Archive for the ‘PT defense’ Category

“In Defense Of Padmé Amidala”

February 19, 2017

LadyFromPlanetX forwarded an old Geek Dad post that I missed somehow but it’s really good.  If you can stand another defense of Padmé, you really ought to read it:

My favorite rule in chess is the one where a pawn advances to a higher piece if it manages to cross the whole board. Padmé starts the game as a queen. In The Phantom Menace and The Attack of the Clones she plays an aggressively defensive game. In Revenge of the Sith she becomes cornered and chooses to sacrifice herself to protect her king, Anakin.

In A New Hope Luke enters the game as a pawn. He is talented but untrained and impetuous. For every win there is also a loss, but the other pieces protect him because they know if he makes it across the board, they have their best chance at winning it all. In Return of the Jedi, when Luke refuses to be Palpatine’s pawn — the way his father had been all these years — he becomes a knight. And in doing so, in making the same choice Padmé made on the day of his birth, he catches Palpatine in his own trap. Anakin is free to win the game.

Filoni: Prequels Important To Today’s SW

February 18, 2017

Comic Book.com has a short interview with Dave Filoni where he discusses why the prequels are relevant to today’s Star Wars stories:

“I think it works into what the struggle is. You want to achieve this balance or you want to become … I think it’s a natural part of it, and really the introduction of this idea of balance comes from the prequels,” Filoni told ComicBook.com. “That’s where the prophecy of the chosen one and ‘the one who will bring balance,’ as quoted by Mace Windu, really comes from. So, I find that very interesting because the prequels add a tremendous amount of depth to all these things, especially ways of the Force. The people, I don’t think realize that that’s where it comes from, but it’s not something that’s natural to the original trilogy. It’s something that stems from the prequels, which added a tremendous amount to what we know about Star Wars.”

Hamill Sticks Up For Prequels, Jake Lloyd, Lucas

January 31, 2017

In a video interview with Vulture, Mark Hamill sounds off on prequel bashing, sticks up for Jake Lloyd and for George Lucas, and refuses to say a word about “The Last Jedi.”

“The Prequels Strike Back” Available On DVD

January 13, 2017

“The Prequels Strike Back,” the recent prequel documentary, is finally available on DVD.

You can order it directly from the filmmakers or from Amazon.  Yours for $25!

A Couple Of Things To Brighten Your Day

December 13, 2016

Well, a smidge anyway.

Clickbait site Screen Crush interviewed Rogue One star Riz Ahmed and the topic of the prequels came up.  He’s not real fond of Jar Jar but had good things overall to say about the films.  Because I don’t want to give the clicks to a clickbait site, Star Wars The Prequel Trilogy has the relevant parts screencapped.

Meanwhile, Kathleen Kennedy tells the New York Daily news that:

“We certainly look at the prequels and there are a lot of ideas inherent in the prequels that will probably — undoubtedly — find their way into future ‘Star Wars’ movies,” she notes.

“So yeah, it’s all part of the mythology.”

H/T Furious Fanboys

A Little PSA For Rogue One Cast & Lucasfilm

December 2, 2016

I was at work and quite busy so I wasn’t able to listen in on today’s live internet Q&A session with the “Rogue One” cast.  However, I did get wind of some comments actor Alan Tudyk, who plays a droid in the movie, made about Ahmed Best’s work as Jar Jar as well as the moderator throwing some shade on the prequels about 25 minutes in.  I do not have a transcript but from what I understand, Tudyk inaccurately described Best as just doing a voice over when in fact he was mo-capped on the set and it seems to have been in the context of “heh, I did one better on him.”  Nobody corrected him.  For that, I would advise Tudyk and company to read this from 2014.

I have to criticize Lucasfilm for demonstrating once more it does not afford the prequels the same level of respect given to the OT and TFA, no matter what they keep telling us.  Actions, not words, count.  There is no way in hell anyone in “Rogue One” would ever knock the OT or dismiss Andy Serkis’s or Lupita Nyong’o’s work in TFA as “just” voice acting.  And SOMEBODY should’ve corrected Tudyk.  Frankly, I think Lucasfilm owes Ahmed Best an apology for that.  It’s inexcusable.

It’s as though it never occurs to the current regime to advise anyone who works for them on t.v., in movies, and writing books to respect the fan base.  ALL of the fan base.  I don’t know what the moderator’s alleged prequel joke was but if it was meant as a jab on those films, that shouldn’t be happening at an official Lucasfilm event.  I guess they figure we all bought our $30 tickets and it’s too late now, huh?

It also doesn’t seem to occur to the current regime to respect George Lucas.  None of them would be there without him yet it seems in many ways they are eager to get us to forget he ever had anything to do with this galaxy he created.  It’s clear the philosophy today is to do the opposite of everything Lucas strove to do creatively and to follow trends instead of setting them.  Moreover, just as the leadership threw out Lucas’s ST treatments, according to a recent Entertainment Weakly interview with Kathleen Kennedy, Lucas’s ideas for standalone films were also tossed into the shredder.  Nice.

