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Episode III title
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OuttaWindu
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Number 9 will be "Balance of the Force"
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OuttaWindu wrote:
Number 9 will be "Balance of the Force"

"Revenge of the Plot Hole"
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TauntaunScout wrote:
This is the root of my issues with New Wars. Lucas kept making big changes like this midstream and the corpus of work suffered as those little things started adding up. But, people within a fandom forget, most films made every year are pretty bad. If 4 of the 11 Star Wars films are good, then the franchise is doing what an impartial observer should expect from any 11 Hollywood movies. So I just try to let it go. It seems obvious but needs to be repeated often: exceptional films are the exception.

I do think Lucas got too experimental with the prequels and the cinematography (and possibly acting) really suffered as a result. Cinematography and acting are really important for replay value. But if he wasn't willing to take those kinds of risks to begin with we'd never have gotten what we did in May of 1977. But eventually if you keep taking long chances, the law of averages catches up to you, and you lose some of those bets.

I get your point about the odds and I don't disagree with the principle (eventually you'll lose) but we'll just have to agree to disagree on the number of good films so far.

I don't think Lucas got very experimental with the cinematography of the PT. He for the most part showed good guys moving left to right and bad guys moving right to left, a very standard practice in Hollywood. Furthermore, as Star Wars Ring Theory showed, quite a lot of the PT film shots directly copied classic trilogy shots. Yes, it is innovative in that Lucas adapted a poetic construct to cinema, but Star Wars Ring Theory means nothing when looking at the prequels themselves. It is only evident when considering both trilogies and two parts of one whole.

And maybe you were just being nice by lumping PT acting as also "experimental", but there is no reason to mince words. Some of the acting was horrible, but I would disagree with anyone saying that was intentional as in a failed experiment. I feel it comes from Lucas just not really be a good director of human performances. Some of the good actors rose completely above the bad direction, like Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid, but Hayden Christiansen, Natalie Portman, and Samual L. Jackson had some cringey moments. Lucas is a literal genius when it comes envisioning and realizing a fantastic setting and action scenes, but directing human performances was something he was never good at.

The biggest issue I've seen with people criticizing acting in the PT is that it is usually made from someone wearing thick nostalgia googles thus failing to see that ANH suffers from the same lack of good human direction that the prequels did. Harrison Ford was in the always good category, but as much as I love Mark Hamill his acting in ANH was pretty bad in spots. But we fell in love with the film as kids and didn't notice it at the time, so it has just become part of the status quo and accepted as an inherent part of the character. But seeing Hayden Christiansen as adults most of us don't wear the goggles for that so recoil in disgust and say, WTF is this?

TauntaunScout wrote:
I really wonder what would have happened with the prequels if Ralph MacQuarrie had gone to work on them.

Well some MacQuarrie influence still made it into the PT, like the flying creatures on Kamino evolved from artwork made for Alderaan that was going to be used for Bespin (and then Naboo) but just didn't finally get used until AotC. The What If question was just simply not possible because he already began to experience "creative fatigue" before even completing the OT and didn't work really past the 80s. J.J Abrams is a huge MacQuarrie fan and used more of it for inspiration than the prequels did. The TFA X-Wings have some elements closer to MacQuarrie's art than the ANH ones were.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using MacQuarrie designs and spare parts isn't the same as having the man himself there though.

As for how Lucas' experimentation got in the way of acting and visuals, I think it was his gratuitous use of CGI. It hurt the replay value of the films quite a bit. He was too excited about the new technical possibilities and overused them. Like how when synthetic fabrics got way overused in fashion for awhile. He was just way too excited about the newest technology to stop and ask if it was always the right tool for the job. I'd guess that all the digital co-stars also ended up hurting the acting.

Luke's acting in ANH is way over criticized compared to what else was going on in late 70's/early 80's film. That's just how a lot of stuff sounded back then. There's a ton of stuff in the OT that makes no sense (like the pathetically small number of TIE fighters launched to defend the Death Star) but it has cover from the visuals, and the sound, and the drama. Some of the throwaway background lines in the OT are really powerful. A lot of what is called out as Mark Hamill being a bad actor is more like 70's sound limitations. The bad acting and over-use of CGI don't give much cover for things that didn't make sense (or were way too over the top) in the prequels.

