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Attack of the Clones: Less Plastic Crap, More Story? 447

Posted by chrisd
from the jar-jar-is-raj-raj-spelled-backwards dept.
Newsweek has an article in which George Lucas states that there were parts of Episode One that were damaging to the Star Wars franchise. (shocker, I know) "The last movie did not live up to expectations." They'll cut the merchandise by two thirds, as they still have tons of unsold Episode One merchandise. Yahoo is also running an AOTC story. Mild spoilers in the linked stories, by the way.
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Attack of the Clones: Less Plastic Crap, More Story?

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  • ...start reporting things before they're entire days (sometimes weeks) old? It's quite off-putting when us nerds get the news faster from Fark [fark.com], which is hardly known to be the Speedy Gonzalez of news services. ;)
  • Whew! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jmoriarty (179788) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:04PM (#3397913)
    At least now I know no major characters die at the end of the movie. Otherwise it would have been mentioned on Slashdot's main page.
    • Re:Whew! (Score:3, Informative)

      by dimator (71399)
      If you really must know....

      MAJOR SPOILERS!!
      http://www.aaronmccray.com/entertainment/episode2p lot.html [aaronmccray.com]

      • Re:Whew! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rick the Red (307103) <Rick.The.Red@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @07:30PM (#3398643) Journal
        Thanks for the link [aaronmccray.com]! (but turn off the background image or you can't read it)

        Minor spoiler: If the movie follows this plot [aaronmccray.com] then George has forgotton the bottom line premise of the series: R2D2 and C-3PO are our witnesses (C-3PO tells us the story, as shown at the end of Episode VI). They are present at every major plot point, but in Episode II (as presented at the above link) neither is with Obi-Wan when he goes to Kamino and Geonosis, and I don't see any way around that in post-production. Oops!

        (Yes, I know they can learn of those events from Obi-Wan, as they must learn of the minor side events from others in all the movies, but this is the first major story segment that one or the other of them doesn't personally witness. Watch I, IV, V, and VI again and you'll see what I mean.)

        More minor spoilage: Oh, and why the heck doesn't C-3PO recognize his former home and Uncle Owen in Episode IV? R2D2 might recognize them, but he's keeping his mouth shut because he's looking for Obi-Wan; C-3PO knows nothing of Leia's instructions to R2D2 and has no reason to stay mum if he recognizes Owen, which means he doesn't. OK, Owen's older, but he should at least recognize Tatooine in general and the farm in particular. I wondered about that when I saw Episode I, and this plot for II confirms it.

        • Re:Whew! (Score:2, Insightful)

          by snkline (542610)
          Maybe their memory has been wiped. It is a standard practice afterall. I don't think they would have stopped having their memories flushed occasionally until Luke bought them.
  • doesn't the dialog in the new trailer look just as bad as episode 1?
    • dialog (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:46PM (#3398167)
      Episode I dialog generator:

      if (drand48() < 0.5)
      return "be mindful";
      else
      return "you assume too much";

    • Yes... but...

      ***spoilers***

      • Yoda manipulating Force lightning and kicking ass with a lightsaber!
      • Many dozens of Jedis in a huge battle royale!
      • Boba Fett and father!
      • Extremely low Jar Jar content!
      • Natalie Portman in frolic mode!
      • Galactic War!

  • ...are they cutting back on the marketing because it turns the traditional SW fans off, or because they didn't sell as much as they expected to last time?

    Sounds like he's trying to spin a marketing problem as if it were a nod to his critics. We could get that pap from Bill Gates if we wanted it.

    • are they cutting back on the marketing because it turns the traditional SW fans off

      What "cutting back on the marketing"? I was at the grocery store yesterday and I saw a stack of boxes of "Star Wars Episode II" cereal. I kid you not.

  • a new hope?

    sorry :-)
  • Good one, George (Score:2, Insightful)

    by W2k (540424)
    Nice to see that Mr. Lucas realizes what a mess Episode One became - hopefully, this will mean a major improvement, both story- and character-wise, for Episode Two. Good for George, good for us, maybe some seven-year olds who never saw the originals will be disappointed that the film now lacks anyone they can identify with, but what the heck, I don't care.

    The article (at MSNBC) does spoil some of the story but also sheds some interesting light. I don't think we can bet on Anakin killing Jar Jar for us just yet, though the co-writer, Jonathan Hales, promises no silly characters or kids. Personally, I expect Jar Jar to get screen time in Ep 2 as Natalie Portman's boobs, meaning a few seconds at most.

