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RANT - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Why oh why is Orson Scott Card incapable of talking about movies this summer (or in 2002 or 1999) without finding a way to slam the Star Wars prequels? This time out, in an unrelated review, he posits that the fact that people were looking forward to TPM can be the only explanation why those who liked it thought it was a good movie.


We thought it was a good movie because it was A GOOD FUCKING MOVIE. If you didn't like it, that's fine, that's your prerogative. But it was decently structured, it had characters I enjoyed, it was thematically rich, and it was visually stunning. I've spent the last six years talking about exactly what's good about it, and you know what? It's not my imagination, and it's not wishful thinking. Mr. Card is free to dislike it--he was set on Jake Lloyd as Ender in the movie that's taking so much sweet time that the kid will be able to play Graff, and the people who decided that they didn't want a kid in Star Wars made Lloyd unmarketable to the desirable teen male audience, so naturally, he's not going to like it...

Oh, wait. You mean, he might have disliked it on merit, based on aesthetic judgments that are important to him, and not based on some weird quirk of his psychology and foot-stomping about his own project?

Surely not. That's impossible. For something so incomprehensibe to me, there must be some serious self-deception going on, he must have very weak brain functioning, why... perhaps he's been brainwashed by the Writers Guild of America, who Lucas hacked off in the '80s! That must be it! Yes!


Of course, I would not say those things without the tinge of sarcasm. One doesn't say such things about bashers without being roundly censured for it (as a long-ago poster on TFN found out when he tried to psychoanalyze bashers, saying things far less vitriolic than were being said about fans). But with actual prequel fans, guess what? It's open season.

G-d, this pisses me off. I like the guy on most things, but on the matter of Star Wars, he drives me up the freaking wall. I think I'll stop reading him for a few weeks, until I cool off again.


37 comments or Leave a comment
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 6th, 2005 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hunh. I always liked Orson Scott Card, but i'm thinking his movie tastes are different from mine. I liked TPM. People give me weird looks, but it was cool. Sure you have the creepy factor of Anakin dating his babysitter *shudders*, but that doesn't change that it was a good film. I also have no Jar Jar hate, because yeah he was annoying, but he made me laugh and I can't muster much hate for something so obviously intended to put a smile on your face. I liked the characterization to be found in TPM, I think that was the most important aspect of it. And hell, the lightsaber battles rocked. Why do people find it so hard to believe that SW fans can actually like TPM?

Of course, I'm the traitor who fastforwards through half of AotC so as to avoid sugar-shock. ;D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, you're talking to someone who's now written two Jar Jar fics!

I enjoyed the Padmé/Anakin relationship here, and it's one of the reasons I don't get the confusion about their relationship later. He changed her life entirely in this movie--took her from the girl who was rather lost and looking for advice from the council to the girl who takes charge, because she can see that a little slave boy with actual power in the world is able to take charge of his own life and others... she's a queen with power--surely she can do the same! And the fact that when he's frightened, he makes something for her. It's endearing. Obviously, at that point, they're brother and sister, but I had no trouble whatsoever believing that she would later fall in love with him.

I adored Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan, the lightsaber duel rocked, and Shmi interested me. I think one thing that threw people was that the Jedi Council wasn't presented as perfect--they were good guys, but making mistakes, and I think people took the fact that they were confused and goofing up as some sign that the movie wasn't being morally clear or whatnot--that we were supposed to see their actions as inherently right, and therefore when they do things that are questionable, it means that the movie is endorsing those things... or something.

My favorite criticism is that it's "childish and simplistic." Because, yeah--this entire sham of a battle with its useless victory set up to put Palpatine into power and enslave the galaxy just as they think they're celebrating freeing it... that's sure a lot less complex than, say, Shoot the Aliens Before They Shoot You.
sophonax From: sophonax Date: July 7th, 2005 11:17 am (UTC) (Link)
My favorite criticism is that it's "childish and simplistic." Because, yeah--this entire sham of a battle with its useless victory set up to put Palpatine into power and enslave the galaxy just as they think they're celebrating freeing it... that's sure a lot less complex than, say, Shoot the Aliens Before They Shoot You.

