Verdict – The Star Wars Prequels: Where Lucas went wrong
I got fired up and I wrote my final verdict on Star Wars. What is essentially wrong with Ep 1, 2 and 3 (in my humble opinion)
There are several places I could point out that Lucas went wrong in the 3 new Star Wars movies. Overall, the 3 new movies left me unsatisfied worse than any of the trite and contrived novels that came out after the first three. Yes, the third film was the better of the three, but I really feel it was only marginally better. There are several points in the each movie I would like to point out as why I think the second trilogy is weak and not entirely representative of the grand Star Wars saga.
After seeing Epsiode 3, there are some assumptions I make about the plot:
Assumption 1: Everything from Episode 1 through 3 was obviously part of a grand scheme by Palpie and the Sith to takeover the Republic. Well, duh, everyone knows that, but very few people really see the intricacies behind it. The question is just how much was planned and how much was contrived poorly written plot.
- Too short! Lucas kept each movie under 2 hours 10 minutes or so, and I think they should have been longer. This is supposed to be an epic story, so tell it in an epic movie.
- Both choices for Anakin- actors were very poor. I did not care for the little kid, but I most especially did not like Christian whats-his-name.
- Much of the movie was more about the special effects and just how many gadgets Lucas can make up and get on the screen at once that will later become kids toys.
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
- First and foremost, the title is weak. Because in the end, the intrigue and political wranglings performed by Palpie were not portrayed in a strong way, the Phantom Menace was not conveyed properly to the audience, thus the disconnect with the title. With out a doubt, he could have come up with better title. Maybe “A boy and his Jar Jar.”
- Jar-Jar … ’nuff said.
- Not quite ’nuff said, actually, because even if Jar Jar was an essential character to introduce into the movies, he was introduced in a very weak and shallow way. Even when I introduce a new character to a group in the RPG, I do not just have him join the group because it is convenient. It just seemed contrived and brainless. There simply could have been more of a reason for Jar-Jar to join than than what was given.
- Why again was Naboo invaded? Why is the Trade Federation mad at Naboo and in turn the Republic. I feel like I a totally missing something here but I can not buy into this whole investment of resources to invade such a lame world – A world on the verge of falling apart because you can pass a submarine through its core! A whole political intrigue story was missing here.
- The whole trip to Tatooine was entirely to contrived and convenient. In Ep4, Artoo and Threepio went to Tatooine because Leia was looking for Kenobi. In Ep1, Kenobi and Qui-gon went to Tatooine for absolutely no reason other than it was a good place to repair and lay low, and Great Maker, look what they found! The Chosen One! What a coincidence! Given that the Emperor just about arranged everything in this movie, I do not see how he could have arranged the location where they were going to stop after escaping Naboo, if he was trying to force them to find Anakin and bring him into the Jedi fold. Perhaps that is why he picked Naboo in the first place – because of its vicinity to Tatooine, but I still find that a little weak.
- The Pod Race – very useless, as most people feel. Yep, I thought it was cool, but it could have been cut shorter and more plot could have been put in there. How about have an initial encounter with Maul in the lower levels of the stands or something like that. Something else needed to be going on.
- This whole notion “Balance of the Force.” Wny is it so important? Why are we hearing about it part way through the movie? Why not establish this first and tell us why it is so important.
- The battle on Naboo was weak also. It was not representative of a GLOBAL invasion. Plus, the battle between the droid army and the gungans was incredibly shallow and only moderately useful. And of course, I could have done without the Jarr-Jar high jinks. I would have preferred that he be a little more effective in battle instead of a complete bumbling idiot. He could have still be funny and be effective.
- More about Jar Jar – through out all this, he could have proven his usefulness by being a brave unwilling warrior or something. Costello would have been more useful.
- I will not go into the whole Anakin-taking-out-the-droid-control-ship thing. We all know that could have been done better but it was done for the appeal of the children to connect to Anakin on a heroic level. I did not like the “accidental fighter pilot” thing, or the fact that the Trade Federation left one ship in orbit to control an entire global army, but I accepted it like I accepted the Empire leaving a single weakness in the largest battle station twice!
Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
- The biggest thing I did not like about Ep 2 was the fact that they did not delve deep enough into the origins of the Clone army, the reasons for its creation and the motivations of the Separatists. There seemed to be no one questioning it. It was like they said…”We have a secret army? really? Cool. Let use it!” For a body to be so against building an army to one that accepted it and game full control of it to the Jedi, it simply bothered me. I wanted to see the behind the scenes of that.
- I felt like the Separatists were weak. I wanted to know more about them. Why are they separating? What is their beef with the Republic?
Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
- The Jedi Purge was brushed over. The greatest holocaust in Jedi history and it took all of 5 to 10 minutes.
- Why not just killed Dooku in the second film? They killed him so fast in the third, I felt it could have been done in the second. I do realize the purpose of that scene, but that could have been done with someone else.
- I had heard the General Grievous was a badas* from the Clone War cartoons. He was HUGE disappointment in the movies. NO ONE would make a cyborg with that much organic material exposed. I also did not want to have to watch the Cartoon to get the background of Greivous. (I hated the art of the Clone Wars cartoon and could not bring myself to watch it)
- The epic-ness of the Clone Wars was net felt. It was supposed to be a galaxy spanning war, that devastated regions and scar many lives for many years to come, and I just did not get that feeling. Sure we got glances of different places, but there was not enough there to give me that epic galactic war feeling. I needed more.
- Christian whats-his-name whined worse than Luke did in the first film and took away a lot of the mystique that was Darth Vader.
- I felt the Emperor was annoyingly over-played and goofy.
Overall, I feel that Star Wars has fallen to the lowest common denominator and I am disappointed with the end result. For a long time fan of the original movies, long time GM of both versions of the roleplaying game, and reader of the books, I have a hard time regaining the same passion I had for Star Wars when I look at all three of these films. I can not say I hated the films either because I liked certain aspects of them. But like I said, overall, I was disappointed and left unsatisfied.