Sunday, November 06, 2011

Let Go of Your Hate

It goes without saying that anyone who's reading/watching me should also be reading Drew McWeeny, once known as AICN's "Moriarty," one of the men responsible for "inventing" this ridiculous profession of mine. Drew is a living legend among "film geek" personalities - a onetime video store clerk who became part of the first wave of "name" writers to emerge from the nerd-gossip-site pack; went on to write screenplays for John Carpenter (among others) and has now settled into a star-columnist role at HitFix; where he still finds time to remind everyone why he broke out in the first place.

This is one of those times.

Presently, McWeeny is married with two young sons, and he's been writing up his experiences in sharing classic movies with the boys in a series of columns called "Film Nerd 2.0." It's always been a good read; but when he decided to start introducing them to the "Star Wars" films it became something else entirely - a series of six thoughtful, moving, excellent pieces that now comprise what I think is easily the definitive "Decade Later" look at "Star Wars" post-prequels and post-special edition.

Thus far, every appraisal of "later day" Star Wars has mainly been about older fans being disillusioned or dissapointed about Lucas, alterations and the series in general... and after awhile, it's all become rather irritating. The backlash during "Phantom Menace" was one thing - that what was always going to be a letdown on some level wound up being in fact a pretty lackluster movie overall touched off a combination of delayed-reaction rage ("Wow... I'm really NOT ten years-old anymore. Damn it.") and nerd-nitpick feeding-frenzy that has for good or ill (mostly ill) defined the fan/filmmaker relationship to this day.

Frankly, it got out of hand quickly and it's endurance at this point is kind of sad. Yes, I was as impressed as anyone with Mr. Plinkett's tenacity and attention to detail... but to be honest the REAL value of that series is that it's a TON of really good filmmaking/storytelling advice structured around the review of a movie everyone has seen... as yet another excuse to pass around the bile-bucket and spew about Lucas "raping your childhood?" Guys... it's time to give it a rest. And it's sort of fitting that THIS new appraisal comes from McWeeny, whose original semi-negative review of Phantom Menace as "Moriarty" was a major touchstone of the "wait... a Star Wars movie... sucks?" sweep of the era.

THIS, though, is a guy writing about the reactions of his kids - kids who don't have the weight of expectations and preconceptions that "Generation Zero" SW fans had; who've always known a world where it's ubiquitious and are familiar with it - at first - mainly from the "Clone Wars" cartoons. He made an interesting decision regarding the order in which to screen the films - New Hope and Empire first, THEN all three prequels, then wrapping up with Jedi - that overall seems to have paid off gangbusters.

You should read the whole thing yourself (links below) but what's really great about this is the way it cuts through both the obnoxious fanboy-entitlement AND the very real objective criticisms of the prequels etc. to find a more essential truth that's been ignored by many, myself included, for much too long: That the things that WORK about Star Wars - yes, even in the prequels - are A.) uncoincidentally the things that are bigger and more vital than who-shoots-first or whether this or that creature looks like a puppet and B.) perhaps best understood by children... who, at the end of the day, are who Star Wars has always been for.

GET READING, FOLKS:
A New Hope
Empire Strikes Back
Phantom Menace
Attack of The Clones
Revenge of The Sith
Return of The Jedi

When I see "Phantom Menace" on the big screen for the first time in over a decade in it's "3D" release next year, I'll be doing my damndest to try and watch it on it's own terms; outside the swirl of negativity it's existed in for so many years in the collective psyche. And this series will be the big reason why.

Well done, Mr. McWeeny.

37 comments:

William said...

Eh. I got over any real rage regarding the prequels some time ago. Quite frankly the RLM videos were actually cathartic in that regard, finally allowing for a release of various thoughts I had about the films for years.

Even beyond being connected to the original films, I still think they fail as even prequels, as too many elements go unexplained until ANH, but its nice to know that Star Wars, any Star Wars, is making some kids happy.

Josh said...

Thanks for linking us to this, Bob. It's nice to know how much a fresh perspective can change a work of fiction.

Ralphael said...

If they remade episode one and replaced mini vader with the little kid from real steel, all would be well....

