Author Topic: ROTS news article thread  (Read 2108 times)

Offline Darth Broem

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2005, 10:58 AM »
A truly excellent article about US policy and Star Wars.


http://entertainment.tv.yahoo.com/entnews/ap/20050515/111620724000.html

'Wars' Raises Questions on U.S. Policy

By DAVID GERMAIN,
AP Movie Writer
57 minutes ago

Without Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 9/11" at the Cannes Film Festival this time, it was left to George Lucas and "Star Wars" to pique European ire over the state of world relations and the United States' role in it.

Lucas' themes of democracy on the skids and a ruler preaching war to preserve the peace predate "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" by almost 30 years. Yet viewers Sunday — and Lucas himself — noted similarities between the final chapter of his sci-fi saga and our own troubled times.

Cannes audiences made blunt comparisons between "Revenge of the Sith" — the story of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side and the rise of an emperor through warmongering — to President Bush's war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq.

Two lines from the movie especially resonated:

"This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause," bemoans Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) as the galactic Senate cheers dictator-in-waiting Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) while he announces a crusade against the Jedi.

"If you're not with me, then you're my enemy," Hayden Christensen's Anakin — soon to become villain Darth Vader — tells former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). The line echoes Bush's international ultimatum after the Sept. 11 attacks, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

"That quote is almost a perfect citation of Bush," said Liam Engle, a 23-year-old French-American aspiring filmmaker. "Plus, you've got a politician trying to increase his power to wage a phony war."

Though the plot was written years ago, "the anti-Bush diatribe is clearly there," Engle said.

The film opens Wednesday in parts of Europe and Thursday in the United States and many other countries. At the Cannes premiere Sunday night, actors in white stormtrooper costumes paraded up and down the red carpet as guests strolled in, while an orchestra played the "Star Wars" theme.

Lucas said he patterned his story after historical transformations from freedom to fascism, never figuring when he started his prequel trilogy in the late 1990s that current events might parallel his space fantasy.

"As you go through history, I didn't think it was going to get quite this close. So it's just one of those recurring things," Lucas said at a Cannes news conference. "I hope this doesn't come true in our country.

"Maybe the film will waken people to the situation," Lucas joked.

That comment echoes Moore's rhetoric at Cannes last year, when his anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" won the festival's top honor.

Unlike Moore, whose Cannes visit came off like an anybody-but-Bush campaign stop, Lucas never mentioned the president by name but was eager to speak his mind on U.S. policy in Iraq, careful again to note that he created the story long before the Bush-led occupation there.

"When I wrote it, Iraq didn't exist," Lucas said, laughing.

"We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction. We didn't think of him as an enemy at that time. We were going after Iran and using him as our surrogate, just as we were doing in Vietnam. ... The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable."

The prequel trilogy is based on a back-story outline Lucas created in the mid-1970s for the original three "Star Wars" movies, so the themes percolated out of the Vietnam War and the Nixon-Watergate era, he said.

Lucas began researching how democracies can turn into dictatorships with full consent of the electorate.

In ancient Rome, "why did the senate after killing Caesar turn around and give the government to his nephew?" Lucas said. "Why did France after they got rid of the king and that whole system turn around and give it to Napoleon? It's the same thing with Germany and Hitler.

"You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody's squabbling, there's corruption."

Oh boy I smell a controversy :(

Offline DSJ™

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2005, 12:00 PM »
From CNN:

'Star Wars' celebration in London

Quote
The day of "Star Wars" celebrations began at 6 a.m. with a dawn parade of the 501st UK Garrison of Storm Troopers.

They were there to open the doors to the world's first showing of the entire six-film "Star Wars" saga at the nearby UCI Empire cinema.

Now that would be something, sitting through all of them.  8)

Offline Brian

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2005, 02:28 PM »
Again, not "technically" a news article...but Moviefone has a feature up called "unscripted" where Hayden Christensen and George Lucas ask questions of one another, submitted by fans/readers/viewers.  Some interesting comments in there, covering why Hayden is now in ROTJ, Yoda's backstory/history, and where the Saga is headed.  Not everything is "new" information, but kind of a nice little video.  About 15 minutes long or so, and you can view it HERE.

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2005, 04:50 PM »
don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2005, 05:03 PM »
don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2005, 06:44 PM »
The New Yawk Times review

But of course the rise of the Empire and the perdition of Anakin Skywalker are not the end of the story, and the inverted chronology turns out to be the most profound thing about the "Star Wars" epic. Taken together, and watched in the order they were made, the films reveal the cyclical nature of history, which seems to repeat itself even as it moves forward. Democracies swell into empires, empires are toppled by revolutions, fathers abandon their sons and sons find their fathers. Movies end. Life goes on.