I'm not much of a prequel fan (though TPM was my favorite of the three), and this criticism has always just baffled the hell out of me. Were these people sleeping through every scene that didn't contain Jar-Jar, or what?
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 01:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
You wrote Jar Jar fics? You are brave! *gives Leia back her lines* ;)

I can see the brother/sister kinda thing in TPM, but it still... grossed me out a bit to look at it in perspective of AotC and RotS. Perhaps one of my reasons for not being a big fan of them. The whole set-up of ages and relations of Padme and Anakin just threw me. The Jedi Council thing was intriguing and I had no preconceptions about them like I had Anakin, so I was okay with that. Qui-Gon... I honestly don't see much purpose for him in the grand scheme of things, his role could have been completely absorbed by Obi-Wan, I feel, but I do like Qui-Gon, and Padawan!Obi-Wan. It gives beautiful insight into the Luke-like aspects of young Obi-Wan. (I.e. "Was I any different at his age?")

Yeah, that criticism is sort of weird. The movie is presented in a somewhat childish manner, but the underlying themes of the movie are quite complex -- but so is the whole series. But then, I'm the type who can criticize almost any movie and still love it to pieces. I see faults, but I don't hold it against it. And I can pick apart Card, too. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally disagree. TPM was extremely important, and the point of Qui-Gon was that someone other than Obi-Wan needed to find Anakin if the proper tension was going to be set up. Qui-Gon is a Jedi who is centered and balanced, and if he'd been the one to train Anakin, Anakin wouldn't have fallen--Qui-Gon had a better understanding of Anakin's situation than cocksure Obi-Wan did, and Obi-Wan's sting of anger at him is also important. And yet, Anakin needed both to be found by someone who understood his situation and to fall... ergo, there needed to be a point of contention between Obi-Wan and Anakin, subtle enough that they wouldn't notice it themselves, but sharp enough to cut when the time came.

TPM's innocent facade is meant to be seen as a facade--every victory led closer to defeat and every success led toward a failure. It's haunting and thought-provoking... all of these things we feel in our lives as great victories, what will the later cost be?

I was fascinated with Anakin and Amidala from the start. I loved their meeting, and again, the innocence theme that was played on. Two kids, lost in the galaxy, finding each other... In I'm Your What?/Shifting of the Sands, which takes place mid-TPM (the Queen's ship, instead of going to Coruscant, is knocked into the future, where they encounter Luke's group getting away from Jabba's), I wrote this, in the quiet following an incident where Vader died to save Padmé's life:

When Amidala was very small, her grandmother, Winama, had told her a story about two little children, a brother and sister, wandering lost in the swamps. It had been the only story that she'd ever had nightmares about. They had battle opee sea killers and nasty land animals, but those fights never scared Amidala. They had won them. They had run across an old witch, but Amidala shrugged the witch off. The nightmares came from the middle of the story, when the children were lost and alone, and it was night time. They huddled together and held on to each other, and that was how they got through. For months after hearing the story, Amidala would wake up in the dark, drawing her blankets up around her, but unable to get warm. She would reach out, one arm braving the world away from the blanket, grasping at empty air for something she couldn't identify.

Now, truly lost in the dark and cold of space, she reached out, and there was the other, and that was good. He was a brother now, as the boy in the story had been.

They could protect each other.

