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STAR WARS Episode 2: The Romantic Side Of Intergalactic Intrigue
April 30, 2002 | Isaiah Flair

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.

To comment on this article or express your opinion directly to the author, you are invited to e-mail Isaiah at isaiah_flair_2002@hotmail.com .

NOTICE TO WRITERS: To obtain required information prior to submitting your essay to Toogood Reports for publication send for “Commentary Submissions” guidelines. Nonconforming submissions will not be considered for publication.



April 30, 2002

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: adventure; archetypes; cgi; episode2; fantasy; fiction; flair; georgelucas; movies; popculture; sciencefiction; starwars
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1 posted on 04/29/2002 7:44:46 PM PDT by Good Tidings Of Great Joy
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
Lucas has one thing going for him in this installment: low expectations.
2 posted on 04/29/2002 7:47:56 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
What the heck....I'm lookin' forward to it!
3 posted on 04/29/2002 7:54:14 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: dr_who
I got dragged to Episode One by a female friend. It was not only NOT worth the money -- it wasn't worth the time.

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.

4 posted on 04/29/2002 7:57:33 PM PDT by Ronin
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To: Ronin
Science fiction movie? Maybe someday... but of course we have that greatest of fantasy epics coming to screen gloriously, The Lord of the Rings. This December....

The Two Towers!!

5 posted on 04/29/2002 8:00:53 PM PDT by JenB
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
My kids loved episode one. After being used to watching videos, my youngest asked (at the theater): "Can we rewind the tape and watch it agian?".

They can't wait to see this one. (I won't mind seeing it myself).

6 posted on 04/29/2002 8:03:55 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
I'm anticipating this movie more than SW:


7 posted on 04/29/2002 8:04:04 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: Ronin
The thing I hated most about Episode 1 was the dialogue.
8 posted on 04/29/2002 8:05:00 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
I stopped buying Star Wars toys after the China EP-3 incident a year ago.

However, I will definitely go to the movie.

Is this an advertisement?

9 posted on 04/29/2002 8:05:00 PM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: Ronin
And what exactly would *you* define as a good skiffy movie?
10 posted on 04/29/2002 8:05:17 PM PDT by brbethke
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To: Ronin
I always thought SOMEONE would do a movie from Asimov's "Robots" series. My personal fav:


11 posted on 04/29/2002 8:06:23 PM PDT by PogySailor
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To: Ronin
someday, someone will put together a GOOD science fiction movie...

Well, there was "Flesh Gordon..."

12 posted on 04/29/2002 8:09:31 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
Once a queen, now a Senator

Did anybody else shiver when they read this?

13 posted on 04/29/2002 8:11:51 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
This stood in strong contrast to the spark and fire of Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia Organa

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.

14 posted on 04/29/2002 8:13:18 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: Scott from the Left Coast
I thought Bill Clinton used the washroom sink for that.
15 posted on 04/29/2002 8:14:09 PM PDT by brbethke
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To: Corin Stormhands
Did anybody else shiver when they read this?

Surely you didn't think about... < shudder > ... Hillary! .....

16 posted on 04/29/2002 8:14:36 PM PDT by PogySailor
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To: Corin Stormhands
Yeah, I did, then I thought of the size of Hillary's backside.

Naaaaah.

17 posted on 04/29/2002 8:14:48 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: brbethke
Technically speaking, I think it was old lefty. But I see your point.
18 posted on 04/29/2002 8:16:00 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: amishdude
ping for ya!
19 posted on 04/29/2002 8:16:24 PM PDT by sabe@q.com
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To: PogySailor; Scott from the Left Coast
Surely you didn't think about... < shudder > ... Hillary! .....

I was trying to figure out why Lucas when from Sci-Fi to Horror...

20 posted on 04/29/2002 8:17:26 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Scott from the Left Coast
Yeah, I did, then I thought of the size of Hillary's backside.

That's no moon....

21 posted on 04/29/2002 8:20:53 PM PDT by steve-b
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To: Corin Stormhands
Did anybody else shiver when they read this?

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...

22 posted on 04/29/2002 8:23:03 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
And don't forget Janet the Hutt.
23 posted on 04/29/2002 8:24:13 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Corin Stormhands
Hey nice link to the Barrow-downs on your site. According to the downs I'm a Drunken Dunedain (how'd they know me so well?). My elvish name is Bulered, supposedly. Very strange but appropos, since I'm re-reading the trilogy for the first time since I was a teen-ager (a few decades ago).
24 posted on 04/29/2002 8:24:45 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: steve-b
Not unless it's a moon of Jupiter. Too damn big to be our own.
25 posted on 04/29/2002 8:25:48 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: Scott from the Left Coast
Hey nice link to the Barrow-downs on your site.

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.