  • I looked at all the new trailers bought toys the day they came out had read the book and comic book several times before the movie came out. This time I'm ignoring all of the marketing in the hope that having some surprises will help make this one seem better. I'm just wondering if anyone else is doing this and/or what you all think about this.
  • Can we trust Lucas? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NickRob (575331) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:09PM (#3397955)
    I love the Star Wars movies with a great passion, but Lucas is, basically, a consumer whore. How many revisions of Luke in Hoth gear are there? How many Nein Numb and Momaw Nadon action figures are there? If you get .02 seconds of screen time you get 5 action figures, a T-shirt and a mug. There's even a Darth Vader Beer Stein for cryin' out loud!

    I'll believe it when I see it... But right now, I'm believe that Toy stores everywhere are getting container shipments full of insignifigant characters.
  • by bziman (223162) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:12PM (#3397970) Homepage Journal
    Okay, everyone's ripping on Lucas, and perhaps rightfully so. On the other hand, maybe he does realize that he messed up.

    Either way... I'm going to see Clones. It'd have to be really bad for me not to go back two or three times.

    How about the rest of you? Vocal though you are, I doubt you will stay away. It doesn't matter how bad the dialogue is... guys with lightsabers are just too cool.

    • Okay, everyone's ripping on Lucas, and perhaps rightfully so. On the other hand, maybe he does realize that he messed up.
      Yeah, he realizes he messed up because his licensing cut was down. Not because he damaged a great story.

      That said, I actually thing TPM could be made acceptable by editing out sPh

  • Revisiting TPM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by interstellar_donkey (200782) <pathighgate&hotmail,com> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:15PM (#3397985) Homepage Journal
    After the DVD came out, I had the chance to revisit Episode one. It's strange, that when you strip away all the hype, the product tie-ins, the in your face constant advertising, and just go see the movie on it's own merits, it's not really all that bad.

    And, for some strange reason, it seems to get better every time you watch it. You notice more of the details and craftsmenship that went into the movie.

    Finally, if you can go into the film knowing the annoying parts (Jar-Jar, the announcers at the pod race et.al), you can pretty much tune them out.

    When it's all said and done, the hype surrounding TPM hurt it more then the bad filmaking... which shows how media can so dramatically effect our expectations. The article mentions 'The Matrix'.. which I knew nothing about, and was blown away when I first saw it. But the more times I see it, the more it's luster wears off... it actually looses appeal every time I watch it, while TPM, strangly, seems to get better.

    So Kudos to lucas for entering into this a little wiser. I don't think you're going to see nearly as many fanatic star wars geeks lining up for months in order to see this movie, you are'nt going to be pounded for weeks on end for advertisments for product tie ins... and in the end when we do go down to the theatre (and we will.. you know it) our expectations will have the chance to be a little more realistic.
    • by selectspec (74651) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:31PM (#3398081)
      It's strange, that when you strip away all the hype, the product tie-ins, the in your face constant advertising, and just go see the movie on it's own merits, it's not really all that bad...

      ... it's worse.

    • Re:Revisiting TPM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mattbelcher (519012) <matt@nOSpaM.mattbelcher.com> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:41PM (#3398149) Homepage
      I'll risk the wrath of the Jar-Jar-haters out there by agreeing with you. Part of the appeal of the old films for me is that I know the stories so well that when I watch them my mind is free to notice all the little details that go into a well-crafted film. The campy fades, the random background creatures, etc. The Phantom Menace is really no different. After repeated viewings, I became aware of those same qualities. For example, Jar-Jar's idiocy is a perfect foil for Qui-Gon's serenity. Once I got past his annoying antics, I see him for the purpose he played in the characterization of the Jedi.
      • Re: Revisiting TPM (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Black Parrot (19622)


        > Once I got past his annoying antics

        Remind us again why we should have to get past annoying antics before we can enjoy a movie?

        The goal isn't to learn to love a movie despite its faults. The goal is to go see movies that have minimal faults to begin with.

        Lucas is making that progressively more difficult. Does that mean we need to grind our teeth harder so we can 'enjoy' it? Or does that mean we need to go see some other movie instead?

        The thread re GeekPAC is relevant here. We should stay away from EII in droves, and make it known in advance that we're going to. That would get Lucas' attention.