YES HE IS THAT ANNOYING.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad you did say something. Because I embarrassingly didn't know about McWeeny and am always looking for more movies blogs to read.

Rook in the Pumpkin said...

Gotta be honest, reading McWeeny's articles got me all teary eyed. I think the order he chose to show the films is actually pretty amazing, and I think getting this perspective has helped me understand why Lucas has made some of the alterations he has.

Thanks for sharing Bob.

KevinCV said...

God bless McWeeny. I personally still enjoy the prequels and consider them to have some merit in the fictional universe that is "Star Wars". I also don't mind that Lucas makes a few tweaks here and there to the original movies, because they still feel the same to me.

Also, I agree with you that it is sad that some people have continually claimed that Lucas has "raped their childhood". Hell, I didn't think that "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was as good as the original "Indiana Jones" movies, but I still enjoyed it and thought it was really fun nonetheless. I especially liked that they brought Marion back, because of all of Indy's love interests in the movies, she was the only one who could totally stand her ground, and also put Indy in his place.

Plus, I wasn't too bothered by the whole "alien" thing. It's not THAT out of place. "Indiana Jones" has always had out there stuff in it, whether it's fantastical or alien. Also, there are those who complained about how Indy could survive that nuclear explosion in the fridge. I personally like to think that him drinking from the Holy Grail in "Last Crusade" may have had a hand in that. Why else do you think he was still physically pushing himself as hard as he was despite his age? Makes sense if you think about it.

And one last thing: I went to see "Crystal Skull" with my mom, who used to watch the original movies with me when I was home sick with the chicken pox when I was 4. She also enjoyed it. :)

Lee Kalba said...

I watched the Phantom Edit for the first time, last year. There was actually a good movie lurking in there, and it's a testament to what editing can do to a movie.
By trimming the fat, cutting dialogue and giving young Anakin a more thoughtful presence, and not letting Jar Jar dominate every scene (to the point that the movie seemed like it was about him), he found a stronger narrative and a movie that was actually enjoyable and not just a spectacle kiddie-fodder.

jojjo said...

The problem with Lucas seem to be that, while a brilliant storyteller, he really struggles i execution. To paraphrase Bob: The seeds of an interesting story are in here: interstellar wars, a crumbling federation, political scheming; why the fuck am I supposed to care about a tact on, badly acted and shallowly written love story? What I wish i that someone (competent) would remake StarWars in three movies; scrapping the main story, scrapping the horrible comedy shenanigans, redoing the mythology and focusing exclusively on the fall of a corrupt democracy, the rise of a fascist empire and the ultimate failure of the totalitarian state. I would also like my one genie, but now I'm getting sidetracked...

oh, and +1 to Kevin CV

Rob Garcia said...

I'm not really filled with anger so much as intense sadness. My friends and I were about 7 years old when the prequels started coming out; meaning we were roughly the same age as most "generation zero" fans were when they saw Star Wars in theaters for the first time. Our minds snapped around it in an instant. We saw clone troopers, spaceships, lightsaber duels and all sorts of cool stuff. It was almost like they were the only things that registered to our tiny brains and every other little thing didn't matter.

Time went on and ruined that.

All of us look back at those days with a strange feeling of regret. Almost as if we were cheated in some way. We can watch New Hope, Empire and Jedi and love every bit of it. The prequels are a different story. We look at them almost the same way you look at your old car after realizing you've been driving a lemon for years.

I can't help but envy those kids for how they've experienced Star Wars up to this point. There are no words for the kind of glee you experience when understanding the Star Wars universe for the first time in your life. The VHS collection I have of the first trilogy shall forever remain one of my most treasured possessions because of that.

The tragic part is it will forever change the moment those kids begin to emotionally grow. The veil will eventually lift for those two kids, and I'll be supremely interested in the future conversations McWeeny will have with those two regarding the prequels.

If I ever have kids, I'll never be able to decide on how to present the movies to them. It's the one thing that makes me sad most of all. I applaud McWeeny for what he's done, though.

Elessar said...

