Movie Defense Force: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

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Hmmm, can't say that I can bring myself to agree with Jim here, and not for my usual reasons either. To put it kind of bluntly, he keeps using humor and slapstick to justify the movie, while there were some comedic and campy moments to Star Wars originally, especially with Han Solo, it was by and large a serious movie in of itself without a lot of overt comedy going on. Being a serious work of space fantasy, especially at a time when so few people took it seriously as a genere, was a big part of why people liked Star Wars. Phantom Menace was simply put too goofy too often, the fact that the Battle Droids and other things make you laugh, and we've got Jar Jar wiping people out while flailing aorund ineffectively is pretty much why the movie fails, you can't get around the fact that this is supposed to be Star Wars and it's not serious enough to be Star Wars. At the same time, you'll also notice that in Jim's clips he shows a lot of scenes of Anakin doing things no kid should be able to do, but kids have fantasies about doing, flying space fighters, racing/driving big machines, and other assorted things. Yes he is supposed to be pretty much "The Chosen One" but the whole thing is just preposterous and dumb, both in looks and presentation. It's the kind of stuff you see in movies aimed strictly at kids, where adults are basically bumbling idiots who just get in the way or act as the incompetant antagonists. Turning this movie overall more or less into "The Goonies in Space" which might be a fine premise for family entertainment in it's own right, but it's not Star Wars, and not what people came to see. Aiming for such a young audience and going with all of the silly stuff was pretty much a transparent marketing gimmick to sell merch to kids (or more accuratly to get kids to beg parents to buy them things).

I suppose overall I do have to throw in my usual arguement when Jim talks about franchises here as well, in saying that once you slap a label onto something it comes with certain expectations. Once you say something is say a "Star Wars" movie or otherwise associated with a franchise, it needs to be judged according to the franchise. Being a fine product on it's own isn't valid when the point of that label is that it doesn't stand on it's own. It's sort of like why I maintain that Alien 3 is garbage, there is no way around the simple fact that it pretty much decimated a far better continuity established by better writers via Dark Horse Comics, if they wanted the movie to be judged on it's own it never should have had "Alien" emblazoned on it and be made part of that franchise.

Therumancer:
Hmmm, can't say that I can bring myself to agree with Jim here, and not for my usual reasons either. To put it kind of bluntly, he keeps using humor and slapstick to justify the movie, while there were some comedic and campy moments to Star Wars originally, especially with Han Solo, it was by and large a serious movie in of itself without a lot of overt comedy going on. Being a serious work of space fantasy, especially at a time when so few people took it seriously as a genere, was a big part of why people liked Star Wars. Phantom Menace was simply put too goofy too often, the fact that the Battle Droids and other things make you laugh, and we've got Jar Jar wiping people out while flailing aorund ineffectively is pretty much why the movie fails, you can't get around the fact that this is supposed to be Star Wars and it's not serious enough to be Star Wars. At the same time, you'll also notice that in Jim's clips he shows a lot of scenes of Anakin doing things no kid should be able to do, but kids have fantasies about doing, flying space fighters, racing/driving big machines, and other assorted things. Yes he is supposed to be pretty much "The Chosen One" but the whole thing is just preposterous and dumb, both in looks and presentation. It's the kind of stuff you see in movies aimed strictly at kids, where adults are basically bumbling idiots who just get in the way or act as the incompetant antagonists. Turning this movie overall more or less into "The Goonies in Space" which might be a fine premise for family entertainment in it's own right, but it's not Star Wars, and not what people came to see. Aiming for such a young audience and going with all of the silly stuff was pretty much a transparent marketing gimmick to sell merch to kids (or more accuratly to get kids to beg parents to buy them things).

I suppose overall I do have to throw in my usual arguement when Jim talks about franchises here as well, in saying that once you slap a label onto something it comes with certain expectations. Once you say something is say a "Star Wars" movie or otherwise associated with a franchise, it needs to be judged according to the franchise. Being a fine product on it's own isn't valid when the point of that label is that it doesn't stand on it's own. It's sort of like why I maintain that Alien 3 is garbage, there is no way around the simple fact that it pretty much decimated a far better continuity established by better writers via Dark Horse Comics, if they wanted the movie to be judged on it's own it never should have had "Alien" emblazoned on it and be made part of that franchise.

A better child actor could have pulled off a lot of what Anakin was supposed to do, and actually bringing that up lampshades another huge problem that this movie began. The Force is stated to be "in all of us" in the original trilogy, and it was silently understood at that point what we were talking about. Jim does bring this up with his underbreathed "metochloridians, heh" bit, but I would go further.

THE REASON Anakin can do these things is because he has the force, it shows him how to do them. This is explained by saying he has more of it in him, and that allows Lucas to use this as the jumping point of making him immensely powerful in the DOING but not in the ACTING. It downplays the groundwork of the original trilogy where you spent a lot of time wondering how one of the greatest knights the galaxy had ever seen becomes the right hand man of evil. This is where all three of the prequels truly annoy the piss out of me. We could talk about a lot of stuff that makes them bad, but simplifying Anakin into being this weak willed, half psycho pretty boy who never had any intention of following a Jedi Code is not only wrong, but just cheap and shallow. it is the main point of contention and IT STARTS RIGHT HERE. Anakin can just do this stuff, he doesn't have to be taught how ship controls work. The Hoverbike scenes I will grant them, but not the Finale' where he jumps into a fighter jet and just KNOWS how to freaking work it. That was badly done, asks for way too much suspension of belief, and is your blow out scene. It is something they never had anyone else "strong in the force" do, including Luke. Luke had to LEARN how to fly an X-Wing, and they are sure to mention his training in the first movie. He is BETTER at flying due to the force, but he did learn how to fly it.

Now onto Gungans. Yes, gungans are better done than the ridiculous Ewoks while trying to do the same thing the Ewoks did. The Gungans had potential, but were mostly done away with after this movie because of Jar Jar. No Jim, I am not imagining my annoyance, and honestly I was pretty upset that the last war scene in the movie is Jar Jar "accidentally" winning the whole thing. I didn't mind the battle droids(Making robots dumb is actually interesting, as they are only operating off of their software. It makes sense that living programs might not operate with the same efficiency as complicating bio-organisms that are naturally built to live outside of a computer), but I did mind their creators, which brings me to why all of this was bad.

