Archive for the ‘What I Love About The Prequels’ Category

Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Yoda Confronts Dooku

November 28, 2016

 

Perhaps the biggest crowd-pleasing scene in AOTC was Yoda confronting Count Dooku.  Up until the time AOTC was released, we’d never seen Yoda do anything other than train Jedi, walk around with that stick, and say wise stuff.  But Yoda could open a can of whoop-ass if necessary and thanks to ILM’s digital magic, what was once impossible for a character realized by a puppet was in 2002 a reality.

This was something George Lucas had wanted to do in AOTC from the get-go.  He wanted to show audiences why Yoda was “the” Jedi.  But he found a lot of resistance from people along the way.  ILM balked at the logistics of creating a credible fight scene with the little Jedi Master.  Others thought it would look dumb and people would laugh at it.  But of the 11 times I’d seen AOTC in the theaters, audiences applauded the top of this scene every single time.  The audience at the first screening I’d gone to at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. went absolutely bananas.

We all know the drill.  Obi-Wan and Anakin attempt to battle Dooku and get it handed to both of them. It gets quiet and all of a sudden, Yoda humbly enters the scene.  After some trash talking, Dooku tries to fling things at Yoda with the Force.  After Yoda deflects the flying objects, Dooku tries Force lightning.  When that doesn’t work, it’s time to take out the lightsabers.  Yoda flips around and engages the really tall Dooku like a champ.  It’s only when Dooku tries to topple a pillar on top of Anakin and Obi-Wan that he’s able to escape from Yoda.  Cheater.

ILM’s visual effects artists of course did an amazing job realizing this scene. If the visuals didn’t work, the whole thing would’ve been a disaster. While today’s animation would be even better it was pretty spectacular for 2002. I happen to think it works now. Not only does Yoda look great in fight mode, I like his whole attitude prior to the fight. Some of those poses were seemingly inspired by Neo in “The Matrix.” Christopher Lee had to sell the duel on his end and he didn’t even have anyone to fight as it was shot on a soundstage. Lee does an amazing job but that just goes without saying. The lighting in the scene–some of it digital, some of it done on set–is perfect.

This was a high risk scene that walks the line between “wow, this is awesome” and the absurd but it became one of the most iconic fight scenes in the saga so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bunch of Stuff To Read

September 22, 2016

Becca Benjamin at Coffee With Kenobi posted Star Wars: Return of the Prequels:

But getting back to my point, the prequels are returning to Star Wars. For the simple fact that in order for them, the story group, to tell the story, they must start at the beginning. Even if that means taking a step back and going back in time, back to where it all began. In other words, “Everything starts from here” and if you saw the new Japanese poster for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, those words are captioned directly below Jyn’s image – along with, “Another Star Wars.” Again, just like poetry, the storytelling rhymes.

It talks a great deal about “The Prequels Strike Back” and how the films work with each other.

As for some oldies that I missed, here is The Geek Nerdom’s 8 Prequel Moments That Lucas Planned In 1977 from back in June and from early August, Comic Books Galaxy’s 8 Reasons Why Star Wars Prequels Should Be Given A Chance.  Now, I have to say I disagree with the way the latter frames the OT (i.e. you don’t have to be against one to be for the other) but it is interesting to see the perspective of a younger fan whose Star Wars experience started with the PT and doesn’t see the OT as some mythical thing of perfection.

And last but not least a very thoughtful piece on what it means to be a Star Wars fan:

Obviously, I’m being very general, because hardly every Star Wars-related webpage has content of that nature, but so many do. If this was what you had to do to call yourself a Star Wars fan, then I didn’t want to be one anymore. Why? Because I passionately love the prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III) and consider them to be highly underrated films. I also have no problem at all with the special editions of the originals, although admittedly I don’t have the proper background to take sides on this debate. I have actually never seen the unaltered cuts of the originals (Episodes IV, V, and VI), but I do know the bulk of the changes that have been made in the special editions. From my perspective, these changes have no effect on any of the elements that made Star Wars what it was to begin with, and it seems a little irrational to me that so many fans are complaining that the unaltered cuts are no longer available, because the cuts that are available tell the same story with the same characters.

Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day Links

May 20, 2016

George Shot First

Skywalker Family Fanpage

Galixy Far Far Away

Fan Of Star Wars

Lady Jedi Scientist

SWForce4EU

Anthony Echevarria

Keith Palmer

The Kessel Runway  plus links to some great prequel-themed fashion!