Lucas himself went on about how a big piece of the art of Star Wars was the mystique. Not knowing the exact past relationship between Darth and Obi-wan, not knowing what the senate was like, etc. You can't pull back that curtain and still be Star Wars. Solo was particularly bad in this respect. A backstory movie can't match the power of mystique within the franchise. That power's pretty much gone now, sadly.

I used to give the new movies much more leeway on the grounds of nostalgia-bias as you suggest. Then Rogue One came out. I had no nostalgia for that movie and it was amazing. It was a good piece of film, plus it got back to both what made Star Wars successful to begin with, and what distinguished Star Wars as it's own identity apart from other action franchises.

An overarching problem is that since the OT, very few characters have had meaningful motivation that I internalized on my first viewing. The other characters just don't seem to make much sense as people. I firmly believe that a big part of the OT's success (far beyond making money, lots of pretty bad movies make money) was how the motivation of the protagonists was nailed down so well. Few films have ever done it to that degree, in the past 100+ years of film history. Rogue One almost managed to, plus it got back to the excellent use of actions to develop characters that ANH borrowed from The Seven Samurai. The Wizard of Oz does manage to create that kind of motivation, especially for the intended age of the audience which I think is why Oz is still being watched in earnest.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a very cogent argument. I agree. It also helps that you tied a few of my favorite movies into your line of reasoning. Smile
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TauntaunScout

MacQuarrie was invited to be the lead concept artist for TPM and he declined because he felt he was creatively dried up.

Regarding CG affecting the acting, most of the actor interaction was between human characters. Unless you mean less practical elements and more green screen used for settings, you might be on to something. I can see how it might be harder for some actors to pretend they are in the SW galaxy when surrounded by green and given a description by Lucas of what will be there. But still, some actors rose above.

And I wouldn't call that "experimental". Sure, there was some innovation but it was a production choice to contol budget on very big budget movies. CG wasn't an option for the CT and when something from Lucas' imagination couldn't be realized, it simple was cut from the film. Lucas would have loved to have shown the Imperial capital planet, Alderaan, Jabba the Hutt, etc. back in 1977. Lucas would have loved to not depend on so many muppets in the CT. Now CG characters and green screen is the norm in films so ILM's work on the PT is not viewed as experimental.

When I concede that the PT had some poor acting, you get defensive about Mark Hammil's poor acting in ANH, stating it is in line with the acting of the day, which means the PT is being held to a different standard, which was my point. Harrison Ford acted the same as he always has since, so like I said, some actors can rise above the "This time faster and more intense" direction of George Lucas. History repeats itself with Hayden Christensen under Lucas's direction. It's nothing new.

Prequel haters seem to forget that George Lucas is one of those lesser known geniuses from the mid-70s, and he didn't suffer any significant loss of intelligence when he did the prequels.

So now you have stated the PT had inferior acting, inferior concept art, overuse of CG, loss of mystique, lack of character motivation, etc. That's quite a laundry list and I fear we are now beginning to enter bash mode. I didn't bump this 2004 thread about the title of Episode III to open the flood gates on prequel hating. I thought it was funny because fans do the same thing with Disney films now. History repeats itself. So I'd like to please stop the "and another thing, and an other thing" before it gets out of hand.

So let's please get back on topic and limit the hatred to hatred of the film titles (even though that is SO 2004). Thanks.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
TauntaunScout

MacQuarrie was invited to be the lead concept artist for TPM and he declined because he felt he was creatively dried up.


I know that. I don't blame anyone for him not working on them, but posit that the movies might have been better if he had.

Quote:
So let's please get back on topic and limit the hatred to hatred of the film titles (even though that is SO 2004). Thanks.


The titles all make sense to me. I don't know why anyone has a problem with them.
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