"I don't like sand. It's rough and rough and … it gets everywhere." It's one of the most painful lines in Star Wars Episode II: Clone Attack, and it only gets worse from Anakin's stopping delivery and the awkward stroking of Padmé.
After so many terrible creative decisions, it's no wonder the prequel trilogy that thrilled so many fans when Disney held the stonetakes on the leadership of the new trilogy of Star Wars films. Unlike George Lucas, Abrams can write dialogues that are not uncomfortable, and more importantly, he has proven to be a talented leader for large franchises with untapped potential (Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, and Cloverfield). And yet …
When the Disney Star Wars trilogy withending on December 20th, I sincerely long for the days of prequels. What I feel is not nostalgia. Nor is it an ironic "love" for the sloppy cinema that animates Redditors before they are released.
What I miss is the daring . Nobody can say that George didn't swing the fences after the fences. After all, the same experimentalism that gave us Binks and the "Sand" dialogue brought us the legendary Darth-Maul duel, the best opening sequence in every Star Wars film and much more.
At the end of the Jedi's return, Yoda asks Luke to "pass on what [he̵
& # 39; Size doesn't count & # 39; – Yoda
From the beginning, Star Wars focused on the standard scenes – elaborate action scenes that make our hands sweat on the armrests. Sure, the original trilogy is a mythical story with a charismatic cast, but everyone remembers the Death Star run, Luke hobbles the AT-ATs and Boba Fett into the Sarlacc pit.
Lucas has always pushed the limits of VFX, both practical and digital. Despite his ambition, he understood that the best standards are not always the greatest . While Lucas packed his films, including the prequels, with small but cross-border moments, Disney opted for a far more standardized action tariff.
Compare, for example, the space hunt with Obi -Wan and Jango Fett when the clones attacked the first flight of the Millennium Falcon in. Almost 20 years separate these two scenes, and the drama in Abram's installment payments is consistently stronger.
That said, Lucas made something more than a nifty chase scene with tight maneuvers and eye-catching quick zooms. He plays with sound design and gives different ships and weapons different identities. he turns predator into prey in the middle of the scene; He hands over each side of the chase competition and puts a child in one ship and a Jedi in the other. Disney's Star Wars films are simply not innovative.
If you want more examples, look at the planets for yourself. The new Star Wars: Episodes VII and VIII recycle planets better or worse from previous Star Wars films: Desert Planet? Check. Forest, snow and city planets? Check, check and check.
Lucas excelled in creating a visual slang for every planet within minutes of its arrival. Tatooine in particular shone with its ecosystem of Tusken Raiders, Jawas, farmers and the unpleasant colonial presence of stormtroopers riding on Banta. The Last Jedi planets were more imaginative than The Force Awakens, but even the Vegas-like Canto Bight lacked the small cultural influences that made Jabba's cave or Coruscant so vivid.
When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999,critic Roger Ebert called it "an astonishing feat in the field of imaginative filmmaking," and filmmaker Kevin Smith said, "Me I'm sure in about a week it will be pretty fashionable to pop this strip – hard. But I want to record that I dug it up. It's a good film with great moments. "
The new films set pieces were solid – sometimes even good – but they were never great.
"Your focus determines your reality" – Qui-Gon Jinn
So, I can't say that writing the prequels from moment to moment is better than writing the Disney trilogy – it isn't. That said, the character and story arcs are so much more focused in Lucas ’trilogies . In the prequels, Anakin's hike from the talented child slave to Sith Lord and Obi-Wan's ascent from the optimistic Padawan to the spirited Jedi master are effective .
In contrast, the new films pull characters back and forth. It's more about deliberately reproducing or undermining character moments from the original trilogy (Rey sneaks through the Starkiller base and learns from an aging master. Kylo kills his father, decapitates Snoke and asks Rey to join me) when she is forced to face really challenging dilemmas (Qui-Gon Jinn ignores the advice to teach Anakin and Anakin avenges his mother).