George Lucas pitted Jamaican Stoner Stereotypes against Japanese Businessmen Stereotypes, and got away with doing one of the most backwards ignorant things a director in this day and age can do by summing them all up as "aliens". We don't get much more look into their culture, we just get bad stereotypes that are popular in western culture with nifty alien looks so that they could do it. When you see it, you can't unsee it, and it's simply there. Think about this:

The Neimoidians(That name is just goofy, but whatever. It's not logically goofy but sounds off to me so I don't want to argue about it) are just like another Star Wars race, the Duros, but they have eyes that are more slanted, bigger domes on their heads(which are slightly rounder), and are skinnier. Their skin tone also leans more towards the shades of gold, brown and yellow then the Duros. The Duros were in the original movies, as occasional backdrops which played up the strange environments of Star Wars. The Neimoidians are known for being shrewd business men who are cowardly, but back themselves up with their ancient code of "honor" that is questioned by their distant native race, the Duros. They are clearly modeled after a stereotypical japanese businessman. They even fight through the organization of "the Trade Federation" which is a megacongloberament getting power through Lobbying and Technological advancements.

The Gungans are semi aquatic, definitely tropical aliens with amphibious features. When you take away their frog/lizard looks you'd still have a skinny, thin race here. Where it gets really bad is in the speech patern of all gungans, and the fact that are view of them is cheeseclothed by Jar Jar being are best example of them. The Gungans add -sa after most things and have an accent that isn't all that distinct. They simple SOUND like a bad imitation of someone speaking with a Jamaican Accent.

Past that we have the russian jewish slave trader that owns anakin, we have the culture of Naboo which is completely Lampshaded with exotic looking makeup but wavering ideas of what their government is. Past that I'd have to go to the other movies to give more examples of this trend, but they are there and I COULD if we weren't just talking about Phantom Menace. I've already gone too far mentioning Naboo's government base, as it constantly changes mostly through the movies.

Jar Jar becomes THAT bad when you look at him for what he is. Even if you dismiss the racial overtones, since they are technically an alien race, and NOT Jamaicans, then lets talk about Jar Jar NEVER doing anything good intentionally. He is the most inept character I've seen anywhere. He's more inept than Cringer and Orko from He-Man cartoons in the 80s. He is completely useless, and even if you laugh at the "actually funny bumbling" he does, it doesn't change the fact that he is literally completely useless. I really really REALLY hate that character, and he didn't belong in this movie.

Fangface74:
But Jim!

Who was the main protagonist?

What were the defining characteristic traits of ANY of the cast???

Too much basic 'film making 101' missing for anything redeemable to shine through and personally, I think the prequel's got better as they went.

Do you really want to know?

Down this path lies only madness...

About Sebulba and Jar-Jar... you are aware that they are stereotypes of Jews and Jamaicans respectively, right?

trty00:

You're misquoting me, I never said that. That being said, you're still missing the point. When he says 'weight,' he doesn't mean physical weight, he means emotional weight.

My bad, slip up when quoting someone who quoted someone already. And yeah I guess there wouldn't be any emotional weight because they're just random guys that met, can't do much about that.

The prequels are by no means good movies, but they still make for decent popcorn flicks. Yes, even AotC, despite the god awful plot with Anakin and Padme, it still had Obi-Wan's investigation and Saruman with a lightsaber (note: AotC is my least favorite as well).

Maybe its because I didn't grow up with the original trilogy, so I'm not as biased as some others. But I do agree that the original trilogy blows the prequels out the water, no question.

The prequels are something I won't go out of my way to watch, but I might flip between one of them and something else if its on television.

ShadowHamster:
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A better child actor could have pulled off a lot of what Anakin was supposed to do, and actually bringing that up lampshades another huge problem that this movie began. The Force is stated to be "in all of us" in the original trilogy, and it was silently understood at that point what we were talking about. Jim does bring this up with his underbreathed "metochloridians, heh" bit, but I would go further.

THE REASON Anakin can do these things is because he has the force, it shows him how to do them. This is explained by saying he has more of it in him, and that allows Lucas to use this as the jumping point of making him immensely powerful in the DOING but not in the ACTING. It downplays the groundwork of the original trilogy where you spent a lot of time wondering how one of the greatest knights the galaxy had ever seen becomes the right hand man of evil. This is where all three of the prequels truly annoy the piss out of me. We could talk about a lot of stuff that makes them bad, but simplifying Anakin into being this weak willed, half psycho pretty boy who never had any intention of following a Jedi Code is not only wrong, but just cheap and shallow. it is the main point of contention and IT STARTS RIGHT HERE. Anakin can just do this stuff, he doesn't have to be taught how ship controls work. The Hoverbike scenes I will grant them, but not the Finale' where he jumps into a fighter jet and just KNOWS how to freaking work it. That was badly done, asks for way too much suspension of belief, and is your blow out scene. It is something they never had anyone else "strong in the force" do, including Luke. Luke had to LEARN how to fly an X-Wing, and they are sure to mention his training in the first movie. He is BETTER at flying due to the force, but he did learn how to fly it.

Now onto Gungans. Yes, gungans are better done than the ridiculous Ewoks while trying to do the same thing the Ewoks did. The Gungans had potential, but were mostly done away with after this movie because of Jar Jar. No Jim, I am not imagining my annoyance, and honestly I was pretty upset that the last war scene in the movie is Jar Jar "accidentally" winning the whole thing. I didn't mind the battle droids(Making robots dumb is actually interesting, as they are only operating off of their software. It makes sense that living programs might not operate with the same efficiency as complicating bio-organisms that are naturally built to live outside of a computer), but I did mind their creators, which brings me to why all of this was bad.

George Lucas pitted Jamaican Stoner Stereotypes against Japanese Businessmen Stereotypes, and got away with doing one of the most backwards ignorant things a director in this day and age can do by summing them all up as "aliens". We don't get much more look into their culture, we just get bad stereotypes that are popular in western culture with nifty alien looks so that they could do it. When you see it, you can't unsee it, and it's simply there. Think about this:

The Neimoidians(That name is just goofy, but whatever. It's not logically goofy but sounds off to me so I don't want to argue about it) are just like another Star Wars race, the Duros, but they have eyes that are more slanted, bigger domes on their heads(which are slightly rounder), and are skinnier. Their skin tone also leans more towards the shades of gold, brown and yellow then the Duros. The Duros were in the original movies, as occasional backdrops which played up the strange environments of Star Wars. The Neimoidians are known for being shrewd business men who are cowardly, but back themselves up with their ancient code of "honor" that is questioned by their distant native race, the Duros. They are clearly modeled after a stereotypical japanese businessman. They even fight through the organization of "the Trade Federation" which is a megacongloberament getting power through Lobbying and Technological advancements.

The Gungans are semi aquatic, definitely tropical aliens with amphibious features. When you take away their frog/lizard looks you'd still have a skinny, thin race here. Where it gets really bad is in the speech patern of all gungans, and the fact that are view of them is cheeseclothed by Jar Jar being are best example of them. The Gungans add -sa after most things and have an accent that isn't all that distinct. They simple SOUND like a bad imitation of someone speaking with a Jamaican Accent.

