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Official STAR WARS Saga Discussion Thread: Part 5 (2 Viewers)

Patrick Sun

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Rewatching them on an immersively big screen definitely did not sell me on the prequel trilogy (in terms of owning them on higher quality discs anyway). So glad I never bothered to upgrade those to 4K disc as the PQ of TPM and even AtoC just wouldn't justify it at all (on top of me not really being a fan of the prequels).

I'm totally fine with the 2k blu-ray version for Ep. 1 through Ep. 6, didn't see the need for the 4k versions at all as well.
 

The Drifter

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I recently did a re-watch of the PT on Blu. This is the first time I've seen these three films in roughly 11+ years. And, I really enjoyed TPM. I had seen it numerous times theatrically in late Summer/Fall 1999 & several times since then - but really appreciated it much more on this latest viewing:

-I didn't mind Jar Jar at all & actually thought his scenes were amusing/comic. He was the clown/fool that gets constantly dumped on throughout the film, and IMHO brought a much needed amount of levity to a movie that was - at it's core - extremely dark & disturbing. I also saw Jar Jar as a "replacement" for the overall missing antics of C3-PO & R2-D2 in the film.

-Though R2 & C3PO were barely in the film together, it was funny that when they first met - C3PO was cordial, but R2 insulted him by saying he was "naked" due to not having his metal covering - LOL. This obviously set the tone for their later well-known bickering in the OT - ha ha.

-The scene when Anakin was told he was "too old" to be trained by the Jedi council was interesting (Luke was told something similar by Yoda in ESB). They didn't go into detail regarding this in the film itself, but when reading the novelization it was made clear that children who were "force sensitive" were taken from their family (with their permission, of course) by the Jedi Order when they were very small. And, this was done so that they wouldn't form "emotional attachments" with their parents/family. And, obviously - Anakin's emotional attachment to his mother is what unexpectedly & unintentionally started his downfall. This is clearly seen in Episode II - on.

-Going along with this, the selflessness/generosity that Anakin displayed here is what makes his later downfall/turn to the dark side so difficult to take/watch. This was illustrated by his inviting Qui-gon, Padme, Jar Jar, and R2-D2 (i.e., complete strangers) to ride out the sandstorm at his place. And, more importantly - his decision to put his life at risk by racing in the podrace (so Qui-gon & co. could get what they needed to leave Tattooine) was a lot more than almost anyone would have done/risked for someone they knew well - let alone a group of strangers.
 
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The Drifter

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To add to my last post re: TPM:

-The Battle Droids were obviously intentionally cheap, poorly constructed, and not difficult to defeat - by the Jedi, that is.

That being said, pitting an army of them against the Gungan forces (during the final battle) depicted how a lot of them - along with Tanks, etc. were able to soundly defeat the Gungans, who supposedly did have more intelligence/battle prowess than these Battle Droids (excluding Jar Jar's accidental & stupid luck re: destroying some of them - ha ha). I.e., I liked the progression of initially showing them as inept when fighting the Jedi....to definitely showing them as a threat when there were a huge # of them.

-At the time that TPM was released in '99, I was completely aware that Palpatine was Darth Sideous/The Emperor. This was due to the Star Wars OT novelizations. IIRC Palpatine was mentioned (by name) in the ROTJ novel (1983, James Khan) as well as some other literature. However, apparently others who saw TPM were not aware of this ATT - and actually thought that Sideous & Palpatine were two different people. Interesting, given that I thought it was obvious in the movie that they were the same person - even if you hadn't read the '80's literature confirming this.

-Darth Maul was a formidable villain. And, his devil-like appearance re: the eyes/red & black tattoos/horns was intentionally horrific.

-Great soundtrack! I remember getting the TPM CD before the film was released, and being impressed by all of the music. "Duel of the Fates" and "Augie's Municipal Band" were two of the many stand-outs.