To me, that's the essence of their relationship--they have one another, they are one another, when things become frightening. They waited for each other and each felt and sensed the other even before they met, because they are the opposite halves of the same whole.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
(Or, if you prefer horrendous poetry, there's always From the Depths of Midnight's Soul.) ;P
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can see your point about Qui-Gon when you put it that way. I just sort of expected Obi-Wan to be the more centered one, given who we saw in ANH, but it was a silly expectation, since his arrogance did help contirbute to Anakin's fall in an indirect way. I love how TPM presents Obi-Wan, so I don't complain overmuch, and Qui-Gon is cool. I just think TPM feels more like Episode Zero and we're missing something in the story. And honestly, I can think of many ways to edit Episode I and II as one movie, and still get the same results. Then again, that might just be products of my warped imagination.

And I also see your point about Anakin and Padme, and of course you know I'm a fan of your writing, but honestly? I still don't care for them. I had very different expectations, and their onscreen interactions left much to be desired, and I can't generate any interest in wanting to read fic that rectifies them. They very simply don't appeal to me. Which is strange, because I had been looking forward to seeing the love story of Luke and Leia's parents. I truly had. I think it's because they failed to live up to what I wanted or what I see that I can't like them very much. It's very selfish of me, but I never claimed to be fair. ;)

Now, the effects of their relationship on their personality are fascinating, but I don't see it quite as purely as you. I believe they thought it was pure, but I don't see it like that. I think that's because I'm far less of the destiny fan and I believe "true love" is not necessarily romantic. That, and Anakin's actions tarnish and corrupt it, in my mind. That might just be me, though.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was very annoyed at Anakin choking her; I can't imagine a much bigger mistake narratively. That said, he was entirely crazy in that scene--not just evil, but totally, off the charts insane--so I don't really see it as anything more than a momentary break in his identity, rectified by the time he's in the suit and worried about her.

I think of their marriage as the one thing that was true and pure in him, the thing that kept Anakin alive inside of Vader.

Then again, I think that only destined love counts.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I liked him choking her. I do agree he was pretty batshit by that time, but I think it was testimony to his frustration and anger with her that he did it -- a sense of his utter betrayal.

You know, I do agree with that. He called her presence soothing and I believe him. I think she prevented him from slipping away to the dark side after Shmi died, and though he kept slipping as he was going along, it was ultimately her, the last person he believed to love him (because he obviously didn't believe Obi-Wan loved him, which was Obi-Wan's fault for being too aloof), that ultimately help pushed him over that edge. However, I think his fall was destined. Without her, I think he would slipped sooner had she not married him at the end of AotC and remained apart from him.

*shrugs* I think it was Luke's love for Anakin, a love he did inhereit from his mother but was ultimately filtered through for that of a son to a father, that saved Vader. And Vader's love for Luke, the last bastion of everything he ever loved. Because, Luke, really, represents Padme the most, but also has connections to Obi-Wan and Shmi (through Owen and Beru). Those three people were the most important in shaping Anakin, and the combination of their love was what saved him. Which is why I think it was destiny that he and Padme fell in love and had children, but I think every action that was taken, from Qui-Gon's fall, to Obi-Wan, to Shmi, to all of it was part of the destiny, and I see the Anakin/Padme as just a part of the whole, rather than the center. I see Luke as the center, as the important one.

Can you tell I'm an OT fan and am naturally biased towards it? Though, I do have a ridiculous theory about Padme being reincarnated as Luke, but I'm not sure how much I believe it. *ponders it some more*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like the whole saga. I prefer the prequel characters (mostly because Han annoys the shit out of me), but obviously, Padmé was not enough in herself. However, Anakin didn't have Luke for all the years of his imprisonment inside of Vader--it was something else he was holding onto, something purer, that Luke was able to sense in RotJ (and ESB, honestly), which is what sent Luke into action. I believe it was Anakin's better self that was represented in the marriage, and that was what he was able to hold onto.

