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Star Wars Prequels Media Movies

Quickies from a Galaxy Far Far Away 374

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i've-got-a-bad-feeling-about-this dept.
In celebration of the release of AotC, here are a bunch of random SW stories that have fluttered through our bin: Tim Drage has made a Lego Star Wars movie, POds sent us a fan film Fan Film (quicktime. Bah). Here is a comic to share and enjoy. iamchaos noted that the next Matrix Trailer will be showing with Clones. nellardo sent in a fine tribute to darth maul. Anyone want a Star Wars Axe? Zack sent us a great collection of SW Characters you won't see as much as you might want to. wiredog sent us some spoilers, the Skywalker family tree and how Anakin becomes Vader. peter_gzowski sent in an essay by Ebert where he gives it 2 of 4 stars, and discusses the digital filming. Finally ant sent us a bizarre tale of some guys who got the brilliant idea to build a life-size Millenium Falcon. So there it is folks. I have tickets for a 12:01 showing in Ann Arbor and I'll be getting in line in just a few short hours.
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Quickies from a Galaxy Far Far Away

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  • Wow, Canada's most famous radio personality is back from the dead and submitting stories to slashdot.
  • Fan Film (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @10:42AM (#3523291)
    It's a 122.8 MB Quicktime Movie.

    Just a warning.
  • by russx2 (572301) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @10:42AM (#3523292)
    http://www.asciimation.co.nz

    Star Wars in ascii... Maybe it's a geek thing?
  • by Bonker (243350) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @10:42AM (#3523293)
    Obi-wan: ...As if thousands of fanboys and fangirls had called in sick.

    Luke: What is it, Ben?

    Obi-wan: Something horrible. It's as if thousands of businesses were running along, being productive, and were suddenly silenced.
    • Hehe, here in the UK, they're more worried about the football (that's soccer for americans) World cup. As it's held in Japan & Korea, all the games will be shown in the morning. They're expecting a number of sickies to be pulled on the days of the England games.

      At least they don't have to worry about Scottish fans calling in sick; we failed to qualify again, despite doing pretty well to begin with. Pity we couldn't beat those giants of the game, Lithuania *sigh*.

      • We Americans are always confused by World Cup Soccer. We know we want to be the best at it, but, on the whole, we don't really get it. No sport in the U.S. really has the near-universal draw that Soccer seems to have everywhere else in the world.

        Even the other pro sports like American Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey have their rabid fans, but nothing like the stereotypical rioting mobs that we associate with British Soccer. In fact, as those sports become more and more corporate, they become less and less popular.

        Starwars is the closest thing we have to that kind of draw. LOTR came close, but even with the negative impression a lot of fans left Episode 1 with, I haven't seen the kind of rabid dedication and fandom that Episode 2 is generating anywhere else.
  • by kir (583)

    I'm not. Not until it's released on DVD or I get confirmation from a reliable source (friend whose opinion I trust) that it isn't a bag-o-"lets sell some merchandise".

    Maybe I'm too cynical... NAH!

    • Not until it's released on DVD

      I heard on the radio that they've been selling AotC DVDs in Malaysia for $3. Apparently it's like going to NYC and buying something from the back of some guy's truck, except over there they're poor and can't afford the truck.

  • by Sunken Kursk (518450) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @10:45AM (#3523310) Homepage
    No matter what the movie is like, it will not live up to most people's expectations. One of the main problems with the Star Wars series is the long time between the originals and the new trilogy. During the time that has elapsed, the Star Wars fan base has been able to get used to the chintziness of the originals. As such, the originals have morphed from merely good stories to almost miraculous examples of cinematic perfection.

    That being said, I'm still going to go see the movie. Rather than compare it to any of the previous movies, I will attempt to simply compare it to itself. Hopefully, by doing that, I will enjoy the movie much more than anyone who expects a papal blessing upon this film.

    See you guys at the theatre at 12:01!

    • It was pointed out to me the other day that much of the fan fiction is better than the stuff Lucas puts out nowadays. I haven't looked into it, but I'd believe it.

      I waited a day too long for 12:01 tickets, so I'll probably just go see it over the weekend. It's entertainment, not life, not the end of the world, and certainly not the greatest thing to ever exist.
      • It was pointed out to me the other day that much of the fan fiction is better than the stuff Lucas puts out nowadays. I haven't looked into it, but I'd believe it.

        You'd be wrong. Even the officially sanctioned novels feature such gems as Ikrit, the Jedi Master [212.168.23.160] bunny rabbit [ffurg.com]. Even Lucas hasn't dreamed up something that stupid (yet).