    • by mattdm (1931) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:45PM (#3398164) Homepage

      If you really must revisit this movie, I highly suggest you do so by finding yourself a copy of The Phantom Edit. It's not perfect either, but it gives a sense of how hard it wouldn't have been for Lucas to make the original not suck.

      There's a quote from Lucas in the Time Magazine SWII article [time.com] (hey, surprise, they got all the major news mags!) which really struck me:

      "I said, 'They're gonna hate this. They're gonna get really upset that I have a 9-year-old as the hero.' But what can I do? That's the story. I can't make him 15. The whole story is about where he came from, who is he? You had to start in the beginning."

      It's pretty obvious that he still doesn't get it. I don't know anyone who complained about a kid being the hero -- a few who complained about the chosen kid's acting ability, and a bunch more who complained about the cutesyness, but this was the first I've heard the idea that the problem is that audiences can't cope with the idea of a child hero. Note to George: um, ex-squeeeze me, there are a few other issues.

      • The last thing I want Lucas to do is change things again. I thought the re-editing of Star Wars trilogy was terrible. Shiny new CGI on top of grainy 70s film stock... changes to the story... I was very let down, and I really, really hope when ever Lucas gets around to finally releasing these on DVD, you can find the orgininal versions.

        I can't even find the orgininal versions on VHS anymore.

        And yeah, he totally missed the point of the fans reactions. We did'nt hate the young hero because he was a kid, we hated him because of 'Yippeee!'. We did'nt hate jar-jar because he was'nt chewbacca, we hated him because he talked like some sort of retarded jamacian.

        I remember Lucas' orgininal reactions to critics. He said something to the effect of "I want to make these movies for the kids.. to appeal to them"

        Guess what... I was a little kid when the orgininal star wars came out, and it appealed to me emensly. I vaguly remember the 'but uncle owen.. I want to go down to mos isly to pick up some power-converters' thinking 'Why is this man whining like a little kid?' Kids don't like to see heros acting like little kids. They like to see heros act like heros, regardless of their age.
    • Then again, maybe your brain is slowly dying. :)

      I just find EP1 boring, even the first time in the theater I simply didn't care one way or the other what happened to the characters...

      Travis
    • Re:Revisiting TPM (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dukrous (120498) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @06:11PM (#3398306) Homepage
      No, the movie isn't as bad as people claim it to be. However, it's not even Jedi good as far as the trilogy goes.

      In STAR WARS, you had a director who was (for all intents and purposes) new and idealistic. He wanted to make a sci-fi movie in the vein of the old Buck Rogers serialized films, but wanted to have some sort of timeless quality. He achived this...STAR WARS is a grand fairy tale that reminds us of brave knights storming a castle to rescue the princess from the evil wizard. If course, it's a little deeper than that, and he did it admirably, albeit you can see it's a very rookie effort.

      EMPIRE is, in my opinion, one of the best movies ever made. It's exciting, thrilling, and deep. The universe really opens up and we see the simple struggles for what they are. We see a change in relationships that shifts the entire spectrum. And most of all, it introduced the idea of a puppet that acts. Say what you want, Yoda in EMPIRE acts. It's a tiny, silly puppet that looks real, conveys emotion, and convinces you in one sentence that this is one powerful figure in the universe. I hate Ep1 Yoda...he looks fake and plastic and completely flies in the face of EMPIRE's work.

      JEDI...good movie. Uses half of act 2 and all of act 3 for action. Bold decision that paid out. Great battles that ended the series (New Jedi Order fighting Empire remnants?...WTF was the death of the Emperor, a speed bump for the Empire?!). However, we had Ewoks...a marketing ploy. I think this movie might have been better than EMPIRE if Lucas got to do his Wookiee slave camp.

      MENACE...ugh. A good movie, compared to other crap (Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot! vs Episode 1, anyone?), but utter crap compared to what came before.

      And I have little faith in CLONES. I read the adaptation, and it's exciting and well plotted. But I've seen the trailers...Christensen looks and sounds wooden. I hope he's not. Portman is misused again into a unidimensional role. And there's a couple continuity gaffs I won't mention but will be brought up after release.

      Oh, how I hope I'm wrong...cause if Episode 3 sucks, the entire series will fall flat. Episode 3 cannot suck...it has to be dark, brooding, deeply philosophical, and light on action. The turning of Anakin to Vader is not an action sequence for crying out loud!
    • Nope, it's worse. Recently got ahold of the DVD and started watching it at home and gave up halfway through (I've seen it twice in theaters). It was about the time I hit the Jedi council that I remembered how truly pitiful this movie is. They just don't grip me, or allow me to see past the bad acting on the part of all of them, especially Yoda (yes I know it's not a person, but it's still worse than the puppet of Empire and Jedi).

