Do darker SW films exactly mean better SW films?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob M, Dec 9, 2001.

  1. Rob M

    Rob M Extra

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1999
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've noticed there is a lot of excitement around the idea that the next two Star Wars films are going to be darker securing people's expectations that the films will be great.
    Seriously, Battlefield Earth was a dark sci-fi film, but by any means was it a great one?
    For some reason, I can't understand the logic in this. Just because the film's storylines will be darker, is that to say we will get better SW films?
    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think alot of fans were becoming dissillusioned with Lucas's attempts to interject the Star Wars films with children movie sub-plots. The feel the franchise is becoming too juvenile, pandering to the adolescent crowds. That is probably why they are welcoming a darker tone to the next two films. Now, does that equal better? Hard to say, but just because a movie is loaded with children's themes doesn't mean it can't be made to appeal to adults as well. Lucas may have lost the ability to make a film with mass appeal. It's definitely a wait-and-see decision.

    Bruce
     
  3. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,709
    Likes Received:
    173
    Darkness gives a film an emotional depth, a feeling of drama, that seems to be lacking in what Lucas has done recently. Even for children's films, highly regarded ones have a darkness to them (some classic Disney films can be positively frightening to young children). It's hoped that "darkness" will mean characters that have to deal with emotional and moral choices in the face of truly felt jeopardy, rather than, for example, killing bad guys because some spaceship controls were played with.
     
  4. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 1999
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's not just that the films are going to be darker. It's specifically the events dealt with in these next 2 SW films that excites the true fans so much. Material we've only heard about, actions that we've daydreamed about, played out in our minds. Now we'll actually get to see how great the Jedi were in their "prime," how the Clone Wars came to fruition, why did Anakin give in to the Dark Side, how were the Jedi almost eradicated, what made Yoda & Obi-Wan such great warriors.
    It's not just the darkness of the subject matter in the next 2 movies, it's the historical significance of these events and how it relates to the SW universe. The "character development and set-up" chapter is done (i.e. TPM ). Now we can get onto the real action.
    As Trevor Schell would say, BRING IT ON!!!!!!!
     
  5. mark_d

    mark_d Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2000
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Funny you should bring this up. I was about to start a thread entitles "Dark Good".

    It's not about how "dark" the story is, it's about execution. The revelations made in ESB are 10 a penny in cheap soap operas. It's how the subject is handled that makes the difference.

    Maybe when people say AOTC will be better than TPM because it'll be darker, they really mean it'll be better because there'll be less poopoo jokes.

    I love TPM and really look forward to AOTC. Looks to be another exciting thrill ride, which when all is said and done, is what SW is about...

    Mark
     
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    Charles Bober, very well said, those are my sentiments exactly!
    I would also like to add that I don't nessasarily want every film in the saga to be dark, 'EP I' had to be light in tone, it's the first film to set up the series as Charles stated, and now with the next 2 chapters, as the Empire grows stronger, and the Emperor grows in power, we'll start to see a change in the series tone.
    Indeed, things are gonna get really rough for our hero's in the next 2 films. If you know anyhting about this story, you know that we're going to witness the end of the jedi, the rise of the empire, the fall from grace of Anakin, and god knows what else! Very dire stuff to be sure. You want dark? Lucas is about to deliver it in spades!
     
  7. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,150
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  8. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2000
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Darker doesn't necessarily mean better, but more lightsaber fights and cool new locations probably will!
     
  9. Coressel

    Coressel Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 26, 1999
    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sam,
    You mean you didn't like TPM? Gee, I never would've guessed...[​IMG]
    I'm not sure if darker is better, but I do think the entire SW saga will probably be balanced with a bit of both darkness and lightness when we see the whole thing together. Each of the films so far has their cringe factor. Even the "darkness" of ESB is dark like dark chocolate. It's still candy. It's not Macbeth or a Samuel Beckett play, nor is it suppossed to be.
     
  10. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    8,189
    Likes Received:
    411
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    Interesting question.
    What has George done to make anyone think he'll be any better at a "darker" SW movie than a lighter one? He DIDN'T DIRECT ESB. It's like saying that more gore in Pearl Harbor would be better. No, a better PLOT would have been better. In SW, I don't want darker, I want more serious...but not too much. I want better execution. I want better acting. I am hoping we get it. AOTC looks great, I must admit. I can't wait.
    But the mentality of..."just wait and see, EP II will save the day!!!" is getting worrisome. TPM wasn't horrible. It just could have been better. I don't see a huge change regarding AOTC from TPM. Everybody points to "darkness" and "tone" to explain how "this is it!" Same director, same script (although GL did get some help, so this could make a difference). My point is: the talent behind II is the talent behind I.
    So, which George will show up (or showed up) for this one? the "Greedo shoots first and that was always intended" or the man who wrote ESB and had the courage to wait three years to resolve plotlines. Time will tell. I am hoping for the latter.
    The actors in II will help[​IMG]
    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  11. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 1999
    Messages:
    4,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is my take on this 'darkness' thing.

    Although ESB was a great movie, it did leave me hanging, and anyone that saw it on its original release couldn't wait for the final episode to come out. The ending was very 'dark'. Han was a popsicle and Luke didn't like his dad very much.

    However, after the SE's came out some of the laser shots were removed, and I don't want to mention Han and the bar scene. GL made the SE's PC for the '90's. Denying that fact means that you should stop reading this, sigh and get on with your life.

