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The Phantom Menace vs. The Force Awakens


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The Phantom Menace vs. The Force Awakens   

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  1. 1. Which John Williams score do you like better?

    • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
      43
    • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
      19


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I listened to the TPM OST last night for the first time in years. The mix of cues is so jarring! Tracks jump all over the place chronologically, proving more distracting than anything (especially if you're familiar with the film score).

 

I much prefer his newfound appreciation for linear, chronological presentations, where you can follow the thematic development in its rightful order.

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The whole battle on the volcano planet is poorly conceived and badly executed. Hayden Christianson opens mouth humanity cringes.

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The Mustafar duel would likely be my favorite duel in the saga, if it weren't so bloody overlong. The conclusion of the fight, though, with Obi-Wan's "You were my brother" speech, is actually one of the more poignant moments in the film.

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3 hours ago, JohnSolo said:

The Mustafar duel would likely be my favorite duel in the saga, if it weren't so bloody overlong. The conclusion of the fight, though, with Obi-Wan's "You were my brother" speech, is actually one of the more poignant moments in the film.

It was stupid. It was just sums up everything that is wrong with the prequels. Only a fool fights in a burning house. Stay tuned it gets worse. NOOOoooo. Play the inappropriate but real Star Wars (none of the new hope shit) music.

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12 minutes ago, JoeinAR said:

It was stupid. It was just sums up everything that is wrong with the prequels. Only a fool fights in a burning house. Stay tuned it gets worse. NOOOoooo. Play the inappropriate but real Star Wars (none of the new hope shit) music.

 

Eh, no. The Mustafar duel is fine; overlong and slow at times, but often thrilling and ultimately satisfying, with an emotional conclusion. If you're looking for a scene that sums up all the faults of the prequels into one scene, look no further than the "sand dialogue" in AOTC.

 

Are you a child? I assume as such because literally the only content you've posted today are angry rants and harsh replies to those that have differing opinions than you. Lighten up.

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2 hours ago, JoeinAR said:

It was stupid. It was just sums up everything that is wrong with the prequels. Only a fool fights in a burning house. Stay tuned it gets worse. NOOOoooo. Play the inappropriate but real Star Wars (none of the new hope shit) music.

Just hating all the day! Give me one thing you liked about the prequels.

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7 hours ago, JohnSolo said:

Eh, no. The Mustafar duel is fine; overlong and slow at times, but often thrilling and ultimately satisfying, with an emotional conclusion.

 

It has the ingredients of a good action scene because it utilizes the environment of the battle. But for me its a bit convoluted and overlong. It's over-choreographed to the point that it robs it of its intensity. There's a moment where both combatants twirl their sabers with hitting one another where you realize it's all about making the fighting looking cool. In that sense, I do like the battle in The Force Awakens better because they just use their light sabers to deliver BLOWS. It feels more driven by anger and there's a true desire to kill behind each blow.

 

Also in Revenge of the Sith, there isn't dialogue throughout, and the way that the duel is won is both anticlimactic and undermines the supposed power of Darth Vader, and both those issues are also true of the duel in The Force Awakens: throughout seven films, lightsabers have been shown to be pretty deadly. But Kylo takes a couple of hits (and a shot from Chewbacca's blaster for good measure) to little effect. That Rey is stand her ground and than turn around to defeat him, and that even Finn can sneak a blow at him, does undermine his prowess.

 

The Force Awakens also has nothing that comes even close to that "you were the chosen one!" monologue in terms of emotion. Nor does the Music!

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4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

...throughout seven films, lightsabers have been shown to be pretty deadly. But Kylo takes a couple of hits (and a shot from Chewbacca's blaster for good measure) to little effect. That Rey is stand her ground and than turn around to defeat him, and that even Finn can sneak a blow at him, does undermine his prowess.

 

I don't quite get what you mean here. The entire reason he lost the duel was from physical injury and exhaustion. Also, the fact that he has literally just killed his father and was likely a mental wreck probably contributed to his defeat. It's not like he's a fully trained Sith lord like Vader; he's a scarred, psychologically conflicted adolescent who worships his grandfather; he's not exactly the most stable or consistent person.

 

4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

The Force Awakens also has nothing that comes even close to that "you were the chosen one!" monologue in terms of emotion. Nor does the Music!

 

Eh, I wouldn't go quite so far as to say that. The scene is poignant, yes, but it's still somewhat cheesy; Christensen's acting is as amateur as ever, and McGregor's acting isn't quite as stiff as earlier in the film, but it could've been better. Han Solo's death (I get the fact you aren't a fan of the execution of the scene, but it's still an emotional moment) is a far more well-acted and poignant scene, with better dialogue. The music in both respective scenes is sublime, though.

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Han Solo's death isn't poignant. It plays more to illustrate Ren's ruthlessness than the tragedy that is at hand. I like that moment in Revenge of the Sith much better.

