Skip to comments.STAR WARS Episode 2: The Romantic Side Of Intergalactic Intrigue
Posted on 04/29/2002 7:44:45 PM PDT by Good Tidings Of Great Joy
Star Wars: Episode 2 will be released in theaters across North America on May 16, less than three weeks from today. Amidst long-time Star Wars fans, the anticipation is palpable.
It should be leagues better than Star Wars: Episode 1 was.
Star Wars: Episode 1, also known as "The Phantom Menace", went off track in a number of ways.
First, there was an over-reliance on computer-generated images (CGI). The whole film was awash in settings and otherworldly creatures that were clearly not "there", but were added to the film by computer. This greatly diminished the suspension of disbelief needed by an audience watching a Star Wars film.
Second, the characters were very wooden. Natalie Portman, a gifted actress who delivered an incredibly memorable performance in a stage version of "The Diary of Anne Frank", was overladen with make-up and costumery. Her character, Padme Amidala, was formal to the point of being non-expressive. This stood in strong contrast to the spark and fire of Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia Organa in the original trilogy.
Third, there was too much focus on the "videogame" aspects of the film, such as the podrace-which-ran-forever. There were times when Star Wars: Episode 1 seemed more like an extended advertisement for Star Wars: Episode 1 merchandise than like an actual film with an actual plot.
Star Wars: Episode 2 looks to be an improvement on all counts.
While it still has a perhaps-excessive measure of computer-generated images, it appears to rely on them far less. The infamous Jar-Jar Binks, whose ALF-like presence haunted Episode 1, is apparently reduced to minimal screen time in Episode 2. Additionally, the computer-generated cityscapes of Coruscant are effectively counterweighted by the real-world images of Venice-like waterways, mountains, and meadows. These real-world images and settings, actually filmed in Seville, Spain and Dublin, Ireland, give Star Wars: Episode 2 a grounding in corporeality which its immediate predecessor lacked.
The characters are also more fleshed-out in Episode 2. Once a queen, now a Senator, the pivotal character of Natalie Portman's Padme Amidala is now free to express a variety of emotions and personality characteristics, in a combination somewhat representative of the noble acerbity captured by Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia in the original trilogy.
In Episode 2, Anakin Skywalker (the artist futurely known as Darth Vader) is an arrogant young man whose uncanny abilities are more than he can handle. His persona is more Han Solo than Luke Skywalker, but with a definite edginess added in.
And that element adds a lot of intrigue to Episode 2, giving it more of the original trilogy's sense of an epic battle between good and evil, between Light and Dark. That larger-than-life sensibility allows the story of Anakin Skywalker's personal rebellion to deepen into a backdrop of universal human archetypes.
The basic story is that as Anakin Skywalker becomes skilled in the ways of the Jedi Knights, he also falls in love with Senator Padme Amidala. He meets her again, having not seen her in many years, while on Coruscant---the seat of the Republic which both serve: one as a new Senator, one as a new Jedi.
They appeal to Chancellor (and future Emperor) Palpatine regarding the political turmoil spreading through their Republic.
In a different way, they appeal to one another. To the extent of co-conceiving the twins, Luke and Leia. And they spend time together, quietly sailing the waterways of one world, and quickly walking the corridors of another...
...only to discover that their liaisons are opposed by the Jedi Knights.
And thus the conflict.
Anakin Skywalker wants it all: the love of his life, and his place and power in the Jedi Order.
He is told that he can't have both.
His girlfriend tells him that he can't have both.
Obi-Wan Kenobi tells him that he can't have both.
And Anakin's frustration and peril is born in the centre of that conflict.
His frustration, in turn, leaves him searching for guidance, for someone to tell him that he can, indeed, have it all.
Enter the future Emperor, Chancellor Palpatine.
"I see you becoming the greatest of all Jedi", he tells Anakin.
And so Anakin Skywalker's path to the Dark Side begins.
Star Wars: Episode 2 will be released in theaters across North America on May 16. It looks to greatly recapture the spirit of the original trilogy. In addition to Natalie Portman's Padme Amidala, Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker, and Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi, the multi-talented Samuel L. Jackson plays a pivotal role as well.
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I think I'll give Episode Two a pass and light a Joss stick in the (probably useless) hope that somewhere, someday, someone will put together a GOOD science fiction movie.
The Two Towers!!
They can't wait to see this one. (I won't mind seeing it myself).
However, I will definitely go to the movie.
Is this an advertisement?
Well, there was "Flesh Gordon..."
Did anybody else shiver when they read this?