I know why Lucas did what he did, and if I weren't in fandom, I'd definitely support it. But because I knew that there were people from episode one on rooting for the twins to be a product of Anakin raping Padmé, I have to regard as a narrative mistake anything that they'd be able to jump on and say, "See, we told you he was a jackass on all matters and we never had any reason to sympathize with him! You were wrong! He's just a jerk! See, he choked his wife!" Since his ability to love is what's supposed to be good in him, throughout the years, then putting in an action that would support the notion that he doesn't love his wife for people inclined to think that way is a mistake. Killing other poeple for her sake (as with the Tuskens) and despite her objections was more than enough.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I admit Han isn't my favorite character, but I do like him. There's a part of me that wishes Leia hadn't been Luke's sister and she and Luke got together, because I liked them far better. Han is too "cool" for me to get into. I prefer the OT characters. I really didn't like Anakin in AotC, but I see how it led into Vader, so I like Anakin as he turns. I truly simply prefer Vader to Anakin. I like the characterization of Obi-Wan, because he is my boy, but Padme was... not Leia. And I suppose that's my biggest problem, which is admittedly not fair of me, but again... I'm not fair about that.

Hmm, I can see your reasoning about Padme, but I guess because I remember the OT without influence of the prequels, I don't see it as much. I think Anakin wanted to do the right thing, and he obviously justified all his actions (I.e. "Well from my point of view, the Jedi are evil!"), which is how he lived with himself, but depe inside, he knew what he did was wrong, but couldn't stop himself. It was too late, he'd gone too far, and he felt there was no turning back.

I can see your point about the fandom and how they perceive things in the movies that make perfect sense to me, but they go batshit about it. Many things Lucas did have caused many of the fandom people to go nuts. I won't start my bitches about what batshit things people do in my ships, because you'd just say, "That's what you get for shipping Anakin/Obi-Wan." ;) And yeah, Anakin clearly loved Padme a lot. A little too much, even. I'm still screaming this at the fandom. Amongst other things. *stops before she begins to rant about the fangirls*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, I can see your reasoning about Padme, but I guess because I remember the OT without influence of the prequels, I don't see it as much.

Oh, I've been a fan since '77. But I assumed even before the prequels came out that Vader's wife, whoever she had been, was a pure memory that had kept him sane inside the suit. That's one reason I was anxious to find out what she was like.

I like Leia, but I'm glad that Padmé was more like Luke--it made for an interesting dynamic that the twins basically gender-reversed their parents' personalities. We know from Leia's statement that she wasn't much like her mother... Leia is many, many good things, but "kind and sad" don't really apply to her! Luke, yes; Leia, no.

I liked Padmé more than I liked Leia, at least until her character got trashed in RotS ("I can't hold on to my man! I shall have to die now!!!!" WTF?). She just seemed to have more depth to her. But even Leia got trashed in the final episode--I don't know what it is, but something about SW women when they actually enter relationships, they get flaky. I don't think I'm more annoyed about Padmé getting all fuzzy-headed than I was about Leia making googly eyes when Han snuck around behind her back and get named a general over an op that she probably had more knowledge of. Most of the time, SW women make up for lack of quantity with reams of quality, but in both cases, we've seen the ball dropped on them once they actually become (de facto) wives. I think different writers write different parts of a relationship better than others. For myself, I think I'm best in relationships after they're established, so it bugs me when H'wood is unable to conceive of writing a post-romance relationship. On the other hand, my transition from friends to marriage is always sudden and irritating to me.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't claim to be a fan since '77 only because I wasn't alive then. ;) Howeve,r I am a fan since infancy, because my mother used to put it on for me when I was a baby. She said it was one of the only things to calm my crazy behind down.

Oh, yes, Leia was much more like Anakin and Luke was more like Padme, I love that, myself. I loved Leia to itty bitty pieces and still do. That's my girl right there. I thought she came off far less sappy than Padme did once she fell in love. Leia was my childhood role model, I love her like I love no other female character. But she was best ANH, which is my favorite movie of the whole series. I always thought Leia let Han be in charge to get him more involved, but I'm a Leia fangirl. She did get a little flaky in RotJ, but Padme takes the cake in RotS. If I was Obi-Wan, I would have gone into the birthing room and bitchslapped her. SHe's lucky he's a nicer person than I am. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I was Obi-Wan, I would have gone into the birthing room and bitchslapped her.

