Kevin Smith pissed me off here. He was saying how Lucas should turn SW over to the fans. Well because of people with that attitude over the years, Lucas was left with no other options than to give it up. I mean SW was always for the fans. Lucas encouraged others to play in his sandbox over the years. What fans would he give SW up to if that option was on the table? People like Simon Pegg? So SW can get even more disrespect in the public eye.
But Kevin Smith isn’t a bad guy. He has shown respect towards SW over the years. But he needed to have Dave Filoni break down the PT to him? I mean the fall of the Jedi was the main theme of that trilogy. Some folks have this weird notion that the Jedi based only on an OT POV, is that they were perfect, made no mistakes, made all the right decisions…etc. That is a big reason that a lot of folks don’t like the PT. It shatters their vision of what the Jedi order was like before the Empire. Some folks need to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Nor does their ideas for what SW SHOULD have been revolve around Lucas’ story notes and ideas.
Do people still fail to understand that Obi-Wan Kenobi, even the older, more mellow and supportive mentor from the Original Trilogy, was very deceitful and manipulative of Luke? That both Yoda and Obi-Wan urged Luke to destroy Vader, wrongfully believing that there was no turning back from the Dark Side? Luke won and redeemed his father’s soul by using his own judgment a defying his mentors.
The Original Trilogy is built around themes of growing up, questioning your own childhood desires, but also questioning your authority figures. Luke succeeded in merging all of his life’s lessons and finding the true path between his own beliefs and what he was taught. He found balance where Anakin didn’t.
Unfortunately, a lot of “the fans” never understood what the Original Trilogy was saying, taking Obi-Wan and Yoda at face value as perfectly wise mentors. It’s the ultimate irony: A saga created by man who was a rebellious hippie in his youth has been taken over by unreflective and authoritarian fans who believe that the only way to do things is the old way.
Exactly! This is one huge problem when it comes to people and their opinions of the PT. The ones that the loudest are the ones that don’t even understand the OT either. Too many misinformed idiots running around talking up a big game about things they don’t even understand.
In the OT Yoda was willing to let Luke’s best friends die just so that he can face Vader and some point in the future. I guess a lot folks missed that part and just Yoda as a cute little green alien. I mean even way before the PT with just the OT should have known that the Jedi weren’t kosher.
Although none of this matters when people are too busy putting their story ahead of the one being told.
Sorry, but as a fan of the PT I’m not one of those “blame the Jedi” guys and will always fight against that misconception. This notion started to unfortunately gain track with BTS commentary from The Clone Wars (specially from Filoni), not from Lucas himself.
George Lucas with the PT showed the Jedi stuck into a trap. And while they are not perfect, they always did the right thing under the circunstances they were in. The Jedi and their ideals represent what the heroes should aspire to be and follow. That’s why Episode VI is titled Return of the Jedi. Because both Luke and Anakin refused to stay/follow the dark side and instead chose the Jedi way, restoring the Jedi Order that was lost in Revenge of the Sith.
Haven’t seen this clip yet (although I think it’s unfortunate that Smith has flip flopped from a former Prequel defender to critic), but I take issue with this idea of “the fans.”
WHO are these “fans”? Are they the kids who love all of Star Wars and probably like The Clone Wars cartoon best of all? Are they the parents of those kids? Are they the millions people who came out to see each of the prequels when they were all in theaters, taking each movie to the top of the box office? Heck, are they even the film critics who don’t even hate the movies as much as the revisionist history says they do?
Whenever people say that Lucas should surrendur Star Wars to “the fans,” they pretty much mean the negative and extremely vocal contingent of fans on the internet. Aging men who grew up on the Original Trilogy and think everything was better back in the day.
The inconvenient fact is that the vast majority of these fans are not creators. They don’t understand Star Wars as well as they think they do, nor would they know how to write or manage a fictional franchise in general. The idea of the fans taking over and running other blockbuster franchises is absurd, but on the internet, it’s treated as a sensible idea for Star Wars.
Yeah that is what I was pretty much getting at with the fans but you put it a whole lot better. But people like Pegg and Abrams would be those “fans” that would want to run the show. Well we can see now that Abrams has no clue to what SW is about. To him SW is just pew-pew tie fighters, X-wings etc.