I've never gotten into the Star Wars prequel hate. I have gotten into the special edition hate, entirely due to Lucas' refusal to make the originals available. If he'd make the original cuts available, my hatred for the special editions would be more or less equal to my hatred for the Love Conquers All cut of Brazil: '...Okay, it's a stupid cut but it's not my problem.'

As for the Prequels, I groused about Phantom Menace for a bit (I was 9 when it came out, so the 'it's for kids' argument never had any weight for me, since I didn't like it from the start) then saw Fellowship and stopped caring. My current opinion is the same opinion it would be for any similar movie: That they're shoddily made, badly written, poorly acted and just generally not good. Yes they each have their individual problems, which the justifiably lauded Mr. Plinkett has gone over in detail but beyond that, why should I devote any of my time to a film that is merely bad. Not inhumanly bad, not hilariously bad, not even educationally bad, just...bad. What about that deserves my time and attention?

And I DEFINITELY do not get into the Lucas hates. His career flame out notwithstanding, he has created enough things I love (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, even THX) that I can never get into the hate. I mean for fuck's sake, everyone's entitled to a bad movie or two. Even the Coen brothers made The Hudsucker Proxy and The Ladykillers. But we ignore that because they made...well EVERYTHING else they made.

That became a rant didn't it? Oh well. Side note, if you want a balanced and interesting take on the Star Wars...let's call it controversy for lack of a better term, you should all see The People vs. George Lucas. It's a lot more balanced and interesting that it's title would suggest.

Joe said...

I was never as huge a Star Wars fan as some of my friends, so to me the prequels were just disappointingly badly made movies. To paraphrase Penny Arcade's Tycho, in Star Wars I always preferred the stories of the people without Force powers: used droid salesmen, smugglers, mob bosses, bounty hunters, gamblers, pilots, soldiers, etc. It's a testament to the breadth and detail of Lucas' vision that so many other creators have told great stories about these characters in other media. Lucas wants to focus on the millennia-long holy war between two violently-opposed factions of superpowered warrior monks, and that's his right, but not really my thing.

But as a kid I obsessed over richly-detailed settings and devoured cross-section type books so I know if I was 8 years old today, I'd love the prequels and everything associated with them. And there are few better ways to introduce younger children to space opera and epic genre fiction than Star Wars.

Solong N. Thanks said...

Its really cool to see someone share something this personal. It really just makes me regain hope in humanity, you know?

And it makes me reflect on my own experiences with Star Wars and why people love the movies as much as they do, and why it hurts when things don't end up they way they want to.

I'd love to see you do a reflection of Star Wars or another franchise that had a big impact on your life.

Kyle said...

SO GREAT. Seriously. Now I need to get some work done.

Jake said...

I think you guys are taking this "it's mainly for kids" attitude because you're honestly (but IMO misguidedly) trying to be objective, believing that the reason you hate these films but like the originals is because you were kids when you saw them. Well as a 19 year old who grew up with all six films, I've come to realize what horse shit the prequels are. I just don't buy the whole "made for kids" argument. If there just kids movies, then why did adults back in '77 like it? Also, Bob, I don't think you're giving Mr. Stoklasa (RedLetterMedia) the credit he deserves. He's not just another "Lucas raped my childhood" fanboy. If you've seen his other reviews, along with Confused Matthew's, you would know they are more Trekkies then Star Wars fanboys. Plus the whole "who shots first" thing isn't some trivial fanboy obsession, it's a moment of character development for Han that got scrapped because Lucas was being too PC.

Jake said...

Also, you "could" say the same thing about Transformers movies. Will you stop criticizing them for that reason?

Pat said...

@Jake

They aren't using the "it's for kids" thing as an excuse, but more as a reframing mindset. The kids in these articles didn't just "like" the movies, it seemed to put them through an emotional journey, and it seemed to have that affect on McWeeny as well.

And I'm sorry, but the Han Shot First thing IS trivial. Frankly, no one cared about who shot first until someone pointed out that it had changed and George Lucas said why he changed it. Then it became a big argument about character and stuff. But before it became an issue, people probably didn't give a crap about the fact that Han shot before Greedo, they probably just liked that Han shot Greedo at all. It's a split second on screen. Han still shoots Greedo and it happens so fast that there's basically no way that Han could have been waiting for Greedo to shoot first. The character motivations haven't changed, but now Greedo is slightly less incompetent. All it does is let the audience know that Han probably would have died if he hadn't shot Greedo, which isn't really NECESSARY, but it's certainly not a huge deal.