Oh, yeah. That's one where she needed to be bitchslapped. Of course, the real Padmé would have bitchslapped herself for that scene, which leaves me with the conclusion that the real Padmé was killed or imprisoned while Anakin was off fighting and replaced with a clone. Or maybe a pod person. :p

There ya go, that's my new theory, and I'm sticking to it. During the scene where Anakin was contemplating joining the Dark Side and she's hanging out in the apartment crying, a phalanx of clonetroopers is sent there with a spiffy new clone!Padmé, smiling docilely. She shoots as many of them as she can, but there are too many. In the hope of raising the child within the Empire, the babies are forcibly transferred into the clone while Anakin is raiding the Temple, and real!Padmé is taken into custody. The clones, being obedient, respond to her order to never reveal that it was twins. Then DocileClone!Padmé plays out the rest of the movie.


Much bitchslappage needed in that scene. I hate that scene with great vitriol. The choking on Mustafar is a nothing betrayal next to that total undercutting of the character.

I dont' mean to sound like a basher. I'm not. And I always feel guilty whenever I just let loose on it. I liked many things in RotS--the Obi-Wan Anakin relationship was spot on, I loved Christensen's performance, Palpatine rocked. Yoda rocked. Mace was appropriately bad-ass. Order 66 was brilliantly filmed. I am by no one's measure a prequel basher. But that single scene hacked me off so much that I haven't been able to muster any enthusiasm for this particular episode, and that saddens me, because the other two really got me back into SW fandom, and made me write enthusiastically.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ahahaha! Let your hate flow through you, yes! Bow to the power of the dark side! Join me and together we shall rule--

Oh, pardon me, my Sith Lord was showing. *locks him back in his closet* ;)

I don't consider myself a basher. I don't think you are either. You're just expressing your disappointments. I just happen to normally be more vocal about them, myself. And I had far more, because I think I set my expectations to high for the prequels. But I did love RotS, it brought back my love for SW, which was flagging after AotC. However, I recently read a good essay that explains why it was important for Padme to die the way she did and so on and so forth. It's by goldemoonrose, I know I linked it on jedi_news a week or two ago if you're curious. I still don't like how it was portrayed, but I guess I've just accepted it. But it's all right to rant about it. I rant about AotC all the time. XD

I'll stick to my Padme is reincarnated as Luke theory. Kinda squicky at first, I know, but the crackpot theory is growing on me for some reason.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have absolutely no interest in defenses of that scene, nor would I accept any explanation of it being "necessary."

I loved TPM and AotC. I liked about half of RotS.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, okay. You definitely hate it then. ;) I can understand that.

TPM, I can stand behind you on. I can stand behind you on about a third of AotC. Now, RotS, I adore to pieces. But I love Vader, so watching him come along truly made me happy.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, see, I'm a Luke-ist where Vader and Anakin are concerned: There's no difference. Anakin is always Vader, and Vader is always Anakin. Anakin is the name of Vader's true self.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm quite Obi-Wan about Anakin and Vader, I guess. But I guess that's because I simply think Vader is an expression of Anakin's dark side. And I really do like him stomping across the galaxy killing folk. He did it with such style. I love villains with style.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not much of a villain person anyway, and Obi-Wan's credibility is pretty low as far as the opinions he shares with Luke go. ;)
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am both a hero and a villain type, myself. But I will admit Obi-Wan was kinda wrong, from a certain point of view. *loffs him* I just like to give Anakin's dark side a name. And he did stop whining... well, sorta. ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
FWIW, my stories never seek to "rectify" canon--I will only write what I genuinely see in a relationship as shown. If what I see doesn't work for me, chances are, I won't write the relationship at all. Everything I've written about Anakin and Padmé is based on what's on screen, not on what I wish had been. That last scene, since it can only be explained by virtue of total identity break, is therefore a total identity break, which is supported by the follow-up scene, where he seems to have no real knowledge of what happened, except in the vaguest of senses.