I am sure Pegg is no different than Abrams in that respect.
OK, having now seen the clip, I’m glad to find that it’s a lot more positive than I had initially believed. Kevin Smith once again shows support for the Prequels, and I would say that Filoni may have “enlightened” him rather than smacked him down. Smith seems to get what the movies were saying now. I just wish more of “the fans” could get it as well.
That kind of struck me funny when he said that about what Filoni told him. I know he is a big SW fan, so I thought he would pretty much understand the Jedi role in the films.
But here is a scary thought. I know you know what I am about to say but this is just s refresher. There are still people till this day that haven’t got past the first 20 minutes of TPM! They can’t comprehend why an organization called the TRADE federation would be involved in a dispute over taxes on TRADE routes? Oh and what are the bullet points of the deal between Sidious and the Trade Federation.
This would be like whining in 1980 about wanting the bullet points between Vader’ and Calrissian’s deal that would keep the Empire out of Cloud City forever.
Lando: These deal is getting worse all the time.
Lando: That was never a condition of our agreement, nor was giving Han to this bounty hunter!
See I just established that a deal was made. There was never any kind of info given to really establish any sort of definitive answer.
But what the deals of Lando and the TF have in common to a normal viewer is,
WE KNOW THAT A DEAL WAS MADE! This is all any viewer needs to know and it keeps the story pacing and flow going good. But than the other side of the equation are this clowns that need the most stupidest minute info that really has no effect on the film whatsoever.
You guys should also look for the extended interview with Filoni on starwars.com, I think it was posted last week. It’s an hour long interview so they cover a lot of ground, from his childhood to his start as an animator. But they do cover the prequels, even in charming ways when he talks about going in costume as Plo Koon to movie screenings.
Smith has always professed to liking the Prequels. He acknowledges that they weren’t received warmly by those who shouted the loudest, and he can even be seen tweaking the movies at times for their perceived shortcomings, but it’s always with the understanding that he likes them overall.
Here’s his enthusiastic review of Revenge of the Sith:
You’ve been warned…
– “Revenge of the Sith” is, quite simply, fucking awesome. This is the “Star Wars” prequel the haters have been bitching for since “Menace” came out, and if they don’t cop to that when they finally see it, they’re lying. As dark as “Empire” was, this movie goes a thousand times darker – from the triggering of Order 66 (which has all the Shock Troopers turning on the Jedi Knights they’ve been fighting beside throughout the Clone Wars and gunning them down), to the jaw-dropping Anakin/Obi Wan fight on Mustafar (where – after cutting his legs and arm off, Ben leaves Skywalker burning alive on the shores of a lava river, with Anakin spitting venomous sentiments at his departing mentor), this flick is so satisfyingly tragic, you’ll think you’re watching “Othello” or “Hamlet”.
I saw a gorgeous digitally projected version of the flick, and lemme tell ya’: this is a beautiful looking film. The opening space battle sequence is the best in any of the six “Star Wars” movies. Grievous and Kenobi’s lightsaber duel is bad-ass, with Grievous rocking four sabers. The Clone Wars end rather early in the flick (about the halfway point), leaving the rest of the film to concentrate on Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side, and the resulting slaughter of the Jedi.
Perfect example of how dark shit gets: remember the Younglings – the kid Jedis in training from “Clones”? As a result of Order 66, when Anakin invades the Jedi Temple with an army of Clone Troopers, he enters the Council room to find a gaggle of said younglings hiding behind the seats. They see Anakin and emerge, asking “What should we do, Master Anakin?” The query’s met with a stone-cold Anakin firing up his lightsaber. The next time you see the kids, Yoda’s sifting through their corpses on the floor.
Yes, it’s just that dark – and rightfully so. This is the birth of Darth Vader we’re talking about. The only comic moments in the flick are given to R2D2, and while good, they’re all pretty few and far between; the order of the day is dark, dark, dark.