      Episodes 4-6 are not like this at all, put them in the machine and I'm occupied for 2 hours.

      It's crap, expensive and well polished crap, but crap nontheless, flawed in acting, character choice, script and plot.

    • I was flipping through Phantom Menace the other day, and I'd have to agree with you. It wasn't as bad as I remembered it being after seeing it in the theater.

      It still didn't seem that great, but it was watchable, at least. I think you're right- peoples' huge expectations definitely hurt their enjoyment of Phantom Menace.
    • when you strip away all the hype, the product tie-ins, the in your face constant advertising, and just go see the movie on it's own merits, it's not really all that bad.

      I have to agree with that statement, however, this is Star Wars, and "not bad" is simply not good enough. An average sci-fi movie with great effects, a tedious plot, and annoying dialogue is not what fans expect or deserve. I really hope George Lucas is spending less time on the marketing of AOTC and more time on the filmaking, but until I see the finished product, I'm skeptical of this article's spin.

  • by SetarconeX (160251) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:16PM (#3397998)
    I think one of the main problems Lucas is running up against is the fact that single movies don't exert the influence on mass culture they once did. Simply put, for quite some time now there has been a lack of big movies that "everyone" goes to see. This is not exactly a bad thing, it just shows that movies are differently targeted.

    For example, if you ask me, there's been a distinct increase in the quality of war movies over the past decade, even though less people are going to see them. Saving Private Ryan wasn't for everyone, but I think most would agree it was at least a better movie than Force 10 from Navarone.

    To get back to Star Wars though, I really think a big part of the problem with Episode I was the attempt to appeal to a wide audience. Keeping away from flaming comments about commercialism, the objective should not be to make a movie EVERYONE likes, but to make a movie every will agree was not a waste of time, even if it wasn't their cup of tea.

    Debate me if you will, but I see Empire Strikes Back in this vein. A bit darker then the other movies, but bad? No. It was different, and it was good. Did everyone like it? No again, but few claim to outright hate the movie. It was quality filmmaking, not churned out sludge for mass appeal.
    • i dont know about increasing quality of war movies. I dont think saving private ryan was nearly as good as movies like apocalypse now or full metal jacket. Same goes for foreign war movies like das boot and and some russian ww2 movies i will not try to write out. Honestly i dont think the quality of war movies is improving.
    • Simply put, for quite some time now there has been a lack of big movies that "everyone" goes to see. This is not exactly a bad thing, it just shows that movies are differently targeted.


      I think video causes a lot of that. 20 years ago, if everyone was talking about a movie, you'd go see it. Today, it's common to hear 'Well, I'll check it out when it comes to video'.

      I remember going to see movies three or four times while it was in the theatre, because a good movie could stick around for over 6 months. That rarely happens anymore.
  • Lucas doesn't get it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by starseeker (141897) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:18PM (#3398009) Homepage
    I read a Time article on this movie, and it is quite clear that Lucas either doesn't understand or doesn't care just how bad Phantom really seemed to the majority of his fans (including me.) He blames the internet for the crushing negative reaction to Jar-Jar, saying that C3PO and the Ewoks also got a lot of negative feedback and the reason those characters weren't so heavly dumped on was there was no internet to spread the word. Incredible.

    I readly confess the Ewoks in particular are weak, but at least they and 3PO weren't so incredibly annoying. Jar-Jar should have been cut out completely once the fan response became clear, whatever Lucas may think about the reasons for the reaction. He states he is in the business to make money - why then doesn't he listen to his customers?? Is the man's ego really that much out of control?

    I may see Clones, but I suspect unless the critics rave about it I'll wait for it to reach the dollar movie theaters first. Lucas got more money than he earned for Phantom, and I see no reason to give him more. He needs to wake up to the fact that hype will only carry him so far, and eventually he's going to have to produce a good product again.

    • I hated The Phantom Menace when I first saw it.

      Then I watched the original three flicks again. They're horrendous. 3P0 is marginally less annoying than Jar Jar. The stories have huge plot holes. Colossal. Mind-boggling.

      You were probably ten, or five, or three when you first saw Star Wars. You were a lot easier on the inconsistencies and absurdities at that age than you are now. The Phantom Menace most definitely wasn't a film classic, but neither were the original three.