Past that we have the russian jewish slave trader that owns anakin, we have the culture of Naboo which is completely Lampshaded with exotic looking makeup but wavering ideas of what their government is. Past that I'd have to go to the other movies to give more examples of this trend, but they are there and I COULD if we weren't just talking about Phantom Menace. I've already gone too far mentioning Naboo's government base, as it constantly changes mostly through the movies.

Jar Jar becomes THAT bad when you look at him for what he is. Even if you dismiss the racial overtones, since they are technically an alien race, and NOT Jamaicans, then lets talk about Jar Jar NEVER doing anything good intentionally. He is the most inept character I've seen anywhere. He's more inept than Cringer and Orko from He-Man cartoons in the 80s. He is completely useless, and even if you laugh at the "actually funny bumbling" he does, it doesn't change the fact that he is literally completely useless. I really really REALLY hate that character, and he didn't belong in this movie.

Well, it's like this. When it comes to the aliens stereotypes exist for a reason, the entire science of sociology is based off of them. People have been using aliens based on real world cultures as a way of creating analogies to real world issues for a very long time. George Lucas was himself on record as a racist at one point for allegedly claiming that Vader was an intentional analogy of how "all black men want to be white inside" at some con, given the color of the suit, the voice, and the dude that was inside of it. True or not, it was indeed out there for a while. Mostly when it comes to the Phantom Menace aliens I hear people criticize the Toydarian (Watto) for being a Jewish stereotype with the giant nose and extreme greed. BUT to be honest I've never heard many complaints about the Gungans or Trade Federation even in fringe ramble. The Trade Federation is pretty much an "evil corperation" but that is a stock villain right now and doesn't come with any real racial association, there is some truth to the stereotype starting with Japanese corperations in "Dark Future" fiction, but ironically the Japanese did a lot to pioneer that themselves. The evil corperation "Genom" from the 80s Anime "Bubblegum Crisis" has been argued as being a major inspiration for the evil corperation in mass media, even if it was hardly the originator of the idea. When it comes to the Gungans, to be honest while I suppose I can see the Jamaican thing, I kind of felt they were more of a rip off of the "Warhammer" lizard men, and strangely the battle visuals looked a lot like some minature armies of that faction I had seen. I've talked to others and I'm not alone in thinking that. This is especially pronounced when you compare say Boss Nass as a big/heavy/fat creature to the slimmer, more obviously crested Gungan warriors, that's a lot like the spellcasting leaders of the Warhammer lizard men, as opposed to the "Skinks" rounding out the rest of the armies... oh yeah and of course "skinks" and "binks".... I tend to lean towards the minority of people who critiques the Gungans less on any kind of racial stereotype, and more on them being ripped off from Warhammer Fantasy.

As far as the rest goes, as I understand things the whole idea of "The Force" is that it's a sort of intelligent metaphysical content that balances reality, creating an illusion of free will, while actually guiding everything for it's own amusement. It moves the universe in cycles where good and evil both get a chance to reign for thousands of years, with a brief period of balance in between the transitions as good's reign turns to evil's reign and vice versa. It's more of an eastern-style concept than a western one.

The Force largely tends to work it's will by manifesting through people, while it's "in" everyone it uses specific people as tools more than others, and those people tend to have more of those microorganisms which I guess are like it's energy conduits, the more important a given "puppet" is, the more points of articulation it has.

Star Wars is largely based around a prophecy (understand prophicies come true in this universe and are taken very seriously, which should tell you something about it's concept of free will, or the lack of it). That prophecy is that Anakin is going to "bring balance". A prophecy which is misunderstood by most Jedi as meaning that Anakin is going to pretty much save the Jedi from the returning Sith who had previously been wiped out to the extent that nobody really remembers what they were or much about them. It's also misunderstood by the bad guys who realize he's important and think he's going to largely bring about a new dark empire. In reality he is going to do neither of those things. His job is to pretty much wipe out the Jedi, because good currently reigns, but he ALSO kills the emperor in the 11th hour, and by doing so prevents a reign of darkness... creating balance as you have the Imperial Remnants pretty well balanced against the Rebels who now have to argue about who is going to be in charge... complete chaos with neither good or evil having a firm hand, but following the cycle it is Evil's turn to reign.

The whole thing with Anakin is more or less him fighting against a destiny he really doesn't understand. The Force is pretty much guiding this entire drama towards it's end game. As a person Anakin just wants to be a good guy and live happily, but every time he tries something happens to mess his crap up and drag him down into Emo-land. As soon as he has his ducks in a row, he say finds his mother dying to Sand People, causing him to start channeling some serious Dark Side. The point of the character being such a mixed up little twit is that he's balance, he's neither good or evil, he's supposed to do both, and pretty much create a giant mess, which he does. Nobody sees it coming even if the prophecy told everyone "Balance is coming", Obi Wan was all POed going "B-b-but you were supposed to save us" on Musafar kind of explaining his beliefs, and we can kind of guess Papaltine didn't expect to get tossed into a reactor pit, which largely happened because Vader was nevere really committed to him, and was always an emotionally wishy-washy twit even if you couldn't see that overtly.

I kind of "get" Star Wars on a fundemental level, I'm not the best at explaining it however. Nobody really "fights" anyone else in Star Wars, it's all pretty much going according to the script of some metaphysical director, and what is fated, even if nobody realizes it. The Force guiding things this way is why you see Jedi talking about how the force is "cloudy" and being unable to do things they once were, their time is over, and The Force is pretty much setting them up to lose on queue. This is also why Papaltine could take out multiple Jedi Masters, The Force pretty much scripted for him to win. Of course by the concept the whole drama isn't always straightforward, sometimes the "other" side wins contrary to the cycle, but usually also fuels events going in the overall direction The Force wants.

This means that as a concept, Anakin could pretty much hop into a war machine and use it as a little kid, The Force could just flat out move all the controls telekinetically or whatever. Heck, it could cause every one of the trade federation ships to have a spontaneous reactor malfunction as well, but it doesn't work that way.

The point of this ramble is that I "get" why Anakin could do this kind of thing, but I still think it's stupid, and it's not quite fitting the established MO of The Force where it's kind of trying to make things seem natural so people think they have free will or whatever. Some little kid hopping into a fighter and flying, or a Gungan flailing around and winning a battle, could happen if The Force says it does... but stylistically it's not the stuff of serious, adult, space fantasy, which is what people want from Star Wars. The visuals inherant here are the kinds of things that appeal to little kids who watch movies largely about kids doing "adult" things at the specific age when they have that kind of suspension of disbelief, and it was done specifically to cater to kids, as opposed to having the story go down more or less like a serious space fantasy story.

