its 10th weekend grossed $4,197,100 at 1615 theaters in 1999, not adjusted for ticket price inflation, and TFA in its 10th weekend grossed $3,907,295 at 1618 theaters. TPM is such a beautiful film with so many fantastic qualities and was well-loved despite the revisionist history presented by some.

    • susanbowess Says:

      I don’t know how many people didn’t like TFA, but I’m not included in that number. I liked it a lot and can’t wait to see what they do with the next episode. I’m dying to find out what happens between Luke and Rey. 🙂

  18. twessf Says:

    Hey Kim – great point about the 10th week box office numbers. The thing that has always befuttled me as a movie lover as how there are undeniably, offensively bad turkeys released that make boatloads of cash get multiple sequels…but are simply cast aside and simply forgotten. People act like the Prequels were soul-less, unimaginative cash grabs on par with or worse than Michael Bay’s Transformers series (full disclosure – I don’t hate the first one)…when they are absolutely, incredibly DIFFERENT than any mainstream block buster films of the time or since. I will say I can see the issues people have with them…but anyone that appreciates weird, flawed, difficult at times, challenging, but ultimately brilliant storytellers should be able to check their preconceptions at the door and enjoy the difficult task Lucas had in the Prequels. He had to RE-LEARN directing…it had been 20 years (always wish he’d done some non-Star Wars project before to get his sea-legs back). The story what also on a scale that had never been attempted before. Some folks say that a story is only as good as it’s characters, but ultimately Lucas’s view is STORY is the most important part…character flows from that. It’s so counter to traditional cinema storytelling…it one reason why I find the guy so damned interesting. It’s his stubborn dedication to doing thing outside The Box, that his good friends & acclaimed filmmakers themselves thought were crazy or stupid that gave us Star Wars in 1977 to begin with. It’s criminal that he would be greeted as anything other than a great Storyteller and (especially after re-watching THX 1138 and American Graffiti) a brilliant filmmaker.

    • Kim Says:

      For me, part of what makes “Star Wars” so lovable are the oddball, weird, occasionally goofy moments that differentiate Lucas’ “Star Wars” movies from other movies. I’m fine with people who just don’t enjoy the prequels for whatever reason; to each their own. It’s the crap about “no one liked them, ever, they’re universally hated” that irritates me.

  19. jayoungr Says:

    A very enjoyable article; thanks for the link. I’d love to see similar thoughts on AOTC and ROTS.

    The blogger’s next article is also relevant to George Lucas, though it talks most directly about Chris Carter. It’s about the idea that the creators of certain fictional universes don’t really understand them and that they should be booted for the good of the work itself:

    • lazypadawan Says:

      That was a really good piece!

    • susanbowess Says:

      Great article and “I want to believe too!”

    • Michael Says:

      Thanks for the kind words about “The Art or the Artist”, Jayoungr! I definitely had Lucas in mind as well for that piece and even had a part in there addressing the similarities between Carter and Lucas.

      In the end, I felt the piece was getting a little long and unwieldy with the detour into Bill Finger territory, so I cut most of the Lucas stuff out.

      I will definitely be writing future articles about AOTC and ROTS.

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