A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen Number 5: I have a very bad feeling about this edition

Thirteen Reasons Why The latest three Star Wars Movies are Awful

And the truly sad part is that we can't go back and fix this. It's ruined forever.

1. There is no sense of humor evident in Star Wars episdoes I-III. Jar Jar Binks is exhibit A. Does anyone remember the smart-aleck repartee that Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer got to volley back and forth?

2. The scripts were wooden and the character interaction simplistic. There was nothing believable about the relationships, no spark, no chemistry. Now, George would not have had to look far to find someone to help him out here-- ironically, Carrie Fischer has worked as a script doctor in Hollywood, punching up the dialogue and pacing. Imagine what she could have done with this set of scripts!

3. By putting so much emphasis on computer-generated characters, the story lost its soul. Yoda hopping around like a flea on hot metal; androids that don't breathe wheezing and coughing, and back to Jar Jar Binks-- did we really have to have a character in Star Wars speaking in the "Ubby-Dubby" language from that childhood educational program on PBS called The Electric Company? Then there's was Watto, Anakin's owner on Tatooine-- at any second, I expected him to say something like "Now, THAT's a spicy meatball!" like a bad imitation of Chef Boy-ar-dee. It did not have to be this way, though. Look what Peter Jackson did in LOTR with Gollum.

4. Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christiansen. EGAD. If this is the main character for your entire saga, George, why didn't you pick someone who could actually ACT? These boys had all the emotional depth of a protozoa.

5. And speaking of protozoa, what exactly was Anakin's father again? The Holy Spirit? So is this story about what would have happened if Jesus had turned to evil?

6. And how is it that all those Jedi could be in the presence of Palpatine and not recognize that the Force was strong with him?

7. Would Darth Vader really have gone around claiming that every single thing that happened to him was "unfair?" Say what you will, Darth was not a pouter. Ever.

8. Speed up all the light-saber duels with computers, and you end up making all of us wonder why Obi-wan and Vader's climactic fight in Star Wars IV was so sluggish and plodding.

9. If Anakin Skywalker created C-3PO, why didn't C-3PO recognize the Skywalker name when sold to Owen on Tatooine? Why didn't Owen or Beru recognize Threepio?

10. When asked about her mother in Star Wars VI, Leia says she remembers just a little about her. How could this be true if Padme dies seconds after Leia's birth?

11. Where are the scoundrels? We loved our Han Solos and Lando Calrissians! In fact did anyone in episodes I-III have a heart of gold under a tough-guy exterior? Indeed, were there ANY tough guys in the first three episodes?

12. Do you really believe that Padme found Anakin attractive? This was the greatest mismatch since Billy Bob Thornton married Angelina Jolie.

13. Notice the purple background here. That's representing the foofy purple lightsaber used by pigeon-toed Mace Windu, alias Samuel L. Jackson. Nothing personal, Mr. Jackson.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Elementaryhistoryteacher
2. Stacie
3. Kathy
4. Susan Helene Gottfried

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

...You're NEXT! Last one in is a Jawa!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



At 2/15/07, 5:25 PM, Blogger Mister Teacher said...

I can't disagree with any of your points, Ms. C. However, The Phantom Menace DOES have THE single greatest fight scene in any Star Wars movie. Darth Maul fighting the two Jedis at once. Unfortunately, this great scene is ended by one of the stupidest deaths in any Star Wars movie.
"Hmmmmm... He's looking at his lightsaber... Now he's gathering his strength to jump out of the pit...Now he's flipping over me, and wait a sec, he's using the force to get his lightsaber back! Oh SNAP he just cut me in half!!"

At 2/15/07, 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was disappointed as well in the Star Wars 1-3 epidsodes. In the episode where Padime (sp) dies she is so whiney and just plain pitiful. Yes, she's pregnant but it was hard for me to believe she was the same character from the other two episodes because she lacked the strength she had shown earlier.

It also bothered me because if....IF....I wanted to view the episodes in order it would seem that their civilization was taking a backward leap in technology since the special effects in 1-3 beat the older episodes hands down.

Like you I am not fond of Jar Jar either, but I didn't like the wookies (sp) either.

A great topic for TT btw. I generally cheat by putting mine up on Wednesday night very late. I'm usually not around on Thursday till very late in the afternoon.

At 2/15/07, 9:18 PM, Blogger Nature Girl said...

yeah, I wasn't a huge fan of them either, though I can't say I felt as passionately about it as you do. The original first 3 movies (and by that I mean the ones that actually came out FIRST) were great...I think a lot of the problem too was that as OLD movies, they were not privvy to the "modern technology" we have when the "new" movies came out. This made the later movies which we're supposed to believe preceded teh "old" movies look new
I don't think I said that right, but the jist is the new movies should look older than the old movies if we're supposed to beleive it's the background story..and they don't. It didn't do a thing for me!
I played too

At 2/16/07, 6:51 AM, Blogger Fence said...