        And most fanfics are based on people's Star Wars roleplaying game characters, who are named things like Darth Nightstalker Darkshadow, and have a double-bladed lightsaber like Darth Maul's, only much longer, and have been genetically engineered by secret Imperial training to be a hit with the ladies and a dynamo in the sack.

    • by Joseph Vigneau (514) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @10:54AM (#3523368)
      Rather than compare it to any of the previous movies, I will attempt to simply compare it to itself.

      I think it will be just as good as itself, if not better!
    • I agree with you but I also think the problem with Episode I as compared to 4-6 has to do with the lack of action in episode I. I still enjoyed TPM and Jar-Jar didn't annoy me as much as it did everyone else. Anakin did annoy the hell out of me though but since I've seen Star Wars again recently, I'm thinking that Lucas was maybe going for a cheesy pulp fiction type of movie and that's why he chose the actor that he chose to play the part of Anakin.

      My wife and I were watching Star Wars the other night when it came on cable and I noticed that there were far more gun fights than TPM and the action scenes were much shorter. The pod scene in TPM was way too long...maybe.

      People will still beat AOTC to hell because it just isn't perfect. Maybe fans need to lower their expectations a little and just enjoy the movie for what it is. Then again, I probably don't know what the hell I'm talking about.
      • I watched TPM twice in the theatre and a few times on DVD. I think anyone who has watched this movie more than twice really appreciates how much Jar-Jar adds enjoyment to the film. Anakin is far more annoying. Terrible, terrible acting and I shudder watching every scene he is in. Jar-Jar gives the film some humor which overall is fairly dry. Ok the tongue thing in Anakin's house was lame.

        Apart from being a touch too long, TPM is a fairly decent film that sets the stage for 5 more films.
        • > Anakin is far more annoying. Terrible, terrible acting and I shudder watching every scene he is in. Jar-Jar gives the film some humor which overall is fairly dry. Ok the tongue thing in Anakin's house was lame.

          No shit. What's up with Natalie Portman falling for Anakin when she can have a guy with a tongue that can do that?

          (Although, now that I think about it, both alternatives are pretty sick at the time of TPM. Lucas musta been on some weird shit when he wrote that script.)

      • Maybe fans need to lower their expectations a little and just enjoy the movie for what it is.

        NO! We should NOT lower our expectations! It's precisely this type of thinking that lets the studios crank out POS after POS with [insert current flavor of the month here] in the title role.

        I can't tell you how many times I've had this conversation with one of my friends in the industry:


        ME: What are you working on?

        FRIEND: Some piece of shit.

        ME: Really? What's it about?

        FRIEND: It's a rip off of [recently successful movie], starring [currently hot actor] and [producer's girlfriend/mistress/wife].

        ME: So it's a piece of shit, and everyone knows that, but they're still spending 20 million dollars on it.

        FRIEND: Yep. It'll make it back opening weekend before anyone realizes how shitty it is. Hey, it's starring [currently hot actor], you know!

        ME: Sounds great. Let's get drunk.


        Studios would love nothing more than for us to keep lowering and lowering our expectations, because it lets them focus on what they really care about: selling merchandise, and "synergy" with advertising tie-ins.

        There was a time when movies were considered an art form, and studios were run by creative people who wanted to tell a story, or make a statement. Now, movies are just another excuse to sell crap, feature the actors who have been capriciously identified by Hollywood as "up and coming" (Vin Diesel? Please.) and push more and more product. Creative people are a necessary evil, and we are constantly over ruled by somebody's cousin, whose MBA from Harvard somehow qualifies him to make creative decisions about story structure. News flash: studios are run by multi-national conglomerates, and they can't WAIT for us to lower our expectations and give them our money.

        Honestly, what's it going to take for us to say "enough?" Sure, Watchmen may get made, but they'll fuck it up. They're already trying to make Sandman, and I know first hand that the studio wants it to be an action movie. Sandman. Action Movie. Oh, sure, that makes sense. Let's just lower our expectations and go enjoy it.

        If I go to enjoy AToC for "What it is," I may as well stay home and watch commercials for Burger King tie-ins and action figures.

        I'd write more, but I have to go stand in line, and my Chewbacca suit is already itchin' my ass.
    • by sielwolf (246764) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:21AM (#3523490) Homepage Journal
      Ebert has a good basic measuring stick of a good movie: if you can remember any quotes from it.

      Then list five memorable lines from Phantom Menace.

      Then list five lines from A New Hope.

      "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."

      "That's no moon! It's a space station."

      "When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master."

      "Only the master of evil, Darth."

      "He doesn't like you."
      "I'm sorry."
      "I don't like you either. You just watch yourself. We're wanted men. I have the death sentence on twelve systems."
      "I'll be careful."
      "You'll be DEAD!"

