Star Wars: Phantom Menace opens 20 years ago

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by mmars982, May 20, 2019.

  1. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

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    I rewatch them every time there's a major upgrade, like when it went from pan/scan to letterbox, when it went from laserdisc to DVD, and then when it went from DVD to Blu-ray. And I'll no doubt watch them again when and if the 4K Blu-rays come out.
     
  2. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    The sfx aged a lot better than the ones in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but that is really all that I have to say about it that is positive. Jar Jar wouldn’t have been nearly as annoying if he played more of a background role like Chewbacca. Instead, Lukas gave him the lead Luke Skywalker-type role of a naive young man taken away from home to go on a rousing space adventure. It was lame and frankly embarrassing to watch.
     
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  3. Vidiot

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    This is a real headline:

    20 Years Later, George Lucas Still Names Jar Jar Binks His Favorite ‘Star Wars’ Character

    [​IMG]
    (Lucas is the one on the left.)
     
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  4. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976

    FYI; as I understand it, the only shots in Episode I captured on the then-prototype digital camera (which George wanted to shoot the whole movie on but Sony couldn't get them built in time for the production) was the nighttime Tattooine scene when Qui-Gon Jinn takes Anakin's blood with the converted lady razor ;). That was digital - filmed during the August 1998 reshoots - everything else was anamorphic 35mm film... which is indeed why that film looks slightly better and certainly more tactile than it's two predecessors, which looked and felt like video games thanks to the cold, sterile digital aesthetic.

    Same thing with Peter Jackson and that ghastly digital HFR cinematography on The Hobbit trilogy, alas...

    What's the gist of the story with regards the production of Jedi then? I always thought and heard that Richard Marquand, despite George letting him hand-pick his own crew and giving him a certain amount of creative freedom, was nonetheless a hired gun who's job was simply to get the shots and work with actors, but that George was still in charge and had the last word on all matters... I believe Marquand himself compared it to directing King Lear whilst Shakespeare was in the same room!!!

    That being said, it was Marquand (R.I.P.) who insisted on Yoda being in the film, for the Falcon to have a more prominent role in the end battle, who chose the design for Admiral Ackbar, and whose insistent idea it was to hire Ian McDiarmid for the Emperor. So kudos to him for all that.

    Phil Tippet had an interesting story in that whilst he was at the Ranch working on prep for Jedi, he overheard Lucas and Marquand discussing the movie; Marquand said "George, I really don't get this picture we're making", and George said "have you ever seen Benji?", "no George, I haven't", "well we're making this sort of like a cross between Benji and The Empire Strikes Back".

    Make of that what you will.

    It explains a lot about that film's (for all it's good points) somewhat tonal dissonance... and certainly explains similar problems in the the prequels years later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  5. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

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    David Tattersall told me that was the only complete scene, but there were a couple of other shots they slipped in just to see if anybody could notice. I think he revealed the details in the American Cinematographer issue devoted to Phantom Menace.

    Get ready for more high-frame rate (120fps) on the upcoming Will Smith movie Gemini Man. Jim Cameron has not yet revealed whether any of the Avatar sequels are being shot in that format, but there's a chance it is. It's possible to convert to straight 24fps simply by dropping the unnecessary frames and adding motion blur, but it's tricky. (Note that the later Hobbit sequels got better in terms of motion artifacts.)

    J.W. Rinzler implies that Lucas was actually in California for quite a bit of the shoot and relied on his producers and other crewmembers to keep Marquand in check. He did visit quite a few times, but I think he was concerned more about VFX and post issues.

    https://www.amazon.com/Making-Star-...swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1565783418&sr=1-1

    That being said, it was Marquand (R.I.P.) who insisted on Yoda being in the film, for the Falcon to have a more prominent role in the end battle, who chose the design for Admiral Ackbar, and whose insistent idea it was to hire Ian McDiarmid for the Emperor. So kudos to him for all that.

    I agree there are some odd moments in the film. Co-writer Kasdan has said there was some back-and-forth on having Han Solo do a "suicide mission" to stop the new Death Star, but Lucas vetoed it because he thought it would be too much of a downer. Harrison Ford eventually got his way, many years later.
     
  6. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    I honestly think he says things like that to troll some of the more extreme parts of fandom. Deep down I think he knows he truly doesn't feel that way.

