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Star Wars Prequels Editorial Media Movies

Can Star Wars Episode III Be Saved? 905

Posted by michael
from the nope dept.
mcwop writes "MSNBC is running a commentary asking: 'Can "Star Wars: Episode III" be saved?' It proposes changes such as ripping off Akira Kurosawa, getting the otherwise good actors to emote, and even firing Lucas. It is one year away, but is it too late to save Episode III?"
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Can Star Wars Episode III Be Saved?

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  • no. (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrpuffypants (444598) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [stnapyffuprm]> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:46AM (#9204542)
    no.
    • by xeeno (313431) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:49AM (#9204600) Homepage
      If you save episode 3, you lose the result of finally driving a nail into the star wars franchise.

      Think of it: one good move after at least 3 crappy sequels. Statistically, if you encourage this jackass to keep on making movies 75% will be shit.

      Please. Let it die.

    • Re:no. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eviloverlordx (99809) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:56AM (#9204706)
      The question "Can Episode III be saved?" begs the question of whether it needs to be saved in the first place. People can be amazingly blind to the fact that the first three movies were not stunning pieces of filmmaking in the first place, and that Lucas really hasn't changed the formula for the prequels. Are there things that could have been done better in the prequels? Certainly, but the same could be said for the original trilogy, too. I've seen all five movies multiple times in theaters, and not once have I felt like I wasted my money. I also never felt like I saw a masterpiece, just a series of enjoyable movies.

      Just your friendly, neighborhood Dark Lord of the Sith
      • Re:no. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nick of NSTime (597712) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:20AM (#9205047)
        Empire Strikes Back was directed by Irvin Kershner and written Leigh Brackett (a master of pulp SF and Ray Bradbury's mentor) and Lawrence Kasdan. Some would argue that it is the best movie sequels ever made.
        • Re:no. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by slackerboy (73121) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @12:23PM (#9205929)
          Randal: Which did you like better? Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back?
          Dante: Empire.
          Randal: Blasphemy.
          Dante: Empire had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father. Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets.

      • Re:no. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Fouquet (753286) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:54AM (#9205494)
        the fact that the first three movies were not stunning pieces of filmmaking in the first place

        This is certainly true. And I have no complaints about the plot lines/story of Ep I & II. (except maybe Jarjar). My problem with the new episodes is the dialoge. The original episodes were so great because of all of the one liners. No matter how many times I hear 'I've got a bad feeling about this' and 'Look at the size of that thing', they are still hillarious. The dialog in Ep II was more like something out of a cheezy romance novel or a drama movie, and that was why they sucked. Lucas just needs to keep each line to 10 words or less!

  • A bright future (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:46AM (#9204546) Homepage Journal
    I see a bright future for the Star Wars prequels. Unfortunately, it's a more distant future than one year away.

    Wait 20 years or so. The original trilogy will continue to be seen as a seminal work, and the "prequels" as a bastardized ripoff. Eventually, Lucas will die, or otherwise give up the franchise (maybe Michael Jackson can trade his Beatles songs [straightdope.com] for it).

    Then, finally, someone can remake parts I through III the way they should have been done in the first place. No midchlorians, no virgin birth, no Jar Jar. Special effects that compliment the story, instead of overshadowing it.

    Some future screenwriter and director will have the opportunity to give us back the thrill we had in the '70s, when we saw the original Star Wars in a non-multiplex theater, and were in awe. We who were preteens will be in our 50s... it won't be too late.

    Something to look forward to! Just not in 2005.
    • re: a bright future (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ed.han (444783) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:52AM (#9204647) Journal
      i know i'm gonna get flamed for this but actually, jar-jar is absolutely necessary to the story as it exists: nobody else is stupid enough to be palpatine's tool by suggesting giving palpatine emergency powers. w/out jar-jar, there's no emergency powers and hence, no clone wars. i happen to resent it, but that's the way i think it shakes out.

      otherwise though, that's an interesting idea. of course, there's a bit of me that wishes i could see a kevin smith treatment of ep 3, considering he's a big SW fanboy.

      ed
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:58AM (#9204731)
        nobody else is stupid enough to be palpatine's tool by suggesting giving palpatine emergency powers
        Any random functionary can fill in this role. In fact, it's a better story if you show how someone who's normally quite sensible can be scared into granting a government ridiculous "emergency powers" due to a nebulous threat. It certainly happens all the time in Real Life.
      • by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:03AM (#9204814) Homepage Journal
        i know i'm gonna get flamed for this but actually, jar-jar is absolutely necessary to the story as it exists: nobody else is stupid enough to be palpatine's tool by suggesting giving palpatine emergency powers. w/out jar-jar, there's no emergency powers and hence, no clone wars. i happen to resent it, but that's the way i think it shakes out.

