agga wrote:i'm sorry, i liked the prequels, especially episode III. i mean... episode I had the pod race, which was great, and lots of marching robots, which was fun, and some alright light saber business. it was also dopey, and the gungans were stupid, and of course ** was especially embarrassing.
but, pod race and robot army, droids and lightsaber duels, that puts episode I over the top for me. it's like with the original star wars, the landspeeder scenes i always loved, and the bit where luke goes and looks at the two suns setting, and the jawa trawler with all the robots, and every scene with obi wan.. it's the stuff that was in the movies that i liked so much, not so much the story or the dialogue (though alec guiness' obi wan still holds up for me).
The thing that really set the original movies apart to begin with, though, was that they were big, bombastic high concept films - they were very deeply informed by operatic sensibilities and featured wit and pathos in its at times overly-typified characters (the starry-eyed, ingenuous male lead who is forced by war and bereavement to mature into a hero; the damsel-in-distress who is shown to have both wit and a deep inner strength; the smooth-talking capitano
who struggles between bravado and cowardice, selfishness and chivalry; the tortured, menacing villain who draws the fascination and sympathy of the viewer even as he does heinous things). What bugged me most about the prequels was that Lucas completely cut out
all of the operatic elements which characterised the original movies, and thought he could keep the franchise rolling on special effects alone.
Were the special effects great in the prequels? Naturally - though looking at them now, everything seems far too clean and shiny, far too 'CGI' (even though that was the big thing then). But, cliche as it sounds, special effects and action scenes alone, no matter how well-choreographed and shiny they are, don't make for great movies.
(Also, the blunt-instrument political allegory particularly in Episodes II and III, well-intentioned though it may have been, didn't help matters any.)
agga wrote:as for the sith-jedi stuff, i've basically accepted it as an amoral power struggle. the sith are bad, the jedi are good - but they're all dead. luke isn't a jedi, he's a superman. who cares whether or not darth vader kills the emperor in episode VI? he's still a bastard. luke's either a moron for putting so much effort into "redeeming" vader - or he's in on the power struggle, and he knows the only way to get to the emperor is by flipping his psychotic father over again (and he knows it's possible since vader expressed an interest already in overthrowing the emperor and ruling the empire himself, with luke). ROTJ and the other luke skywalker stuff really works if you think of him as being a machiavellian, charismatic superman out for power and revenge. it least, in my mind it works that way.
Hm. I think you may be conflating Machiavelli a bit too much with Nietzsche (a true Machiavellian would not be interested in revenge unless that revenge served some greater realistic advantage and could be made an acceptable course of action to the body politic, whereas for a Nietzschean overman revenge would be an immediate, joyous and healthy projection of will), and I'm not entirely convinced Luke's motivations are politically 'realistic' enough to make his character truly Machiavellian in the sense you mean it (that is, I suppose I tend to lean more toward the Luke-as-moron model) - but it does certainly make for a worthwhile and thought-provoking hermeneutic on Return of the Jedi