 

As for Kylo being exhausted and previously injured - yes, that's right. Although to be fair, it isn't appearant in the way he fights with Rey. And again, that he survives all the blows (not to mention the planet rupturing under him) is unblieveable to me. When I first saw the movie, I almost thought he died.

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4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Han Solo's death isn't poignant. It plays more to illustrate Ren's ruthlessness than the tragedy that is at hand. I like that moment in Revenge of the Sith much better.

 

Well, that's entirely subjective. I thought it was a fitting and emotional sendoff for Han's character. You have your opinion, and I'll have mine. Varied points of view are what make the world go round. Or maybe that's got something to do with the sun...

 

4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

As for Kylo being exhausted and previously injured - yes, that's right. Although to be fair, it isn't appearant in the way he fights with Rey. And again, that he survives all the blows (not to mention the planet rupturing under him) is unblieveable to me. When I first saw the movie, I almost thought he died.

 

I thought it was quite apparent. When Finn is struck down and it's Rey's turn at bat, Kylo's exhaustion is even more apparent, with his desperate blows and swings, and it's clear that she physically wears him down until he's incapacitated. And I really don't believe any of the wounds he received in the film, other than Chewie's seemingly lethal shot at his side, were necessarily life-threatening.

 

I agree with the fact that the spontaneous fissure ex machina is unbelievable, but let's face it, Star Wars basically runs on ex machinas and timely coincidences.

 

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On ‎10‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 6:14 PM, JohnSolo said:

The Mustafar duel would likely be my favorite duel in the saga, if it weren't so bloody overlong. The conclusion of the fight, though, with Obi-Wan's "You were my brother" speech, is actually one of the more poignant moments in the film.

 

You can thank Ewan McGregor for that.  The rest of it is an overly staged hodgepodge of boring mini-battles riddled with weird dialogue moments like "From my point of view the Jedi are evil" and "I have the high ground".  For me, ROTS probably has two of the least interesting and ineffective duels in the series, the aforementioned Mustafar one, and the Grievous one.

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The Grievous duel is okay, despite a curious and horribly misframed close up of McGregor's eyes.

 

The duel between Palpatine and Windu suffers from Ian McDiarmid's lack of skill with lightsaber stuntwork. Although to be fair, the same is true of Sir Alec Guiness in the original Star Wars. The duel between him and Yoda is better, as is Anakin's duel with Dooku.

 

Its a good Star Wars movie. I like it!

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The Emperor/Yoda duel in the senate hall is by far the worst duel in the saga. Entirely tensionless. Everything feels weightless and artificial, and in the end, it just cheapens the characters of Palpatine and Yoda. Even in AOTC, with the corny, over-the-top duel between Dooku and Yoda, there was, at the very most, the faintest semblance of elegance in the way they fought. There's nothing like that in this duel. All you have are these two bizarre figures doing flips and throwing things at each other.

 

Pure, unfiltered cheesiness.

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And even then, these are probably the two most powerful Force users of the generation, and the best they can do is throw two seats at each other while visibly struggling with them? And Palpie doesn't see Yoda spinning one of them for half a minute and only notices it when it's right in front of his nose. And Yoda gives up and goes into exile immediately when he falls down once. Right. I always picture them trashing the whole room when I listen to the score, a big sweeping rotating shot from above when Duel of the Fates really kicks in, in which those seats just fly around all over the place, lightning jumps back and forth, stuff like that.

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I think the best duels are clearly in the New Trilogy. They aren't (and probably won't) be as cheesy and artificial and as in the Prequel Trilogy, but they are also heavier and better choreographed than in the Original Trilogy.

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Yeah, I'm hopeful, not just with duels but in general, that the ST will combine the awesome worlds, spiritual exploration, etc. of the PT with the more well-liked characters from the OT (plus add in the great CGI of RO). I'm pretty hopeful given what we've heard about TLJ so far. 

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13 hours ago, JohnSolo said:

The Emperor/Yoda duel in the senate hall is by far the worst duel in the saga. Entirely tensionless. Everything feels weightless and artificial, and in the end, it just cheapens the characters of Palpatine and Yoda. Even in AOTC, with the corny, over-the-top duel between Dooku and Yoda, there was, at the very most, the faintest semblance of elegance in the way they fought. There's nothing like that in this duel. All you have are these two bizarre figures doing flips and throwing things at each other.

 

Pure, unfiltered cheesiness.

No, diddley-do. That was a duel I was waiting to see and I loved how careless Palpatine had become; the whole duel was a laugh for him and then to see Yoda fall as he cackles in the background was splendid! It was the revenge of the Sith!

 

 

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Yeah. I think Yoda has a bit more weight in the fight. Its much more physical in terms of Yoda getting bashed and it does a good service to the character of Palpatine by having him defeat Yoda. The fight uses the environment (one of the oldest rules in the book) effectively, and it is much more based on The Force than on lightsabers, which is more fitting to those characters. And, unlike, the duel with Anakin, its concise.