        I saw that, and realized that there was a reason why Lucas made Jar Jar the Uncle Tom of the SW franchise for a reason after all. But it still boils down to poor writing and a lack of imagination (where "imagination" != "special effects"). If the plot was so transparent that only Jar Jar could fall for it, what of the other thousands of supposedly intelligent members of the Senate?

        A good writer would have found a way to make Palpatine's plot more devious, more plausible... so inescapable that even Padme would have to agree to it. There are plenty of examples to draw on from recent American history, from McCarthyism to the present.

        It didn't take a Jar Jar character in the US Senate when it voted to give Bush the power to wage war -- just incontrovertable "facts" that weren't what they seemed. The Imperial Senate didn't require a fool to lead them astray -- all it would take would have been a well-meaning but fundamentally flawed desire to do right.
      • Re: a bright future (Score:5, Informative)

        by pardey (568849) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:18AM (#9205021)
        From William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich:
        On August 19, 1934, 95% of the Germans who were registered to vote went to the polls and 90% (38 million) of adult German citizens voted to give Adolf Hitler complete and total authority to rule Germany as he saw fit. Only 4.25 million Germans voted against this transfer of power to a totalitarian regime.
        I got this from ESR's web site: Why I Am An Anarchist [catb.org].

        Of course, that doesn't mean that the average moviegoing American would find such a vote in the Galactic Senate plausible, which says much about our instinctive understanding of human nature and history. Also, we wouldn't want the "good guys" to do anything that would help the "bad guys" now would we? That would just confuse everyone.
        • Re: a bright future (Score:4, Informative)

          by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @12:22PM (#9205921) Homepage Journal
          But by 1934, Germany was already a totalitarian state, and Hitler had already shown that he crushed his enemies rapidly and ruthlessly. They 1934 election result is wholly and entirely untrustworthy. Prior to the terror, in the last free elections (1933), only about 1/3rd of the electorate voted for Hitler, and he was Hindenburg's anointed succesor running on a moderate ticket (at least in comparison to '34) albeit one filled with crude and vile anti-semitism.
      • Re: a bright future (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Progman3K (515744) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @12:02PM (#9205592)
        Jar-Jar is necessary, because he's Annakin's best-friend.

        Annakin's journey to the dark side (and consequently his fate) will be complete/sealed only when he kills Jar-Jar, which is why Jar-Jar IS.

        Just fighting with his mentor (Kenobi) is not enough.

        He has to betray love, and what better way to do that than to kill your best friend?
    • what?!

      If you put the original starwars movies under the same microscope, it sucks just as much as eps 1 and 2 did. if you look at the movies with a child's eye, then eps 1 and 2 look daaaamn good.

      Hell, when I was 6 I thought Howard the Duck was a good movie too.
      • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:02AM (#9204804)


        > -- "I'm no actor, but I'm crass enough to scam my way into a movie every now and then." - Henry Rollins

        Your sig gives me a great idea! Why not take the article's suggestion of dropping Hayden Christiansen and replacing him... with Henry Rollins! Wouldn't that be awesome?! Lava-surfing saber battles? Hell no! Serious man-on-man pummeling! A pre-armor Vader the size of a Volkswagen stomping around in gym shorts like some heavily-tattooed punk-rock Hulk would absolutely beat the living *crap* out of what we had before! And the first time someone calls him "Annie" he could just head-butt them and start screaming into... erm... some sort of space microphone or something.

        That would rule.

      • by Kenja (541830) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:13AM (#9204949)
        To quote Spaced.

        Jar Jar makes the Ewoks look like fucken Shaft!

    • Re:A bright future (Score:4, Informative)

      by plopez (54068) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:57AM (#9204723) Journal
      don't forget, copyrights don't expire until 70 years after the author's death. You may have to wait a lllloooonnnggg time before anyone has clearance to do a remake.

      Just another example of how copyrights can incentivize dead people to leverage creativity
      for value added customer delight (or something like that...)
    • Re:A bright future (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Wylfing (144940) <brian@wyGAUSSlfing.net minus math_god> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:07AM (#9204875) Homepage Journal
      when we saw the original Star Wars in a non-multiplex theater, and were in awe

      Maybe a bit overstated. Even as a 10-year-old I felt embarassed by the flat, corny dialogue in some parts of #4, especially when Han says to Luke "May the Force be with you." You can tell that Harrison feels like a goon saying that line.