Ian McDiarmid and Ewan McGregor steal the show, but Hayden Christensen silences any naysayers who wrote him off as too whiney in “Clones”. This is the flick that feels closest to Episodes 4, 5, and 6, because – for the first time since “Return of the Jedi” – there is a clear villain. And for all the shadow-play Palpatine has been upto in the last two flicks, his treachery is about as subtle as John Williams’ score in “Sith.” Whether he’s slowly drawing Anakin toward the Dark Side during an opera/performance art piece with his promise of the Sith’s power of life over death, or he’s engaged in a balls-to-the-wall lightsaber duel in the Senate with Yoda, his “Little, green friend” (his words, not mine – which I kinda dug, because, interestingly, I think it’s the first time anyone’s acknowledged that Yoda is green in any of the “Star Wars” flicks), this is the Emperor’s movie.
The last fifteen minutes dovetail nicely into Episode 4 (or just plain “Star Wars” for you non-geeks), and the movie is full of link-up moments as well.
– At flick’s end, Threepio and Artoo are given to Captain Antilles (with the caveat that the Protocol’s memory be wiped).
– The twins, natch, are split up. Leia heads to Alderann with Bail Organa, and Obi Wan hands Luke over to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (indeed, the closing shot is Owen holding Luke while looking out over the setting suns of Tatooine – mimicking the shot of the adult Luke doing the same in “Star Wars”, complete with callback cue from Williams).
– After he succumbs to the Dark Side, Anakin tries to convince Padme that he can overthrow Palpatine, and together, he and Padme can rule the galaxy as husband and wife.
– Vader and the Emperor stand beside a younger Grand Moff Tarkin on the bridge of a Star Destroyer, overlooking the earliest construction stage of the Death Star.
– Yoda telling Obi Wan that, as he heads to Tatooine to hand over Luke and go into exile, that he should spend his time learning to commune with those who’ve crossed over to the next stage of life, as Yoda maintains he’s been doing with Qui Gon (and Ben will later do with both Luke and Yoda, in “Empire” and “Jedi”).
– And, hands-down, the best link-up to “Star Wars” moment that I enjoyed the most: Bail Organa and Yoda stepping into the hallway of the Rebel Blockade Runner that opened “Star Wars”. Unlike all the high-tech CGI wizardry of the rest of the prequel Trilogy, this is a low-tech looking set, right out of circa ’77, and for some reason, it really captured my imagination. I mean, this is the same exact hallway in which we got our first look at Vader, oh so many years ago, and I appreciated the hell out of Mr. Lucas including it – because it really felt like a nod to the hardcores.
Look, this is a movie I was genetically predisposed to love. I remember being eight years old, and reading in “Starlog” that Darth Vader became the half-man/half-machine he was following a duel with Ben Kenobi that climaxed with Vader falling into molten lava. Now, twenty six years later, I finally got to see that long-promised battled – and it lived up to any expectation I still held. I was sad to see the flick end, but happy to know it’s not the end of the “Star Wars” universe entirely (I’ve read stuff about a TV show…).
“Sith” doesn’t happen; “Sith” rules.
… and Attack of the Clones:
“…From the get-go, Lucas captures my limited imagination with one simple proposition. Darth Vader was once a teenager. How pedestrian,yet how profound! Evil’s gotta start somewhere, right? Why not show why Johnny can’t read – or in this case, can’t play well with others, and insists on using the Force to choke underlings who don’t live up to his expectations? From the hit-or-miss origin of Phantom Menace’s take on baby Anakin as the galactic Hitler in short pants, Clones ups the ante by presenting us with the heart of darkness right where everyone’s always known it lies: in the passions of a volatile high schooler.
Right off the bat, Anakin is portrayed as a kid who thinks he knows more than he does, and insists on proving to everybody that he’s as good as them, if not better. I went to high school with his guy. Granted, he didn’t grow up to carbon-freeze anybody (in truth, I believe he works at a Shell station now), but had he been given a lightsaber and taught how to pull the Jedi Mind Trick on folks, he might’ve.