Not only are the individual arches less focused, the cast of characters is also overcrowded, with the central three of the original trilogy (Luke, Han, Leia), the new three (Rey, Finn, Poe), three villains ( Snoke, Kylo, Hux) and a variety of supporting characters and cameos. There is a reason why not everyone happens to be a contributing character in Lucas & # 39; trilogies by an "It" star like Justin Theroux, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, Lupita Nyong & # 39; owas played. When fans in the theater gasp every five minutes because a new cameo (or because the Stormtrooper ) distracts from the central characters and the narrative.
Lucas, by In contrast, a cast of talented actors was formed whose names people probably did not know (with the exception of Samuel L. Jackson). From Christopher Lee, Jimmy Smits, and the few other supporting actors with successful careers outside of Star Wars, none of them felt like they were taken to a galaxy far, far away just because they were friends of the director or fans of the franchise. 19659029] star-wars-emperor.jpg "height =" 0 "width =" 270 "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/XzTAhpPq1KetImzAJxn6aK12_7s=/270×0/2015/10/26/a1f3f511- 41a7-4939-92a4-7ee46d3a0efd / star-wars-emperor.jpg "/>
& # 39; Show no mercy & # 39; – Darth Sidious
Yes, I would like to talk about action armor. Plot Armor is the joke name when important or likeable characters are protected from realistic consequences because history needs them. Think of any movie in which the good guy fires a million bad guys while every bullet fired at him misses just a few inches.
The effect of the action armor is that the entire film appears more and more artificial over time: the audience does not feel that the characters are in danger, and the characters never have to make difficult decisions because the consequences do not matter.
The famous writer Kurt Vonnegut simply put it in his advice to other writers: "Be a sadist." And George Lucas is – in a good way. Anakin's master, Qui-Gon Jinn, is killed in The Phantom Menace and Darth Maul, the coolest villain, is cut in half. Anakin's mother is tortured and Anakin kills every man, woman and child in a Tusken Raider camp. Anakin loses limbs, Padmé dies at birth and Jedis are exterminated (even the young ones!).
The prequel trilogy is a bloodbath, and this gives the films real excitement . In fact, the only characters we know are Anakin (though in an unrecognizable form), Obi-Wan, the Emperor, and Yoda.
The few significant deaths in the Disney trilogy seem to have intentionally disappeared For maximum emotional strength: one of the three original actors is killed at the height of each film and no one is bothered with much substance.
Some fans pointed to Snoke's death to surprise viewers, but most of the meaning of this scene only appears in the context of the Vader / Palpatine relationship, against which she plays so clearly. Ultimately, we never knew anything special about snoke. The same goes for Captain Phasma (another example of unnecessary celebrity casting) who stands around cool and is then killed with no development in between.
This pattern could change if the last film was shown around, but I would be deeply surprised if one of the most likeable characters dies. Will Abrams dare to shed young blood or keep a major villain like Kylo Ren in power? Of course not.
"The fear of loss is a way to the dark side." -Yoda
Maybe it all boils down to this: As in every studio, Disney fears losing money. Although I am not privy to the interior of the studio, money seemed to be the clearest reason for discontinuing the Star Wars Anthology films. And it's likely why Solo was plagued by including handing over the ax to the talented directors to hire Ron Howard, a solid numbered studio director who has been working since A Beautiful Mind won the Oscar.
While George Lucas had a "If people don't like [my vision] they don't have to see it" mentality, Disney and Abrams seemed afraid to mess up a beloved franchise with exactly what it did in the first place popular: experimentation and limit testing.
Even Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi, which
Poe's poorly advised mutiny, for example, killed an immeasurable number of innocents, but his decision was based on Vice Admiral Holdo's inexplicable opacity – was the lesson really, in a way, subjecting himself to the chain of command?
In a way Johnson The Disney entry was more ambitious than Abrams'. But neither of them tried to swing for a home run, like Lucas did with all of his films. If The Force Awakens is a ground ball, The Last Jedi is colorful – a bit cheekier, safer, but still focused on spilled dirt.
Disney's caution has led to a good, but never big, Star Wars movie. And that's why I always take the bad dialogue and the incredible moments of the forerunners into a Star Wars trilogy in which there is none.
Originally published October 11.