That said, RotS killed a lot of the pleasure I take in writing SW, because Padmé's death made no sense, but because I don't write to rectify, I can't really write with my crackpot theory about decoys. That allows me to not take down the fic I already have up, but my belief in sticking to canon intention prevents me from actually writing it. And that means I'm not writing about Padmé anymore. And since she was a favorite of mine to write, it means that I'm not writing much SW anymore, and taking less pleasure in what I do write.

Which is sad. I miss it.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I know that. I was actually speaking about the Anakin/Padme ship, and many of them DO try to "rectify" canon. I didn't mean to insinuate you were writing anything less than what you see. I know how you are about things, and I deeply respect that. I, personally, don't see as much into it as you, that's all.

That is sad. RotS actually got me writing, because I actually loved what it did with everyone, with the exception of Padme's death. It just didn't gelk, but I've accepted it. It's where I got my own crackpot theory on her being reincarnated as Luke. I am sorry they killed your Padme bunnies. I'd share some of mine, but most of my bunnies involve Obi-Wan and Anakin (in my defense, half of it is gen stuff) or Luke and Leia.

If I had been attached to Padme, I expect I'd feel the same as you. Luckily, I'm an Obi-Wan fangirl, so I wound up with the better deal. XD But what about Leia? Leia rocks. *sends you Leia bunnies*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 9th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
My entire Leia-verse involves Padmé having been on Alderaan with her when she was three, so Leia isn't very pleasurable for me, either--really, it wasn't just my Padmé fics, but my entire SW ficverse that got cut to ribbons, thus explaining my reaction of being in total mourning. FWIW, I've written reams of Leia-fic, though.

I'll probably write Obi-Wan fic, as I've been looking for something shiny to catch my eye, and after RotS, Obi-Wan is the one who's looking most glitterific to me.

I'd share some of mine, but most of my bunnies involve Obi-Wan and Anakin (in my defense, half of it is gen stuff)

I have to admit, I get a chuckle out of you being an Obi/Ani shipper, but being bothered by the age difference between Anakin and Padmé--the difference between Obi-Wan and Anakin is more than three times the difference between Padmé and Anakin! :p
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, the whole ficverse got shot down, I can understand that. I have so many of your fics bookmarked and haven't been able to read lately, because I've been agonizing over personal things and my own blasted fic. Damn Count Dooku to nine different sorts of hell, but I finally got a grip on how to portray him.

Obi-Wan is very shiny, yes, you should totally write him. *urges* There's so many things to do with him on Tatooine. *cuddles plot bunnies* And you'll be happy to note that all my Obi-Wan on Tatooine bunnies are 100% gen.

I will admit, the fact that I ship Anakin/Obi-Wan and shudder a bit over Anakin/Padme is totally hypocritical. However, I think I accept Ani/Obi as inherently dysfunctional, not to mention shortlived or unrequited (usually on Obi's part), so that somehow justifies it in my sick and twisted brain. I'll say there's personal reasons for that. I once dated a kid I used to babysit, with the same age difference between me and him as Padme and Anakin (actually, I'm only four years older). I felt like a child molester, so I cut it off by the first kiss, even though he was 18 at the time. While Ani/Obi, well, I have a couple of gay friends with a vast age difference and sort of a weird, dysfunctional father/son complex, so I can accept them for some reason. Sick and weird? Yes. But as I said, completely because of personal experiences.
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: July 6th, 2005 11:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I also have no Jar Jar hate, because yeah he was annoying, but he made me laugh and I can't muster much hate for something so obviously intended to put a smile on your face.

