Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like f**king Shaft!"

I read somewhere the other day that it's been ten years since Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out. And this got me thinking;those prequels were a load of old shit, weren't they? I was so excited, at the time, being a child of the original Star Wars generation, and the trailer got me all excited, but then I went to see it. It was shit. You think I might've been warned by the 'fix it 'til it's broke' original trilogy special editions. You might be arguing with me in your head now, but read on, and I'll prove to you the prequels were shit:

The Baddies in Episode I are a Trade Federation. Yeah, the bad guys are a corporation! Stick it to the man, multi-billionaire George Lucas!

The aliens in the trade federation talk in rubbish 'We So Velly Solly' Japanese accents. You see, all evil businessmen are Japanese! Way to reinforce stereotypes, George!!

The bad guy droids are all linked to a central computer, so why do they talk to each other? And why do they say 'Roger roger' all the bloody time?

The Gungans all talk in rubbish 'Yaaa mon' Jamaican accents. Giant rasta frogs must've sounded brilliant in the scripting stages. They're basically just spacey Uncle Toms. Way to reinforce stereotypes, George!

Having Brian Blessed as their leader must've also sounded brilliant in the planning stages. Didn't turn out that way, did it?

Jar Jar Binks. Everything he says and does. He was the first major CGI 'synthespian'. What a missed opportunity.

Watto, the owner of the Skywalker slaves, talks in a rubbish 'Oy Vey' New York Jewish accent. He's a corrupt businessman. Way to reinforce stereotypes, George!

Queen Amidala's scary voice when she addresses anyone important.

Jake Lloyd as Anakin. I can't imagine the young man who grows up to be the biggest baddest bastard in the whole universe ever said 'yippee!'

I also can't imagine that the young man who grows up to be the biggest baddest bastard in the whole universe built C-3PO, either.

I also can't imagine that the young man who grows up to be the biggest baddest bastard in the universe is called 'Annie' by his friends and family.

I used to think Jedis had some special ability that made them be able to use the Force, but no, it's because they have Midichlorians in their bloodstream. I hate the whole notion of Midichlorians. If they could make a clone army, why not clone midichlorian infested blood too and have yourself an army of thousands of soldiers with Jedi-like abilities?

Anakin didn't have a dad. He was a virgin birth, apparently. Eh?! Is it a Christ allegory? Only, in this version of the New Testament, Jesus goes bad and throttles his pregnant missus? Nope, it's those pesky Midichlorians again, fertilising poor old Shmi Skywalker. I reckon Lucas just couldn't be arsed to write about Anakin's dad, he was too busy fucking about with rasta frogs.

That two-headed alien that commentates on the podrace is one of the crappiest-designed aliens I've ever seen.

The best characters, Qui-Gon Jinn, Sebulba (Yeah, I know he's an essentially one-dimensional cartoon bully, but I think he was a fantastically designed and realised alien) and especially Darth Maul (the best thing about the prequels, in my opinion) all die in the first episode, leaving all the shit ones behind to try and hold our interest.

Darth Maul's two bladed lightsabre might've been a cool surprise, if only they'd left it out of the sodding trailer!

Ewan MacGregor's piss-poor vocal impersonation of Sir Alec Guinness.

How come all the technology on show is much more advanced than the stuff we saw in the original trilogy? This is suppose to be set before those. Also, the people in Star Wars' past were far more equal opportunities, with more women being fighter pilots, etc. I can't remember any female fighter pilots in A New Hope. That's not a criticism, though.

The casting of Hayden Christensen as Anakin for Episode II. He's possibly the worst actor in the world after that bloke who plays Nick Cotton. Not unfairly is he referred to as 'Mannequin Skywalker' in Clerks 2.

Episode II is supposed to be ten years after Episode I?! Nobody looks ten years older, except Anakin, and if it is ten years after the first one, this makes Padmé a bit of a cradle-snatcher, doesn't it? Aren't there any Jedis her own age she can fall in love with and make them turn to the Dark Side?

I liked it when we didn't know that much about Boba Fett. It made him a much cooler character. Now we know he looks like that bloke from Shortland Street and Barb Wire under his helmet.
Jango Fett was a cool character, though, but like all the best characters in the prequels, he gets killed.

The fact that the prequels were filmed in Australia, and so have lots of people that used to be in Neighbours are in it. Except for Jim Robinson, who appears in every other American movie.

Obi-Wan and his 'You're going to be the death me' jokes/predictions when talking to Anakin.