 

I'm not going to argue that its particularly good cinema, but once you move from the confines of three movies into six (or nine, in retrospect) you'd want to see the character of Yoda in a confrontation, and this does deliver to some degree. It sure is better than anything in Attack of the Clones, although that's a low bar to clear.

 

I like that the duel, like the entire back-half of the movie (good structure!) shows how Palpatine relishes in how evil he is. He is by far the character that "owns" the movie.

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9 hours ago, Will said:

Yeah, I'm hopeful, not just with duels but in general, that the ST will combine the awesome worlds, spiritual exploration, etc. of the PT with the more well-liked characters from the OT (plus add in the great CGI of RO). I'm pretty hopeful given what we've heard about TLJ so far. 

 

Spiritual exploration?  In the prequels?  It seemed to me that Lucas couldn't have been less interested in the actual Force in those movies.  He was much more interested in the Jedi as some kind of Catholic Church analog as an organization and class system, not with actually exploring its spiritual implications.  This is an area where the Disney films have been much more interesting actually.

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This has nothing to do with liking or not liking them.  I'm not saying his approach wasn't interesting, but I don't think he was actually interested in the Force in those movies.  Lip service at best.  He was more interested in the Jedi as some kind of theocratic wing of the government.

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Well, the prequels introduced the cosmic/living Force distinction, had some more in-depth exploration of the role of attachment in leading to bad outcomes, and introduced the Whills (although I can't remember if that mention is in the film or just the script). 

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I'm going by what's in the movies only, not any ancillary products (because I don't see them).  I guess what I'm saying I think it's cool that the Disney movies so far have made a point of showing what the existence of something like the Force would mean to everyday lives.  With believers, nonbelievers, cultists, force sensitives, etc.  It was the most interesting part of Rogue One actually.  Showing people who believe in the Force like a religion without being actual Force "users."

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7 minutes ago, Will said:

Well, the prequels introduced the cosmic/living Force distinction, had some more in-depth exploration of the role of attachment in leading to bad outcomes.

 

That they did.

 

Too bad its horse-excrement...

 

How is a western audience supposed to relate to Yoda's advice to Anakin on the matter when all he essentially tells him about his visions is "oh, well. That's too bad."

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1 minute ago, Disco Stu said:

I'm going by what's in the movies only, not any ancillary products (because I don't see them).  I guess what I'm saying I think it's cool that the Disney movies so far have made a point of showing what the existence of something like the Force would mean to everyday lives.  With believers, nonbelievers, cultists, force sensitives, etc.  It was the most interesting part of Rogue One actually.  Showing people who believe in the Force like a religion without being actual Force "users."

 

Yep, I'd say that was my favorite part as well. 

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I don't know how much of the actual film does this permeate, and how much of it is the marketing making us think that's what the movie's centerpiece is about. I think Rian Johnson said (in response to some of the buzz of the first trailer) that he isn't going to dig too deep into the concept of The Force.

 

Spirituality in films like this is always a very fine line to tread. Done wrong and it will be just demystifying.

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I'm not explaining myself well (as usual).  I'm more interested in its implications with the characters' spiritual/inner lives, not in ideas of what the Force actually is or its origins, etc.  In the prequels they spent minimal time exploring this.  The Force was just something that was kind of there most of the time.  An excuse for cool special effects and a plot device when Anakin needed to have a vision.

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Hmmm, depends on what you mean by drama?  All these movies are dramas in the sense that it's just a synonym for story.  I want rich, interesting characters.  Something I think the newer movies have provided and the prequels did not.  One way to build rich, interesting characters is to give the audience a sense of their inner lives.  I think the existence of something like the Force would have huge implications for the minds of the people who live in that universe.  For how they think.  That's what spirituality is, a way of thinking.

 

So yeah I'm more interested in that than the "world building" of just inventing new canon for what the Force is.  It would just be more demystifying bullcrap like midichlorians anyway.

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What you're looking for isn't so much characters as much as it character development: The idea that a character evolves and undergoes a certain personality change throughout the ordeal that is the story of the film. The growth of the character evokes a sense of gratification in the audience. The greater the change - the bigger the arc.

 

Rey, for instance, overcomes a certain insecurity that has to do with her abandoment on Jakku and this idea of her insistence on returning to that place.

 

Spirituality in Star Wars is achieved when the characters' arcs are informed by the rules of the universe, namely the concept of The Force.

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2 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

What you're looking for isn't so much characters as much as it character development:

 

This is beyond splitting a hair.  Yes of course part of building interesting characters is having them develop/change.

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Hey, I'm an academic. Splitting hairs is what I do. ;)

 

But the point that I'm getting at is that films aren't just about "likeable characters". Its about what avenues does the plot of the film push them into, emotionally.

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