Also just to finish it up, one of the interesting things is that apparently KoToR2 was based heavily on George Lucas' notes. It spells out some of this in the most direct fashion possible, at least how The Force works. The driving force in that story was Kreia who more or less knows The Force subverts free will, and wants to destroy it entirely so people will be truely in control of their own destiny. Of course given the problems with the game it pretty much never gets into how she plans to destroy a metaphysical force that's in everything to an extent, it starts with her killing as many other force users as she can find, which makes a degree of sense since they are it's most direct tools, but other than that it sort of fast forwards to the climax, seemingly skipping half the plot development (which had a lot of people scratching their heads). Of course in the end it doesn't much matter as Kreia winds up spouting prophecy about what is going to happen at the end, sort of raising the question of whether or not she could ever do what she thought to begin with, and whether she and her ambition were simply part of The Force's plan/script. As a result of KoToR 1 and 2 you wind up with Revan and The Last Jedi on a collision course with the newly discovered Sith Empire, which had been pretty much been ruling the galaxy while this Republic thing somehow miraculously went unnoticed. Of course we all know this is the end of a reign of evil, and the time for the reign of good to arise (the reign that ends with the Star Wars movies), the whole thing being The Empire coming into contact with the group that is going to destroy it so utterly nobody will remember much about it or even what a "Sith" was come the movie timeline. I won't say how that all ends (I know having played The Old Republic Online which DOES continue the story) but that's spoiler material, since it's a lot newer than KoToR2.

At any rate, that's my thoughts. The short version is that even if you can come up with an in-universe justifications having little kids flying space fighters and futurittic race cars, and flailing comedy routines battling armies, is not the stuff of serious Space Fantasy and storytelling. When you take a mostly serious series, and turn it into something that is as much as comedic kid's movie as it is a serious work, people aren't going to receive it well.

Of course for my part I think they should have looked at a certain little girl from Dune who carried a weighty destiny as a sort of inspiration for how you can do a prophecied child in a serious work. IMO Anakin should have been more creepy than cute, or "emo" when he "grows up". I get what they were going for, and the target audiences they were trying to cater to, but for me it just didn't work. If anything it made me lose respect for Vader retroactively through the series, much like how the "Mass Effect 3" ending retroactively ruined most of that series for me.

ron1n:
Clone Wars was very much hit and miss, with some downright awesome episodes and some horrible filler.

I say this beforehand to counteract some of what I'm about to say below -

I find the more recent show better.

Yes, it had some truly terrible filler episodes (although technically because of it's Anthology format that could dip back and forwards, every episode was filler). Yes, Ashoka is something of a Canon Sue who warps reality merely by existing. Yes, a lot of events that happen during the show means that it's not that compatible with other Star Wars media at the time (asides the Taratovsky show, there's one or two things that don't add up when matched with Revenge of the Sith bizarrely).

However, when people normally bring up the Taratovsky show, they'll usually cite something like the General Grevious fight, or the Arc Trooper episode, or maybe even that one Mace Windu sequence (you know the one I mean). They will rarely - if ever - refer to anything else, like character development or a funny moment. Even the TV Tropes pages on them are incredibly sparse (I counted four moments on both pages - also, all the Awesome moments got lumped onto a page for the Franchise as a whole). While certainly by no means a suggestion of quality of the show, it does tell me that people's memories may not necessarily be as rosy as they remember. The fact it was intentionally (and much better done) tied into Revenge of the Sith didn't help, as did the five minute/twelve minute format.

The newer version however had a lot more memorable stories...even if you want to wash the memories out later. Not every arc was great, but when it was good, it was really good. Case and point? The Umbara Arc, The Nightsisters Arc, The Mortis Arc...

Also, it had the best Prequel Anakin. Then again, when your performance is measured against Hayden Christian...

To be a little clearer though, I don't view Taratovsky's Clone Wars as a bad show - he did what he could with the time and resources he was allowed. However, compared against his other works (Samurai Jack and Symbionic Titan) and the more recent show, it holds very little water. That said -

OT: Attack of the Clones needs to go die in a fire. I'll be the one who brings the Petroleum to that party for sure X3

I'm glad The Phantom Menace was shit, because it made me look back on my lifelong obsession with everything Star Wars and finally realize I was way too old to be that preoccupied with such a juvenile series. The entire mythology is a business designed -- from the start -- to sell toys, and as a result it has never been given the opportunity to grow and mature outside of a handful of adult-oriented retcon novels. As a merchandising machine, the Star Wars IP will certainly fit in quite nicely with the Disney Corporation.

I realize that the series means different things to different people, so please don't bother jumping down my throat guys.

Sir Shockwave:
snip

Though arguably, the Clone Wars' scenes with General Grivous gave him more characterization than anything in the third movie.

This compared to "YOU FOOL"

It's kind of blowing my mind right now, because I was apparently 7 years old when Phantom Menace came out, yet I still remember watching it in theaters. I really liked the film when I was kid, mainly because my dad was the the big Star Wars fan and I was getting into sci-fi because of him.

The podraces scene is definitely what I remember the most about seeing it in theaters, and by far the most enjoyable to watch today. Really and truly a lot of big plot problems, like midichlorians, totally flew right past me. Maybe it was a good thing I saw Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones mostly ignorant.

Lovely Mixture:

Sir Shockwave:
snip

Though arguably, the Clone Wars' scenes with General Grivous gave him more characterization than anything in the third movie.

This compared to "YOU FOOL"

Yes. I will never, ever say that Grevious was lame. EVER.

I still recall how much of a dissapointment he was in Revenge of the Sith. The more recent show tried to make him more of a Badass Chessmaster-type villian though, which I don't think really caught on until the Nightsisters Arc...and then I don't think we ever see Grevious again after that.

Oh dear.

"It's not attack of the fucking clones" is all you really needed to say. I think, as a stand-alone film, it's kind of a charming mess. As part of a trilogy of prequels to starwars it is still a horrific tragedy though.

Sir Shockwave:

ron1n:
Clone Wars was very much hit and miss, with some downright awesome episodes and some horrible filler.

I say this beforehand to counteract some of what I'm about to say below -

I find the more recent show better.

Yes, it had some truly terrible filler episodes (although technically because of it's Anthology format that could dip back and forwards, every episode was filler). Yes, Ashoka is something of a Canon Sue who warps reality merely by existing. Yes, a lot of events that happen during the show means that it's not that compatible with other Star Wars media at the time (asides the Taratovsky show, there's one or two things that don't add up when matched with Revenge of the Sith bizarrely).

However, when people normally bring up the Taratovsky show, they'll usually cite something like the General Grevious fight, or the Arc Trooper episode, or maybe even that one Mace Windu sequence (you know the one I mean). They will rarely - if ever - refer to anything else, like character development or a funny moment. Even the TV Tropes pages on them are incredibly sparse (I counted four moments on both pages - also, all the Awesome moments got lumped onto a page for the Franchise as a whole). While certainly by no means a suggestion of quality of the show, it does tell me that people's memories may not necessarily be as rosy as they remember. The fact it was intentionally (and much better done) tied into Revenge of the Sith didn't help, as did the five minute/twelve minute format.