    Being PC is one of the reasons that TPM wasn't as popular as it could have been. Where were the battles? Then he throws in Jar-Jar, but this is where I think that a lot of people have missed the point.

    This is partially a kid's flick, and Jar Jar, as well as the Ewoks, provide a little relief from the tension created by the movie.

    I have read a few of the plots for ATOC that were running around here a few months back, and if not dark there is a lot going on. Sure, everything is going downhill, and we all know that, but expect some comic relief in one form or another.

    I do expect episode 3 to be even worse. If it gets 'darker', you can be sure that there will be 'silly' parts as well. It will end much like ESP did, but don't expect a plot that would rival the worst of anyone's 'evil' thoughts.

    Glenn
     
  12. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2001
    Messages:
    4,385
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1999
    Messages:
    1,387
    Likes Received:
    763
    Real Name:
    Jonathan Perregaux
    Well, I for one fail to see how Episode III could possibily be amusing or cater to children if all but two Jedi are murdered and the third becomes one of the most heinous villains of the galaxy. Unless all of this happens off-screen and is downplayed, a move which would not surprise me much considering George Lucas' apparent lack of writing skills thus far. He did, after all, have characters say Anakin had issues without once ever having Anakin exhibit those traits, breaking one rule of good writing: show, don't tell.
    I suspect we may all be gravely disappointed when the Star Wars circle is finally complete. God knows the "acting" on display in the Episode II teaser trailers is even worse than what was shown in The Phantom Menace. I sense a great disturbance in the Force...
     
  14. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    8,189
    Likes Received:
    411
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    "Darkness, Lightness". This is ridiculous.
    SW doesn't need to be "dark." It's not like that would have cured the ills of TPM. And it can be for children as well as adults, and still be successful.
    Let's look at a sequel...Toy Story 2. That was a kid's movie. There was very little "darkness" in it. Some...just enough to give it range and meaning.
    And it was one of the best movies I have ever seen. I use this as an example, because it perfectly illustrates what was in the OT and (mostly) missing from TPM.
    Wonder. Joy. Vision. And passion. The DIRECTOR must have those things. We know that George had those things in the late 70's/early 80's. They must still be in there now. I enjoyed TPM as a movie. It was better than many. But it did not recapture the magic of my youth. Toy Story 2 did. So I know it can be done. I know George has that passion. I just worry that it's for the presentation, not the story.
    And like I have said, I EAGERLY await AOTC. The trailers make it look fun and exciting...with range and depth. But so did the TPM trailers. Either way, I have no doubt it will be entertaining. Here's to hoping it will be SW!
    Take care,
    Chuck
    P.S. To Jonathan...SW involved a rebellion against a massive imperialistic monarchy that destroyed a planet of peace-loving people. And it was a kid's movie as well. It can be done.
    I don't want an "adult" SW. It would be a disaster. I want an ageless one, like the OT[​IMG]
     
  15. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 1998
    Messages:
    8,332
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    Much of this is based on the fact that The Empire Strikes Back being a dark SW film, and that one being perhaps the best of the series so far. I can't see how they could screw it up (fingers crossed) seeign as certain things have to happen plotwise. It should be a good one and I predict that Ep3 will be even better.
     
  16. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that what the SW franchise requires to succeed is a believeable and engaging conflict which you can invest your emotions in. I think that it's easier, in the context of a desperate situation (or a dark time) to place characters in a passionate, believable, against-all-odds conflict.

    Whereas I am of the opinion that TPM was an introduction to this whole mythology without a dramatic hook. In my opinion, the conflict that the film opened with (trade blockade?), although it was meant to be a ruse, a 'phantom' threat, was never an engaging one. What would have been more dramatically effective, IMO? Start the film out with a credible threat, so that when the Phantom menace makes itself clear, the Jedi don't look so ignorant for having complete overlooked it.

    Give the protagonists (Jedi) something more convincing and threatening to spend a good part of TPM fighting against and investigating, so the audience feels truly fooled when Palpatine pulls his power play towards the end.

    Joseph
     
  17. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 1999
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    2
    Real Name:
    Chad Rouch
    I'm tired of people proclaiming EMPIRE the best of the lot because it is 'dark.' It's not great because of its mood. It's great because it throws out the normal sequel rules.

    It never tries to reintroduce you to its characters. It simply starts and stops. Why? Because it is intended as the second act in a 3 act arc. Classic structure dictates that the first act introduces the characters and situations, the second act develops them and the third act resolves.

    EMPIRE is typical of the belief that the middle of most films are the most fun. That's where everything happens. That's where all of the plot twists are revealed.

    Not to mention that I don't find EMPIRE all that dark. It has a very spirited, fast paced tone. Sure, bad things happen at the end. But that's just develpments that need to be resolved in the third one. There's plenty of fun to be had otherwise. Han and Leia's playful banter which harkens back to Tracy and Hepburn, Yoda pretending to be a doofus, etc.

    Dark doesn't always equal better. 'Back to the Future II' is easily the darkest of that trilogy, and arguably the least enjoyable. Hell, 'The Muppet Movie' is way darker (with its story involving chopping off Kermit's legs and serving them with fries) than 'The Great Muppet Caper', but I think Caper is much funnier.
     

Share This Page