Had to quote #5, it just needed it. Great list, I think it is better if we pretend that only the original three were made. Similar to my thoughts regarding The Matrix.

Happy T13

At 2/16/07, 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You left out some of the worst things to come from Episodes I-III: the changes made to Return of the Jedi. How in the world would Luke know what a young Anakin looked like?

One of the excuses made for the technology being SO different was that the increasing presence of the dark side put the galaxy's civilizations in a downward spiral. This answer doesn't work because George also decided to fiddle with the end of Jedi by showing us all the different "worlds" from Episodes I-VI. Bah.

You also left out the gratuitous Wookie-age. Who knew Chewie was a freedom fighter and way older than Han?

Man, I hate George Lucas.

At 2/16/07, 3:53 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Gee thanks, fence!

Mellowout, I once loved George Lucas-- I mean, Star Wars! Indiana Jones!

But these last three-- cynical, depressing, and a bald-faced grab for profit without a decent movie in the bunch. Why did he get so bitter?

At 2/16/07, 7:31 PM, Blogger Mrs. Bluebird said...

The last three made (the first three in the series) were, in a word, AWFUL. They left me cold. None of the magic that the first ones had was there. None of the humor. They were awful.

I still remember the first time I saw Star Wars, way back when, at the local theater. It's one of my great youthful memories.

At 2/16/07, 7:44 PM, Blogger EHT said...

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Tag! Your it!

At 2/16/07, 7:47 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

GREAT T.T! Most fans of the Star Wars movies will agree with you, too. Lucas' characters are flat, there was absolutely NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT like the earlier SW (4,5,6). Lucas' spent all his time and energy on special effects. We need a STORY, Mr. Lucas! Tell me a story! Lucas had the framework for a great background story (all that political crap), but never developed it properly. Let's not be too harsh on Portman or Christiansen, could you say those stupid lines with any believability? If you forgot how awful the script was, watch them again! AAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!

At 2/16/07, 8:37 PM, Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

hoo, that's harsh.

Worst of all, it's dead on!

At 2/17/07, 8:02 AM, Blogger Janet said...

You know what? I didn't need to read the list to know I totally agree. LOL

At 2/17/07, 10:06 AM, Blogger Andrew Pass said...

Nice post. I didn't even know what a prequel was until the prequels came out. I loved the "first" three and could have told you most of the lines verbatim. I was a kid and the movies were great. Though I saw them all, I couldn't tell you the story lines from the next three. Perhaps, I'm not just a kid anymore. Maybe I should just be quiet and ask my sons for their thoughts on the movies.

Andrew Pass

At 2/17/07, 11:15 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

If I sounded bitter,... it's because I am. I could quote every line in episodes IV-VI-- and usually knew the ones that were cut from the films besides-- like who Biggs was, etc.

What a disappointment! After waiting so long for the "prequels," to get.... this (picture me holding a dead squirrel by the tail between index finger and thumb). That's what those movies felt like.

At 2/17/07, 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again....go to my site and click on the "thinking" rules link at the end of my post. I simply clicked on the image and saved it to my computer. Then I just uploaded the image as normal.

At 2/22/07, 7:08 AM, Blogger Karla Robinson said...

I missed this last week due to being out of town....My problem with these movies is that there is no HEART to be found anywhere. And I don't just mean love scenes or romantic moments. You would be hard-pressed to give a sh!t about any of these characters.
Also, I think the problem with the computer-generated stuff is that there is just too much of it. In the original series, the technological wizardry was limited, so each instance of it was special and worthwhile. Now, it's too darn easy for George to overwhelm the viewer with tons of CGI. I'd rather see a better story and far less CGI.
And by the way, I think Carrie Fisher did do some uncredited script-doctoring on at least one of the movies, but she wasn't able to make a dent in the woodenness and dullness and lack of character development and....oh, well.

At 4/20/07, 2:24 PM, Blogger Juanita's Journal said...

This article sounds like you wanted the Prequel Trilogy to be a remake of the Original Trilogy. My question is . . . why? Didn't you understand that the PT was supposed to be a tragedy or a darker story than the one told between 1977 and 1983?

As for C3P0, I think you may have forgotten that Bail Organa had ordered Captain Antilles to wipe Threepio's memories.

As for the wooden acting and bad dialogue, why aren't you making such complaints about this for the Original Trilogy? I found plenty of that in Episodes IV to VI.


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