That was a great f'ing review.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2005, 09:03 PM »
I have to say, even without having seen the film, I'm so tired of reading reviews that cite dialogue as being what effectively (to them) "ruins" the film for them...

I think it's one thing to acknowledge a flaw, but dialogue hardly ruins the films...  I believe Ebert said it best that the it's never been good in SW, and never will be, and you have to look past it to see what a good story is there.
2011 Rebel Fleet Trooper Gets My Seal Of Approval!  But Where's The Friggin' Holster On Him!?
Jedi Defender.com Contributing Editor, Twitter @JediDefender & @Jesse_James77

Offline Darth Broem

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2005, 08:53 AM »
The dialogue and acting seem to be bad when they are just standing and talking to each other.  When they are in action it's not that bad...if I am remembering correctly.  It's more when you got Anakin talking to Padme one on one.  Or Anakin talking to Kenobi one and one and not doing much else.   

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2005, 10:28 AM »
Eh, we all know how the media tries to put a negative spin on just about everything.  I pay no attention to them or their connection of Mr. Bush to Palpatine.  Give it up liberal media.

 :P
« Last Edit: May 17, 2005, 10:41 AM by CHEWIE »

Offline DSJ™

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Offline DSJ™

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Offline DSJ™

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2005, 10:15 AM »

Offline Brian

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Re: ROTS news article thread
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2005, 09:30 AM »
I picked up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly yesterday (with Anakin/Hayden on the cover), to have something to look at during the wait for the start of ROTS.  They have a very nice article in there, talking with Lucas about the Saga, and some interesting tidbits are in there.  Just to throw out here for conversation, here's some things I found interesting:

Regarding what the fans wanted for the prequels....

"I think the problem most hardcore fans had with the movies is that they wanted to cut to the chase" says prequels producer Rick McCallum.  "They watned Darth.  You could almost go from Episode III now and do two more films....you know, Episode 3.1 and 3.2.  Just to see a Vader evolve...."  McCallum pauses, and the idea just hangs there, tantalizing.  "But those aren't the films George wanted to make".

Lucas on the Prequels and the gamble of TPM.....

Lucas believes his biggest gamble was starting the saga with Jake Lloyd's gee whiz kid in Menace.  Even his marketing team was skeptical.  "That's a little bit of why it got overhyped.  People (here) were nervous if it was going to break even," says Lucas of Menace's notorious promotional push.  "I didn't care.  I said, This is the story.  I know I"m going to need to use Hamburger Helper to get it to two hours, but that's what I want to do."

By Lucas' own calculation, 60 percent of the prequel plot he dreamed up decades earlier takes place in Sith.  The remaining 40 percent he split evenly between Menace and Clones, meaning each film contained a lot of.....filler.  Or, in Lucas parlance, "jazz riffs....things that I enjoy.....just doodle around a lot"--mostly in the form of blending live action and animation to create exotic worlds and emotionally resonant characters.  You know, like Jar Jar.  "That's the whole point to me.  Making it the way I want it to be.  That's what it comes down to," he says.  "Somebody's got to be happy out of all this.  It might as well be me."

Lucas and the beginnings of the Prequels........

After finishing ROTJ in 1983, capping a decade of Star Wars labor, George Lucas wanted to focus on raising a family with his wife Marcia, and build Lucasfilm into a vehicle for financing and servicing the films he wanted to make.  "Then I got divorced," says Lucas, "and that sort of screwed that up.  I had to start all over again."  He means emotionally and financially: The split reportedly cost him $50 million of his fortune.  He spent the next decade or so raising his three adopted children, shoring up Lucasfilm, producing a few movies and a TV series (Young Indy), and trying to determine when....and with what.....he'd return to direction.  In 1994 "after much back and forth", he chose Star Wars.

"I tried to get out of doing it," confesses Lucas.  He even asked (half jokingly) Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard to each take a prequel: "Those are the two guys I agree with aesthetically the most."  If they had said yes? "I would have said, Good!"  But both said no.  "He was reluctant to get back in the harness.  Its just the hours and the intensity," says Howard.  "Steven told him the same thing: George, there's one person to do these, and that's you.  YOu just have to get up out of your chair and leave your desk.  I know the ranch is an enticing place, but just go make these movies".

Anyways...great article, and a nice read.  I really didn't know some of these things that Lucas thought about the prequels, and basically admitting that he had to stretch the story out and use "filler" for the first two prequels.  Plus, the fact that he initially wanted help with them from Howard and Spielberg was just interesting to me.