QuiObi-Lover

Nilbog’s Storybook Land

Tatooine Talk

Plus, Yancy sent in his top 10 here:

Honorable mentions:  the politics (“Politics have been a part of the Saga since A New Hope, and George painted a much clearer picture of how the Star Wars Universe operates… The Prequels are a beautiful warning about just how fragile a republic can be, and how people are willing to give up their freedoms, all in the name of security… a very good warning for today.”) and Rick McCallum (“The man was a tremendous ambassador for George, for Star Wars, and for the fans. I miss his infectious energy, and his unwavering desire to see George’s vision put on the screen.”).

10) Cinematography – George’s wonderful cinematography realized by David Tattersall frequently plays back in my head. Star Wars was now huge in its scope, matching other cinema masters like David Lean and Akira Kurosawa in its visual language… and the ending of ROTS was like a visual trip into Dante’s Inferno.

9) The villains – Darth Sideous, Darth Maul, Count Dooku… all memorable, and deliciously evilllll… MUWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

8) Anakin & Padme – Lucas and McCallum both said their relationship was more akin to courtly love, and that’s exactly what we got on screen (which seemed to be completely missed by a lot of fanboys). Their relationship is Greek Tragedy & Shakespeare rolled into one.

7) Qui-Gon-Jinn: Yeah I needed more of this character in the Prequels, but what we did get was amazing. Qui-Gon is one of the most memorable characters in the entire series.

6) The incomparable John Williams… nuff said.

5) Trisha Biggar – Need I say more. Just amazing work in the Prequels, full of new ideas, and concepts that grew the galaxy by leaps and bounds.

4) The Fall of Anakin: Through three films we watched Anakin go from “The kindest boy in the universe,” to a selfish and angry young man obsessed with power, and making things the way HE wants them to be. Kudos to George for not taking the easy road, and sticking to his vision

3) Obi-Wan: While I’ve always liked Obi-Wan, the Prequel Trilogy and Clone Wars TV series turned the venerable Jedi Knight into my favorite character in the Saga… NOW GIVE ME MY SPIN OFF MOVIE!

2) The Clone Wars – Yeah not the Prequel films, but the introduction of the Clone Wars TV series added so many layers of depth to the era. Just an amazing run… I still miss the show desperately.

1) Obi-Wan/Padme Balcony Scene – RoTS: By far the most emotionally powerful, yet beautifully understated scene in the entire Saga, Two characters dancing around the truth, and two characters about to make fateful decisions that will change the galaxy. Some of Lucas’ best work in the Saga, and some of Williams most haunting music.

Note:  I’ll keep updating as I get more links and posts.  Thanks!

It’s That Time Again

May 3, 2016

That’s right, Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day 2016 is right around the corner.

Usually I do something on the site May 19, except for the 10th anniversary of AOTC when I went with May 16. However, it will be celebrated on the blog May 20 for reasons having to do with being really busy Friday the 19th, meaning I won’t be able to do much of anything until late on the 19th.

Here’s what I want to do this year:

1. If you have any kind of social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, Vine, etc.), blog, website, or podcast of any sort, post on what are your 10 favorite things about the prequels. Make it as elaborate or as simple as you want. It can be text, it can be visual, it can be verbal. It can be gifs, it can be video. It can be a list or it can be a long essay with extensive details. Whatever you want to do. And you can post it on May 19 or earlier if you want.

2. Once you’ve made your post, send me the link! I’m at SWPASadmin@gmail.com. You can also send me a link to @lazypadawan on Twitter or PM the Star Wars Prequel Appreciation page on Facebook.

3. On May 20, I will post all of the links so we can have a big hug over the prequels.

4. I don’t care about the content of your post so long as it is not anti-prequel (duh). Don’t spend all of your pixels on what you didn’t like. Also, try not to use your post to bash something else. I will not link to anything that is vulgar, gross, or pornographic.

That’s it! It’s that easy!

New Winner!

December 20, 2011

Keith Palmer won the drawing for the $25 Amazon.com gift card! Congratulations!

What I Love About The Prequels Entries Closed

December 19, 2011

And I’ll announce the winner tomorrow!

What I Love About The Prequels: Stacey

December 18, 2011

“I love the prequels because they’re wonderfully made, have gorgeous imagery and sound, great storyline and fascinating characters, deep and complicated. The prequels offer a widest range of feelings and thoughts to the viewer, make you cry and laugh from joy, open your eyes to things you could never imagine without them.