      Do you think that Attack of the Clones will be as basically enjoyable? I don't think so. At least we get to see some Mandalorians. I'm going to wait. Maybe catch a matinee.

      Personally I want to see the Star Wars where Jar-Jar dies on every page.
      • I usually agree with Ebert, but I think he's wrong here. No Star Wars movie ever had good dialogue. Just because you can remember a few quote from a twenty-some year-old movie that you've seen eighty billion times doesn't make it good.
      • Ebert has a good basic measuring stick of a good movie: if you can remember any quotes from it.

        By that measurement, "Spinal Tap" wins hands down.

        These go to eleven.

        There's such a fine line between stupid and ... clever.

        You can't really dust for vomit.

        OK, I'll stop now before I get too far off-topic.

        Moderator: Too late. (-1 Off-topic.)

      • "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant, next to the power of the Force."
    • During the time that has elapsed, the Star Wars fan base has been able to get used to the chintziness of the originals.

      Eh... personally I recall loving the movies when I was a kid, loving them when I was a young teen, but when I watched them in my early 20's I kinda wondered why I thought it was so good. The acting is very stilted with a few notable exceptions, there are huge gaps in the storyline, and at points it just seems very disjointed.

      Sure, there's still bits where brilliance shines through, but by and large Star Wars is a B movie. What it did do was usher in a new era of special effects, changed the general public's view of science fiction movies, and further helped to create the phenomenon now known as blockbuster movies.

      Personally, I long ago lost respect for Lucas as a film maker. I'm going to wind up seeing AotC this weekend (I hadn't planned to, but some friends are going, so my wife and I are herding along), but my expectations for it are rather whacked - I expect to be disappointed.

      Why? Because everytime I watch one of the Star Wars movies I once again discover that it doesn't hold up to my dim childhood memories of "The Best Movie EVER!". And while that may be an unrealistic benchmark, it's still what I, and many others, keep hoping for from Lucas.
  • by Snaggy (140728) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @10:49AM (#3523335) Homepage
    For those who haven't seen our classic comic series, we've been running it again on AY2K [geekculture.com] as a countdown to Episode II.

    It starts here...
    ... A long time ago, in a comic far far away... [geekculture.com]
  • I'm really interested in the "Skywalker Family Tree" link. But its broke atm. Please fix. Thanks.
  • by dmomo (256005) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @10:51AM (#3523340) Homepage
    Typo in the story. Here is the actual URL:

    http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,52408, 00 . tml
  • Some reviews (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @10:51AM (#3523342)
    The reviews for the feel good hit of the summer continue to roll in!

    "There is not one line in this movie that you can quote with any pleasure. It is the most banal script I have ever read," raves Roger Ebert of Ebert and Roeper.

    David Ansen of Newseek enthuses,"Lucas's enterprise has long since passed out of the arena of mere entertainment and into the realm of pure faith. You're either a true believer or an agnostic. To the former, its value is beyond debate, and all criticism a form of heresy. Which leaves guys like me doing the Devil's work. Let the hate mail commence... ...Anakin comes off as a whiny, brattish American teenager. He's vapid, not Vader... Lucas, frankly, is a feeble director of actors..."

    Says John Anderson of Newsday, "...only those audiences already up to their necks in "Star Wars" ephemera could possibly care about the actual plot points on which the latest installment rests... ...[Christensen's Anakin] is the kind of whiny, irritating performance that would get most actors thrown out of 'Dawson's Creek,' much less a billion-dollar enterprise like 'Star Wars.' And yet, there he is, as pretty as Portman and easily as useless."

    Intones Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune, "Now Anakin is a headstrong, moody 19-year-old played with doleful looks and a curling lip by Hayden Christensen, and he's still barely a person. He speaks in topic sentences, and what they say is this: 'I like to take risks. I love Padme (Natalie Portman). I'm ready to be a Jedi knight. I resent that Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) still bosses me around. I love Padme. I'm frustrated that I'm so strong, yet I can't protect my mom.' For such a visually oriented filmmaker, Lucas commits an unpardonable sin: He tells instead of shows... Lucas' tin ear for dialogue doesn't help. Padme to Anakin: 'I've been dying a little bit each day since you came back into my life.' Oh, ick.!!!!!!!"

    Raves Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "This thing will have your mind glazed over faster than a glob of dough in a Krispy Kreme plant... 'Clones' makes the Frodo-speak of 'Lord of the Rings' sound like Noel Coward."