And here's another thing. I DON'T hate the prequel films. And honestly, anyone who DOES is being way more critical than they ought to be. The movies do have problems, but honestly, so do the original movies. I could go on and on about stupid little problems with the original movies that in my mind are just as glaring as problems with the prequels. People just like to ignore them. And the prequels have a lot of good in them that people ignore for no reason other than saying anything good about them makes you seem like you're either in denial or an idiot. The action scenes are often really good. The world-building is some of the best ever done. Anakin's character journey (in spite of some poor acting and dialogue) is actually pretty well-developed. Palpatine was one of the best Capital E Evil villains I've ever seen. While some of the dialogue was quite bad, other lines were quite good and just as memorable as some lines from the original trilogy.

I don't think people hate these movies because they are bad, I think they hate them because they think they should have been better. They should have been handled differently. They shouldn't have had this character. They should have cast this character differently. These scenes should have been cut. And that's probably true. Lucas certainly made some bad choices. But those are mostly cosmetic problems with the movies. Little things that get in the way of enjoying the bigger picture. Kids can see past that stuff. We have a harder time.

Jake said...

@Pat
I don't know if you caught this so I'll reiterate just to be sure. I'm not a 70's or 80's kid who grew up with the OT, then saw PT during when I was an adult. I was raised with both the entire saga (including the special edition), and defended the prequels until I heard the haters arguments and became convinced of their side.

What was bad about the prequels was not that they are not as good, that's a given which I accept. What's bad is "the bigger picture" which I consider to be the underlying mythos, is completely disregarded. I think someone in the comments in one of the articles said it best, these kids aren't in love with the Anakin of the movies, they're in love with the Anakin of the Clone Wars TV show, and they're too young to understand the difference (which I don't blame them as I was the same). This Anakin is closer to what we were promised, a good man strong with the force who SLOWLY becomes corrupted by the dark side. That story is beautiful, unfortunately we didn't get to see it. Instead we got an asshole who just becomes more of an asshole. That being said there's nothing wrong in and of it self with this character development path.

Hell, I'm developing a story in which one of the main characters is kind of like this, though not as whiny. But this Anakin doesn't match up with what was told in the OT, he doesn't do anything good that he didn't do by accident, to the point that when he does do something good on purpose and altruistically, it feels out of character. I don't promise anything with my character.

One more thing, the prequels rely too much on the EU for you to know certain things like who the Sith are, while the OT don't rely on them as much.

Though I do agree that Palpatine had an excellent performance.

Gray said...

Thank you so much for linking that. It was probably the first time in years that something someone wrote on the Internet about Star Wars made me happy.

I was quite a bit older than his kids when I first got into Star Wars through the prequels (9 when Phantom Menace came out, 14 when Revenge of the Sith came out), but I was still young enough to genuinely enjoy them. They were a huge part of my life when I was in my early teens, and largely to thank (or blame, depending on how you see it) for me being the nerd that I am today. Even as I've grown up and realized that maybe they aren't as good as I thought they were, I still can't deny that they brought me more excitement than any other movie has done since. And somewhere, that's what really matters.

Which is also probably why Star Wars fandom has become so depressing as of late. It's come to the point where it's about bitterness rather than enthusiasm. And you can't hear people talk about it without emphasizing how much they hate the prequels. It's probably why I've stopped caring about Star Wars, having your childhood accused of rape is just no fun.

So again, thank you for linking to that. It wasn't just a great read (it almost teared me up at times), it kind of reminded me of why I liked Star Wars in the first place :)


Also, watching them for the first time in the order 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6. F*cking genius! Why hasn't it ever occurred to me? O.o

soldierhawk said...

Oh. My. God. I sobbed my way through the Revenge of the Sith entry. Like seriously.

A commenter on that one said something like, "your kid's experience almost excuses Lucas putting Christansen in ROTJ. It will be much more cathartic for them that way."