      • You were probably ten, or five, or three when you first saw Star Wars. You were a lot easier on the inconsistencies and absurdities at that age than you are now. The Phantom Menace most definitely wasn't a film classic, but neither were the original three.


        This is an often-touted theory to explain the backlash over EP1. Even Lucas himself has mentioned it in interviews. The concept is that the first 3 films gained a rabid fan base when those fans were younger, less sophisticated, less critical, and are now prone to fits of nostalgia.


        I don't buy it.


        I enjoy Star Wars, but I am no fanboi. I don't even own copies of the Star Wars movies. But I have occasionally rented the origional trillogy or kicked back for a day of TV when a Star Wars "marathon" kicks in. And even though I do note aspects of the films that I didn't when I was young, I still enjoy them. Yet I was disappointed in EP1 and noted that it somehow lacked the soul of the first three flicks.


        Is it nostalgia? Hardly. I've also watched other things that I found great in my childhood that I now cringe at (though still watch occasionally for nostalgia's sake): The A-Team, Buck Rogers, Hogan's Heros, Dukes of Hazard, etc.


        Yea. I'm susceptible to nostalgia. But I also recognize it. And the disparity in the older and newer Star Wars flicks has nothing to do with it.

        • But for a lot of people, it is. The other problem is that George is a revisionist. A heavy revisionist, who buys his own hype. Case in point? Lightsabres. "Lets make Luke's lightsabre in RotJ green, so it stands out against the desert." "Hey! Luke has a green lightsabre! So does Qui Gon! Does that mean that blue lightsabres are for good, red for evil, and green for those who are in between?" "Umm..I'm not telling! *nod wink*"
      • I know this argument has been used a lot.

        As I am one of the very few people that did not really see the original trilogy as a kid (lived in a faraway country and the tickets sold out so fast i never had a chance) I think that the first three movies even though very lighthearted, are quite entertainiong for adults.

        They are pretty darn good adventure movies. There were charecters you cared about, villians that were pretty cool, a plot that had fairy tale kind of quality - where you know it is a bit too simplistic but you still get into it.

        The characters got into all kinds of exciting adventures and perils. There was a nice love story and some delicious footage where the princess was enslaved and chained in her bikinis by a fat sloberring freak - what more could you ask for?

        Phantom menace on the other hand had too many characters and i didnt care about most of them, the main girl's appearence and lines were so stylized as to remove any sex appeal, the main male character was a 7 year old. There was no chemistry between any of the characters.

        You never cared about anything of the adventures, because you dont care about the characters and you know who is going to survive and win.

        So i think there was a difference. It was not just youth that made you like the trilogy.

  • Time's Lucas article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gad_zuki! (70830) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:18PM (#3398012)
    Much nicer and more Lucas-centric piece on Attack of the Clones at time. [time.com]
  • by The Cat (19816) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:21PM (#3398028)
    Lucasfilm saved its best goodies, though, for the Web geeks, a stratum of "Star Wars" fandom that, in the past, it had communicated with only via cease-and-desist orders.

    Absolutely brilliant line.

  • Maxim Magazine... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Razor Sex (561796) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:22PM (#3398032)
    The current edition of Maxim has a pretty cool interview with George Lucas that covers a couple pages. Not too many spilers, and it also covers the general direction Lucas is taking it in (as a director and as a story). Some of us might find some cool stuff to look at in the magazine as well...
  • Tons-o-Crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by ELCarlsson (570500) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:22PM (#3398033)
    I can just imagine an archeological expedition thousands of years from now digging up an old garbage dump and what do they find? Tons of unwanted Episode 1 merchandise. "What a strange idol they worshipped" :Pulls string: "Me'sa tink d'is a ba' idea!" They'll think we're morons.
  • by FurryFeet (562847) <joudanx AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:23PM (#3398038)
    And it's not a boycott. It's the fact that Episode I sucked big time, and last week I was watching Montecristo (great movie) and saw trailers for Attack of the Clones.
    And suddenly it hit me.
    I was planning to watch it, it was pretty much a given. And then, seeing the scenes, I realized I don't really have a wish to see it. I just had a lemming reaction. The hype got to me. I had been brainwashed.
    That is, I was going to watch it because it was a Star Wars film. But nothing I saw on the trailer, and nothing I saw in the prequel, compelled me to see it.
    So, ask yourself: If this film wasn't a "Star Wars" movie, would I be compelled to see it? Would I feel it is a good film?.
    I have decided it's not. And I won't give in to the hype, however alluring it becomes.