    And, last but not least, Michael Atkinson of the Village Voice says, "Jango serves as the template for a covert army of obedient, disposable, Asian- featured clones. The backlash against the last film's racist stereotypes apparently never reached Skywalker Ranch... Labeling a villain 'Sidious' is one thing, but calling a minor character 'Elan Sleazebaggano' is another achievement entirely... There is an odd cognitive dissonance at work between the obvious ingenuity dedicated to the film's visual details -- alien anatomies, industrial machinery, technological minutiae -- and the retarded intelligence quotient evident in its content... Lucas has in fact come closer than anyone could desire to the cheap, graceless, hackneyed sci-fi serials of the '30s and '40s. Predictably, the screenplay would make Buster Crabbe call for a rewrite... This is hardly an epic (a word that implies moral, human, and social weight). It's a marathon of irrelevant preadolescent dreaming... As the nationwide sidewalk camp-outs come to their climax, the maniacal wwwooooooos siren through the theater (even at the Lucasfilm Ltd. logo), and virtually every adult I know admits to a publicity-hammered submission, it's easy to feel like 1984's Winston Smith struggling with 2 + 2 = 5. Why should this invasion of self-ratifying, trans-marketed mythopoeia -- so electrifying and meaningful to so many -- be so inarguably empty and inconsequential? Attack of the Clones is a golden calf, worshiped not out of primitive fear but populist groupthink."
    • by gowen (141411)
      How about this one [guardian.co.uk] from The Guardian [guardian.co.uk], titled "Hit me Obi one more time..."

      The highlight is:
      Moreover, Anakin not only has a ponytail, but also a thin length of braided hair trailing winsomely over his shoulder. As the mighty Yoda would say: "Like a wussy 12-year-old girl he looks."
      • by kraf (450958)
        thanks for the link, I liked this one better:

        along with the shadowy and superbly named Darth Sidious. (Who else? Darth Nuendo? Darth Vasion? Darth Tergalactic-Warfare?)

    • Okay, one issue with the whole racial stereotype thing: if they're all clones, they have to be one single race, right? Furthermore, they're evil. So what race would be safe? Even the old fallback (if minorities are likely to get offended, just make them white) doesn't really work, because then they'll look like Nazi ubermensch or something. The Stormtroopers are already named Stormtroopers after all, do we need more WWII parallels?.
    • The reviews for the feel good hit of the summer continue to roll in!

      What? None of those were reviews of Spider-Man...
    • Jango is asian? Gee, he looked like a black haired New Zealander to me (http://jfett.8m.com/tem.htm)... Maybe the Village Voice reviewer needs glasses...
  • First kink in the armour Ted

    The tickets have "Wednesday, 12:01 am" printed on them- but thats suposed to be either wednesday 11:59 or Thursday 12:01 am - all wekk I was expecting to see it today. Grrrrrrr
  • ahem (Score:2, Funny)

    by BilldaCat (19181)
    my CmdrTaco impersonation

    I HAVE TICKETS AT 12:01
    I HAVE TICKETS AT 12:01
    I HAVE TICKETS AT 12:01




    psst...

    I HAVE TICKETS AT 12:01!!!

    and you don't.

    • by tb3 (313150)
      Yeah, but we get the last laugh. The tickets are in Ann Arbor.
    • Fortunately, I do.

      And that would be 12:01 Eastern, not 12:01 in that later time zone that contains Michigan.

      So Nyah Nyah Nyah!

      --mandi

      • Re:ahem (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mr.Phil (128836)
        ummm I'm pretty sure most of Michigan is in the Eastern Time zone, all except a small portion of the UP (Upper Peninsula). I can say this as I've lived in Michigan for 20 years, having moved there from Chicago, which is in the Central Time zone.

        Since Ann Arbor is in the large portion of Michigan which is in the Easter Time Zone, Taco's going to be watching it at the same time as you are...
    • by el_nino (4271)
      and you don't.

      No, I have tickets for an advance screening at 21:00. In GMT+1, so I get to see it 9 hours 1 minute before CmdrTaco in Ann Arbor. </gloat>

  • Ebert is right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ciaohound (118419) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:06AM (#3523414)
    So much CGI just looks like CGI -- it often subverts the willing suspension of disbelief. Give me the old Star Wars/Ray Harryhausen stuff anyday. But CGI is the future and economics will be on its side. (I had to laugh at last night's Smallville -- it used CGI to show a waitress dropping a tray of coffee mugs. Now that is affordable CGI!) So, if it's inevitable, is anyone working on CGI that will mimic the results of the old physical modelling techniques?
    • Re:Ebert is right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dswensen (252552) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:35PM (#3523938) Homepage
      So, if it's inevitable, is anyone working on CGI that will mimic the results of the old physical modelling techniques?