      Now that's not to say the Star Wars universe isn't great. I rarely had so much fun as playing SW-KotOR, and much of it was because it was just so cool walking around on Tatooine.

    • by GuyMannDude (574364) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:14AM (#9204965) Journal

      Lucas will never allow anyone to do anything with Star Wars. In fact, his best buddy Steven Spielberg has already spoken about this [bbc.co.uk]. Lucas feels that the Star Wars saga will be his legacy and he doesn't want anyone messing with it. Spielberg practially begged Lucas for a chance to direct a Star Wars film and Lucas said no. So I can't see Lucas willingly giving up control to anyone. And with the new copyright laws, his family will be able to control Star Wars indefinitely. So you can forget about a Star Wars film ever being made by anyone with talent.

      GMD

  • Simple answer: no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gothmolly (148874) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:46AM (#9204552)
    It can't be saved, because it is exactly what people demand. American culture makes this movie inevitably what it will be. Does this condemn Lucas, or the low standards of the viewing consumer?
    • by greymond (539980) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:49AM (#9204605) Homepage Journal
      "it is exactly what people demand"
      - only those younger than 10 years old could ever appreciate Jar Jar Binks....I don't think he was demanded at all.

      "American culture makes this movie inevitably what it will be"
      - In that everyone who enjoyed episodes 4-7, hates episodes 1-3? ok, but I don't see how thats "American Culture's" fault....it's more like Lucas's fault for writing and directing 3 shitty movies made for kids(kids=10yrs and younger)
    • by mrtroy (640746) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:51AM (#9204637)
      everyone said that episode I and II were not as good as they had hoped.

      AFTER they went to the theatre to see the movie and bought the DVD and the special DVD with 5 seconds of extra footage.

      Yes, it is too late, because a boycott of episode II after episode I's horrible blunder would have possibly saved the third movie, because they listen to box office sales, not slashdot.

      But if they make a movie that as many people as possible can go to, and sell a lot of tickets, they make a lot of money. And episode I and II made a lot of money.
    • by TwistedGreen (80055) <twistedgreen@gmaiAUDENl.com minus poet> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:02AM (#9204791)
      No, it's definitely Lucas. If you look at movies that he's worked on--Indiana Jones, the original and special edition Star Wars--he really seems to have a thing for 'kids movies.' "The Temple of Doom," for example, was a terrible movie and the worst of the three Indiana Jones movies. It was also the one in which Lucas was most involved. He seems to have a penchant for making terrible kids movies, and I think it's just getting worse with age.

      With the original Star Wars trilogy, he was limited by technology... but now, he can throw whatever he wants into a movie to fulfill his 'vision.' If the special edition 'improvements' he added to the original trilogy were really making Star Wars into what he wanted it to be thirty years ago, you can see that trend: adding useless scenes with robot antics, Han stepping on Jabba's tail, and loads of other childish slapstick crap like that. The best he could do thirty years ago with Ewoks.

      In conclusion, any guy who dreams up Jar-Jar Binks is obviously nuts. You can't blame market pressure for a guy who seems to get off on terrible kids movies.
  • Yoda (Score:5, Funny)

    by KeyboardMonkey (744594) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:47AM (#9204562)
    Save or save not. There is no try!
  • Does Lucas Know? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paulrothrock (685079) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:48AM (#9204569) Homepage Journal
    Does Lucas know how people feel? Does he listen to the criticism? Does he realize it is hurting his reputation as a filmmaker? Is that his real neck or did he get implants? Am I asking too many questions???
    • Re:Does Lucas Know? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kainaw (676073) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:56AM (#9204702) Homepage Journal
      Does Lucas know how people feel? Does he listen to the criticism?


      I know that there will be 100 posts saying this exact same thing by the time I click the submit button, but to answer your questions: Yes and No. He does know how people feel. He doesn't live in a little bubble in the Arizona desert. He may even read Slashdot while hiding under the identity of Paul Rothrock. But, in the end, Star Wars is not about the movies. It isn't about the story. The Start Wars books are far more interesting story-wise than the movies. It is about the marketing. If you go way back to A New Hope and read the behind-the-scenes stuff that went on to get the movie made, you can see that Lucas was keen on marketing. Everything else was just a hobby.
    • by Skyshadow (508) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:58AM (#9204725) Homepage
      He knows -- I remember reading after Ep. 1 that he sent around a memo acknowledging that they'd hurt the series with that steaming load of crapola and that they needed to do better with Ep. 2.