And I realized, holy shit, he's right. Maybe I HAVE been wrong this whole time.

Okay, except for taking out the Yub-Nub song. And the "nooo" at the end of ROTJ. But other than that, I'm ready to call pretty much everything else forgiven. I'm going out to buy the DVD of the prequels ASAP.

nejiblue said...

first off, I never liked the "lucas raped my childhood" line. The prequels being bad or good has nothing to do with that. Even the changes to the OT don't matter to me(director's cuts are fine after all). No, my issue, like someone already said, has always been his apparent hatred of the original versions. The only DVD release of them to my knowledge is the DVD versions, and that was the shittest laserdisc version I've ever seen. I mean it was letterbox for gods sake. THAT is my only issue with lucas. Even the fucking blade runner dvd had the original theatrical version, which ridley scott didn't even want to make. I didn't like the prequel trilogy, but there again I think return of the jedi is pretty weak too for the most part oustide of a few moments and mostly only works as a nessarcy end to the trilogy for me anyway. Just because I don't like the movies doesn't mean I need to hate the man who made them with over the top, hateful statements like "raped my childhood". I hate that he won't make the original version available in a decent format, but outside of that, don't really care.(and yes, I would love my vhs tapes too if I still had them.)

On them "being for kids". Sorry, but thats bullshit. I remeber my parents telling me about them going together when they were teenagers, before I was born, to watch the a new hope multiple times. Kids loved them too, yes, but they were for everyone, all age groups. You know something else I loved when I was a kid? transformers. I watched that recently again on hub. And honestly, I could NOT tell you why I loved it. It's garbage, pure and simple. honestly, I think most of my more vivid memories were from the movie, which at least had decent animation, great voice actors, and a ok story(even if it is a obvious star wars rip.) The show... its funny, but I have no idea why I liked it. Guess I just thought giant, transforming robots were awesome. Theres nothing wrong with kids liking stuff not meant for adults at all, but that is NOT the original trilogy. Sorry. I can still watch a new hope, and think its a great movie on it own(grand moff tarkin is one of the most undrrated movie villians of all time.) Empire is great too, and like I said return of the jedi is weak, but has its moments.

on han shooting first. Yeah, sorry, but it was a pretty important character moment for him. The reason no one said anything before is because it wasn't being screwed with. I'm sorry, but the redone scene looks awful. han's neck stretching in the most unnatural way possible, and how the fuck could greedo "miss" when he's sitting right in front of him? is he that bad a shot? I mean I know he's a underling, but christ. I mean to pat, how the fuck does him missing him when he's right in front of him make him look "competent"? Are you fucking kidding me? I mean yeah, greedo's a idiot for not thinking han would have a gun on him, but like I said underling. It should be less about greedo being more "competent" and more about han showing his rogue nature. I mean really, who's the more important character here again?

nejiblue12 said...

And finally, on red letter media. Sorry, but he never used the "lucas raped my childhood" crap in his reviews in any serious way. Once again, the original movies were for everyone. And RLM's opinion is a valid as anyone else. You can disagree with it, like anyone else, and that's fine. But blowing it off because "hey it's popular to hate star wars and the kids love it, so this moron is obviously just hating on it to be popular" is, once again, BS. His reviews are well made and pretty much right on the money IMO.

It all comes down to this. The kids love the prequels? Fine. Then there parents can take them while they suffer through the crap(like my parents did with the transformers movie). But unless you want to pay for my ticket, I have no intention of going to the theater to see the EXACT same movie I already saw once and hated. And no, I'm not a big fan of 3D. I have EVERY right to MY opinion that the prequel trilogy were weak movies(there few things I liked, like the emperor, but I think that had more to do with the actor than the writing.) It doesn't mean I hate lucas personally, it doesn't mean he "raped my childhood", and I could care less about the fucking star wars fandom(fandom's in general are full of shit). Anyway, think thats it. Oh, and no I have no interest in reading these reviews. Sounds like "my kids love these movies, so if you don't, you're a basement dwelling computer nerd still living with his parents who think lucas hates you personally, and think about these movies 24/7!" Thanks, but no thanks.

Sam said...

Thanks for sharing, bob!