In Clones, Anakin is a twelfth grader with a license and parents who want him home by eight: he’s a disaster waiting to happen. Who else but a tortured teen leaps out of a sky-speeder to capture a bounty hunter who’s talked smack about his girl (or, in the case of Clones, set loose killer centipedes in her bedroom)? With little-to-no concern for his own well-being, based largely on his assumption that he’s immortal (that worst of teenage attributes), young Skywalker forces Zam Wessel’s craft (how sad is it that I’m 31 and I know the name of a character who’s never really identified and appears only fleetingly in the film?) to crash-land in a densely populated city, and then pursues her (it) into a bar only to watch his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, make the final collar. And how does the Force-ful whelp wrap it all up with the wide-eyed cantina bystanders? He tosses them a condescending “This is Jedi business.” The balls on this kid! …
There’s something bittersweet about the fall of Darth Vader now, that hadn’t existed before Clones: had his mother simply died of old age, the guy might never have developed that extreme case of asthma he seems to suffer from in Star Wars, Empire, and Return of the Jedi.
Which leads to the most haunting moment of Clones for me: when Anakin breaks down to his puppy love, Amidala, and confesses that he butchered that no-good bunch of sand-eating bandage wearers with his hi-tech Zippo. This scene really resonated with me, because Amidala wears this expression that very quietly says “Holy Christ I’m in love with a human time-bomb.” The sad, hopeless look on her face upon learning of his murder spree brought to mind that moment in Jedi when Luke asked Leia if she rememered what her (and his) mother was like. Leia (in what may be Carrie Fisher’s finest hour in the original trilogy) reminisced that her mother always seemed sad. Here, nearly 20 years later, we get to see what Leia was talking about.
And that’s what worked best for me about the Anakin arc in Clones: the doomed love affair of Anakin and Amidala. Most of the critics dismissed this as the flick’s most ham-fistedly handled aspect, but I thought it played out tragically and beautifully. High marks to both Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman, because I completely bought their relationship. He wants her desperately without really even know! ing why, as do all teenage boys when they find who they assume is their one-true in high school. And even though she knows this guy is poison, she can’t help but fall for him – the little slave-boy that grew up to be a conflicted, impetuous hat tank who insists everyone’s giving him a raw deal. In high school, the really hot chicks always went for the massive ****-ups, and eventually wound up married to them. But this marriage doesn’t end in small town affairs and divorce; this marriage ends with the girl scattering her kids across the galaxy to save them from their father, who by that point is more machine than man.”
And his brief thoughts on The Phantom Menace contain perhaps the understatement of the century:
“Of the film I can say many things. But the long and short of it is that I like it – quite a bit. I’d rank it right after ‘Empire’ in a list of fave Star Wars filcks. It starts great, ends great, and has great stuff sprinkled in between.
I’m sure in about a week it’s going to become quite fashionable to bash this flick – Hard!”
He may have reigned in his ardour since those initial viewings, and that hard bashing might have led him to question it, but he’s always been one to say that he likes those movies. I say fair play to him.
The Geonosian’s built the Death Star, was where i heard about Kevin Smith and Star Wars, from GL’s AotCs commentary. I could easily see Geonosian’s scurrying & flying around, in some controlled environment in space, working on the Death Star, abit like how they are in the Droid Foundaries & their sleeping arrangments.
His RotS review highlights a good point to me, about the PTs. It is the best out of the PTs to me, but not my fav. out of them. It’s got a lot of great momentus saga scenes, the film is full of superbly realised visual spectacle in it’s vistas which extend to it’s action scenes, & to a great extent this is what the film/cinematic momentum consistently maintains.
It’s also the most clunky in terms of narrative story/character flow.
For me, TPM is best is this way, but in last fifth or so, has sig. issues as relates to it’s cinematic momentum.
AoTCs sort of treads the middle ground, in that it has some problems with both, but what it loses in relation to TPMs consistent qualities it reachs higher heights with all the same along with making up sig. gains of what is RotS type of cinematic momentum.
To me a perfect film has both equally & consistently. Which factors into AotCs being my fav. SW as it scales lofty heights of having & blending both for the longest, out of any of the PTs.
Movies i like i tend to watch alot, so it just comes from that LP There’s not much else that has captured my fandom like the PTs & their associated run on effect to the OTs & general interest to SWs stuff, so it’s more these movies.