      They never stopped doing that. If you watch the documentary for Jurassic Park (it's on the DVD), you'll see that veteran animator Phil Tippett and his crew had a very hard time making the transition from "go-motion" animation to working with a keyboard to make CGI dinosaurs. So the special effects crew built a number of model dinosaurs that were tied into the computer, and the animators moved them by hand, just like they did with stop-motion, and the movements were recorded and smoothed out by the computer. The technique, ultimately, didn't change much at all.

      One of the animators even complained that "people think that with computers, we just have a keyboard and press C for creature and D for dinosaur, and never do any hands-on work, which is just wrong."

      Even TPM featured a lot more miniatures work than is apparent in a film. It's really nerdy of me, but I've gotten a bit of pleasure out of it when I was watching TPM with an anti-CGI fellow, and when he sneered "that looks so fake" at one particular part, pointed out to him that it wasn't CGI, but a miniature. Oops, now it looks real after all!

      My favorite bit is people always yapping about the actors opposite Jar Jar (yeah, I know, I know) "looking over his head" or "into space," when in fact there was an actor in a Jar Jar suit right there in the scene with them, and was replaced later.

      Certainly, some CGI effects look better than others, and I've seen enough piss-poor CGI Rorscharch blots to last me the rest of my life -- but this hating CGI "just because" just sort of puzzles me.

      That said, I think Ray Harryhausen is to be revered as the pioneer that he was, but stop-motion, by today's standards, looks like complete ass. I think it's a testament to how spoiled we are as moviegoers that we can carp and gripe about special effects that look more realistic than anything that's ever been in the movies before -- no matte lines, no mismatched colors, etc. Like any effect, when it's done well, it's done well. When it sucks, it sucks.

  • Wow, it's been quite a long time since /. did quickies. They were one of my favorite types of articles. You get some load balancing across all of the links so there's not quite as much /. effect directed towards each site ;-)

    Glad to see quickies return. Keep 'em coming. It's been *AT LEAST* a year since the last one. =P

  • by al3x (74745) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:13AM (#3523445) Homepage
    I've said it before, and it'll be modded down as "flamebait" again, but I think it's appalling that the same editors who decry the practices of the MPAA at every turn go out and spend their money and give publicity to the most crass and over-marketed of MPAA-sanctioned output. Saying you hate the organization but love the content just isn't good enough: every dollar you spend on a MPAA film is another dollar that says "I want to be legislated against; I want to be treated like a criminal; I encourage you to use my tax dollars to hunt me down."
      • think it's appalling that the same editors who decry the practices of the MPAA at every turn go out and spend their money and give publicity to the most crass and over-marketed of MPAA-sanctioned output

      And on the first day, too. What clearer way to send the message that you don't care about the content, that you don't give a damn about reviews (professional or peer), but that you've been bought by the trailers and the advertising, that your money is already in the bank. It sends the signal that the MPAA should be able to expect and demand our money.

      Not that Cmdr Taco cares. Hey, man, he's just one guy going to watch a movie, right? I mean, what can one guy do? If he didn't buy those tickets, someone else would, right? And the movie would suck if he waited two weeks to see it, right? Right?

  • by rediguana (104664) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:13AM (#3523449)
    And I'm quite impressed. I watched Phantom Menace on DVD before going, and followed it up with AOTC. It was rather impressive and made Phantom look rather shallow. Yes, it may make you cringe in a couple of places, but overall, it seems more like the Star Wars of old, and it is cool to finally have the story coming together, something that didn't really happen with Phantom (of course it was mainly used as a movie to introduce characters and themes).

    I went in with an open mind, not really knowing what to expect, just hoping it was going to be better than Phantom. I personally think it has well outdone Phantom. It is much deeper, more emotive, and certainly darker. I really enjoyed this movie, and overall I think the audience did too, especially Yoda's scene - you'll know it when you see it ;)
    • This is something that has confused me greatly: why do people let Lucas off easy for making Ep. 1 merely a "set-up episode" for Ep's 2 and 3? New Hope was thoroughly self-contained and was a far better movie than Ep. 1, due in large part to that fact IMNSHO.

      The Matrix was self-contained, even though it was always planned as part 1 of a trilogy.

      Maybe it's for the same reasons that Peter Jackson gets away with Fellowship . But then, that's always been known to be part 1 of 3 (and, even having said that, it was a far better movie than Episode 1).

      Hrrm.
      • This is something that has confused me greatly: why do people let Lucas off easy for making Ep. 1 merely a "set-up episode" for Ep's 2 and 3?

        Because that's what it is.