-The CGI displayed here is impressive, especially given that this is a 25-year old film. Though the 2011 Blu print I saw was modified from the original '99 version, AFAIC the only effects that were changed were making the Yoda puppet a CGI in some scenes:

 
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ManW_TheUncool

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I recently did a re-watch of the PT on Blu. This is the first time I've seen these three films in roughly 11+ years. And, I really enjoyed TPM. I had seen it numerous times theatrically in late Summer/Fall 1999 & several times since then - but really appreciated it much more on this latest viewing:

-I didn't mind Jar Jar at all & actually thought his scenes were amusing/comic. He was the clown/fool that gets constantly dumped on throughout the film, and IMHO brought a much needed amount of levity to a movie that was - at it's core - extremely dark & disturbing. I also saw Jar Jar as a "replacement" for the overall missing antics of C3-PO & R2-D2 in the film.

I don't mind Jar Jar quite as much as back then, but as I mentioned, I did miss the first 15-20min at the marathon, so missed a good deal of his screen time.

-The scene when Anakin was told he was "too old" to be trained by the Jedi council was interesting (Luke was told something similar by Yoda in ESB). They didn't go into detail regarding this in the film itself, but when reading the novelization it was made clear that children who were "force sensitive" were taken from their family (with their permission, of course) by the Jedi Order when they were very small. And, this was done so that they wouldn't form "emotional attachments" with their parents/family. And, obviously - Anakin's emotional attachment to his mother is what unexpectedly & unintentionally started his downfall. This is clearly seen in Episode II - on.

-Going along with this, the selflessness/generosity that Anakin displayed here is what makes his later downfall/turn to the dark side so difficult to take/watch. This was illustrated by his inviting Qui-gon, Padme, Jar Jar, and R2-D2 (i.e., complete strangers) to ride out the sandstorm at his place. And, more importantly - his decision to put his life at risk by racing in the podrace (so Qui-gon & co. could get what they needed to leave Tattooine) was a lot more than almost anyone would have done/risked for someone they knew well - let alone a group of strangers.

Those made perfect sense to me and were never hard to understand/accept IMHO. And most absolutists/dictators/totalitarians that rise to power probably start out more or less that way.

_Man_
 

Sam Favate

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I don't understand the "too old" prohibition. What's the alternative? To let an extremely powerful force-sensitive person roam around free in the galaxy, where the Sith would grab him/her up? Or where they could cause trouble on their own? Lucas' rules for the Jedi didn't make a lot of sense, unless of course he's using them to show they were the cause of the Jedi's downfall -- but he had Yoda repeat the "too old" objection to Luke years later, long after the Jedi has fallen. But as presented, the Jedi are pretty much idiots.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I don't understand the "too old" prohibition. What's the alternative? To let an extremely powerful force-sensitive person roam around free in the galaxy, where the Sith would grab him/her up? Or where they could cause trouble on their own? Lucas' rules for the Jedi didn't make a lot of sense, unless of course he's using them to show they were the cause of the Jedi's downfall -- but he had Yoda repeat the "too old" objection to Luke years later, long after the Jedi has fallen. But as presented, the Jedi are pretty much idiots.

That probably made more sense during the era of the prequel trilogy since they had believed/assumed the Sith no longer existed, but yeah, wouldn't make much sense to keep after. Of course, Obi-Wan and even Yoda did make the exception and end up training Luke though... probably at least partly because of that -- Luke was, of course, also much older (unlike Anakin)... and I'm guessing Lucas probably also hadn't fully thought out the rationale for that thinking yet for ESB.

_Man_
 

Josh Steinberg

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Lucas' rules for the Jedi didn't make a lot of sense, unless of course he's using them to show they were the cause of the Jedi's downfall

I think that is actually part of the point that Lucas is conveying in the prequels. The Jedi were founded as a wise organization with a noble purpose but thousands of years of peace and harmony have led to stagnation and taking the whole thing for granted, which led to the destruction of the Jedi order and the fall of the Republic. Qui-Gon is perhaps the only Jedi at the time of the Phantom Menace who is willing and able to look beyond the strict dogma of the Jedi to consider the possibility that just because one way of doing things has worked in the past does not necessarily mean that it will always work in the future. Lucas is showing us all through the prequels that the Jedi organization as a whole is in a state of atrophy and moral decay. I think a lot of people miss this point because the original trilogy (via Ben Kenobi’s speeches) speaks to the wonder and goodness of the Jedi, so they come into the prequels with that notion of the Jedi and then challenge Lucas’ plotting choices as inconsistent and poor, when the actual point is that Lucas is showing us an organization on the verge of collapse.