Whatever the case, stuff like this is why many prequel fans don’t entirely trust Lucasfilm and why some don’t trust it at all.

 

“Everything Great About TPM”

November 28, 2016

A You Tube channel called Cinema Wins apparently likes to focus on the positive with a series on what was great about particular films. The latest installment? “Everything Great About Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

I haven’t had time to watch it yet but the feedback I’m seeing is pretty positive.

Is It Time To Form People For Padmé?

November 4, 2016

The New York Times posted an article yesterday about how female fans were turning Star Wars fandom into something their own or whatever and there was a side piece that I didn’t read about the powerful women of Star Wars.  It was just as well because apparently the guy who wrote that piece dismissed Padmé outright because he didn’t like the prequels.  The really stupid part was apparently Ahsoka, a character who was basically spun off from the prequels, was included in the listicle.  Really, NYT?  That’s the kind of amateurish clickbait nonsense I’d see on a hack “geek” site.  But amateurism is par for the course with the lamestream media these days.  No wonder quarterly profits dropped 97% (some sources say 96 but still…) and ad revenues dropped 19%.

The media needs to buy a clue; if you are talking about Star Wars, the prequel trilogy is a significant part of it whether they like it or not.  Denying that is basically lying to your readers and your opinion of the films is in most cases completely irrelevant and generally, not interesting.  It’s even worse if you dismiss the prequels simply for no other reason than to pander to your readers or Star Wars fans in general.  A lot of these guys do that to show fans they’re down with us because they think we all hate the prequels.  (Hint:  no we all don’t.)

It doesn’t help that the geekeratti, the fist pounders on The Mary Sue and Daily Dot, other Star Wars fans, and even Lucasfilm overlook Padmé or dismiss her entirely.  They do so for primarily two reasons:  one is for the same reason the NYT article dismissed her and that is she is part of the prequels.  The Mary Sue and Daily Dot hate the prequels as do many “geek” and “nerd” pandering sites.  The other reason is Padmé isn’t politically correct enough for them.  This might sound very strange.  Padmé is probably one of the most multilayered characters in the entire series.  She was ruler of a planet and took charge of reclaiming her world from the Trade Federation.  She was a senator.  She was an action babe in her own right and managed to survive even where a lot of Jedi get killed.  Who can forget Obi-Wan and Anakin bickering on Geonosis while Padme was already picking her lock and positioning herself to fight the monsters?  She’s obviously smart, compassionate, and for my money, one of the kindest characters in the saga.  I think Lucas bent over backwards to create a character who’s worthy to be the mother of Luke and Leia.  What’s there not to love?

Well, I think the problem boils down to three things:  Padmé fell in love with Anakin/Vader, she got pregnant, and she died.  Never mind these things all had to happen.  To the detractors, those things made her “weak.”  A lot of the feminist types in geek world only want “kickass” wish fulfillment women characters and they think that every kung fu kick in the face or every male taken down is a strike against the patriarchy.  If a character is not doing that, then she’s somehow regressive.  Or, for a character to have any value, she must be powerful and in control all of the time.  It’s a dumb and shallow way of looking at the feminine condition.  Not everybody is a fighter all of the time.  Being quiet, contemplative, and gentle doesn’t mean you are weak.  Being feminine in a traditional way doesn’t make you weak.  And I don’t get why it’s acceptable for Buffy Summers to fall in love with Angel or Spike knowing exactly what they are while Padmé is somehow a chump for loving someone who was mostly a good guy.  You can’t do a whole lot of action scenes while packing twins in the trunk and heartbreak is part of the story’s tragedy.   What was supposed to happen to Padmé that would be any more dignified?  Suicide?  Getting shot or blown up?  Eaten by a nexu?  Hit by a truck?  Spontaneous human combustion?  Falling into a sarlaac?  Shish-kebabed with a lightsaber while standing on a bridge over a bottomless pit?

I’ve read that perhaps keeping Padmé’s scenes from ROTS that form the basis of the rebellion might affect how people perceive her but I’m skeptical of that for two reasons.  One is it doesn’t change that she is Prequel Babe and those determined not to respect the prequels aren’t going to change their minds for a few extra minutes of people talking.  The other reason is Padmé delivered one of the trilogy’s–heck maybe the whole saga’s–most amazing lines in one of the political scenes kept in the film and it didn’t seem to matter to detractors anyway.

While a lot of vocal people in fandom are discussing issues with female characters and fans, it’s going to be up to Padmé’s fans to stick up for her until she’s not forgotten or easily dismissed.

Here’s another take on the topic at Tosche Station.