The newer version however had a lot more memorable stories...even if you want to wash the memories out later. Not every arc was great, but when it was good, it was really good. Case and point? The Umbara Arc, The Nightsisters Arc, The Mortis Arc...

Also, it had the best Prequel Anakin. Then again, when your performance is measured against Hayden Christian...

To be a little clearer though, I don't view Taratovsky's Clone Wars as a bad show - he did what he could with the time and resources he was allowed. However, compared against his other works (Samurai Jack and Symbionic Titan) and the more recent show, it holds very little water. That said -

OT: Attack of the Clones needs to go die in a fire. I'll be the one who brings the Petroleum to that party for sure X3

The umbara arc? Was that the one with the 4 armed alien jedi who hated clones?

The Nightsisters arc? Is that Ventress' arc where they make a new zabrak assassin? savage opress or whatever? and then curse count dooku?

Mortis arc with the father, son, and daughter... /facepalm (that one had potential but imo they fell flat on their faces with it.)

Gotta say all those were pretty terrible imo. But they don't touch the complete foolishness of the mandolorians and bring back Darth Maul. That whole series was trying way too hard. Ashoka is a not bad character because she is mary sue-esque, but because she was poorly executed. This seems to be a running theme with all things Star Wars lately. Get a great premise then fall on your face while trying to deliver it.

The Clone Wars was a good cartoon and I watched most of them, but I have to say i was disappointed by just about every thing they tried to pull. The blue shadow virus? The battle of Kamino? meh...

I think the Malevolence arc and the Cad Bane arc were the show's highest points. Actually, the bounty hunters were all pretty well done when I think about it, even if they were pretty campy most of the time. But hey, opinions. Even tho I wasn't a fan, I still wish it was around as well as Young Justice. Seems like so many good shows in animation don't get a fair chance these days.

hold on, let me put on my pretentious hipster hat. Okay. Tartakovsky's show may have been short and may have been a lead in to the third movie, but I feel it had more substance than The Clone Wars. Sometimes less can be better. Less is more, so to speak. I think Tart's show captured more of what was "Star Wars" from the prequels by being short, action heavy, and just, well, Gendy. The Clone Wars tried but it ran into its worst enemy, as so many other Star Wars things do, itself.

Damnit, Jim. Damnit, damnit, damnit. After your very first Movie Defence Force episode, my FIRST comment was 'Just, Jim, please, for the love of Jim, PLEASE leave the Star Wars prequels out of this. Please'. I fucking BEGGED you. Damn you. I won't even watch it. Mr. Plinkett has already ground these movies into paste forever and ever.

Ishal:
The umbara arc? Was that the one with the 4 armed alien jedi who hated clones?

The Nightsisters arc? Is that Ventress' arc where they make a new zabrak assassin? savage opress or whatever? and then curse count dooku?

Mortis arc with the father, son, and daughter... /facepalm (that one had potential but imo they fell flat on their faces with it.)

Gotta say all those were pretty terrible imo. But they don't touch the complete foolishness of the mandolorians and bring back Darth Maul. That whole series was trying way too hard. Ashoka is a not bad character because she is mary sue-esque, but because she was poorly executed. This seems to be a running theme with all things Star Wars lately. Get a great premise then fall on your face while trying to deliver it.

The Clone Wars was a good cartoon and I watched most of them, but I have to say i was disappointed by just about every thing they tried to pull. The blue shadow virus? The battle of Kamino? meh...

I think the Malevolence arc and the Cad Bane arc were the show's highest points. Actually, the bounty hunters were all pretty well done when I think about it, even if they were pretty campy most of the time. But hey, opinions. Even tho I wasn't a fan, I still wish it was around as well as Young Justice. Seems like so many good shows in animation don't get a fair chance these days.

hold on, let me put on my pretentious hipster hat. Okay. Tartakovsky's show may have been short and may have been a lead in to the third movie, but I feel it had more substance than The Clone Wars. Sometimes less can be better. Less is more, so to speak. I think Tart's show captured more of what was "Star Wars" from the prequels by being short, action heavy, and just, well, Gendy. The Clone Wars tried but it ran into its worst enemy, as so many other Star Wars things do, itself.

With the above choices (and most of the discussion), I was mostly going by popular consensus, based on the best information I had to hand...though my personal favorite was indeed the Umbara arc (and come to think of it, most of the Clone Trooper episodes). In either ways, it was good but as I think we have consensus on, it wasn't perfect and it could have been a whole lot better.

Oh, and the only "Pretentious Hipster" here really is the one you invent yourself. I am a believer of freedom of discussion (and more to the point, a different opinion is not a bad opinion). I also remind you I never said it was a terrible show at all, especially by the typical standards associated when one is doing anything deemed a "Kids Show". I have however felt it was Tart's weakest work, and I still stand by that.

However, OPINIONS! X3

Sir Shockwave:

Ishal:
The umbara arc? Was that the one with the 4 armed alien jedi who hated clones?

The Nightsisters arc? Is that Ventress' arc where they make a new zabrak assassin? savage opress or whatever? and then curse count dooku?

Mortis arc with the father, son, and daughter... /facepalm (that one had potential but imo they fell flat on their faces with it.)

Gotta say all those were pretty terrible imo. But they don't touch the complete foolishness of the mandolorians and bring back Darth Maul. That whole series was trying way too hard. Ashoka is a not bad character because she is mary sue-esque, but because she was poorly executed. This seems to be a running theme with all things Star Wars lately. Get a great premise then fall on your face while trying to deliver it.

The Clone Wars was a good cartoon and I watched most of them, but I have to say i was disappointed by just about every thing they tried to pull. The blue shadow virus? The battle of Kamino? meh...

I think the Malevolence arc and the Cad Bane arc were the show's highest points. Actually, the bounty hunters were all pretty well done when I think about it, even if they were pretty campy most of the time. But hey, opinions. Even tho I wasn't a fan, I still wish it was around as well as Young Justice. Seems like so many good shows in animation don't get a fair chance these days.

hold on, let me put on my pretentious hipster hat. Okay. Tartakovsky's show may have been short and may have been a lead in to the third movie, but I feel it had more substance than The Clone Wars. Sometimes less can be better. Less is more, so to speak. I think Tart's show captured more of what was "Star Wars" from the prequels by being short, action heavy, and just, well, Gendy. The Clone Wars tried but it ran into its worst enemy, as so many other Star Wars things do, itself.

With the above choices (and most of the discussion), I was mostly going by popular consensus, based on the best information I had to hand...though my personal favorite was indeed the Umbara arc (and come to think of it, most of the Clone Trooper episodes). In either ways, it was good but as I think we have consensus on, it wasn't perfect and it could have been a whole lot better.