Well, let's face it, if your character is named (phonetically) Lay-a Organ-a, you'd dern well better have some spark and fire.
Plus a big 2X4 to beat Bill Clinton off with.
Surely you didn't think about... < shudder > ... Hillary! .....
I was trying to figure out why Lucas when from Sci-Fi to Horror...
That's no moon....
Well, there's Barney Frank, but he's still a queen, and a member of the House rather than the Senate. But to your point, would that make Bill Clinton the analog of Anakin? Maybe Bush I would be Ben Kenobi (defeated by Anakin), and Bush II would be the ghost of Ben Kenobi. Ah, the joys of carrying an analogy too far...
Thanks. "Corin Stormhands" was the best choice of names for me. I didn't want to be "Popular Warg."
Re-reading the books myself. I finished LOTR and plan to read The Two Towers this summer.
I hear that Lucas is furiously rewriting the script so that in this unfolding love story, Anakin and Padme are aboard the just-recently-launched first version of the Death Star on its maiden voyage, when it has the misfortune of striking an iceberg and starts sinking to the bottom of the north Atlantic....
... where Anakin finds on the seabed a strange gold ring and journeys to Mordor and ...
Hmmm... Tough question, but I'll bite.
First, a reasonably intelligent plot. Yes, I know, Hollywood has to sell it to more than just Sci-Fi fans, but I would like the holes to be at least "ignoreable". Nothing out recently, with the "possible" exception of Matrix, makes that grade.
Second, I want the science to hold together. If it's a space epic, I don't want to "hear" the phaser beams or explosions. I also don't want to see space "fighters" zipping around like hyperactive mosquitos in total violation of the known rules of physics.
Finally, if it is a movie adaption of a book, I want it to FOLLOW the book as much as is practical given the difference in the two mediums.
Nothing in my memory, with the possible exception of 2001, meets those three criteria.
If you know of any others that do, by all means let me know.
Although this last statement has little to do with conservatism, Lucas' view of the future seems to have mostly english speaking white people.
I wanted to slap that smarmy little kid 10 minutes after I saw him the first time.
The computer-generated "life-forms" seemed painted in and shallow. The plot (what plot?) was a disaster.
Nevermind. See my comments on "good sci fi" earlier in this thread.
Yep. it sounded like a 3rd rate masterpiece thee-uh-tuh at best. Especially Natalie Portman's dialogue
You and five billion other people!
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... is bitten by a radioactive spider and ...
There's nothing the least bit factual about a subjective opinion of a movie.
One man's garbage is another's garden. Nothing personal, Ronin. Just my two cents.
-Enormous plot holes. I don't mean like "battle robots" that fall apart at the slightest touch; I mean like the combined intellect of the Ascended Masters of Jedi-dom telling Obi-Wan (Merlyn) not to train Anakin. "He bad news, bad juju, no train, no way, no sir!" they intone.
"Nyah, I'm a-gonna train him anyhow!" is Merlyn's response. Uh huh.
-A bunch of strangers show up. "Hi, were from outer space. Mind if we take your kid about 20 light-years thata way?"
"Sure. We'll make more [me and the metachlorians, or whatever they're called]." Anakin is evidently the result of immaculate conception and why isn't he a she, since parthenogenisis always results in females?
-If the meta-whatsiz control the force, why not culture them, centrifuge to concentrate, and inject 'em, just like athletes who "load up" with their own blood cells? Instant Force in a hypodermic.
What a bore.
And P.S. what's with the kid building C3PO? A big surprise there. One would expect the robot to be devoted to Darth Vader later in the story...
Live! Now on RadioFR!
6pm/9pm - Thr Banana Republican interviews Dr. Miguel Faria Jr., who has some great articles such as his "Suggestions for Pres. Carter's trip to Cuba"--Macon Telegraph. On "Women, Guns and Disinformation". And a new book called "Cuba In Revolution; Escape From a Lost Paradise."
No no... the CLONED Lord of the Spider-Titanic.
They did that. You can still view the crater in Hollywood made by "2001: A Space Odessy" when it bombed.
So when they meet again years later, and Anakin gets the hots for her, well, she's like in her mid-30s and he's in his young twenties, not so? So what is she, a "queen", doing unmarried all this time? Does she have a Q.E.I complex or something?
I guess it's possible, but kind of "implausible" IMO. Also, FWIW, Portman has only aged a few years, so she comes off as the same age as he is, which is also kind of dumb.
'Course, I guess this being SF you can fix it all with "time compression from traveling at near-light speed" or whatever.