    PS: For the opinion or David Brin, great science fiction writer who makes George Lucas look like the hack he is, read this. [salon.com]
    • Agreed. Same realization hit me a while back. Some movie about a wonky sci-fi universe with some unendearing young punk and a shitty love story.

      If the reviews are strongly favorable, I'll see it, like I do with many films. Otherwise, screw it. I'll wait for The Two Towers.
    • by zCyl (14362)
      If this film wasn't a "Star Wars" movie,... would I feel it is a good film?

      And if Odysseus was just some dude on a ship, would it be as good of a story? Would Terminator II be as good of a movie without the first one? It's tough to analyze a story out of context.
      • Dude, the sole fact that you're comparing Star Wars to the Odyssey kinda makes my point...
        Odysseus WAS some dude on a ship. Things happened to him, and it is a good story. Probably what you mean is "if th Odyssey wasn't one of the classics of literature, would you think it was a good story?".
        The thing is, that thinking is backwards. The Odyssey is a classic BECAUSE it is that good. You see, Homer (he composed it) didn't have much of a marketing budget, so his works were preserved solely on merit.
        Now, Star Wars is not rally bad, but it is not as good as they would have you believe. The difference is hype. And if you don't think Star Wars is about hype, well, I don't really know what to say to you, because it is pretty obvious to me...
    • by Xuff (99173) <`moc.arhtnax' `ta' `ffux'> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @06:06PM (#3398270) Homepage
      In my day, we actually saw the movie before deciding weather it was good or not...
    • by Bongo (13261)

      PS: For the opinion or David Brin, great science fiction writer who makes George Lucas look like the hack he is, read...

      Some points from that article about what Lucas is having us believe:

      • Elites have an inherent right to arbitrary rule; common citizens needn't be consulted. They may only choose which elite to follow.
      • "Good" elites should act on their subjective whims, without evidence, argument or accountability.
      • Any amount of sin can be forgiven if you are important enough.
      • True leaders are born. It's genetic. The right to rule is inherited.
      • Justified human emotions can turn a good person evil.

      But hey, I think all these points could apply to Buffy.

      I recall seeing a TV interview with Lucas where he says that he saw there was a lack of simple good v. evil morality in films... or words to that effect, and that he wanted to put myths back into films.

      It's a question of whether myths have any value, at least for children. And that question might be better answered by people who study child development.

      The myth of the hero, of the super-man, might be nice as something to inspire one, although dangerous to actually identify with it. Elites are not in and of themselves bad, after all, in sport we want to watch the elite players, the ones who are the very best, and not just the average joe.

      The Matrix not only had it's own hero myths, with Neo as the saviour of the world, but also lots of esoteric stuff, about the world being just a dream, and so on.

      Not that I particularly liked SW.

      • by Chris Johnson (580) on Wednesday April 24, 2002 @03:01AM (#3399881) Homepage Journal
        One thing I really like is that, according to the Time article (and written SW publications?) the Empire doesn't come and attack the Republic. The Empire IS the Republic.

        As an American trudging through 2002 I seriously like the idea that Lucas is using the mass media to put forth THIS idea for people to think about: that the well intentioned Republic can turn into the Empire through expansion, greed and expediency.

        With any kind of luck WE won't have storm troopers by the time the sixth film is out...

        • One thing I really like is that, according to the Time article (and written SW publications?) the Empire doesn't come and attack the Republic. The Empire IS the Republic.
          As an American trudging through 2002 I seriously like the idea that Lucas is using the mass media to put forth THIS idea for people to think about: that the well intentioned Republic can turn into the Empire through expansion, greed and expediency.


          And here I thought he was just translating the history of the Roman Republic/Empire into space opera... considering that the politics in TPM look just like late Roman Republic politics, and that they've got the exact same corruption and abuses that led to the fall of the Roman Republic. Unfortunately, I don't think Palpatine is going to be a Julius Caesar... more like a Tiberius or Diocletian.

  • Ok, let's recap.

    Second to last movie: Ewoks.

    Last movie: Jar Jar Binks.

    Right now, he has one last chance with me. Two chances if he releases the first three movies on DVD ABOUT FIVE MINUTES AGO.

    The sad part about it is that as member in good standing with his target demographic, I feel no urge to cruise his websites looking for "new info."

