The Original Star Wars Saga is my all-time favorite trilogy.
That being said, I've been watching Red Letter Media's famously hilarious reviews of the Prequels, where he painfully dissects and ridicules every plot hole and narrative error Lucas makes in the new movies, and I wonder, I'm pretty sure I could do exactly the same thing with the Originals.
Like, there was some truly horrible acting in the OT, head scratching plot holes, cheesy special effects, unexplained and underdeveloped plot points, underutilized characters, deus ex machinas and narrative mistakes that we all love to bag on the PT for. It's like the OT gets a pass on its nostalgia factor or something.
Yep. The OT is pretty much sacrosanct relative to the PT in the eyes of the interwebz. The rabid defense that orbits Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and prompts those losers to shut down Rotten Tomatoes with vindictive death threats and nerd!rage of an unprecedented because someone dared to give TKDR less than a perfect review had its genesis with the OT.
I watched and loved the RLM videos. Found them by and large hilarious and many of their criticisms valid. But PT bashing has become its own phenomenon and much of the vitriol exists because it's "cool" to hate it. Consequently, the OT is often considered to be a demonstration of flawless film-making.
For me personally? There's a lot to like and dislike about both trilogies. My personal summation is that the OT told a less compelling story in a much better way whereas the PT told a much more compelling story in a worse way.
I dunno... that is kind of a black and white attitude.
Personally I don't bash the PT because of the bashing. Of course, the OT has its faults. Yes, it has cheesy acting, yes, it has some bad scenes. But in essence the OT, especially ANH en ESB, work where they should work. The basic story premise works out (it starts with a simple fairy tale about rescuing a princess), the characters make sense, their motivations are shown in their actions, the OT had a documentary style unique to the genre, it had a unique vision on design (the 'used future' principle)... etc. etc. A lot of it is good and essentially right. And... it was made with non-existent technology and with huge financial restrictions. From a historic point of view that is rather relevant. Oh and, yes it was a phenomenal success, it changed the entire landscape of movie making, American iconology etc. etc... just details.
Now... the PT. The basic story premise does NOT work, the characters are not well thought through, motivations are dodgy and often unclear, it tries te explain a lot in many lengthy dialogue scenes, crucial scenes like falling in love with Padme and the fall to the Dark Side are horrible... And there were NO restrictions at all in technology or money.
No movie is perfect and every movie can be taken apart. But if it works at its core, then I can forgive many faults. To me, the entire PT does not work at its core. And what the RLM reviews do is show WHY... that's why they pick on large topics and little topics. The PT has trouble to convince on many levels. And that can easily be debated, discussed and argued (without nerd rage and if so it should not be considered as nerd rage, which is also a condemnation without considering the arguments).
It comes down to stuff like: if Hayden had been a better actor could he have made his cheesy lines work? Or is the material so bad, you need a Marlon Brando to make it work? So it's not the individual cheesy scenes, or individual faults.... To me the PT is faulty at its storytelling heart and in some ways at its cinematographical heart (the dull blocking of the many conversation scenes for instance). Picking on details is just finding examples to make that point stick.
Last edited by queeq on Oct 12th, 2014 at 08:58 AM
...this is actually the best comparison of the two trilogies I've ever read.
If the prequels have anything over the originals, it's that the concept of the decay and fall of the Jedi and the Republic is a far more interesting and nuanced one than that of some ragtag rebels trying to blow up a big battle station and a random guy in a black suit.
This is true I think... and it basically says the OT is a better movie. I don't care what wonderfully complex story you have to tell, if you tell it badly it sucks. But if you have a simple story and you tell it in a great way, it rules.
Or in other words: if you have a wonderfully complex or compelling story to tell, make sure you tell it well. Otherwise it will fall flat on its face. And the PT did just that.
Well, yes, in a way that's true. He is to blame for making SW an worldwide phenomenon, upscaling the B-movie genre into the A-movie genre, enriching our childhoods with wonderful movies like SW and Indiana Jones...
And yes, he is also to blame for making the PT into what it was. He was all powerful by then. Can't hide behind others, technological limitation en lack of finance for that one.
I love the OT to death, but after... 30 or so viewings each, the tendencies and quirks in dialogue, delivery, camerawork, special effects and so on really pop out. The flaws are evident.
But flaws aside, the OT is still entertaining and able to convey its story, plot and characters to the audience in a relatable, human, emotional manner. The Prequels are an emotional, tonal clusterf*ck. Plot holes, conveniences, dated SFX, etc. are minor annoyances and can even make for some endearing scenes and moments. But soullessness and joylessness are something else entirely, and those are things the PT has in infinite excess (that and TPMs toddler humor--"Icky icky pooh" and "Pee-you-sa!").
When I'm completely unable to like anyone in the entire trilogy or care about anything they're doing, the movie has done something wrong. The OT has whiny Luke, cutesy Ewoks, exploitative metal bikinis, plot inconsistencies, less-than-cerebral dialogue, and Harrison Ford's "acting" in the Falcon's cockpit in ANH, but it still managed to make me enjoy what was happening and like the players involved. I can't say the same for anyone in the PT, save perhaps RotS Palpatine. He was the one character who actually seemed to convey believable emotion and humanity. The most evil character ironically felt the most human and relatable because every other character felt like soulless B-movie robots. That's not bad acting, that's a bad movie. Three of them.
Have any of you ever seen the later 90s comedy Almost Heroes, with Matthew Perry and Chris Farley in one of his last roles? By any objective measure, it's pretty bad. It sucks. Farley was a comedic giant and the movie still blew. But it, and plenty of other bad movies that aren't trying to be bad, still manage to convey more humanity and a greater emotional range than anything in the Prequels. By MILES. Those movies are emotionally f*cked, at best. Dead at worst. That's why they suck. It's not the
It's the complete lack of anything resembling human emotion or relatablility. I have to watch The Room to find characters so emotionally lacking and unbelievable as the Prequels.
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Last edited by Lord Lucien on Dec 14th, 2014 at 09:32 AM
In the end, we have to. I tend to focus on the important points in the story that may be relevant to future episodes and move on.
1 Master 1 apprentice Sith.
Anakin is a good pilot
Anakin had no father
Anakin falls in love with Padme
Somebody plotted to start the Clone Wars 10years ago.
Only "cloners" can make the amazing dart that killed Zam.
Boba Fett watched his father beheaded by a Jedi.
Yoda can use a light saber
Anakin is cocky and evil
Palpatine planned out the Clone Wars and killing the Jedi 10 years earlier.
Obiwan kicks Grievous' and Anakin's ass.
Yoda has been contacted by QGJ who can become a force ghost.
Wookiees all have the ability to do the tarzan yell.
Having lost everybody close to him, Anakin becomes DV.
Rurite? Yeah totally, at least in my book.
I think you nailed it when you said that the OT gets a pass that the PT doesn't.
For people like me who are old enough to have seen Star Wars in a cinema way back in 1977, then of course nostalgia plays a huge role. But every time I rewatch ANH as an adult the more disillusioned I become. The faults become clearer and clearer with every rewatch. The same goes for every Star Wars film, but I totally agree that it's "accepted wisdom" among critically unthinking fanboys/gangirls that the OT is great and the PT isn't. I don't see how anyone can logically argue this position.
With some fans, even when you point out the faults, plot holes, illogicalities, bad acting, etc, etc, in the OT they generally won't accept what you're saying and accuse you of blasphemy for daring to hold an opinion they don't share. It's almost as if they're putting their fingers in their ears and going "Blah, blah, blah, not listening." This is willful ignorance and you can't reason with such people.