        The original was only self-contained because Lucas had no idea if it would even make money. ALL the other films are dependent on one another, and making the prequels changes the nature of Star Wars as a stand-alone film. Phantom Menace (whatever you think of it) was not just setting the stage for Episode II, but for all six films. Lots of backstory to be established, and they still had to start in the middle.

        If they start the prequels with the Republic already fallen and everything already dark and spooky-poo, there's no sense of transition.

  • The Matrix trailer for Reloaded and Revolutions will be seen tonight on Entertainment Tonight. Check your local listings for it. Here is a link with more details about the May 15 ET trailer and about it being attached to another movie coming out this week.

    Matrix Breaking News link [warnerbros.com]

    bbh
  • by jstockdale (258118) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:20AM (#3523489) Homepage Journal
    Ok guys, just got out of the theater down here and I thought I would give some feedback to the community. First of all, I'd like to qualify any negative tones that come through by stating that a few of the specific scenes were tainted in my first viewing by a big fat guy next to me that kept saying "this isn't star wars" I felt like turning next to him and saying, "well fatso, what is it then, mary fucking poppens?" because undoubtedly this is star wars.

    Over the years, I think Lucas may have lost touch a little bit with his fan base, but AotC is a step in the right direction. Its hard to go into any details without spoiling (which i promised myself i would not do) so forgive me if I skimp out in those areas

    Lucas makes use of two main plots, regarding anakin and obi-wan (sp?) now the former plot in my opinion, endulges a little too much in the realms of honest idealism, and can get cheesy at times, but the remaining portions, along with the later plot, definitely make up for it. (Yoda. need i say more?)

    Halfway through the movie I must admit I was quite skeptical, as I had already extrapolated every action to the end. However, the clues did not reveal all, to the point that at the end I was left stunned, contemplating what was going to happen next, what I missed, and how long until I could see it again.

    Strong the force in this one is.

    -John

    disclaimer: as it is 3:21am and I only had 5 hours of sleep in the last 40, please excuse any spelling, errors, or lack of interes... oh screw it - flame away
  • by puto (533470) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:21AM (#3523493) Homepage
    Seriously, it amazes me how many people are up in arms over this flick. Now I am 32 and remember seeing star wars at age six. It wasn't the effects that got me, they were not that good anyway. It was the whole farm boy makes good story, a cute girl, the bad ass ride(the Falcon and the famous Kessel beer run story).

    So it might not be the best. But I am going see it because it brings back memories of plastic lightsabers leaving welts and heated discussions on why Han Solo(reference to onanism?) was cooler than Luke Skywalker(latent homo?) and I enjoy the series(not the ewoks, animated hairballs).

    Who hasn't tried the old Jedi Mind Trick on their parents?

    So as much as we all bitch and whine about it we are all going to see it. And many will download it, though the theater with dolby will be the choice for most of us, no immersion at home, I dont care how big your screen is.

    I am bringing a date in case it gets boring... But she was born after star wars was released. So, I am gonna have to tone down the geekiness and supress my knowledge of the Jedi. And if I can't use the force on her there is always the old hole in the popcorn tub and unzipped pants trick"This isn't the jolly time kernels your looking for"

    Lighten up people. I think we all need to get out more often.

  • Kinda reminds me of something I read before [theonion.com].

    Man, I love the Onion.
  • A friend gave me a bootleg of the first hour or so and it looks pretty good. I saw the first 15 minutes or so. The rest I'm going to watch at home. I think the whole bootleg thing is a George Lucas conspiracy. Ironically you can easily find the first part of AOTC on the file sharing networks, but the second part is no where to be found. Maybe it's a way to wet people's appetites?
  • My wife and I watched Monsters, Inc. at a digital projector theater (AMC 1000 in SF).

    Positives: Incredibly sharp, bright picture (like Ebert says)

    Negatives: Action scenes blur when things move fast. This really sucks (hey, Spiderman seemed to, too!). Also, we both had headaches afterwards.

    Basically, we have technology here that's extremely expensive that's NOT Good Enough yet being pushed by the greatest toy seller ever, George Lucas. Where in the galaxy can we hide?
  • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:04PM (#3523706) Journal
    A few choice quotes from the review [washingtonpost.com].

    It's too long, it's too dull, it's too lame.

    But the mythic source he seems to have based this episode on is . . . "The McLaughlin Group"

    It's like reading the latest dispatch on the Mongolian parliament, as reported by Elizabeth Drew in a really cranky mood.

    the master Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and his young mentee, Anakin Skywalker (played by 'N Sync star Justin Timberlake - no, no, played by Hayden Christensen, who looks like an 'N Sync kid but doesn't have as much talent).