    For all of you people that aren't Star Wars fans and wonder if we're really that P.O'd about tPM, well, we are. After all, I own ALL of the action figures from the first movies, and I really don't know if I'm even interested in seeing the movie now. I personally am more interested in Farscape and the idea that they might bring back Battlestar Galactica... and to put it in perspective, watching Battlestar reruns now is like going in for oral surgery.

    I believe George should retire on the money he makes on this one, and sign the rights over to the fans before we sue over custody.
    • I'm a Star Wars fan (though not a fanatical fan, uhm....I think that makes sense) and I'm not mad about tPM. Sure it didn't live up to the hype, but then again, nothing short of "the greatest movie ever" could have possibly lived up to the hype. The movie itself is well-made and entertaining, you simply have to get past the few bad parts (Yippeee!?! No character in any movie -- ever -- should be heard to utter such a horrible slice of script) and ignore all the hype.

      It was a good movie on many levels, with a happy upbeat feel that should be even more effective when it stands in contrast with the darker feel up the upcoming movies. In many ways it echos episode 4's happy feel contrasted by the darkness in episode 5.

      I think by now that we all know Lucas screwed up. He tried to pander to a certain audience (children) who were more likely to buy up all the merchandising and lost sight of the fact that his audience is comprised of people who are no longer children. It's time we all moved on, recognized the merits of the movie (don't throw the baby out with the bathwater) and gave Lucas another chance. . .
  • by antdude (79039) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:26PM (#3398049) Homepage Journal
    A bit off-topic... Released today on TV and Starwars.com [starwars.com]. It had a few new scenes.

  • by Aix (218662)
    I really enjoyed this story [time.com] on time.com [time.com] but didn't feel like dealing with submitting it and having it summarily rejected.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @05:34PM (#3398105) Homepage Journal
    ...but I could see the merchandise thing as a big win for Lucas.

    Think about this; The merchandisers are the ones paying to make all the SW paraphenalia. It's not like Lucas is shelling out - They're paying HIM. Lucas knew there would be a rush by people making sure they would get all the collectible crap (is it just me, or is everything but the action figures lower quality?) so they made a whole bunch of it. Sure, they didn't sell it all, but Lucas surely realized a big scrooge mcduck-sized pile of money from it.

    So this movie, they're going to reduce the quantity of stuff dramatically which means - you guessed it! - there will be a huge rush on it again. It might take a little time to build up momentum, so toys r us might not have to call in the riot police to get people away from the empty action figure aisle, but it still still produce plenty of cash, and the collectibles will actually have value this time. Not that they don't already, because within just a few months many collectibles were going for over four times their purchase price. I mean, less than a month after they were off the shelves.

    And while we're talking about things which could be intentional; Everyone was going to go see episode one whether it sucked ass or not, so Lucas just didn't have to try. Now, many of us will be waiting to see what our friends have to say about episode 2 before we go see it. Based on the trailers I've seen, It's going to suck, but I guess those are not necessarily static or representative.

  • Most big-budget SF movies suck in the plot department. Remember Artificial Stupidity? Melrose Troopers? Final Fuckup? Wing Confuser? Is there a decent plot in any of them?
  • Jedi battles! Slap in the standard good plot with mythic overtones like the other Star Wars films (the good ones anyway) and I'll stand in line to watch it more than once.
  • "Lucas declined to comment for this story." Everything they have is heresay from people "involved" with the movie.

    And yes, it is important to be very accurate with these sorts of facts.
  • Your objective is simple: Destroy the Earth
    Your motive is a little bit more complex: Revenge

    Stage One:

    To begin your plan, you must first Incapacitate a Military General. This will cause the world to sit up and take notice, stunned by your arrival. Who is this Evil Genius? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good in a Corporate Suit?

    Stage Two:

    Next, you will Seize control of the White House. This will cause countless hordes of Computer Programmers to flock to you, begging to do your every bidding. Your name will become synonymous with Sheer dementedness, as lesser men whisper your name in terror.

    Stage Three:

    Finally, you will Unleash your Thermonuclear Missiles, bringing about Horrors beyond Man's Comprehension. This will all be done from a Corporate Tower, an excellent choice if we might say. These three deeds will herald the end, and the citizens of this planet will have no choice but to elect you their new god.

    Trust us, it'll all come together in the end.