26 posted on 04/29/2002 8:26:34 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
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.

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....

27 posted on 04/29/2002 8:29:17 PM PDT by Jay W
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To: Jay W
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 ...

28 posted on 04/29/2002 8:39:37 PM PDT by Huusker
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To: brbethke
And what exactly would *you* define as a good skiffy movie?

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.

29 posted on 04/29/2002 8:56:44 PM PDT by Ronin
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To: anniegetyourgun
At the very least I'm looking forward to seeing the technology of special effects. From the previews, they look great; though they could make them even better by having JarJar get blown into chum at some point.
30 posted on 04/29/2002 9:35:54 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: dr_who
You got that right, Doc! Why does George Pukeas seem to think all Star Wars fans are perpetually three years old? The Phantom Dissapointment was such a monumental failure that I will never torture myself with another installment of his idiocy. Jar Jar Bunghole was unforgivable and the asinine midiclorian idea was just a flat out slap in the face to every Star Wars fan.

--from a vehemently FORMER fan.
31 posted on 04/29/2002 10:26:38 PM PDT by Thundergod
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
You bring good tiding indeed LOL :).
32 posted on 04/29/2002 11:08:40 PM PDT by weikel
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To: Ronin
I would think that all conservatives would have loved episode I. Basically, the movie trashed big govt. as ineffective, extolled individuals as very effective, established there is good and evil and not just shades of gray, held that talent is based not just on environment but genetics too. Plus jar jar binks had to be one of the most politically incorrect characters in recent memory.

Although this last statement has little to do with conservatism, Lucas' view of the future seems to have mostly english speaking white people.

33 posted on 04/29/2002 11:46:22 PM PDT by staytrue
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To: staytrue
The fact remains that Episode One stunk like dead fish in the sun.

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.

34 posted on 04/30/2002 12:15:27 AM PDT by Ronin
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To: Thundergod
Thank you. You said it better than I could.
35 posted on 04/30/2002 12:20:14 AM PDT by Ronin
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To: dr_who
The thing I hated most about Episode 1 was the dialogue.

Yep. it sounded like a 3rd rate masterpiece thee-uh-tuh at best. Especially Natalie Portman's dialogue

36 posted on 04/30/2002 12:58:23 AM PDT by KneelBeforeZod
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To: Ronin
I wanted to slap that smarmy little kid 10 minutes after I saw him the first time.

You and five billion other people!

37 posted on 04/30/2002 5:01:14 PM PDT by Good Tidings Of Great Joy
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To: PogySailor
I liked the Robot series and it was neat how it tied into the Foundation series (my favorite)...but a movie? -- too long and would be boring.
38 posted on 04/30/2002 5:06:35 PM PDT by eraser X
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy;Harrison Bergeron;Nick Danger;Paul Atreides;Senator Pardek;xm177e2...
A very interesting and intriguingly-phrased all-new, all-different article for your consideration...

If you want off this ping list, just send me a FReepMail...

39 posted on 04/30/2002 5:21:16 PM PDT by Good Tidings Of Great Joy
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To: Huusker
... where Anakin finds on the seabed a strange gold ring and journeys to Mordor and ...

... is bitten by a radioactive spider and ...

40 posted on 04/30/2002 5:32:11 PM PDT by Snuffington
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To: Ronin
The fact remains that Episode One stunk like dead fish in the sun.

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.

41 posted on 04/30/2002 5:35:38 PM PDT by MrConfettiMan
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To: Snuffington
The Lord of the Spider-Titanic?
42 posted on 04/30/2002 5:36:56 PM PDT by Good Tidings Of Great Joy
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
-It was impossible to get involved with the young boy because you knew he was gonna be D.V. I bet the same is true with this one.

-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.

Etc.

What a bore.

--Boris
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...

43 posted on 04/30/2002 6:29:43 PM PDT by boris
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44 posted on 04/30/2002 6:30:07 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
The Lord of the Spider-Titanic?

No no... the CLONED Lord of the Spider-Titanic.

45 posted on 04/30/2002 7:01:35 PM PDT by Snuffington
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To: Darth Sidious
bump
46 posted on 04/30/2002 9:13:23 PM PDT by lowbridge
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To: Ronin
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.

They did that. You can still view the crater in Hollywood made by "2001: A Space Odessy" when it bombed.

Shalom.

47 posted on 05/01/2002 9:01:50 AM PDT by ArGee
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To: Brett66

Oh yeah. Spidey rules!


48 posted on 05/01/2002 9:10:39 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts
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To: Good Tidings Of Great Joy
What I can't figure out is, Amidala is, what, about ten or twelve years (or more) older than Anakin, right?

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.

49 posted on 05/01/2002 9:42:30 AM PDT by Illbay
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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