That's pretty much how I feel. Personally, I'm not interested in Jar Jar, but I can't imagine the idea of hating a character just because he was slightly annoying. It's one thing for SW fans to hate someone like Palpatine -- he's evil and supposed to be hated by the audience -- but why hate Jar Jar? I can understanding not liking the character, or thinking he's uninteresting, but hating him? It doesn't make any sense to me.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't say Jar Jar interests me, either, but I found Anakin in AotC far more annoying than Jar Jar, and no one goes batshit about his existence. Though this might be due to the fact that the fangirls are distracted by teh pretteh. (Personally, I don't think Hayden is all that.) Jar Jar hate also baffles me. C-3PO is also more annoying. That whole droid assembly plant on Geonosis makes me want to spit nails. Then again, I should just leave AotC alone, because it makes me vitriolic.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: July 7th, 2005 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
People act like Jar Jar was Barney. Okay, he got a little annoying, and I was glad he wasn't in ROTS because it would've made the whole dark theme thing a little awkward, but he wasn't BAD. In fact, he got a laugh or two out of me.

And I liked TPM.
murasaki99 From: murasaki99 Date: July 7th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked all the SW movies, old and new alike. They've been so much fun for so many people over the years it's amazing they haven't outlawed it like weed or crack. If Mr. Card has a movie in the works, he may simply be unhappy that he's had to put up with the Hollywood rigamarole and maybe is a tad jealous that Mr. Lucas can turn out his movies with apparent ease. You and I both know there's nothing 'easy' about making grand SF films, but that won't keep people from complaining.
phylogenetics From: phylogenetics Date: July 7th, 2005 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree with you on bashers. I have a personal theory about why some people tend to bash the prequels here:


where I took issue with cinescape's bashing of the prequels for it's 'ham fisted dialogue' (because the original trilogy was truly shakespherian :p)

In short, it's because some people think back nostalgia to when they first saw star wars, and expected the prequels to do the same to them---unfortunately, that's not going to happen. Lucas made the star wars films exactly like he made them in the past, the only thing that's changed is our taste and expectations and therein lies the problem: people get all misty eyed thinking about star wars, and gloss over the bad aspects of it (bad dialogue, poor acting etc), yet when they see the prequels, these shortcomings are glaring to them, and all of a sudden, the same problems that plagued the OT becomes PROBLEMS in the PT. I think this is a problem whenever you try to 'change' something that people feel akin to a religion----not even God himself (Lucas) can touch the Holy Trilogy and not get burnt.
mistralcat From: mistralcat Date: July 7th, 2005 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)
It's not just Star Wars. His review of Timeline basically boiled down to "I've heard it's bad, so I'm not going to see it, and neither should you, 'cause it's bad." Now, Timeline wasn't a great movie, but he didn't know that - since he didn't bother to see it - so he shouldn't have said it. Someone who has the following that Card does should really be especially careful what he says, because so many people slavishly follow him.
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ashtur From: ashtur Date: July 7th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I just read his review of Batman Begins (just to see how he does things), and I can't say that I'm impressed with him. Anyone who goes into a Bats movie considering Jim Gordon a "throwaway" role just doesn't understand the series at all. Yeah, the humanity of Oldman may have stolen the show, but that's the point... Jim Gordon is one of Bruce's human anchors. If that's typical of him, I don't think I'll be back to his site.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: July 7th, 2005 03:28 am (UTC) (Link)
What a coinkydink, because just last night while I was poking around beliefnet.org for new material about SW, I saw his latest crucifixion review of ROTS. Aside from the obvious enjoyment he gets from the professional bashers (one guy commented that Card is a "breath of fresh air"...he must have never heard of TFN's boards), aside from his not getting these movies at all, I think it's typical SF trufan envy. It's no big secret a lot of SF writers hate media fandom, with SW being one of their favorite targets for the past 28 years.