The Complicated Relationship Between Official Fandom & The PT (Its Fans Too): Commentary

October 11, 2016

Nothing captures better the odd way Lucasfilm handles the PT than this:

Well-known Lucasfilm employee states for the second time or so that according to its internals, the prequels are as loved in the U.S. as Eps IV-VI. Before, it had also been noted that internationally, the prequels were slightly more popular.

Two successive episodes of the YouTube-based “The Star Wars Show” feature well-known personalities speaking positively about the prequels.

And then on the Sept. 7 episode of the same program, a couple of guys from IGN are brought on to discuss the late ‘90s arcade classic Star Wars: Racer. The IGN “personalities” make some comments that fans perceived to be jabs at TPM. Something by the way you would not see directed at Eps IV-VI or TFA.

On Sept. 13, they released a bunch of stickers for the iPhone and they were only from TFA and the OT.

I held off on posting this for the past month, until I see this today.  Padme Amidala isn’t mentioned in the text and the accompanying video only features two short clips.  It’s as though poor Padme got memory wiped from the saga due to the crimes of not being politically correct enough and failing to appear in a Disney production.  Forget Legion of Leia; how about People For Padme?  (While I’m at it, maybe at some point I’ll do a post on why fandom forgets about maternal figures like Shmi Skywalker or Aunt Beru.)

All of this occurred very recently, so I’m not cobbling together things that happened months or years ago. But it is a pattern that has gone on for a long time. One day it seems like they’re pro-PT, one day I wonder if they really are. I’m not putting all of the blame on the Disney purchase either since this sort of thing has been happening even while Lucas still ruled the roost. For instance, the official Star Wars Twitter account several years back retweeted a fan-made cartoon where Deadpool kills a guy for praising the prequels and Hayden Christensen. The retweet was deleted after this site and several other fans protested. (And to be fair, this was way worse than a couple of IGN jokesters on “The Star Wars Show.”)

Lately it’s become kind of a standard defense that nobody at Lucasfilm dislikes the prequels and that claims there is a “ban” on mentioning the prequels aren’t true. I know that no one issued a memo from the desk of Kathleen Kennedy or Bob Iger stating that all references to the prequels be halted immediately and offenders would be thrown off the Golden Gate Bridge. Obviously small mentions here and there are permissible in the films. Obviously mentions are permitted in Rebels, the books, and comics (all of which attract far less attention than the films). Obviously there are toys on the market. But it’s also disingenuous to act as though the prequels are treated and regarded equally, because anyone paying attention can see they are not. It’s always permissible to issue digs or jokes at the those films while everyone has to speak about Eps IV-VI reverently and TFA respectfully. Outspoken super critics of the PT are embraced, while I doubt the same would be extended to anyone who said anything offensive about Eps IV-VI or harshly criticized TFA.

It’s also not unreasonable to believe that while there’s no “ban,” there definitely had been a de-emphasis on the films. A big chunk of TFA’s pre-release campaign was based on basically saying, “Hey everyone, this isn’t like the prequels!” I was reading in various interviews about people working on the film being told to not do things the way they were done in the prequels; it’s right there in Allure magazine December 2015 as one example. Thankfully they haven’t gone that route with “Rogue One” so far. While it’s nice they brought in some prequel players and stuff in “Rogue One,” I’m waiting for them to really be brave and introduce crucial elements of the prequels, even the controversial ones.  I’m also wary that the anti-PT tone will be back with Ep. VIII. I don’t have to be the late Miss Cleo to predict they are going to rip on the Anakin/Padme romance to promote how theirs is so much better and they will “do it right this time.”

There’s also a big imbalance in what’s available for merchandising.  While there have been toys and collectibles consistently available, things like apparel, home goods, office decor/knicknacks, etc. have been sorely lacking.

So maybe it isn’t nuts to think that maybe the prequels aren’t all of that respected by the current castle keepers.  If that’s not what Lucasfilm wants us to believe, they have a long way to go to convince me and a lot of other fans otherwise.

Update:  The Force For Change International Day Of The Girl post has been updated to include Padmé Amidala.  High fives, prequel fans!  @prequelpositive deserves credit for  doing a lot to spread the word yesterday.

 

 

“Thank The Maker” Essay

October 7, 2016

Andrew Belfast at Future Of The Force posted “Thank The Maker:  A Defence Of George Lucas,” which naturally defends Lucas and of course the prequels:

As a fan of the Prequels I find it extremely frustrating to continue to see these films randomly dismissed by routine thoughtless journalism on three central grounds; namely dialogue, CGI and Jar Jar Binks. So let me outline my views on each of these points in turn in Lucas’ defence. If I don’t change any minds at least I will have made a case against casual, overly generalised and thoughtless criticism. In doing so I should add that I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into a group in making these points. I do not associate my love of Star Wars with any one era of films or film-making. I do not call myself a “Prequel lover” – my love is for the extended saga in all its forms – Prequel, Original Trilogy, Sequel Trilogy, TV shows and books.