There are others, not quite at the fandom have had with PTs, that might have some ‘nitpicky’ issues with if trying to describe them with much depth, or mayby i think they are perfect & wouldn’t change a thing.
But the PTs are at the top, & what can i say, i don’t find them perfect at the same time *shrug* ☔
I havn’t really been involved in the anti PT & associated stuff backlash significantly in paying attention to it, & i apologise if am being insensitive to that with what has been your experience with your great fandom efforts which i admire ✌
How the worm has turned! I cannot tolerate Kevin Smith, nor do I value his opinion on anything he says about Star Wars.
First, he has, or had, a FB page and some of his posts were totally disgusting when it came to discussing women. He’s a PIG and has absolutely NO RESPECT for women.
Second, a few years ago he claimed to hate Hayden Christensen, agreeing with the haters saying that Hayden ruined Star Wars. He also claimed to hate the Prequels. Now he claims to love them. What a frigging hypocrite this man is!
I had once commented that “The Empire Strikes Back” was basically a dress rehearsal for the Prequel movies on “TheForce.net” message board. Needless to say, my opinion was accepted very well. Other members of the board reacted by commenting on how “Empire” was a lot more superior than the Prequel movies. And when they did comment on “Empire”, they talked about the iconic moments – Vader’s revelation as Anakin, Han’s last words on Bespin, etc. Or they talked about how superior the Leia/Han romance was in compare to the Anakin/Padme romance. But when I had pointed out how the main characters were portrayed in a more ambiguous manner and how they made one mistake after another, which led them to so much trouble, the members of the “TheForce.net” board pretty much dismissed my opinion.
I don’t know what else to say about this.
And even though she knows this guy is poison, she can’t help but fall for him – the little slave-boy that grew up to be a conflicted, impetuous hat tank who insists everyone’s giving him a raw deal.
When did Padme find out that Anakin was poison? After the Tusken massacre? The one act that she never really had any problems about? I’ve always suspected that Padme really saw nothing wrong with what Anakin had done to the Tuskens. In fact, she seemed less disturbed about it than he did. Someone had pointed out that in the AOTC novelization, she thought that the Tuskens had deserved their fate, because of what they had done to Shmi. I’m not agreeing with her. But it tells me that Padme was never the saint that many fans have tried to paint her as.
But to them, Kylo is “cool.” Anakin is not “cool.” Therefore, everything Kylo does is forgivable. And they say he’s better developed (HA! HA!) as a character than Anakin. No, they just think he’s “cooler.”
Padme made it clear that she was not going to stay by Anakin’s side if he had decided to remain a Sith, no matter how much she loved him.
And yet, I find it curious that her reactions to the Tusken massacre and what happened at the Jedi Temple were so different. I don’t think it was blind love on her part in “AOTC”. I think Padme’s prejudices and horror at what happened to Shmi played a role in her indifference to the Tuskens’ fate. I also find it ironic that Anakin was more disturbed by his actions in “AOTC” than she was.
I realize that many want to paint Padme as ideal, yet at the same time, as an enabler of Anakin’s actions. I think she was a lot more complicated and probably more ambiguous than that. She gave the impression of being a morally ideal and wise person . . . until her emotions got in the way. Once that happened, Padme ended up coming off just as morally ambiguous as everyone else. Leia tended to behave in the same way.
Padme was right about the politics in epi. 2 & 3 whole way through & about Anakin’s redemption breaking free of being a Sith. She was the ‘living force’ character 2 & 3 (this is alot more prevalent in their shooting scripts) & even her death is mystical in relation to this and Anakin. She wasn’t a perfect character in all her decisions but neither was Qui-gon, & when she wasn’t quite right seemed to learn from her mistakes quite quickly in the episodes when the opportunities came up again, in comparision to Obi & Yoda she gained wisdom alot easier.
I have been posting a series of articles about the ambiguities of the major STAR WARS characters. I haven’t finished yet. In fact, I’m planning one on Leia. But I have written articles on the major Jedi characters, including Obi-Wan, Padme, and Luke.