    Although yet again...he just might. I still think this is still sort of a defiant middle finger to the "George Lucas raped my childhood" people,and part of me tips my hat to that
     
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  7. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    It never occurred to me,but you are right! Anakin of course sorta kinda has a similar arc to Luke's from Episode IV,but Jar-Jar is more of a direct match. Huh.
     
  8. Who, George? Surely not.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

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    How much you getting paid for this?
     
  10. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    Anakin only comes in halfway through the picture like Han Solo. And like Han, the REALLY pathetic thing is that Anakin is the closest thing to a “bad boy” character that Phantom Menace has got!
     
  11. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    Nothing. It just pisses me off to no end when grown men or women go to such extremes and hyperbole to express their displeasure at a movie,game,comic,album, whatever piece of entertainment it is when a simple " nah. Didn't like it." Would suffice. Cancer ruins childhoods. Molestation ruins childhoods. Dead parents or loved ones ruin childhoods. Jar Jar Binks being a bad character doesn't ruin childhoods unless you are a child yourself. If you are over the age of 18 and your first response to a freaking movie is "_____ ruined/raped/damaged my childhood" or any similar hyperbole ,then I'd say you have severe problems with coping and should rethink their lives and priorities.

    I've never been able to wrap my head around grown adults acting like spoiled children and constantly whining when movies or books or whatever don't meet your expectations. Just move on with your life. Don't see the next one or buy the next thing in that series if you feel so passionate. Believe me,that sends more of A message than constantly hating on something on the internet and acting like a prat.

    If indeed Star Wars course corrects after the sequel trilogy, it won't be because Geeks and Gamers and Doomcock has made 4,000 YouTube videos bitching and moaning how much they hated the Last Jedi. It'll be because ticket sales didn't meet expectations. The free market will work itself out. Sales is what matters. Not a bunch of people screaming "childhood rape/ruin".
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  13. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    And Anakin,like Han,ends up getting with the princess/queen in the second movie.

    Oh my God. Anakin is Han Solo.
     
  14. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    Yep, and there are more parallels between the two when you think about it even further. Both Han and Anakin were also the heroes’ tickets off of Tattooine in their respective films. They both piloted vehicles cobbled together out of junk. Han has a price on his head. Anakin has to be bought out of slavery.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  15. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

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    To the BEST of my recollection, and PLEASE correct me if I am wrong, but ONE person said "George Lucas raped my childhood." - and it was some random dude filmed outside of a showing of The Phantom Menace in 1999 and was later re-used in the little-seen The People vs George Lucas documentary film from 2010. The phrase may have later been picked up and thrown around the internet, because, you know, THE INTERNET, and it may have even become weaponized and monetized, but I know of NO ONE who goes around crying this phrase out repeatedly...except for you.

    What concerns me is when legit criticism of something is thrown out the window because the critic is simply viewed as a "hater" or a "crybaby fan-boy who needs to move out of his parent's basement and grow up". For example, The Last Jedi is a poorly written film. It is essentially two hours of a slow police chase through space where the big "secret" plan is revealed to be to hide behind a big door and hope the Empire doesn't come a knocking. However, in "The Last Jedi" thread here at SHTV, when I discussed my criticism(s) of said film, I was BLOCKED from posting any further. Guess I had too much "butt-hurt" since Rian Johnson RUINED my Star Wars experience and someone's feelings were hurt when I didn't all-out LOVE that VERY mediocre film.
     
  16. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    Luray, Virginia
    Both of them are hotshot pilots with legendary reputations, Han starts his journey in SOLO as a slave of sorts to a crime Lord before escaping Corellia. Same with Anakin before escaping Tattooine.

    One has a son who redeems him ,the other has a son who ultimately kills him.

    It's fascinating really. And really sort of reillerates that really Ben Kenobi should have been the main hero of the prequels. Anakin is clearly the unlikely best friend and sidekick. From a story standpoint if Ben is the hero Jedi of TPM and AOTC, with Anakin's fall and Ben's failure to stop it being the tragedy of Revenge of the Sith,I think thematically it's all there. If you merely shift the focus of TPM from the semi ensemble it is to focus that first movie on Jedi Padawan Kenobi and make his arc the focus ,and have him discover little Anakin on Tattooine and make that the starting point,then the other two movies naturally follow,and really you don't have to change the general stories of those films at all.