The prequels enrich the saga and the whole cinematography with new situations, possibilities, choices, new levels of wisdom that unites different lands and times, new multiple colors to the kaleidoscopic variety of life that is reflected in the saga, the variety that reaches harmony in the saga taken as a whole.

I love the prequels because they’re a part of the saga that changed my life for the better, that makes me feel like I have wings. The saga that would be lacking something essential without any of its episodes.”

What I Love About The Prequels: Bethany

December 13, 2011

Bethany from The Star Wars Report submitted this entry:

“First off, I’d like to thank you guys for having this contest!

I love the prequels for many reasons, and it’s hard to put all of them into words, but I’ll try.

1. They add to the epic Star Wars universe!

2. They continue the story of Anakin Skywalker.

3. They’re visually amazing!

4. They’re awesome movies in their own right.

5. The story they tell applies to many, and not just a small group.

My other reasons are less tangible. Why does the story of the rise of Darth Vader, and the fall of Anakin Skywalker resonate with so many? Why are we heartbroken, as Padmé is, to see Anakin fall so low? Why, as we see a tear slide down a grief-stricken Anakin’s face towards the end of The Revenge of the Sith, do I feel a matching tear slide down my face?
Star Wars tells a tale of humanity, and we, as humans, identify with, and learn from, that.
The prequel trilogy shows the brokenness of humans, and their greatness. They show the horror of what you can become, when you let your fears best you. They show you how to do the right thing, no matter how impossible it seems at the time, no matter how hard.
I could go on, but I’ll let the movies speak for themselves. Go watch them! =)”

What I Love About The Prequels: Grant Elliot

May 22, 2011

This is a long one but worth reading beneath the cut:

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What I Love About The Prequels: Chris Seekell

May 18, 2011

“I saw the Original Trilogy as a four year old a few years before the special editions were released. I never saw the originals when they were re-released, but I loved watching them on VHS and playing with the toys. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw a trailer for Episode I a few years later. I quickly went out and found out as much as I could about the movie before it was released. I read the junior novel and bought all the younger picture books. For some reason, I remember thinking that Qui-Gon was Anakin’s father at first. I was so eager for the new toys, that I turned everything I could into an Episode I character. I remember pretending that a green marble was Qui-Gon, a blue one was Obi-Wan, and a red one was Maul. I even made a paper OOM-9 battle droid commander action figure with magic markers. Haha, after pretending that badminton rackets were lightsabers for a few months, I was ecstatic that day I walked into the store and saw hundreds of new action figures on a wall with their yellow Darth Maul eyes staring at me. It’s funny, because even before I had seen the movie, I had read all the books, bought as many figures as I could afford, and role-played the movie for months. Finally that summer day came when I saw Episode I in the theater, and I thought is was the best movie ever. I totally related to it, as I was about the same age as Anakin. Qui-Gon was that father figure, Obi-Wan that skeptical older cousin, Padme that girl that was a bit older that I had a crush on, and Jar Jar that goofy friend with the golden heart. But it wasn’t just about the movie for me, it was the experience, the action figures, the books, the Lego sets, the stickers, the music. But most of all it just felt so natural, so cool.

A few years later I moved to a new state. New places, new friends, but Star Wars was always there. I was once again excited about Episode II coming out. I continued to collect the action figures and other merchandise, and like the first prequel, I related to Attack of the Clones as well. I was a bit older, and I wanted to be Anakin. I wanted to be that bold, headstrong Jedi racing across the stars and chasing after his destiny. But to me, nothing was cooler than that Clone Army. I had never been amazed by the Stormtroopers, they were always ruthless, robotic, and awkward. But these young soldiers were shiny, heroic, and efficient, and I really dug the new helmet design. I spent the next several years hunting down every Clone Trooper action figure variant I could find, trying to build the ultimate Army of the Republic.

I wasn’t as excited as I was anxious to see Episode III. I was a teenager now, and saw the story a bit more analytically. I was worried about how the characters would turn out. I knew it would be a dark movie, and braced myself for potentially distressing scenes, like Order 66, and the Mustafar dual. I found the movie engaging, and continued collecting all the merchandise, but I enjoyed the adventurous and playful attitude of the previous two prequels more. But little did I know that in a few years, my fandom would reach even greater heights, with the advent of the Clone Wars show and the amazing powers of the internet.

For me, the prequels are a huge part of me, because I grew up with them. I was shocked to learn that many older fans found them appalling and claimed that their childhood was ruined by something that had been so influential in mine. To this day I defend the prequels, and find solace in discussing them with like minded fans. The prequels were the most iconic movies in my generation, and that’s what they mean to me.”