      Well, Ep. 2 *was* better, but I think it also demonstrated that Lucas doesn't really understand the basis of his problems. He chalked it up to criminally bad ideas like Jar Jar and fixed those, but then went right back to his usual technique of crappy dialog and lousy direction.

      What really needs to happen is at least part of what the article suggests -- the movie needs a talented director (aka, not Lucas). I'm not sure that Lucas' ego will let him do that; he's spent too many years basking in the praise of the original trilogy.

      It won't happen. Frankly, I'm more keyed to see the next Harry Potter movie than Star Wars Ep 3 at this point, and that's a sad, sad thing to say about a new Star Wars movie.

      • Re:Does Lucas Know? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by F34nor (321515) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:15AM (#9204982)
        Ep. 2 WASN'T better, it was object oriented programming. He used the drag and drop approach to build a mediocrity.

        Once again no one on Slashdot is talking about the truth of the situation. Lukas is getting you to pay for a paradigm shift to digital movie making. All he needs is for the movie to be good enough to cover costs. He could probably write off the cost as R&D anyway because that's what he's doing. He is doing a proof of concept for all digital filmmaking. He is not telling a story, He is not making a movie, and he is definitely not making art of any kind.
    • by GuyMannDude (574364) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:20AM (#9205043) Journal

      Oh, Lucas knows that people don't like what he's done. The problem is that he thinks they are all wrong and doesn't want to hear it. In fact, CNN was refused access to Attack of the Clones based on a Connie Chung interview where she told Lucas that most people thought TPM was a disappointment [tvweek.com]. If you're going to kick the media off your property and deny them access to a major news story just because they suggested that the film didn't live up to expectations, I don't think you can honestly claim that you're open to criticism.

      As far as his "reputation as a filmmaker", I think Lucas must realize now that he really isn't a filmmaker. He knows that Star Wars will be his legacy. So he really doesn't care about looking like some kind of great director because he knows he'll never direct again. That's probably one reason he's so possessive of the films -- he knows this is the last movie he'll ever direct.

      GMD

  • by Moderation abuser (184013) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:48AM (#9204580)
    I.e. to cash in on the success of the original series. It doesn't have to be *good* to do that. It only has to have "Star Wars" in the title.

    It'll serve it's purpose. Unless you are planning not to bother going to see it, which as geeks and nerds, I frankly don't believe.

  • by stephenisu (580105) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:49AM (#9204587)
    Killing off Jar-Jar in the supossed lightsaber duel while surfing on lava scene would help.

    Makes sure it's a slow painful death with lots of burning from the lava. Tape his mouth shut too, so I don't need to hear his stupid voice. I say R2D2 should be the one that "accidentily" pushes him in. Cuz R2 is the comic relief pimp.
  • by Sideshow Coward (732864) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:49AM (#9204597)
    Well, call me crazy, but how can surfing on lava not save a movie? Is there a better way short of two car chases in a single movie?
  • by Admiral1973 (623214) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:49AM (#9204604) Homepage
    ...there's always the hope that George Lucas will let someone else make more films in the saga. If he insists on making more himself, he could do worse than to rip off Kurosawa. He already did it with Hidden Fortress for the original Star Wars. I just saw The Seven Samurai, and I think that a remake of it, with Jedi instead of the samurai, could be a big hit. Toss in a space battle and some Sith lords instead of the bandits, and you've got yourself a box office winner.

    • by jbs0902 (566885) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:27AM (#9205138)
      Star Wars is barely related to the Hidden Fortress.

      Hidden Fortress:
      Two peasant farmers are refugees, trying to return home after a war. They find gold, and join with a mysterious powerful-looking man and a mysterious beautiful girl. Together they attempt to smuggle the gold across the border and evade capture.

      Star Wars:
      Farmboy Luke Skywalker finds more than he bargained for when he gains possession of two androids, who lead him on the adventure of his life to save a beautiful princess, befriend a devil-may-care space smuggler, and save the galaxy from the evil clutches of Darth Vader. Tutored by the mysterious Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke must "Learn the ways of the Force" and destroy the Death Star.

      Key differences:
      There is a powerful virile General (Mifune) in HF. In SW you have an aged magician (Kenobi) and an untrained boy (Luke).
      In HF the princess is on the run to an allied province. In SW, the princess is captured and must be rescued.
      In HF, the whole point is to get the princess safely to the allied province. In SW, the whole point is to blow up the Death Star.
      SW has super powers (The Force). In HF, everyone is obvious merely human.
      SW is a much more action oriented affair. HF is based more upon the interaction between the characters.