  • A Second Chance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seinethinker (129155) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @06:02PM (#3398246) Homepage Journal
    After watching Phantom Menace and being a child of the 80s, how could I not be but a bit disappointed. It just wasn't what I thought it would be. It was overtly cheesy. The comedy was very forced. It didn't seem natural.

    I had no problem with the graphics. Of course, I hated Jar Jar. He was the main representative of the cheesy comedy that ensued within the film.

    Another fault I found was that Darth Maul didn't seem evil enough. The part was dimunitive.

    I didn't like the Trade Federation reps either as I find their voices and appearance very annoying. They were even very menacing.

    The robots, egads, they didn't need to talk. "Roger, Roger"... could you be more cliche?

    The biggest beef I have is with the Anakin saves the day sequence... This whole scene was far fetched from the Auto pilot to the sudden overheating of his ship to the uncanny idea that a chief component - determinal to the starbase was inside a landing hanger.

    Ok... enough dissing PM for it wasn't all bad.

    Now when I heard what Lucas decided to call Episode II, I inherently whinced. I begun to glaze over. I wanted more action less overcheesy forced comedy. Also, I was to look forward to a fluffer romance. Mind you... I am a GIRL! I like romances.. but after PM... I want action. hehe...

    However, I changed mind my after reading an article issued by TIME. I became hopeful. I have seen images and I have seen some small footage from the movie. I am actually excited about Star Wars again. Perhaps, there is a charm about second chances. I can't wait!!

    If you want to check out that TIME article... visit here:

    http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101020429/

    ~ SeineThinker ~
    • by Anonymous Coward


      Dear Seinethinker,

      Thank you so much for sharing your suggestions.

      After one second of consideration, I decided to print your post and use it to wipe my ass.

      I look forward to wiping my ass with the money that you and your friends will spend to see my new movie next month.

      Sincerely,
      George Lucas
    • Also, I was to look forward to a fluffer romance.

      Um... about "fluffer romance"... er... nevermind, i'll resist the childish impulse.

  • Mild spoilers in the linked stories, by the way.
    Why couldn't you have done that for the Lone Gunmen story? Still, it's good to see you're learning.
  • What George was saying when the 1st TPM reviews were coming out was that it was /supposed/ to be a children's movie and for us old ppl to piss off?
  • "The next film is really dark," Lucas tells Time. "The issue is, will people stand for it? But I've got to tell the story.

    Finally! I actually want to see the next two.
    It's nice to see Lucas is smartening up to what his LOYAL fans want. I even have the RPG for chrissakes...
  • This is precisely the crap that's gonna be worth mucho dinero in 20 years.
  • Can I get some of those full size Jar Jar Binks mannequins on the cheap? Those would make excellent live fire target practice dummies...
  • by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @08:30PM (#3398836) Journal

    You mean, there's official Star Wars(TM) plastic crap, and I've never seen it??? If they're going to be making less of it, I'd better pick some up fast. No more generic fake do-do for me. From now on it's Star Wars(TM) plastic crap, or nothing at all... unless they make fake vomit too.

  • by Mulletproof (513805) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @08:53PM (#3398903) Homepage Journal
    Maybe it's just me, but I find the entire marketing scheme behind Starwars a bit disturbing anymore... Episodes 4-6 were fine. We had a Hero and his Alliance topple the Big Evil Dude and his Empire.

    Now in 1-3, we see how the Big Evil Dude and his Empire got started. Fine. Except for one thing... They're marketing a mass murder to kids. Yeah! Get the Ep.1 Jar-Jar and Anakin coloring book! He's just like you, kids! Buy his toys, see the movie! Yes, watch Ep.2! Watch Anakin fall in love! He's a rebel with a cause! What? Yeah, sure, he enslaves most of the known Universe, becomes second in command to Umber-Hitler, hunts the Jedi to near extinction and kills billions with his Giant Planet Killing Weapon, but that's besides the point. Kids will eat this stuff up!

    Personally, I think Eps 2-3 will be the best of the new trilogy and I'll enjoy them throughly, but the with the way they're marketing em, I NEVER want to hear a complaint about ANY videogame violence AGAIN.
  • by Sabalon (1684) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @10:37PM (#3399259)
    I remember when I was a bit younger, some products would have tie ins...perhaps you would get a starwars toy in your frosted flakes or at McDonalds or something.

    Now they are not even trying...they just have a "Star Wars Episode II" cereal - not even trying to hide a merchandising tie in.

    What's next: "Star Wars Corn Based Merchandising with Sugar"

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents

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