Oh, and the only "Pretentious Hipster" here really is the one you invent yourself. I am a believer of freedom of discussion (and more to the point, a different opinion is not a bad opinion). I also remind you I never said it was a terrible show at all, especially by the typical standards associated when one is doing anything deemed a "Kids Show". I have however felt it was Tart's weakest work, and I still stand by that.

However, OPINIONS! X3

Perhaps it was misleading what I posted. I wasn't calling you a pretentious hipster, if you took it that way. Indeed it was an image for myself as I often see opinions such as my own (nebulous) "Star Wars feel" idea being shouted by hipsters quite often. So if my previous post was misleading, I apologize.

I tend to think we reached the consensus that it could have been better as well. My main gripe is just one of not knowing exactly what I want.

On one hand, I see a lot of promising shows biting the dust early (or not even getting green lit at all). On the other hand the ones that are out there that I mentioned (The Clone Wars and Young Justice) have been cancelled... but I wasn't a big fan of them so I eh..

I want decent animation to be out there, and the stereotype of "kids shows" irks me to know end. Its just frustrating. But I think Star Wars is kinda getting like Batman at this point, at least for me. I've had my fill of The Force. I'm full. I'm content to be without it until the new movies hit theaters.

Ishal:
Perhaps it was misleading what I posted. I wasn't calling you a pretentious hipster, if you took it that way. Indeed it was an image for myself as I often see opinions such as my own (nebulous) "Star Wars feel" idea being shouted by hipsters quite often. So if my previous post was misleading, I apologize.

I tend to think we reached the consensus that it could have been better as well. My main gripe is just one of not knowing exactly what I want.

On one hand, I see a lot of promising shows biting the dust early (or not even getting green lit at all). On the other hand the ones that are out there that I mentioned (The Clone Wars and Young Justice) have been cancelled... but I wasn't a big fan of them so I eh..

I want decent animation to be out there, and the stereotype of "kids shows" irks me to know end. Its just frustrating. But I think Star Wars is kinda getting like Batman at this point, at least for me. I've had my fill of The Force. I'm full. I'm content to be without it until the new movies hit theaters.

Then I also apologize for any perceived rudeness on my part.

In regards to your points, I can understand where your coming from - I may not have been much of a Young Justice person, but the second half of Green Lantern was rather quickly turning my opinion around on the show I had previously considered "So Okay it's Average".

I can sympethise with wanting decent animation out there, but it looks like anytime something comes up, it'll either overstay it's welcome and start running itself into the ground (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) or be cancelled abruptly (the recent Thundercats remake). At least both Clone Wars shows had something of a decent lifespan (The Taratovsky shorts at least tell a complete story with zero loose ends, and the more recent show had between 20 and 22 episodes a season, for a number between 100 and 108 over it's lifespan), and thus (sort of - the Taratovsky shorts got a full run at least) avoid the treatment Young Justice, Green Lantern and other such shows got.

The best thing to come out of Episode I was the board game: The Queen's Gambit.

Jim hit the high points of the film - the podrace and the Maul fight - but dropped the only character, not only in this film but in the entire trilogy, that had any intrigue or development whatsoever: Palpatine.

People argue over who, if anyone, is the protagonist in this and the other stories. Some even surmise Jar Jar. But it's not him, nor Anakin, nor Obi-Wan, it's Palpatine.

The real story of the trilogy is his elaborate machinations to elevate himself to power and to blunt the three main obstacles in his way: the Senate as a governing body, the lack of a military force to hold power, and the presence of the Jedi. And each movie highlights his triumph over each of these issues in turn.

People yawn and complain about the political aspects of the films, this one in particular, but what we're actually witnessing is Palpatine playing both sides against the middle: pushing the Trade Federation and other factions into dissension, while spearheading the Republic's efforts to thwart them. And every action people took - of their own accord or with his "encouragement" - actually gave him everything he wanted and/or needed in order to rule after the conflict.

If I were doing an MDF on this movie - and I'm not, Jim is, and thank God for him - Palpatine would have been the lynchpin of my argument.

TheSchaef:
The best thing to come out of Episode I was the board game: The Queen's Gambit.

Jim hit the high points of the film - the podrace and the Maul fight - but dropped the only character, not only in this film but in the entire trilogy, that had any intrigue or development whatsoever: Palpatine.

People argue over who, if anyone, is the protagonist in this and the other stories. Some even surmise Jar Jar. But it's not him, nor Anakin, nor Obi-Wan, it's Palpatine.

The real story of the trilogy is his elaborate machinations to elevate himself to power and to blunt the three main obstacles in his way: the Senate as a governing body, the lack of a military force to hold power, and the presence of the Jedi. And each movie highlights his triumph over each of these issues in turn.

People yawn and complain about the political aspects of the films, this one in particular, but what we're actually witnessing is Palpatine playing both sides against the middle: pushing the Trade Federation and other factions into dissension, while spearheading the Republic's efforts to thwart them. And every action people took - of their own accord or with his "encouragement" - actually gave him everything he wanted and/or needed in order to rule after the conflict.

If I were doing an MDF on this movie - and I'm not, Jim is, and thank God for him - Palpatine would have been the lynchpin of my argument.

No, no, no. Palpatine is a bad guy in a straightforward story about good and evil. You can't argue that the story is really about political manipulation if all the 'obstacles' are dumber than bricks. Imagine an Ocean's Eleven movie where George Clooney simply has to ask for all the money and gets it, no questions ask. And Palpatine is definitely not presented heroically or even as a tragic figure like Citizen Kane. If all these machinations were just to make him a cackling wizard, it begs the question as to what the point of being subtle was in the first place.

Worgen:
Jar Jar was annoying but the kid was much much worse.

Fun fact : Jar Jar Binks hate doesn't start with the audience.

Seriously, go and watch Episode 1 again. Watch Jar-Jar's introduction as a character. You'll see that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, far from being the calm, friendly diplomats and negotiators that they could be, are basically arseholes to Jar-Jar. Do you know what Obi-Wan's first line to Jar-Jar is? "What is that?" Can anyone imagine, in a world where alien races are as common and as welcome as different colours of human skin, seeing someone with a slightly different skin colour and saying "What is that?". At the point of the Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan is basically a racist @#¤%.

Mahoshonen:

Fangface74:
Who was the main protagonist?

Do you really want to know?

The 'pro-te-gon-ist' is: Jar Jar Binks

Nah, watch the films again. For every trick, every scheme, every manipulation pulled by Senator/Emperor Palpatine, there's an equal. It's not Obi-Wan pulling the string. Not Yoda. Certainly not Jar-Jar.

It's R2-D2.

The Star Wars films are basically a galactic game of chess between R2 and Palpatine.

Mahoshonen:
No, no, no. Palpatine is a bad guy in a straightforward story about good and evil.

I didn't say he was the hero. I just said that all the events in the movie end up revolving around him manipulating his way into power. Even Anakin, who was supposed to be the parallel story to Luke, is just a means to someone else's end.