Also, thanks for sharing after the last one was posted. I would've been as impatient as the poor kids waiting to hear about the next showing...

lemonvampire said...

Wow. Reading this not only renewed my love of Star Wars but of film in general. It's too rare that I'm reminded of what it was like to be a little boy who just loved seeing movies, without all the nitpicking and the baggage that I carry now. This just makes me want to watch all my favorite films again and just enjoy them. Thanks for sharing this Bob.

Jake said...

Also, for anyone who still thinks those two NOs in the Blu-Ray ROTJ were needed or ok, watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVaX7hPacIU from 5:26-6:16 and tell me that Marky Mark should have said anything in between that time.

Ryan said...

My feelings about these articles are approximately the same as my feelings about Harry Knowles giving positive reviews to Transformers 3. I don't know what the impulse to forgive badly-written action genre movies their badness is, but sure; kids like them because they're shiny. The phrase "Star Wars raped my childhood" is annoying, but I've seen episodes of the Star Wars cartoon that are far better than any of the prequels. I agree that the Plinkett videos are a nice lecture about narrative, but they're also pretty accurate. The only way to enjoy TPM is if you can ignore how nonsensical it is - and for that, you have to be a three year old.

Popcorn Dave said...

That was a really sweet set of articles, thanks for sharing. It's nice to know that the Star Wars "magic" still survives even though many of the fans have turned away.

I liked how the boys had a totally different perspective on the story due to their previous attachment to Anakin from the cartoons. And in this cynical day and age, we often forget just how damn powerful it is to see a hero become a villain, and how much that can affect the young mind. Great stuff.

I still maintain that the prequels are genuinely BAD films and I don't think "well kids still like them" is much of a defence as most kids will enjoy any old crap as long as there are plenty of bright lights and loud noises. But that doesn't make these articles any less enjoyable to read.

Brent said...

I do really love these articles, but it's worth noting that the "for kids" argument holds little weight.

These kids only like Anakin because they know him from Clone Wars - they are excited because the character they know and love from the far, far better series is in these movies. And I can't blame them for loving that series, because it really is just amazing, and because Anakin is characterized very well in it.

But that, from a film-making standpoint actually makes the films even worse. They need supplemental material for you to care for their central character's fall from grace.

If anything, I think it's kind of sad that the people who're involved in the animated series didn't get a chance to just tell the Star Wars prequels as an animated series. It really would've been leagues ahead of what we got.

Jake said...

Also if they're just, "kids movies", then why is ROTS rated PG-13?

Pat said...

@Jake
Because some parents want their children to stay blissfully unaware of the fact that there are people in the world who would do them harm.

One of the more effective scenes in the movie shows Anakin about to strike down a room full of mostly defenseless young Jedi. Some would argue that this isn't a scene appropriate for children.

Frankly, I think McWeeny did the right thing allowing his 3- and 6-year-old children to see this, even if it did affect them emotionally, because it helped them understand the concept of evil more viscerally and it also made the narrative more powerful for them.

There's a difference between a movie specifically designed to be children's entertainment and a movie that can capture the mind and imagination of a child simply because the story it tells can speak to them on a thematic level and make them think. I think the Star Wars films fit in the latter category. Children love Star Wars, and George Lucas decided to embrace that in order to give his franchise a rebirth for the next generation. He didn't turn his films into kid movies, but he certainly made his newer films with a younger audience in mind.

McWeeny and Bob aren't saying that the prequels should be forgiven because kids like them. Through McWeeny's children, we can see the emotional power of the 6-movie narrative that Lucas constructed. And ultimately, these children will be the ones who carry the legacy of Star Wars fandom forward. As time goes on, the old guard who are obsessed with whoever shot first will all be dead and the ones who remain are the children of today who will remember being heartbroken by Anakin's unexpected fall. They will remember Qui-Gon being overpowered. They will remember the pod race. They will cheer whenever they see Yoda pull out his lightsaber. And they won't care how much the current generation hates it.

What they mean is that Lucas doesn't care about the current Star Wars fans. He's always had his eyes set on making the Star Wars saga accessible to future generations, and it would appear that he has succeeded.