That whole sequence when C-3PO heads gets swapped with a federation droid just isn't funny.

R2-D2 can fly?! Does he forget he can do it by the time he meets up with Luke and Leia?

The whole sequence when Anakin spends time with Padmé on Naboo and tries to chat her up by saying she's not like sand, is clichéd and awful, and illustrates something that's wrong with all the prequels; the god-awful dialogue.

The same old cliché; Anakin gets to his mother the very moment before she snuffs it.

The Death Star was designed by cock-roach people? Eh?

The Clone Wars sounded cool when they were referred to in the older films, but they were a bit of a letdown when we actually got to see them.

Yoda in Episode II doesn't look anything like the Yoda from Episode I, and even though he can't walk without the aid of a stick, as soon as he gets his lightsabre out he starts whizzing about like a giant bluebottle?

In fact, Yoda's cut-and-paste way of talking gets on my tits. In the original ones it was cute, you could explain it by the fact he was very old and he's talking in a second language and he has trouble with sentence structure when he's saying what he's thinking when he's thinking it, but in the prequels, even when he makes a bloody speech he still does it. And the original muppet in Empire still has far more personality than his CGI replacement in Episodes II & III.

Sorry to dwell on him, but Yoda was mates with Chewbacca when he was younger? Did he used to babysit for Han Solo's mum and dad too?

Christopher Lee's Count Dooku is a cool character, as it's Christopher fucking Lee, but again, his character gets killed way too soon.

Padmé dies because her husband tried to force-strangle her when she's heavily pregnant, but even though she's dealing with that and the colossal pain of childbirth, she still knows exactly what to call the babies, even the one she didn't know she was carrying? And even though most Jedis can see into the future, know-one knew she was carrying twins?

I still don't know why the Emperor's face went all lumpy.

The emergence of the black-helmeted Darth Vader should have been the highlight of the prequels, seeing as that was what we were all waiting for, but instead, we got this:

NoooOOOOOooooOOOOO! It's almost Shatneresque.

If you're going to hide a baby from the biggest baddest bastard in the universe, letting him keep the name Skywalker and giving him to his stepbrother on the planet he grew up on isn't really the best plan. It worked, though, so what do I know?

And finally, in A New Hope, Obi-Wan clearly states that he doesn't remember owning a droid. That droid is R2-D2. Surely you'd remember that robot that was by your side when all the bad stuff was happening?

And so I rest my case. the Star Wars prequels were shit. They weren't all bad, the lightsabre duels were much more exciting, the podrace was cool (a bit overlong) and some of the scenes in Revenge Of The Sith (the death of the younglings; the Jedis getting wiped out; Owen and Beru getting baby Luke) pack a dramatic wallop that equals anything in the other films, but there wasn't enough of those to save it from the overall dreck.

Oh, and thanks to Tim Bisley for the title.


jamie said...

well,as i sit here slightly pissed-theresa is out on a gig and i'm home alone drinking the remainders of my smirnoff ices from last weekend-playing with my 'royal starship' from episode one,i'm reminded what a great film it was.
it was,and still is,totally different visually different from any other film before or since.
it had a great cast of UK thesps,the fact that i can drive forty five minutes either way around the M25 and find myself either in the swamps of naboo,or the courtyard of the theed city,not to mention that driving another forty minutes takes me to the very mecca of episode ones filming,now the home of harry potter...
episode one had a great score,slightly underminded by the following films score,for sure... but i remember frantically running round hmv on ther day of it's release and sitting in my car listening to the score before i'd seen the film.
and it had the N1 fighters,the coolest looking one man fighter ships ever!!!
i wish i'd bought five and had a bg enough room to lay them out in formation...
but i digress,

Mick said...

You're absolutely right about the score,I don't think John Williams ever does a bad score, does he? But even the greatness of that fades when you compare it to the score for Empire. Also, I seem to remember the soundtrack CD coming out before the movie and one of the tracks was called 'The Death Of Qui-Gon', totally spoiling the movie for everyone!
The Naboo Starfighters may be cool, but that coolness evaporates when you have Celia Imrie piloting said fighter.
We're going to have to agree to disagree, Jamie. I hate Phantom Menace (as you can probably tell from my list, as there's more entries from Episode I than there is for the other two movies combined, probably), it's the only Star Wars film I don't own on DVD, and it very nearly killed my love of all things Star Wars, which was quite hard to do!