Think of how easy it would have been for the Jedi to send someone back to Tattooine after Phantom Menace with some spare engine parts to barter for Shmi Skywalker’s freedom. Instead, it’s never even a consideration. For the cost of a used Chevy, the Jedi probably could have prevented Anakin from falling to the dark side. But their adherence to an ancient rule trumped addressing the situation actually in front of them. No one from the Republic or Naboo takes action either, despite the fact that Anakin saved their bacon in the battle against the trade federation, despite Padme acknowledging that slavery is illegal. It’s morally indefensible. It’s not a plot hole. It’s Lucas showing how deep the institutional decay has run.

Everything that Count Dooku says to Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones about the corruption of the republic and the blindness of the Jedi is true.

Everything that Palpatine says to Anakin in Revenge of the Sith when he is revealing his dark side leanings and telling Anakin to look beyond the narrow dogma of the Jedi is true.

One of the central themes of Star Wars, especially the prequels, is about how republics and empires and systems of governance fail, and the point Lucas is making with regards to the Jedi is that they were practicing and making decisions within a belief system that in many ways was no longer applicable to the era they were living in, and their slavish devotion to the letter of the law rather than the intent of the law is what allowed for conditions to ripen to a point where they could be overthrown.

Incidentally, that’s not quite the same thing as Yoda saying that Luke was too old to train in Empire Strikes Back. Yoda rattles that off as an excuse in a series of excuses. Yoda’s real concern was that Luke was too impulsive and impatient to be ready to receive the training and he’s prodding Luke to see what will happen when he does. But also, given that Luke runs off in the middle of his training to fall into an obvious trap, puts his friends and the entire rebellion in jeopardy, and gets his hand cut off in the process, that’s some pretty strong evidence that Yoda wasn’t wrong.
 

Sam Favate

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I agree with everything Josh said, except I do think leaving Shmi in slavery is a plot hole. It’s simply inconsistent with what we learned about these characters. Even if Obi-Wan’s hands are tied by Jedi rules (and there are always ways around the rules), there is nothing stopping Padme from sending some Naboo guards to pay off Watto for Shmi’s freedom. And if it violates the accursed Jedi rules for Shmi to see Anakin, Padme could put her up in a beautiful villa in Italy - I mean, Naboo, by the lake. Anakin would have rested easy knowing his mother was safe and well cared for, living her life in comfort. Come to think of it, I can’t believe Anakin married that ungrateful snob.
Now, maybe Palpatine’s political and mystical machinations kept Shmi in slavery so that Palpatine could use Anakin’s emotional turmoil against him, but there’s no hint of that.
 

Desslar

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I think that is actually part of the point that Lucas is conveying in the prequels. The Jedi were founded as a wise organization with a noble purpose but thousands of years of peace and harmony have led to stagnation and taking the whole thing for granted, which led to the destruction of the Jedi order and the fall of the Republic. Qui-Gon is perhaps the only Jedi at the time of the Phantom Menace who is willing and able to look beyond the strict dogma of the Jedi to consider the possibility that just because one way of doing things has worked in the past does not necessarily mean that it will always work in the future. Lucas is showing us all through the prequels that the Jedi organization as a whole is in a state of atrophy and moral decay. I think a lot of people miss this point because the original trilogy (via Ben Kenobi’s speeches) speaks to the wonder and goodness of the Jedi, so they come into the prequels with that notion of the Jedi and then challenge Lucas’ plotting choices as inconsistent and poor, when the actual point is that Lucas is showing us an organization on the verge of collapse.

Think of how easy it would have been for the Jedi to send someone back to Tattooine after Phantom Menace with some spare engine parts to barter for Shmi Skywalker’s freedom. Instead, it’s never even a consideration. For the cost of a used Chevy, the Jedi probably could have prevented Anakin from falling to the dark side. But their adherence to an ancient rule trumped addressing the situation actually in front of them. No one from the Republic or Naboo takes action either, despite the fact that Anakin saved their bacon in the battle against the trade federation, despite Padme acknowledging that slavery is illegal. It’s morally indefensible. It’s not a plot hole. It’s Lucas showing how deep the institutional decay has run.