      Similarities:
      There is a princess in both.
      There is a comic relief duo in both. SW, the droids. HF, the peasant farmers.

      I know Lucas wants to compare himself to Kurosawa but he really copied 30s movie serials, not Hidden Fortress. About the only thing he took from HF is the comedy duo.

      Also, Hidden Fortress really isn't Kurosawa's best work. Rashômon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and even Ran are far surperior to Hidden Fortress. However, they are much better known and Lucas wouldn't have been able to get away with claiming ripping them off.
  • WTF? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) <xanadu.inorbit@com> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:50AM (#9204615) Homepage Journal
    OK, OK. Ep 1 blew fairly large chunks (it was 90% eye candy and 10% story). Ep2 was rather enjoyable (if you track past eh Padame/Anakin love scenes and the Droid Factory).

    Mr. Lucas had this story in his head MANY moons ago. Why in the hell should he not finish his vision?

    Disclaimer: Yes, ok, I have high hopes for ep3 even after the mess that 1 and 2 were...
  • YES (Score:5, Funny)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:50AM (#9204617)
    Make it a musical! Use a lot of trendy pop-culture jokes and cliched music. Obi-Wan and Anakin surfing during the lightsaber battle is brilliant! BRILLIANT!

  • by Mad Man (166674) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:51AM (#9204631)
    Like Battlestar Galactica [slashdot.org], somebody will eventually re-make Star Wars a few decades from now.

    In the new version, Luke Skywalker will be a woman...

  • Saving Ep. 3 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow (508) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:51AM (#9204634) Homepage
    The story's pretty much a rehash of what we've all been saying since we were walking out of Episode 1, but it's funny and hard to argue with. This in particular brought a smile to my face:

    When Lucas shows up, knock him out, encase him in a block of frozen carbonite and put him out of the way somewhere until the movie is out in theaters.

    The only problem being, of course, that you shouldn't let him out after Ep. 3 lest he decide to somehow sully my other fond childhood memories, perhaps by stealing my box of photos and defecating in it.

    Anyhow, the article addresses the basic irony of Star Wars: That the guy who created it has also done the most the drive it into the ground, and that success has allowed him to do so more completely than ever. We all knew going in that Lucas can't direct, he can't write dialog, and yet here we go again...

    Personally, I just thank God that this decade has had the LOTR trilogy to call its own. It was what we were hoping the new Star Wars movies would be.

  • by The Good Reverend (84440) <michael@m i c h r i s .com> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:52AM (#9204638) Homepage Journal
    Note to everyone not named "George Lucus": Star Wars isn't yours. Yes, I know you're a fan. Yes, I know you grew up with these films. But it's a few pieces of entertainment, and the brainchild of another person.

    I'm sorry you viewed the first films through the rose-tinted glasses of youth, and are unable to view the latest three in the same way. Feel free to bitch and moan about how it's not up to some mythical "standard" you create, but it comes down to it being Lucus' movie, and he can do as he pleases.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @12:18PM (#9205843) Homepage

      Every artist, writer, filmmaker, whatever- has to deal with the fact that once they make their work public, it isn't all theirs anymore. By showing it to others, they've sent it out into the world and given it a life of it's own. At that point, the creator can't control my thoughts about the work, and they can't collect royalties on my recollections. The work becomes, subtly, yours, mine, and everyone who sees it.

      That's why we have public domain- because we recognize that, although the creator should be rewarded for their talents, at a certain point, the co-ownership of everyone takes precedence.

      That's also why you get offended when someone dislikes a movie you love, because they're knocking something that belongs to you. Or, sometimes, when some idiot likes the same movie or song as you do, it can get a little offensive to think that they like it for all the wrong reasons. Not only are you being forced to share ownership, but share it with someone who continuously damages it.

      No, this isn't ownership in a legal sense. I can't sue anyone over this. Still, I can think of a lot of great works that I didn't create that I think of as "mine".

      If Lucas, or any creative-type, can't deal with this fact, he can go ahead creating, but he should stop releasing the creation to the public and allowing others to view it. It's just the nature of the beast.

  • by faust13 (535994) <`gro.tsrifstoohsnah' `ta' `tcatnoc'> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:52AM (#9204640) Homepage
    As always, please remember to sign the petition for the release of the theatrical version on DVD here: http://www.hanshootsfirst.org [hanshootsfirst.org]
  • bah (Score:3, Funny)

    by tubbtubb (781286) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:52AM (#9204642)
    Maybe if they removed the surfing scene, or deleted Poochie altogether, everything would be okay.