If he thought the film version of The Postman was any good, he earns my mockery for life.
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: July 7th, 2005 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Card's biggest gripe--at least from what I've read in other reviews of his--is that he doesn't like Lucas's scriptwriting. I haven't seen too many complaints about the story from him, just the dialogue. And I generally agree with Card. But on the SW movies--well the dialogue isn't brilliant("Anakin, you're breaking my heart!"), but the films are carried by the stories and characterizations and just the whole spectacle of them. Add to that a brilliant musical score, and it's no wonder they make lots of fans and lots of money.
zoepaleologa From: zoepaleologa Date: July 7th, 2005 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea who Orson Scott Card is, but suspect if I did, I'd dislike him a great deal. ;-)

I liked TPM and found Jar Jar funny. I'm childish that way. I loved the Ewoks, too. He was meant to be funny. Generally, having a comic relief character is a particular signature in Lucas's work as I see it. Critics tend to forget that one of the wellsprings for Lucas's work is the Saturday morning thriller series, and therefore the movies are meant to be entertaining to children. Hence the addition of a stock "silly" character. I bet most kids adored Jar Jar. Mine did.

Lucas is writing a strong, heroic, adventure saga along very "classical" lines, but generally, children do not find the Norse or Greek hero myths all that accessible. He seeks to make his mythos very accessible to a modern young generation. Taking my daughter, the reluctant reader of all time, to see RotS has got her reading again, as she's swiped my novelisation of the Movie. A. Good. Thing.

TPM does suffer from being a "scene setting" and from itself coming along with a deal of backstory. Particularly for those watching who essentially know that it is largely about the tragic fall of Anakin Skywalker. So, we enter the story (from the perspective of Fall of the Republic) very late along plot lines (it's clear Sidious has been up to a great deal of plotting long before the action of the film for instance, and backstory addicts like me want to know all about that).

However, Lucas correctly has centred the prequel trilogy on Anakin, and it fittingly starts with Anakin's entry to the larger story of the Galaxy.

To correctly judge TPM you need really to see the whole prequel trilogy. However, I feel that TPM can also stand alone as a great adventure story - I wish people would come at the movies with the understanding that these movies are primarily that. The fact that they have very ambitious themes is just a fantastic extra.

But I think the wrong critics are looking at these films, anyway. The Guardian film critic, two years ago, listed his 100 favourite movies. Only two of them were in English. So he essentially collectively dismissed the entire output of the capital of Movies, the US. It made me feel like howling.
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: July 9th, 2005 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Orson Scott Card wrote Ender's Game. I honestly don't care much for any of the sequels, they get more and more boring and irritating as you go along, but Ender's Game is prime SF. One of my favorite books. I can't remember much else by him (none of it other than Ender's Game is terribly memorable), but he did do the novelization of the movie The Abyss, which I also liked.

To me, TPM is almost like "Episode Zero". Some aspects of it I feel could have been absorbed into AotC, and made into one new Episode I, with Episode II being set during the Clone Wars, and Episode III as it stands. I like TPM quite a bit, but it is scene-setting, and I love so many things about it. Qui-Gon's role could have been absorbed into Obi-Wan, in all honesty, but I liked how it showed a young, eager Padawan!Obi-Wan, so I don't complain overmuch about this. I still find Anakin and Padme a bit creepy in this movie, but it could be simply because I know how they end up and I'd never date the kids I babysat, no matter how much they hit on me (and they have ^^;;). ;) But I love TPM for all it does offer, the insight it gives us on things, and the extra bits we get. I can't say it's my favorite of the series, but it's good. I can crit it, sure, but I can crit everything. Including Card, so he needs to get off his high horse.

I can't stand some film critics. I happen to like adventure stories, and those summer blockbusters that all the critics whine about. Do I think they're the best movies ever? No. But I enjoy them and I like them. I love Star Wars, and the entire series is actually my favorite of all time. (I'll be honest and admit this is due to the Original Trilogy, but I do have lots of love for TPM and RotS.) But I don't like a lot of these "wonderful" movies they adore that have no meaning to me and most of them are in foreign tongues. Half the crap that gets Oscars bores me to tears.
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