Anakin is only significant in the realm of character development, and only then inasmuch as he got a small amount of ham-handed development in a cast of characters who were all cardboard cutouts (Palpatine included).

Say what you want about the idiocy of others, but when it comes to having a story about a central character with specific goals and clear efforts to obtain them, Palpatine is the closest fit of anyone in the films.

TheSchaef:

Mahoshonen:
No, no, no. Palpatine is a bad guy in a straightforward story about good and evil.

I didn't say he was the hero. I just said that all the events in the movie end up revolving around him manipulating his way into power. Even Anakin, who was supposed to be the parallel story to Luke, is just a means to someone else's end.

Anakin is only significant in the realm of character development, and only then inasmuch as he got a small amount of ham-handed development in a cast of characters who were all cardboard cutouts (Palpatine included).

Say what you want about the idiocy of others, but when it comes to having a story about a central character with specific goals and clear efforts to obtain them, Palpatine is the closest fit of anyone in the films.

In fairness, the villain is the only character in many films to have specific goals and clear efforts to obtain them.

This is probably because the heroes are usually making efforts to maintain the status quo - which requires reacting to the villain's actions rather than pro-actively seeking to change the world.

By your logic, the main character of a James Bond movie is the villain, such as Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun or Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger or Dr No in Dr No. Oh wait. Shit.

The Phantom Menace is actually my father's favorite Star Wars film, and he saw the original trilogy in theaters back in the day. Make of that what you will. Of course, he's never been a huge Star Wars geek like I was.

I think The Phantom Menace is a great Star Wars film. It's a fun romp with lots of action, weird aliens and a cool looking villain. Hell, I even like Jar Jar Binks.

*Dodges tomato*

I'll admit the movie has flaws though, but it's not the points that are usually brought up:

1. Why didn't Qui-Gon try to take a more active role in disrupting the slave trade on Tatooine? I realize the Naboo blockade was important and all, but it seemed unusually callous for a seemingly compassionate Jedi Master to brush off Anakin's question about freeing slaves. He didn't even mention the issue during his talks with Chancellor Valorum or the Jedi Council.

2. I feel there was a missed opportunity to make the Trade Federation a far more sinister organization. There's vague allusions to a military crackdown, with "catastrophic" death tolls and camps of some sort, but we never get to actually see any of it. One of the reasons why I liked the game Battle for Naboo on the N64 so much is that it actually shows these events taking place. You see the Trade Federation razing villages and farms to the ground, slaughtering civilians, and rounding people up to work in what are essentially concentration camps. It adds a sense of urgency to Amidala's mission that's missing from the film, and it underlines the importance of defeating the Federation.

3. The whole "prophesy" and "virgin birth" thing has never sat well with me. Anakin may be a gifted Jedi and all, but he's not "Space Jesus." I rationalize it in my head that Shmi just didn't want to talk about the father, and Qui-Gon was gullible enough to believe her story.

4. Amidala's completely deadpan performance. To be fair though, it would be hard trying to emote when you're preoccupied with balancing a twenty pound headdress.

5. Why did the Trade Federation battle fleet leave the system, leaving just one droid control ship in charge of everything? Even if the Republic wasn't going to intervene with a fleet of Dreadnoughts, you'd think they'd still worry about the possibility of space pirates or something.

You'll notice "midichlorians" aren't on the list. That's because I have a relatively simple explanation for the whole thing:

The Jedi got it backwards. Midichlorians don't create the Force, the Force creates midichlorians. Boom, there you go. The Force is still a mystical thing and midichlorians are merely a by-product of said mysticism.

the entire Prequel trilogy seems to be some good to great ideas and scenes bobbing around in a sea of terrible plot with some horrendous characters. Anakin was a prat who really could have been shown better with a desire to be the hero rather then be obsessed over Padama and the fact it was the Jedi throwing the force out of balance (as there were millions of them and not even a handful of Sith) could have been more interesting. I'm sort of at least glad there was a grey-ish morality character like Mace Windu as supposed to ultra self-rightous goodness or savage bastard who wants to enslave or kill everything because why not?
Speaking of Attack of the Clones though, I thought it would have been an infinitely better movie if it exclusively followed Obi-wan, his investigation was genuinely interesting but was split up with badly written 'romance' and angst. Also yes, the Tartakovsky Clone Wars was freaking awesome.

A lot of the arguments made were based in: "It wasn't as bad as the other two". Yeah, sure, fine, it's not Attack of the Clones bad but it's still Phantom Menace bad. Just because it's not as terrible as we've seen doesn't mean it's any kind of good. Jar Jar Binks isn't the movie destroying entity some make him out to be, but that doesn't mean he's any good. The CGI wasn't shoved in our face in EVERY scene, but that doesn't mean it wasn't overused.

I will agree, though, that there are bits that I found enjoyable. And if viewed out of context, those bits would've been less enjoyable. But that's not enough to excuse a bad movie. The problem for me, and I guess it's my quirk, is the story. Constantly wondering "why the hell are they doing it THAT way" really removed any enjoyability.

Well, thats something.
And i see even gamers are going around "omg cgi is evil". kind of ironic isnt it?

JemJar:
By your logic, the main character of a James Bond movie is the villain, such as Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun or Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger or Dr No in Dr No. Oh wait. Shit.

Like Batman, the flavor is found in the villains and the hero is an idealized template on which we project our fantasies.

Except in the prequel Star Wars, we didn't have that template. We had Qui-Gonn AND Obi-Wan AND Anakin, none of which carried us through the entire narrative like an Superman movie, nor formed a solid ensemble like an X-Men or Avengers movie. Ostensibly it was supposed to be about Anakin but he was a minor character in the first film, and undeveloped and unsympathetic in the second film. His conversion was supposed to be a shocking betrayal which could be seen as a culmination of previous developments which only make sense now when it all comes together, like the end of Sixth Sense. Instead, all we really have is that he loves his wife and misses his mommy.

So lacking someone on which we can project our own ideals, and lacking someone with enough character to make us care about their goals and choices, we're left with only one character who developed over the course of the trilogy and who accomplished something that moved the story to its conclusion: Palpatine.

Heroes are reactive, yes, but they find themselves at cross purposes with the primary antagonist. But nobody knew who or what Palpatine was, and every major villain they faced was a front man masking his presence. There was nobody working against his plan, because his plan was to divide the galaxy into two sides and pit them against each other. Those serving the Separatists were sowing rebellion, and those serving the Republic were empowering him. He then killed everyone in a position to oppose him, either before or just as they discovered who he was. Among those who even tried, he killed Windu at Anakin's betrayal, defeated Yoda in single combat, and saved Anakin who Obi-Wan, in his mercy, failed to kill.