    The Prequels should have been the adventures of Ben Kenobi and friends. The OT was the adventures of Luke Skywalker and friends . The ST are the Adventures of Rey Nobody and friends. The thread or the Skywalker family should only be the background connective tissue between the three stories.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  17. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    Oh believe me, the whole George Lucas raped my childhood thing may have started there but became an internet cottage industry through the 90s into the mid 2000's. It was the rallying cry of a certain group of very loud fans who were wanting Star Wars to be taken away from Lucas.it was more than one person.

    If that mindset didn't exist out there,then why the heck did George Lucas , who was passionate as hell about Star Wars and refer to it as his baby decide to sell it off and ultimately largely wash his hands of it all? He has even said as much in interviews since. He was so soured by being harassed by fans in public and being told that he should stop making anything Star Wars he just threw his hands up and gave up,which I find sad. I mean we wouldn't even have Star Wars without him.


    And basically when I talk about the "George Lucas Raped my childhood" fans,it's just me using short hand to describe the most base and annoying parts of fandom. Not all critical fandom.


    As for being blocked from posting, it was unfortunate, and I don't like it when people are blocked but if I recall that whole thread got shut down because people weren't merely stating their displeasure , but because it was getting personal and political from both sides. I don't remember which Star Wars thread got shut down. I think it was the last Jedi discussion thread but it may have been the Solo one. Not sure.

    I don't support anyone getting silenced . If that legit happened to you,then I'm sorry it happened. However the mods here are pretty reasonable people and they don't just ban people randomly for having unpopular opinions unless the person being banned or blocked actually does something that warrants banning,like being rude or insulting personally towards other people. I don't recall your postings there but maybe,just maybe,you did do or say something that violated the policy here? I don't see anyone getting silenced just because they said they didn't care for The Last Jedi.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  18. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    Luray, Virginia

    I never quite got the over reaction to that little change in A New Hope. Yeah it wasn't necessary and it was a bad CGI shot, but does it REALLY ruin the whole movie? No. Yet you had people swearing it did just that.

    That being said, I don't necessarily think this was a troll. If anything he's sort of acknowledging that he goofed on that part of the New Hope Special Edition. A sort of laugh at himself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  19. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

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    Can we stop using the word 'rape' and instead use the word 'ruined'? Even if someone somewhere said the word 'rape', we get the point. No need to keep using it.
     
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  20. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    I agree. I'll try to watch my use going forward.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  21. Vidiot

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    Lucas struck me as a guy who is very accustomed to getting exactly what he wants -- not in an arrogant way, just in a very quiet, deliberate way. I don't think he's given a crap about what the public thinks for many years. He told me (face to face), "I gave up years ago trying to make movies that people wanted to see. I just make the best film I know how to make, and I hope it'll find an audience." But I also think he was beaten down by toxic fandom over the years. It amazes me on a certain level that somebody with this much fame and success, and $10 billion dollars in the bank, is hurt and annoyed by nutty fans. At the same time, I can see that over time, the constant criticism would be wearing and exhausting. And it still goes on.

    How Star Wars Fans Ruined the Movie Franchise With The Last Jedi in 2018

    This whole issue of "fan ownership" of classic movies baffles me. To me, it's no different than a book or a painting or anything else: nobody really has artistic ownership of the work except the artist. We're just the ownership. A film is not a steak you can send back to the kitchen and demand they cook it over again. If you don't like it, fine, but STFU and move on. Nobody was raped, nobody's childhood was ruined... a bad movie is just a bad movie. (And I'm on record as saying the Star Wars prequels were extremely well-made films that have terrible writing and some bad character choices. There are good things in them, but overall they're absolutely terrible. And the people I worked with every day at ILM cheerfully agreed with that.)
     
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  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

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    Thank you -- very well said.
     
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  23. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    I think his quote when asked why he sold Star Wars to Disney was something to the effect of " why should I bother to keep making these when everyone is just going to tell me shouldn't and say I'm a terrible person?"

    I think the problem is not and never have been the criticism itself,but how PERSONAL people get with it. It's not enough to state a dislike of it and say why respectfully. It's ascribing motive to people they personally don't know. It's calling people names like "Jar Jar Abrams" and " Ruin Johnson" and seeking them out on social Media to tell them to go f--k themselves and wishing physical harm to their families because a fictional character was killed off.