Everything that Count Dooku says to Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones about the corruption of the republic and the blindness of the Jedi is true.

Everything that Palpatine says to Anakin in Revenge of the Sith when he is revealing his dark side leanings and telling Anakin to look beyond the narrow dogma of the Jedi is true.

One of the central themes of Star Wars, especially the prequels, is about how republics and empires and systems of governance fail, and the point Lucas is making with regards to the Jedi is that they were practicing and making decisions within a belief system that in many ways was no longer applicable to the era they were living in, and their slavish devotion to the letter of the law rather than the intent of the law is what allowed for conditions to ripen to a point where they could be overthrown.

Incidentally, that’s not quite the same thing as Yoda saying that Luke was too old to train in Empire Strikes Back. Yoda rattles that off as an excuse in a series of excuses. Yoda’s real concern was that Luke was too impulsive and impatient to be ready to receive the training and he’s prodding Luke to see what will happen when he does. But also, given that Luke runs off in the middle of his training to fall into an obvious trap, puts his friends and the entire rebellion in jeopardy, and gets his hand cut off in the process, that’s some pretty strong evidence that Yoda wasn’t wrong.
All of that discussion makes me look fondly back at A New Hope, when the Jedi were important but only one among multiple plot elements. Since the prequels they have become way too central to the storytelling for my liking.

Which I guess is a big part of the reason I have enjoyed the Mandalorian - it focuses much more on shootouts than fancy Force magic.
 

Bryan^H

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I would have loved to see a show that focused on Anakin, and Obi Wan-Jedi missions between II, and III.
Too late now.
 

Desslar

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I'd love to see a TV series based on the freewheeling exploits of Luke, Han, Chewie and Leia in the Marvel comics between New Hope and Empire - roaming the universe and getting into trouble on all manner of strange planets, plus occasionally tangling with the Empire.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I would have loved to see a show that focused on Anakin, and Obi Wan-Jedi missions between II, and III.
Too late now.

There is such a show - The Clone Wars. Seven seasons. The first six are on disc, the last season is a Disney+ exclusive (D+ has all seven seasons). The voice cast is outstanding and the series is at least as good or better than any of the live action stuff. It’s mostly but not entirely linear; sometimes they’ll do an episode going back before the war to fill in some detail. There are a lot of mini arcs with two or three part episodes that focus on different things. It all culminates in an outstanding finale that runs side by side with the events of Episode III.
 

Bryan^H

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There is such a show - The Clone Wars. Seven seasons. The first six are on disc, the last season is a Disney+ exclusive (D+ has all seven seasons). The voice cast is outstanding and the series is at least as good or better than any of the live action stuff. It’s mostly but not entirely linear; sometimes they’ll do an episode going back before the war to fill in some detail. There are a lot of mini arcs with two or three part episodes that focus on different things. It all culminates in an outstanding finale that runs side by side with the events of Episode III.
A friend of mine was very into that series, but I guess it is a different show than what I assumed it was going by his (brief) summary. I will watch it sometime this year
 

Josh Steinberg

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A friend of mine was very into that series, but I guess it is a different show than what I assumed it was going by his (brief) summary. I will watch it sometime this year

Please report back when you start it, I’d be glad to geek out over it again! :)
 

Desslar

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A friend of mine was very into that series, but I guess it is a different show than what I assumed it was going by his (brief) summary. I will watch it sometime this year
Your friend may have been talking about the original 2D animated Clone Wars series, which is quite brief and has no dialogue as I recall. It is also interesting but mostly just action set pieces.
 

Josh Steinberg

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That’s not exactly accurate. The 2D series was comprised of 20 four-minute “micro” episodes followed by 5 twenty-minute longer episodes and they did have dialogue and a plot, serving to bridge Episodes II and III, showing how Anakin went from apprentice to Jedi knight and showing how Palpatine was kidnapped (which leads to the opening sequence of Episode III). It was de-canonized when Lucas put the CGI animated series of the same name into production but it’s still an exciting couple of hours.
 

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