Maybe these children will grow up and decide that the sequels are crap, but they'll probably still enjoy watching them for pure nostalgia, much like how we sometimes enjoy watching old Saturday Morning Cartoons.

Hunter M said...

Jesus, I actually teared up a bit by the end of that. That was beautiful.

Aiddon said...

and they're still completely boring. Maybe the badness of them could be alleviated if Lucas didn't make said movies dull and lifeless. In all honesty he should have just done what he did with the original trilogy and let someone besides himself do the actual script and direction

Anonymous said...

Bob, I want to thank you for leading me to these articles. They moved me, one day I hope I can do for my sons (if I ever have any) what McWeeny did for his. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Jake said...

Beleive you me, I'm not one of those "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!!" people. I'm not opposed to showing children meterial that's a little more edgeier if a parent is their to explain and comfort. But you have to look at the context. This isn't a biopic about a serial killer, it's Star Wars. Darth Vader was supposed to be a cool, bad ass villian. Was it necessary to make him a GENOCIDAL CHILD MURDERER?!?!? Personnally, I think instead of killing them directly he should have told them to escape a certain way, leading them to a trap where they get killed by clone troopers. That would have fit better with Star Wars and would have shown the conflict within Anakin, as opposed to the 1 dimensional mess they showed in the film.

There's also a difference between a kid's film and a family film. The Original films were made for everyone to enjoy, these were made for 6-six-year-olds, that during the end has a phoney air of darkness. If I know they are bad, and later I will explain for the upteenth time why, I just can't enjoy the films with my children. And I'm sorry but what themes? THEY'RE NOT THERE! You only see them because Lucas tells you they're there, that doesn't make it so. You can say however many times you want that the prequels are "about Anakin's fall to the Dark Side", when it's clear that, unless you read EU material, he's an asshole who becomes more of an asshole. The only reason these kids feel sorry for Anakin is because he's the main character, and because they're rooting for the Anakin of the TV show. If that's the case then just show them the TV show.

I hate the "Lucas is updating it for youger audiences" argument like you wouldn't believe. First off, again, Star Wars is meant for everyone, not just kids. Second, those kids he's targeting it too, they grow up, so it doesn't make sense for him to dumb it down.

I will also explain for the THIRD TIME, a mere ten years ago, I was these kids. I was part of that younger audience that Lucas was apperently targeting. I loved everything Star Wars related. Then I grew up and realized that the prequels don't do justice to the franchise. I'M NOT SOME DUDE FROM THE 80's! I've just realized the they don't hold up, the originals do. You're right, in the end it's the underlying story that matters and not the details. But you know what?, LUCAS MESSED THAT UP TOO! Anakin is a horrible, and extreamly unlikable person in these films and any emotional connection that I once had died. How can I have an emotional connection when I know it's all a farce?

Screw that, it's meant for everyone not just kids. You also seem to be implying that every generation gets dumber, which is sad and not to be embraced. Tell me, what is it about kids in the 70s-80s that makes them different from later kids?

I can't even enjoy them for nostalgia, how can I when I know it's all bs and doesn't have the same spirit of the originals.

Jake said...

Hey I've got another great idea, let's also hold back our hatred of Twilight and remember what it's made for, teenage girls. It's not like they're deserve anything more intellegent.

TEAM EDWARD FTW<3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
/sarcasm

Jake said...

I know I've already said my piece but, if they are kid's movies, then what's with all the boring and contrived political stuff?

Andy Warth said...

thanks for that Bob, those articles were written with so much love. it's easy to forget the innocence of being a kid, and Mr. McWeeny just reminded me about this. this series of articles were especially touching for me, because i'm about to become a father. Beautiful, anyone still complaining should definitely read this

Anonymous said...

i dont get ANY of you. i saw the movies the way most people did, 456123. and they ALL sucked. 4 5 and 6 were boring and out of date terrible effects terrible choreographed fight scenes. its just so OLD. and 1 2 and 3 were just plain bad. i saw how each movie was going to end long before it did, even the "luke i am your father" bit i saw as silly.

i dont even understand why star wars is a thing, it was never good to begin with, and it still sucks now.