That's the main reason I name Palpatine the protagonist: we had stories about a). a trade dispute we were supposed to care about because of reasons, b). civil war in the Republic, and c). the tragic story of Anakin, but the fact that they were all conjured by Palpatine for reasons no one else realized, basically renders all the weight of those stories moot; none of them were the actual story of what was happening, and thus none of them unto themselves actually mattered in the end.

Don't take that to mean I believe this is a very crafty subversion of type or bold new direction in storytelling; I think it is shabby storytelling that gave us Goldfinger but no Bond, Sauron but no Frodo. If the story's not about Bond, then by default it degenerates into a story about Goldfinger. Especially if Goldfinger wins, flawless victory, fatality.

TheSchaef:
Heroes are reactive, yes, but they find themselves at cross purposes with the primary antagonist. But nobody knew who or what Palpatine was, and every major villain they faced was a front man masking his presence. There was nobody working against his plan, because his plan was to divide the galaxy into two sides and pit them against each other. Those serving the Separatists were sowing rebellion, and those serving the Republic were empowering him. He then killed everyone in a position to oppose him, either before or just as they discovered who he was. Among those who even tried, he killed Windu at Anakin's betrayal, defeated Yoda in single combat, and saved Anakin who Obi-Wan, in his mercy, failed to kill.

That's the main reason I name Palpatine the protagonist: we had stories about a). a trade dispute we were supposed to care about because of reasons, b). civil war in the Republic, and c). the tragic story of Anakin, but the fact that they were all conjured by Palpatine for reasons no one else realized, basically renders all the weight of those stories moot; none of them were the actual story of what was happening, and thus none of them unto themselves actually mattered in the end.

There are plenty of films and stories in which the heroes are up against a mere front man for significant portions of the narrative. I can think of at least one in the cinema right now, but I'm not sure I'd consider the main villain in said film to be the protagonist.

Nonetheless, it's an argument very well made and there's huge chunks I agree with.

There is an alternative, very tongue-in-cheek, theory:

R2-D2.

Seriously. Go back and watch the six films and assume that R2 is a super-intelligent AI. Star Wars becomes a galactic-scale game of chess between Palpatine and R2-D2.

He influences huge amounts of the series, ensuring the heroes escape Naboo in Ep1 but conveniently not fixing the hyperdrive so they have to land at Tatooine and pick up Anakin. He then destroys the Trade Federation mothership (don't be fooled into the false belief that Anakin did that) and gets himself into a position to keep track of the political situation in the Senate. He even saves Padmé in the Droid Factory in Ep2 and ensures Anakin and Obi-Wan take out Dooku in Ep3.

R2-D2 spends the inter-trilogy years overseeing the upbringing of Leia, then "coincidentally" gets sent down to Tatooine where he "finds" Luke and Obi-Wan. Yeah right. Pull the other one, it's got rocket boosters on. If you listen really carefully during the Death Star trench run, just after Obi-Wan's ghost/astral projection says "Use the Force, Luke", you can hear R2 whistling "Or maybe I'll just run the targeting computer myself you crusty old shaman".

And then he somehow crash lands an X-Wing in the swamp. A swamp he can happily travel around in, rather than something perilously sticky and viscous. Right near to Yoda's home. Come on? How can anyone think that any of this stuff is coincidence?

----

Hey, I didn't say it was a good theory, but it is a theory..

TheSchaef:

Mahoshonen:
No, no, no. Palpatine is a bad guy in a straightforward story about good and evil.

I didn't say he was the hero. I just said that all the events in the movie end up revolving around him manipulating his way into power. Even Anakin, who was supposed to be the parallel story to Luke, is just a means to someone else's end.

Anakin is only significant in the realm of character development, and only then inasmuch as he got a small amount of ham-handed development in a cast of characters who were all cardboard cutouts (Palpatine included).

Say what you want about the idiocy of others, but when it comes to having a story about a central character with specific goals and clear efforts to obtain them, Palpatine is the closest fit of anyone in the films.

Here's the problem with saying "Palpatine is the main character of the prequel trilogy." The action doesn't focus on P-Diddy as a part of the plot until the 2nd half of Ep3. He's shown giving orders as Sideous while 'manipulating' Queen Amidala (in the same manner one manipulates a door knob to open a door) in the Senate. In Ep2 P-diddy interacts with Anakin to show that they're friends (note that how they became friends is not shown, despite that being an important part of Anakin's downfall, which is obstensibly the focus being marketed) and tricking Jar Jar into getting him special powers. Which for some reason works.

In both movies we're never shown that there's any challange, which are necessary to make a lead complelling. To see an example of this, watch the Japanese B-Movie Prince of Space. The hero frequently boasts that the bad guy's weapons cannot hurt him, and it kills the tension.

Also important is that while the story suggests a political drama, what's on the majority of the fim is swashbuckling adventure. And what's on film should be what's driving the plot. I'll agree that Palpatine is the prime motivator of what's happening, but that alone does not make him the lead.

I agree that Phantom Menace is a bad movie with some good parts. Though I feel the bad parts do ruin the whole movie.

While pod racing does seem like something people in the Star Wars universe would do the problem is just how relevant is it to the movie's plot? I feel Pod racing would work better as something mentioned in passing in the movie or as an episode in a TV series, not as a way to resolve a problem.

As Plinket pointed out the problem with the ending is that it follows 4 different groups of people (Anakin and R2D2, Jar Jar Binks, the Jedi, and Queen Amadala and her soldiers). If the audience were feeling the same emotions for all of these characters at the same time then this would work. Unfortunately it switches from Anakin not knowing what to do, the Jedi fighting for their lives, comedic hijinks with Jar Jar Binks, and Amadala trying to fight her way through the palace. So you end up with an audience who doesn't know what to feel about any of this.

I preferred attack of the clones myself lol.

Brave move Jim. Did you get this assignment as part of community service or something?

I love this series, but it sucks that episodes are bi-weekly. Maybe he should fill those gaps with Movie Attack Force where he rips apart the overly critically acclaimed movies that society thought was good.

JemJar:
There is an alternative, very tongue-in-cheek, theory:

R2-D2.

Seriously. Go back and watch the six films and assume that R2 is a super-intelligent AI. Star Wars becomes a galactic-scale game of chess between Palpatine and R2-D2.

That's not a protagonist, that's a plot device. Kind of like how Spock was in half the old Star Trek episodes.

Mahoshonen:
Also important is that while the story suggests a political drama, what's on the majority of the fim is swashbuckling adventure. And what's on film should be what's driving the plot. I'll agree that Palpatine is the prime motivator of what's happening, but that alone does not make him the lead.

Again, I did not say it was an example of good storytelling. I only said that in the end, the only narrative that mattered over the course of the trilogy was that of Palpatine.

You know what? I liked them all. The only one I felt was a let down was the 3rd one, and even then the only weakness was Angsikin Skywalker. I don't know how they could have done it differently, but it felt very Spiderman 3-ish.

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