    (Note: Poochie died on the way back to his home planet)
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TaxSlave (23295) <lockjaw&lockjawslair,com> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:57AM (#9204713) Homepage Journal

    I'll go see Episode III for the same reasons I went to see Episodes I and II. It's there. It's more Star Wars. It's a decent enough story, but deep down it's just schlock.

    Face it. Episode IV is just a good schlocky Sci-Fi Fantasy that was both fantastic and familiar.

    I hated the ewoks about as much as I hate Jar-Jar. It was just cutesy, kiddy crap added to appeal to the younger audience. I tried not to let it destroy the fun of having more Star Wars.

    If Episode I was the best Lucas wanted to give us, then that's what I'll take. Episode II was a vast improvement, and I expect Episode III will be good enough for me.

    In the meantime, if I want to watch something with real quality, that isn't schlock, I'll watch LOTR.

  • nope dept? (Score:3, Funny)

    by aardwolf204 (630780) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:58AM (#9204733)
    Can Star Wars Episode III Be Saved?

    It is one year away, but is it too late to save Episode III?"

    from the nope dept.


    Ahh you slashdot editors! Which one is it?
  • yeah right (Score:5, Funny)

    by Savatte (111615) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:58AM (#9204748) Homepage Journal
    Star Wars will be saved much like how Alderaan was spared by Tarkin in Ep 4.

  • I'm assuming that no one here as seen the finished movie. So how can one ask the question "Can a movie be saved?" before knowing if it needs to even be saved.

    Of course, based off episode 1 and 2, I'm guessing Jesus couldn't save the thing...

  • hire brin!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by evenprime (324363) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:04AM (#9204824) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it could be saved. Fire lucas, hire David Brin. His misguided/evil Yoda [davidbrin.com] plot line is brilliant. He's correct when he says, "Almost the entire list of awful coincidences and silly paradoxes can be eliminated...It could even go down in history as something profoundly moral and clever."

    I already told several people that I will not be seeing Ep III because Brin's conclusion to the series is so much better than anything Lucas could come up with.

  • by EXTomar (78739) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:04AM (#9204826)
    I said this during the poll [slashdot.org] so its slightly appropriate.

    I think the major problem with P1 and P2 is that they are mearly action stories set in a Star Wars setting. Just like any game, just tossing well known characters into well known settings and expect something cool to come out is a recipe for disaster.

    As I mention in my poll post, Yoda is less interesting in P1 & 2. Yoda is an action figure here. In P5, he did not once pick up a lightsaber or show Luke anything about fighting. Instead he guided him as best he could with ideas of what Jedi are based on: The force is everwhere, the force is your ally, the dark side is terrible but not stronger.

    P3 needs some TLC in the themes and ideology department. It is amusing but the most "humanizing" moments of P5 were between Luke and Yoda. In P1 and P2 you get a vague indication that bad people are doing bad things. Why are the things they are doing all that bad? Because the Republic says so? Why are the Sith guys so bad? Because they look mean and chop people in half and do cool choke moves?

    With P1-3 it looks like they are looking for a story to put SFX up on the screen. In P4-6, the SFX grew out of the story. If the movie is all but done in post production there is little that can be done now except ride the lava wave.
  • by Speare (84249) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:05AM (#9204846) Homepage Journal

    The whole Star Wars franchise was always, from day one, supposed to be a pulp "Saturday Matinee" sort of pulp serial.

    It has a campy, heavily derivative space opera story line. It's been pieced together with black and white heroes and villains, both of which make the audience boo and giggle at the same time.

    To fix one is to break the series. Most die-hard Star Wars fans are fans because they were kids when they saw the originals. Hell, many of you weren't even BORN to watch the original in the theaters in 1977. The series hangs together precisely because it is all schlock, and yet we love the characters anyway.

  • Joseph Campbell (Score:3, Informative)

    by wayne606 (211893) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:07AM (#9204871)
    Minor points: (1) Joseph Campbell died in 1987, and (2) the interview series with Bill Moyers was basically sponsored by George Lucas, was filmed on Skywalker Ranch, and includes lots of footage from Star Wars. I think Lucas is pretty explicit about his influences here.
  • by Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:08AM (#9204878)
    Steps:
    • Get a new director
    • Show why the hell Vader and Obi Wan are not nearly as powerful in 4,5,6 as they are in 1 & 2 (maybe the lack of Jedi and Sith lower the powers of the force as an aggregate)
    • Show the hunting down & destruction of the Jedi

    or do like the 80's show Dallas and have it all be a dream sequence and make a Good Movie for a change.