    I'll tell you one thing: no star system central, as in, say, MGM, would have built a movie around the dim Americans who haunt this one. In fact, the movie is kind of a laboratory on American vs. British technique. Score: Brits 10, Yanks 0.

    even an actual great actor, Samuel L. Jackson, seems ridiculous. He never looks comfortable as the Jedi Mace Windu, in robes and boots, and there's nothing he can do at all with a line like "The Genosians aren't warriors. One Jedi has to be worth a hundred Genosians!"

    The 'N Sync kid is even worse. He seems to have wandered in from a Pepsi commercial. No, that would have been Justin Timberlake. Who knows where this dreary boy has been?



    • Looks to me like one of those reviews more enchanted with making hip in-jokes and pop culture references than actually saying anything substantive about the film. Kind of ironic, a reviewer panning the film for being too shallow while writing an utterly shallow review.
      • Kind of ironic, a reviewer panning the film for being too shallow while writing an utterly shallow review.

        When there's no "there" there, you have to make your own entertainment. You cannot delve into a once-river that is now only a muddy trickle without bringing up some dirt. Given what he had to work with, the reviewer did a masterful job...

  • The best part... of Ebert's review.

    Too much of the rest of the film is given over to a romance between Padme and Anakin in which they're incapable of uttering anything other than the most basic and weary romantic cliches, while regarding each other as if love was something to be endured rather than cherished. There is not a romantic word they exchange that has not long since been reduced to cliche.

    No, wait: Anakin tells Padme at one point: "I don't like the sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating--not like you. You're soft and smooth." I hadn't heard that before.

    You can harp all day about how this movie can't possibly live up to expectations... But what about those of us who just want to expect a decent film with palatable dialogue?

  • There's an interesting storyline going on over at a comic called Misty the Mouse [mistymouse.com]. Most of this comic is an anthropomorphic madcap romp, but the latest storyline is a (so-far) well done fan comic of Star Wars called "Imperial Guardrails".



    Enjoy. :o)

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:29PM (#3523875) Homepage
    • I have tickets for a 12:01 showing in Ann Arbor and I'll be getting in line in just a few short hours...

    ...with the other sheep.

    What, will it become a worse film if you wait a week? Everybody that goes to see this film on the opening day is sending this message, clear and load: "We don't give a damn how good this is, because we decided that we had to see it years ago. You've had our money in the bank since 1977. You could show 2 hours of Jar Jar breakdancing, and we'd queue up to see it and then temporise about ways in which it could have sucked more. Don't bother yourself actually making more than a trailer's worth of decent footage, and the rest of you Hollywood studios, take note. We're sheep. Baa. Baaaaaaaa."

    But don't mind me. You go and see it, and demonstrate that it doesn't matter if you're flogging a dead horse, so long as it's a horse that people loved a lot when it was alive. Demonstrate that Hollywood (like the RIAA) is right to expect and demand a guaranteed revenue stream, regardless of whether they're making anything worth while. Demonstrate that if you lower our expectations enough, cognitive dissonance will kick in and a feeling that "Hey, that movie didn't suck as much as I feared!" will somehow morph into "Hey, that movie was OK! I guess I'll decide here and now to see the next one, no matter how drab awful it appears."

    Bah, enough. You're a sheep, Taco. Enjoy being fleeced.

  • Well, that's interesting and all, but when I saw the link copy I must admit I was expecting something more like this: http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~mbsf/sworde.htm [biglobe.ne.jp]

    Though I would still dearly love to see a stop-motion recreation rather than stills. You gotta love that smiling Darth Maul figure....
  • Here is a positive review [sfbayguardian.com] from the SF Bay Guardian.
  • I just saw this:
    The Guardian newspaper has a short piece about Lucas defending Phantom Menace [guardian.co.uk] [also annoying popup].

    Quick plug:
    Why not compare all the Star Wars episodes [compare-stuff.com] in one swell foop! (You can also try terms like: lame, merchandise, thrilling, classic etc...)
  • List of Cringes :

    Boba Fett : lets just say that kid made Jar Jar look good.

    The Fireplace Scene : Urgh. I mean, just. Urgh. When the fireplace appeared the audience started laughing.

    The Assembly line sequence : Caused massive Galaxy Quest Flashbacks. "This makes no sense!"

    R2-D2 : He can fly ? Since when ?

    Actors (Australia Only) : Jack Thompson shouldn't be in a Star Wars film. Nor should anyone from Playschool

    C3-PO in final battle : C3PO should not be doing that and making jokes. Did *ANYONE* see anything wrong with this ?

    Never, Ever get Christopher Lee to say "The Dark Lord". That film is at the end of the year, not this one. You might as well have Yoda shoot webbing out of his arms.. Oh.. yeah...