    It's bullying people like Jake Iloyd,Ahmed Best and Kelly Marie Tran from the media and now on social media to the point of causing one ( Lloyd) to end up in a mental institution, and another (Best) to consider suicide as a viable option.

    It's spreading false rumors and conspiracy nonsense to the fan community to work people in to a frenzy to convince them that there's some hidden agenda or meaning behind why a movie didn't appeal to them. It can't be it just didn't click with them or they simply didn't like a creative choice. No,it has to be some corporate conspiracy to kill your childhood heroes to turn little Timmy gay,or something to do with Bree Larson wanting to murder all middle aged white men, or whatever the latest crap is. I could be getting things confused. It's hard to keep up with it all.


    As you said above, a bad movie is a bad movie,not some holy war for the fate of all culture. Sadly a very loud few has made this their hill to die on and are attempting to take the rest of fandom down the cesspool with them. We saw seeds of this mentality starting under the 90s Lucas era and as it continues it just gets worse as time goes on. It can wear a person down. Hell as a fan witnessing this crap it's exhausting, I can't imagine what it's like to Lucas and his successors.

    I said in 2014 I didn't know whether to congratulate Kennedy and Abrams or pity them. I think we now know the answer. No matter what they do or don't do or say or don't say,they simply can't win. Even if Episode IX is great and makes two billion dollars,the same loud voices will keep yelling the same dog crap they've yelled for years now. Hell,if it's a success they'll likely to become even more unhinged.

    It's telling when director Chris Mcquarrie,a big Star Wars fan ,was a asked if he would ever do a Star Wars movie,and his response was basically "are you kidding me?No!" and then went on to state he would love to,but the state of Star Wars fandom scares him to the point he doesn't believe it's worth the trouble. I mean,who in their right mind would even consider doing a Star Wars movie at this point? I'm sure there are a lot of A-list talent that would love a crack at this universe,but are kept at Bay by the toxic loud millitant segment of fandom, and in my opinion that is bad news for the franchise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  24. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

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    I followed the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney fairly closely, and I never saw a quote like this. Do you have a link or a reference you can cite? Lucas did talk about it in one of his final nationally-televised interviews, with Charlie Rose on PBS, and the gist of what he said was, "I realized if I were to do 3 more final Star Wars movies, I would be almost 80 years old by the time I finished, and I decided I'd be much better off handing the films over to people who are younger and better-suited to that much work." Lucas was 68 at the time he sold Lucasfilm to Disney, and I think he's not far off that it would've taken at least 10-11 years to make the three films. He also decided to donate a billion dollars for his Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, now under construction near USC in Los Angeles; I think he decided running a museum ("this thing belongs in a museum!") was a saner choice than the constant stress of filmmaking.

    https://lucasmuseum.org/

    I share your dismay at the problem of toxic fandom out there. But I honestly think Bob Iger and the other top Disney management people don't care too much about the crazy fans or even the critics as long as the films make money. Once a film goes over a billion dollars, not a lot else matters. Still, I think they are concerned about "franchise fatigue" and the fact that the Star Wars theme park at Disneyland has not done nearly as well as expected, and they're concerned that the Solo film did poorly:

    Disneyland's Star Wars flops, now employees getting hours cut

    As long as a projects makes a long of money, a lot can be forgiven. I would bet in meetings the critical reviews would be mentioned, but they could also say in the same breath, "eh, screw them, we know we did the best job we possibly could, and besides, it made X dollars profit." But privately, they have to be concerned about the risks that audiences will move on to new fads and new things. And they can't make sequels, reboots, remakes, and comic book movies forever.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  25. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

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    It's a quote from a video or interview right before TFA or after came out.i wanna say it was one of those Vanity Fair videos where he answered questions from other famous people....I'll have to look for it in the morning. It wasn't too long before that Charlie Rose interview you mentioned.

    I'm sure you are right from a business stand point and I seriously doubt it impacts their bottom line However I do wonder/worry if creatively if even subconsciously this impacts things. I just hope JJ didn't write this movie to try and satisfy the malcontents. Like make Rey Luke's secret daughter or some nonsense.
     

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