  • by Robmonster (158873) <slashdot.journal2.store@neverbox.com> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:08AM (#9204885) Journal
    Its far too early to save it.

    I reckon I'll be 'saving' it to a couple of CD-Roms in about a years time....

    RM
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:09AM (#9204903)
    Talking Pie.

    They'll forget all the mistakes of the past if you add such a character.
  • Kurosawa (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jetkust (596906) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:12AM (#9204934)
    I'm a Kurosawa fan myself. I just want to clear things up. I've been hearing a lot about the origional Star Wars "ripping off" Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. The article says the entire story was lifted from that movie. Have any of you seen the Hidden Fortress? Sure Lucas was inspired by that movie, but Star Wars is nothing like The Hidden Fortress.

    As far as the article. I agree that Hayden Christensen is terrible as Dart Vadar. As well as most of his other points, especially the typical overuse of cgi effects which made me feel as if i was watching an videogame cut-scene the whole time. But one that he forgot to mention is the unbelievably forgetable characters who populate the script.
  • Midochlorians (sp?) (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ddelrio (749862) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:18AM (#9205019)
    It was ruined as soon as the Midochlorians came into the picture. If that's all that matters, why didn't Yoda just give Luke a blood transfusion before facing Vader? He could have pumped up those midochlorians before Luke's encounter.

    Lucas took all the magic out of Star Wars. He actually managed to go back in time and ruin the original three episodes with his pseudo-scientific explanation. And the new stuff stinks. As much as I hate the Jar-Jar character, I sympathised with him when he stepped in that pile of sh*t. That's exactly how I felt while watching Episode III.
  • Sure it can (Score:5, Funny)

    by lightspawn (155347) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:21AM (#9205064) Homepage
    You just right click, then select 'save as'.
  • by WillAtMH (735233) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:24AM (#9205100)
    I have ben a huge fan of the SW movies since I was a kid and saw them i a theater. I followed the universe and looked forward to the new movies.

    The general story form the original 3 movies is rediculously thin. The original Matrix put more plot in that single film than was in ep4, ep5, and ep6 combined. That didnt make them suck... it made them simple and fun.

    In the prequels, he added a story line, political complexities, and actual character development - all of which was completely abscent in the originals. While they may not be "better" in the sense that the style changes made them mode fun to watch, but they are certainly not garbage. They are simply different types of movies. They only get condemned because of peoples memories of how much they loved SW back in the late 70s and early 80s.

    SW has always been made for 12 year olds to love. The new movies accomplish exactly the same thing the originals did... only this time you arent 12.
  • by solarlux (610904) <[noplasma] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:44AM (#9205374)
    One thing I can't help wondering is if many people form a final opinion about the movies that is based on the loud public sentiment. My reaction to Star Wars 1 and 2 is that I loved them. The sci-fi backgrounds and effects were impressive, the action scenes intense, and the storyline was palatable. And I found several scenes to be quite memorable -- to name a few: the Obi-Wan/Darth Maul fight, the Yoda fight, and the huge jedi battle.

    So yeah, I'm committing the unimaginable sin -- I liked Star Wars 1 and 2. Am I a stupid person? My career achievements would speak otherwise. Is my taste inferior? Perhaps, although the only thing I give a damn about is whether or not *I* enjoyed it. Am I unable to recognize poor-acting and plot-holes? No, I was cognizant of it all. Anakan and Amidala were cheesy (although I still love to say "you're making fun of me" in that cheesy tone to my wife to which she replies in an reciprocally cheesy tone: "I'd be much to frightened..."). However, I also juxtapose the shortcomings against the composite package of the movie. And in the case of Star Wars 1 and 2, the positive elements outweighed the negative ones to provide me a viewing experience which surpassed that of most movies.

    And here's my main gripe -- I think there are others like me, who honestly enjoyed the movies when they were sitting in the theatre seats. But then, the popular and intellectually respectable position came to be that you were "absolutely miserable" during the movies. I mean, only a complete idiot could actually enjoy those movies, right?

    All I ask is for you to consider this: at the time of your viewing -- were you enjoying the movie? If you were miserable, fine -- then the movies didn't jive with your refined taste. But if your hatred for the movies didn't develop until you read the comments on three dozen slashdot articles, then consider whether or not you are speaking your own opinions. Be honest enough to admit you enjoy what you enjoy. If you like Enterprise, great. If Farscape and FireFly raised your standards high enough that you can no longer enjoy Star Trek, then that's fine too. If the Matrix 3 plot resolution left a foul taste in your mouth (as it did for me), then live it. Just live your own opinions. I'm sure many critics out there genuinely hated the movies -- but I also believe there are many more who initially did not.
  • by cherokee158 (701472) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:52AM (#9205466)
    There seems to be an underlying assumption by a lot of guys here that Episodes 1 and 2 were enjoyable only by children under 10.

