Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
Ok, the original trilogy is done, now it is time to go into the prequels, which have pretty much tainted the Star Wars name.
First of all, it's inconsistent with the original trilogy. Not horribly so, but little things about Anakin and Uncle Owen's relationship (which is painted as being much closer in the OT), and Obi-Wan not recognizing a droid whose name he spends most of the time shouting. It makes the series seem more like a cash in as opposed to being an organic part of the original trilogy.
Secondly, the acting. While Jake Lloyd was pretty bad in The Phantom Menace, he was a kid and therefore gets a pass. But Hayden Christensen completely and single-handedly ruins any chance of the Prequel trilogy succeeding. With the addition of these three movies, Star Wars was turned into a story about Redemption, based around Anakin Skywalker, the big issue with this is that Christensen is so bad in the role of Anakin Skywalker, that you can't wait for him to get his whiny behind torched and mutilated. His performance is so wooden that it boggles the mind. Apparently he decided to base his performance on Jame Earl Jone's voice work in the original trilogy, which is just a dumb decision, because the way he speaks his lines is so devoid of emotion that it becomes laughable. Not that anyone else is astounding, Natalie Portman flounders on screen, having zero chemistry with Christensen. Ewan McGregor is easily the best part of the trilogy, actually being able to infuse his character with some humanity.
But this probably has a lot to do with the writing, which is truly wretched. There are so many lines like when Padme screams "You're breaking my heart!", or "Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo.", and the now legendary "NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" that actually made me laugh in the theater. Not to mention the truly horrible puns in Attack of the Clones when C3PO is taken apart, like "This is such a drag" as he is being dragged around or "I'm quite beside myself" when his head rolls next to his body. It's borderline Mystery Science Theater 3000 territory.
The best film of the trilogy is easily Revenge of the Sith, which is must more focused on Anakin's decline, but because of the horrible acting, there's no emotional connection with the film. In addition, Anakin's fall to the dark side occurs only in a matter of minutes. There were hints and suggestions of his ego and anger, but for him to suddenly betray the Jedi and become a crazed child killer so fast strains believability. But it's an entertaining film at least.
Plus, the prequel trilogy has Jar-Jar Binks, a moden day version of the silly old slave you would find back in old racist 30's and 40's movies.
I don't consider myself a Star Wars fan, but I were one, I would be PO'd at George Lucas.