    Trailers : In Australia we didn't get the Matrix 2 Trailer. We got : Stuart Little 2, Snow Dogs and The Crocodile Hunter Movie. I'm not f'n kiding. The goddam Crocodile Hunter. Can't we shoot him or something ? He's sending the wrong impression of our country, when he's actually a guy who got fired off a third-rate childrens wildlife show back in '91

    Oh, and they screwed up Parsec again. Well done. If two star systems one parsec apart, they are closer then Alpha Centauri is to Earth. You have to do an awful lot of fanwanking to explain why Tatooine is in range while the Arena planet isn't.
    • Yeah, there was some quite cringeworthy bits in it. (But hey, isnt that what SF cinema is about? :)

      The fireplace scene was ugh! But then, the acting of Anakin was stilted and forced IMO. That said, I think a better actor would have made the whole movie that much better, but what we got is okay if it dosent get on your nerves particularly.

      As for Parsecs, thats why Star Trek has its own bogolingo to describe things. I'd prefer the use of "parsec" in a flawed manner, than saying "Tatooine seems to be within the 10 megapascalcomfrobulator range my powerconduitquadlithiummidichlorean com badge can transethermit." :)

      As for accuracy, well, the whole series suffers from plot holes. I had a debate about the old line from Ep4 from Obi Wan "I thought I could teach your father as well as Yoda taught me. I was wrong." Now, a friend argued with me that maybe Yoda took over Obi Wan's training and completed it, between 1 and 2. But no, I think Obi became a Jedi at the end of 1 when he took Anankin as his apprentice. Therefore Yoda was never involved, and there is an inconsistency.

      Now everyone can start on all the inconsistencies Ep2 bring in. But I still mostly enjoyed it.

      AT..
    • Oh, and they screwed up Parsec again. Well done. If two star systems one parsec apart, they are closer then Alpha Centauri is to Earth. You have to do an awful lot of fanwanking to explain why Tatooine is in range while the Arena planet isn't.

      For those of you who are wondering, a parsec is a unit of distance, equal to about 3.086 x 10^18 meters. The distance to Alpha Centauri is about 1.2 parsecs from earth. If you systems are less than one parsec apart in distance, then they are about 3 light years apart.

      I havn't seen the film, but I really hope that Lucas did not use parsecs as a unit of time. I swear I will walk out of the theater if he does. He has had 25 years to not make the same mistake twice. From your post it seems that he used it to mean distance.

      One of the great revelations about special relativity is that time and distance are really the same thing, if we use the speed of light as a metric. Since c=2.99 x 10^8 m/s is constant, we can use both meters and seconds to describe the other. For example, if I say, "The store is 1000 meters away," I can also say "The store is 3.34 x 10^-6 seconds" away. The amount of distance it takes light to travel in 3.34 x 10^-6 seconds is about 1000 meters. In the opposite direction the context is a little more screwy, so that I can say, "I will be there is 1200 seconds" can also be translated as "I will be there in 3.6 x 10^11 meters" since it takes light 1200 s to travel that distance.

      So Han Solo, having the fastest ship in the galaxy can make the Kessel run in 40 parsecs. 1 parsec = 3.086 x 10^18 meters and the speed of light is 2.99 x 10^8 m/s so he was saying, "... made the Kessel run 4.11 x 10^9 seconds" or 130.5 years. Gee Han, if you have the fastest ship in the galaxy I would hate to make the Kessel run in one of those bulk freighters.

  • Just finished seeing it here in Australia. I liked it. Better than Episode 1, but dosent dethrone Empire, to be sure. If you liked the good bits of Ep1, go see you and you should quite like it. If all you could do is MST the entire film of Ep1, dont go see it, and spare the rest of us about how much you think it sucks. AT..
  • Here [missingleftsocks.com] is the script and the downloads are here [missingleftsocks.com] (click on downloads).

  • McDonalds is pushing BattleBots instead.

    Somewhere, there is a mountain of Jar-Jar Binks plastic toys [theonion.com] awaiting recycling into Rubbermaid trashcans.

  • Atom films (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fjord (99230) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @02:27PM (#3524794) Homepage Journal
    Since it doesn't seem to be posted yet, Atom Films [shockwave.com] recently picked the winners and runners up in their Star Wars short films contest. Some good works.
  • Telnet to towel.blinkenlights.nl (no slashdotting please :) for star wars in all it's ASCII-art glory (and animated, no less!).
  • by smallstepforman (121366) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @06:52PM (#3526449)
    Wouldn't it be ironic if people bought tickets to AOTC just so that they can see the Matrix Reloaded trailer, after which they'd walk out of the cinema.

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