    Wrong.

    I have two hardcore Star Wars fans aged 7 and 8, and they hated those movies. They hated the plodding plotlines, the goofy looking spaceships and the crappy merchandising that resulted.

    See for yourself. Go to a toy store. Tons of Episode 1 and 2 toys in the clearance bin. X-Wings still selling strong.

    The only redeeming qualities they seemed to find in the new movies was the Pod Race (which the movie bent painfully over backwards to somehow turn into a plot point) and, sadly, Jar-Jar Binks, who young children find amusing and will even take great pains (yours) to imitate. Although they still want to be Darth Vader on Halloween.

    The latter day episodes just plain suck. Even kids will tell you that.

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @12:12PM (#9205757) Homepage
    So don't go. I haven't seen any of the Star Wars movies since #3 or so, which is about when they started to suck.

    The embarassing thing about the whole Star Wars series is that nobody else has done much better space opera. It's been a quarter century, after all. The special effects problems have all been solved. There are franchises out there, in the space opera genre alone, with more potential. David Weber's Honor Harrington series, or the Man-Kzin Wars, to cite two good examples. Yet the industry is bringing back Battlestar Galactica, which, in its day, was generally considered lousy. And turning about four big-budget vampire movies per year.

    Meanwhile, effort should be devoted to insuring that Star Wars III merchandise is biodegradeable, so there's no major disposal problem like last time.

  • by Sheepdot (211478) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @12:41PM (#9206181) Journal
    I'm not a space geek so it outta mean something when I say I'd rather watch another Star Trek movie than Episode 3. And as annoying as they are, trekkies are much better company than the rabid Lucas and Star Wars freaks.

    Here's a tip for both: when presented with a paradox, it is okay to say, "Yeah, Lucas/Roddenberry was on crack when he thought of that."
  • come -on-. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @01:24PM (#9206825)
    Growing up I lived and breathed Star Wars. I'd hang upside-down from the jungle gym and try really really hard to get a stick to fly from the ground to my hand like Luke getting his lightsaber when he's hanging upside down in the cave at the beginning of Empire. Obi-Wan Kenobi was the zen master to whom we all aspired. I hated the Ewoks, though, just as I later hated Jar-Jar.

    But I still found things to enjoy in Episode I. Sure, you had midichlorians and other stupid stuff, bad child acting and just bad acting in general from some of the principals. But you also had Darth Freakin' Maul, double-lightsaber and all, dueling about and kicking double Jedi ass (until his ridiculous, not-believable demise). You had Liam Neeson giving a very solid performance as Obi-Wan's mentor.

    And I still found things to enjoy in Episode II. Sure, you had more Jar-Jar "meesa want" and more boring imperial senate nonsense, and more wooden acting from some of the principals. But you also had Jango Fett, and in the end Yoda goes ape-shit on Christopher Lee. Yeah it was ridiculous and half of me wanted to laugh at the scene... but the other half was too busy going "HOLY SH!T LOOK AT YODA GO."

    I don't care if I'm called "Soft" or whatever for actually admitting what most people seem to be too up-tight, too wannabe Goth, too whatever to admit: I LIKE THE STAR WARS MOVIES.

    Get over yourselves. Write your own damn universe of characters and make your own damn movies about them. Leave Lucas alone. Yeah some of it is crap, most of the acting is horrible... but there are some fun things in there and I personally can't wait to see how it all "begins/ends" with Episode III.

    So there. I've said it. Call me a poser, fanboy, whatever. At least I'm not a little whiny arrogant "my sh!t smells better than yours" film critic or one of these ever-popular "I hate everything" kids of today.
  • by awkScooby (741257) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @03:19PM (#9208353)
    Just a couple of suggestions:

    • Put in some real Samuel L. Jackson lines - "use the force, bitch", "can someone hand me my lightsaber -- it's the one that says Bad Ass M***********," "I shall strike down upon thee..." etc
    • Show some skin. Anikan should use force ass-grab, etc. Get creative with it (Darth-diggler anyone?)
    • Have Jar Jar in the back seat of a landspeeder and have Anikan accidentally shoot him in the face. Yeah, it's a blatant rip of but it still would be funny
    • Pamela Anderson - I don't care if she's part of the plot, or just there as scenery
    • Ninjas always make movies better...
    • Work in Tony Danza and an orangutan

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